Spplatt Attack II, lots of fun, lots of charity
by Tim "Bront"
Sunday at Shatnerball
|Weltman takes it for team|
The event started out with a rally of all the players. Prizes were thrown out to the crowd, and Mother of MXSportz explained the rules. Then each of the Commanders were introduced, and allowed to trash talk (there was plenty of that). William Shatner rode in on a Hummer brandishing his cavalry sword to the applause of the entire crowd.
|Calvary in town|
After the rally, the teams went to their bases to begin play. I played on the Raider/Cyborg squad (usually just called the Raiders). Our team called for volunteers to play medics, demolition guys, and engineers, and then split into 5 squads, each lead by an Evil Inc member. At the sound of the horn, our team quickly sprinted forward and captured 2 of the 7 flag stations. As we advanced we found several loose livestock props that we rounded up and run back to our pen.
After we secured the flag stations, I went back to get the scoop on a mission. Missions were radioed into the command centers from Mother. With no impending missions, I got a chance to sweep around the rear perimeter of the park and try to flank the Cavalry. We were able to advance pretty far, as there weren't a lot of important points in the far back of the field, but we eventually met with some resistance. After a long fire fight, I was marked, and went back to the staging area to rest after 2 hours of constant play.
|Bigman Bront leads|
After being reinserted with my camera woman, I was immediately swept up in a mission. Our team had to escort our tank carrying gold from the mine into the bank. The gold mine was already in our territory, but with our tank down with a mechanical problem, we had to carry the gold by hand. However, the Cavalry/Posse (usually referred to simply as the Cavalry) had the bank well in hand, and their insertion point wasn't too far away. The raiders made several valiant advances towards the bank, but were never quite able to take it to complete the mission.
|The traitor auctions bribe|
After a quick lunch break (EMR has great food cooked fresh at the park), I saw Tom Kaye about to be reinserted and followed him back to the command center. Shatner was apparently being escorted to the command center. I later found out, that Tom had tried to bribe one of the Cavalry members (with an RT Pro that was later auctioned off). However, the Cavalry guy decided to tell Shatner before hand, and William came ready. Shatner had broken a ball in his hand and managed to wipe it on Tom, while at the same moment Tom barrel tagged William with his Sydarm.
I got sent out on another mission. This time, we needed to either rob the armored transport heading to the bank, or simply rob the bank. However, the Cavalry had pushed deep into the Raider territory, pushing us back to a few perimeter forts and the insertion area. Now, insertions happen every 20 minutes, and there is a 5 minute window for insertions, so during that 5 minute window, if you get hit, you simply walk back to the insertion point, wipe off the hit, and go back out. This led to some exciting all out charged by the Raiders as they were pinned against the insertion area. But with all the effort it took to get out of the insertion area, we were unable to complete that mission.
|Raider's push the tape|
Meanwhile, the Cavalry were able to penetrate deep into the Raider territory and rustle all the live stock. The Raiders were able to recover some of it, but it was a crippling blow to the Raider team. The skirmishes went on for a few more hours, until play was halted to rest up and gather for the final battle at Tombstone.
Both sides gathered in Tombstone, a rather small field for the 700 plus people playing on it. The object was to hold the flag building at the end of the battle. Reinsertion was instant after a chronograph (If you were shooting hot, you were simply called out for the day). Both teams made a mad dash for the hotel, the 2 story building in the middle of the town. The cavalry had a huge advantage in sheer numbers and were able to take the hotel easily. The raiders made several charged, and kept the cavalry from taking a firm grip on the objective building, but ultimately they were not able to prevent them from holding it at the final gun.
|Calvary in the field|
Play and insertions were generally smooth, and the refs did a great job of being where they needed to be and making the calls they needed to make. I must compliment the field in particular for stopping play twice when players were injured during play to make sure they were taken care of. Unfortunately, I was one of those individuals as I went down after getting lit up on my back and the back of the head for the second time that day, and wasn't able to respond to the refs right away when they asked how I was. It wasn't anything serious, and they probably over reacted, but it's good to see a field and refs put the safety of the players as their number one priority. Fortunately, I only missed the last 15 minutes of the final battle, and I was out of paint and air anyway.
After the event, the players gathered again for an awards ceremony. More prizes were given away, and a charity auction was held for Joker's daughter Kayle (8) who's fighting liver cancer (Among other things, 2 K-bug tattoos applied to posteriors were auctioned off). After all the goodies were auctioned off, Mother announced that the score. The Cavalry had won and scored around 1600 while the Raiders scored only about 1100.
I caught up with Tom Kaye after the game. He was in the original Spplat Attack as well. JJ, the Spplat owner and coordinator of the event, contacted Tom and had asked him if he wanted to play in a charity paintball with William Shatner and he jumped at the chance. Tom plays or attends no less than 22 events during the year, everything from tournaments to rec ball games to scenario games, covering all aspects of paintball.
|The fog of war|
Mancow talked to me about how he was so thrilled with paintball after the first Spplat attack. "I've taken my nephews out a few times. I've gotten a lot of people into paintball via the radio show.... I've done 3 hours on paintball on the #1 talk station in New York.... So, I think in my small way I've done a bit for paintball. And I love it. It's easier to talk about something you love." Erich "Mancow" Muller hosts a syndicated radio show in Chicago.
|Grandma on stage|
This event really was a good example of what paintball is all about. Whole families attended the event, including 3 generations from the same family (Seeing the old lady with a jersey and paint in her hair gave me a newfound respect for the elderly). People from all walks of life where there, and old and new paintballers played side by side. The fields emphasis on safety first and the fun atmosphere provided by the venders and the field put everyone at ease. With the proceeds going to charity, and the game objective being for pride, you had stand up play by everyone involved. One player was even rewarded for his honesty during the awards, receiving a free pair of Magnum boots for returning a radio to Mother.
There will be another Spplat Attack event next year. More information will be posted on www.Williamshatner.com, www.Spplat.com, or you can check back here at Paintball.com for news on next year's event. There will be a 1 hour documentary on this event run on the Outdoor Life Network sometime in October, and shortly after that, the video of this event should be available on DVD and VHS.