Ghouls Night Out - by Jason 'Foolybear' Lineberger

The Walking Dead comes to Command Decisions Wargames Center

Photos by Dwayne Humphries

As the afternoon wore on, the people of Woodbury became more and more uneasy.  Soldiers had left on several important missions, a move that seriously depleted the guards manning the perimeter.  If Rick Grimes and his band of survivors chose this moment to invade, they could conceivably break all the way through to the Governor himself.

Pacing the metal rooms of his compound, the Governor nervously keyed his radio to the mission teams to get updated reports.  Rumors of an invasion had the militia spooked and the accustomed zombie attacks had become unnervingly scarce in the past hour.

“They’re coming in the front door!”  The sentry nearest the main road into Woodbury called out in alarm before taking a salvo to the chest.  In seconds the Woodbury guard scrambled to take up positions to defend this direct assault.  Not only had former Sheriff Grimes amassed most of his forces just out of range, but he brought armor with him – a tank.  The Governor’s personal guard pulled him into cover as a soldier with a rocket launcher took cover in one of the houses, waiting for the right moment to put the tank out of commission. 

Then it all took a turn for the worse.  “Zombies in the woodline!”  The edge of town to the right of the main entrance lit up with the constant rattle of rapid fire, splitting the attention of the defenders.  Facing certain doom on two fronts, they pulled back, hammering away on their triggers.

And that’s when the truck rolled in – an unmarked white box truck skidded to a halt in the center of town.  The defenders looked up from cover, expectantly, knowing that The Governor had made some strategic play that would save them all.  The door rolled up, and their “saviors” came spilling out.  Not men, not soldiers – the walking dead.

Paintball Soldiers put on an exciting event at the always fun Command Decisions Wargames Center.  Their spin on the traditional big game mixed in exciting elements from AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead,” such as the addition of a third team.  Rick Grimes, former sheriff and the protagonist of the series, led his band of survivors against The Governor and his enclave from Woodbury, but both teams had to contend with a powerful third contingent – the zombies.  These players, who could only be eliminated by a shot to the chest or head, had the added incentive of being unable to win the game.  With nothing to lose, they came after both sides aggressively.  Paintball Soldiers also added role-playing elements from the series – characters that the sides had to meet and win over (or not), props directly tied to the show, and even the box truck full of walkers as seen in season three’s episode titled “Home.”  All these elements combined to build a more immersive experience for the veteran teams who attended, but the walk-ons, new to scenario ‘ball, may have gotten more than they bargained for!  It’s hard enough navigating a path to mission sites on a large field like CDWC’s, but when a third team, attack choppers, tanks, and an invulnerable character in riot gear are included, the challenge (and fun) levels go way up.

Foolybear on the front lines

Late in the afternoon team Capital Offense, who had been running missions all morning, decided to turn their attention to a central base, Rex, where Rick’s side stored all their valuable props.  The gas cans, sacks of rice, and other heavy items represented a massive stash of points for Rick’s team, and The Governor sorely needed to close the gap in scores. 

Capital Offense, armed with their new team LV1s, charged out of Woodbury (Sim City) only to meet the sheriff’s entrenched defenses head-on.  With too much open ground to cross, the TCO had to look for a different approach.  While their allies put steady fire on the base, a handful of TCO shooters took a flanking approach that would put them dangerously close to the zombie base.  Rather than take the time to scout out their move, we chose to strike quickly and capitalize on the surprise of a bold assault.  Guns up and ripping, we charged in from the side, exposing our backs to the zombies and hoping any sentries would be looking in the other direction.  Amazingly everything came together.  Rick’s team crumbled under our blitz and by the time the zombies had spotted our position, we had moved out of range.  Within minutes we swept the compound, eliminated any surviving players, cleared all the props from the base and returned them to our HQ, scoring all the points for our side and none for the enemy.  In that one moment Capital Offense swung the balance of power, at least for the time being, in direction of The Governor.

Check foolybear’s calendar to see where he’ll be in action next.  For regular doses of paintball insight and photography, follow him on Twitter and Instagram, both are @foolybear.  Field owners and game producers – message foolybear on Twitter!  He’s already booking 2014’s scenario tour.

- by Jason 'Foolybear' Lineberger