This past weekend I went to the Combat Classic Paintball Event held at West Point Military Academy. It was my second paintball game of my life and the first time playing with anyone remotely serious about the sport. Naturally it was a competition run by West Point cadets and played largely by ex-military paintball teams. It took place near West Point on Lake Fredericks which seemed to be largely intended as army recreational or R&R space. It was very pretty in the fall.
Fortunately I was guided by Josh, who was part of the 518 paintball community and knew many of the Rubber Ducks, a paintball team of great renown. Even better, the Rubber Ducks specialized in playing paintball outside, unlike many teams that were clearly used to being inside in smaller more man-made courses. In all fairness there were also small children playing, possibly as young as eight years old. Using borrowed gear and my experience playing Call of Duty I charged into this weekend with great gusto.
This meant, of course, that I crawled on my belly through the mud and sprinted up hills in a crouched position for hours. In fact, I discovered that these were the keys to succeeding in paintball. My greatest play in the entire weekend consisted of sprinting up the hill, far above the main battle and behind theoretical enemy lines. We, Myric, Josh, some other guy, and I, took several undefended forts (for points) till we finally made it to territories that actually contained enemies. We holed up on top of a hill for a while for points (I was finally able to take pictures during the lull.) This is Josh looking down the hill there.
After a couple minor firefights up there, we sprinted down behind enemy lines and ambushed a large number of them. We actually sprang out from behind a low wall and picked them off as they just stood there. We got hit, but not before taking 10 or so of them with us. That’s what happens when you stand around and wait for something to happen. You need to be hiding behind trees all the time. Like this.
It was very tiring and often Myric and I needed breaks. Our base was an old stone space for picknickers. where we could chill out for a few minutes. Here is Myric:
The view from the hill was incredible. It looked a bit like this:
The best part of the event was the final battle in which we attempted to use the last of our ammunition (I largely succeed) and capture some flags. Our generals were declared invincible, allowing my general to collect an extraordinary number of welts and bruises. He kind of looks like he was stoned now. This is the team preparing for the final battle.
I discovered afterwards that the battle is meant to be a reenactment of D Day. I feel like we fundamentally did it wrong because the Reds were supposed to be the Germans, and we won. Ah well, such is life. It was a lot of fun and I’d love to get some gear of my own and do it again.