Special Ops Paintball: Offensive Action Scenario Series - Special Ops Paintball

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Offensive Action Scenario Series scenario series with 20,000 plus spectators at each event Rate Topic: -----

#16 User is offline   fourthsyde 

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 07:31 PM

went to the first one... cant wait for this one!!

#17 User is offline   matsau 

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:01 PM

Offensive Action Scenario Series

Venue: Deseronto Waterfront Festival

Date: June 21, 2008

Location: Deseronto, Ontario

Reviewed by: Shaun Whitman of Team Blackthorn


It could easily be argued after reading the set-up and game play of the OASS that this series is simply speedball with a scenario twist. A lot of what I read on the forums surrounding the OASS events was from people who feared that speedball teams would overrun the series, so much so that the hard-core scenario players would never get a chance to develop (or enjoy) the game. Let me honestly say after playing this first tournament that this was not the case. If you’re a scenario player who has chased and fought for that final objective in the last few minutes of a big scenario game, then you’ve already played what is in essence, the OASS.

You may find it a bit odd that the person reviewing the opening event of the OASS is also a member at Ground Zero Paintball, the field that spawned this new style of scenario paintball at the hands of it’s creative owner, Marc Beaudin, who has been in the paintball business likely since before I was born. But as odd as that is, let me assure you that I had nothing to do with the conception of this brave endeavor, and harbored the same level of skepticism as anyone else who first heard what was being proposed; turning scenario paintball into a spectator’s sport. What’s really exciting is that it worked.

First Impressions

We drove in really early on the day of the tournament to review the field and have a brief team meeting. Before actually arriving at the field, I distinctly recall how uncertain I was that a decent scenario field could be built off site with portable bunkers and towers, and could be moved around at a referee’s whim should they deem it unsafe or unfair. The field that was in place when I arrived far exceeded my expectations. Freshly packed sand bags and hay bails anchored collapsible/adjustable wooden bunkers and towers made to resemble broken brick buildings. Four back-entry towers (two for each team) looked over the gauntlet of bunkers scattered amongst the enclosed 350ft x 150ft field, with a four-wall fortress located at the 50-yard line. “That’s where the hostage is going to be” a team mate said to me, “and we’ve only got 12 minutes to get him and eliminate the other team”.

Our team immediately hit the field to do a final inspection for safety, removing any stones or trip hazards. We then took some time to go over the playability of the field, discussing firing lanes and ensuring fair and equal cover for both sides. With a little help from the Forlorn Hope crew (another team competing that day), the field was ready.

The Concept

Here’s how the OASS works. It’s not elimination, and it’s not straight capture the flag. Scattered on the 350ft by 150ft field are a variety of objectives (hostages, intel, V.I.P’s, whatever is chosen for that tournament), all worth a certain value in points. Two teams of 10 players must battle it out to secure as many of the objectives they can in 12 minutes. Teams are awarded 5 points for each player that survives the game, but none for eliminating the other team, (other than any unclaimed objectives that would inevitably be yours). Each player is tagged with a “life card” that is attached to either the back of their mask or their vest. You can be saved once by your medic, who arguably has the hardest job in the game. They are responsible to find you after you’ve been shot and punch a hole in your life card indicating that you’ve been saved once by your medic. Get shot once more, and you are eliminated. Head and neck shots were automatic kills; your medic cannot save you. The medic has only one life, if the he get's shot, he's done.

The Test Subjects

It was rumoured that at least five or more teams were expected to show up to this inaugural event, but sadly and much to our disappointment only two full teams showed up; Team Blackthorn and Team Forlorn Hope. Six members of the well known (and feared) Kingston Criminal Factory showed up to bring a level of depth and expertise to the tournament. Criminal Factory would later have their team topped up to the required 10 players by acquiring members from Blackthorn, Forlorn, and GRRG. As for the poor attendance, we understood that this was a first time event and that the format was unappealing to many hard core scenario teams, but we knew we had something that would eventually win them over. I suppose we just needed to supply a little proof, and the teams present that day were up to the challenge.

Following a brief referee and captains meeting, the first game ever of the OASS was about to begin… and for the first time ever a spectator crowd was about to watch scenario paintball.

The First Salvo

My team (Blackthorn) and Criminal Factory were up first. I hate to admit it, but I would have preferred to see it played out first, so I knew what to expect and what the other players thought of it. But hey, we brought these teams here; let’s show them how we want these tournaments to play out.

