Woods ball fun on Fort Lewis, WA
Customer Appreciation day at Danger Zone Paintball
Fort Lewis, WA
article by Young Choi
|Players getting registered|
We, Alan Nagata and I, arrived at Danger Zone Paintball at about 9 am for some fun away from an air ball field. This is the first time in a long time that I can recall playing anything other than air ball and I was looking forward to this day. Danger Zone Paintball is located on Fort Lewis, Washington (Fort Lewis is one of the largest Army bases on the west coast). It is operated by Denise and Nick Goobin, they operate the paintball field on the base as well as retail stores one in Tacoma and one in Gig Harbor.
|Nick Goobin gives|
the safety brief
Annually, Danger Zone Paintball has a “Customer Appreciation Day” at the end of the year. Field fee, air, and rental were only $5 per person. Even though the weather was slightly cold and a chance of rain, still over 200 people showed up on New Years Eve to have fun on any of the four fields that Danger Zone offers. They opened up the airball field for all the tourney style players and the other three great fields that Danger Zone has to offer for the scenario/walk-on players.
|Preparing an assault|
Danger Zone has some of the best scenario play fields in the Northwest. They have a huge village field with pill boxes, trenches, buildings, and a bus. If you have played any of the “Call of Duty” games on your PC or Xbox you will get an idea of Danger Zone’s village field. The play here was intense as one side would start on a hill with trenches and pill boxes and the started at the bridge with the village in between.
On the words of “Game on!” both sides did as best as they could to take control of the nearest buildings. As the game progressed both sides would lose bodies and it was very common to see people trading shots from window to window in the same building. The crafty ones would flank around and come in behind to take out opposing forces just to be gunned down by sheer numbers. It was common to see these brave flankers taking a dozen people to the dead box before getting eliminated themselves.
Alan and I worked in a two man squad and would try to maneuver around the opposition to take head shots. Alan was pretty much the “machine gunner” with his Proto Matrix 6 as he would go through pods of paint suppressing the opposition giving me a chance to get past and set up. As I was running past with paintballs zipping around me, I couldn’t help but having a “Band of Brothers” flash back.
With Alan suppressing I got into some great “sniper” positions. Armed with Smart Parts new SP8 Ion rifle, I waited very carefully as I stalked my prey. I had to wave off the suppressing fire so those I was stalking would reveal themselves. One ball one kill, I was shooting through the windows and splatting my prey. I honestly think that I struck some terror into them cuz I only pulled the trigger when I had that center mass shot. They didn’t get to hear paint smacking the buildings to warn them that they were being sighted down upon. I could hear their confusion, “where’d that come from?”… “Where is he?”
|Hey look right|
I was having a blast I felt like Barry Pepper’s character, Private Jackson, in Saving Private Ryan. Eventually I cleared out the bus and proceeded to the main building. By this time I had bagged my fifth armband. My sixth almost got me, as I waited for him to turn the corner my Revy loader jammed. His eyes bulged out like Jim Carrey in the “Mask” upon seeing me there waiting for him. Thank goodness his gun was pointed down cuz that gave me enough time to curse and shake the gun to chamber a ball. I was rewarded with splatting that guy in blue Proto center mass right in the chest.
|Like a trap|
door spider waiting...
I jumped over into the building that I helped vacate. From there I got some easy kills from those that thought were safe from the battle 20 yards behind me. At this time I was calling for Alan and got no response. Great so here I am behind enemy lines and I’m all alone. I got within 10 feet of the flag and my goggles turn Nickelodeon green as I walk off the field with my head blown off by some unknown sniper of their own. Oh well, I got to shoot and terrorize at least a dozen people. Where did Alan go…..?
|Practicing that 1000 yard stare|
I walked off the field and re-aired and reloaded. I found Alan on the air ball field where he was just terrorizing everyone there. The next field was the “Hamburger Hill.” Hamburger Hill is another popular field at Danger Zone. This field is at a slight incline with trenches and pill boxes. I was lucky enough to be on the attacking down hill side. I wanted to be active rather than just sit and wait.
|Run, they are over there!|
I’ve never played this field before and as walked up to a rise there were quite a few people there waiting for some dumb idiot (like me) to walk into their ambush. I just simply dropped like a sack of potatoes and just slid back into some defilade. I wished that Alan was with me to help me out of this mess but he decided to stay on the air ball field. After what seemed like a lifetime, the ambushers stopped shooting at my location and this gave me a chance to get up and run away.
|A defender holding strong|
I joined up with the rest and they were all bogged down by three of the enemy in a pill box. There were over 20 of us and I began to feel like Colonel Chesty Puller at the battle of Heart Break Ridge. I took command of this platoon as I saw that someone had to provide leadership with some fire and maneuver. At once I started talking with those around me and for them to pass the word for an assault on those three in the pill box. I gave instructions for those nearest me to get in a defilade position from which they could assault the pill box under covering fire from the rest of us. I was really wishing that someone had brought some grenades cuz now would have been a great to have them.
|The Dirty few Dozen|
We organized a good sized assault force in the defilade area just 20 feet from our objective. I yelled covering fire and all guns opened up on those poor foes in the pill box. A brave referee had figured out what we were up to and positioned in the best place possible to extract the poor guys that were about to be pummeled. We had so much covering fire that the assault force basically bunkered out those three. We had to yell “cease fire!!!” all across the line to give the referee a chance to pull those people out.
