Euro Big Game writeup
|Date||30th May - 2nd June 2019|
|Venue||EuroBigGame, Mahlwinkel, Germany|
|Players||Rocket, Ricktion, Hampster, Little Dave, Soap, Charlie Two, Gero|
|Financial Result||Crushing loss|
For those of you that aren't aware of it, the European Big Game or EBG for short, is a huge scenario based game located at a former helicopter base, near Mahlwinkle. Surprisingly, this is not the pet name your mother gave her penis, but part of the municipality Angern, in Eastern Germany.
Best Aryan Leader General Rocket, was pathfinder and had parachuted into deepest darkest Germany several days earlier. His mission was to deliver essential supplies, coordinate with local German resistance force (Charlie Two and Gero) and no doubt suckle on some bratwurst.
The main UE force assembled down south to be seen off by a tearful Captain Price. Price was forced to withdraw due to a back injury sustained during a full contact competitive crocheting event.
We set off, not knowing what the next few days would bring, but hoping to return alive and with only slightly impacted colons. Our first objective was to rendez-vous with UE Dutch contingent who were to provide an FOBB (Full of Beer Base). This required the crossing of the channel, entering France through a dark tunnel and hammering hard over to Belgium.
It turns out intelligence on the location of the FOBB had been incorrectly entered, which resulted in Ricktion doing his best for UK - Dutch relations as we trespassed on a complete strangers property.
A small adjustment to our course meant we finally arrived at FOBB to be met by Brexit "Fun Fact" Lillian, Lima Alpha Fabian and allied Lima Bravo member, Christian. After unloading our essential supplies, we got down to business and spent the rest of the evening recovering our virginities playing Warhammer 40k and turning the FOBB into an EOBB.
Leaving the Dutch team members behind, refuelled, we continued on to our final destination. Our first task was to extract Rocket 'Deep Throat' Daniels from the outskirts of Hannover. Unfortunately, in order not to break cover, Rocket had been forced into a local Hannovian Jazz festival which involved lots of Tromboning and Jazz hands. Fortunately, he's well practiced in the art of tromboning and managed to pass through without detection to meet team UE.
Breaking and entering
Our arrival at the Mahlwinkle game site was our first introduction to the local German Fetish of PAPERS PLEASE. We were required to buy a 4 day event ticket simply to walk onto the site. Even chief UE Diplomat, Ricktion, couldn't change the stern faced clerks mind!
Faced with an additional 30 Euro charge, and working out that they didn't take cards either ( a recurring theme of the event) we did the only thing we reasonably could - we broke into the game site.
Using Well Rehearsed Tactical Plan A, we acted like Japanese tourists and wandered off into some derelict buildings. From there, we took a sharp right, entered the forest and by pure luck ended up bumping into one of Ricktion's NvS drinking buddies. Possibly someone he'd impressed with his imbibing skills or possibly just accidentally punched them in the face in the NvS bunker. He was in fact one of the Team Blue unit leaders and was more than happy to show us the way. Although he did cower occasionally...
In many ways, the territory was familiar to us, although it seems the Germans and Scandinavians take the pre-game to a level none of us had ever witnessed before. We watched the Generals introduction on the main stage, fire, noise, screaming, chanting, meat hurling (not sexy, but more of that in a moment) and lots of men called Sven were involved! Apparently when you're really in the zone, you take your bandolier made of raw meats obviously, swing it round your head and smash it into the floor. It was a cross between Braveheart, the hammer throw and a PETA demo.
At this stage, all of UE were looking forward to a weekend of paintball that was aggressive, challenging and might include more hurling of meat products. However, as it turns out, the aggression levels are inversely proportional to their distance from the playing area. Them German's love a long ball apparently. Like... a lot.
Even the Northern Alliance, traditionally a hard drinking and hard playing group were about as aggressive as your mum... I mean before her daily half bottle of White Lightning. Though this may have been more to do with the 3 Michelin Starred Chef who prepared 12 course taster menus for the team each day, at their extremely impressive Camp Loki.
Friday morning: Game On
The next day we met with local resistance fighter, David Hasselhoff impersonator and UE team member, Gero, and proceeded back to the game site to actually play some paintball. We had been worried about Charlie Two, as he had been picked up and interrogated by German Intelligence for sending out false UE conscription letters to all his friends and family. Fortunately, he was able to bribe his way out using nudes of Angela Merkel and joined us later that day.
