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OXCC's North vs South Paintball Scenario Game Review

Lars HindsleyBy Lars Hindsley Fri 6 Apr 2018 3:47 AM EST | 1168 Views
Three Dangers out of Five Film Review Rating

(DM) – Sunday March 25 2018  It’s only the second year of the North vs South paintball scenario game. For the second year in a row the South has won. I’m proud to say as General of the South in the inaugural year, I established the South as the team to beat. The North will need to wait one more year to get yet one more shot at changing history.

Outdoor Xtreme North vs South Scenario Game Review
What is this all about? Not the type of paintball you've heard of? Isn’t paintball played on a small speedball field that is flat and only last three minutes?

This is scenario paintball, something that has actually been around longer than speedball. It last all day and the field owners generally use the entire paintball facility instead of one small segment. In fact hundreds of players come to a scenario game. The best part, there is no real barrier in entry. You can shoot your speedball marker, a milsim marker, a pump gun or of course any of the standard markers made for casual play. For instance I used an Empire Mini for this enter event.

DangerMan at North vs South with Empire Mini and Dye R2 Loader

Now let’s review this event. It’s based on the Civil War experiences had during the 1860’s but by no means are players expected to dress the part. Sure you can LARP but like any scenario, it’s not a re-enactment, scenario event games are loosely based on a real or ficticious event with traditional paintball objectives built in. Sometimes scenario paintball games are able to model gameplay exactly as it happened in history, or from a video game or movie, but it's rare. Whatever a scenario is, it's never a re-enactment otherwise the South would never win at OXCC!

Event Photography by Scrub Media
For a second year, Kristi Barno – an OXCC field owner produced the many objectives for players to achieve and build overall points during the day towards a win. Early on the South took and held many field ownership objectives. Get to a flag station, set that part of the field to your team colors and hold that territory for a said amount of time to gain points.

Meanwhile the North was running up a greater score. They were achieving many more game objectives which relied on retrieving props for points by way of cunning clues left somewhere in the 80 acre complex. This new two teired objective was an upgrade to gameplay over year-one. Of course none of this would be possible without shooting paint! Building in that athletic element of the game is a must and the balance was spot on. What didn’t seem balanced was the fighting. General Scott Ellenberger had his act together early and the North was quicker, tactically smarter and executed better. On principle - in the hope to prove they could do it, the South fought without any success in taking the two story Airbase from the North in the early morning fighting. Law Rockets helped the South somewhat by taking the choppers, but could never quite extract the North from the airbase building due to repeatedly losing one of the two choppers. The South withered and eventually lost both choppers. The North stormed out to a big lead obtaining many point objectives.

Airbase Choppers

Did you know in scenario games teams switch sides to ensure balance and fairness? As strange as it may be, at OXCC switching sides may be the right thing to do but isn’t really necessary as the fields are already fairly maneuverable by both sides. However in the morning session the North did seem to own more of the overall field of play. Again, attribute that to Scott Ellenberger’s team being much more successful in execution. What the South did do right was they held key parts of the field. Team GeneralsThe South held just enough territory flags to kept them in the game. After lunch, the South really came on strong once again with territories but the North continued to spank the South with huge gains in objectives. It’s safe to reveal now that the South had very little radio play between the General (Lorne Leyes aka Panda) and the South’s XO. In fact when the day started, no XO was at the start to instruct any of the players as to objectives. I can say that because I was there. Only common knowledge of the previous year objectives helped players ready at the start. When the start of the game whistle blew, what players knew may not have mattered as the North broke across the field much faster and held a great deal of prime ground from the Airbase to the Octagon in Blacksnake. Many South players were oblivious to the group of Northern flags tie-wrapped to branches in the Shire - let alone understand they were to be guarded from the North retreiving those flags for points. With the South not believing a small section of the Shire held any importance, the North later in the morning sauntered in and took them. It leads one to ask: Do players even care about the objectives or are they only happy to hold a gun in their hand and shoot people? You can't blame the General's actually. Most players never report to the generals. 

