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by Clair Stewart - Sin Sity Raiders
It was a long drive across the Arizona desert. The sun was beginning to set as we entered into the Valley of the Sun. But even the longest drive couldn't damp our enthusiasm to play in The Road Warriors scenario put on by Viper at Wild West Paintball. Our enthusiasm had to be high as we drove some of the more boring highways known to man safeguarded by the most uptight guys ever to wear a badge, the Arizona Highway Patrol. Why they have speed limits in the loneliest parts of the world defies my sense of logic but overcoming the ticket given to us by Officer Hardnose we had arrived to play the game!
My team the Sin Sity Raiders based in Las Vegas, Nevada had made our yearly pilgrimage to play in the scenario games offered in the Arizona Southwest. This would be our first event with Viper Paintball Events. Viper Events have long been offering scenario players great paintball action in the Texas region. We had never ventured to Texas to play in the Texas Revolution events held yearly but had always had been told by Bill and Dawn Mills of Warpig.com what great games he held there. We were excited to play in Viper’s scenario especially when we learned that the owners of Wild West Paintball had leased a 30-acre site specifically for this event. This field located close to their regular paintball facility was originally a gravel pit located in farming fields. The playing area was limited to the valley floor with its canyons and swales and the North and South edges of the upper fields. Miscellaneous berms, barricades and brush were scattered through the valley floor with man trails to reach the ridgelines above connecting pit to farmland. Each team would have a command post at the East and West ends of the valley and would move in that direction.
We drove in late Friday night and met up with the Worr Games contingent coming from California. This group included tournament paintball players Kenny Chamberlain, Sonny Lopez and Mario Izzario from Worr Games Products. In addition to those two, the two newest members of the Sin Sity Raiders Jeff Orr and Richie “Lefty” Houston drove out for their initiation game. Being in Phoenix meant we would also be playing with Tim East and his son Tim East Jr. and friends. Long time paintball enthusiasts, they had switched from tournament play to scenario games three years ago and had never looked back. It was great seeing old friends and paintball competitors from the Southwest.
Saturday morning we drove out to the field located in Apache Junction and picked up the registration and package information and signed our insurance waivers. The owners of Wild West Paintball, Joe Osuch and Nancy Becker greeted us. Tents and campers were already set up around the playing field, a large gravel pit, as players had spent the night to get an early jump on the festivities. We were assigned to the Refinery side being led by Papa Gallo himself Karl “Dragon” Wolf against the Road Warriors led by The Humongous Adrian Palmer in his first scenario role. Many of the players on both sides got into the spirit of the event by dressing in costume rather than the usual paintball garb of camos and jerseys. Road warrior players adorned themselves with spiked shoulder pads, wild tattoos, and colored wigs. Refinery players dressed in coveralls with gloves and doctor’s face masks. Following the game itinerary Viper started the player meeting promptly at 11:00 and welcomed all players to his scenario event and proceeded to go over the safety rules and instructions.
After the scenario rules were explained and the generals introduced Viper announced that this game was being dedicated to a 10-year-old paintball player Rex Murphy who was struck by a car while riding his bike and sent into a coma. Doctor’s thought that he would never recover but slowly “TRex”, as he is known in the paintball world, had regained consciousness and over time and with therapy will be O.K. Unfortunately the medical bills are fairly steep and to help the family cope with the strain Joe and Nancy have taken up a collection. Ben “Radar” Post, team captain of the Sin Sity Raiders and Worr Games products donated a Black Magic Auto cocker and air system to be auctioned off at the event and the money donated to this fund. The marker and bottle brought in $750.00 and additional monies were collected from the paintball players during the weekend for the good cause.
The game started with a screeching rocket announcing “Game on”. Immediately the Refinery players wearing blue ran out and began assaulting the Road Warriors base. One of the teams playing for the refinery side was Team Defiant from Arizona led by Caleb who had played numerous scenario games in the Phoenix area. He knows the catching the Warriors with the red tape sleeping early on would pay off for the Blue team. Sure enough they soon had trapped Warriors in their base and for the next 2 hours held them to that end of the field while Blue completed mission after mission without hesitation. At one point the blue general “Dragon” pulled his troops back to the middle of the field only to march into the red base and eliminate Humongous quickly. Evil Inc. was playing for the Road Warriors and had brought two of their tanks to combat the refinery troops. Unfortunately one of the vehicles had mechanical problems and they were left with one tank to harass the blue base until Dragon knocked it out of play with L.A.W. rockets. Sin Sity had also brought their tank and it constantly circled the red end of the field shooting players. The tank play was very important as it allowed protection for both the crew and the players moving in concert with the tanks. Only a demolition expert using a law or satchel charge could send the tank back to the starting area to await the next insertion.
