I have played at EMR in PA and at Weekend Warriors in Florida. EMR has a better structure town play, and a larger castle for their Castle Conquest. Although Skirmish has Castle 2 on the way. Weekend Warriors didn't impress me but I heard they are making or made changes since my visit.
Group benefits: You come on a business company trip, or with your rugby team, and you will get benefits. Group leaders can walk away with a gun, goggles, free paintballs, and a group photo, all depending on the size of their group. That is a great way to introduce someone to paintball.
Customer Service: I have had bad days at Skirmish and have had my concerns addressed.
I’ve called in a reservation three or more times after my group numbers have changed three or more times after the initial reservation. I’ve gotten a laugh and a joking “You again?”
Storage bins are filled up and you have things to store? Ask someone. They will help you find a safe place to store your gear. Happened to me.
Their tech and support people at the field are incredible. I have had a tech person admit when they weren’t sure about something and ask for assistance to get the job done. Other than that, they move as fast as possible to help everyone. I never had to see their tech guys and walked away aggravated.
Also, the owner isn’t somewhere in an office Monday to Friday and off the weekends. Paul Fogal is out where the action is, working the weekends.
Separated from your group? Ask for a runner or specific directions. Someone will get you where you need to go. I had gun trouble once and I stopped a ref, asked for them to radio my group, find out if they started, and where they are headed next. He did it, and walked me where I needed to be.
If you don’t agree with anything I have written by the end of this review, remember this above all. You can always ask someone.
Rentals: Tippmanns. What a perfect choice of gun for a person new to the game to use. If you run into gun trouble, they will get you a new one pronto and off you go. (At least that is what I remember when I used to use them)
Fields: If you cannot find a field you like at Skirmish, I doubt you played them all. There are plenty of woods for those who enjoy a woods game, and some structures for those of us who enjoy a good assault game. My favorite field is Circle City.
The fields are also the cleanest they can be. I have never seen trash and debris. Good job to the Skirmish staff for picking up, and good job to the players who throw their garbage where it belongs.
Scenario Games: They get huge turn outs, offer role-playing, and there is something for everyone. Can it get chaotic? Of course it can. You wouldn’t want a scenario game where every plan of attack went perfectly according to plan, would you?
How do you know if you’d like a scenario game if you never played before? Go to Skirmish’s web site. Under Scenario Games, there is a list of rules and general information. By the way, the site is a pro as well. You should be able to find what you are looking for
Unlike most reviews where you just list the cons, I offer, for lack of a better word, reminders. So allow me to introduce to you reminders to the biggest negative aspects we are already familiar with.
Prices: Skirmish charges $27.00 plus tax per person for a private group, and $30.00 plus tax per person for less than a private group. Then it is $105.00 after taxes for a case of paint. If you are comparing cases of paint with other fields, also check if other fields charge for air, how much admission is, and if that includes equipment.
Skirmish doesn’t charge for air (Except for scenario games. If they ever stopped charging for air for scenario games, I’d be thrilled) Walking in and spending $135.00 + may sound crazy, however…
1) Buy in bulk, and the price will come down per case.
2) Save your paint at the end of the day. If you know you are coming back, I sure you can bring unused paint back that was purchased at Skirmish.
3) Save those play fours. Every fifth trip is free.
4) Don’t forget to collect 100 free paintballs for bringing your own gun.
5) Take turns group leading and you play for free as well as receive group leader benefits.
6) Practice your aim. The less shots it takes to hit someone, the less paint you need to buy. ;)
Walking: Granted nobody wants to walk every 30 minutes to play for twenty minutes. But how can anyone praise the variety of the fields and the amount of fields offered while criticizing the need to walk to get there. However….
1) You do have the option to only play fields that are five minutes away, and avoid walking all together.
2) Tell the ref if you walk for 30 minutes, you would like to play 3 games or more on adjacent fields in the area you arrive at. Remember the players, not the ref, should be deciding what fields to play on.
There will probably not be a monorail installed for easier transport to get around. Besides, even if one was set up, expect a price increase to pay for it all, and expect to wait on line to travel. Which brings us to…..(See below)
Waiting: We all grew up having to wait on line. Paintball is no different. Whether you are waiting to register, get CO2 or Nitro, food, or to play on a field, you have to wait. However….
1) I’ve never seen a line for equipment failure from people using rental gear. This line is for those of us who have our own gear.
2) Everyone has to eat. Bring your own food and you avoid lines, save money, and eat quicker.
3) If you have a private group stay organized and work together. Leaders register, someone collect money to buy paint all at once, and if you are renting a jumpsuit, don’t just stand there. Go rent it.
4) Above all, don’t be late for your check in time. If check in is at 0945, don’t get together at 1030 and expect swift compensation for the 45 minutes lost.
Safety: Nobody can expect perfection, as horrible as that sounds. If you have a group of 30 on several acres of playing fields that break into several ongoing battles, refs cannot guarantee they can see everyone who decides to take goggles off. Players know not to, signs say not to, during the bus ride they say it three times, and that is the cardinal rule anyone playing should know. If you don’t know the goggles on rule and this is the first time you are experiencing paintball at all, after a visit to Skirmish you will know it.
It is impossible to not know it if you pay attention for 15 minutes. If you can’t stay alert for 15 minutes, I definitely don’t want you on my team anyway.
I myself had to yell at a player because he suddenly took his goggles off. This was a close quarters game, and the refs saw everything, rushed our area and he stopped the game as fast as humanly possible.
Referees can only do so much. Which leads to…..:
We all know judges are cast in different lights. There is no point of laying a blanket statement that all refs are bad or good at one particular place. Each individual is different. I know by names who judged well and who did not. When we call in a reservation, we request a ref by name that we were pleased with.
I will be back at Skirmish for more games: private, walk on, and scenario. If you never been there, and the drive isn’t out of your way, go play. You won’t be able to refute or back me up if you never been there.
I was originally going to post a rating of 9, because nobody is perfect. Then I realized a 10 doesn’t equal perfection, just ones opinion. So here it is.