2005-11-21 06:40 UTC Rules of Engagement
I got shot.
Several times. It was quite fun, though I have a number of nasty bruises to show for it. I have one on my right shoulder that's a real doozie. It's a pink disc about 20mm across with a dark red dot in the middle and a rim of red dots around the edge. It doesn't hurt quite as much as the one just a few centimetres lower, though, which isn't even visible. Go figure.
We (Elaine, Zoran, myself, and half a dozen other Googlers) must have gotten through about ten thousands paintballs today. I think we bought a total of five crates' worth.
It was my first time getting hit by CO2-propelled Paint-Filled Balls of Death, but we played in the beginners' fields so the competition wasn't too tough, and I was on the winning team around half the time. I even survived a significant number of those times, and managed to hit The Enemy enough times to make me feel like I knew what I was doing. (My limited experience with Rogue Spear, laser tag, and just plain old magic-heavy LARP probably helped a bit with this.)
The rules we played were very specific that if the Ball of Brightly Coloured Doom did not splatter on contact, then we were to consider that a non-fatal wound and keep playing. However, if one of these Death Balls of Goo did not explode on contact, that meant it bounced instead. First, this is more painful, but second, and more importantly, it causes you to start checking yourself for paint marks to see if it was a fatal hit. (In cases where you're not sure, it can even go as far as getting you to call a ref out — "Paint Check!" — to see if you were hurt or not.) All of which just puts you in more danger of being shot again, of course.
The overall strategy conclusions that I drew were:
- Don't bother firing your gun when you are outside its effective range.
- Laying down cover fire is quite effective in keeping the enemy pinned down while your own troups move ahead.
- Moving ahead in the leap-frog style, with the front team firing cover and the rear team advancing to become the new front team (so that the roles are reversed) works well.
- Being more aggressive pays off; defensive tactics might hold the enemy in position for a while, but won't drive them back.
- There's really no reason to use team mates as cannon fodder, however tempting it might be.
- Being shot hurts.
At one point I was lying flat on my back behind some cover, rolling left and right to shoot at some Enemy Troups who were behind similar cover, when one of these Spheres of Gooey Destruction was shot at me at the exact angle required for it to fly straight up my sleeve, slow down, turn around, and roll straight back out with no damage done. That was somewhat scary.
Next weekend I'm going to do something without abusing my body in the process. Two weekends in a row is quite enough, thanks.