Agape: Less structured, which is not always bad.
Splats: Similar, but out of business.
Seeing as how Agape has moved to mendota, I decided that I should find a new place to play, rather than drive an hour each way to Agape. Splats closed, which is a pity because I liked their setup. Lacking any other option, I bit the bullet and went to Blackbeards, aka IF Paintball or something like that.
Having heard so many horror stories, I was apprehensive at first. I walked to the check in station and noticed a glaring problem: they are slow as snot. I know that on the day in question they were training a new guy on how to input names into the computer, but holy crap. Hurry up already. The guy in front of me was a newbie, clearly out for his first day. One of his questions was something along the lines of "how fast should the gun shoot?" and the lady behind the desk answered "We limit the guns to 300 psi." My eyes immediately rolled back into my head in a show of disgust. First off, it's FPS and not PSI. Secondly, the limit is 280 FPS, not 300, even if she meant to say FPS rather than PSI. Sigh. Field fee is 10 dollars, as is all day air.
I eventually got checked in and set up on a picnic table. I looked around, and being a saturday there were a ton of newbies running around. Tons. There were a few there that had nice equipment, but generally there were lots of 98C's. The hyperball field is currently off limits because the grass is still coming in, but that beats gooey rocks any day of the week.
I podded up and checked out the one airball field. The bunkers are Spyder bunkers, and there's plenty of them. The ground ranged from hard to sopping wet, so wear cleats. The starting area on the south end is especially disgusting.
I quickly realized that there were "private games" that would go on nearly constantly. It seemed to be a "3 private games, 1 open game" ratio, but it was annoying having to wait for a bunch of newbies to finish. I don't care how green you are, play public or don't play. Clogging up the works by insisting on private games is irritating as hell.
The refs did a good job and were generally enthusiastic. Barrel covers on whenever you're out of the field, goggles on when inside, etc. Well enforced rules.
There were wayy too many people playing open games for the field. 20 on 20 or something close to it is hard on a 5 or 7 man (can't tell) airball field. I managed to run into someone off the break twice, and shot one of my teammates in the back of the head off the break. Hey man, don't run in front of my rope. Anyway, if you can survive the break and find a bunker that isn't quintupled up upon, you can find a lot of targets. I found a tombstone with at LEAST 5 people in it. They all became mine, which made me laugh. The games are chaotic and fast, which can be good or bad.
I eventually came to need air, and I was lead to a trailer with a full on compressor/cascade system in it. Holy jesus. 4k field fills have previously been unheard of. Very nice.
Overall a great day, and a good first experience. The people were great as always, no idiots. The check in could have been smoother and the chronoing should've been done more often due to the number of C02 guns being used. They desperately need to expand their fields, because there were too many people playing on one field. But they have a compressor. That makes up for everything.