Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News From the Front: BT World Wide Game and Tactik Paintball Feature

August 21st saw the 2010 BT World Wide Game come to paintball fields across the globe, with thousands of players battling it out simultaneously. In the Ottawa-Gatineau region, the BT Big Game was held at Tactik Paintball, in Gatineau, Qc.

Despite an expectation of 10,000 players playing at all fields, Tactik saw a turnout of only about 60 people (as opposed to the usual 150 or more that show up at their Big Games). There were several factors at play behind this, chief among them that heavy rain was forecast for the day. Another complication was that because of the different time zones involved, the game was kept very short to have everyone playing at the same time worldwide. With the actual gameplay scheduled for 10am-2pm, many would-be players likely decided that 4 hours of play wasn't worth dusting off their equipment, much less paying the admission fee and the price of a case.

But despite the low turnout, those that made it out had a great time! The game schedule suffered from "paintball time" (i.e. the usual habit of paintball events falling behind schedule), and as a result the actual battle got underway at 10:30am. It continued for just over 4 hours, with the promised heavy rain putting an end to the game at 2:40pm.

The aim of the game was simple: Reach several points on the map, and hoist your team's flag up to capture them, while defending the flags you've already captured. With such a small number of players present these tasks were reasonable, and there was a lot of flanking and maneuvering, which isn't typical for a Big Game at Tactik.

Allow me to explain: The field is fairly large overall, however the access points between the individual fields are few, and with a large number of players present this usually leads to bottlenecks and stalemates at these points. With 150 or more players present at a typical Tactik Big Game, the natural result is most often total domination by the team that makes it to the village at the center of the field and captures it first. With the village under control, that team can leave only a few defenders to hold it, while putting together an assault group that can easily flank their enemies and make big gains in territory. This can be extremely frustrating to the team that doesn't make it to the village first, because without control of it their fate is pretty much sealed.

Fortunately, on non-Big Game days a smaller group can have a lot of fun playing rounds on each of Tactik's individual fields. Tactik features several innovative fields on its grounds, including:

The Plane

Tactik's most exceptional feature is the shell of an actual passenger jet on its grounds, with the seats, windows, and engines removed.

Needless to say this prop can be used for all sorts of interesting Milsim scenarios, and it's a real draw for Milsim teams from all over Ontario and Quebec.

The Train Station

Another interesting feature at Tactik Paintball is the train station, complete with a replica train. To complete the train, the staff converted a school bus, and added flatcars and boxcars to the rear of it. This also lends itself well to Milsim scenarios.

The City

At the center of the paintball park lies The City, a well-constructed village complete with simulated sidewalks. All the facades of the buildings are painted to resemble real businesses in the area (which cleverly brings in some sponsor dollars).

During the winter, the "streets" around the buildings are iced over, and The City becomes "The Frosted Village", where winter enthusiasts can bring their children to ice skate around the simulated neighbourhood.

As beautiful as Tactik's village is, Tactik has a 15-foot mercy rule that prevents any sort of dynamic entry operations inside the structures themselves. Instead, 3 solid taps to a structure's wall by an opposing player eliminates any and all occupants inside. This simulates the throwing of a grenade into the room/building, but limits the potential of this field for great CQB/dynamic entry play.

The Customs

The Customs is a checkpoint-style structure that also lends itself well to Milsim scenarios.

The Fortress

The Fortress, as its name implies, is a hard point constructed of wood and corrugated metal. It's ideal for attack & defend scenarios.

The Cartel

The Cartel is a large 2-story fortress, inspired by a drug lord's fortified compound. Again, its name and its design just scream "SCENARIO"! DEA vs. cartel militia, anyone?

The Laboratory

The Laboratory is a relatively new field that was just built this summer. It's a 2-storey structure, with loads of chemical drums scattered around it to give cover to attackers.


Aside from the various mainstay props on the field, Tactik's games sometimes feature some interesting surprises, including a fully-automatic minigun for defence...

...And a dune buggy that can be used to rush enemy lines and raid assets, capture flags, etc.

The fine print

Tactik Paintball is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon-6pm for walk-ons and rentals, and any other time of the week for pre-booked groups of 10 people or more. Prices for walk-ons are reasonable, with the walk-on fee being $6 (including air and CO2). Paintballs sell for $120 per case of 2000 (usually Draxxus Bronze or Diablo Heat), with balls sold by the bag at slightly higher rates. The basic rental package will run you $55, but includes lunch and 500 paintballs.

Tactik Paintball is an innovative field that anyone within driving distance of the Ottawa area should check out! Give it a shot on a weekend, or come try it out at the next big event scheduled there (currently a night game scheduled for October 30th, 2010).

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