Stepping onto the field, not before providing our PAPERS PLEASE, the anticipation was rising. Our first mission was a bomb drop. However, we soon found out that the target location was held by a well organised large number of team Red and despite our best efforts to instill some rage in the local German players, we were promptly pushed back from the target.
Making a hasty withdrawal is something UE have trained for (sometimes even on the paintball field) and not having a clue what was going on, we decided to just push and get as many flags for the background scoring game/respawn help as possible. This turned out to be a fun introduction to the Mahlwinkle site. Our first flag take was a small trench system that sat in between two larger objectives.
Not like your mum. I said small trench.
The Red team sat there were surprised by our willingness to run head on into enemy fire. So much so that they didn't really shoot back, making it an easy win! The next stage was to move north towards the "Customs House", a main objective building. Making the most of our comms, and cajoling some rather unwilling Germans along with us, we pushed up through the trees to an open road that led all the way to the objective.
It was at this point we spotted a large Red force on the other side of the road and discovered that they love a long ball! This is not a joke. They really love it. Some were grilling marshmallows around a campfire, while others looked on from their deck chairs, occasionally sending a ball up.
The forest is densely wooded, but there is very little cover other than the trees, which means you can play the angles and stay at range. Or, it's possible to just run straight at them in true UE style. It didn't take us long to push over the road assisted by some other BLUE team members who were all converging on the "Customs House".
The push up to the Customs House was very quick, but this was separated from the woods by a road, maybe five meters wide, which meant there was an actual risk of being shot. To the German, this is clearly something truly horrifying. So we arrived to find a line of 100 or so BLUE team shooting over the road with about 1 or 2 people attempting to run over.
We needed to change the game. First up was me: Soap. I rushed over to the building and easily made it, only to then be shot from a window. Obviously, me being shot out by good defensive play is unlikely due to my skill, so this is almost certinaly confirmed cheating and I will be writing to my MEP.
The next UE members were more successful, encouraging our fellow BLUE team members to do the same. The Germans clearly love a slow entry. Rocket however, has a different style, fast entry, from behind and screaming in a foreign language. He loves to get it over and done with as quickly as possible, at least that is what I hear. He walked into the building, cleared it out, walked out the other end and back round the outside to tell the German players off for being slack.
The building was now clear. I'm pretty sure there was a cartoon about that; Charlie Says
look left, look
right, barrel tag the weak. Once you have, It's safe to cross the road now kids.
The remainder of the game was hold the flag, which given some UE organisation was fairly easy.
A plastic coin system for scoring was in operation, simialr to the Waitrose Chose a charity selector. Well, if you were as middle class like us, then you could. Most of the northerners will have to google what Waitrose is... and probably what coins are.
Each flag had a coin box and each player a blue coin which scored points. More points were scored dropping further away from the team entry point, which is a system we've not worked with before.
After clearing out what paint we had left, and ensuring the base was safe for the last minutes of that section of the game, we made our way back to the safezone. Temperatures were far too high for our pasty Northern European complextions, so a well deserved refuel and rehydrate was in order.
Friday afternoon: Meet the General
In the afternoon session, UE were given a mission to capture and hold the same small trench system we had taken earlier. We easily accomplished this and started to push forward only to be surrounded on three sides by a very well organised RED team. Having had our arses handed to us, we retreated and were continually pushed back towards our own spawn point.
Giving up on the situation we decided to push left in a totally different direction with Hamster, me (Soap), Little Dave and Gero moving in a group about hundred meters south of Charlie Two, Ricktion and Rocket. At this point we stumbled onto another RED held flag. That was an interesting base. It was surrounded by large earth banks with only two entry points. Whilst team south were engaging the main force. Rocket and Ricktion were able to sneaky sneaky into the north end of the base and push the REDs off the flag. It wasn't long before we had control.
Ricktion had been shot out (by the other team for a change) and had made the walk back to the main entry and had employed his usual skills to get talking to the main General - Rick "Schmied" McGowan. He clearly made an impression as we were invited to meet his crack team of paratroopers the next morning.
As is usual for UE at a new event, we had elected to stay at a hotel. We get set up for the next day, jumped in the cars and headed out for a night on the town to replenish calories lost, and rehydrate with several pints of ale.
Saturday morning: Command and Control
Much to the disappointment of our friends and families, UE were on time and ready to go as required. UE joined General Smied's alledgedly crack unit to take and hold the "Customs House".
This time, as we were with a large force and close to the game entry, our team secured the area quickly. It surprised us that along with the hippie levels of aggression and a PAPERS PLEASE Fetish, command and control in game is severely lacking in Germany.
Following some chats with the general, it was time for Ricktion to deploy THE VOICE. One unit leader suggested we stay on the objective and let them come to us, which was a stupid idea and Ricktion, ever the Ambassador, let him know it.
His words can not be printed here, but it was something along of the lines
Sorry old bean, but we didn't
win two world wars and one world cup by sitting on our arses!
The plan was to push the radio equipped UE team out in a line between 50 and 100 meters from the base and for the VOICE, to direct players as required. The first 15 minutes was quiet, but team RED started pushing from all directions and a tank was slowly approaching. The right side was under heavy pressure but holding. We had an Elite UE team on the left flank consisting of Charlie Two, Gero, Hamster and Little Dave.
Meanwhile, Rocket was embedded in the middle and I was balls deep on the right. A heavy red push on the left was narrowly defeated by Charlie Two and co, but it severely weakened the left flank. It was then all hands on deck with Ricktion kicking, cajoling and gently stroking every respawned player he could find over to the left side. A heroic stand by team UE plus a few plucky Germans held the line until the reinforcements arrived! Having broken RED morale, the attacks thinned out. Half of UE went out of game to take a well earned break.
Saturday morning : BONUS! They don't like it up em...
Me, Charlie Two, Gero and Little Dave stayed on and were offered a final mission. A limpet like shield wall was proving an irritating obstacle to team BLUE and we were asked to help remove it. A detailed tactical plan from a German senior player was proposed. This involved swinging out to the far left, sneaking through enemy lines and finally attacking it from behind.
As one, we said
fuck that and we went straight over to a location 15 meters in front of the shield wall.
After a simple
EIN, ZWEI, DREI we ran out from cover straight at the shields. I ran wide and got a
few shots off behind the shield wall, Charlie Two, Little Dave and Gero, were in full frontal assault mode.
It turns out team UE have acquired the ONLY two aggressive German paintball players in the entire country.
They lept straight over the shields, tagging everyone out, and the shield wall was quickly removed.
We got a few nods of appreciation, sexy winks and a few mouthed
call me.. which we would have done
if there was any phone reception on site.
Early afternoon, we were to join Schmied's paratrooper unit. Predictably we missed the bus and didn't join up with general until later. Our new task was to clear a well defended trench system overlooked by the old control tower.
We had a large but disorganised force from the Blue Team infantry unit. UE, in their usual style, ploughed straight into the trenches, with intense long balling going on overhead. To the local's total amazement, keeping our heads down and being agressive means that longballing literally has no effect in a trench network.
I don't like to boast, (boast detection activated) but our small team of 7 cleared the entire trench system faster than our middle aged arrival on a club dance floor clears it of women. Of particular note was the Fire and Move team of Little Dave and Rocket who pushed deep into the trench system. Their inexorable advance was only hampered by constantly having to explain multiple trench penetration innuendos to Germans.
Hamster and I made it over to the control tower, securing that area. It was emotional, and we had a little cuddle when we got there.
At this point the general arrived, fully expecting to have a fight on his hands. However, he found the base already in BLUE control. Without waiting for the rest of the team, who were still lagging when not pushed, UE pushed on towards the next flag. Fighting through the woods, we arrived at a base Rocket and Ricktion secured the previous day. This time we were a larger force, and approaching from the north.
Deploying literally the only paintball tactic I know, I charged across the road, ran up the bank nearest the flag and was able to get a few of the remaining red players. I was shot out, but was soon followed by Rocket. With my fluffing done, he finished them off quickly.
Ricktion had been back with the General discussing the next objective and sustainable vegan life choices. Having witnessed THE VOICE and our tactics, he latched on to us. Ricktion began to hoover up support players and went to rendezvous with the rest of UE.
However, by the time they had decided to attack the base, UE had already taken control. At this point, the General pretty much handed over tactical control for the side to UE. We fought through a few more areas before the game end and it was time for some more rehydration.
Saturday Last Game: Paintstorm
Paintstorm is the traditional final game of EBG, pitting both teams against each other in a very small area. This is similar to the HQ game at NVS, however, the twist is that:
- it's actually possible to win from either side
- ... thus it's fun for more than one side
Points are scored by placing and keeping team objects within that circle. The objective in the centre of the circle was the control tower trench system we had taken earlier in the afternoon. Both teams were lined up before game start around 100 meters from the objective. It's then a sprint to get into the trenches.
