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marcW Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Period of
Field Use:
More than 5 years
Last There: June 8th, 2009
More than 5 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
PSI - also a great place to play during those long winters, BYOP Tuesday
Review: I have been playing at Commando for about 10 years also, and the evolution of the fields and the groups of guys that play there and run the place has been amazing.

When I first called the place up back when I was 15 and it was time for a birthday party with my firends, I was greeted by a rough/gruff sounding guy on the phone, who kept the conversation short (which is sort of his trademark), and said "Ya come out on Sunday, we got a bunch of guys playing, and we won't mind shooting you up real good!"

I was a little intimidated, but we got our group together and headed out there not really knowing what to expect.

Let me start off by saying that the drive up to the field back then, is even more hilarious then it is now, as the old route really required 4WD at 10 Km per hour and a solid navigator, which for us meant my Dad behind the wheel of a minivan, at 4Km per hour, and a fair amount of uneasy tension.

When we got there, pulling into the "lot" back then everything was getting setup for the day. A barrel was burning with some cardboard paintball boxes in it, a bunch of guys were running around in neon jerseays trying to coral a bunch of the other guests, and stop them from shooting up fish in the pond, and I was looking around wondering what is this Dave guy supposed to look like. Well I should have known.

His arrival was nothing short of epic (as i rember it). All of a sudden we heard this crazy rumble coming from somewhere in the bush. My buddies and I were all trying to figure out what the sound was: Thunder (but it wasn't raining), jet crash (no flames), when racing out of the bush, flying over mounds of dirt emerges the most ridculously beat up old truck with no front grill and a whole lot of other parts - that I would have thought essential to a truck but that day learned were not - missing. And riding high and proud was the man I soon learned was Commando Dave.

He jumped down, took a look at the group, did a quick calculation of our numbers, and said with a strong handshake, "You must be Marc. Come on in with your buddies and we'll get you all set up."

From there on in our collective first paintball experience was truly fantastic, and several skarring nicknames emerged from that day which some of my more timid friends have never quite been able to shake off since.

Safety was key, our breifing on the rules was thorough, masks were always on and stictly enforced, barrel plugs were always in and closely monitored by the refs, and the 4 feilds that we played on, the ones that existed back then, were amazing for our first experience.

I also unwittingly became the victim of one of Commando's timeless traditions, when I was unwittingly paired with a soon to be groom against the combined forces of both of our parties on an extrenely small tire field (now long gone), with a bountry of a bag of 500 put on our "bags" by Dave who mercilessly laughed as our friends unloaded their full complement of paintballs in the longest 3 1/2 minutes of my life.

But that was when I learned that paintablls really don't hurt as much as you'd think, and that dodging paintballs from very close range is possible, and amazingly fun, especially when you're also firing back and seing little explosions on face masks.

The rest of the day unfolded in typical paintball fashion, was awesome, and you really got the feeling that you were part of a family who was taking care of you, which for me has never changed in 10 years.

Fast forward to today, and Commando has grown significantly, both in the quality of fields and gear, in the experience and effectiveness of the staff, in terms of family atmosphere with some great rough edges, and dare I say it in terms of the outright professionalism and management of the oranization. But what else would you expect, the field and organization has grown with the sport over 20+ years, and the staff which are all friends and family have grown and matured to match.

If you mask is broken, they'll give you another, if your rental breaks down (which I have seen happen to people 3 or 4 times in 10 years) they'll give you another right away, if anybody steps out of line, they'll be removed from the field so that everyone can enjojy the day in a safe environment, the roads once treacherous are now totally manageable, there is a seperate latrine for ladies, pizza lunch and a drink ($5) is always delicious, the rentals guns - 98s - are standard and reliable, and if your girlfriend gets shot up from three feet away by a bunch of overzealous paintball lunatics, Dave will set them straight, impose order on the situation, and then give her his gun and an unlimited supply of paintballs to seak here revenge in the next game.

Paint could be considered expensive ($150), but its is on par with anywhere else you'll go plus or minus $20, and the quality and variation in fields you'll get is top notch in Ottawa.

One last thing to note, is that if you're also someone who is interested in playing more than just casually then Commando is a great place to meet up with other players and improve your game. On monthly basis, traditionally Sundays, they have club days, where the more regular member come out to play and practice together.

Commando also fields and sponsors a team that practices and competes regularly and you'll always see these guys working or playing around Commando. So if your interested in competitive paintball, get to know them. For younger kids (and even most adults), on which the sport can be pretty costly Dave encourage people to help out working around the field for impressive discounts.

Commando Dave is a staple of the Ottawa paintball community, his organization and his field is continually improving and shifting focus to reflect the demands of his clientelle and the ever changing aspects of the sport, and overall I would say that time spent at Commando is worthwhile and will lead to a great experience.


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