Saturday, March 27, 2010

Arnold Paintball Indoor Featuring FSQ Review

Location: Montréal, Québec

Type of field: Indoor, Western Themed

First Impressions: Upon walking into the facility, there is a large staging area and pro-shop counter and I was very surprised as to how large the field itself was. There is an upstairs area where non-players or those sitting out a game can observe the main playing area through glass windows. 

Gear: Nobody that I was with rented anything, but the proshop appeared to have a fairly good selection. XO brand paint was used. I had a rather serious issue with one of their fill stations, in that it explosively (and dangerously) expelled my fill whip due to a loose QD fitting (their fitting that is).

The field: A large westerm-themed field with lots of buildings with two floors and connecting gantries. One of the more unusual and interesting features is a "mountain" built into one of the walls, complete with branching tunnels and walkways. As seen in the picture above, the central feature is a gallows. Apparently there used to be streams running through the facility, but no longer. A bit of a minus in how dirty the walls/buildings were. Every surface is coated in yellow paint, as you can see in the pictures, and if you lean against anything you get coated in it. Dirt floors were a plus, making kneeling etc. a bit more comfortable.

Gameplay: A variety of scenario style games and all out deathmatches were played (more in Staff section). The field lends itself well to attack and defend situations, with plenty of seemingly easily defendable buildings that feature multiple points of entry. 

FSQ: Every other Wednesday night, FSQ (Forces Spéciales du Québec) runs a milsim night at Arnold, which we were attending on our visit. While the actions of the FSQ members in attendance may not reflect their team as a whole, I was left with a rather poor opinion of the team.

Some rather unorthodox rules instituted by FSQ's leader included:
  • No referees.
  • Bounces count.
  • Some members of the FSQ carried plastic knives that they could draw across the throats of fellow players to eliminate them.
Other rules that were interesting but poorly implemented include:
  • A medic is designated for each team, any hit to a player's arm can be healed by a medic (i.e. player can play again) but may not use that arm after that. Medic's were never chosen, and the rule was basically forgotten.
  • Replica flashbangs (that produce an actual sound) could be thrown into a room, and all the players inside would be stunned for five seconds. Only FSQ was supplied with flashbangs.
  • Replica grenades could be thrown into rooms, eliminating every player inside the room. Only FSQ was supplied with grenades.
The thing that truly irked me however, was the lack of fair play demonstrated by FSQ members. The very first game that was played, I observed multiple FSQ members ignore rules put in place, and set themselves up in a location that they were prohibited from. By the end of the night, more rules had been broken, with the members boasting of the eliminations they acquired whilst breaking rules set in place by them. The odds in many of the scenario were stacked in favour of FSQ. Two extreme examples include: the small group of rentals being placed in a defending position and rushed by all the equipment owners, and the intimidation of a female rental to the point of her crying and demanding to be let off the field.

On the bizarre side of things, all attending players were forced to run "drills" at the beginning of the night, including:
  • Shooting at a target, running at said target, taking a knee and then shooting it again, in a relay fashion.
  • Two players squaring off against each other down a corridor, advancing and taking three shots until one player was eliminated.
  • In the strangest case, all the players lined up in two lines facing each other, and then shot each other.
Update (April 8th 2010) - I'd like to take the opportunity to thank those that spoke English to us, going out of their way to ensure we understood what was happening. It was greatly appreciated.

Overall: I would most definitely visit Arnold Paintball again. However, FSQ appears to be an unprofessional and bizarre organization that I would not willingly seek out to play with. I am not saying by any means that readers should avoid them, but just wish to profess that they failed to gain my respect or camaraderie.


  1. Bizarre is definitely the word for this paintball cult! I'm not sure what their deal was but they took everything wayyy too seriously. RELAX FSQ, it's just a game!

    Just in talking with them in the staging area, the level of tough-guy ego was unbelievable with the top guys, like they were REAL special forces operators. There's a certain level of geekiness in milsim paintball and airsoft in general that comes with the territory, but those guys are the equivalent of the nerds who dress up like knights and wizards and battle it out in the park on Sundays.

  2. Just one more thing to clarify though, as FSQ are listed under the "Staff" section: Although FSQ organized and ran the event that evening, they aren't affiliated in any way with the Arnold field itself. The usual staff at Arnold are cool to deal with, their refs watch games like hawks, and the owner's a super nice guy who loves the game.

  3. Noted. The appropriate change has been made.

  4. I play with you this night and i never see a guy crying same a little after receive one paintball hit (Your firefither).I have impression to play wiht a children.You are a very bad player.Try to play with other team.For Mike Gatti just whatches a big game picture, we are not staff of arnold, but one team official with Sudder harm.

