Isley’s (Band of) Brother’s
Congregating at the Campaign Paintballing site in Effingham on Sunday morning, all the ‘troopers’ knew it was going to be a good day; even the weather was kind, sunny and mild. What better place for friends, family and club members to meet in the tranquil surrey countryside and shoot the s**t out of each other!
Once everyone was kitted up in camouflage coveralls, mask, and issued with 500 malteser sized bullets, we were given the compulsory safety talk, with dire warnings of exploding eyeballs if we should dare to remove goggles during the game. We split into 2 teams of eleven players each, with Steve Isley as Captain of the Orange Brigade and Chris Hunka Leader of the Green Machine.
The first battle zone was like a scene from an old spaghetti western, ‘A Fistful of Paintballs’ perhaps. Both teams lined up at either end of this old town, out of sight of each other, then at the shout of “three… two… one… go” from the referee, battle began. Being totally disorganised the Orange Team was quickly eliminated resulting in a resounding first win to the ‘Greengos’.
Swapping ends, the ‘Oranges’ were determined to win the next match. On the advice of the referee, they implemented the opposition’s tactics by taking control of several strategic buildings and, with superior aggression, managed to steal all three flags and wipe out Team Green. So, with a win each we entered round 2.
This time the objective was to steal a single flag from an exposed bridge and return it to the team base. Aaron Champion, one of the ‘Greenies’ did exceptionally well by stealing the flag quickly to score 3 points. However, he was soon shot and out of the game but his sacrifice meant the Greens won by a narrow victory.
Next up was Speedball, a little like ‘It’s a Knockout’ with guns! The arena being small meant the action was fast and furious. Dave ‘the assassin’ Beadling made short work of the opposition meaning another victory for Team Tango. Unfortunately for the Green Machine the second battle went pretty much the way of the first, and a pattern began to emerge.
After six tough fights everyone was feeling a little weary, battered and, in some cases, covered in mud (John!) so lunch was very welcome. Feeling re-energised following a huge hamburger and salad, we restocked with ammo and were off into battle once again.
It was a forest scenario now (jungles of ‘Nam for those with a vivid imagination) full of abandoned and derelict vehicles and, being on a hill it promised to be a challenging fight!
Team Tango had the advantage of attacking downhill to start. Quickly deciding on a plan, it was a mad rush down to secure the centre ground and gain cover behind the trucks, where they could clinically snipe the ‘enemy’. Chris Hunka, Green Team Leader, managed to burrow himself into a small hide where he sneakily shot Mel in the calf from close range. However, by this time he was surrounded by myself, John and Bret and well and truly annihilated – that’ll teach you Chris! With that, John led the charge downhill to the battle cry of ‘you’ll never take me alive’ and was promptly peppered by Shirley Deluce who had sneakily stayed behind in defence. In the second half I was eliminated early on and had to sit in the dead zone with Jackie Maskell. The overall score for that round being a marginal win for Orange once again.
With dusk approaching, the last game of the day was a repeat of D-Day, but it was more Life of Brian than Saving Private Ryan! With an almost impossible job of assaulting a stockade and stealing the flag John Rapley made a valiant effort but ended up looking like a Technicolour dreamcoat.
Quote of the day came from Chris Hunka whilst hiding behind the stockade: “I was standing eight feet back from a twelve inch window thinking no-one can get me from here when I was instantly shot between the eyes!”
Tired and battle-wounded we headed for a cold beer in the local pub to discuss the wins and defeats of the day, and tactics for the future. I think I can speak for everyone in saying it was a great way to spend an autumn Sunday.
A big thank you to Steve from everyone for organising a fun day out; I for one will definitely be putting my name down for a repeat performance.