After playing 5 legs of SPNS, I'm getting a bit lazy. So here's the write-up by Xterix, from his perspective as a front guy, playing speedball for the first time in SG.
I'll write from my perspective as a backmen at a later date.
17th May 2009, is a date to be enshrined in the history of Singapore paintball, it was the first time a paintball tournament has been held outside a designated paintball site. And also the first time I play Speedball locally ;)
SPNS or Singapore Paintball Novice Series is meant as an introduction to Speedball (tournament paintball) but as some people have pointed out, there are more than novice players playing... not sure where i qualify actually, since i m a novice that have played in 2 Malaysian tournaments :) but i suppose the best way to learn is to play against better players eh?
The 1st game of the day was @ 8am and guess who had to play in the very 1st game of the day, yup! we the Wargh! Cooks ~yawn... waking up at O my goodness its still dark was certainly not how i envisioned my debut at a paintball tournament.
but wake up i did and after picking up Kongba, we met up with the team at Pasir Ris park's Native Lawn (i wonder why they call it that). despite the fact that everyone of the team had some experience from playing in past tournaments, this was the 1st time we are actually playing together as a team.
Our 1st game was against Seek 'n Destroy, a bunch of really friendly dudes. Standing at the starting gate and looking across at the other team, i wondered what thoughts went through their minds. For me, it was simply that we have to win this game, a win here will set the tone for the rest of the competition.
When the head ref shouted 'Game on!' we all ran to our planned bunkers (inflatable obstacles) and started to rain paint on the other team... on the opposite side of the field, i spied a player moving into the 'same' bunker as me (the field is set up symmetrically), he hunkered down and i lost sight of him coz of the intervening bunkers. without a clear shot, i looked for an alternate target diagonal to where i stood.
Then i noticed a ref near to the opposite side of the field gesturing and pointing at me... i was like 'wtf?' the ref beside me noticed the other ref pointing at me and came over to check to see if i was shot and i was obviously not... o well, some refs need to get their eyes checked.
Anyway, just about that moment, i saw my mirror (thats wat we call the guy from the other team who is in front of me) standing up with a hand on his head indicating that he is dead ;) woohoo! this means the path in front of me was very likely cleared. arching my body to lower my profile, marker up and pointing ahead, i did a slow run down the lane. my team mates did a good job and the rest of the field was cleared of the opposing team... except for one.
Running from the back bunker, he went into the snake, what we call the longish (beam) obstacle lying on a side of the field. he didnt notice me ;) hehehe i ran to the other team's starting gate to pull of the flag. but it was stuck! grrr the snake guy still hasnt seen me, busy firing into my team's half of the field :) i ran up into his blind spot and sent a few balls over, taking him out then returned to pull the flag and ran back to my own starting gate to win the game :) yay!
It was exhilarating! 1st game won, 7 more to go.
Our next game was against Rebels 'r Us. I sat out on this game and watched the team win this next match. 2 wins, 6 to go ;)
The 3rd game was against Dark Militia. Both Rebels and and Dark Militia had members of Team Damnation playing in them. As do the Wargh! Cooks :) Eri, Ben, Robert from Rebels, Grant, Abullah from DM, Chak, Cyrus and myself from Wargh! Cooks are interrelated in that some are members of Team Damnation and the rest have played for TD at some point.
Having played with and trained with Grant, we more or less know where he will be standing at for this game :) the game started and i ran towards my bunker. i attempted to slide in but my knee got stuck so i hehe ended up rolling to the bunker :) i m not sure if it was coz i was on the ground all this while and this was why my mirror didnt fire at me or something else but i was pretty much left 'alone'.
