Special Forces Paintball in Buffalo, MN. is really the only other large, commercial scenario/woodsball field within 30-45 minutes of the Minneapolis/St Paul metro area. While I enjoy SFP, a large portion of their field is turned into a swamp w/ even a little moisture/rainfall. Wet years also produce swarms of skeeters.
Directions to the Field:
5-10 mins NE of Burkhardt, WI. Easy directions can be obtained from the Splat Tag website.
Let me begin by stateing some facts right up front:
- No, I am not an employee of Splat Tag.
- Yes, I play for a team that has chosen Splat Tag as one of our team sponsors.
- No, I was not requested or instructed to write this review.
- I am reviewing this field using woodsball criteria as I am primarly a woodsball/scenario player.
- This review is for the Burkhardt field, not the Baldwin field where Splat Tag had a presence several years ago.
Splat Tag has 8 woodsball fields encompassing a total of around 200 wooded acres, as well as an area set up for speedball. Each field has its own distinct feel to it. There is a field w/ large pine trees, a valley field that has a long ravine running right down the length of it, a field with a crashed plane, and numerous forts constructed on several of the fields. The only downside to the set up is that Splat Tag RENTS the land. This prevents them from building any permenant structures or facilities.
Vegatation and Terrain-
I want to be really clear that these fields are in a wooded forest environment, not a bunch of schrubs, small saplings, or barrels, and wooden spools thrown out onto an open grassy field. Many of the trees are mature with wide trunks that make good hard cover. Depending on what time of year it is, and what part of the field you are on, underbrush can be anywhere from thick to relatively open under the forest canopy. Many of the fields are somewhat hilly with small hills, valleys and ravines. They are not so hilly as to be hard to climb w/ full gear though, just enough to make things interesting.
Safety is a priority at Splat Tag. They strictly enforce mask rules, First time violators will be reminded to keep their masks down on the field (by both refs and other players). Repeat violators will be asked by staff to leave plain and simple. I have seen it happen, and I am glad they have this policy. I don't want to be the guy that shots some person's eye out cause they were lifting their mask on the field. Also for Commercial fields to stay afloat financially they need to have affordable insurance premiums (no accidents), so its in everyones best interst to see that the safety rules are followed if they want to continue playing at commercial fields. While chronoing guns on any one of the several high quality radar chronometers is and should be the players responsibility, The refs randomly will chrono EVERYONE entering a game. Many of the refs also carry handheld chonos to randomly check players during the game.
Splat Tag uses the typically standard rules for woodsball;
-Guns MUST be chronoed 300fps or under. Some games may impose lower limits.
-Masks MUST stay down while on the field, regardless if the game is in play or not.
-Velocity ramping is NOT allowed.
-Full-auto is ONLY allowed for select games, See Splat Tag website for details.
-ANY hit and break of a paintball on a players person, gun or equipment counts.
-Friendly fire is not friendly, it counts as an elimination.
-10 foot rule. While more of a strictly enforced guideline, players should be offering an opponent the chance to surrender at close range, or you can simply tap the person with the end of you gun barrel to gain a prestigious silent "barrel tag" elimination. This rule is really an anti-bunkering rule (to use speedball terminology). You can not run up on someone hiding behind a tree/bunker and lite them up at close range.
-NO physical altercations will be tolerated.
-You MUST yell out in a loud voice "HIT" and place you marker and hands up in the air and walk off the field when you are out. Failure to immediately do so may result in subsequent shots being fired at you. It is also your own responsibility to get out of the line of fire and off the field, On you way off the field, keep your hands up while yelling "Dead Man Walking" to reduce the risk of being accidently shot again.
-Of course there is the standard "No real firearms, knives, unapproved fireworks or unbreakable tripwires allowed" rule as well.
Splat Tag is a Factory authorized repair center for Tippmann paintball markers.
They do not have a Proshop or store. But paintball supply dealers / vendors like Northern Command Paintball, CC Military supply, and St. Croix Paintball do set up canopies for the Giant Big Games and some of the month end Jungle Rumbles.
Food is usually available for most weekend games. Fare includes, hotdogs, hambugers, chips, soda, gatorade, and water. Please note the food vendors are independent, and not Splat Tag Employees.
