Arnold Paintball Indoor Featuring FSQ Review
Field: Arnold Paintball Indoor
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.