Last weekend the 2014 UWL season kicked off at SC Village in sunny Corona California. The two day event brought in the largest turnout in UWL history of 20 teams across the 5 divisions offered between the 5 man and 10 man formats. The event had two fields; one for 5 man and one for 10 man and many players got the chance to play both formats and fields. This event also was the premier of the new Professional 5 man division.
There would be know better way to express my experience at The Grand Finale, other than WOW! It truly is a grand time every year. Teams, vendors and players travel from across the nation to hit up this event! This year I consumed my time playing on this awesome 60 plus acre field. The field offers over 16 areas of play to satisfy any baller! As always, a great opportunity shooting alongside some of the best ballers in the game!
Saturday 1st December
So… Here we are again reporting (HA!) for the mighty Catshack Reports. This time we were not hunkering down beside some paint covered bunkers, up to our knees in paintballs and trying to duck paint as we try to take photographs. This time we are dressed as the antithesis of a paintballer. We are in smart formal wear, shirt and tie and ballgown (not me you understand .. I don’t wear the dresses…) So what gives?
15th November – 17th November
We met Tom “Tomcat” Cunningham at the Tippmann Challenge UK scenario game held at Holmbush Paintball at the start of the year. Not long after he called us and asked “hey Guys!, can you go to Malaysia and take some photos for me… it will be fun”. Six months later here we are! Or rather, there we were. We are back now, sitting in front of our computers looking at and editing over 7000 photographs of in game play and off field shots of all the players that attended the 2013 PALS World Cup.
Oct, 13th 2013
Game of Thrones, Produced by MPP Games
Let the battle begin!
Bear Claw Paintball, as I have stated on many occasions, a field that can only be described as perfection when it comes to a woodsball, scenario field! Lined with beautiful trees, inclines, rocks and the structures, well they speak for itself. Very well thought out and creative indeed, a total of 8 fields and many acres that would fulfill any players needs! Owner Scott Bolden and crew take the up most pride when it comes to cleanliness, safety and fun! This was the Catshacks second visit to Game Of Thrones and I intend on making it a tradition!:)
On to the game! The Greyjoy’s were led by Steve Burges and daughter Katie Burges, although Father will give Daughter all credits. The Dathraki’s were led by James McDonald and Chip Hudson. Great job from both sides! First objective to start off the day; The main Greyjoy force had to cover the entire field from Yi-Ti to reach their defenders at Seagard. The Dothraki force that was pre-positioned at Great Wyk were to set up a defense along the King’s Road to keep them from reaching their objective. both teams then had to fight through one another to reach their respective bases.
Players lined the beach with anticipation, their objective would be a long steadfast attempt to secure their safety zone! Paint was flying on both sides as the defenders were prepared to protect their territory! Once the attackers secured the base, missions started rolling in. Each General delegated their agendas and kept the players on their toes throughout the entire weekend! The night beach landing was amazing! Nothing like I have ever experienced in Paintball. The fires were tremendous, I couldn’t calculate how high they reached, but they lit up the night sky! I hope Gary Winn’s pictures can express the visual AWE!
The night landing objective; After taking the beach, the Greyjoys were to push on to rescue the Admiral at Oakmont, the Princess at Greywater, and the gold at Faircastle; they did not capture any of the props, but came close at Oakmont and Greywater! This denied the Dothraki 200 points for an uncontested position at each.
I would say the game was perfect. Players extended their thanks, joy and appreciation of the game. I think incorporating the 10 vs 10 matches into missions was quite unique and allowed outsiders to view some action! I have to give it to Mr. Torricelli, as he is detail oriented, very creative, passionate and most importantly wanted to assure every player on that field was happy enough to return.
As I am writing this article, explaining some details of action, strongholds as well as the strengths and challenges of the game. I realized my words were similar to the Dothraki’s General, James McDonald, as he sent me some great insight with regards to the game from his perspective. Katie Burges, leading The Greyjoy’s shared her thoughts as well. I think it’s only fair to hear from the ones that led us into battle. Enjoy.
This was my first shot at commanding an event for any producer. For the most part I prefer to just get out there and play with the guys at these events and this one wasn’t really any different. I was fortunate that game producer Ben Torricelli had written in quite a few staff led missions so I made sure to get in on all of those. Ben really immerses himself into any event he writes. The historical events he produces could pretty much pass as a history lesson at any accredited school and when it comes to the fictional events, it seems like he researches every possible aspect of the theme and really does an outstanding job of including even the smallest details. The Game of Thrones events have been no exception. His missions are detailed and challenging and the overlapping of the teams on the missions always seem to create the very best battle sequences. I’m really glad that my first (and perhaps my last) command event was an MPP event.
