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Kriegjournal #7

November 2006

To celebrate my nephew's birthday, we went to Riverside Renegades to play paintball. For myself, I used to play all the time but the group I played with sot of broke up and I haven't been out in years. It was fun to be back.

The Renegade's field is one of my favorites. It's a large field that allows you to run around in the woods without encountering the enemy all the time, even with large groups. It is less developed than some, with lots of narrow trails through thick brush. These features combine to allow the players to use strategy instead of just tactics.

A few of the highlights: There were 7 of us in the birthday party but a swarm of 40 from CMU was supposed to show up. They were late so the first game was just the 7 of us. Unfortunately it was then that I realized that the small 45-round hopper I had purchased for my Spyder Compact was defective and wouldn't allow the balls to drop into the gun. I set it aside to draw my backup, a classic Sheridan PGP. I was behind a fence barrier looking through a knothole in a fence barrier when one of the 'enemy' came running up to capture the seemingly undefended flag. I stood up full but could not see over the 6 foot fence so I just raised my gun over the top and took a blind shot. I quickly pumped the gun for when he would come around the fence to gun me down with his semi-auto but I had gotten him in the arm with my first shot. I'm pretty good with the pistol when I take the snap shots. Or maybe I'm just lucky.(Some of the next descriptions will reference specific bunkers of the trail. See them on the map)

When the college students finally showed up, it was pretty clear that they had no experience. I've been playing on and off for twenty years so I became the general. In one of the games, our team started up at the bottom of the hill at GI Joe's bunker and the enemy was way up at the top at Fort Apache. When the game started, most went straight up the middle so I decided to swing to the left, across the Covered Bridge and up the valley. Across from Tiani's Trench is Fort Suzuki (an insurance fraud vehicle dump that has become a permanent part of the field) and when I went there I realized it wasn't a very good spot. Three or four of my teammates had followed me and had bunched up behind a pile of branches. Above Fort Suzuki was a string of branch/log bunkers that formed a broad front so I ran across open ground, taking fire the whole way to get there. As expected, my teemmates followed me one at a time. But instead of spreading out along this broad front, they all clustered around me. I didn't like taking all that fire and so began the push. To one of my teammates I pointed out where the enemy was hiding and told him that I was going to move forward and that he was to cover me. He seemed to do a good job and I got in without being hit. Except that three guys then followed me. So, it was the same thing. I pointed out that there was one person in Tiani's Trench, another above the bunker and probably another on the right. I ran across the bridge right up to the bunker and fired right through the "window" as the person there attempted to abandon the bunker. I drove the guy above the bunker out of hiding and eventually got him as well. Then my teammates came forward. Up the hill to Bush Garden's (which was empty) and then across towards DJ's DMZ. There were at least two in that bunker and they were throwing out heavy fire. The bunker was a three-wall structure that was a little off the ground so, if I could get up on it, I could shoot their legs. One of my teammates had run out of paint so I called on the other for covering fire and rushed the fort. I didn't see any feet so I slid like I was going into home plate and could fire up into the fort. The two were standing on the 2x4s at the corners so that their feet were up off the ground. Clever. I fired a number of shots up into the bunker and was pretty sure I got at least one of them but got myself shot in the hand. I was out but the person I had shot stayed in the bunker. I noticed a few instances of that during the day where there people would get shot but not call themselves out or would wander away with their hands up and then just go back into the game.

The next game we switched sides, this time we started up at Fort Apache and attacked downhill. I sort of hung back while I waited for the battle to develop and then slowly moved down. There is a road that goes from the pond to the staging area that allows you to look down along the line of bunkers I had occupied in the previous game without being seen. A bit like Sargent York, I stayed up at the top and took out several of the enemy as they moved up this line of bunkers, paying more attention to the fire they were taking from the left. Once I saw that our team was moving steadily forward, I moved down the middle Towards the Dragon Scales bunker. It's a large 4-walled structure with windows coved by plastic pop bottle cases. This allows you to see into and out of the bunker but the grating keeps paintballs from getting through. There was at least one guy in there but he was able to hold off a number of my team. With them drawing his attention, I was able to flank him and get right up on the bunker, sticking my barrel through an opening and firing 1 shot from 10 feet away. Advancing on the bunker with the flag I took out one in the bunker. I moved up and got another on the left. I was able to take out one of a pair just to the right of the bunker. Now with a lot of backup I went to the flag. I was taking fire from the right of the bunker and from someone else near the Covered Bridge on the way back. I intended to throw the flag to someone else when I got hit in the back. I reached back and didn't come up with any paint so I assumed the ball hadn't broken so I picked up the flag and passed it off, turning to keep the enemy pinned down. Eventually I got shot in the head but my job was done. That was the one game that ended in the flag being captured. I had taken out at least 5 opponents.

By the time the last game of the day rolled around, I was out of paint. Actually, I had enough for my PGP so I went out on the field with that, intending to stay back at the flag. After watching the battle progress in stalemate I decided to just walk down the path with my gun at my side. I hoped that I would look like I was out and be ignored so that I could walk right through the enemy lines. It worked. I walked past a number of players without anyone shooting at me. Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone I could just turn and shoot in the back. I picked the last person in line and took a shot but my gun misfired and I missed. (The gun had been charged and ready to go in my holster for much of the game and had leaked by this point.) I took cover and was involved in a short firefight but was eventually taken out by his superior firepower. -- Revised: 2 December 2007
Copyright © 2007 Kevin A. Geiselman