INVASION OF NORMANDY 2012
Once again Skirmish Paintball in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania hit it big with their Invasion of Normandy event, also known as I.O.N. This year 3,642 players participated in what is known as â€œThe Largest Paintball Game in the Worldâ€.
Everything about this game was super-sized. The campground was a massive tent city that stretched as far as the eye could see and the area was alive with a continual hustle and bustle of people laughing, cooking, playing games, and of course preparing for battle. The high energy was everywhere and people were there to have fun, from the outrageous costumes players wore to the salespeople who were setup in the huge Vendorâ€™s Row.
Skirmish USA has run I.O.N. for many years and offers over seven hundred acres of playing fields, much of which was used for the event. The opening battle brought most of the players on the field at one time and it was a massively unique experience. With that many players, you may assume it would be a stalemate at the fifty-yard line, but the field was still very maneuverable with deep woods, swamps, and varying terrain. Daniel â€œBarneyâ€ Alamo commented on the heavy concentration of small trees by the swamp, â€œThe rottos are awesome for a lone wolf to maneuver in.â€ He also felt, â€œthe role playing is high qualityâ€ and indeed the scenario aspect of the game was not lost in the monumental number of players.
The Allies softened up the Germans at the beginning of the game by running a fully loaded bus up to the front lines. The landing crafts dropped their ramps and the game was truly on. Players poured out followed by wave after wave of participants. The Germans started in the woods and constantly tried to push up but the open ground and never ending stream of Allies kept the Germans in a defensive mode. The Allies completely filled the main field and wisely overloaded the side with easy access to the woods where they were able to maneuver and box the Germans in. The fight and control of the field changed throughout the day but many times the Allies moved in large numbers and were able to push deep into German territory.
The evening was filled with intense play and missions. The field size and number of players participating in the night game gave an eerie calm followed by some intense battles. The Valken Corps threw an awesome Playersâ€™ Party on Saturday night with food, drinks, video projection, lighting and an all-around good time.
Skirmish Paintball had their hands full with the extensive number of people in attendance, but they provided excellent food through multiple vendors, had refs and security on staff throughout the event, and cared about the playersâ€™ well-being. The President of Skirmish USA, Paul Fogal, said, â€œThings went very well. We were lucky the weather was not too hot and there were very few problems. I was very happy there was some real stand-up paintballers!â€
Everyone participated with self-control and the game ended with handshakes and cheers. The Allies pulled off the win with 169 points to the Germans 141 points. The French did obtain their goal of two million dollars.
Special thanks to the Command Staff:
- General Kevin â€œChef Kevâ€ Middaugh
- XO Jason Bassaro of Trippy J
- XO April â€œLadyhawkâ€ Stone of Team Nighthawks
- General Jezebel
- XO Crapgame
- XO Joe DiLascio
- General Grazi
- XO Ralph â€œRamâ€ Mastrangelo (The Undertakers)
- XO Eric â€œKillerkazâ€ Kazimir (Team Delaware)
There were so many attendees on the field, at their camps, or milling around that it was impossible to meet or greet everyone but I must say the people that I visited with were from all over the country and proved to be outstanding, fun-loving participants of this great sport of paintball.
Check out my YouTube Channel for my video coverage of this event!
After Event Report and photos by: Â TheSkeletor262