Today's Thought: “A medicine cat has no time for doubt. Put your energy into today and stop worrying about the past.” -Erin Hunter, Rising Storm

Paintball Gun and Its Strategy

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You’re in the front, the first line of defense. Behind you, a three-story fortress with catwalks and shooting ports. Around you, 100 teammates behind barricades. When the first yellow player comes up the path, you shoot a volley-and send him to the insertion zone! The same goes for the player behind him, and the next-but more players run toward you! Paint rains through the woods as they rush the fort from all sides!

Within moments you’re facing 600 charging paintballers. A fine mist fills the air as paintballs hammer the base. Figure 600 players shooting at 8 bps-that’s 2-1/2 cases of paint being shot in your direction every second.

Welcome to the madness of the Michigan Monster Game!

Logistics

Exotic Sportz’s Hell Survivors hosts this annual quality event and has done so for many years. Their experience allows their staff to run this huge event smoothly, with part of the efficiency being their online early registration. An added bonus for online signups was a discount on game fees and the field paint, Fireball by Procaps with a blood-red fill.

Hell Survivors opened more than 100 acres for this game, in an area that included many trails, bridges, thick woods, and lots of hardcovers. One village included more than 30 houses, vehicles, and a downed aircraft. Two large castles and a barricade-filled valley between them kept the action hot all weekend long. Add to the mix a couple of forts and some firebases, and you have a field with an appeal for every player.

Moving 1,400 players a day through air fills proved efficient because Tippmann brought their quick-fill system and Hell Survivors gave any interested player a free 20-ounce quick-fill CO2 tank to use for the game. Players with these tanks could self-fill quickly using Tippmann’s system. Compressed air fills were done at a self-serve air fill station with 10 spaces for 3000 psi and 10 for 4500 psi. The only players who stood in line waiting for a fill were ones who refused to use the free quick-fill CO2 tanks.

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Keeping the 1,400 players supervised, 100 trained referees covered assignments on the playing field. To their credit, the vast majority of players exhibited excellent sportsmanship.

Tactics & Strategy

The generals had a variety of potential points tools. Each started the game in possession of a limited quantity of game cash, which they could use to buy aid. Red and Yellow hired the mercenary crew, who enthusiastically attacked objectives using their speedball skills and massive firepower. Four tank teams waited for a call to duty; once a tank rolled down a path, players ran for cover or sharp gunners would take them out.

Special Ops brought their incredible vehicle with its twin A-5 turret-mounted markers scattering enemies with ease. The rules allowed players to use paint grenades and paintings, but since these could not affect the “tanks,” wise players dove for cover when a tank approached.

Instead of missions, the Michigan Monster Game is based on objectives. Six locations on the field (forts, firebases, and castles) scored points for each minute a team controlled them. Once Red or Yellow raised their flag, that team began chalking up points.

Eliminating players scored points through an ingenious computer system. Reinserting players walked through a station that scanned the bar code on their I.D. badges, instantly racking up points for the other team. Officers brought in a higher bounty than grunts. Players who broke the rules earned the other team big bonuses. Breaking the safety rules increased your point value by a factor of 10, so a colonel who had broken a rule would be worth 300 points rather than 30. This put pressure on the players to keep the game safe and orderly.

The computer system allowed generals to check the scores in real-time rather than having to wait for the producer to announce the numbers after some behind-the-scenes hocus-pocus. Interestingly, although the Red and Yellow teams ran neck-and-neck in terms of points scored by eliminations, Yellow’s strategy for controlling the high-point objectives paid off in an early lead that they never relinquished. After two days, four quarters running three hours apiece, Yellow defeated Red 21,768 to 15,643.

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Bonus!

Players at the Michigan Monster Game visited a large vendor village featuring giant show trailers from V-Force (title sponsor), Shocktech, Tippmann, and many smaller shops. V-Force sponsored a players’ party Saturday night, providing pizza, a rock band, and contests such as the “Cutest Paintballer” pageant. All players received a raffle ticket, but the regulars bought more. Hell Survivors gave away a boatload of soft goods such as shirts, hats, and paintball gear, and excellent markers. Lucky winners took home Shockers, Angels, and custom Special Ops markers.

Allen Paintball Products (APP) chose this event to debut their new loader for the Tippmann Custom 98 or the Autococker. The APP kit adds an air hose that siphons blowback gas so it can power the loader. Since the gas would have been released anyway, the new system in no way compromises efficiency. APP fitted interested players with the new equipment for a free trial run. The idea of keeping the marker loaded quickly and reliably without batteries appealed to many players who spread the word, attracting a curious crowd to the APP booth.

Next?

Years of experience have turned the Michigan Monster Game into a smoothly run machine. Players attending for the first time should expect a professional staff, fast air fills, efficient paint sales, a great vendor presence, and a sweet prize package.

Paintball is an amazing rush. Paintball on an awesome field with tanks and 1,400 players is an unforgettable experience and well worth the travel. Plan a trip to the Michigan Monster Game.


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