Pros: Nice People, Simple and fun courses, good dead zones, free CO2 fills, cheap.
Cons: Refs are unsure of themselves and stop themselves from really enforcing the rules because they don't know what people will think, courses are VERY succeptible to weather conditions, paint is crap, pro-carbs are VERY old and VERY bad, not exactly a family environment, lack of customer support.
First of all, the people there are very nice. They are very straightforward and simple in their rule explanations, but they seem to not even know each other and every just seems to sit around and stare into the woods (when someone rents, the guy that you pay runs all the way out to where the rental "station" is and runs back), the course - i'll explain later- are simple and fun, but VERY muddy or icy if there is any rain or snow. The dead zones are very well constructed, but the refs are nice but they don't enforce anything, mainly because they are all young and I'm guessing they don't want to piss someone off. The CO2 refills are free!, and its cheap to rent _$30_, and $15 to play w/ ur own gun. However, the paint it very bad, and the pro-carbine does not shoot accurately past 30 ft. And finally, if something breaks, its staying broken unless YOU can fix it.
Jungle-Simple, natural woodsball course very fun. Triangular shape, featuring good defensive ravines and lots of interesting cover spots. Def. ask to play.
Castle-Very cool. Its basically a cicrcular structure of wooden towers and fences, with a tower in the middle that houses the flag. Very fun and fast paced, offering LOTS of manuevering techniques. Def. Play!
Mini Bunkers-Woodsball course with man made bunkers. Its on a slant, meaning one side of the field is on top of the hill the other is on the bottom. Neutral flag is played there, and you must bring the flag to the other team's base. LOTS of bunkers line the hill, and it makes for very fast paced sprinting and diving especially in snowy weather.Def. play!
Shapes-Only true speedball course, about a 100 Yard field with basically basic shapes lining it. Elimination. Features a snake, but barrels are very easy to push over. Play early when least tired :).
Alley-Woods are on the right half, two sides w/ on featuring a castle, and the other half is a pretty crappy speedball section, where if you are fighting two people and everyone is on the speedball part, you will not get out w/ out getting shot 20 times unless you have a teammate flank 'em. Its simple 2Flag CTF. Play last.
One last thing, if you're in a private group w/ new players, do NOT take on walk-ons. Almost all of them are jerks and have very good markers. Refs do allow you to choose if you want walk-ons, but if you let them in the refs don't care how they play. Also! If you're a private group in the morning, try to play mini-bunkers and castle early, because around 11 all the people w/ auto's and their own teams show up to play on typically MiniBunkers and Castle.
Ok, first off i like to say that hogback is a great field for beginners and experts. Fields for camping and just all out shooting. The fields are mostly deep wooded except for a few some like castle or fort. They have a lot of events such as hopper day ( for people who are new to the sport) and scenerio games for people who think that its war.
I went there with my cousinz,brothers, and my uncle, basically my family, it was a fun time. We all had a great time there and we plan to play there again. In our opinion this is the Best place to go in the NoVA area. no doubt. For woodsball atleast. The rentals are just fine to me, they had tippmann carbine pros for people to use and Jt masks too. Everything was nice. My uncle is a Gunnery Sgt. in the marines, and i was surprised how much he liked the field setup there. Everyone is nice, including the players there. The owner is a nice person who gets along with almost anyone, and hes also an Ex-Navy. I suggest this field to anyone begginner or expert. But i do suggest u BYOP(buy your own paint) which is always cheaper no matter which field your at. The refs did a nice job trying to split up the teams evenly between the people who had rentals and there own guns, or by people who had electrics or mechanicle.
Some fields, had a slope to it, where attacking team had the bottom and deffence had the top, attacking had the option to walk back down if out, and start over again(respawning) but no one or not a lot of people did because of the walk. (Respawning only on certain fields).
One of the bigs problems was that the fields were ontop of a hill or moutain if u want to call it that, hinting the name Hogback "Moutain". Which ment u had to bring ur stuff up the moutain which is a killer. we stayed up there until it was break time or lunch time where they served hot dogs,chips, and soda. Fairly good price. Blue Plate special was $5 for 2 hotdogs,a bag of chips, and a soda.