General of the South was Lorne Leyes, aka Panda. Lorne did one hell of a job bringing out players. Not just players but loads of new to paintball players who would without a doubt argue with me this was the best scenario ever. Their enthusiasm was everywhere and for anyone that felt the least bit of failing energy, their attitude would recharge you on sight. It's also worth noting that Lorne was not an absent General despite so many players not reporting to him for game instructions. Lorne's large body of players he recruited did take orders and were effective on the field. This is why many players should never ask themselves why some team or player they've never heard of wins the MVP award. Players that go out and bring back props for points are who the General determines are valuable to the team. You can personally shoot out 50 players during the course of the day and think that is an MVP worthy performance but it rarely if ever works that way. Generals pick the players that gain them points as MVP. Sometimes it's due to being an ethical standout or gesture to raise the name of paintball, but more times than not it is about showing up to your General with props and points.

South MVP Killian LeAs for me, I felt fortunate to have return players I met last year whom were indispensible (especially in final battle). I’m speaking of players like Killian Le. No team breaks out hard without a brawler and Killian plays decisive paintball. I’ve not seen the likes of him since players like Mackenzie Blair a well known highly effective objective player. During the day I witnessed Killian on many bonsai runs to effectively trade out and remove North players from key bunkers allowing other players to finally punch up and punch through. Killian was instrumental in the final battle win as well – covered later. Don't assume this is nepotism but my own son Dalton aka DangerBoy was a heavy duty pointman all day. He too is a recent MVP player to which the South benefited in having on the team. The North had star players too such as Jimmy Grazulis. There was no shortage of in-your-face players on both sides making this an ugly tango all day between both sides.

North vs South at OXCC is timed nicely. It’s in late March when the harshest winter weather should be over but also allowing players to insulate themselves in layers should they want to do so. If you missed it this year, no worries. Mark it on your calander for next year and visit OXCC.com when ready to register. 

One great and noticeable part of the North vs South scenario in 2018 has been the player respect. Watching players acknowledge a hit and walk off the field voluntarily makes any event great. On this day, a good deal of it took place and that can only be attributed to the culture of the heritage players who are a part of OXCC’s everyday (or weekend) life. For a game that did not have overwhelming numbers, OXCC was able to utilize its in-house staff of referees. This is great for many reasons, but most of all, they know every inch of the complex and understand where they need to be and how to not interfere with gameplay.

OXCC Ref & DangerMan

What didn’t work in year two of North vs South was the weather. Just three days prior an unseasonable snowstorm left a foot of snow which promptly melted off but left everything a complete mess. What’s worse? Trying to run through snow, or trying to stay on your feet running across slick mud with standing pools of water about. But this is part of paintball, like old school football where the outdoor elements become a wildcard factor, even the best of players had a handicap due to the weather. This almost always favors the newer player and due in part to other scenario events on the east coast challenging North vs South for players, this event drew loads of newer players who had a spectacular day of paintball.

The morning portion before the lunch break seemed to go all North. More players, more pushing, more success despite all the heart the South held. It just became hard for the south to continuously expend player lives in their effort to extract the North from fortified locations like the two story airfield building, the Chinook Choppers, and the Octagon. For all the failures of the morning, the south looked to be a different team after lunch. I was witness to one run of the field as the South (now having flipped sides and started from the Firebase), methodically swept what seemed the entirety of the playable area. Pushing through the Village, then through the Oil Field and Boatyard, the south then forcefully and for once easily pushed the North out of the two story Airfield building. Next were the choppers and finally Legoland. That wasn’t enough. The South then pushed into the Shire and into Blacksnake to even take the octagon. Where was the North? The North did rebound a bit. They occupied the Shire and fought for the Octagon. For what seemed an hour, the North could only look out from the wood line across the Boatyard at what seemed an unending stream of Southern re-enforcements. Honestly, this part of the day became stale. There was no place to punch through or flank for either team. It was just two lines brawling from range with no one really caring what happened outside of the Generals secretly sending out teams to fulfill objectives like finding paintball tubes filled with puzzle pieces. Find three tubes and you had enough pieces of the puzzle to build a map which revealed the point objective.

