I've played at Skirmish out in PA, Cousins Newburg, Cousins LI, and a few other places around the country.
High Velocity is a great establishment so I'll try to go into some detail about it. I'll try to space out this review so it's easy to read.
First let me review the field. I've been going here since it opened. Back then the owner (or who acts like the owner) has always been present and happy to help out. He appears to genuinely want people to have fun at the field. I remember he used to park his military jeep or deuce&a-half on the main drag (RT112) and advertise the place. I've gone here about a dozen times or more since then.
The fields are simply awesome. Most of the reviews here are spot on. The only thing is that I wouldn't exactly call it "mil-sim". This is because the random equipment and gear that litter the fields aren't put in any real military style configuration. They're just plopped down as bunkers haphazardly. While it's unique to see real vehicles and hardware, eventually you'll just treat them as bunkers. Cool bunkers of course. What it does is make for really exciting gameplay. You'll hear a lot of "there's three guys in the helicopter!". There are plenty of bunkers and areas for you to plan tactics and maneuvers to try to outflank the opposing team. I believe this is the big reason these fields are better than any other ones. Most woodsball fields just let you duke it out in the open, which can lead to stalemates where people don't have the guts to run out in the open. The fields at high velocity definitely lead to fun games.
The only field I don't particularly enjoy is the Wild West one. It's an interesting idea, but the implementation isn't all that great. After you've played it once or twice, you'll realize the best strategy is just to run around the end and go house to house surrendering people. I've won games here where I don't fire a shot and eliminate 10+ people just on surrender rule. Personally I don't find it too exciting. Often I just move back a bit just to get a pot shot in. If they had move the rows of houses closer to each other, it might make for exciting cross-alley firefights. But oh well.
All of the other fields are great. Yes there are planes to hide in. It may be unfair, but the fields are big enough (or have tall enough grass) that even if one team owns the plane bunker, it's possible to defeat them. There are also plenty of jeeps, pickup trucks, and a locomotive to hide in.
The woods field is pretty fun as well. It's set up so there is a nice corridor in the middle where all the action takes place.
That brings us to the castle. Simply the best castle made for paintball ever. No doubt about it. Yes I've been to the castles in Skirmish. This castle is no joke. It is made entirely of cinder blocks. The basic overlay of the castle is two towers (each with a working flagpole with red and blue flag) which are connected by a bridge/walkway. This bridge is not a straight-shot -- there are walls in it so you can make your way across slowly. There is also walkways around and under it all.
My only beef with the castle is that so far high velocity treats the castle like some sort of daily super-event. About 3-4 times a day, they shut the place down and move everybody into the castle. They play regeneration (come back to dead zone and go back in) until one team raises their flag in the opposing tower. It's great fun if you like 100 vs 100 games. Personally I don't. Again, it's a matter of preference. If you like the sound of that, then yes it really is fun. I would rather place a nice 20 on 20 in there. I feel you get more strategy out of it instead of just random shooting. Shooting which obviously rakes in the paintball profits for the field.
The refs are generally good. It's hard to expect too much out of minimum wage kids working on the weekends, but most of them do try their best.
Crowds: as I alluded to earlier, I'd rather not play with humongous crowds in paintball. When High Velocity first opened up, they regularly had 15 on 15 at the most. However lately it's been growing to 30v30 and 40v40. Obviously this is the nature of the business, but they grow increasingly disorganized with more people. I wish they would cap a field at like 40 people and just rollover extra people onto another walk-on group. Also, this field plays 2 games max (often just one) at a field. Then they take everybody back to the general area which I feel is a waste of time. They just play 3 or 4 games before walking back.
This place is pretty good for groups. Their rentals are the best around. They actually use HPA for rentals which is pretty good. And as mentioned they have attached barrel plugs. They drop their rates a lot for large groups -- I've played where it was $10 per person to get in. Unfortunately they don't have overalls to rent though. Also the short walk to the fields makes it pretty each to get your group around.
Compared with Cousins Coram next door, it's a different experience. I've been to cousins about 15+ times. I generally like the fields at high velocity more since they promote movement and maneuvering. The cousins fields are pure woodsball so you have to be willing to do a lot of running without a lot of cover. I still play at both because I enjoy both types of play. However, for private groups I always choose to organize it at High Velocity.
Of and of course, one of the key benefits of high velocity over cousins is a real PARKING LOT! Cousins has a dirt lot so expect your car to get pretty dirty. Also the road into said lot is horribly marred with pebbles, rocks, and heck craters. If you have like a nice sports car you don't want to drive there. High velocity has a parking lot like those you'd find at wal-mart. Definitely a big plus if you have a nice car.
I gave this place a 10 because there isn't any place better around. The only negative would be for people who want to play (or practice) pure speedball because they don't really have that. I only hope their high level of service doesn't drop the more people go there. It's definitely dropped a bit since its inception.
Last edited on Monday, December 17th, 2007 at 1:50 pm PST
Thanks for the great review- I go to Hi Vi indoor every week, and I've been itching to get a group together and try their outdoor. I've never been, but the pictures they have hanging up on the wall make it look absolutely incredible.