Friday morning September 7th 900hours, Black Bandits meets Ghost Squad at a Russian Army base in East Germany to fight side by side in, what would become one of the biggest paintball battles this year, the European Big Game Mahlwinkel 2012.
Finally a real big event with around 1500 players to experience our new Planet Eclipse Sponsored Gear. Since last month the Black Bandits became one of the two European Planet Eclipse Scenario Paintball Teams. This was the first serious event where we could experience the PE HDE Camo Gear and our new EGO 11´s in battle.
The night before both teams arrived at Mahlwinkel to setup the Black Bandits / Ghost Squad camping area. The place to fall back to for some resting and eating. Of course also to drink, drink, drink, drink, drink and… to drink. Because when you work-out and sweat a lot you have to make sure you don’t get dehydrated :P
You have the guys that like it rough and raw; Sleeping in tents and facing the cold and wet nights. Eating primitive food and ignoring the regular hygiene rules. And you got the posh people who prefer the luxury more; Staying in a Hotel with nice beds, a bath, a shower and a nice fresh breakfast every morning. But when the battle starts, you don’t see a difference… they all fight side by side covering each others backs during the 3 day battle at Mahlwinkel.
Battle Report Day 1 -- A great all round first day -- :
Day one started with a big “WHOOPS”. It’s always good to discover the next morning, after a very short sleep and a headache, that you forgot to bring your fresh underwear and socks. So a quick drive to a local shop to get some nice sexy silk Simpsons underwear for Martijn.
The ´luxury boys´ were luckier. Something went wrong with the reservation of a 3 person hotel room. This nice Hotel gave them a family room for 5 people, two bedrooms and a huge bathroom.
After the preparation of our markers and gear it was time to explore the field. We decided to go Blue side on advice of another Dutch teams. That was the place where the building action would be…. The Big Game bus, with the scary bus driver, drove us to our respawn area on the other side of the field. Just when we entered the place we discovered that our respawn area was already surrounded by the opposing team (white). It must have been hundred of guys we saw moving towards us.
We decided to enter the woods on the left and wait for our reinforcement because the second half of the team would come with the next bus. But than we noticed that there was already a big blue squad stationed on that side. So we decided to push back the opposing white team. With some nice flanking we managed to clean the woods and push forward to the flag near the wooden tower. We organised an assault with some Germans and were able to capture the yellow flag and turned it blue. But unfortunately we were not able to hold in that long because the field was swarmed by white players minutes after. We decided to fall back and team up with the rest of squad and to try it again. This time we were able to capture and hold the flag.
After a refill we were ordered to defend the central (stone) tower. The opposing ’s objective was to place a bomb in it. After 10 minutes of no action… our action addicted team decided to move forward. That’s where we met hundreds of assaulting white forces. We tried to defend the area but we were so outnumbered that we had to fall back and leave our positions. We decided to continue the day by constantly flanking our enemies with small groups. It was so much fun shooting our enemies in the back without being noticed.
In the evening we baked all kind of snacks in the fryer and made hamburgers and sausages on the grill. After our BBQ we went to the shops area to hopefully see some striptease. Instead of nice woman we had to look at a guy in a bath. We decided to bail out to our tent camp to get some drinks together. After a few drinks most of the guys were so exhausted of this first day that they went to bed early.
Battle Report Day 2 -- In action with our private photographer Christiaan Drenth
The day started with some nice team photo’s taken by the professional photographer Christiaan Drenth of Hasselhoff Photography. Christiaan is a Sup Air photographer who is taking photo’s on the Sup Air Millennium events. For him it was his first experience on a woods/scenario big game event. Unfortunately we didn’t receive our Planet Eclipse banner yet, so we had to make photos without it. After the modelling, our team started the preparations for another day of action.
Just when we entered the field we met the two other Dutch teams Mad Ball and Bushmasters. With them we already had around 40-50 players and together with some Germans we were able to quickly capture 3 or 4 flags in a row with massive assaults.
