I went to Skirmish for the 2003 D-Day scenario game, and it was an experience not soon to be forgotten (for both good and not so good reasons). Although I can't comment on a normal weekend at Skirmish i can tell about my experience at this scenario game. Skirmish was just about everything i expected it to be. Is the paint expensive? God yes, but you get a meager price break for 5 cases or more, not great but ok I guess. I forgot my mask....I know stupid me, entirely my fault, they had the same mask I have for sale there (Proteus II) at a ridiculous markup (about 50%). The paint prices are insane!!! Over $100 for a case of Midnights or Proballs(somewhere in the neighborhood of a 50% markup....), which seem to have been sitting for about 6 months, every single ball had a flat spot somewhere and seemed to be about to burst their seams. A lot of safety issues were also noted, first was burst discs seemed to be blowing about every 5 min. LEARN TO FILL CO2!! Also was the fact that barely anybody chronoed their guns. Now I know it may sound like I am whining, but when i get hit in the leg from 50ft away through military issue camouflage pants and it breaks skin, someone is shooting hot...I also seemed to be yelling at someone every 5 seconds to put their mask down or back on (is this my job...?) Not enough and inexperienced referees seemed to be prevalent. I know they can't be everywhere when there are roughly 1600 players, but if you needed one, I guess they could be found easily enough. Not all refs were inexperienced, and some even gave tips and pointers to players throughout the game. In general though you usually had to get multiple mask shots on someone to get them to leave the field. With the money Skirmish made that weekend alone, I think they could spend it on ref training and more refs. Waiting to go back in the game would take anywhere between 5-20 min but they couldn't have people running back on the field at any old time so there had to be some method to the madness. I had problems with my cocker and the gun techs were very helpful and friendly. One even gave me new hoses for my pneumatics and was a nice guy, no condescending remarks about my plight, which is rare.
Well enough about the not so good....The game was beautifully setup and when the Americans stormed the beaches we actually came out of wooden mock ups of landing craft, door drop and all. There was a booth where you could get pretty nice stuff for real cheap (2002 jerseys $10, 2002 Dye pants $20,Gloves $10, Pt Extreme pistol $40, I even met a guy who bought a Model 98 for $60....?!?! ) So some of that stuff helped with the parting of $100 a case for paint. The missions were well thought out and not too monotonous. The fields at Skirmish were second to none, and made all the walking around the massive place bearable.
All in all the experience was enjoyable for my first large scale scenario game. Chuck Stoner is the man. But next year lets work on safety. That would be the only thing keeping me from coming back, and making sure others stay away until these issues are fully addressed. Come on Skirmish I know you all read this site, it's been an issue in almost every review I have read. DO NOT IGNORE THIS ISSUE OR IT WILL COME BACK TO BITE YOU!!! I will give this experience a middle of the road rating...could be a 10 if not for prices and safety issues.
Last edited on Monday, July 21st, 2003 at 1:10 pm PST
In a scenario game, you have to remember that sometimes you hit a person with a valid shot and the guy next to the person you just hit might be a medic! Both armies on that day had about a dozen medics each. And of course, sadly, there are cheaters. There was over 1700 players that day and about 80 referees. The refs couldn't be verywhere, but there was never one far away from what I saw.