One reason for the stale gameplay could also have been attributed to game abandonment. In many scenario games players leave. Some leave after lunch, in which case that can leave a team that was leading a game in a situation where they are now struggling. The North did appear to lose players after lunch. It was clear when returning to the staging area many players were also taking what seemed like an extra lunch. Again, often around the 2:00 PM hour at any event players seem to take time off to socialize or even call it day because they've run out of paint and can't afford to buy more. 

To rescue myself from boredom I teamed up with a group of players from Fully Loaded Ronin. Unlike a lot of paintball teams I've seen with agressive names but don't fit those names, the Fully Loaded Ronin crew brawl – straight up. They look for a fight similar to the Soup Can Cocks. Like myself the guys from Fully Loaded Ronin had noticed that the right side of Blacksnake was wide open.
Ronin of Fully Loaded Ronin
Either team could flank! But unlike other scenarios at OXCC where the road berm was just an obstacle to make it over, in this event it was actually a line of demarcation which could not be crossed by the opposing team to protect the team in Firebase (Currently the South) from being spawn trapped. This meant that the South who was now spawning from Firebase was able to flank where the North could not. But more important was that the South could work around the backside of the Octagon, shoot into the interior better and take it back. Just for fun. So we did. If you are not familiar with the Octagon it's a small base with low four to five foot walls around it similar to an Octagon. Inside that base is central space or room with higher five to six foot walls which serve no real purpose other than to take refuge. 
Fully Loaded Ronin
After some of the guys from Fully Loaded Ronin and myself took the Octagon something magical happend. The North had players returning in droves. I had now taken position inside the short walls facing the Shire and Orchard. A couple of the Ronin players took position the opposite backside of myself. Yet a few others took position outside of the base but on the back wall.  Small waves of players came at us from the Shire and directly from the Orchard. No longer could anyone flank the Octagon from the South team because the whole of the North was attacking us from every frontside angle.

We seemed to fight until we ran out of paint. As for me, I ate mud time and again ducking and crawling to both hide and relocate myself from being in a predictable shooting lane. There were at least three refs on-hand and we gave them a great show in a display of attack and defend survival. The North gave it as good as they took it. In attempts to rush up to better fat trees, I occassionally risked a pop up after spying through cracks. Always a risky tactic, I would pop-up and throw a rope at the movers then duck back down and relocate. The same level of heart the North dominated the morning with was all over us and it seemed for every one we were able to remove from play, three more came back to settle the score.

In the end, five to six of us stood our ground until we either ran out of paint or lost every angle. As for me. I was at a point where I thought, I've been here 15 minutes. They just are not going to get me. Then "THUD!" A foam nerf (Law) rocket wacked the wall directly in front of my face.  What a way to go. Most paintballers hate tanks and rockets. I've been there but learned to love Law Rockets for making the impossible possible like taking out nine players in a chopper. Now I was on the recieving end. I stood up and began to walk off. I made it a few steps, then smack! Right upside my jaw a guy shot my mask from 5 feet away. Apparently he was making a final push on the Ronin team members I mentioned earlier to the back of the Octagon and physically outside of it. They were still holding out holed up two walls back and to my right.  I snapped at the guy that shot me in my left grill and he said I was in his lane. Foolishly I said, "I'm five feet away! You couldn't help but miss me!" But not even five minutes later I rolled the situation over in my head and realized he was probably right, it was plausible. I wanted to tell him if I saw him, I was wrong but never saw that player later. But that is paintball. We all have moments, and to a man, we all leave whatever happens on the field, on the field. 

Eventually team Fully Loaded Ronin cashed out of the Octagon too. But let's face it, we never wanted the Octagon. We just wanted a good brawl and thankully the North was up for the fun.

