Friday, July 6, 2012

Red Star at SAPPA 3, 2012

Red Star entered a team in the SAPPA 3 man series round 4 a few weeks ago.  Well… we sort of entered a 3 man team.  Scout and I (Wimpy) entered a team, but we knew that Troy and Bretty, who play for RC, were going to enter a KAOZ team.  KAOZ has been a long standing fixture of the South Australian paintball scene.  They are always a bunch of good guys, and like I said, when they aren’t shooting semi’s they are bleeding RC.  So the game plan was that Troy and Brett would grab a pump and help us out when we were up, and we’d grab a pump and help them when they were up.  It worked out well, as when we faced each other it was an even 2 on 2.  I use the word ‘even’ lightly, as KAOZ tore us up pretty good.  That’s partially my fault because in one game Scout and I decided on our break out, but when the whistle blew I forgot what we’d decided.  As a consequence Scout and I both ended up in the same bunker.  Troy loved this as not too many people are given the opportunity to bunker too people out of the same dorrito. 

Long story short, RC finished 5th and KAOZ finished 1st.  I was reasonably happy with these results as there was another team that was down a player and RC and KAOZ also filled in for them.  Many of us played twice as much paintball as others…. Suckers.  Brett and Troy were pretty gracious in thanking us for helping them take the day… to some minor extent.  And Scout and I are always psyched to have them play with us.  The KAOZ guys have even travelled all the way to Victoria to rep RC, like I said, when they aren’t shooting semi’s they bleed RC.  I’d certainly return the favour to KAOZ as well.  I had a blast balling with you guys… I even pulled out a 1 v 2 for y├íll… aren’t you the guys with machine guns? 

Finally, I want to introduce the new ‘Ball Buster Bing’.  Though RC Red Star has made a consistent habit of  Hurtin’Feelings, we have yet to make the podium in any tournament.  I’m sure it’s in the cards, but I thought I’d introduce a team MVP/Best and Fairest award to pass around from one day of play to another.  Cue the Ball Buster Bling.  It’s a few old school barrel plugs painted gold and attached to some brass chains a la Mr. T.  The winner of one day is obligated to bestow it on it’s next recipient on the following day of play.  On it’s debut, Scout was the proud recipient of the Ball Buster Bling.  Reports have it that he was seen wearing it to work the next day.  In all seriousness, he carried the team on the day.  David Portlock made that abundantly clear when I showed him the bling and explained it.  His response was simply, “So you’ll be giving that to Scout to day huh?” To be fair, I had racked up a fair few miles walking to the dead box at this point in the day.  To my credit, I shot David in the barrel later.

Anyhoo… a day of paintball was had by all.  RC Red Star video highlights found below.  I’ll cut together some footage of the rest of the teams soon… but this ain’t yo blog is it!?!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

RC Red Star at PAVS round 3

This Saturday, May 5th RC Red Star road tripped out to Coldstream, Victoria for PAVS round 3.  We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to field a team for this one as the trip out alone is 10 hours.  The tournament itself is on Sunday, which means we’d have to compete then drive 10 hours home through the night when we all had to work the next day.  Luckily, Troy, Ed, Scout and Rob were crazy enough to join me for the journey.  We’d all played at PAVS round 1 except Rob, this was to be his biggest paintball tournament as he’s only been playing a short while.  The trip went on as many paintball trips do; energy drinks, innuendo and general shenanigans.  And as many paintball trips go, we arrived at our hotel to find a shortage of beds.  Somehow the senior most members of the team, Ed and myself, were given the honor of sharing.  I’m not sure how that works.  We spent the early evening watching paintball vids, organizing gear and planning our breaks for the next day.  After a night of little sleep, the alarm went off and a big day started.
Established in 1988, Coldstream is the oldest Paintball field in Victoria.  The facilities are quite nice, with a small pro shop and modern facilities for making and serving food.  We were even able to take advantage of their on scene showers!  Admiteddly, there was a short hike to get to the tournament field, but our gear was carried down for us by truck which was nice.
Our first game, and first game of the tournament was against Tension.  Everyone got to their primaries, but Tension put a great deal of pressure on us with their aggressive taking of real estate combined with a high rate of fire.  Slowly our numbers dropped to just Troy on our right tape.  Troy shot out two players before he went down.  We were a bit disappointed, but held onto the fact that we made them work and that Troy had earned 2 G’s himself.
Game two was against Melbourne Reign Blue.  We were able to take out one of their players, but we weren’t really sure how.  Once again, we were disappointed with the result and were hoping to get a win quick to help us lift our game.