Staff is very nice,
hotdogs are good,
fields are nice,
strip mall 6 minutes away(outside shops),
did a nice job bringing supplies up such as water to the fields by ATV's to sell to people who were thirsty (very thoughtfull)
Standing around in the dead zone listenin to the refs chat with others when a new game could have been started, the road is a little bumpy but so are the other roads the any paintball field, Only 1 Don Johns,No Proshop so know how to fix ur gun and bring spare parts/tools. Some refs just stood around till called apoun.Walking up the STEEP @$$ hill.
Overall i think this is my permanent place that im going to in my opinion. As far as speedball goes pevs is the place to go for that. If this review helps u, then HAVE tons of FUN at hogback.
Last edited on Wednesday, December 21st, 2005 at 5:57 am PST
skyline is very subpar
pevs is alright, i'm not a fan of some of their fields.
I love hogback, I drive 2 hours to go up here when I play. The fields are amazing, they're very open which allows for easier play. They're not bunched up with a ton of obstacles or random brush which I think is what makes hogback stand out. The refs and owner are very friendly people, yes, they yell but when it's necessary and it's usually to get someone's attention. You get in many games in one day at hogback and the refs really make an effort to get in as many games as possible.
There are many differences at the fields in the location of Northern Virginia, yet this one has a particular charm of being quiet simple and family oriented.
The ride to this field is a beautiful drive in the country and is located about seven miles outside of Leesburg. Though the road to Hogback gets bumpy in some locations; it is easy to find if you follow their signs. The homelike atmosphere that of the cabin shown me that these were people worried more about helping the customer, rather than just a job. The boss is named John was quiet nice and has always tried to accommodate me and my party's. The fields are more for beginners, but they do have a few tournament quality fields also. This field is good for beginners and helps them progress to be more knowledgeable about the game of paintball. The more experienced people try to respect the newer people. The overall quality of the fields is great and a great experience.
The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion on the comments page.
Period of Field Use:
December 3rd, 2005
Other Fields in the Area:
PEVS@AG ==> ridiculously better
Ok, so I had played a couple of times at pevs, which is practically next door, but wanted to try something new. This was my first time as a walk-on, but I found that everyone there was very friendly, and immediately struck up a conversation with a couple of dudes in the Army. They were guards for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Why am I telling you this? Because that was the highlight of my day of paintball.
First up, the website says that things start at 10:00. This is an outright lie. Safety briefing didn't even start until 10:45. After half-an hour of being talked to like an autistic 3 year old during the briefing. We didn't head up to the fields until 11:15. And that is when things really went downhill.
They semi-randomly assigned teams, but the ref didn't care if people stayed together in groups. Ended up that blue team ended up with all of the adults that had their own markers. Three guys had identical Angels, and seemed to play together all the time. One other guy had a $2,000 DM5 (I think that is what it was called, all the refs were drooling over it). I was on red with the 3 Army dudes (we all had rentals), and 9 kids between the ages of 10 and 12. Some of the kids had pretty good markers, but as soon as soon as the whistle blew, they huddled next to our flag, and were summarily slaughtered.
After 6 matches, red was losing 1-5, and the blue team had added late comers until the tally was 20 blue, 14 red. Only win came as Army dudes pulled off a brilliant flanking maneuver and caught blue sleeping. During these 6 rounds, my rental marker was operational for 3. I figured, hey, its cold, its a rental marker, I was still having an okay time, so I'd stick it out for the afternoon.
We broke for lunch, and after 3 post lunch rounds, my marker had failed in all three, even after I had switched it out for a new one. When it did actually fire, it chopped paint on every other shot, and was so weak that I had an operational range of about 35 feet. Numerous times a player would be 50-60 feet away and all I could do was lob shots at him in a high arc, and if I did hit him all I got was a bounce.
After the third round, I got pissed off, walked back to base camp, and demanded a refund. The manager tried to tell me that if I wanted a refund I would have to give him back the extra 1000 rounds I had purchased, and then he would refund 30 of my 45 bucks. I told him to go to hell, and ended up getting 30 of my 45 back and keeping my 1000 rounds (which I didn't use because my marker didn't work).