I then commanded everyone to get to the next rise. By this time “my” platoon had gained more numbers as the stragglers joined in with us. We fought for each and every inch with fire and maneuver. We eventually got to the crest of the hill and a lone building was sitting atop there. One person was in the building sniping away at us and he was supported by others in the woods line behind him. We rallied everyone to the crest of the hill and I called down the line for everyone to prepare to rush with covering fire. Everyone that could reloaded their hoppers and shared any leftover paint so that all hoppers were as full as could be. I then yelled, “Covering Fire!” and everyone opened fire. I then yelled, “Charge!” but only a hand full of us actually charged. The enemy in the building got shot by an eliminated player but decided it would be wiser to just surrender. I myself charged and got machine gunned down like one of Lt. Dan’s relatives that died in every war in American history prior to Vietnam. I turned around and notice that the majority of “my” platoon had stayed at the crest of the hill just shooting. Ah well, it was a fun assault and I got to command troops in battle. Chesty Puller would be proud right up till I got gunned down.
|Moving to the next battle|
I commenced back to the car for a drink of Gatorade and to reload. There I talked with a bunch of others and we re-lived that assault. Strange how you can become comfortable with strangers that you only refer to by their gun rather than name after sharing a battle. After a bite to eat I then progressed over to the woods field. This fighting reminded me a whole like what I saw in “Band of Brothers” during the “Battle of Bastogne” episode (minus the snow).
|Alone in the middle|
of no man's land
The only form of cover that was available were the trees and natural objects. Limbs were stacked to make a firing pit and in some places the bushes were thick while in the others not. I soon realized that I had to get really close to some of my targets cuz the interlaced tree limbs and branches wouldn’t allow a ball to get through. Frustrating to see your target and not be able to drill em. But it went both ways.
|Assault preparing to go|
A squad of us would leap frog with another squad to advance up. They provided covering fire as we advanced and visa versa. This was murderous on us as each advancement would lose us a man or two. By the time we got to the middle of the field, well within splatting shot, of the enemy I found that only five of us from both squads had survived to this point. Bad thing was we found ourselves surrounded as no one else on our side had advanced with us. I made a small firing hole in our limb stacked bunker and started to snipe away. It was surreal I felt like the medic in “Black Hawk Down” one balling the enemy. We lost a body, then another, then another and the only thing that I could do was to keep sniping away for there wasn’t even enough room for me to grab a pod to reload. By this time my hopper was feeling really light.
|Taking the battle to them|
Two of the enemy advanced up on the far right side of us. They obviously didn’t know that we were up as far as we were as I shot them both from a good 35 yards away. For as cold as it was I was really impressed with how the PMI Polar Ice shot, even at over 100 feet both balls broke on target one shot apiece. The paint was perfect for one-balling. About this time I was finally down to my last few balls. There was a guy hiding behind a stump that was really getting my nerves and I decided that he needed to go to “dead box heaven” along with me. I asked for the two with me to provide covering fire and I got up to charge. Well, I only made it about five feet before I got mowed down. I can see why, standing up now I could see more of what happened. The enemy had swarmed this area and was in a stand still with those behind us. We were really surrounded and it was just a matter of time for those last two to finally fall to enemy fire. At this time I walked off the field to clean and load my stuff up.
|Nick announcing the winning ticket|
PMI’s Ryan Sexton was on hand to play and brought the PMI tent for the prize raffle. At the end of the day, while the sun was going down, there was a nice sized crowd around Nick and Denise Goobin as they handed out the prizes. One fortunate kid came away with PMI’s new US5 marker. Gloves, Masks, DVDs, Jerseys, and all other manner of paintball gear were handed out to lucky winners of the raffle and prize toss. Everyone came away happy (and tired). Days like this makes paintball more relaxing, a whole lot better than getting yelled at by my teammates to “keep my elbow in” during paintball practices.
If you are in the Northwest area or a soldier making a trip up here, Danger Zone Paintball www.dzpaintball.com has enough of a field variety to suit anyone’s paintballing tastes. I had a blast at their customer appreciation day and look forward to some scenario games held there through out the year.