Game three was against SnG.  We all took our primaries and kept in the game, making it hard for SnG to move up the field.  When I dove into the snake I inadvertently took a ‘core sample’ causing the next few shots to go a bit squirrely.  I got low and proceeded to clean my barrel as best I could.  In the time it took me to clean out my barrel, people must have forgotten about me because when I popped back up there was a ‘target rich environment’.  I was able to pick off a few players and then realized I had Troy opposite me on the ‘dorito’ side of the field.  He and I worked together to push players out of their bunkers.  We eventually worked it down to the two of us vs one player in back left.  The SnG player shot Troy and popped out the other side of his bunker just as I shot his gun.  It was our first win of the day and it did a great deal for our confidence.
Game four was against Melbourne Reign Grey.  This was another drawn out battle with Ed falling first from his back left position.  A short while later Rob was shot out of back right.  At this point Troy spread the field, Scout bumped up the middle and I kept pushing up the snake.  Slowly, we pushed up on the final player until Troy made the shot from the Dorito side, allowing Scout to hang the flag.
Game five was against South East Syndicate.  We were gutted by this game, and the pain would continue into the long drive home.  I was shot out almost immediately, but was able to watch with pride as the remaining 4 players really gave the opposition a hard time.  One by one, I was joined by my teammates in the dead box.  Late in the game, Ed went on an inspired rampage and began calling out their players.  It came down to Ed and Scout who were spread out in the corners.  Ed got shot on his hopper but didn’t see it.  He stopped playing as he knew he might have a hit somewhere, and a sideline ref slid into his bunker to check him out.  From the dead box Troy and I could see an enourmous hit on the front of Ed’s hopper.  We were quietly begging the ref to pull Ed before he could start shooting again, but somehow neither Ed nor the Ref saw the enourmous hit on the front of his hopper.  Eventually, the Ref stepped away from the bunker allowing Ed to continue playing.  As soon as he started shooting he was pulled out and we were handed a one for one penalty.  At the very moment this happened, Scout had shot out their snake player, but in conjunction with the penalty the snake player was allowed to play on.  Were it not for the penalty, it would have been Scout vs their last player (if he was even still in) which is as good as a flag hang in my book.  We were pretty devastated, but understand that paintball is paintball and reffs have a hard job  and have to make snap decisions in a heartbeat.  That’s just how it goes.
Game six was against Bass coast Raiders.  This was a stint in the middle of the day where I was experimenting with getting shot out really early, so I had a great deal of time to watch the game play out from the dead box.  Troy, Ed, Scout and Rob all got to their primaries plus and were engaging in some smart paintball.  Unfortunately, Ed’s gun went down immediately after the break.  He spent a few brief seconds trying to fix his gun but quickly realized it was a write off.  He gathered his gear and slid to the back left corner and worked to maintain communication.  After a while even Ed couldn’t control himself and started bumping up the field aggressively even though he didn’t have a marker to shoot.  Troy, Ed, Scout and Rob finished of the other team and hung the flag.
Game seven was verses Apparition Enigma.  I have absolutely no recollection of how this game went down, but on my schedule I wrote a big ‘L’ next to it… so there it is.
Game eight was against H2O Blue.  RC made their primaries, communicated well, bumped to their secondaries and continued calling out the days of the week (the G count).  The next thing you know it’s Friday and we’ve got 5 alive.  This is when I took the opportunity to teach Rob some more paintball vocabulary, “Rob, what we just did is called ‘maxing’.”
Round nine was a rematch against Tension with the exact same result.  At this point in the day we were 4 wins and 4 losses and really wanted to win this game to guarantee that we’d win at least as many as we lost.  We played hard and got 2 G’s, (Tuesday) but lost the game soundly.
Earlier in the day, we spoke with Troy (a different Troy) from Melbourne Reign.  They had a quick turn around in one round and heard we were anxious to get on the road as soon as we could after the tournament.  He offered us a deal to trade the quick turn around round for a last round bye, giving us about an hours head start on the long drive home.  This was a very helpful swap, but we weren’t going to do them any favors during the game as a result.  We’d won 4 and lost 5 and were going to take every opportunity to even up.  We took our primaries and settled in for a battle of attrition.  We played tight and conservatively, forcing the H20 to make their move.  Many times in the snake I thought I might be able to pull a cheeky wrap around a bunker for a shot, but luckily I kept my head in the game and just played patiently.  Bunker by bunker, I saw Troy gaining ground on the far side as I pushed past the 50 snake.  After an eternity of pushing myself into the mud I heard Troy shout, “Clear, clear, clear.”  Scout was already on the ball and running the flag in for the hang.  We finished with 3 bodies left, winning the game to break even.  Fist bumps and back slaps abound, we walked off the field when Fuzzy, the ref keeping time, said simply, “Three seconds.”  Three seconds were left on the clock when Scout got the hang. 
We didn’t get to stick around for the usual fun and games that were to follow the tournament as we needed to pack up, shower and hit the road for a 10 hour journey back home.  We left the field around 5:45 and I didn’t make it back to my bed until 4 am.  We were in good spirits on the trip as we were full of adrenaline, and some sort of Red Bull Syrup that Ed secured.  About 2 hours into the trip we got a text from the Jillie, the head ref, saying that at the end of the tourney we were tied for 4th with 5 other teams.  To tease the teams apart it went to body differential.  This differential bumped us from 4th place, to last place.  Gutted… If it weren’t for that one game when Ed was allowed to play on, then given the penalty… we would have taken 4th place with pump guns.  Gutted… but that’s paintball, and we knew we bested more than half the teams on the day with our pump guns.  The team is very proud of their work and we will continue making an effort to maintain a presence at the PAVS series as well as continuing to develop our skills here in our own SAPPA series. 
Much love to the RC ballers who travelled 10 hours to sleep in a weird hotel in close quarters, play an open tourney with pump guns, and drive through the night home when we all had to be at work the next day.  Dead set legends.

