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Friar Monday, June 4th, 2007
Period of
Field Use:
Just once
Date There: June 2nd, 2007
3 months
Other Fields
in the Area:
Gateway Paintball (1 visit) -- a 7/10 compared to Smak Zone. Not as extensively designed, or as many or as complex fortifications & structures. Less referee guidance & "scenario-ish" games proposed.

Meramec Challenge Paintball (3 visits) -- a 1/10 compared to Smak Zone. I can't possibly enumerate the variety of reasons this field ranks so poorly in my judgment.
Review: This field is a 2-hour drive each way for me, and worth every minute.

Play was imminently affordable, with a few dollars for play and all-day air and very reasonable prices for paint-by-the-case as well. It's not bargain-basement pricing, but it's also not bargain basement paint!

They offer grilled burgers, brats, and hotdogs along with water, soda, and gatorade all for incredibly affordable prices. There was plenty of room to park and spread out, and they provide space for camping when you stay overnight (as I will next time) for weekend scenario games.

The field itself is massive, with over 140 playable acres. There are numerous separate play areas connected by roads. Each play area varies from typical out-buildings and a few minor barriers to significant bases with foxholes, entrenchments, and two-and-three-level structures extending fifty feet into the air. Unlike other fields I've visited, they are both well built and remarkably clean. They have a topographical map on their website that shows both the terrain and photos of the bases.

Mark, the owner, is both knowledegable and very friendly. He welcomes feedback and ideas for improvements, and does something with them, which is a rarity in my experience. Smak Zone has courteous, strong support in the staff. The day I went was a very relaxed atmosphere, and we nevertheless had several challenging and intriguing mini-scenarios (~30 minutes each) that we played. They varied from the standard attack-vs-defense to an exciting VIP-escort scenario with a twist (be sure to ask for this when you go).

This is from now on my home field, the long drive aside.

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