With PEVS so close, it makes no sense to me why anyone would actually go to this field. I could not imagine a worse paintball experience.
People (other walk-ons) are nice.
Fairly well laid out and interesting fields, especially Valley.
A couple of the refs were real paintballers, willing to give tips and help with equipment issues, very knowledgeable.
Found 10 bucks in the parking lot.
Gas station nearby was about 20 cents cheaper than anywhere else in DC area.
Most of the refs were clueless. One whined constantly that he wanted to be playing instead of reffing, and actually talked on his cell phone during the rounds.
Long wait between rounds, at least 10 minutes, usually more like 15-20.
Crappy paint that chops almost every time; would never put it in my own marker.
Crappy Markers, even as rentals go. Actually had the pin fall out of one. Numerous people had to sit out afternoon rounds because they ran out of rentals after so many failed. I understand that it was chilly outside, but come on.
Should have a 4WD vehicle to deal with parking lot (one guy in a SAAB blew out a tire).
Long safety brief that is condescending and insulting to my intelligence.
No pro shop, not much technical expertise.
Crappy manager that tried to steal my paint.
I attended a hopperball day with 3 friends thinking it would be a good day to try the field:
1) Nice fields although they seemed kind of small, but the games are only 15 minutes.
2) My friends with the rental Tippmann carbines had no problems, and enjoyed using them. With all the rentals on the field, only a few people had problems.
3) Good hotdogs and mostly friendly staff.
4) Decent amount of playing time.
5) Head ref was excellent during playing time reffing very actively.
1) The other 2 teenage refs mostly stood by the flag and did mostly nothing unless you requested something from them.
2) Teams were quite unbalanced. First game, red won pretty lopsided, so the head ref put a four new comers that missed the first game on the blue. These four guys had the tactical vests, fast shooting long distance markers, and communications equipment. We we summarily slaugthered for the rest of the day. When mentioned that the teams should be more balanced after lunch, the head ref was very rude and he did nothing. His solution was to put more newbies on red which only provided more targets for these commando guys. I don't mind losing at all, especially if it is a good game, but a slaughter is not fun six times in a row. OK enough harping on this point .
3) The lag time between games was too long. They would call game over then we would sit for a long time while the ref chated with friends. It makes no sense to sit with everyone in the deadzone and not start a game. I think if everyone is there, at least ask your customers if they need some time to rest or would like to start another game. I don't mind sitting there if someone needs a rest or a drink, but we were all chomping at the bit to get another game on.
We had a good time, and would go back again, but the day could have been great without the cons above. Hopperball / beginners day is a great deal and we are planning some more outings with friends on those days. At least it keeps the guys with automatic weapons off the field for the most part.
I've only ever played at this field, but have played here twice. The fields are great. Very well set up, great terrain and great obstacles. Owner is very friendly, but a little arrogant (no big deal, though). However, the refs are another story. The are all very friendly, but can be extremely lacking.
The first time I played there, we had a private group of about 30. The refs knew none of us, so they were very attentive to our playing and the main ref for our group (a female) was very accomodating and kept things moving very quickly. She knew we wanted to play as many games as we could get in, so after one game was over...bang...she got us going right on to another game. Great gal...
The next time, I played a walk-on game and what a bust. First of all, the refs must have known a few of the walk-ons and they spent the majority of the time chatting with them and not concentrating on getting the games moving. Also, they seemed to ignore quite a bit of cheating by these "acquaintances" (such as "dead-man" coaching, paint wiping and dead-man walks). They, also, do nothing as far as trying to make the teams even, by experience. When they divided the teams into two, they basically said, "half go to red, half go to blue". It ended up, all the experienced players went to blue and the rest of us got left to red. Nevertheless, red team got slaughter most of the games, beside the fact that blue team ALL had full autos.
So, bottom line...If you have a private group, Hogback is great...If you are a beginner or novice and want to play as a walk-on, your experience might be hit or miss (pardon the pun) as to whether you have a good time or not. (We spent more time sitting around waiting for the refs to stop chatting, then playing.)
I suggest to Jim, if you read these things, to POP-in on your refs unannounced, every once and a while, to make sure they're keeping things moving. I hear alot of complaints about that for Hogback Mountain, and I'm no exception.
