Splat Tag Paintball
Directions to the Field:
Between Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire, WI on Highway 29.
I am co captain of Patriot Act Paintball based out of Grantsburg, Wisconsin at the Winter Three Man series here at First Strike Paintball near Eau Claire, Wisconsin on February 25th, 2006. I will try to be as concise and thorough in my review as time permits...so here goes:
Reffing was thorough, comprehensive, and attentive throughout. Constantly checked and maintained fps and bps rate of fire and maintained penalty deductions for teams that violated the rules of the field. Referees were not rude and certainly very fair and easygoing. Referees even apologized to me personally after pulling me off of the field too hard after I was eliminated during a particular round. Thorough in checking all players for hits after each game for breaks.
To my dismay, First Strike did not have any flush toilets despite having a rather nice indoor facility in the woods located near the speedball field. They had a blue porta potty which I really don't like at all but when I used it on several occasions I noticed that they had done a very good job of at least making sure it was clean and as fresh as possible during the game. The field was back in the woods a little bit next to a cornfield so this may be the reason why a flush toilet was lacking. No biggie, though.
The field initially looked something reminiscent of Splat Tag's field in comparison, however when our team got on the field we learned that although it wasn't on even ground the field was fairly well weighted and very thoroughly cleaned and the referees constantly wiped paint off of the bunkers that were on the field during breaks in the game. The field also consisted of a few black ribbed stand up tubes which were rather loud when hit by a barrage of paintballs, but most of the field had speedball inflatable bunkers so this was not a problem. No apparent field hazards that I could see while playing.
As stated above field constantly checked for obedience to the 300 fps rule. Referees were very observant throughout of areas off limits to markers and enforced rules.
VERY reasonable. A case of Karnivore there costs approximately $55.00 which is pretty good for a case of midrange tournament paint. Fees very reasonable. One of the players on our team noted some of the paintballs were slightly dimpled but he did not experience one break all day long during play and never needed to clear his barrel once. I personally experienced a couple of breaks at most after 10 games of play. Watch out; don't shoot any of their signs our you will be fined $1 every time you shoot a sign on their field (I didn't have a problem with this...just keep it in mind.)
Full air fills. Prompt friendly service. Never had a problem with a tank being underfilled and they will notify you if you have a leak in your marker or any other technical dificulty in filling your air tanks. You have to drive down a short trail next to a cornfield to get to the field which is located on a hill next to a river. They offer rec play as well I do believe although they prefer that you call in ahead of time. During the winter games they do provide wooden spindles for players to set their equipment down on and they light fires to keep people warm although smoke in the face is sometimes a small issue.
Very competitive mix of teams, ranging from fresh rookie teams to teams sponsored by local businesses such as Scheel's with more tournament experience. Was all in all a very satisfying day of play. No problems with other teams.
Comparison to local fields
First Strike blows Splat Tag away in terms of tournament play (hands down) in terms of organization, pricing, safety, rules, and refs and is definitely on par with Superior Firepower in terms of organization and prices. Superior Firepower in Superior offers a flat field as opposed to the uneven field that First Strike offers but I really enjoyed them both as First Strike's bunker positioning guaranteed an even player distribution and nullified any advantages. MUCH cheaper than Splat Tag, and possibly a little cheaper than Superior Firepower.
Suggestions for First Strike Paintball: try to get an indoor bathroom and do away with the porta potties sometime in the future if at all possible. Reffing was magnificent and prices were very reasonable. Staff very friendly and informative.
Thanks for the great review. I'm glad you and your team enjoyed the tournament. As to the porta-potty, the building is too close to the river/hill and due to run-off we cannot put in an underground well....sorry, I agree with you on the outdoor toilet though.
Thanks for the review! it was very informative, i got a question though im kinda new to this stuff but on the website i got i didnt see an area on rules and regulations. do any of u know the rules? if u do please tell me. thanx