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Corporate Wars
by Clair Stewart


Welcome to Phoenix - try not to melt!  At least that’s what the entrance sign should have said as we stepped off the plane at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona.  Not that knowing about the heat would have stopped us from our mission to play in Wayne Dollack’s newest scenario adventure “Corporate Wars”.  My teammates and I had been looking forward to Wayne’s return to Arizona since last October’s Area 51 game and we couldn’t wait to compete.  This game would simulate a future in which the oil corporations would fight one another for new oil reserves.  We would be representing the Am Petro Kuwait Corporation who was competing against the Jackson/Matsui Corporation for a new find in southern Texas.  Those who have played in any of Wayne Dollack’s scenario games know that his games create numerous situations in which the paintballer must use his/her wits as well as their weapons.  Whether the individual is into role-playing or just “spraying paint” you can find enough action in his games to satisfy all varieties of players. 
 
On Saturday morning the registration began promptly at 8:00 a.m. with one hundred and eighty-five participants buying paint, getting air fills, and learning about their new corporate alter egos. The field is called Southwest Paintball and is located in Surprise, Arizona, northwest of Phoenix and is owned and operated by John and Connie Zoloniski.  The field itself is one of the best representatives of Arizona desert with mesquite brush throughout and plenty of rocks and stones to crawl over.  There are four concept fields with teepees, buildings, and pallets providing cover.  One field contained a large castle, another a pirate ship, and a third had a town with over 60 buildings.  Along the center of the field there are two dry washes that dropped some 4-5 feet below the rest of the field and ran the full length.  These washes separated some of the individual fields from one another and created visual “blind spots” for the defenders and attackers alike along the edges. The field between the washes was called “Snipers Island” and had a number of towers and bunkers to fight behind.  At the middle edge of the field there is an area of nets, which protect a nice covered table area for storing equipment and eating.  This covered area is where the generals would gather at mealtime and the prize drawings would occur.  For scenario games these fields are great as they allow the players to have a lot of separation between groups.  Each field also plays entirely different from one another so there is variety in the battles.

The morning briefing introduced us to the generals, Chad “Dinky” Ackerman of the scenario team Phreekz commanded the Am Petro Kuwait Corporation and was dressed appropriately in his corporate raider three piece suit.  His opposing general was Lauriel “Shotgun” Byers of the scenario team Dog Soldiers.  She was also dressed in a business suit, while her executive officer/ secretary Dennis “Smiley” Cook, wore a skimpy white dress.  This was not the first time that these generals had faced off against one another.  Dinky had been a general on three other occasions, and his scenario team, the Phreekz, has enjoyed a lasting interstate rivalry against the Shotgun-led Dog Soldiers.  The previous October, Shotgun and Dinky were again on opposite sides. Dinky leading the government forces in protecting Area 51 and Shotgun the executive officer for the public information guerillas.  In that scenario it was Dinky who won the event and protected the secrets of Area 51 from being revealed.  This time Shotgun was in charge and promised no mercy on Dinky. 

After the generals finished inspiring the troops, we received further information from Wayne on new events coming up. In addition to that news, Wayne introduced a special celebrity player for this game as Jeff Orr and Greg “Sleepy” Walker from Worrgames Products had dropped by to attend.  Jeff said that this was his first time playing in a Wayne Dollack scenario event and was impressed at the length of actual playing time as compared to tournament play.  Throughout the day he also helped out numerous players with Autococker questions and repair problems.  Finally, the head referee (otherwise known as G.O.D. in Dollack terminology), J.R. Pryke, a local player, reviewed the rules specific to this field and warned players to be careful of the snakes that might be about.  Following these instructions, we then “beat feet” to our respective bases on opposite ends of the field and prepared for battle.

Unlike the game played here last October, which was 24 hours in length, this game would be limited to 12 hours of scenario play with a dinner break.  This compressed the fighting time and made mission completions an even greater priority.  Missions completed are to scenario participants what flag pulls mean to tournament players: big points.  It’s a lot of fun to go attack the enemy base or hunt down the opposing players but if you want to win you need to focus on running the missions handed down from Wayne to each general.  Wayne even makes it easier by dividing the players into separate platoons and sending missions in order for platoons.  This allows each platoon a chance to pull base security, reinsert, resupply and rest if necessary before being called on to run another mission.  This rotation also allows generals the opportunity to strategize.  As General “Dinky” commented, “ I like half of my players out in the field controlling the field and the opposing players and the other half running missions.”

