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The Ralpst Monday, May 3rd, 2004
Period of
Field Use:
Just once
Date There: N/A
Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
Only other field played on was Crossfire paintball in St. Cloud, MN. Combat Zone was better although they have more land to work with.
Review: Location - It's a little ways out there. Once you get to Hinckley, it's still 20-25 minutes of driving, part of the way on gravel roads. That being said, it's remote nature brings you out into the middle of beautiful northern Minnesota.

Staff - When I got out of my car in the parking lot, there was a little walk to get to the main picnic table area. On the way I heard the crowd of people already there burst out laughing. The staff there is, in a word, fantastic. They made everyone there, experienced player and first-timer, feel equally important and appreciated. They emphasize safety while at the same time being light-hearted about the game. Bottom line: they were fun people. I heard one of them say "If you have a problem with anything at all, come to me and it won't be a problem anymore." He was absolutely right. Any problem, from a marker malfunction to something with the field was taken care of ASAP.

Fields - The fields are very large and contain a lot of different kinds of terrain as mentioned in the other posts. Some of the bunkers are just wooden pallets that could use a sheet of plywood over them because as they stand right now you can still be shot through a majority of the bunkers. The mobile homes are an interesting spin on things since it can really get the adrenaline going to try to clear one. Unfortunatly the Alamo field met it's match during my playing time there. An entire side of the fortress fell down after one of the games, so I hope the staff gets that up and running again. All the fields are very woods-ball oriented. Some thick brush (a little too thick in some places) and a pretty makeshift speedball course (but still fun).

Facilities - The staging area had a good amount of picnic tables with canopies in case or rain. The building is just a metal storage building thing with some doors and windows cut in it. Portable toilet restrooms. No running water (for public use at least). No vending machines (they do sell hotdogs around lunchtime though). I advise you to bring plenty of water and food as the drive to town is a long one.

Value - Great. I brought my own equipment so I payed $15.00 to get in (rental is an additional $15) and $25.00 by splitting 1000 rounds with a friend ($50 for 1000). I played the whole day from 10-4 on this although if you're the kind that likes to lay down a lot of fire bring some extra cash. I wish they had the option to bring your own paint, as that would solve a lot of paint-to-barrel match problems, but CO2 fills are free. NEW INFO: AS OF NOW THEY HAVE EQUIPMENT TO FILL COMPRESSED AIR. AT LEAST UP TO 3000 PSI (NOT SURE IF HIGHER).

Normal Players - When I went there I was expecting to see some tricked-out markers, but as it turned out I had one of if not the best markers there. There are a lot of rental players (at least as of the day I was there). No flashy jerseys, just a lot of really nice people looking to have a good time. So if you're the type that want to own on everybody and bunker everyone on the field (bunkering is not allowed by the way - 10 foot limit), this probably isn't the place for you.

Conclusion: If you are up for the drive and are cool with playing pretty much woodsball, this is the place to go. While I've had some gripes about the bunkers and brush (I'm sort of a speedball player) the atmosphere of the place was perfect. Everything aside I rate as to how pleased I was with the experience, and when I left I was pleased with everything. I have no problem giving this place a 10 as long as they fix up the Alamo field and keep eveything in good working order. If you're in the area, I highly suggest playing at Combat Zone.
 

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