Crawling up around the cans (bunkers that look like coke cans), i sported DM's snake player, he was firing forward and didnt notice me :) i sent some paint across the field to him to let him know that he was dead ;) hehe
Moving up to the can at the top in the middle of field, i was spotted by a guy hiding behind the brick and we started to exchange fire. His misfortune was my good luck as my ball met his head just as he decided at tat moment to stick his head out ;)
The guy behind the can was still alive, and without looking up, i knew Grant in the temple. Edging myself closer to the edge of the field, i got up, ran down the field to the can where the DM guy was couching and took him out. Grant saw me and we both started dueling, a ref was standing between us :) so i used him as cover and fought from behind him ;)
Moving up, Chak took out Grant with Kongba providing cover fire ;) 3 Games won, 5 to go :)
Game 4 was vs Evil Avengers. Against them, we went with Plan B, ignore the snake and the cans and stick 2 guys in the carwash :) with Kongba firing over our heads, me and Cyrus ran low and slid into the carwash. Looking out from my side of the bunker, i saw 1 player walking away from the can 'dead'. thinking the cans were undefended, i ran to can next to meet and was met with crossfire from both the brick and another guy from the cans :( with a shot to the arm, mask and ouch! my forehead, i was out, out and out :) running back to the starting gate, i waited as the rest of the team won the game :) 4 wins! 4 to go :)
Game 5, vs Seek 'n Search, sister team to Seek 'n Destroy. Back to Plan A :) Game start, run to the can hahaha (ya for those of you who knows me as being full of shit) :) making my way around the cans, i managed to move up the field and got into position to begin my run down to the opposing team's can to take out their can player. looking around the side of the can, there was only the temple player left so i ran towards him ;) i fired, he fired, his balls hit me but bounced! i dodge behind the big can to check, ref says to play on so i pop out and fired at him again, splat! orange paint :) he is down. 5 wins! 3 to go :)
and it was time for LUNCH :)
And... we are back ;) 1st game after lunch was a killer! if i remember correctly, it was 1230 or so... or it cud have been 1pm whatever it was, it was HOT!!! where was the rain?!?!?!?
Game 6 vs Death Mavericks, again we went with Plan A which means my position was the cans :) which was where i ran to when the game started and i noted my mirror was occupied. from my can, i could see a player running to the tombstone at the tail end of the snake and fired at him. but i cudnt fire on him much coz my mirror was making his way down the can to the small bricks.
DM has this really small 14 y/o kid playing for them and it was possible for him to stand behind a small tombstone and be completely covered. i moved forward, from my peripheral vision, i saw the guy at the center brick firing at me so i dived into the cluster of small bricks. in front of me, i could tell whoever was behind the small brick was trying to reload so i fired, crawled and fired. i saw a orange splatter appear on the other player just as the ref shouted i was out. phew! i didnt feel the hit but i saw paint dripping off my visor. just in time, the guy at the center brick must have shot thru the gap between the small bricks.
Behind the starting gate, i found Chak there as well. together we looked on as Kongba moved to firefight with the other team's player who was moving through the can. the other player saw Kongba and fired but the balls bounced! Kongba was bunny hopping away and attempting to reload his hopper at the same time. seeing the futility of it, Kongba decided to run to the next nearest cover, the other player seeing his prey running away, stepped out and was promptly shot by Zeonic :)
Off at the other end of the field, a Bollywood dance was in progress. Cyrus was running around a can chasing after his target which apart a few steps, it got reversed and the target started chasing Cyrus as he tries to reload on the run. the dance ended after Cyrus managed to load his balls and fired a shot hitting the other player in the mask. finally! a solid part of the body and the ball burst.
6 wins and 2 more games to go :)
Game 7 vs Red West, i sat out this game as well ;) ironically, RW played defensively deploying 2 players in the cluster of cans and handed us the 1st lost of the day :( 6 wins, 1 lose, 1 more to go...
Game 8 vs Kamikaze, i played this game. Kami was known to b chargers meaning they are known for playing in the defense but for some reason or other, they did. the game started and i ran to my can, i cud see 2 in the can, 1 at the brick in the center. then Chak started shouting for updates, wheres the other team?!? i was wtf since the folks at the back were supposed to have a better view of things on the front. anyway, i tried shouting back but being the shy, soft spoken guy i m, Chak couldnt make out wat i was yelling :(
Fine! i will move so he can move up n have a look himself ;) i moved into the 1st brick after the middle can and came under fire from the guy at the brick... thankfully the balls were all bouncing off me ;) guess i m not so stick and bones anymore ;) but i figured i m not gonna last long there as the small brick was really really small and it was hard for a yoga master to hide behind it, let alone me so i made the decision to charge the back cans...
Up i came and ran, marker up and firing as i ran. balls were incoming but they werent really hitting me, until i felt a splat! a 'you are out!' but momentum carried me forward as i simultaneously fired, looked down and saw the orange splat on my chest and attempted to stop. Needless to say, by the time i could stop, i was past the can and even though i hit my target, the ball didnt burst :( the ref decided i was playing on while hit and made a 1 for 1 call :( ok la, since i didnt stop on the dot the moment i was called out, i accepted that it may seem to be playing on and didnt argue. unfortunately, Chak was called out as a result of the 1 for 1.
With the right side down, it wasnt hard for Kami to make its way up to take out the back players. Damn! 2nd lose of the day. and it was my fault. and with that match, it was the end of the qualifiers. 6 straight wins, 2 loses.
Phew! it was a tough fight, while some teams only had to play 7 games coz of a walkover and a couple of lucky teams only played 6 games coz 1 of the teams decided they werent gonna make it and left. we had to play all 8 of our qualifying games to come out 5th. all the same, it was a good run and performance for the Wargh! Cooks :) and tiring...
But we still have a couple of games to go, 2 if we win Contract Killers in the next 2 games outta 3 or 3 games we dont.
Game 1 vs Contract Killers
Plan A again, game start, run to the cans. Looking ahead, i see my mirror, another player in the brick before the car wash and then on the far side, a player running up to the tail end of the snake. firing a few shots at each of them in to keep their heads down, i looked for an opportunity to advance down the field.
Time and again, i left hits on the right side of my thigh but all the balls bounced n failed to burst. i reckoned i stayed in this position long enough and ought to move up soon. taking out my pod, i reloaded so i wouldnt be low on balls in case i have to firefight as i move. fyi, each hopper (the ball carrying thingy on top of the marker) could carry up to 200 balls but no one fills it to the brim coz balls tend to get stuck if the hopper is too full. i was carrying 100 round pods for this reason. if i carried 140 round pods, i would have to fire more rounds before i had to reload which also means by that time, the hopper will be closer to empty.
Anyway, i reloaded and was just about to run off when the ref shouted 'u r out!' feeling no hits since i reloaded, i turned to see who was out only to see the ref pointing at me. i shrugged and ask 'where?' he shouted again 'u r out!' i asked again, 'where?' he shouted again 'u r out!' and '1 for 1!' only then did he point at the right leg of my pants. there was an orange blot on it. to me, it was obviously a splotch from kneeling on one of the many balls i spilled when i was reloading. the evidence was there on the ground even, a busted ball with both sides still attached and paint wet on the ground.
But the 'voice of god' has yelled and we are subjected to the tender mercies of a judgment call. they do say justice is blind, i guess it applies to this particular ref too. to add insult to injury, the ref came up at the end of the game n said 'trust me, when i say u r out, u r out' like wtf! u mean if dont have the experience to tell the difference between a hit and a splotch of pain i m supposed to just trust u?
needless to say, we lost this game and CK rolled up the flanks to take out the back players.
Game 2 vs Contract Killers
After an internal team discussion, we decided to go with Plan B to keep CK off balance ;) Game start, 2 players to the car wash, me and Farid ran and slid into it, Chak ran to the cans. Farid suppressed the snake side, i kept the players in the can busy. Kongba and Zeonic crossed from the back. Amidst all the rain of pain, Chak move up the cans up to the middle of the field taking out players as he went. It was over in about a minute or so. Finally tally, Chak took out 4. Not sure who took out the 5th player.
Both teams won a game which means the 3rd and final game will decide who goes up to the next round.
Game 3 vs Contract Killers
With Plan B doing so well for us in the previous game, we decided to stick with it. Coz we won the previous game with no loses to the team, even this game ended in a draw, we would still win based on the fact that we have less 'dead' players than CK :)
No plan as they say survives contact with the enemy. popping my head out of the car wash, my hopper got a hit. yes, i was dead :( standing up to run back to the dead box, wham! i got hit in the head :( ouch! the pain was amplified coz the ball smacked the carabiner on my head strap and the carabiner hit my head :( it was irony coz for a while now i have been wondering wot are the odds of a ball hitting the carabiner and then the carabiner hitting my head. zzzzz now i know. and no, i m not interested in keeping count so lets hope it doesnt happen again :)
Right back to the story. we lost this game :( and so we are out. yup. just like that.
Thinking back to the tournament, i must admit that i had a good time. i enjoyed the camaraderie amongst the team and although we have never trained or played together as a team until the morning of the competition, we had a good run and a string of wins before lady victory left the field coz it got too hot :( women!
Regardless, when it came down to it, we gelled, worked well as a team and for my part at least, i just did wot i had to do and trust the guys at the back to cover my cute little tush as i made my way into enemy held territory :) at the end of the day, we all had a part to play and we all played our roles to the best of our abilities.
Will i play in SPNS again? highly unlikely, my wallet will not allow it and i feel that while the refereeing for this round has improved with the presence of the Malaysian marshals, the local refs still have a lot way to go and need more exposure. unfortunately, i dont think learning on the job at an official tournament where teams have spent lots of money buying paintballs is the way to go. at least i dont think i should be subsidizing their learning process.
Anyway, i m no speedballer so unless Chak wants a Scenario Paintball player on his team again, this will probably be my 1st and last SPNS :)