Pevs@AG, Hogback, Skyline, OA, Be The Hunted. Pevs and OA both have multiple concept fields and scenario style play that are complimentary to Warplay, however they lack the execution and detail that the Warplay staff put into their fields and games.
Directions to the Field:
Coming from Northern Virginia (western Fairfax, Loudoun and PW Counties), via Route 15. Take Route 15 until it merges with Route 29, south of Gainesville. Take Route 29 south through Warrenton, through Brandy Station/Culpepper. Take the US Route 522, VA-3 Exit. Turn left at the top of the exit ramp. Travel about .3 of a mile and make a right on to US 522. Follow 522 for 14.1 Miles (522 is also known as the Zachary Taylor Highway). At the intersection of VA-20 (Constitution Highway) you will turn left and travel about 6 miles. Warplay will be on your left. If you are following Google Map's directions you need to be careful, as they have you turning at 3.7 miles. You will have to travel 2-3 more miles beyond what Google Maps indicates before you get to the field.
From I-95 you will leave the highway at the Route 3 exit in Fredericksburg. You will take Route 3 west until it ends/becomes Route 20. Take Route 20 west for 6.9 miles and Warplay will be on your right.
It's conveniently located in an area adjacent to the highway and has large signs indicating the field's location. It's hard to miss.
Warplay paintball is conveniently located between the primary player locations of Northern VA/DC Metro and Richmond. It's roughly an hour drive for ballers coming from either direction.
Warplay paintball opened a year ago and has quickly established itself almost exclusively through word of mouth. In the Northern VA/DC area the field has earned a tremendous reputation among recballers, woodsballers and scenario players. The field is comprised of some of the finest scenario/concept fields on the east coast and is poised to become one of the top scenario fields in the US.
The field staff is incredibly proactive about safety. They're thorough in checking markers for the appropriate chrono readings (under 300 fps) and utilize proper safety practices to let everyone have an enjoyable paintball experience.
The staff is customer oriented and friendly. They were consistently soliciting feedback amongst the players on ways they could improve and from what I had seen, they have taken player comments and "run" with them, utilizing them as a key improvement mechanism for the field.
The fields are amazing. Several bunkers are constructed out of concrete and others are assembled from quality materials (lumber vs. the plywood used at other fields). Their Khe Sanh field smartly employs metal on the exterior. This gives an interesting audio and visual effect when being assaulted with paintballs. The fields are also set up in such a way as to be able to be utilized in multiple scenario configurations. This gives the field owners the flexibility to offer diverse concept play to a paintball crowd enthusiastic of a challenge.
One of the things that really separates Warplay from other fields and should be a best practice in the country, is the unique way that they run their games. One consistent issue, regardless of the field, is that players are known to wipe. At Warplay they instituted a game strategy that makes this completely unnecessary. Similar to larger scenario games, Warplay uses a reinsertion method for the teams. If you're eliminated you have a short walk back to a dead zone/respawn area. These areas store gear and enable the players to wipe off their hit, grab a quick drink and reload paint. After a short break (usually less than 4 minutes) the players are reinserted. This leads to fast paced, exciting games with consistent action. Players can be more aggressive without the need to worry about taking a cheap shot and being eliminated from play for 15 minutes. It effectively wipes out any need to cheat.
Another nice feature about Warplay is that they allow ramping and full auto modes on markers (and are proactive about watching for players who are overshooting eliminated players). This contributes to some of the fastest, highest energy games I have ever played. I had to call myself out in several games just to go reload on paint and hop in at the next respawn. There are breaks in between games to enable players to reload on paint and top off with air. The day I was there they were short staffed and this led to a longer than normal break in between games, but frankly the group I was with didn't seem to mind much. They were short one of the Owners, a Head Ref and a Gun Tech and still had games turned around in 10-20 minutes, even with long airfill lines. One concept that I wish other fields would adopt is that Warplay only uses HPA. They rent out tanks and don't bother with CO2.
The field also provides a lunch menu at registration and for $5 you get a sandwich, chips and a drink (all of which are better than most every other field). The prices are reasonable and come from a deli in town.
While the fields are incredible, the calibur of players at Warplay was also very high. There were several examples of good sportsmanship (both in victory and defeat). The talent among the players was diverse ranging from experienced players to first time players. This leads to realistic scenario and concept games. I found Warplay's use of mortars to be a very interesting twist to several games! That level of creativity is what is making this field great.
The surprising thing is that the owners Gunny and Tor, are just getting started. They have plans to develop and construct several new fields. Like the fields they have in place, these fields will not be lacking for detail. They also have plans for a larger structure/pro-shop in the future. The only real issue that I have with the field is the parking area. It's my opinion that as Warplay's reputation grows they're going to attract significantly more players and their parking lot isn't going to be able to handle the volume. Not a bad problem to have really.
We went out with 12 of our usual walk-on buddies, several of whom have been playing for more than 10-15 years. Everyone in our group went home yesterday enthusiastic about the next trip down. This is a top notch place for all players across the spectrum of experience.
Their prices are incredibly reasonable with it being only $15 to play. They have reasonable field paint prices ($45-55), the paint shot well and was of a high quality. If you had your own paint, it was a $10 BYOP fee, which I find to be incredibly reasonable. Additionally, all-day air was only $10. Their rentals were Tippman A-5's, a nice step up from the traditional Tippman 98C's at most other fields. I've played at other concept/scenario fields that had less field infrastructure/props than Warplay that charge almost twice as much. Warplay is truly a bargain for the price.
All said and done, Warplay is starting out at a level much higher than other fields on the east coast. They are the pinnacle of woodsball and scenario play and their star is certainly going to get brighter as time passes.
Last edited on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 at 12:06 pm PST