In life, you get those moments where you see something so awesome, so awe inspiring that it's like you're watching a movie and a soundtrack pops into your head. Picture the scene... Paint is flying, the air is thick with bangs and screams... Then, spread across the field 7 UE players, flags fluttering and UE banner held aloft, led the charge at the objective.
UE's resident wordsmith, Ricktion, described it as
fucking amazing. In my mind, the soundtrack of Chariot's
of Fire rang out in the souls of the survivors. CharlieTwo was probably thinking about Manowar... Ricktion
was probably playing something by Baby Metal!
No don't Google it.
Next, imagine, the sound a stylus makes being removed abruptly from vinyl. We were all ingloriously shot out before we even reached the trenches. Turns out the film in our heads should have been the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan.
It appears at game start the RED team were closer to the objective than us and had the trench system locked down. The alternative facts are:- they must been have more motivated or have run faster. Considering UE are in top physical condition, numerous experts have refuted this theory.
This led to the usual standoff with players cowering behind walls. Several charges were made by UE (and pretty much no one else), with the first one, Rocket and Soap made it in, but unlike the previous occasion the volume of paint flying left Rocket the single UE player embedded deep in the trench system.
We made several attempts to join Rocket, but all failed. We did spot the blue objects in the trench outside the scoring zone, and on his belly, Rocket was able to move over and hurl them into the scoring zone. Three more points to UE! I mean blue...
Once this scoring stage is over, the game opens up to the entire field and is just a simple flag grab. Because there was some confusion we were a bit behind the curve, and the first objective had already been taken by BLUE. However, yet again we ended up at the same base with the tall banks. With overwhelming numbers we could pretty much walk in making it easy. For some reason, the Germans didn't move. Rocket was doing his best to get them to move, but one particular German player, was adamant he was going to be a pussy all his life and politely flicked him the bird.
Having consulted our phrasebooks and calling up Miss Merkel, we have come to the understanding that he was attempting to communicate.
A swift charge by the rest of UE gave enough encouragement to the rest of the team to sweep through and secure the base quickly pushing what was left of the red team back to the out of bounds tape.
Over the radio, one of UE asked,
Is that all the flags now?, but a negative from Ricktion was called
with fast reinforcement required for battlefield engineering.
There was just one last Hamster shaped flag to raise to really rub it into the defeated RED teams face. Hamster was quickly hoisted onto the roof of a bus and handed the UE banner, which was used to goad the defeated RED team in their safe zone. At this point the game was pretty much over and we thought we had secured an overall win... at least in terms of our team.
We briefly stayed for the awards and despite our best efforts BLUE team narrowly lost by 7 points on a 1200 point plus game. It turns out, in a similar fashion to Eurovision, a team with British players can never be allowed to win! If we attend next year, the consensus is to go post-op in a dress, playing europop as we think this should give us the best chance of victory!
Due to time restrictions, we left before the party, but our own night of food and traditional German beers at the Red Lion made up for it a little.
Our journey back was relatively uneventful, Rocket had accidentally lost his wife in Hannover... I mean, who hasn't. We stopped to retrieve her before pushing onto Charlie Two's current home of Aachen. Here, we finally managed to go to an actual German bar, which Charlie Two and Gero had been trying to avoid taking us to all weekend.
The current operating theory is that they really like Cider, and rightly, German bars don't serve it. This final task completed, OPERATION BREXIT was completed.
The EBG was a great event but did have some organisational problems, even though it's run by Germans. A total lack of card payment was a bit like being in an ex-Soviet country... But jokes aside; if you can serve Bullmer's in most bars, you should probably be able to accept Visa. Cash-only was a serious pain.
The paint and event prices were extortionate by most standards. Considering the paint cost was more than double, the paint quality did not reflect this.
The game zone was extremely good and the German welcome was hearty. I'd like to thank our German team UE members for their translation and organisation, General Rick "Schmied" McGowan was also extremely kind in letting us play with him. Remember guys... it's only gay if you push back. The German players were an extremely friendly bunch and in a refreshing change always took their hits. A serious nod to all players; the sportmanship was exceptional at all times. This is how paintball should be played.
No Germans were hurt in the making of this write up. Because they were hiding.
Photos thanks to the great monkeyzwithcameras.