Gangland Turf Wars – Paintball Style

Words and photos by Jason “foolybear” Lineberger

After a great experience last year at The Swamp, I was eager to return for Turf Wars, a 24 hour scenario based around Prohibition-era gangsters and moonshine.  Think tommy guns, crooked cops, and backwoods stills.  Fun!

Rick “Mamba” Money and I represented Team Capital Offense with Mamba taking on the role of Al Capone.  On the other side of the field, Kevin Shimwell from Adventure Beach Paintball commanded the opposing gang as George “Bugs” Moran.  Most of the turnout consisted of long-running scenario squads like Death Dealers, BeBop, and fellow Planet Eclipse shooters, Pub Crawling, who brought their tank for some added backup.  1920s gangland shootout with a tank? Why not, it’s paintball!

Mamba as Al Capone (left) and Shimwell as Bugs Moran (right)
The Swamp has two basic playing areas.  There’s a large fort-filled space they call the Concept Field.  Think of it as a maze of buses, one and two-story forts, spools, a castle, and bunkers of all sizes.  When the entire space is open to play for scenario games, it’s one of my favorite spots for paintball; it offers so many options for great moves.  Surrounding that on two sides are the woods.  These range from thick to thin; there’s plenty of cover, and they’re deep enough for a flank move but not so deep that players ever lose sight of where they’re going.  The Swamp is also under new ownership, and his passion is building.  He has big plans for this super fun field, and after the blast I had at this game, I’m ready to return to see the improvements!

So here’s how the game worked.  Both teams wanted to build moonshine stills (illegal alcohol manufacturing facilities) that would generate revenue.  The gangs collected the money from specified money-drop locations.  Moonshine stills built in locations near the base would net some cash, but stills built closer (or in) enemy territory could garner higher rates.  Additionally the referees carried stacks of bills with them, and they’d toss them out whenever the action hit a stalemate to spur both sides to make some moves.

Even though there were only small contingents from both Planet Eclipse teams in attendance, the game producers pitted Capital Offense against Pub Crawling for this event.  And since Pub Crawling spent the weekend on the tip of the frontline, I got to run into them all day on Saturday and all day on Sunday.  Good shooting guys!  Our side had to fight out of the woods to reach the open spaces of the Concept Field where we could build a high-value still, and every time we tried to break cover we ran into Pub Crawling’s guns and their tank, so most of our Saturday points came from the other still we ran in the woods behind our base.  And even that wasn’t a sure thing!  Death Dealers and NRG kept creeping through the woods and either assaulting our hidden still or setting up ambushes that I walked into at least twice on Saturday.  Thanks Death Dealers.  We did make some key breaks out of our base, timed just right to take advantage of the top-of-the-hour point counts, so at the end of the day on Saturday we had managed to keep Kevin Shimwell’s gang from running away with it.

Night games have seen a sharp decline in popularity, so the folks at The Swamp tried something different for this event.  They set up a casino!  Players got chips for registering for the game, and they spent these chips on casino games worth points for their side.  While luck may not have been on our side during the day, we made up for it at night, and come Sunday we were in position to make our move.

Mamba got our team fired up, and we charged hard at the opening horn.  We spent our game cash wisely and stacked all of our equipment and moonshine jugs in one high-value location.  In casino terms, we put all of our chips on red and spun the roulette wheel.  We had to pull our guns from the rest of the field, so we were all-in on this single crucial location.  Fortunately our strategy paid off every time we rolled the dice on Sunday.  We caught up on points, and the momentum carried us all the way through the final battle for the victory.  Thanks to all the teams, refs, and field staff for a fun paintball weekend.  I’m looking forward to returning to The Swamp in 2015.

Quick Product Review

I used this game as a testing ground for the Planet Eclipse cleats.  I haven’t worn cleats since my tourney days, but the Eclipse cleats made it an easy transition.  They’re comfortable, super light, and at a field like The Swamp, they’re ideal for making those quick sprints between cover.  They’re a regular part of my gear bag now, so if you see me at a game, I’d be glad to show them off.  They’ll probably be on my feet though!

Foolybear plays scenario paintball for Planet Eclipse and as captain of Team Capital Offense.  His Instagram (@foolybear) is a steady stream of pictures of his paintball adventures.  You can also keep up with his travels on Twitter (@foolybear).   He’s currently mapping out his 2015 game schedule, so field owners – want to see foolybear at your game?  Hit him up on Twitter!