Haven't really tried any other paintball fields yet. Most of my play has been on my own 30 acre's.
This was my first experience I have had at a paintball field so I wouldn't say it was great and I wouldn't say it was bad. I just finished playing in a scenario game "Normandy Invasion".
The staff was very nice and kept the game interesting and fun. The safety briefing was fine and the ref's kept really good control of the game. The only issue I had with the game was that it was scheduled to start at 10am. with a 9 am. safety brief and it was around 11am before we started playing.
Also, the day we played it was over 90 degree and there was no place to get a drink unless you purchased it from them at a buck a bottle. Water coolers in the dead boxes would have been nice.
The field was great for woods ball, I had a blast and really enjoyed it. The terrain had enough gullies and natural cover to make the game interesting. If you like woods ball you will love hogback.
Finding the place was sort of a challenge go to there website and get the directions it makes it a lot easier.
I just played a second scenario at hogback in November. It was great. I had an even better time than I had over the summer. They did a much better at getting the game started at the scheduled start time. The staff had put together interesting missions and kept the moving and interesting. My only complaint is that there is one don's Jon there and it was so full it was almost running out over the seat. They might want to get another one or get it emptied more often. The refs were always helpful and what I like is they aren't afraid to get on people for doing unsafe things. They should yell at people who are dumb enough to come into a safe zone without a bag on there barrel. Or someone else who is doing something potentially dangerous.
I will definitely go back hopefully in March for the battle of the bulge.
Last edited on Sunday, February 12th, 2006 at 5:18 am PST
I was very dissapointed at the Hogback field. I played a tourney there today and it was so unorganized. They did it by age group adn said only teh age group gamkes would count fro points but it ended up being every game counted for points. The parking facilities suck its jus a big mud hole. The only descent thing was that it only cost 15$ for teh tourney other than that it was bad. I hate to rag on refs but there refs were quite possibly the most inexperienced
I first started playing at Pevs like everyone else in NoVA. We all did it for sh*ts and giggles at first, now I have some friends who make time to go and are getting their own equipment over time. We started at Pevs, but after 3 times at Hogback, I say Hogback is the main choice for summer of 2005. I am going to go to Pevs once, thatís because I got a gift card for a free game last Xmas, otherwise Hogback gets the $.
- They are all fun. Sure every field wonít meet everyoneís expectations, but a harder field (or pain in the *** one) should present a challenge for you.
- Staff is very good, owner is cool, and they do a good job about game control, game staging, and handling groups of people. I was impressed when they separated the expert from novice players for a few maps. Their intent was to put in as many games as possible throughout the day. Pevs staff are slackers if you are a walk-on, and you spend more time sitting around and not playing. I was impressed with the Hogback folks. If I want half @$$ed service I will go to Pevs. Since I am not in a group, Iíd have to deal with lazy refs @ Pevs. No thanks.
- The games were fair and the staff enforced the rules pretty well. They cannot see all things at all time, but what they did see they did a good job. I play fair, I do not appreciate cheating.
- A rental gun is a rental gun, if you complain that they donít shoot straight, etc. Your own equipment is always superior to rental equipment. This is a given anywhere. If you have any issues with renting, buy your own. It will pay for itself in the long run.
- Prices are reasonable. Air, balls, and game fees are not expensive (VERY UNLIKE Pevs). If you say the food is expensive, bring your own. Itís a given that it will be expensive, think how much that candy is at the movies. Thatís a way businessí make $. If itís such an issue, get some take out pizza and bring it with you.
- The way there is a little sketchy for a passenger car. Use 4WD vehicle if possible. This also applies to the parking lot.
- Only one Dons John for taking care of business. Recommend bring your own TP.
- I agree with the lack of expertise in event of equipment failure, compared to Pevs probably being able to better resolve a problem because they have that proshop. Best thing to do is learn how to take apart and clean your marker and air assembly yourself and have tools in the car, or in your bag.
Pevs might have some good fields, but the head up their ***es staff and higher prices make Hogback the field of choice.
Last edited on Monday, April 18th, 2005 at 1:17 pm PST