Roboworld Photo Gallery
Hurricane Paintball Park
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Story and photos by Bill Mills
It’s the age old story. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl and builds robots take care of police and safety duties so he will have more time with girl. Boy programs robots to protect the earth. Robots realize that pollution and environmental abuse are threatening the earth and attack both the boy and the girl.
OK, so maybe the story isn’t that old, but it was the backdrop for a Duncan’s Games scenario paintball game at Hurricane Paintball Park in Palm Bay, Florida. Located on Florida’s central east coast, Hurricane Paintball Park was built by a community of paintball players and opened as a municipally operated paintball field. After a change of plans by the City of Palm Bay, management of the park was sub-contracted, and it has been an on-again off-again operation. In December of 2009, a new park operation team stepped up to the plate, and with volunteer support from local players, got the park back into operating condition, making numerous improvements along the way.
While not the largest of fields in the region, Hurricane Paintball was designed with scenario and scenario oriented recreational paintball in mind. According to Duncan, “it plays like a much bigger field,” with its multi-story bases and large number of buildings.
On the weekend of September 11th and 12th, 2010, Duncan’s Games brought Roboworld to Hurricane Paintball. The storyline for the game revolved around robots rising up and fighting their creators in Washington DC because they had been programmed to protect the Earth, and found mankind to be a threat.
The game’s two teams consisted of players representing the humans, led by Nicholos Justins of Team Oddity and players representing the robots, led by John Saxby of the Trailgunners with John Sarnin as his executive officer. The game started at noon on Saturday, with 75 players. The robot team took an early lead completing 15 out of 17 missions. The humans were not far behind through, completing 13 of their 17 missions, with both teams each scoring three kills of their opposing base. The robots succeeded in eliminating the human general, which strengthened their lead.
With warm temperatures, and high humidity players tired quickly, and the field staff combated their heat stress by providing complimentary freezer pops, a feature that is becoming standard at the field. As players would enter and leave the field in groups through the day, the line of scrimmage shifted back and forth between the two teams.
By the end of the day, exertion and heat had taken their toll on the players, so the evening round of the game, originally planned to run from 8:00pm to 11:00 pm, wrapped up at 9:30 when participation dwindled.
The game reconvened Sunday morning at 10:00 am with a smaller crowd of die-hard participants, ready to take on another day. The humans played stronger on Sunday morning, and by 12:30 both team commanders agreed it was time for the final battle. With the two teams sitting neck and neck for points, it was clear that the final battle would decide the game. With paint flying from both directions, the robot team captured the field’s deuce and a half military truck for the win. Driven out of Firebase Hurricane, the humans fell back to regroup for Duncan’s next game.
Following the completion of the game, awards were given for various aspects of the game. Wayne Nast, AKA Reaper was named Most Valuable Player for the robot team, while War Machine, Hurricane Paintball’s home team and the referees for the event were named Most Valuable Team. Sam Bardy received the Young Gun award, and Nathanial Curtis was named Best Sportsman.
For the human team Mike Miasauau was named Most Valuable Player, and Blue’s Crew was named Most Valuable Team. With more of its players now located in Central Florida, Blue’s Crew is expected to start becoming as visible in the region as it is in the northeast, especially with the Castle Conquest game being planned for Camp Blanding in the spring of 2011.