My first paintball experience has been through Tunka.
Directions to the Field:
Directions to the various fields are given on Tunka's website. The fields are on National Park land and are in the Front Range region of Colorado, especially in Roosevelt National Forest and around Nederland.
I purchased a Custom 98 to wax a few local teens that were playing pranks in my neighborhood. It was my wife's idea, but when she saw me actually putting the marker in my car, she told me that it was probably illegal and I may just want to go play paintball instead. A brief six hours on Google and I found Tunka (dot) com. I signed up for free to their mailing list.
:) A few days later I got an email invitation to play at a field called Ballbuster. I logged into the website and replied "Count me in", and was able to post a short comment.
:) You can see how many players are "Count me in", "Maybe", or "Count me out", so you have a pretty good idea of how many players will show up.
:) Completely free, no charge for membership, the "required" armbands can be purchased for $5 or just use tape. If you live in the Front range of Colorado, this is a sweet way to meet people and play paintball. It's organized and informal.
:) There's a guy from (dub dub dub) ballisticspaintballsupply (dot) com who shows up at the majority of games with a mobile paintball shack on wheels. He runs the "Tunka Club" trailer, with compressed air, CO2 fills, many types of balls, loaner markers and spare parts; it's really sweet.
:) Games are organized, hosted, and rules are read by what I guess are Tunka vets. True, there are no refs, but there hasn't been a need for any. Everyone plays with honor.
:) Considering it's basically a grab-bag of Front range wackos, everyone I've met has been pretty nice, extremely helpful getting started with paintball, and not over-the-top fanatical about paint balling. The games were all out in the middle of National Forest land, and although I locked my car while playing I certainly didn't feel like I had to.
:( I do feel there's just a little too much down time between games. It's up to the host when the next game starts, and often there's allot of jaw jabbing going on. (-1)
:) Update. The June 11 game had a perfect amount of down-time between games. Just enough time to catch a nice breather, reload, re-chrono, get a snack or some water. I guess it just depends on who's hosting the game and how many show up. (+0.5)
:( It can be lonely at bigger games if you go alone. I guess this is to be expected, so bring a friend to play with or an enemy and freak him out. The guys (and gals) are very friendly, I didn't get a cliquish feel, but don't expect anyone to hold your hand. (-0.5)
:( It seems like any member can post a game, but it's certainly not an open seven days a week paintball field. I only downgrade because I have no idea when the next game is until a member posts it. (-0.5)
:( Update. The last game I attended through Tunka was large. I mean like 60-70 guys at the peak of they day. The cheating was rampant, the cursing was overwhelming, the whining and crying was annoying, and the first scenario game was an hour long- way too long a game when new players are involved. I watched my RPS All Stars completely paint a flag runner: shoulder, torso, legs, marker; the guy refused to call "hit". It was completely unfair. I painted some other guy who was wearing a brown tee-shirt and he got so pissed-off that he started cursing at me. (He made a big fuss about not cursing before the game began.) One paintball hit him in the belly and I thought he was going to fight me over it...I mean physically fight me. In another game, I was painted point-blank by a guy on my own team while I was bunkering into a defensive position. He claimed I was "too well hidden" (meanwhile, I had a bright blue armband on). I only stayed because I had brought a friend for his first time and didn't want to ruin his day. There were some really nice and friendly guys there, when I went dry on the field a guy I didn't know gave me a tube of paint. I will not be going to games with more than 40 "Count me in's". It still upsets me when I think about it. It's a real shame how a few bad apples can ruin the bunch, but that's why it's a cliche. If you cheat in woods ball, you're turning honest players off to the game. Sooner or later, only cheaters will be showing up. Then you and your fellow cheaters might as well sit in a circle shooting each other. And if you think you're a bad-a55, take up boxing or street fighting, not paintball. And if you don't like the pain of getting painted, wear more than a tee-shirt while playing, especially when you have no skills whatsoever. (-2)
:) Update. June 11...What an awesome day of play. I think I've played enough through the group that I realize it's all about who hosts and how many show up. I had an awesome time, the guys there were fantastic, but I'm only adding 0.5 because it's still so hit-or-miss with this group. (+0.5)
Last edited on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 at 10:16 pm PST