Daniel’s sister was browsing Groupon a few weeks back, and bought three tickets to play airsoft for a lark. She then realized that she wasn’t really all that interested in it, and never got around to going.
Now, it’s a day before the tickets expire.
And this is when Daniel, Erin, and myself come in.
We’ve just pulled into the parking lot (after a short bicker about whether the directions were right or not), and are about to get kitted out for the game. It’s a fall Sunday, early afternoon, and it’s perfectly brisk out – not too cold, but not warm by any stretch of the imagination. Both Daniel and Erin are kitted out in poofy / heavy clothes, but I’ve just got my normal cargo pants and a light Tee-shirt on – I had remembered how much of a workout Paintball had been, and figured that the running and adrenaline would keep me warmer than any coat could. There’s the downside of extra pain, thanks to a lack of padding, but I figured it was better than overheating and croaking of heatstroke in the middle of a match.
Turns out I was right – though I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. Before we could even start a match, we needed to kit out, learn the rules, and meet the competition.
First – gear. We had the option of using retrofitted paintball guns, or special-issue M16 look-alikes for an extra $2. Yes please, cool looking / good working guns are worth a few extra bucks. And, surprisingly enough, the facemask wasn’t the only piece of regulation armor that we had to wear; we also had a heavy vest that rendered us completely unable to tell when we’d been hit, and a neck guard to protect against airsoft pellets entering my windpipe directly through my trachea.
Second – rules. Blah blah blah, Effectively the same as paintball. No shooting people in the gnads, keep your mast/vest on at all times when you’re on the course, and no hitting people in the face with your gun. Also no shooting the referee, heh.
Third – the field. Unlike at Dave’s Bachelor party, here we’d be playing in a much smaller “office assault” course. It was indoors, and the entire place was set up just like your standard-issue wrecked office building. There were even rolling chairs strewn about… rolling chairs that I may have kicked around corners at people a few times 😛
And finally – the competition. Since it was a Sunday, it was rather light; instead of a huge group of teams waiting their turn to play, there were only three other people around – Perfect for our needs. Two older kids, maybe late highschool or early college, and a younger brother who obviously played WAY too much Call of Duty, and didn’t play enough “go outside and do something real”. Seriously, the kid was super-stoked exactly up until the moment that he realized that he’d have to actually run.
Anyways, enough about the backstory – A rundown of the matches we played:
- This match was highlighted by none of us being able to fire our guns. The other team could though. Problem turned out that we didn’t know how to “pre-rack” the magazine so that it would feed the airsoft pellets into the gun so that it could fire. Without doing that first… well, this round hurt, lets just leave it at that.
- With working guns in hand, we were able to show our quality. Thanks to one-too-many conversations with my friend Dave, I laid out a standard-issue room-clearing manouver for us to follow: Daniel and Erin went up the middle, concentrating fire to keep the other team moving to the left side of the “field”. But they didn’t advance at all, instead drawing the other team inwards towards them. While they did this, I flanked to the right side, coming out behind them. And yes, I shot them in the backs. That was kind of rude of me, I’ll admit.
- Basically the same tactic as the previous match, except that I snuck up behind them and told them to surrender. In a Batman voice.
- Two of their team sat this one out, so I played against Daniel and Erin alongside one of their guys. It was fun… but I kinda got lit up like a Christmas tree by Erin. Girl’s a scarily good shot… It may have had something to do with the fact that neither of us could reload correctly, and she reloaded a lot faster than I did.
- Normal teams again, but this time Erin and Daniel got hit almost right off the bat… and I was left alone against their entire team. But, Dave had trained me well. By carefully kicking chairs around to distract them I was able to sneak around and ambush their team effectively enough to still pull a win. Lone Wolf = win.
- I really don’t know why they didn’t realize that I was going to be flanking, at this point. But if it’s not broke… Daniel and Erin rolled up the center while I flanked around, and we took a clean win – not a one of us was knocked out this round.
- They left, so us three did a bit of a free-for-all match. I may have cheated by grabbing one of the “referee riot shields”, but I admit to nothing. Especially not getting annihilated by Erin in a “walk 10-paces and fire” duel.
- Screw Free For All games – Duels are where it’s at! We basically just wasted the rest of our ammo on doing 1v1 duels. It was amazing, and rather excellent.