  5. FSQ Team is more then a camaraderie, sorry if you didn’t find what you were looking for but maybe its cause you don’t know nothing about MILSIM. What you didn’t know about that particular night, that they was only 3 members of the team present, so about what you say and accuse seems more of a false allegations that seems really more cumin from a frustrated factor of misunderstanding about the real milsim rules or a losing point of view. FSQ Team is well known about the fair play and they’re attitude toward the guess especially in events or TJM nights. You can say you didn’t like your night but you can’t say you’ve played whit a whole team when it’s not true.

    (all attending players were forced to run "drills" at the beginning of the night,)Nobody was forced to do anything, it’s called a program, and witch seems you didn’t and don’t understand obviously, it’s normal cause you guys have surely no experiences at all.

    You talk about a girl who was scared in a scenario cause of the intimidation techniques employed by two of the most respected members who are real police officer and professional in life, you say things like they where unfair, but you don’t says a word about what they have done after that happened, about the fact that they went to appolergise to that girl, even if intimidation is part of the playing role in milsim, its not a kid world by the way it’s a man world. And after they took that guess whit them all night and made her pass a great night, and guess what? She came back and had fun and came to restaurant after game to talk about her night and said that she loved the experience and that she will come back.

    It’s more bizarre from you guys not to tell about the fact that they did all the night in English on purpose to please you guys, and about the fact that they leted you take some pictures that I am sure they thought that was for good using not for personal revenge about a sore losing effect or misunderstood.

    So like I said maybe it’s more from a misunderstand point of view from you that a reality that every people present felt.

    And like Mr Mike Gatti says: (''guys are the equivalent of the nerds who dress up like knights and wizards and battle it out in the park on Sundays'') That’s really what MILSIM Paintball is there in open game, cause of the law, but FSQ does some real trainings and they are part of the real deal, some are soldier of specials forces elite and some others are police from GI and others are real ex military specialist and well trained whit simunition and real stuff, but about the fact that you say it’s a game, yes it is and you should participate to the milrec(recball) to enjoy the playing of paintball whit military gear, if its what you were looking for.

  6. And from guys who registered on there forum(fsq)whit such of a mail nick as it looks more like free talk shit from frustration then misundertood at first read ;) By the way using picture from there site is not légal, if i was you i would turn that picture off before they find it out ;) Otherwise it could cost you a fortune ;)

  7. Thanks for your comments gentlemen, I'm glad you took the time to read my blog! Unfortunately, I post my opinion rather unabashedly, and I don't expect to please everyone. Take the time to read through some of my other posts, I'm sure you'll find something you'll enjoy.

  8. Coming from a military family i am well aware of many drills the military has their troops run for training and pre deployment training. Im guessing that the military keeps their secret "line everyone up and shoot them" drill on the down-low. If the public were to find out the military were wasting precious ammunition on our own troops they would be outraged.
    After reading this blog I'm not quite sure these FSQ people are actual military specialists or just military fantasists. There is a line between being in the military and thinking you know everything about the military. ;) ;) ;0 ;). Also i took it upon myself to analyze the logo and it seems that there is no copyright watermark or any trademark logo. I know this because I've seen a lot of copyright logos in my day. So I'm sure the blog owner has all the right in the world to place the logo in his blog seeing as it is public domain. ;)

  9. Remember that at this night their was only 3 of FSQ member. It is a reality in FSQ team that often the member of the team are not all present because they have other obligations because their policeman, soldier or even paramedic. Sometimes, we are 10 members, sometimes 3.

    For the plastic knife you were talking about, it is a rubber one and it is call traning knife. All the MILSIM team of Quebec accept that rule for the knife.

    You said that it was always FSQ team against the rental and the other players, guess what were a team and we like to play togheter and achieve more togheter. In the winter at Arnold we got to deal with a small field so sometimes the MILSIM experience is not at is maximum. Come at a event in the summer on large field with more simulation material.

    For the grenades and everything that other people didn't have, it is part of the game. I'm in the team but don't have those grenade but it doesnt bother me. It just part of your learning of the MILSIM world and to know what you can and what you can't bring.

    The exercise with the 2 lines, it is just a way to learn how to be quick and accurate on a real target. I don't know if it is the right translation but we can call it the muscle memory. So when you turn a corner and you didn't expect that guy to be there but he is, you'll be able to shoot your paintball on him as fast as possible.

