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hexAGA Monday, April 19th, 2010
Period of
Field Use:
2 years
Last There: April 19th, 2010
2 years
to the Field:
Turn left after the Staples on west-bound Marine Drive and head all the way down the dirt road
Review: I have been playing at this field for the majority of my paintballing experience and have been pleased with it all the time. The first look at it will not impress; there are a couple old freight carriers from the train yards set up as a front desk and a rough wooden tarp-covered area nearby. Amenities are limited to outhouses. The entrance to the field is covered with a couple of mesh flaps. However, if paintball has taught me anything, it's that first impressions are always useless, and I encourage other players not to be turned off by the rather unprofessional-looking facade that this field displays.

The field itself is fantastic. It's not exactly gospel "woodsball" per se as it's not really a forest and the parts that are covered with vegetation are pretty sparse, but my god, has the staff ever outdone themselves with the stuff they put in here. They understand that the idea of a woodsball field is to throw everything possible at the players to make it hard to predict the style of play, and thus the entire field is covered with walls of sticks, stacks of tires, plywood bunkers, tree houses, trenches, small forts and the like. The quarter-field games make for excellent CQB and the half-field games are packed beginning to end with action. Field is pretty narrow, so in anything but full-field (which generally get to be huge sized games) there are about two ways to go at your enemy: forward from the left and forward from the right. The only complaint I have about its layout is that it can often get very speedball-minded (i.e. fast-paced tactics in a slow-paced scenario). However, this is not so much a remark on the field's quality as a complaint about the number of players that can be found there... it gets to a good hundred or so on big days. I have heard people complain about "mud" on this field... I don't know what they were expecting; they live in Raincouver and are coming to play on a WOODSBALL field. If you can't handle the occasional mud puddle and sludge pile, get boots - or move!

Rules are strict, as they should be for an "extreme" sport. Andy gets a lot of new players around here and not one of them ever escapes the safety speech at the beginning of the game; I have seen very few safety breaches during my time playing here. Field speed limit is 275 with no mercy rule, which makes for good bunker rushes and a need for a more tactical approach to playing. Occasionally a referee is a bit of a jerk about stuff that doesn't include safety (including but not limited to laughing at new players and such) but for the most part they are good and do their job well. The front desk is largely friendly and never gripes about seeing you 20 times at the filling station or whatnot.

Paint - this is my only gripe with the field; they often stock sub-standard paint, which rather eclipses the good qualities that the field may have. It is also fairly overpriced (it subsidizes pump players but pisses off the semis!) and I have heard many complaints about its quality from many different people. You can walk across the field on a bad day and see unbroken, new paintballs littering the ground. In addition, I have pulled a paintball at random out of a fresh bag and noticed the wonderful oval shape... This pains me a bit as I KNOW that the profits on this place would enable them to get some slightly better paint and this is the only factor that really hurts the field! This field runs a rigorous Field Paint Only policy as well, so no escaping by bringing your good-quality paint to the field. To NSPB: We LIKE having our paint fly straight and break when it hits people. Please, please get some better paint!

Services/shop are great as a whole. Never known anyone to turn their nose up at free HPA fills (included with entry). No CO2 station, but the regulars have learned that it is in fact worth spending 70$ more on a tank that you can fill for free indefinitely, and the renters are all supplied with HPA tanks anyway (!). Rentals are Tippmann 98Cs which are fast becoming the standard rent gun. Haven't heard many horror stories about these; they are generally kept in good condition. Masks could be better; I strongly recommend buying your own mask first thing if you are playing at this field for a long period of time. The front staff keep a supply of o-rings, allen keys, screwdrivers, etc. which come in handy for the tinkerers. No 9-volts, but Staples is right down the road if you're using an electro.

Players seem okay. A lot of newbies frequent this place, which is sometimes a recipe for an easy game and often an irritation. Please, if you are a new player, take heed to what the regulars are shouting at you to do; listen to people and ask around about strategy. Regulars are often nice guys that will help you out with stuff (just make sure you stay away from the fast-talking electro-packing "hardcore" kids that have come up from Ambush with their Egos and their egos, whose greatest ambition is to put players out rather than have fun). Teams are usually attempted to be split evenly. This works sometimes. The rest of the time an inevitable lopsided defeat is had, since the tiniest gap of skill between two experienced players can often mean a whole game changing. Such is woodsball.

To sum up:

Upside: Field layout, safety, general atmosphere, free air fills, chill regulars, reasonable entry price, caters to the new players

Downside: PAINT, loads of newbies, sometimes lopsided games, unprofessional appearance, caters to the new players

Would I recommend this? Yes, if you feel fine with fields that don't necessarily cater to the regulars and that care less about outward appearances. A good field by anyone's standards. Not perfect, but then again, what is?
Last edited on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 4:46 pm PST

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