As our team entered the field and we took our starting position, pollen from the surrounding trees was falling slowly onto the bunkers which resembled damaged buildings. This created the illusion of ash falling onto a war torn village as the other team lined up at the other side. It was an eerie scene. I’ve been in some intense scenario battles before, but this time I didn’t have ten acres to retreat into. I was surrounded on all sides by 50ft of netting; then the horn blew.

We sprinted and slid to our assigned bunkers shooting down the lanes of Criminal Factory and due to the lowered velocity; nobody was hit off the break. Both teams made it to their primary positions in full force. As paint from 20 markers began shooting in all directions, I saw the hostage waiting to be saved in the middle bunker. Players were yelling out positions, yelling for cover fire and yelling for medics, the sounds were chaotic. The pace was intense and it almost could have been mistaken for a speedball game, until the medics started bringing players back into the game. Later on, the medic and his advantageous ability would soon become a key strategic focus for all the teams. The main question was; “how do we keep ours alive, and how do we take out the other team’s medic out as soon as possible?” This became more and more difficult as most teams were switching who their medic was, or taking steps to keep their medic’s identity a secret for as long as they could. The game play began to change as the teams became more efficient.

The Evolution

For this event there was only one key objective; save the hostage in the middle and bring him back to your base alive. 25 points were awarded for reaching the hostage first, and 25 points were awarded to bring him back alive. The first couple of games expressed each team’s obsession with the hostage, and eliminating the other team as fast as possible. Something changed though, and the strategies of each team began to evolve. After realizing the power of the medic, he too became an objective. Not for points obviously, but teams started to perceive the medic as the backbone of the team. When a good medic can revive 3 downed players in under a minute, the other team is going to have problems. I know this is a common strategy in big scenario games as well, but I’ve never seen a medic stalked like they were at OASS. The game play was too fast to try to casually take out the medic; you had to literally hunt him and take him out as fast as possible. Teams were actually attempting to “bait” the medic by shooting players in key bunkers, and waiting for the medic to attempt a save. It was an impressive sight.

Other tactics were being experimented with during the tournament. Teams were strategizing on whether to just kill the hostage outright and take the game to pure elimination. A few games started with a grenade thrown nicely onto the lap of the hostage, mostly by the hands of the “nade crazy” Forlorn Hope, who purchased 4 plus boxes of paint grenades. You won’t see that in a speedball tourney. Anyhow, there were many ways to play and win the game that day, which is what will help make this league so unique. Picture the same size field with 10 man teams, but the layout has changed and you now have 3 objectives to complete instead of just one. The potential is endless.

The Demand

A crowd had gathered around the field as the spectator appeal became more apparent. They were getting wrapped up in the game play, and a few cheers were coming from the sidelines. The atmosphere was amazing. Teams played their hardest to win the game and to put on a show, and they would hang out between games to talk about the action.

As for the logistics, the set up was great. Players were chronied before each game to ensure that they were sitting below 250fps. A speed that was determined based on insurance “issues”, but did little to affect the game play. As stated before, this lower velocity allowed more players to make it to the centre of the field instead of getting hit immediately off the break; this created tougher and more exciting battles surrounding the objective at the 50-yard line.

The refereeing was amazing. These guys were quick, loud and resolute. They communicated extremely well and the head ref was excellent at quarterbacking their efforts to ensure the greatest amount of coverage on the field. Cheating didn’t seem to ever be an issue as all teams present played with great sportsmanship and integrity. Besides the inevitable marker failure/tweaking, delay of game was rare and most teams were ready and itching to go, waiting to see if their new developed strategy was going to work.

The tournament ended the same way it started, with Blackthorn vs. Criminal Factory. It was one of the most exciting games of the day, with both teams using tactics that they’ve developed specifically for the unique challenges of the tournament. The game ended in Blackthorn’s favor. Ground Zero Paintball from Gananoque, who was responsible for building the field and were the creators of this new tournament style, handed out the amazing prize packages. First place prize was a Smart Parts SP-1. Second place prize was a Warsensor WSF marker with a machine gun shroud and car stock. Third place prize was a Warsensor molle vest and gear bag.

After looking back at the awesome day of paintball, we began to think immediately about how we could make it better. We felt that the sponsored prize packages and the field construction were excellent. The organization of the event and the skilled refs couldn’t have been better. The only thing that came to mind that could have made the tournament a little better was to have more teams. Our biggest hope is that the exciting three team tournament that introduced OASS and scenario paintball to spectators that day will expand into a monster, with teams traveling from all over to help deliver the sport of paintball to the public.

Special thanks to Marc and everyone from GZ!

Sign up for our next event!

Saturday July 19th at the Trenton outdoor sportsman show (Trenton, Ontario)

For more information, check out: www.blackthornpaintball.com/OASS/

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