    The type of game you came to participate is more than a game for us. It is a passion. If you think were the "geek of paintball", that's not it, we just know what we are talking about.

    And in final, FSQ team did a lot of the night in english to be shure you have a good experience and that you'll come back. Unfortunatly you didn't like it, it is normal because MILSIM is not a one night fall in love, it takes time to learn tacktis and your team mate.

    And for the copyrights, go to the web site in the first page where it says loading chek at the down left of the design it says FSQ TEAM (little logo of copyright). FSQ is a register compagny.

  10. I was there that day as well; the overall experience was interesting! I did enjoy the tactics used, loved the field especially the mock mountains, never seen anything like it! For the rules.. bounces defeat the purpose of paintball whether it be milsim or milrec or any style for that matter, although i see where he was coming from as far as realism goes.
    The teams were definitely one sided.. I understand the team would like to play as one, but when you have a small turn out like it was that night, you need to use discretion when picking the teams and making them fair. Splitting the team up to play against each other would be great training, you dont learn much playing against a weaker team except for boosting your ego.
    I did notice the attempt to use english during and between games, which was much appreciated, especially coming from someone that doesn't know much french.
    As for Pat Swat... from what i made of your little rant, you clearly are very ignorant! Especially if your referring to us about crying after getting hit..

  11. Ok I owe some apologies here. The truth is I posted that comment above when I was in a bad mood, and didn't mention all the good stuff from that night.

    First of all, the FSQ leader/lieutenant was a super nice guy, and did take the time to explain everything to our group in English. Accomodating us like this was very appreciated. He seemed to love the game, and Milsim paintball needs more "ambassadors" like him.

    Also, it was hypocritical and unfair of me to compare anyone in this sport/game to a "nerd". The fact is that I am also a "nerd" who loves paintball and gets into military character when I play the game, because that's all part of the fun. I've stayed up way past my bedtime way too many nights just researching fields, gear, and guns, and a lot of people might mistake this passion for obsession. The bottom line is, keep doing what you're doing as long as you're having fun.

    But there were some things that night that gave me a bad vibe. The three guys that were definitely FSQ (Lieutenant, Bob, and D'amour or L'Amour, can't remember exactly) were good guys, but there were a lot of guys giving attitude and ego on the field. These guys were dressed all in black just like FSQ with FSQ patches, so if they weren't part of the team, who were they? Also it's lucky that everything worked out with the rentals in the end, but what if that girl had walked out and never come back? In recball or MILREC if you have the drop on someone you can just yell "FREEZE" or "SURRENDER" and they have to call themselves out. No matter how much passion you have for the game, and how much you want to get into scenario, I don't think it's cool to scream your lungs out at a 16 year-old girl until she nearly pisses her pants. You're not in Afghanistan and she's not a Taliban insurgent, she's a player who dropped 40 bucks of her own cash to come out and have fun playing a game. Obviously there will be differences of opinion, but this is mine.

    Anyway I hope there's no hard feelings, and let's just play some paintball! I'm sure our love for the game is bigger than our differences.

    Just one more thing: There was an accusation that the photos were taken to badmouth the FSQ. Just to be clear, we didn't take pictures for the purpose of mocking anyone. Pictures were taken for memories then given to everyone who came out, and people did what they wanted to with them.

    As for the crying firefighter who couldn't take the pain, well what do you expect? Firefighters aren't that tough, all those guys ever do is wash their trucks and sleep every shift! :)

  12. Ok il faut que je m'excuse. La verite c'est que j'ai fait mes commentaires precedents quand j'etait de mauvaise humeur, et j'ai pas mentionne tout ce qu'il y avait de bon cette soiree la.

    Pour commencer, le chef/lieutenant de la FSQ etait super fin, et a pris le temps de tout nous expliquer en Anglais. Ses efforts de nous accomoder sont tres apprecies. Ca parait qu'il aime enormement le jeu, et le MILSIM a besoin de plus "d'embassadeurs" come lui.

    De plus, c'etait hypocrite et injuste de ma part de comparer n'importe qui qui s'implique dans ce sport/jeu a un "nerd". En effet si c'est le cas moi aussi je suis un "nerd" amateur de paintball qui assume le role militaire pendant un jeu, parce que cela est une grande partie du fun. Ca compte beaucoup de nuits que je manque mon heure de coucher, en faisant des recherches au sujet des champs de paintball, l'equipement, et les markers. Pour moi, je suis ancien fantassin dans les Forces, et le paintball style militaire me donne un petit boost d'adrenaline en me rapellant de cette epoque dans ma vie. Beaucoup de monde malcomprendraient cette passion, et diraient a la place que je suis obssede. Le point final c'est de continuer de faire ce que t'aime faire tant que ca te fait tripper.