At the start of the game, the Kuwait Corporation gained the upper hand as it quickly took control over the field preventing Jackson/Matsui from completing missions. While the battle was on outside the command headquarters in a quick strike coup, Joe D’Ambrosio, a spy for the Kuwait Corporation, gained entrance to the Jackson/Matsui home base.  Joe’s entrance ticket was by representing himself as himself, the owner of The Paintball Store, Phoenix, and sponsor of the Dog Soldiers.  This information allowed him to pass by the exterior guards and enter into the command bunker.  After waiting for Shotgun to receive her first mission of the game, Joe calmly held out the fake knife and 007 card indicating his right to the assassination, and Jackson/Matsui was without their general until the next insertion.  This became the fastest general kill on record as it occurred in less than a minute of the game beginning.  The moral to be learned is, just as in the corporate world, you can’t trust anyone in these games.

Despite the early assassination and numerous over running attacks upon their base, the Jackson/Matsui Corporation fought and pushed Am Petro back to the edge of their own headquarters.  This back and forth fighting continued throughout the game with both sides completing as many missions as possible.  By the dinner hour the Kuwait Corporation was up on missions but had yet to acquire many props.  The Jackson/Matsui, while down on missions, had equaled the points on headquarters destroyed with Kuwait.  However, the biggest prop was still in play.  Somewhere on the field there was a chemical bomb that would provide big points for the finder, and if used on the opposing force, would change the situation of the game dramatically.  While the points were being calculated the players enjoyed a delicious Hawaiian style dinner with chicken, pineapple, and rice and there was a hula competition for a case of Zap paint.

Nighttime brought a change of clothing, rechronoing of the markers down to 250, and a whole lot more paintball action.  For the referees’ protection, they wore the green glow sticks so that players could know when to curb their fire at non-participants.  I think most of the referees felt that rather than warding off the unwanted paint, it made them feel as if they were wearing bulls’ eyes on their shirts.  

As a case in point, my team, the Sin Sity Raiders, used the darkness to lay the perfect ambush as we made our way down “Sniper Island” right after dinner break and positioned ourselves for the perfect ambush of unsuspecting Matsui players.  Sure enough, as we got into position and waited we saw the telltale sign of a mission in progress.  In the darkness we could make out the referees glowing cylum marching along with a group of players.  The opposing players were busily talking, not even pausing to listen for anyone to be in the way.  Our team was in perfect position as the Matsui group headed right for the middle of our group.  The guys in the center waited until they were almost being walked on before firing.  After firing all we could hear was players calling out their hits and making the long walk to the dead box, but you could see the referee’s glow stick bouncing around as he tried to hide.  Night play requires players to be more patient and quiet, especially when identifying safe areas in which to travel on the field.    

At the final gun everyone gathered at the shade structures to await the final points.  Point totals required that all props collected be returned prior to the announcements and the drawings.  It was at this time that spies needed to turn in their mission cards for points.  This was also the time that the battle stories started to flow.  Put two paintballers together and soon enough the talk turns to “who shot who and when and how bad it was.”  
Meanwhile, Wayne totaled up the missions run, props held, and any penalty points incurred by either team.  The total was 1850 points for Jackson/Matsui Corporation to 2450 points for Am Petro Kuwait.  Kuwait wins.  Either side never recovered the biggest prop of all, the chemical bomb.  In fact, it required three referees with halogen lights 15 minutes of searching to find it, and they had previously placed it.  If the Jackson/Matsui side had found that prop it could have been a whole different outcome.  As it was, it was a great game.  The opposing generals smoked the ceremonial cigar together and announced their awards as follows:

Am Petro Kuwait    Jackson/Matsui
Valor: Rick Kenna    Valor: Will Haskell
Most Valuable Team: Sin Sity Raiders Most Valuable Team: Alpha Wolf
Most Valuable Player: Kevin Cambel Most Valuable Player: Renee Byers
Most Valuable Judge: Bob Vogl  Most Valuable Judge: Kevin Cooley
Sportsmanship: Clint Eckels   Sportsmanship: Chad Phares
 

As a special award, the Sin Sity Raiders received a special Sportsmanship Award from Wayne Dollack for their participation and help at the Grand Finale event held last December in Ocala, Florida.  Ben “Radar” Post, team captain of the Sin Sity Raiders, received the award with gratitude and much appreciation for the team sponsors and promised to be in attendance at the game in Florida this year as well as back in Surprise in November.

Many thanks to the great sponsors for this event: Scott USA, Kingman, Tippmann, and Custom Products, whose generosity helped make this a most player-friendly event.

All in all, the 12-hour event was a great success.  Those new to the scenario game scene went away with a new appreciation and enthusiasm to play again.  Those veterans of the scenario field echoed Shotgun’s sentiments when she said: “Wayne Dollack is the grandfather of scenario, and everyone, no matter what age group or style of play, can learn from him.”  Wayne Dollack rules scenario games, enough said!
 


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