Triage: so tiny its not worth comparing
Picasso Lake: Sandy but haven't been back since late 90's
I'm updating a previous post: Two idiot refs kept us in simple wooded fields all day playing 2 flag, capture the flag. With all the kick ass buildings and structures Skirmish had to offer I felt like I was being ripped off. I also tipped the guy $20 bucks to pick up the action but it was only a waste of money. My friends ditched the ref when we "went to buy paint...don't wait for us" and joined into 3 other games at the Tippman Castle.
Its great but just wanted to vent my few frustrations about skirmish.
Money: Expensive prices for paint that is sometimes sub par. Just like SocraticB said in a previous thread the ZAP paintballs ruined a day for me. I couldn't FORCE a zap paintball down any of my empire barrels, the Torks paintball was breaking regularly, and only since I've been using their Diablo/Draxxus paintballs have I had a worry free day.
Refs: They mostly let you play the way you want although if they see you creeping up on somebody they won't let you shoot point blank... which I guess is a good thing. I've had a drunk ref (who managed to stay drunk the entire day), an absolute jerk, and two newbie refs who got lost at least once (maybe twice but it was less obvious) while looking for a field. My most memorable issue was our ref not arranging to have a team photo taken untill it was to late in the day. I only had that problem once but that specific game was a company outing which many of us wanted to remember.
Fields: Some are perfect 10's (the fields on their website's main page) most are 8's but if it is muddy cut the score by 75%. The Pentagon was foul smelling and so muddy you couldn't approach the building from the outside because it practically had a moat. On the inside nobody stayed on the ground because the mud deeper than the tops of our boots. However I played this a few years ago dry and it was a blast.
If you can build a large group in advance of 20+ it is worth the money, but if you only have less than 10 I stress searching for a local field which would probably cost less.
Last edited on Tuesday, June 21st, 2005 at 1:01 am PST
To give you readers a sense of my point of view, I'll give you my paintball experience background. I've played paintball since 2002. I started out with woodsball, recball than graduated into tourneyball. My ultimate goal is to have fun and improve as a player. With that being said here is the review:
Location/Parking: Skirmish is not hard to find. Most hotels in the Jim Thorpe area have maps and pamphlets with driving directions. Skirmish and Whitewater Rafting initially assemble at the same area. Rafters, mountain bikers and paintballers park in the same area. They have parking attendants who direct you to a suitable spot. Depending on your choice of excursion you are bussed from the parking area to a second location. The only unfortunate part of the parking was that some lowlife locked their puppy in their Lexus SUV for the whole day with only the windows rolled down about an inch. It was a sunny day in the 70's. Lucky for the puppy it did rain for an hour that day or it might not have made it.
Staging Area 1: Next to the parking area are a set of clearly marked buildings and trailers for registering, getting paint, renting equipment (like camo suits, ammo belts), bathrooms, picnic benches to gather around, a proshop for buying equipment (mostly Tippmann products although their was a smattering of other brands like Vforce and JT). This is where our group met our field referees/guides for the day. Our group of 36 players (mostly newbs and a maybe 6 players with some experience) were assigned to Keen and Frank. More on these guys later.
Staging Area 2: During the 15 minute bus ride our refs, Keen and Frank, went over the safety rules. Then we arrived at the paintball staging area. There were clearly marked trailers and sheds for information, CO2 refills, N2 refills, chronying, equipment repairs, equipment sales, burger/hot dog shack and a set of barebones restrooms with water-free hand sanitizer. There was also a flatbed truck with 3 or 4 HUGE water tanks for cleaning your gear or getting a drink. Towards the end of the day they went dry so don't rely on them. I brought my own bottled water. There are plenty of picnic benches under 4-6 wooden shelters. This was especially useful during the hour long shower that hit late that afternoon. Bring your own lock or rent one for $5 to secure your belongings, extra paint, extra clothes, spare gear, etc. in a locker. A locker was large enough to hold two medium duffle bags and two cases of paint with some room to spare. The chrony station was adequate. One of three chronographs was broken. There was a referee watching that no one exceeded the 280 fps field speed but no real way to make certain that everyone who left the chrony area stayed at or below field speed. I suspect that the refs carry their own hand chrony's just in case.
Referees: Keen and Frank were simply awesome. At first I was concerned about the player to ref ratio but I was quickly put at ease. I have reffed a few games before and these two did a great job. They kept the games moving along, were clear about rules and field boundaries, handled equipment issues quickly and most importantly enforced safety rules. They kept 36 players moving through about 10 games from about 11am to 6pm with a half hour break for lunch. They were firm about goggles and barrel plugs and moving quickly towards the end of the day to get in as many games as possible. It was clear they wanted us to have good time while playing paintball and being safe.
