Friday, June 21, 2013

Fish Out of Water - Playing in Living Legends 6 [paintball]

First, let's get some pertinent links out of the way:

CPX Paintball
Living Legends of Paintball
Viper Paintball Scenarios

A favorite saying I have is that "life begins at the end of your comfort zone."  Having played Nerf so much, I also try to keep an open mind about the other Ways to Play out there, whether it's water pellets, rubber bands, or in this case, paintball.

I barely remember my first time playing paintball, just that it was a bachelor party.  It was fun, but definitely different from Nerf in range, pain factor, ammo capacity, and so much more.  It was its own game, and I had a blast when all was said and done.  It was cost-prohibitive to me though, so I didn't play all that often.  Whenever someone had another bachelor party or random get together, I managed.  And then I found out about Living Legends.

For a little history, the first Living Legends was held in 2008, and it was a relatively huge paintball scenario game that took place at CPX Sports, an approx. 143 acre property with about 18 or so different fields.  Only for Living Legends.... basically the entire park was the battlefield.  It was intended to let people come together and have a great experience playing paintball with some of the greats in the sport.  And maybe through the weekend, earn a legend of your own.   That first Living Legends had just under 700 people.

This year's, number 6, had just under 2,000. 

CPX is below:


View Larger Map

Anyway, I decided this was something I needed to experience at least once, so I went for it.  Two teams (New Empire vs The Horde), and a game that ran all weekend.  I picked up some gear, played a couple of more times at CPX leading up to Living Legends, and finally this happened -

(Language warning, a word or 2 slips in the video)


It was intense, it was dirty, it was great.  Work to organize an event like this began about 6 months prior, in order to organize missions, planned skirmishes, the works.  Points and objectives were all out there, it was up to us the players and our commanders to get out there and do the work.  From about 10 AM until 6 PM I was respawning and marching to different points of conflict, making friends along the way, and just throwing myself into it.  If there was a particular spot they needed people, I went.  If I was walking along and ran across a firefight, I joined the line.  It was by and large one of the most physically demanding things I ever put my body through (on top the gear and activity, it was about 80+ degrees that weekend so water was my best friend) but it was worth every bruise and sore muscle afterward, just to say that I did it.

I had a number of tense moments in trees, bushes, and buildings thinking that I'd turn a corner and run into a cadre of Horde team members all bearing down on me, or just trading shots with multiple targets and hearing paintballs fired at 270-300 fps zip past my ear, break on trees and burnt out cars.  And your only choice is to keep going until you're hit, paint, or air ran out.  (And the way they handled logistics, it was more likely you'd get hit before the other 2 conditions played out.)

Not to mention that there were some great people I ran into.  Our Commander, Wolf , was very easy to talk to and say hi, whether at HQ or at the concession stand.  I used a few videos of TechPB's as a reference about what to expect and how to prepare, and managed to meet him as well.  Everyone I spoke to (either on the field or moments of down time) was either willing to help answer a question about where to go, what to do, or if a ball had broken on me.  The refs were great, making sure the rules were followed but also that players had answers and most importantly, were doing ok.  I had never been asked/told to hydrate so much, it was good reminder.

Also, in the video I mentioned "tanks" and this is kinda like what I'm talking about -
Taken from Bunker Shots - https://www.facebook.com/Bunkershots


Sadly, I only went for 1 day.  Day 2 was the "Final Battle" where moments like this were commonplace: (it's a battle over a single spot to score points). 
Photo taken from "Bunker Shots"  - https://www.facebook.com/Bunkershots
That being said, I consider this Bucket List item only half complete.  Next year!  Until then, I'll keep exploring this hobby too and hopefully have a new trick or two up my sleeve for next year.  There's truly nothing else like it that I've experienced yet, and I can't wait to do it all again.

See you on the field.


Thank you so much to CPX and Viper for putting this all together!  Thank you to the pro shop staff!  To HK Army!  And most of all, to every player that was on that field.  It was an honor.

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