Hogan's Alley. Hogan's has one more speedball field, but they aren't as clean and they have absolutely nothing on Yankee's woods fields. Hogan's does have a full store with anything you would ever need, which Yankee does not have. But the Yankee staff was so much more personal and helpful than Hogan's.
Directions to the Field:
648 Quaker Farms Road in Oxford, CT 06478. Route 188. It's between route 67 and route 32. About 10 minutes from I-84. You follow the signs and park, then cross the street and head up into the woods to the fields.
The number one thing here is safety, as it should be. Keep your mask on at all times and cover your barrel when you're out. Just use your head.
Yankee Paintball has great woodsball fields, not to say that their speedball ones aren't good too. They have two speedball fields and one hybrid which is a small speedball field in the woods with bunkers. They're all kept very clean from things like paint and brush/debris.
We played the two speedball fields, the hybrid and 2 of the 3 woods fields.
Tip: attacking the castle is easier than defending it. The castle field is huge, and it has a castle. Not a real one, but it's got walls, windows, ways in and out and a small bunker "town" behind it. It sits on top of a small cliff. We played a scenario here where one team had to repel the invaders for 20 minutes, while the invaders had 20 minutes to throw a "grenade" into the castle or kill all the defenders. Lots of fun.
The knoll was a great field too. Smaller, but still held two teams of 10 with room to spare. It's all about field position there. If you can get some good cover at first then all you have to do is hold it until the enemy is dead, but if you get flanked, it's all over.
Another scenario we played (scenarios courtesy of the head ref, Sandman) where about 2/3 of the players started off in a chopper they had built between the speedball and hybrid fields. The other 1/3 dug in between the castle and hybrid fields. They had to defend their command center ( building up between the two fields) from the invaders coming from the chopper. They had great cover, so it was hard to move forward, but, in the 20 minute game, every 5 minutes those that died could run back to the chopper to man up another wave of invaders.
The cost was about the same for Hogan's Alley. The only thing is that you can't bring your own paint. But they sell it comparably to Hogan's anyway. They're got equipment, air, CO2, and markers for rent and small parts for sale. Again, no store. They have a party option for bringing a large group. You get your own refs, pizza or paint and all day everything. Similar to Hogan's again.
You are actually in the woods here, there's rocks, hills, streams. Bring your boots because you'll be walking if you end up playing the knoll or hawk's nest.
The entire staff was great. Exceptional on all levels. Both owners spoke to me personally when I was reserving and when my group got there. They play the game themselves. The refs here went over all the rules beforehand (bunkering, surrender, blindshooting, safety...) We had plenty of them for each game, so cheating when kept to an absolute minimum. When you yelled "paint check" they ran over and checked you for paint. When you pointed at someone you were shooting at and yelled "check him for paint" they ran over and checked them for paint. They were aware of who was shooting in which direction and stayed out of the line of fire, except for one guy who got lit up a few times. Hehe...
They're open on weekends from around 9 to 4. The games usually start at 10. This seemed like a busy day. 3 groups of 8-12 each showed up, plus a few walk ons. But there were still plenty of refs and gear to go around. If you are bringing a medium to large group they recommend you call in advance to reserve some gear. This way they have enough gear and refs on hand already. The walk ons were very cool guys. They knew what they were doing, were familiar with the scenarios and fields and were happy to give you advice. The refs did the same, gave you hints and tips about where to dig in, where the other team might come from. My group hasn't been there before and weren't familiar with the fields and layouts yet.
They have drinks and snacks for sale, but you're better off bringing your own. It seemed like they usually order pizza for lunch. You can bring whatever food you like, just no alcohol. They always have someone around the staging area and they have safe places for valuables, so you don't have to worry about getting your gear or food snatched while you're playing.
Overall my entire group loved this field and were very happy with the switch from Hogan's Alley.