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D-Day at the Bunker
by Clair Stewart

D-Day.  Even the mention of the battle brings back memories of titanic struggles between fighting nations.  It reminds us of heroism of the highest caliber, and a pride in the individuals who gave their all that we might have the freedom we take for granted.  All of these emotions were present in the latest version of the D-day recreation at the The Bunker in Wyomette, Oklahoma on June 1-3.  We had heard of this game last year at the Grand Finale from J.J. Brookshire from Air Guns Design.  He has played this event every year and
keeps coming back because it just keeps getting better.  This year the Sin Sity Raiders flew to Oklahoma to participate in one of the greatest paintball events of the year, D-day at The Bunker.

 

We actually missed out on some of the event due to flight arrangements.  We were only able to fly in late Friday and missed out on the Sniper School produced by Dwayne Convirs, owner and operator of The Bunker.  The school covered such topics as camouflage, moving quietly in the bush, positioning oneself for the attack and waiting on the right shot.  Those individuals attending the school who practiced their skills during the game were eligible for awards based on most kills, and the type of leader taken down during the event.  Dwayne’s crew even teaches persons on how to develop their own Gillie suit using the proper colors to match the terrain. 

The field for this event is awesome.  Just imagine 400 acres of rolling hills, trees, with a river and pond to play in.  There are also several bunker-enclosed firebases with earth mounds for protection and towers to watch enemy movements.  There is so much variety to the terrain that no two attacks ever occurred in the same way.  It also lends itself to hundreds of scenarios and battle schemes which is why this field is so much fun to play. 

The real game was Saturday.  After introducing the generals for each force the 
Armies were instructed on the importance of safety on the field and the rules of the event.  In addition several different types of missions were explained with the point requirements for successful completion.  Tank rules were also explained and what was different to us was that each tank had a box mounted to the top of the hood with a small hold cut out of the front.  Inside the box there was a kill switch that would cut the power to the tank if it was hit.  This
situation allowed any and all participants a chance to take out a tank if they could place their shot within the box.  After hearing the rules we were then introduced to our own assignments.   In addition there were several dead zones on the field that when a player was hit he would travel to wait the next insertion.  This was great as the dead zone was much closer to the field and eliminated traveling back to the main entrance to be inserted.  This year we had been assigned to the German side, which we were told, hadn’t won an event in
several years previously.  In fact most of the Allied players coming by our vehicles expressed their condolences in our having to play for the Axis.  They felt we would be spending a lot of our time in retreat.  We would see how history would change. 
 
This year the Recreation Chat board on Warpig has been buzzing about tanks and the rules governing them.  Tanks have been a big part of the D-day event and we were introduced to and given the opportunity to ride with Tank #5 as elite SS shock troops looking for the parachuting 82nd Airborne troops.  These Allied forces were being placed behind the Normandy beachhead to attack the German ground forces from behind.  Our tank is a converted van with a rotating gun turret on top.  The owner Bill Bailey is from Missouri and
is a long time attendant of this event.  He and Phil Chainey, are sponsored by Price Electric out of Springfield, Mo and this year were voted the most outstanding Tank and crew for these games as they consistently harassed the Allied forces.  Riding with them gave us a great advantage as we were new to the field and by traveling with them we could get a better feel for the fields.  Also traveling with them we became a very mobile and aggressive force.  The tank allowed us to be transported quickly to “hot “ spots on the field where we
could support ground forces in beating back the American attacks.  This led to some great paintball action as we could move past the Allied insertions shooting from inside the van to cause them to turn and then quickly deploy out of the van to attack their flanks.  This type of hit and run tactics placed a lot of American players in the dead zone and allowed the other German ground forces to concentrate on the protecting their Firebases and defending the
beach heads.  This is important as the D-day invasion occurs on a small lake within the field.  Dwayne has a landing craft that runs on a track from one side of the lake to the other. In this he transports the Allied forces to the small beach site and returns for more players.  Just like the real Omaha beach the amount of troops deposited on any one trip is limited and the remaining forces have to survive until more troops arrive.  The rules state that no one can fire
upon the landing craft until the main door drops.  This leads to some incredible firefights as the Allied forces come off the landing craft into a wall of German paint.  I found myself admiring the courage of those coming off the craft with the paintballs whizzing by, it was not a situation I wanted to be in.

