SCENARIO GAMES
by Billy Goodman

YOUR MISSION: TAKE AND HOLD THE AIRFIELD FOR 45 MINUTES.

The photos on this page were taken at Wayne's World of Paintball in Ocala, Florida during several different 24-hour scenario events. After doing a number of these, I can say that large scale scenario games are definitely what I prefer to play. There's a certain sense of adventure in big scenario games that has slowly disappeared from the rec-ball scene over the last decade. The games are usually held on relatively large fields, offer a multitude of smaller styles of games within a game, and more opportunities to make an impact. In scenario games, a player can successfully use styles of play that are simply ineffective in recreational or tournament ball. They also offer a chance to meet and play paintball with a bunch of really cool people. Many of the scenario regulars I've met are people burnt out on "regular" paintball and are there because they want a unique playing experience. Overall, they tend to be a lot less concerned about absolute victory, and much more interested in how the game is played. This results in a great attitude toward the game, and lots of fun.

To put it mildly, scenario games are all about variety,  and with 24-hour events, offer a LOT of playing time. The scenarios of the game can be based on anything from historic military battles to science fiction stories. A lot of them are what is referred to as "mission oriented". The format is somewhat reminiscent of military war games, in that both teams have a number of "missions" they must accomplish, and points are awarded accordingly. Missions may vary from holding a strategic point for a given period of time, to destroying an objective, to recovering a specific object. In most cases, the elimination of opposing players does not count for points. Rather than having a direct, simple objective like recreational games, scenarios are more complex, and require a consideration of strategy for success. Many times two opposing platoons on different missions may see each other and choose not to engage in a prolonged battle for fear of not getting the assigned mission accomplished in the given time. At the same, the most massive exchanges of paint I have ever seen have taken place during scenario games which involved hundreds of players. Successful scenario players (and teams) pick and choose when and where to expend their resources.

Scenario games are unique in the equipment allowed.  Most allow for such items as radios, multi-shot cannons, ghillie suits, multiple guns, armored vehicles and more. Role playing scenario games also have the addition of characters with special abilities like demolition experts who can destroy structures, combat engineers who can rebuild structures, medics who can heal the wounded, or spies who can infiltrate the opposing team.
 

One of the new experiences for a lot of first time 24-hour scenario game players is night play. Night play can be fascinating, fun, and down right scary. Engagements generally happen at much closer ranges at night, and most game operators require lower shooting velocities because of that. Paintchecks are difficult to perform at night and players are expected to be on the honor system. As a general rule, any hit is an elimination, whether it breaks or not. The use of nightvision equipment is becoming more prevalent in 24-hour games. As a relatively inexpensive counter-weapon, some players use huge million candle-power spotlights. Night play takes some getting used to, but is one of the facets of the game that draws players, including myself, to 24-hour events.

Most 24-hour events include several scheduled stand-down times for meal breaks, although players can leave the field at any time. A typical game might run from Noon Saturday, to Noon Sunday, with 1 hour breaks at 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  A re-incarnation rule allows eliminated players to return to the field on given time intervals, such as on the hour and half hour. If a player chooses to leave the game on his on accord, he still has to wait for the re-insertion time.

The following suggestions are the result of some of my personal experiences: