by Billy Goodman
YOUR MISSION: TAKE AND HOLD THE AIRFIELD FOR
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Find out ahead of time about allowed gun velocities.
Many fields require lower velocities at night. It's a good idea to make
sure your gun is capable of being adjusted through the necessary range.
Some guns will require a spring change or other modification just to operate
properly at lower night velocities. Having a back-up gun chronoed specifically
for night play helps.
Take a back up gun or guns (if you can) - it's no
fun spending time on the sidelines working on your piece. It's much easier
and less frustrating to pick up another gun and go, then work on the down
gun during a meal break. And even if your gun is the most reliable in the
world, your friend's gun may not be - so have a spare chronoed and ready
to go if you can. Along those same lines, kind of back-up items are nice
to have along, such as spare parts, clothes, etc.
Take a flashlight - although a flashlight is a dead
give-away at night, it's still handy to have one if you have to walk off
the field, find something you've dropped, etc. I usually attach one to
my gun so it's easy to find. I end up taking a lot of laughs from
people who make remarks about how ineffective it will be while playing
- but that's not what it's there for - it's a safety device and should
be considered a necessity for night play.
Take all of the stuff your local rec-field may be
supplying for you. Often with hundreds of players showing up, scenario
game organizers can't afford to have such things as paper towels, or cold
water on hand. Think of it as a camping trip in the deep woods and take
everything necessary. This could include an awning to provide shade, a
portable table, and chairs to set up in your campsite, which especially
comes in handy for working on equipment off field.
Make preparations for playing in the rain, and enduring
the rain off field. Despite the best efforts of meteoroligist, the weather
is still largely unpredictable. If you have special gear for playing in
the rain, don't leave home on a long trip without it. Again, a shelter
such as an awning comes in handy for keeping you and your equipment dry
during showers while off field.
Consider having your group invest in radios, but
keep radio chatter to a minimum - use it on an "as needed" basis. FRS radios
are getting to be relatively inexpensive and are the most popular types
on most fields. They are awesomely useful in large scale games, especially
if you get separated from your unit. However, too much radio traffic can
bog you down quick. Avoid casual conversation since it ties up the frequency.
Also, using a simple earplug keeps unexpected radio noise from giving away
Don't overweight yourself with equipment - most people
don't consider how much equipment they are carrying since they're used
to playing in 20 minute games where the harness comes off after it's over,
but when you're on the field for hours at a time anything can and will
become heavy, and this effect multiplies if you try to over-supply yourself
for a 24 hour game. Most scenario games have a re-incarnation rule that
allows you to return to the field on time intervals. Use the times you
get eliminated to reload, swap tanks, etc. or make an agreement with friends
where you bring in re-supplies for each other after you get eliminated.
Pace yourself - trying to go the whole 24 hours is
simply not wise for some people (especially us old guys). Pick and choose
your play time. For instance, in the middle of the night there may be no
action on the field, which would be a good time to get some rest and be
refreshed in the morning. (On the other hand, it's also a good time to
score points for your team since opposition is low.) Also consider things
like the drive home, how far it is, and how apt you'll be to doze off on
the road and kill somebody if you tried to stay up the whole 24.
Consider taking a source of drinking water on the
field if you think you'll be playing for long periods in hot weather. With
medics to heal your wounds and put you back into the game, it's easy to
be on the field for several hours at a time. A Camel-back style set-up
works well and with it's drinking tube can be accessed without removing
your face mask, which is an important feature to include on any on-field
Consider making extra vehicle keys if several friends
come to the event with you. It always seems someone needs to get back into
the vehicle but the guy with the keys is out on the field. This is also
a good safety precaution in case you loose your keys on the field. Along
those same lines, keep all of your valuables (money, wallet) and other
keys locked in the vehicle. Trust me, it's just no fun to search a huge
field for a lost wallet.
Take fake props. Often, role-playing type scenario
games rely on props for points or accomplishing an objective. Taking something
like an old circuit board from a computer, or odd looking object can give
you something to barter with off field, or something to bait an ambush
on field. In general, players will not know what is a "real" prop, sometimes
until the game is over.
Play for your team - if it's a mission oriented game,
try to accomplish the mission and help the team win. Despite the number
of people you personally eliminate, it's sort of anticlimactic when you're
team loses the game because there were players more interested in their
own personal agenda or kill talley. Be willing to work with others on your
team. One of the things that makes large scale scenario games so fascinating
to me is seeing so many people working together for a common goal. In every
one I have played, I honestly think the winning team was the also the best
Have fun!!! Go with a good attitude and
expect a good time and that's what you'll find.
and finally, don't shoot guys with cameras - they
are there to record the game and the chance of your smiling face appearing
in a magazine will greatly diminish if you even accidentally shoot one
of these guys.. (my apologies to Hollywood)