On The Road - With Jason 'Foolybear' Lineberger
On the Road (to No Ends) Again
by Jason "foolybear" Lineberger
For hundreds of scenario paintball players on the east coast of America, February has become the launching point of the scenario season starting at Adventure Beach Paintball’s annual 24 hour scenario, The Road to No Ends. While catapults have replaced airstrikes and dragons substitute for helicopters, the essentials of scenario paintball remain the same, and it’s the promise of quality competition on an excellent field that draws the teams – not to mention oceanfront resorts that offer exceptional prices to fill their rooms in the off season.
The roster of teams in attendance this year reads like a who’s-who of the Mid Atlantic region: Boss Company, Shadow Dragon Initiative, SSK, SOVA, Valken Factory, Tango Alpha, ODX, Assault and Battery, Boxer, Carolina Sabers, Fracture, Port City Militia, Deadbox, Rogue, and many more. This year I joined forces with perennial woodsball commander, Bill “Greenman” Ford, as a member of The Hidden who would go head-up against The Knowing, chiefed by Valken’s Andy Potter.
Kevin Shimwell and the team at Adventure Beach have crafted a game that combines the need to control real estate, a common structure in big games, with the missions of a traditional scenario. Eliminated players had the ability to respawn at their bases, but Shimwell added a third base near Adventure Beach’s impressive city field that would enable one team to control the urban field. In the opening mission of the game both sides split their forces to hold the Iron Tower (a pyramid fort around mid field) and to take the swing base in the city. The action in both sections set the tone for the entire weekend. The battles boiled down to Knowing players digging in, crossing up their firing lanes, and holding against the sustained onslaught of the Hidden. None of these battles proved easy for the Hidden, but at least on Saturday the Knowing eventually caved to the constant pressure.
Sunday’s action brought out some renewed fire from the Knowing side. They ran a more organized and strategic game, using their dragons (scenario helicopters) to insert mission teams in key points on the field or to simply distract the Hidden players while gathering information on troop positions. The Knowing also channeled more squads to mission sites and used their catapult (scenario airstrike) to sweep Hidden attackers from their defensive points. The team that looked close to throwing in the towel on Saturday evening came back with a vengeance and brought the fight all the way to the doorstep of the Hidden base on Sunday.
In the end only one side could prevail, and this round belonged to the Hidden. Both sides got a competitive, intense game on some of the best terrain around. It’s hard to beat a scenario field that offers such a variety; from an urban field to thick woods, Adventure Beach has it all – including netted zones stocked with paint and air fill stations so players didn’t need to leave the field to resupply. Throw in a hot tub and an oceanfront condominium, and you have the recipe for one great weekend.
Foolybear on the Frontlines
I had many inspiring moments over the course of the weekend, most of involving running with two great players – Eclipse pro Matt Sossoman (player for Vicious) and my daughter Galaxy “foolycub” Lineberger. I try to lead on the field by example, and usually that means being the player to charge to the front or make the sweep on the flank, and playing alongside Sossoman forced me to step up my game to keep up with him. One gunfight stands out above the rest. On Saturday afternoon Sossoman, foolycub, and I had pushed down a path in the woods and right into an ambush. As the Knowing opened up with their guns, I dove for cover and almost immediately a rope of paint zipped past my shoulder and into the brush ahead. I looked back to see my daughter kneeling, raining a string of shots into our attackers. As she joined me, I watched a Knowing player exit the battle, clearly eliminated by foolycub, and I could tell that Matt was about to go after the remaining ambushers. I put some suppression into the brush, and without a word Matt hurtled into the bushes and surrendered the remaining shooters. Even though I’m sure I didn’t actually mark any of the players in that ambush, I enjoyed how smoothly we functioned as a team. I’m proud of you cub!
I played the entire event with my scenario gun of choice, the ETHA, which shot flawlessly all weekend. Curious about the ETHA? Want a chance to shoot one for yourself? I’ll have ETHAs to share at every event I attend this year! Just find me at a game and ask for your chance to put the ETHA to the test. The players who took them out at Road to No Ends were reluctant to give them back, and the only complaint I heard all weekend was from one player who enjoyed it so much that he shot all his paint!
The next scenario on my calendar will be Generation Kill: A Bad Day in Belfast at Command Decisions Wargames Center.
Gen Kill website is http://genkillpaintball.com/overview.shtml
Command Decisions can be found at http://www.cdpaintball.com/
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