HOURS OF OPERATION-
See Splat Tag's website for specifics...
They usually have open plays on weekends,
Parties, small groups by appointment.
Larger "Big Games", now called "Jungle Rumbles" on the last Sun of every month.
"Giant Big Games" twice a year. 500-800+ players for an 8 hour game.
I believe Splat Tag may be trying some short (2-4 hours) night games for the 2007 season as well.
Splat Tags prices seem very reasonable.
They have Tippmann 98 customs, and A-5 (I think) for rental, as well as mask rentals. Check the Splat Tag website for prices.
$15 per person for open play. This also covers HPA and CO2 fills.
$20 per person for month end "Jungle Rumbles". This also covers HPA and CO2 fills.
$45 per person for biannual Giant Big Games. This also covers HPA and CO2 fills.
If you play a lot, Splat Tag's Yearly membership for $195 can actually save you money. This gives you discounted paint, and free admission to all Open Play, and month ending Jungle Rumbles, plus it is free to use and bring your own paint.
Paint prices are as follows:
$65 per case for Open play
$50 per case for month end "Jungle Rumbles".
$45 per case for biannual Giant Big Games.
Splat Tag is a field paint only (FPO) field, but for an extra $10 you can bring and use your own paint.
Splat Tag uses RPS PMI paint exclusivly. Their paint should be pretty fresh as they order it almost weekly from the factory. They typically stock Rampage which is a decent and affordable rec/field paint. Occasionally, they will also stock Premiums, an intermediate grade of paint, and Marballizers (which our team shoots) which is considered a tournament grade paint.
As I mentioned before, Splat Tag rents the land the fields are on. The land owner, whos driveway you pull into to get to the field will not allow Splat Tag to make any permenent changes to the property. This fact, and the fields rather isolated location, means that there is No running water. Electricity for the lights, and air compressor are provided by a large generator. Bathroom facilites typically consist of a commercial single PortaPoti (multiple units are brought in for Giant Big Games). HPA airfills are somewhat erratic probably due to their power situation. I have a 4500psi tank, but I am rarely able to get a fill over 4K. Sometimes fills are in the 2500 to 3K range, but they average in the mid to high 3K range. The dirt road leading to the fields from the property owners house/ driveway is 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile long and can become VERY potholed after rainy weather. I have never had any problems driving my car, but a lot of people drive pickups & SUVs. I can't be too critical of the road because I know that several times a year Splat Tag pays thousands on replowing and filling the road to keep it semi-decent.
I have read a very small minority of reviews for this field that have been somewhat critical of the Refs. I can not say that I agree with them at all. I have visited this field since it was first opened, and can honestly say I have never had an negative experience with ANY of their ref staff. I think part of the problems may come from the difference of expectations players have between speedball refs and woodsball refs. It seems in speedball you really are not out till a ref pulls your armband. Speedball refs are a lot more involved with watching for and checking players for hits. That fine and dandy for a 3 on 3 or 5 on 5 speedball game. But you can't expect there to be the same ratio of players to refs when you often have 50 to 100 players on [i]EACH[/i] side. In woodsball, it is the player's responsiblity to call himself out, if you can't see if a paintball broke on you, ask a ref or another player, but don't expect the Ref to check it for you. The Refs will call you out if they see a ball break on you, and question you about old hits from previous games. That and ensuring that the safety rules are being followed is their primary responsibilities and they do a pretty good job of it. But in Woodsball you have to have a little more integrity and self honesty and call yourself out even if no one else saw the paintball break.
Should a ref go on company authorized break, and choose to jump in a walk-on game, who cares? When they do so they are no longer reffing and they will and do call themselves out just like everyone else. You gotta realize that most refs are also players, so can you imagine reffing all the time, but never being able to play?
99% of the players that REGULARLY frequent this field are stand-up, honest, people, that have the personal integrity to call themselves out when they are out. I have noticed that for some of the larger games, particularly the Giant Big Games, that there occasionally seems to be some wiping and playing on happening. This unfortunatly seems to be on par for larger events as you just can not have enough refs to make sure it never happens. I have played all over the country and played in some of the largest events (Michigan Monster Game, and Oklahoma D-Day). So I can say with authority that Splat Tag does a pretty good job in reducing the chance of encountering a cheater.