Below is a short vid of RC Red Star at PAVS round 3.  After the intro there is a split screen of one of our wins.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

RC at SAPPA Round 2, 2012

Yesterday, Sunday the 29th of April, was SAPPA Round 2 at Skirmish SA in Strathalbyn South Australia.  This year, SAPPA is running 3 man events to begin rebuilding the enthusiasm of the 5 man events in the past.  We are slowly but surely gathering momentum as more and more players and teams come out.  This past weekend there were 7 teams competing in the open division. I must have been excited for this event because it was clearly posted that the gates opened at 8, and I was parked at the gates at 7.
RC struggled to field a team this round for a number of reasons.  Some players are saving up for the interstate trip to PAVS round 3 which takes place a week afterwards.  Some players play for RC but also have teams they’ve developed over the years.  And quite simply, some players are off the grid at the moment… we miss you Jas and Wags.  So this round we picked up a player by the name of Zak.  Zak has played heaps of woodsball, and participated in his first speedball/tournament day at SAPPA round 1.  Scout and I (Wimpy) filled out the rest of the three man squad.
Early on, we got beat down pretty bad.  We hadn’t really hooked up as a team, and our opening games were against some of the stronger teams of the day.  I think our first two teams we played ended up taking 1st and 2nd place in the end.  After each game, we dusted ourselves off and talked about what we did well.  In the following games we’d managed to pull some draws as the games were limited to just two minutes.  We played aggressively, but put the pressure on the opposition to win the games.  We actually maxed one team, though I couldn’t tell you how it all came to be because Scout and Zak seemed to run the field while I was pinned down in the back.  All of a sudden the paint stopped raining, I picked my head up and Scout and Zak were all the way up the field. 
As I said, we got smashed early on, but as we found our game, we started winning games and forcing draws.  My favourite game of the day was against James, Mark and Peter.  These guys are competitive players, and James especially knows I’ve got nothing but love and respect for him (I’m doing my best to scalp him).  Anyway, off the break I took our back right laydown, Scout was back center and Zak took a left 30 stand up.  They were in back center, center 30 dorrito and mirrored with Zak in left 30.  After about 30 seconds of play, Zak got pinched out and we were down 2 vs 3.  In the flurry of activity I heard the other team call, “G1, Back Center and Back Left.”  Scout seemed to have the same idea as I did, “Let’s get somewhere other than Back Center and Back Left.”  We both bumped and I made it to a small 30 bunker.  Only Peter in Back Center saw me move up, but I think I snapped him on his shoulder before he was able to relay the bump.  I was then able to wrap and gog Mark out of the 30 dorito, to which he replied, “Where the @#$ did that come from?”  James pushed hard up the tape and won a quick snap battle with Mark as I was trying to push to the middle of the field.  James saw my move and we immediately snapped each other out at the exact same time.  It was a great game for both teams, and we took a moment to congratulate each other and share some love.  There’s split screen footage of this game at the end of the video posted below.  It doesn’t show the full field, but you get the idea.
At the end of the day, South Syndicate took 1st, Kaoz took 2nd and Hard Luck took 3rd.  Everyone played well and played hard including The Dishonored who are new to the tournament scene.  RC played well throughout the day, we won a few games, drew a few games and made teams work hard for their wins.  In the end we finished last, which is a tough one to swallow.  But we are building our game and filling our ranks.  At the end of the day the reffs; Gaz, Ed and Richard, were generous to offer me the ‘Best and Fairest” trophy.  I really appreciated that and it took it’s place on the shelf with the few other trophies I’ve collected in my time here in Aus.
Anyway, despite our losses it was a great day of paintball.  Scout was solid and is quickly adapting to the speedball genre.  Zak played aggressively and also adapted well to the style of play.  Well done guys, thanks for playing with me.  Next week Ed, Troy, Scout, Rob and I head out to Victoria for PAVS round 3.  I’ll keep you posted on that.  Meantime, check out the video below.  It’s a few clips from the day which lead into a full split screen RC game.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