Throughout the day the action was close, throughout the field there were blue and red flags.  Capturing these flags was worth points to that team.  In addition there were other props such as a skeleton dummy, which was to be transported back to the command base to be counted.  Some props were booby trapped with flash bang type explosives.  We saw this first hand as a group of players with us picked up an old ammo container setting off the bang.  Then the referee informed them that their next of kin would be contacted as they were now going to the dead zone.  The dead zone was also an area of concern.  Every half an hour the previous “dead” player would regenerate and be allowed to move to the nearest line of their army to begin to play.  This created some confusion as you had newly regenerated players with guns up walking with new “dead” players in a stream.  On more then one occasion a player was reshot by mistake for not having his gun up and barrel plug in while going to the zone.

After traveling with Tank #5 for most of Saturday morning we went back to our vehicles to reload and reair.  We also visited the tents of Warrior Sports, Brass Eagle, and Air Guns Design, which were selling their equipment to the players.  Brass Eagle had a shooting gallery at their booth with 18 plates that would fall when hit.  The player with the fastest time for hitting and knocking down all the plates would not only win a prize from Brass Eagle but would acquire 20 points for his team.  The fastest time was 8.31 seconds by Ben “Radar” Post using Bud Orr’s new Black Magic Auto Cocker.  Ben is also team captain of the Sin Sity Raiders.  

With more paint and air we were headed back on to the field when we were assigned to assist in the taking of Firebase Alpha, which was under Allied occupation.  We set out on foot moving along the Ghost Village and through the forests to come in behind the firebase.  All of our deception was really in vain as there were two ultra lights circling the field giving troop movements to the allies.  Still when we got to the base we found the allies encircled with additional support troops trying to relieve them.  At this point we split up our team and sent two members of the Raiders behind the Allied support units while we drew their fire from the front.  It took a long time of crawling to get in position but when they got there all they could see was the backs of Allied players.  Without firing a shot they barrel tagged several players quietly and would have done the same to others but they drew fire from the firebase.  Still without reinforcements the Allied firebase finally gave way to the frontal German assault and the last battle of the daylight was done.

Nighttime fighting was even more unusual because of the use of flares to light up the combat areas.  The flares cast weird shadows over the field causing several players to shoot into the air on what they thought was a person.   This was the time for the snipers to take full advantage of the cover and attack the enemy’s leaders.  Each team was placed in a firebase and then sent to attack and take over the opposing firebase.  Several good battles occurred but finally the German force overcame the Americans.  This put the Germans into the leading coming into the final day of fighting. 

Sunday morning brought in rain and wind.  By the 8:00 am start time the players were still getting ready for the game.  Heavy rains in the night had caused the river between the field and town to swell over its banks and delay traffic on the roadways.  This delay kept some players from playing Sunday and prevented new supplies of CO2 and air from arriving on the field.  Still the final battle was to occur in the valley of the Ghost Town.  This battle would decide the winner of the event.  The Germans were still leading on points but by a small margin.  A win by allied forces would sway the points to them. As a goal new flags were placed at each end of the valley and each side would start with their flag and proceed up the valley to take to opposing flag.  You were allowed up on the sides of the valley but were not to cross over the ridges.  On signal each side ran through the valley at one another.  As the Germans crossed the river they met with a strongly defended Allied force. It was stalemate for 20 minutes as each side dug in and blasted away at one another. 
Unfortunately Mother Nature had alternative plans and the game was called due to at that point due to lightning strikes in the area.  With safety in mind Dwayne reluctantly called the game with the Germans leading on points.

We want to thank Dwayne of The Bunker for a great event, one that we will schedule as an annual pilgrimage for us.  Thanks to Jessica Sparks and Dan Reeves of APG for their help in taking pictures and introducing us to our new found friends of Tank Crew #5 Bill Bailey and company.  In the same voice our thanks to all the referees, officials, and crew for putting together a well organized game in spite of adverse weather conditions they all were very good. Most of all thanks to all the players were friendly and courteous and played
outstanding honest ball, it is a pleasure to play with individuals with such camaraderie and fighting spirit.  As always we appreciate our sponsors without whom we would not be able to play Worr Games Products, Scott Goggles, Unique, Gramps & Grizzly, Las Vegas Paintball Headquarters, and Wayne Dollack Scenario games.  

Clair L. Stewart “Stew”
Sin Sity Raiders
 


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