This is a great field, and I have pretty high standards when it comes to woodsball/scenario fields cause I have played on some of the best in the country.
To sum it up, it has great foliage, vegetation, and terrain for good paintball. I have to give props to the owner Darrin as well. He lives, breathes, and dreams Paintball. It is not just a job to him, it is his life. Because of this he really brings a lot of excitement, energy and new ideas into his games.
Property rental situation handicaps Splat Tag from making any kind of major permenent improvements to their fields and services.
HPA airfills need to be higher and more consistantly higher.
Neither of these issues are too serious, and I know Splat Tag is seeking solutions for both of them as I write this.
air asuult doesnt compare 2 differnt things
thunder ally indoor alt for winter only but closed now
Directions to the Field:
on the website... yes the long dirt road means your in the write place and no the owner of the house doesnt care he knows its cool... you will know what im talkin about when you get there
Free air good deal on paint 10$ to bring your own. that better then every where else i looked.
i started going with the thought that its more organized then playin in the woods. it was, but i had a bad experience. Came back the next weekend with the thought it cant be a worse experience then last time and it wasn't. been going back ever since as a matter of fact i haven't missed a weekend since i started there. i even ref one day a weekend to help out because i like the field and the people that play their that much. its like a very large gun toting dysfunctional family. good times good Friends what more do you want in an experience then that. just remember its all fun till some does something mean or dumb. come with the attitude that this will be fun and remarkably it might be. we even like the new players! mostly because every one was a noob at one time and got there but kicked until they kept at it and got good or even great.
side note: i only say all this because i read some stuff that not true. and like i said i had a bad experience too so what, all in all i have had a lot more good times than bad alot more so i got love for splat tag.
I have been playing at this field for 3 years now and over those 3 years the field has gotten better. The staff is knowledgeable of safety, equipment, rules, and of the fields. There are at least 8 different fields used on a regular basis plus a couple that are not used all the time. So there is some field variety. You might have to ask to play on another field from time to time and from my experience once a field or the field you want opens up you will be allowed to use that field. There prices are very reasonable your field entry fee includes all day air either Co2 or HPA. Paint prices vary depending on the brand of paint you buy but the prices are still very reasonable. They allow you to bring your own paint for $10. I would recommend this field to others.
This is my favorite place to play in the area. There are multiple fields of all diffent sizes and topography. The staff is excellent, it is a very friendly place to play. There is a pump specific game every month, that should not be missed. The refs are very fair and do their job well, the prices are very good, and nothing bad can be said about this place. If you enjoy anything from very large scenario games down to small fast pump games this is the place to be.
Splat Ball Inc. - Very disappointing, due to there indoors field is a small, damp basement. The floors are very slippery, and could be very dangerous if you slipped and fell the wrong way.
Directions to the Field:
Coming from Stillwater, MN, take the bridge over the St. Croix river, taking the first right (Co. Rd. E). Eventually E, will turn into A. But within 100 feet, E turns off right, take that right until you see the Splat Tag sign to your right, and go keep following the road until you see the staging area/parking lot.
The team that I play for is sponsored by this field, so I play on there at the very least once a month "End of the Month Big Game". I also show up for their other games, like the pump only games, which is nice. There's few other fields in the area that put that much effort, to try and please every player as Splat Tag. They recently put up a "work in progress" speed-ball field, and are trying to get different events sponsored there as well.
The prices they have there, are very fair. Unlimited HPA, and Co2 fills. Two, sometimes three different brands of paint you can purchase. Along with other misc. items sometimes being sold (such as paint grenades for the scenario/woods players). Along with the splat tag goods, at there end of the month "Big Games", they also have other merchants out selling their goods. Anything from masks and markers, to HPA/Co2 bottles, to even their paint.
They're staff, and refs do keep the games as far as possible, splitting up the teams and such. The try to keep groups that came together, together on the same team as much as possible. Sometimes that may make one team slightlyoutweighed, but it doesn't stay that way every game. The teams are switched up occasionaly, if one team seems to be losing a lot more than the other, to make it more even. The staff also knows their fair share about the markers, and will help you out when they can.You can also rent a marker from them, if yours is acting up, or you just simply don't have a marker of your own.