As the afternoon ran on
it became apparent that the Road Warriors could not compete with the more
experienced refinery side. This became very discouraging for the
red side and several players left the event stating, "their position was
hopeless" and they were tired of being shot out over and over again.
Viper tried to encourage Humongous to rally his troops into pushing out
of their base but each time they were pushed back. Blue even went
so far as to move all of its armies back to midfield and allowed all the
Red players to come out and they were still beaten back. Finally
Viper had to make a move in an effort to make the game fair and competitive.
He approached some of the more experienced teams on the blue side and asked
them to come up with ideas on how to make it a game. Finally it was
decided that one team would change sides and by so doing give the red faction
a superior number of players and more experienced leaders to motivate the
road warriors. The players that made the switch did so to help the
game be more enjoyable for all the participants and could be said it was
just their “Bad Karma” in life to continually change sides.
With new members bolstering
the Red army’s defenses they began to move out of their base and as such
the Refinery players got more opportunities to have some real battles.
In one segment of the fight Ben “Radar” Post driving the Sin Sity Raider
tank chased several red players shooting them down before being destroyed
with a satchel charge. The game was definitely getting more competitive.
After dinner, with the sun setting, the players chronographed down to the night play speed of 250 fps. Night play brings out all kinds of different players and this game was no different. Without seeing the color of your armband each player had to make life and death decisions on whether to shoot players or not. Stealth and cunning became the keys to surviving contact with opposing forces. To this end the equipment provided by Tactical Paintball becomes invaluable and Evil Inc. used their sponsorship to benefit the Road Warrior side with ghillie suits donned they owned the night game. Those players who ventured into the night almost used the ghillie suit covered players for cover until they were barrel tagged out. Preacher of Evil Inc. took over command from Humongous for the night play and began capitalizing on the Blue victory before the break by running more missions under the cover of darkness. Blue also had a tactical advantage as they also outnumbered the red forces that were playing the night portion as most of red’s forces opted out. The score was rising fast when Viper mentioned to Preacher that Red was ready to stand down as they only had 5 players still in the game. Rather than run up the score Preacher also stood down in a show of good sportsmanship.
Sunday morning broke under cloud cover. It had rained some part of the night and more rain was scheduled. Still at 8:30 game on was sounded and the battle raged. Blue was more pumped up from the victories during the night and began to assault the Red base. After their insertion the Red players beat off the Blue attack and marched down to the Road Warrior bases and proceeded to shoot it up. Back and forth the armies flowed with no real advantage being had. As the insertions would come up the bases would be flooded with new players and they would push the smaller force back until their own numbers were reduced to match and then they would begin to give ground. The tanks balanced out this time so when one was destroyed the other would attack the other base until it was shot out. Just as the forces were beginning to heat up Mother Nature stepped in and unloaded her hopper full of storm fury. Instantly the desert landscape turned into mud as the rain punished the dusty surface. After 30 minutes of steady down pour it was decided that the game would be called as there were thunderheads all around and it presented a safety hazard to the players. Without the final battles and missions the game would come down to the points earned from the previous day and night missions and those missions run early on. Viper added the totals together as the players bantered back and forth. The refinery players recounted on how they owned the previous day and how the Road Warriors were unable to leave their base. Humongous reiterated how the Blue team had caught up during the night missions and that they had beaten the red army before the dinner break.
Everyone held their breath as Viper announced the scores 291 to 291 it was a tie. In order to break the deadlock the generals would fight a duel at 10 paces with pump guns. Dragon and Adrian stood back to back on the field as both sides looked down from the ridges. With the referee counting each player took 10 steps turned and fired. Well Dragon almost fired. Not playing normally with a pump he forgot to rock and cock and Humongous didn’t. The Road Warriors were declared the winners and then the party started. As the generals handed out their awards they expressed their appreciation with all of the players and referees and especially Wild West Paintball for the great field. Viper himself asked who would come back for a rematch and everyone was in the affirmative. Hopefully next time we’ll see more of the Southwest scenario teams and players. The Sin Sity Raiders wish to thank their sponsors without which paintball would be so much more difficult, Worr Games Products makers of the Oracle, E-Oracle, and Worrgas, JT USA, Warpig.com, Brass Eagle Evolution, Eduardo and Severe Paintball, Wayne Dollack Scenario Games and CS Consulting Engineers.
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