North vs South Generals 2018
The North had this game won. So how did the South pull it out? Final battle. Worth a butt load of points, the South claimed all three (3) pinwheels in the final battle to just enough steal the win from the North — much like was done in NvS 2017. Many players ran suicide runs to the 50 yard line with no time to actually set the pinwheel to their team color (North being Blue and South being Red). Instead players would run full steam ahead at and past the pinwheel while giving it a spin as they ran by. Twice the North spun the wheel (while neutral!) and twice it landed Red! What a kick in the teeth! To make matters worse for the North, Gizmo the Ultimate Judge witnessed players taking outs just before they got to the pinwheel and reset the pinwheel to a previous setting in an effort to maintain fairness. Of course the North players would argue different – being the Ultimate Judge comes with thick skin. In the end, Killian Le was responsible for Red setting more wheels by dodging what paint it could in time to set a pinwheel red.

Killian Le in North vs South Final Battle

There was a time at OXCC when every inch of the complex was used from the far backwater edge with a hidden 12 foot cliff face (and elbow!) to a swath of forest on the far side of the air fields which again made for an unseen section of field to offer yet more chances to both teams for hidden attacks. Undoubtably because this event drew just about 200 players it made sense not to spread things out too much on 80 acres of land. It would be nice to see these areas and others used once again because the edge of the playing fields at OXCC have always been big fun for advanced players to brawl in style.

Another criticism of North vs South is the final battle. OXCC has been using the same bus field for a final battle in most all of their scenarios. It may be time to find other great locations on this stunning complex to keep things fresh. In the past a number of speedball fields were combined which also made for great viewing by spectators. OXCC has options, let’s hope they use them in the future.

A last note on the final battle. Every player on the field knew that the final battle was essentially won by the coin toss. Win the coin toss and claim the bus side and that all but ensured a final battle advantage.

Yes, depending on which side of the field you started from, that side offered a huge advantage. I rest this claim on the winners of the past few final battles, but it's not hard to see when looking at the field which side has bunkers to bump up from and hold posistion by and which side doesn't.

Final Battle

It’s always the far side (bus side) near village that wins the final battle because of better cover and lanes to the pinwheels regardless of where the pinwheels are placed along the 50 yard line. Hey, maybe in the future DangerMan should field and game produce a scenario? I’m not against the idea.
 
On a whole, the game and day was great. But not super great because let’s be honest, more players make events even better. So by no fault of OXCC’s own, I give this event 3 Dangers out of 5.  It’s really a fun time at OXCC anytime, but if we are being honest about this event specifically it fell short due to the lower numbers of players fighting battles without any flanking areas and due to the monotony in the final battle.

Here is what you should leave this article with. North vs South is a great scenario thanks to the game production of objectives on a whole. It was great the first year, it’s been great the second with room for improvement. That will happen. So there is no reason to miss the 2019 installment of North vs South because you can bet yours truly will be there. Just remember to bring you best attitude because in the end any paintball event is only as good as the respectful players on the field.

For photos of the event visit DangerMan Prime on Facebook and OXCCs Facebook page which organizes all its event photos in photo galleries. DangerMan’s photos were taken by ScrubMedia in 2018, if you need in game action photos taken by professional photographers, please use them. DangerMan’s photos were paid for by DangerMan and he’s received NO free services for this endorsement.
 
SHOUT OUTS
Scrub Media:  All photos in this article are provided by Scrub Media. Thank you! Brandon and his crew of photographers are a full service photography and videography group. DangerMan has paid them for services - you can get no better endorsement! Find them on Facebook: Scrub Media.
Killian Le: I met Killian at a previous OXCC scenario event and he is a well formed top notch paintballer with his own up and coming YouTube channel, Save The Paint. Be sure to check him out and tell him DangerMan sent you!
OXCC: Really one of the best if not best paintball scenario facilities on the East Coast. Realistic prices, professional staff, amazing fields - the list can go on.  Thank you to this wonderful family owned business that deserves YOUR business! Tell them DangerMan sent you. 

Thanks to Dye Paintball, 187pb.com, Patchwerk Patches, Ninja Paintball and everyone who help DangerMan help you! Don't forget to visit DangeManXX on YouTube for the best Woodsball Paintball Videos for everyone in paintball!
 
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If you would like DangerMan to attend your event or paintball field for promotion through his featured videos on YouTube or a review, contact: DangerManXX through G-mail or through his Facebook presence under DangerMan.  Office: 302-832-9700

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