The teams (both sides) that attended this event came in ready to play and I think the opening sequence was as fluid an opening as I’ve ever participated in. Some lack of communication on my part prevented the Dothraki side from maximizing mission points for the opening mission but the Dothraki side really did everything expected and beyond during that battle and it was an outstanding way to get the day started. The day progressed pretty much as expected. Missions completed on both sides and nothing overly spectacular or out of the norm. Our Dothraki team had great communication for the most part and while there were some missions that were not completed, the effort was always there and the players seemed to be getting the most out of the play. I think the most outstanding teams during the Saturday play were Type 3 (out of Louisiana) Black Karma and UPPK (United Paintball Players of Kentuckiana). All of the Dothraki teams contributed a great deal but those three really stood out. On the opposing team, the 502 SOG and the Bounty Hunters seemed to be in every fight. The Dothraki side ended the day down 200 points.
Dothraki XO Chip Hudson of CCP led the night game for me (anyone that knows me knows I hate the night play) and did a fantastic job. We were protecting the beach for the nighttime beach landing (under the light of fire) and from all accounts, the Greyjoy side was thwarted for most of the evening form getting out of the open field and into the mission points. CCP, UPPK, Black Karma, True Ballers and several others really spearheaded the successful night play. I think there may have been some confusion at the close of night play on who held which mission points but when it was all over, the Dothraki side held a 150 point edge overall.
Sunday play started off very strong and the momentum gained allowed the Dothraki side to turn the 150 point lead into a 1000 point victory. The Greyjoy side fought hard but seemed to lose a little steam about midway through the morning. I was able to get into the field more on Sunday and was able to play with some new (and old) friends and really see some outstanding play. One of my favorite teams anywhere is the True ballers. Not only are they tremendous paintball players, but they are about the nicest, fairest, and well mannered group you will ever have the pleasure of playing with, Bravo Zulu to Super Dan for leading this group of young paintball players in the right direction. Central Florida team the X-men really had a great performance and these guys (and gal) play about as hard as any team you put on the field. They truly remind me of my own GunKings team when we first started attending events. Great to have them make the trip up and put on a great display of skill and sportsmanship.
Lastly, I mentioned this at the awards meeting but I want to stress the fact that the referee’s for this event were the very best I’ve ever been around. It was a combination of how they made sure to place themselves in the best place (even if it meant it put them in the line of fire), their attention to player safety, and that they were never complacent or disinterested in the action. Also, Saturday was HOOOTTT for October in TN and it took its toll on many physically and mentally. I was present when one young man rendered first aide to a player that had all of the symptoms of heat stroke and he did an outstanding job. Also, there was heated play and in some instances, confrontations, they handled that as well as any I’ve seen. Kudos to the entire Ref staff and the Bear Claw staff.
Guys, this was one awesome game! I’ve never seen anyone play as hard as I did this past weekend. The staff was great, the Other team kept me on my toes, and to the Greyjoys! We might have lost, but I can’t even begin to explain how grateful and proud I am of everyone who worked their butts off for me. A special thanks to Doc, for helping me out so darn much in the base. Kept me laughing, and kept me calm! Also to Scooter and the Crusaders Tactical Pb Squad! You guys were everywhere at once! 502nd, you did whatever I asked and went wherever I needed. 5×5, I had y’all all over the field and you never gave me any lip. Y’all were a big help when it came down to speedball missions! I can’t name everyone who made a difference, I’d be writing all day! But I want everyone to know, staff and opposing team included, you Guys are awesome!!!
The Catshack Reports:
To sum it up, just an amazing weekend of Paintball with old friends and new. If I start naming all the names, I’m in trouble as I am sure to forget someone. I do want to thank Scott and Layla for their hospitality and their passion for this sport. Mr. Ben Torricelli and wife Bonnie for your kindness and amazing work. The Generals for a job well done, you are both Champs in my book! Team XMen for traveling from Florida to experience this game. Paul Bollenbach it’s always a pleasure to run with you or against you my friend. Richie Vanwart, longtime friend and Marshall Law team mate for joining us. The refs were amazing and very professional. Gary Winn from The Bounty Hunters for taking some awesome night pictures. All the Teams played with great sportsmanship. Black Karma, thank you for a very tasty dinner. The Howell Community for their hard work and delicious food. I will keep this game in my planner for years to come! Thank you, and Much Respect to you all! Golden Girl
To view upcoming games at Bearclaw: http://www.bearclawpaintball.net/
To view upcoming MPP games: http://mppgames.com/