Reopened and rebuilding! Aiming for new heights here at Smak Zone! We took a break for a year and a half or so but we are open again for two large events per year and a throwdown game now and then. Also this year we are introducing the first Fire Fright designed to get new players involved. It is a cross between a hayride and a target shoot. www.smakzone.com Check it out!
Gateway, Battlecreek, Wackywarriors,Bushwhackers,topdog,riversplat. Everything but Battlecreek was rec play. Battle creek held scenarios similar to Smakzone but unfortunately the economy has doomed BattleCreek
Directions to the Field:
The field is now closed
Sorry folks this is more of a eulogy to a good field and a good promoter. Smakzone was every positive thing found in previous reviews and more. Unfortunately, land use issues, not the economy, has forced the closing of Smakzone. You can still go to the forum and talk to the promoter and the great players from the field at www.smakzone.com/forum but the field is closed unless a miracle occures.
Gateway Paintball (1 visit) -- a 7/10 compared to Smak Zone. Not as extensively designed, or as many or as complex fortifications & structures. Less referee guidance & "scenario-ish" games proposed.
Meramec Challenge Paintball (3 visits) -- a 1/10 compared to Smak Zone. I can't possibly enumerate the variety of reasons this field ranks so poorly in my judgment.
This field is a 2-hour drive each way for me, and worth every minute.
Play was imminently affordable, with a few dollars for play and all-day air and very reasonable prices for paint-by-the-case as well. It's not bargain-basement pricing, but it's also not bargain basement paint!
They offer grilled burgers, brats, and hotdogs along with water, soda, and gatorade all for incredibly affordable prices. There was plenty of room to park and spread out, and they provide space for camping when you stay overnight (as I will next time) for weekend scenario games.
The field itself is massive, with over 140 playable acres. There are numerous separate play areas connected by roads. Each play area varies from typical out-buildings and a few minor barriers to significant bases with foxholes, entrenchments, and two-and-three-level structures extending fifty feet into the air. Unlike other fields I've visited, they are both well built and remarkably clean. They have a topographical map on their website that shows both the terrain and photos of the bases.
Mark, the owner, is both knowledegable and very friendly. He welcomes feedback and ideas for improvements, and does something with them, which is a rarity in my experience. Smak Zone has courteous, strong support in the staff. The day I went was a very relaxed atmosphere, and we nevertheless had several challenging and intriguing mini-scenarios (~30 minutes each) that we played. They varied from the standard attack-vs-defense to an exciting VIP-escort scenario with a twist (be sure to ask for this when you go).
This is from now on my home field, the long drive aside.
wacky worriers, shockzone ( their staffing is on the rough side ) , paintball ridge
Directions to the Field:
if you come from st.louis, mo take I-55 S for 35 miles, then merge onto US-67 S (exit 174B bonne terre/park hills ) for 82 miles, then turn on MO-34 for about 3 miles...then turn right at the sign...
Smakzone is one of the most safe,honest played fields that you will ever find, playing at smakzone for most of my paintball years....it has evolved into hage scenario players get away...not to mention holding MISSOURI'S LARGEST ANNUAL SCENARIO GAME!!! The owner ( MARK ) always expresses the importance of always being safe...Mark also doesn't tolerate un-honest players so if you like wipe or keep on playing when out...DON'T COME!!!
so if you enjoy the company of honest players , and have a thrive for scenario paintball ...Smakzone is the place for you..
Last edited on Saturday, July 14th, 2007 at 8:03 pm PST
Ballistic Ben's (my brother and I owned it YEARS ago)
MANY others in St. Louis and Little Rock areas
Pretty much the most fun I have had playing paintball. Mark (the owner) emphasises SAFETY and FUN over anything else. He does not tolerate unsafe players, so if you wipe or play on DON'T COME HERE!!!
Played in three or four big games here and they are AMAZING! If you haven't played a Smakzone big game, YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON GREAT PAINTBALL!!!
The people at the field are as good as the field - which is AWESOME. Mark has done a great job of recruiting individuals who are SAFE and FUN and want to have that type of environment.
The bases are unbelievable and it is the best field I have played on. But what really sets it apart is the group of players that come to Smakzone. We all have a common goal and treat each other like family.
