|Date||28th – 30th July 2017|
|Venue||Basset Pole NPF|
|Players||Ricktion, HammerTime, Rocket, Hamster, Little Dave, Gibbo, Fembo, Mrs Fembo|
|Hangers on||Charlie EINS and Charlie ZWEI|
Paintfest is held at the National Paintball Fields Bassets Pole, near Saffron Walden, just of the A446. If you get to Fazeley you have gone too far, in more ways than one.
This was the fifth time in attendance for UE. We arrived in shifts on the Friday afternoon with varying degrees of work and traffic woe. The M42 was shut literally on the junction where the event was held; a Friday afternoon with the kids off school. It's was a hassle, to say the least... but I digress.
As is always the case, the site is very well established with well-built structures on this massive site. The car park was already full by the time I got there around 5pm on Friday. It was a swift registration and straight on to the numerous trade stands. Like smaller NvS, it was a question of who was not there, as it every man and his dog seemed to have a trade stand.
There were also three different army regiments with stands right in the centre of the trade area complete with obstacle course. I personally took a visit to the eclipses tech stand to get my Geo 3 fixed, which was damaged at the last event. After a quick board change (for free!) it was ready to use it in anger again.
There were rolling walkons, and a few of the team who'd arrived went out to play. The numbers were small, but it was a good test run for the next day.
By the time everyone had converged, it was pushing 8pm so we went to a curry house, smashed some nosh, then hit the pub. The first major game was not until 2pm so the next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast before we headed to site.
Saturday : Cowboys Vs Indians
As before, there were some morning walk-ons that we used to check weapons, and get ready for the big game. As a point – these regular quick games were really useful for this.
This was a pre-match friendly, and as the points did not carry over to the Sunday game, we elected to go on the Cowboys team as secretly we all dream of being on Brokeback Mountain every weekend. As do you. You love a bit of it.
Initially we had to steal gold bars from a truck and take it to our spawn point, after some hard fighting uphill we finally gained control and go a few bars out before we were pushed out. At this point the tide seamed to turn as it appeared there were a lot more Indians than cowboys. We were progressively pushed back to our spawn point as spent the second half of the game being spawn camped, which was nice!
We retired to our hotel rooms for a hot shower before we headed out to a nice Chinese restaurant and then a pub crawl round Fazeley. As always at Paintfest, the weather was rain, rain and more rain. As always, UE spent an evening smug in hotel rooms, glad we weren't camping!
According to the locals, NFP put a lot of effort into the party with a great show and lots of beer. While we didn't see this, there definitely were a few worst for were the next day.
The Game on time was 10am. We had already sorted out our paint/air and crono the day before, so all we had to do was turn up and walk to the start line.
In an unusual move for UE we were at the start gate 10 mins before game on, only 3 other players were there, not even any of the commanders. With about 1 min to go a rowdy American called Greg turned up and asked the 12 of us at the start line to run to the objectives, LOL.
Since we were so few in numbers, we spilt into 2 groups of 6 one went to the left, the rest went right. was in the right group and we headed to the French fort, getting there before the HMC team and turning the flag.
Moments later, a large group of enemy HMC players turned up and started to attack us. We held out for quite a while, hoping more USDE players would arrive but none did. After 30mins or so we lost the high ground and the initiative.
This set the tone for the rest of the day. We spent the rest of the day holding 1/8 of the field in a what can be described as a very, very dull trench war. As a seasoned scenario player I am not a fan, but for new players it was easy just walk in and start shooting.
It seemed to me that the HMC always had better numbers but the real issue was spawn points. Simply put; there were not enough, and just one each behind the main line of attack. There was no opportunity to breakout or get round the back and break the stalemate. NPF is a large site and would suit a multi-spawn point game and clearly the numbers of players are there to make it work.
It could be made quite simple, with a red/blue alternating spawn point on the perimeter every 100 meters or so, this would stop the trench war in the same place all day. I did not get to see any other part of the field all day, which is a shame as I know there are lots of great playing areas in the field.