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qabal Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
Period of
Field Use:
Just once
Date There: October 23rd, 2008
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
First field in Austin
Review: All in all, it was a decent field. Not the best I've ever played, but not the worst.

For the most part the fields all feel very impromptu, with scrap plywood bunkers and rough settings. The good news is the fields are pretty large. We played 10x10 most of the day, and none of the courses felt cramped.

The fee was a bit high ($30, for 4 hours, rental, 200 rnds). I got a half case of medium quality paint for $40. The paint had not been rolled, and was badly dimpled. I don't think I had two rounds fire in the same direction all day. The mask they provided fogged so bad, it was like playing on a rainy day in a jungle mist. I swapped masks about an hour in to it, and did fine for the rest of the day.

Here's a description of the courses that we played (that I can adequately describe anyway.. I think I forgot one but, my goggles had fogged so bad I didn't see enough to describe it.)

D-Day: Challenging course, starting in a rocky ravine and running up hill to entrenched bunkers. Advancing cover is sparse, with a few derelict vehicles and scrub brush for cover. Attackers run up hill in to three sandbag bunkers. Heavy and accurate cover fire is required if you want to have a chance at success. If you like to dive for cover, I'd recommend gloves: I walked away with a palm full of primrose thorns.

Crackhouse: Good course. The building is pretty solid, with a nightmarish maze of passages. There are plenty of windows to fire from, but it lhas some blind spots which provides a nice sense of paranoia. Outside, is a wide field with the house in the center. There is plenty of cover, and some nice design elements including cars, barrels and heavy underbrush. Attacking teams can disperse without being seen by defenders. Would have liked to see the building be two story, or at least with a tower.My favorite course of the group.

California: This one felt a bit unfinished. Deep, and not very wide. It has lots of trees, and uneven terrain, and a couple of bunkers with commanding fields of fire pretty well ensuring a "dead zone". Everyone bunkered up, because attempting to advance tended to leave you wide open for extended periods of time. Fortunately, no one had paint that went in the intended direction more often than one shot in four.

Trenches: Not a bad course, but a bit small for the group. The trenches all ran up-down hill, so the upper ground definitely has an advantage. The trenches could have been deeper, but hey I've played courses where you had to crawl if you wanted cover in the trench. Both matches went the distance, and ended up ending without a decisve winner. This couse would be more fun as a capture the flag event, or if at least one trench connected the two sides of the field.

Airball: They have a course, but we didn't play. It looked to be in good shape, with a large number of well inflated (and clean) obstacles.

Bunkers: I don't remember the name, but they had a good mixed obstacle field. Not too crowded for 10x10. I don't remember too many details here... I was deep underwater for this course and could only see through the temporary streaks where condensation trickled down my lenses.

The ref was decent, and after pretty good about paintchecks. The shop was in good shape, and the help was friendly. The pro-shop appeared reasonably well stocked, with a pretty fair selection of markers. I didn't see the prices.

Safety was pretty strong, and mask discipline pretty well enforced. Due to the fogging, the ref allowed us to unmask on field after everyone set down thier markers. I saw a couple of other groups out there, and they all seemed to be following safety protocols. No wild kids anywhere.

It would have been nice if they had been a bit more pro-active about fixing the fogging issues (I was by no means the only one), but once I took matters in to my own hands things got better. The paint was pretty bad though. The paint wasn't outrageous, but it wasn't cheap. I expect when I'm paying that extra few bucks that mean the difference between a backyard game and pay field, they take the extra few minutes to tumble the paint.

I'm subtracting one point for the paint, one point for the fogging goggles/no attempt to fix it, and one point for mediocre improvements to some nice fields.

Number of fields: 8/10
Size of fields: 9/10
Variety of fields: 7/10
Design of fields: 8/8
Field improvements: 4/10

Field Staff: 8/10
Referees: 9/10
Safety: 10/10
Store: 6/10
Pro-shop: 7/10

Final score: 76/100

 

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