    Cependant il y avait des aspects de cette soiree qui m'ont donnes un mauvais vibe. Les trois gars qui etait FSQ "confirmes" (Lieutenant, Bob, et D'Amour ou L'Amour, je ne suis pas certain de son nom) etait des bon gars, mais il y avait plusieurs d'autres qui demontraient de l'ego et de l'attitude dans la zone de jeu. Ils etaient tous habilles en noir avec des patch FSQ, alors s'ils n'etaient pas de l'equipe, ils etaient qui? Aussi c'est chanceux que tout a bien marche avec la fille a la fin, mais elle aurait pu egalement quitter le champ de paintball sans jamais retourner. En recball ou MILREC si t'as quelqu'un pris "in your sights" on crie "FREEZE" ou "SURRENDER" et il est oblige a sortir du jeu. Peu importe votre niveau de passion pour le MILSIM, et votre implication dans le scenario, je ne crois pas que c'est cool d'hurler a une fille de 16 ans jusqu'au point qu'elle pisse ses culottes. Vous n'etes pas en Afghanistan et elle n'est pas un Taliban; c'est un joueur qui a depense 40 piasses de sa propre cash pour jouer au paintball et s'amuser. Evidemment il y aura des differences en opinion, mais celui est le mien.

    En tout cas j'espere qu'on peut se bien entendre en futur, car je suis sur que notre amour du jeu est plus fort que nos differences.

    A noter: Il y avait une accusation qu'on a pris des photos cette soiree simplement pour faire du "trash talk" au sujet de la FSQ. Les photos et videos prises pendant la soiree n'etaient pas prises pour se moquer de quelqu'un. Ils etaient prises pour les memoires de notre groupe, et les membres on fait avec ce qu'ils voulaient.

    Au sujet du pompier qui braillait a cause du douleur, vous attendez quoi exactement? Les pompiers sont pas tough, tout ce qu'ils font c'est laver leurs camions et dormir! :)

  13. As JCOX and Mike Gatti stated, the level of language accomodation that was provided to us was greatly appreciated. My French is fractured and incomprehensible at best, so it was nice to have someone go out of their way to speak my native tongue. I apologize for not having mentioned this in the original post, and have reflected this in an update.

  14. Ok - now I know why you guys kept this blog a secret !!!

    I was @ that game too & I wasn't impressed. I'm going to make a comment to pat fly swat - I screamed like a MAN & stayed in the game numb nuts. Connor sniped me under the arm @ the soft tissue of my obliques. You fat flq fuckers wouldn't know anything about that EH! Nice shot Con! I deserved it - sorry about the double nad hits bud.

    pat swathbuckler - you should know what a girl sounds like screaming - you guys had a poor girl in tears. had her so scared she took off her mask (way to promote safety), storm off the field & didn't want to play again. @ least you apologized. But that was only after stacking the teams so that it was a few renters vs all the milsim players. I forgot, you guys need the ego boost

    Arnold's seems like a decent indoor spot. large western vibe field & set up area. it had great prices $40 for air & 500 balls. too bad the frq's ruined the night. stacking teams, running gay ass drills, breaking your own rules & making a girl cry. not to mention totally demeaning some poor kid who wants to join your group - God only knows why.

    whatever members were there that night didn't impress me @ all. this is just a game - you have to remember this. from what I can tell its a bunch of losers who have nothing in life going for themselves so they create this fantasy paintball team. Why do you think I dress like a Cobra Paintball Trooper - you think Destro gave them to me. Its making fun of guys like you. I live out in the real world ... fighting fires, saving lives & banging birds ... mind you that is in between taking naps & washing my jeep while @ the station. Nice zing Gatti - but you forgot we also work out & eat while on duty too. ;}

    Anyways enough about those fqp fruitcakes - I had a great day today @ JT's. Amazing weather, good turnout (approx 40), won a sweet pair of camo gloves, got a few kills & best of all the proceeds went to Relay 4 Life - Cure 4 Cancer. Life is short boys - we gotta enjoy it. Great to see you lads again in the field of battle. Gatti - heal that knee up soon & you'll be able to hit the horton's while on duty again ... ZING ! (now we're even) & Connor sweet blog. 1st vid I opened up was about the Cobra Woodsball Team in Texas - I think I'm an honorary member. Jordan you gotta come out next time.

    Later boys.


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