Three incidents stood out in my mind. The first incident happened during an hour long shower. About half our group wanted to go back to the picnic area to wait out the rain. Keen told us how to get there safely and quickly AND how to find them when we were ready to play again. The rest of the group wanted to play despite the rain. Keen and Frank reorganized them and reffed through some a steady drizzle for more than an hour. The second highlight was when Frank played a game of Pain or Paint at the Guantlet field with us. He took AND dealt some nice hits that game. Finally, the worst thing I heard happen was that one person in our group of 36 got shot in the finger as she walked to the deadbox. One of our refs loaned her gloves with plastic armor for the rest of the day. They really didn't have to do it but they went to extra mile everywhere they could.
Fields: The Thicket consisted of dense trees and piles of branches. The Pentagon was attack and defend field with a 5 sided fort and sniper towers. Hemlock was a large field with a combination of trees, brush, pallet bunkers, 3 and 4 sided wooden bunkers, a river and ravine. The HyperPipe Fields consisted of the usual stand up and laydown pipe bunkers with some giant lego-piece bunkers mixed in. Guantlet was the smallest field and consisted of tires, pallet bunkers, barrels, a wooden "tank" with turret and trees.
Paint: Paint prices are unusually high. That being said remember that this is a 750 acre, 50+ fields facility. This is how they make their money folks. Of course the more cases of paint you buy the lower the cost per case. 12 cases came out to about $75/case. Still high but a little easier on the wallet. I'm used to $45/case for recball paint and $55/case for tourneyball paint. They sold us Diablo recball grade paint. I was shooting an Alias Intimidator and my buddy was shooting an A5 with a 8inch Lapco barrel. Two others in our group were shooting Angels. To my knowledge none of us experienced a single break all day. I experienced two bounces in ten games. One off the top of my head and one off a bandanna I use for neck protection. Not too shabby.
Airfills: The guys in the N2 fills shack were quick, had 4500psi capability and enough stations to service about 6 players at a time. Nuff said.
Equipment Rental: They rent stock custom 98s with VL200 hoppers. Its clear that they have been used but tippmann is to paintball guns as Timex is to watches. I saw some with CO2 tanks and some with steel N2 tanks. I heard that one of their goals is to fit all their rentals with N2 tanks in the near future. Useful since Skirmish is open all year long which includes the cold winters where CO2 would just no pack enough punch. The screwtop rental "pods" looked like they should be holding peanut butter instead of about 60 paintballs. Frank and Keen were quick to address any minor equipment issue that came up from lost barrel plugs and barrel breaks due to accidental firing to jammed guns.
What to bring: Pack a lunch if burgers and hotdogs don't float your boat. I recommend bringing bottled water because their supply is FINITE. They had 4 HUGE barrels of water on a flatbed truck, but once that's gone its gone and you will be buying drinks from the food shack. No one seemed to be complaining about the food shack prices. Bring rags or a roll of paper towels to clean off your gear. Wear boots not only because the terrain on most fields ranges from grass to loose rocks but because the hikes to some of the fields can get dicey on any thing less than a pair of waterproof sh**kickers. Pack a change of clothing and footwear and leave it in your car. If you are truly into this sport you WILL get dirty. This goes without saying but if you go there with a good attitude you will have a blast. Most everyone there was smiling from ear to ear all day long.
Rating: I feel all paintball players should organize a large group and check out Skirmish at least once in their Iifetime. They get a 9/10 rating only because there is always room for improvement.
Poco Loco: A little like a mini-Skirmish; same prices, great refs, updated fields, very safety conscious;
Del Hobbies: Excellent tournament field and prices, no woods;
Cobra Command: A few woods fields, ok prices, needed some better refs;
Fireball Mountain: Horrible refs, good field mix, OK proshop (I've heard the refs are better but haven't been there in since 2002);
Cap'n Carl's: tiny compared to Skirmish, run by good people, very "local" field, good to learn tournament style play.
SHORT REVIEW: Largest paintball field in country; great variety of fields (mostly woodsball), proshop, snack bar and other amenities. Excellent staff and refs. Prices aren't the best, but the infrastructure is better than anyplace else (indoor bathrooms - woohoo!).
LONG REVIEW: I've been to Skirmish many times since 1996, and have spent a good deal of time talking to the owners and refs and checking out the fields and operations.