RC Aus Training

Yesterday, Troy and I met up at Skirmish SA for impromptu gun slinging training.  Troy wanted to work a few things out on his new Empire Sniper and I’ll take any chance I can to practice my gun skills.  You all aren’t meant to know this, but I’m really bad at paintball.  We had a lazy morning of hanging out with the Rough boys from Skirmish SA, tinkering with guns, getting mauled by blood thirsty ants etc.  As it was just the two of us we had some one on one games on the tire field.  Afterwards, we did some break out shooting practice that I found very helpful.  It was a pretty laid back day, but I have sore legs as a result of the break out drills and a sore forehead as a result of Troy’s ninja skills.  We are slowly building our roster, but want to keep building momentum as we have a goal of maintaining a presence in the PAVS series in Victoria.  As these tournaments require significant travel on our behalf, it’s just that much more difficult to field teams consistently.  One step at a time we will get there.  Next week is SAPPA round 3 and RC will be entering a team.  The following weekend is PAVS round 3 and we are pulling strings and calling in favours to get as many players rallied as we can.  More details to follow.  Below is a video clip from a training session RC had in preparations for PAVS round 1.  Though we had some cardio/run and gun drills, most of the video is comprised of ‘dodge ball’ and ‘the bottle game’.  Check them out if you don’t already know them, they are good fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PAVS Round 1, 2012

This past weekend, RC Red Star took a team over to Melbourne to compete in division 2 in the first round of the 2012 Paintball Association of Victoria Series (PAVS).  PAVS is a 5 man, 5 tournament series that is held at multiple Victorian paintball fields over the course of the season.  Round 1 was held at Snipers Den in Mirrabin.  Troy, Brett, Ed and Scout drove the 8 hours or so to Melbourne where they were gracious enough to pick me up at the Melbourne airport.  When I got in the car I had to put my gear bag across three laps in the back seat.  Apparently, Ed and I will have to enter a ‘packing light for paintball road trips’ clinic.   We stayed the night at a local hotel room alongside most of the Reffs Inc team.  We played with new pump guns, and super fancy chrono/bps guns late into the night while exchanging paintball stories over some bourbon.

The next morning, we were all at the field by 7 as Jilli, Tricky, Em, Fuzzy and Bretty were going to ref the division 1 comp which took place before division 2.  Troy, Scout, Ed and I had the morning off to get gear sorted, and watch how the field played.  I should mention that the facilities at Snipers Den are, in my opinion, ideal for playing and spectating paintball.  The tournament field is completely contained by netting allowing up close and safe spectating, and it’s within a short drive of many conveniences.  Not that I needed to go anywhere because Snipers Den was cranking out good food themselves.  We spent the morning watching the Div 1, hoping to refine our plan for our turn.  Brett had to ref this entire time, but it’s okay because I’m pretty sure I saw him napping in the shade of a bunker at one point.

Our rough plan was to send Bretty up the Dorito side with Scout supporting, Troy stays back center, with the plan of heading up the middle at the right time.  Ed stayed back center until he could bump out and support/fill in for me in the snake.  The first of our games was a disappointing loss.  We hadn’t settled into our game and were probably pushing a bit hard.  Our second game, however was an action packed win that came down to Brett and Scout vs one opposition player.  While Scout battled, Bretty bunkered.  Over the course of the day, we had wins and losses.  We were even proud of those losses because we made every team work for it. 

As Snipers Den is such a spectator friendly venue, many players and spectators watch from the sidelines.  We felt some great excitement and love from the spectators throughout the day.  The reactions of onlookers when RC would pull out a win definitely got us fired up.  All the players that day were great sports and were very complimentary of our game. 