In the afternoon we were less lucky. Just when we entered the field we noticed that we were trapped / surrounded by enemies. We were able to shoot some enemies out of a bush line to move forward to the big bunker base. But also that base was defended by loads of opposing players. At the end of the event we can say that this was our worst period. 30 minutes of doubt entered the team. Do we stay as defense, will we organise a massive assault on the bunker??
Jerry and Remco decided to sneak around the bunker base to see what was over there while the others kept the bunker busy. They were able to finish off a few opposing players and move forward behind enemy lines. That’s when they asked for support using the Porto’s. All Ghost squad and Black Bandits players gathered up for another attack behind the enemy lines. We were able to clear the back side of the bunker and capture the flag with high pace and a lot of action. After this assault everyone was so exhausted and desperate for a smoke that we found us a nice place to sit down, take a smoke and relax a bit to prepare for the next battle.
We walked through the bushes to check the middle wooden tower with the flag next to it. We noticed a big attack was going on so we decided to support it. In that area a lot of trenches were digged so it became some kind of trench war. Now some of the hoppers with speedfeeds were really pulled through a stress test. Remco´s hopper fully jammed when half a kilo of sand dropped in his hopper. And cleaning a hopper with full adrenaline is not very easy. We managed to get the flag so there was still time to clean the hopper.
At the end of the day it was time for another BBQ session. Sjoerds wife made some nice marinated chicken. We must thank her for ´serving´ us such a nice meal. It has probably been the best food we had during our complete Mahlwinkel experience. At the end of the evening Jeroen (TAC-Paintball) also joined us for a few drinks before we went off to bed.
Battle Report Day 3: -- One last battle --
On the third day we decided to play one ´round´ and after that we would take a shower and pack our bags and drive back to our nice and cosy Netherlands. Everyone took as much as possible pods with them for this last battle.
We started with a small flank battle and a quick flag capture. Without any resistance we were able to move forward to the next flag. But at the third flag things started to change. What started easy ended in a big battle for the third flag. But with the help of a few German players we were able to capture this flag and push forward to the respawn area of our enemies. We decided to lay down for a few ambushes. But laying down the whole time works on the nerves of some of us so we decided to look for more action again.
While progressing we were attacked by a lot of opposing players. During this ´chaos´ our group was split in two. With these two small groups we tried to keep stand against this big group. But the assault was too heavy so we had to retreat. We retreated to the building area where we shot our last paintballs.
We took a shower, packed our bags, cleaned the place and start driving for a 5 ½ hour trip back to the Netherlands. Unfortunately these kind of weekends are passing by way to fast.
A few notes:
- The Mahlwinkel field was pretty nice, but it would have been nice if there were some more buildings to enter. The trenches and bunkers were very cool to capture.
- The scenarios were unclear for non-German players. We are one Europe and we tend to speak English as our main language. But we noticed that German people hardly speak English. This does not make it easier during the battles and the event.
- 8 showers for 1500 players… is that enough?
- Camping security was very strict. Sleeping in busses was not allowed on the camping area while they served as campers for some of us… this was kind a disappointing
- Shooting balloons out of the air with a paintball gun does not work.
- Asking for an airstrike with an old type telephone has a real funny effect on people around you.
- When you play paintball in the same clothes for three days an unbearable smell starts to spread around you.
- Mahlwinkel has been tagged with loads of Black Bandits stickers.
- Having a professional photographer like Christiaan Drenth of Hasselhoff Photography with you on the field is an awesome experience.
- The Planet Eclipse HDE gear is a great set! It is very comfortable in long battles and very durable in rough woods area’s. Last but not least, the camo works very well in changing environments.
- The Planet Eclipse EGO 11´s are very air efficient and great for long battles. 3 days of action without any real marker problems, where do you see that these days?
Thank you to:
- Ghost Squad for this nice Mahlwinkel experience!
- Our friends that fought side by side with us.
- Christiaan Drenth of Hasselhoff Photography for taking photo’s.
- FEJO.nl for using the FEJO bus.
- Our Team sponsor TAC-Paintball for supporting our team with gear!
- Our Gear sponsor Planet Eclipse for their confidence and support in Black Bandits.