It doesn't matter if you have played a million times or if it is your first time to play paintball - you WILL have a GREAT time at Smakzone - UNLESS YOU LIKE TO BEND RULES. In that case, don't play there because you will NOT like it!!!
The latest scenario game (OES) was the most fun I have had out there yet.
Positives: atmosphere, Mark (and his wife Juanita) are great, the players are great people, the terrain is PERFECT for scenario ball, the objectives were awesome, the bases were amazing, plenty of paint, air, water or everyone, just a great weekend.
Negatives: apparently, I'm not in good enough shape!!! lol
I've only played on small private fields plus my own field.
It's safety and fair play first at this field. Good sportmanship is both encouraged and practiced. The field is large, wooded, and hilly, so there is a little bit of everything going on at one time. The Saturday game started at 9:00am and ended at 7:00 pm. Game play was whatever you wanted. You could guard a base, or try to take one. There were several areas battling it out at the same time. The generals had radio communication with the troops so you always knew where the action was. The prices are great as well as the staff. There were plenty of refs around and the air was included in the price. Food was available and some was even provided by the staff. This was my first big game. I AM HOOKED. I will definately be going back, with even more of my friends. The next game for me will be the ffo event in September 7-9th 2007. You should try this field, you won't regret it.
Bonne Terre Paintball - Much smaller and a new developing field
Xtreme Paintball - Several small fields, but very clear and similiar attitude
Bailey's Battlefield - It doesn't compare at all and I will leave it at that.
Battlecreek - Interesting terrain and field set up
This my third year at Smak Zone and it has only improved in that time. Safety and Fair Play is paramount at Smak Zone. If you are a trouble maker and want to wipe, shoot hot, cause trouble, etc then you are not wanted there and shouldn't even bother coming because you will be told to leave.
This is the largest field I have been on and it is one continous field of 140 acres or so. Most fields with that much land will cut it up into several smaller fields to maximize the number of games they can have going on at once. Since this is a dedicated scenario field when there is a game going all of the field is used at once and has continuous feel which other fields cannot match. Even after three years of play there I am still finding locations that I have not seen before or have not see in a long time.
This Spring the South side of the main base, Satcom, was reworked and a major network of trenches was added. This is quite daunting to both new and old players alike. More trenches are planned to be added on the other sides in the near future.
Another new feature is that actual military M35A2 trucks are used for ingame troop insertions. This is a bit of realism and character to the game.
If you haven't played at Smakzone, then you haven't play a scenario game like they should be.
Last edited on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 at 7:53 pm PST
Wizardlands, wacky warriors, blodgetts, bushwackers, shooters, badlands etc ad nauseum
Directions to the Field:
I ran into the field owner online on the AO forum. I decided to try out one of his scenarios.
3 years later, I am willing to travel 3 1/2 hours towing a 4wheeler to help any way I can to make sure this corner of the sport stays alive.
As an "almost 40 year old" whos been playing for 15 years, I really hope that a great field like this is going strong when my 6 year old son is old enough to fully participate.
Over 100 acres of forts, trenches, hills, woods, boulders, fields and lakes. Free camping with campfires. Honorable play and a dedicated owner.
JT's Dive Shop. No Comparison. JT's does not add to their field. They have a few flat grass acres and a small Airball field, small Hyperball field and some woods with 1 real bunker. JT's paintball field will be really nice if they'd just put some Dam Work into it! They started making money and just stopped doing anything to improve.
Awesome field. Nothing around here compares. Period. I've been to MXS Games and they have a different Scenario Play style, but this field and its staff is awesome. It's more of a flag based scenario style with a few retrieval missions which keeps it simple and they do a good job. The field has a TON of work put into it. They have nice elements like water bays and boats that are implemented into the games.
The field itself can be dangerous. MANY hills and a SHIZLOAD of Rocks!! Careful where you go, yet some very good sniper spots. (Yes there ARE snipers in paintball, if you play a role of a sniper, you conceal .. ahh forget it. You're ignorant if you don't agree)
Anyways, Ghuilie suites can be put to good use here. Lots of areas that can suit speedballers well. Some nice 2 story bunkers, one with a top height of about 15 feet, looking over a hill! Every aspect of this hill cept the heavy terrain is very nice. If you haven't been to this field, you need to. Slap yourself in the face and come see what its about. Nuff said.