Fields: This is where Skirmish really shines. They have 40+ fields, over all sorts of wood, field, swamp, brush, hill and other terrain. They have a large number of structure fields, including obstacle, town, 2-story town, 2 and 3-story castles, firebase, spool, hyberball, speedball and suchlike. Be prepared to take your case of paint with you, however, as the fields are SO large that you'll walk out for several games before coming back to home base to re-arm. You can go 3 or 4 times and not hit the same fields twice, although some are so popular that you'll be begging to use them again. Some fields have well-made mock tanks, 'copters and landing craft (the Normandy-style field is VERY fun to play). Skirmish has been consistently upgrading and developing their fields over the years, and they just get better all the time.
Staff: This is another area in which Skirmish shines. The field has been around for well over a decade, and is run by professionals. They know how to get your group together and out on the fields with minimal fuss. They are polite, professional and good at what they do. The refs are very safety-conscious, willing to get in the line of fire and focus on making sure that their players have fun. As a former rec-ball ref, I can say that Skirmish's refs care about what they do. Usually, at least one owner was onsite when I was there.
Pro Shop: Skirmish has a large pro-shop, but it's geared toward the entry and mid-lever recballer. Plenty of paintball gear for sale, as well as outdoors equipment that you don't usually find in a proshop (probably because Skirmish runs bicycle rentals and whitewater rafting). Prices are fair, but not cheap.
Safety: Skirmish is one of the most safety-conscious fields around. They strictly enforce the barrel plug/mask rules, and chron everyone in 2x per day. Refs are aware of safety issues on field, and don't allow bunkering on their woodsball fields..
Clientele: Skirmish has a good mix of new people and veterans, fair weather and hardcore rec players, older and younger players. There is some cheating on occasion, but less than at most fields. You'll see some tournament players as well, although Skirmish attracts mostly recballers.
Pace: The pace is held up some by the bus ride to the fields and the long treks to home base. However, when you go out, the refs generally get you on and off fields quickly. You can get about 10 games in a day; if your head ref is gung-ho, it's possible to hit 20 games (but that's one LONG day). Those who wish to sit at home base for a few games can do so.
Special Events: Skirmish has a long history of hosting big games, world record games, 48-hour games, scenarios, etc. Teams and players from all over the country come to them, and the people you meet make it worth the trip. As they have a LOT of experience with these events, they are generally well run. The fields, with all of their constructs and fabricated vehicles, are the perfect locations for most of these events as well (D-Day, anyone?).
Prices: Skirmish's prices are at the high end, but that's because they have such a large facility to maintain. If you shoot a case of paint a day, be prepared to spend $130-$150 on the day, including admission, food, etc. You may be able to reduce that by getting a season pass and a bulk rate for paint, but you'd still be spending $72, minimum (not including the season pass). If you play pump, hopperball or are just very economical with your shots, you can get away with about $65 for the day., including entrance fee.
Paint Consistency: Generally, the paint is fair field paint - 32 degrees, Tork, PMI, Polar Ice in the winter, and the like. However, I've had a bad ZAP experience that basically ruined a day there. I suspect that the bad paint day was a rarity, and that it's even rarer today than it was 2 years ago, but it's something to watch out for.
When I want to go out with a bunch of buddies to have a big paintball outing, I'm going to Skirmish. I like to get there at least once a year, just because it ha so much more to offer than most fields. It's 1.5 hours away for me, and I can't control paint quality, so that's generally my limit - but if I lived closed, I would darn sure buy a season pass.
I am giving Skirmish a 9 out of 10 for fields, staff and safety. If more paint brands were available, it'd get a 10.
Edited 5-30-05: Added special events.
Last edited on Monday, May 30th, 2005 at 8:29 am PST
I play in homemade fields around my town. I have also played at paintball depot in west Milford. Depot was alright but it doesn't compare to Skirmish at all.
Skirmish is awsome. i may have just played there once but I enjoyed it a lot. I'm going back in about a week and I'm looking foward to it very much. It is a bit of a drive, but in the end it is all worth it. One thing i on't like is the price of paint but it doesn't really matter because every other field charges excess prices. This is something I'll let slide as long as I can play on one of their 50 great fields with good refs. I'm not a noob so I know what makes a good fields. This is my favorite place to play and I'm looking foward to going back.
Skrimish is the best paintball place in the world. Good reffing and everything. Plenty of fields and space. The food at the snack bar was alright though. One thing that i didn't like though was that it has a long drive to get to the fields it was like 20 minutes. I loved the tipp man castle too. My favorite field though was coyote run. that was fun. I love skirmish!
The refs were cool but the setting and drive to the fields was bad. Also a couple of the fields were to long and it took forever to find the other team. In a previous experience i broke the airline in my gun and they were unable to fix it after telling me that they could. There paint prices are really expensive and not really that good. I think that they should order tournament grade paint and then the price would not be as bad. Also the proshop only has limited guns to buy and parts mostly for tipmanns. The rafting was cool for my battles weekend and the guides were very personal but told us that they are really under paid making only $45 a day. Although they rent a full wet suit for $18 a person and the trip costs $55 a person to go on the trip. All in all if you are looking for a place were you can spend a lot of money this is the place to go. If you are looking for speedball action i would definetly go to Atlas Paintball Park in Washington, NJ
OMG!!! SKIRMISH IS THE BEST PLACE EVER!!!!! GREAT PRICES, GREAT EQUIPMENT, GREAT EVERYTHING!!!!! If you haven't gone there, go there. You will have an amazing time filled with fun, adreneline, and excitement!!! I played there and I just cant stop talking about it!!! EVERYONE SHOULD GO THERE BECAUSE ITS FRIGGEN AWESOME!!!!!!
I live in New Jersey, so I wouldn't about that area in Pennsylvania. I haven't been to any field that can compare with them.
You have to love this place, just for the size of it. I have never just walked on, but I've been playing in scenarios there for a few years. The D-Days have been the best. It is really fun to have that many people playing. I'm not sure about the prices on regular days, but when I go, the paint is a little pricey. Like anywhere, there are people that try to cheat, but they do a good job keeping it fair and safe.
Last edited on Saturday, April 23rd, 2005 at 2:11 pm PST
Top Gun (Next to Six Flags, Smaller but so much better)
I been to this place 3 times, twice with rentals and recently with my new gun. This place is way too over hyped but noobs who go there and are impressed with the size of the joint. I too was one of those noobs that thought this place was awesome. However, its when you have your own gun you start to notice that maybe this isn't the "Voted #1 Place in the country" as promoted on its site.
First of all, Skrimish runs its park with the mindset of "Quantity over Quality". This place is so huge that its hard to get back to the main area without having a guide or someone escort you. Also, the dead zones just have a trash can and thats it. Now, I don't know if this is the way most fields are but over at Top Gun, they have tables, water and sprays which you can use to clean your goggles. Also, everything is in distance of the fill area so no long walks or getting lost just to head back.
The fields.........your average stuff, sometimes they got some ridiculous fields that are just meant for noobs to waste all thier paint and buy more. We played in one in which the ref described it as "Dense wooded area". This was nonsense, since it was so dense with bushes, branches, trees and what not that it was near impossible to get a kill w/o spraying so much paint on it. Other fields were good too, and very muddy but I like getting dirty so I don't mind. Tippmann Castle.......easily the flagship of Skirmish, everything about this castle lived up to the hype, amazing. They also have Black Hawk Down, looks kinda ghetto but never played it.
The refs and guides are just plain awesome. They are young for the most part but are really nice and do thier job to the best of thier ability. I lost my barrel during play and the ref was nice enough to go and help me look for it. Skirmish has alot of noobs playing over there and sometimes they mix us up, so we had a lot of wipers and what not. The refs couldn't catch em all and were getting angry as well as frustrated. However, they are kind and willing to help you if you have problems with your gun, etc.
The tech guys there are nice and friendly as well.
Overall, skirmish is a good place to play pball, but I believe that it is way too overhyped and is a victim of its own ambition to be such a huge field. It comes back in the end when you got to hike so far just to get to civilization. Tippmann Castle rocks and is a must when you go there. D-DAY!!!, Imma try and check that out.
I give it a 7 because the fields I played on weren't that cool, the place is too big, and the quality overall isn't that great, but again, its a good place to play but overhyped as the best.
The guys that refed were really cool. They had a wide choice of game types and they really did a good job. The only bad part about the staff is that they were slower than any other feild i'v been at. I arrived at 9:45 and didnt get on the bus until 11:30ish. They said be there by 10:00.
These feilds are AWSOME. The Tippmann castle was a beast. It is like 4 of my houses put together. Close combat fighting is sweet. We didnt get to a lot of the feilds because there was a foot of snow on the ground.
Expensive- 120 bucks for a case
I had a great time and I would go again. A little on the expensive side so save up.
This feild gets a nine out of ten for the cost and wait time.