Hogan's Alley - I have not really been enough to truly judge this field, but from what I've seen they have similar fields and competition. The prices seemed a bit more prolific and steep than at Matt's Outback, and there appeared to be a greater degree of control across all playing levels (which can be annoying for relatively experienced players who fully acknowledge paintball safety).
Strategy Plus - Again, I have only been here a couple of times but from what I've seen it is mostly woods - not a great field for competitive play. It is perfectly adequate for a casual player.
Directions to the Field:
I have not played paintball routinely for about a year and a half, but having just visited Matt's Outback last weekend I have seen some vast improvements. .
This field is great for beginners and experienced players alike. The rental package is an all inclusive package. They give you a gun, mask, pods/pack, 500 paintballs,
Safety: The staff at Outback are very good about instructing safe practice to newer players - especially those heading to the woods and tire fields.
Fields: They currently have a great X-Ball field which has grass now! (used to be wood chips) Oh and by the way, there are pits and a stand on top which offers a sick view of the field. There is also an adjacent field in which another X-Ball setup is on the To-Do list. There is a 7-man sized field with tire bunkers down below. There is quite a large woods ball field which houses castle-like forts. Oh and did i mention they have a dome? Winter weather holds no bar for this part of Connecticut now. I believe it will go live Winter 2009.
Check out the fields at http://www.mattsoutback.com/tour/tour.html
Hours of operation: Open Saturdays and Sundays, but also offers weekday group outings/parties and clinics. For more information including specific hours, check out www.mattsoutback.com.
Prices: Best in Connecticut, period.
Proshop: The staff is always willing to order anything you want if they don't currently have it. The proshop also houses all the necessary tools and parts to fix most if not all paintball equipment.
Staff: Excellent. They are all very friendly and do what they can to help rather than get your money. It is very easy to get someone to look at a broken or misbehaving gun.
Players: Having just been there a week ago, I found myself shaking hands with players whom I played with many years ago. There is a large volume of regulars, including Team No Name, Team No Name Kids, and UConn Huskies. There are probably more but like I said I haven't played there in almost two years.
Food: Free hot dogs, 'nuff said.
Overall, Matt's Outback keeps the players coming back through the same set of principles it has consistently upheld - The fields are excellent, The prices are great, the people are friendly and helpful.