On the weekends, they do have a food stand, where they sell a variety of foods, drinks, and sometimes candies.
Most of the players there, are very good. And can give you a challenge no matter what level of playing you're at. The terrain itself is a challenge at times.
Overall, I've always been impressed with this field.
I was asked to post a review of this feild, to say what I think of it and this is what I think.
The feild has everything I was looking for to bring a bunch of woodsball players who had been playing each other for around five years, and were just needing something more. A challenge for one, and here we found it. I started at GBG VI and have attended every Big Game and Giant Game since. Actually I missed one when my daughter got married. I have found a challenging feild with top quality players, a great group of referee staff and an operator who you could invite home for supper.
Second, being from central Minn. where the mosquitos and ticks have taken over our games at home, we now play where there are almost none.
Sometimes I think I'd like to play another feild just to see what they have to offer, but I just can't seem to find the time, Splat-Tag puts on Good Games that keeps me busy and really don't need to play anywhere else, so if you want to play with me or against me and you think your up for the challenge, I'll see you at Splat-Tag./AKA
My attendance should be Rating enough but since its required-a 10+
First of all, like others have stated SAFETY is the biggest thing there. Playing safe there insures you a good time. And they care a whole lot about it. The field is great, they just finished putting in some more tank trails and the have some top quality forts! The hours are good and the prices are very reasonable. The rules are very understandable and straight forward. The refs do a great job and keep getting better as the years go on. A lot of people there are nice but of course there is some who get to into it and are losing their temper over stupid things. But, that happens everywhere. Darrin and Chris do a great job with cooridnating the big and giant games. And keep getting better. The Giant Game 11 was a great experience. Things were in such great order and I know that the refs, owners, and volunteers worked their butts off and got that field ready. Bottom line, it is a great place to play!!!
Very good field, free air, and co2, alot of people to play with most games are 100-200 people, and some are 200-800 people, every one is very nice, refs, and people that come and play there. refs do a great job. safety is on top of the list there. all round a great playball field. i havnt play on other fields and i dont need to cuz this field rocks, i dont know how much land is there to play but its a lot. its a great field with great people! if you havnt played here try it you will keep coming back like i do. prices are great too, you can go there and have alot of fun with out breaking the bank. a great field will keep going back too.
"Old Splattag" in Baldwin - My 1st pb game ever...but the new field is better.
APPG in Jordan. Not really in the area but somewhat close, APPG wins for speedball but Splattag has a bigger woods field.
Directions to the Field:
Directions at there web site
Safety enforcement is above average considering the size of the field and the crowd (at times 3-4 hundred players). Signs are up to remind players when to have goggles on & when to have barrel plugs in. Field staff does a decent job of enforcing the rules, though it really is a thankless job. While people like to cry and whine about how poor the staff is, I see it different. Having used this field since it opened I can say that I would not have near the level of patience that they do with some of the customers.
Games are offered every week, check the website for details. Special events like rookie tournaments, pump games, woodsball tournaments & monthly big games (100-200players) are listed far ahead of time and priced to compete. Two giant big games are held every year, like it or hate it these games are huge and draw players from around the midwest.
CO2 & HPA fills are included with entry, HPA is self serve.
Paint is hit or miss, but mostly hit. At bigger games the paint is always fresh and of high quality. From time to time and near the end of the season it is common to have some lower quality paint. At many games you can choose from 2-3 types of paint at different price levels & the BYOP option for a price ($10?)
Refs are average to slightly above average. They keep games running, help with direction & rule enforcement. But remember what the reffs are there for? Not to check your arm while you keep shooting, not to catch you if you cheat, not to "check his hopper reff". This is not a PSP tournament it is a recreational paintball field, there job is to make sure no one gets hurt & give direction to lost players.
Splattag has its flaws, games are getting a little better and sometimes they start on time. Everyone could have a different experience there, I have had games that I wish I had not gone to. All in all, considering that the other players make up a good 80% of the experience, I think splattag does a good job and I will continue to make it my homefield.
8/10 Because I know that Splattag thinks big, they just need to continue to add those thoughts to the field one at a time.
Last edited on Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 at 6:35 am PST