We went into our 9th game of the day with 4 wins and 4 losses.  I don’t really remember the events that unfolded, but we were thrilled to pull out a win.  Thinking our day was over, we ripped our pads of celebrating that we’d won more games than we’d lost.  Until Aaron, who was running the chrono, called us up for the last game of the day.  We were in a slight state of shock but we managed to get padded up and ready just in time.  Well, ‘just in time’ is probably not what Reffs Inc would call it as they were all lounging in the middle of the field after being stood up for the last game of the day.  They were understanding and only stirred us up about it for a minute or so.  Again, I’m not sure how the game unfolded but I remember seeing only Scout on the D side while I was in the snake.  For what seemed like an eternity, an unbroken stream of paint rained into the gap of the snake, preventing me from bumping.  At some point I made the bump into the 50, but the steady stream of paint continued and I copped a hit in the shoulder.  Scout worked like a monster from his D side bunker and kept the wolves at bay for a short while longer but in the end we finished the day with 5 wins and 5 losses.  Despite the loss, I found myself fist pumping as I ran off the field.  As I was remarking about how hard we made the winning team work for their victory one of the opposing players came up to chat.  He explained that in that final game he and his boys were so determined to win that he personally used 8 pods of paint to lock me down in the snake.  As dramatic as that is, it’s even more so since RC shot 2 cases of paint over the course of the entire day.  At the end of the day, as is customary, the field owners and event organizers took to the stand to extend their gratitude and congratulations to players and support staff alike.  The placement of the 10 teams was announced from position 10 up.  When we were announced as 5th all in attendance gave us a very gracious applause. 

For me, this tournament was easily one of the greatest weekends of paintball/paintball related stuff I've had in years. I've been living in Aus for a few years now, but am only just getting to the point where I can recognize players, reffs, and staff from other tournaments. So, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a chance to connect/reconnect with you all. I'm not sure who I want to thank first because the event was run so well, the venue was tight, Reffs Inc did a solid job as usual, and the general atmosphere was truly enjoyable... so I'd like to give that first shout out to my team mates Ed, Troy, Brett and Scout. Thanks for agreeing that making an 8 hour road trip to enter a semi tournament with pump guns was a good idea. I've read some generous comments about my day in the snake (I got lucky), but I was only trying to match the level of play that I knew the rest of my team were putting out. Thanks to all you who supported us from the sidelines. I'm not going to lie, that was a hard days work for us. Hearing the cheering and kind words helped us dig deep as the day went on. Again, the entire weekend was a positive experience for me so I couldn't really begin to explain my appreciation to everyone who deserves it. That said, I'd like to thank Tricky, Fuzzy, Em and Jilli for looking out for me on Sunday. It was nice sharing a meal with you all and getting to know you all a bit better. Jilli, and Troy if it weren't for you two I'd either be still stuck at the airport trying to get to the field, or stuck at the field trying to get to the airport. Thanks for looking out for me, I owe you guys. RC is going to make it's best effort to enter in as much of the series as we can... at least we can't complain about paint expenditure!

much love
(bumps heart with fist)

I’m trying to get raw footage of the other players online but have been having technical trouble.  I’ll get it up guys.  Meantime, here’s a split screen of our 2nd game of the day:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

RC Roster for PAVS Round 1

RC Red Star will be fielding a team in round 1 of the upcoming Paintball Association of Victoria Series (PAVS) .  Once again, round 1 will be held at Snipers Den in Mirrabin.  Last year they provided a fully netted, beautiful stretch of green grass, providing great play and opportunity to spectate.  Those of us used to playing in South Australia can't get enough of sliding around on that green turf. Ed and I have been hoping to be able to field a 5 man team for a while now.  Thankfully fellow pump enthusiasts Mark, Troy and Brett have joined the roster to field what will surely be the most formidable pump team in Australia.  Seriously, how many could there be? 

Mark aka Scout

Brett... that's some good reffing

Last year, I attended round 1 when playing with team Fusion out of South Australia.  It's not pump paintball, but this video highlights the facilities as well as some of the local talent.

SAPPA 3 Man: November 6, 2011

Will, Rob, Ed

November 6, 2011 RC entered a team in the SAPPA 3 Man tournament at Skirmish SA.  Low team attendance had put a damper on the previous paintball season. We were looking forward to this event as the first step towards getting paintball competitions going again in South Australia.  A nice variety of players came out, ranging from experienced bushballers to first time players to experienced tournament players.  This was the first time RC Australia had competed against semi's in a tournament setting. No podium for RC this time, but we put up some good fight.

Highlight reel from the tournament:

Malice win vs RC:

RC win vs Malice: