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Supergame (East) 2017 Paintball Scenario Event Review

Lars HindsleyBy Lars Hindsley Sun 27 Aug 2017 10:00 AM EST | 1111 Views
(DM) – Sunday August 27 2017 As a paintball player, my expectations of player count of Supergame East was high. I expected the name Supergame to draw well over 500 players. There were in fact about 300 with the highest player density occuring on day two (Saturday) of Supergame.

No doubt next year will meet or exceed my original estimate. In terms of game uniqueness, Supergame was not super –  Supergame was more of a standard bearer all events hope to live up to. That in itself made Supergame great. Friday’s two stage point play named Spoils of War turned a simple territory grab into a much more important objective. Teams must first capture a territory (a small base - not a full plot of land) then raise a flag when that team unit is ready. That ready moment starts a 30 second clock where they must stack that territory/base with players to maximize points in the grab. Multiple refs are on site to make sure this part of the game is never in question, let alone safe. If it is all unclear, taking the territory is not enough. The team must decide when it can load the territory with the most player representatives and in doing so, that 30 second window is a small time for a territory to hold maximum value. At the start of the 30 seconds (started by raising their team flag color), players physically pick up spoils (beads) to be turned in later for points. This idea should be used more often in scenarios. See YouTube DangerManXX channel to watch Blue take a territory/base from Red, and Red take it back again with points in play. 

Asserting Supergame was not super is no insult because let’s be real, Supergame (based out of Oregon) has 25 years behind it – bringing that experience east for the first time means it has room for improvement while still being a fantastic three day outing.

DangerMan and Killian Le on the Berm at OXCC Field for Supergame East 2017

Supergame is regarded as the best of all scenarios due to many factors – from field terrain, organization, camaraderie, prizes and more. Bringing that experience east is a challenge that is off to a good start. As for the event accommodations, few fields can match OXCC in Chesapeake City. OXCC’s event staff, facilities management, communication and customer care is a well honed machine run by a family balancing out professionalism with heart. However as good an event Supergame East turned out to be, it was the inaugural year. It has room for improvement. Here is a full honest review.

The Game

Players attend scenario games for a big game experience. Scenario events have become crowded with many choices. Castle Conquest (EMR, New Milford, PA) offers attack and defend, ION (Skirmish/Jim Thorp PA) and Oklahoma D-Day (D-Day Adventure Park, Oklahoma) are some of the ultimate in big team battle experiences with thousands on the field. Living Dead offers zombies and the list goes on allowing the avid paintball player no less than one scenario a month throughout the year to choose from. No one has an unlimited budget, let alone time to play them all.
DangerMan shooting moving 360 video at Supergame East. Photo Credit: LTuned Productions
Photo Credit: LTuned Productions

Enter Supergame East to the crowded field of scenario paintball. The advantage of a new scenario like Supergame East is the model played 25 years by Supergame West in Oregon. Landing in Chesapeake City, Maryland was the ideal choice. At its core, Supergame is a territory based game with other objectives peppered throughout. Like any scenario, Supergame utilizes the entire paintball complex. OXCC’s 80 acres allows hundreds of players to play various attack lines that bend and flow through-out a three day event. The actual play time is approximately 13 hours over three days, Friday (3 hours), Saturday (5 hours), Sunday (4 hours) with many players taking time off to rehydrate, eat lunch or simply regain energy for more play.

Two teams compete for points through-out the weekend with a third entity team playing for either of the two primary teams as they see fit. OXCC’s complex offers no high-ground play other than two, two story buildings which are easily taken over by any team with the nerve to rush with numbers from all sides. That’s not a negative! In fact these buildings and other similar structures such as actual Shinook helicopters make for great anchor points, thorns in a side, and choke-points to play around. More on this is covered underThe Field below.

The Weather
With players traveling as far as 3000 miles from California and Oregon, East coast players were quick to tell visitors, it’s not generally this muggy and hot! Each day was in the high 80's with intense humidity. Sure playing in the summer heat is easy on the body like spring or fall paintball, but on this weekend in August the combined humidity and heat was soup on Friday. In addition Friday games naturally draws the fewest players due to work and travel. The threat of rain lingered up until Friday and an evening thunderstorm did little to abate the humidity while also cancelling a night game. Saturday offered little relief and Sunday just slightly better once again. The only good news is unless it rains next SuperGame East, better weather is all but guaranteed.

The Field
What makes a great field great? From clean ground to run on, free of large branches in running lanes or hidden roots etc… to balance in opposing bunkers. The little things add up. In fact, in this case, OXCC even sprays the 80 acre complex for bugs. There are some locations I lament returning to due to chiggers. That not the case at OXCC.

Supergame East Map at OXCC in Chesapeake City MD
Playing as a promotional paintball player has advantages. You see more fields than most players dream of. With over 17 years of paintball play on the east coast of the U.S., be assured OXCC is at the top of the list for scenario paintball play. 

It’s easy to understand why Supergame’s producers brought it to OXCC in Chesapeake City, Maryland. But here is what you can expect if you get to play on this expansive arena. One side of the complex is a large elbow of open land with manmade terrain, buildings and structures. See the overhead map above if you can't visualize it. The open space is broken into individual playable rec ball fields for the large part of the year when scenarios games are not utilizing the entire complex. The large elbow of open space is lined to its right by a swath of woods which then is met by another open space. This long turning wood line makes for good variation on level ground in which working through is impossible for any small contingent. As if the wood line wasn’t enough to break up the complex in terms of obscured vision attack – a football field length berm runs along the woods, reminiscent of any foxhole you need nerve to attack and go over the top. This overview will by no means offers enough detail of how varied and vast the OXCC complex is to play on. Be sure to watch DangerMan videos on YouTube to get genuine in-game views. You will find most game video is in 360 video for a genuine immersive experience.

OXCC was previously owned by a company that also specialized in landscaping. Those same people still assist now in OXCC’s upkeep. Because of OXCC’s ownership their robust business infrastructure has a great deal at their disposal; one small item (actually huge)… A backhoe. A large trench area was dug in a small part of the complex to offer just one more dynamic exclusive to Supergame. The trenches did not come into play to the degree they may have been anticipated. Don’t’ expect them at the next Supergame, at least not in the same location or diagram.

The Players… The Good, Bad, and Ugly.
Supergame East LogoSupergame like any scenario drew a vast cross section of players, personalities and yes… value sets.

While players from Oregon and Delaware may play under the same ethics, combining mag fed players with hardened speedball type players running about the woods left a bad taste in the mouth of those who did not enter the event with the right mental model. This is no fault of Supergame, in fact it is no one’s fault.

A conversation over ethical shooting will always exist as new players enter the game and learn the proper ethic of shooting courtesy along with how to behave when confusion takes over. Of course there are also players that should NEVER own a paintball gun yet we have them in our game. Despite mag fed players frustration (putting it mildly) over being over-shot by traditional woodsball players, there was still an huge amount of players that stepped up in good sportsmanship.  Witnessing smart ethical play by scenario teams such as Soup Can Cocks, Team Defiance and Apex Predators stood out as much as their jerseys. The Operators travelled all the way from Oregon and while they wore military gear like many walk-on players they stood out as a team with calm collected smart play.

We can argue the balance of what existed more, good or bad game play but this review can only be given from the writers personal experience. Players did indeed, very often come out from cover giving the shooters a thumbs up acknowledging a hit. In one instance in personal experience a small crew was walking the tape line with myself well away from the main battle line. Two opposing players had made their way far behind lines to perhaps secretly reset flags when I noticed movement in the brush. I announced to squad mates, “Guys. What’s that over there?”  I shot into the darkness of cover where I caught the white of a scarf moving a few leaves at shoulder level. I took approximately 5 to 6 shots in a two foot spread. Out walked two players from the opposing side offering an amazed congratulations. While team mates offered impressed congrats too, what I couldn’t help but appreciate was that those opponents didn’t slip back deeper into cover and make an easy get away, they came out and congratulated us.

Get your own Supergame Jersey at Supergame
This was the type of ethic I witnessed over and over. Now – having noted the good, and bad, here is one ugly moment.

Playing for the third entity put us in many spawn traps during the event. For whatever reason, our team was overlooked by the ref’s on a birth to get back into play. That will obviously be improved on next Supergame, but to set the stage of this ugly situation it’s worth noting. To get out and take field, a long 50 foot run was needed to reach a bunker. On not one but two runs with no other players available to support the run, opposing players in a fortified position of a schnook helicopter were throwing lanes of paint ahead of me – prohibiting me from making it to cover. On the first run they cheered each other in excitement. I got up from my slide walked out of cover and gave them a thumbs up. The cheering grew. I figured, maybe they know me and figure it is a feather in the their cap? Who knows. But I began the humbling walk back to spawn. The cheers grew to laughter. Was it a taunt? If it was, it worked. I wanted to make a point now of taking out the chopper’s occupants. The next run, I fared little better and still I gave them a thumbs up congratulating the shots. While throwing a lane is no true accomplishment, I wasn’t going to parse the accomplishment for the sake of demonstrating good game ethic. I called back after the laughter reached a crescendo and yelled back, “Am I missing something?”  They began to boo. One last try. I make cover only to be shot from a new angle but my new friends in chopper start to boo as I walk out of cover. To this end, I put my gun down and walked over to the chopper, waved to the ref’s to know I wasn’t going in angry and said them, “Just wanted to see who it was that didn’t play with good sportsmanship.” One of them snapped at me, “You can’t handle booing?” And offered up his name in pride. I said, “We are all good.” And I walked out. You may ask why bother? One, I wanted to plant the seed that they could have played with better sportsmanship by confronting them with the humanity of the person they were insulting. Two, I was just glad to see it wasn't someone I personally knew. 

My spawn was not far away. I went there, I didn’t tell a soul how many occupants where in the chopper, and I took about 15 minutes to stay cool as I thought the best thing to do was let that area clear and forget about the entire thing.

Why outline this? Because this is paintball. It happens all the time. No event is immune from BS.

So many of us have had the ugly situation. If we are smart we grow from them. To me, the goal of an altercation is to A, level it down fast, and B, let the other party be the bad guy because once you both join in, there is no way anyone learns from it. I hope those guys understand after the fact, the person coming into that chopper attempted to humanize the situation. From there, perhaps valuable game ethic emerges.

My personal take is this. People are going to lose their temper, I don’t want to be the reason they lost their temper at most any cost.

The Paintball Personalities - Celebrities
DangerMan & Greg Hastings at SupergameDye sponsored mid-west personality Wolf, didn’t make it. Something personal came up. Legendary paintball player and celebrity Greg Hastings (pictured at right with DangerMan) attended representing the Red team promoting Inception Designs through an in game reward program. California’s up and comer Callista Moseley was General of the third entity team Renegades. The Renegades wore white arm bands with blue and red available when they assisted either side. This writer, with the moniker DangerMan participated as a field commander for the Renegades under Callista (Renegades General). The fun of running missions with known personalities can be a real kick and you get to see firsthand if they can bring it. At this event, the player personalities and celebrity Greg Hastings played in the enduring heat offering friend and foe a true chance to play with them. See DangerManXX on YouTube for interviews with game footage of Greg Hastings, Callista and DangerMan. Note, I refer to DangerMan as a personality and Greg Hastings as  celebrity. The reason should be obvious to respect those that earned their place in this game.

Suggested Improvements
The devil is in the details and Supergame producers nailed it. From providing each player a two sided card with one side serving as the field map to the flip side listing the event schedule, nothing was overlooked. However, here are a couple things at field level some players talked about.
Supergame Schedule
Insertion points of the main teams would have worked better with teams starting at true opposing sides in the middle making spawn trapping very difficult. Speaking of spawn trapping, the White team was spawn trapped with no ref instruction to pull both Blue and Red 100 feet away as White had no bunkers within a 100 foot of spawn. White had no tent for players to drop gear or supplies such as water with a full 1/4 mile walk to an insertion with no cover.

Years ago, scenarios at OXCC included the perimiter woodline and a small strip of land along the waterline to the south. That added part of the field was vitial to teams flanking in an unseen territory which geninuenly made OXCC a fantastic experience during ANY scenario. One would hope this area is added back to gameplay. It was a huge addition to the fun. Bring it back!

At orientation, remind mag fed and pump players they are entering an event with heavy flow shooters, while reminding everyone it's a game of courtesy – you get what you give.

The final battle. The area of the buses makes for a great center line of the final battle. However it seems clear over time (as a player) the far side has a clear advantage of not only reaching the center and 40 yard line, but more bunker cover in attempting to reach the objective spinners (color wheels) to set them to their team color.
Final Battle at Supergame was as whacky as it was serious
At the very least add a few bunkers to the near side (Firebase side) to provide adequate cover to move through and shoot from for the team advancing from that end of the field. Note, while red team came out hungry and hard in the final battle and the blue team appeared content with bunkering down inside the firebase, the prior points in this paragraph still hold merit. 

On a whole Supergame was great with room for improvement. The first year was geniunely well run and good fun. You may have missed out on year one, don't miss the following Supergame East as it will surely be bigger and better year-after-year. Let's also hope Supergame stays at OXCC as thier are few fields that can offer the level of professionalism, customer service and just damn good fields to play on.
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