Sunday, January 02, 2005

Paintballing today!

Hokay, so I went paintballing today. Had a lot of fun. Didn't bring a lot of money :\ , but I didn't want go if it was going to require me to spend a lot! I have trouble justifying to myself the cost of going paintballing. It is rather expensive, especially if you enjoy the sport! I had fun playing, and got some good kills, but I must express marginal dissatisfaction with my current marker...

I use a Tippmann 98 Custom with TGP Expansion Chamber, Dye drop forward, 14" thunder pig barrel, blade double trigger, and a Ricochet Apache hopper.

... Don't get me wrong, this is a beginner marker, and was not meant to compete with autocockers, high-end electros, etc., but I could still wield it like a champ. And if it couldn't outshoot faster markers, I'd just have to out-skill the players who owned them. Which, in most cases, was an easy enough task.

I kept finding myself in the position where I could see who I should be shooting at (usually kind of far away), and sometimes even had an angle on them, but after I fire off 10 rounds and they all miss, the opponent repositions and starts supressing me.

I was getting annoyed at the opportunities I was missing because the marker was not accurate enough...

What made matters worse, is that paintball markers are interently inaccurate. They are not made to be super-accurate, and you can't get very accurate firing a .68 caliber imperfectly spherical ball of paint at 290 fps, no matter how hard the designers try.

The way the industry dealt with not being able to make accurate markers, is by making fast markers.

If you want to hit a 6"x6" square, and your gun will hit in a target area of a 24" circle, you will hit that 6" square with one of your shots... eventually. This is why if you can fire 32 (!) balls a second, you are more likely to hit that 6" square more quickly than if you can only fire slowly. Makes sense? Ok.

The problem with this, is that for me, upgrading my marker doesn't make sense unless I'm getting a high-end kick-ass marker. It wouldn't make sense to buy anything less when I can possibly afford the ultimate.
But I don't want to spend over $1000 on a marker that will only make me have to buy three times more paint! Not to mention a new HPA tank, barrels, etc.

But I digress... (don't worry, all that had a point)

I ran out of air (and money) around 1:30, (which was as I planned, I didn't want to withdraw money to play, or play too long (lest I catch all the holiday return traffic). After I was out of air, I watched four rounds of our group and talked to the ref there.

The first thing I noticed was that our team was outnumbered about 3:5. I thought we'd lost some people after the last round, and pointed it out to the ref, who said that the last two rounds were played at about this ratio, and the bands (outnumbered) won anyways. This suprised me because when I looked at our team, two of our players (two out of 11 is actually quite a bit) were pump players, and the whole other team was on semi-autos (electrics and autocockers).

I watched as the round began, and the bands took the no-bands for four more rounds, heavily outnumbered, and rather outgunned.

I listened to the ref as he told me about all the great spots on the field, and the angles the players should be trying to get to. It really reminded me that it was never about how much paint you can pour downfield, a fact that I'd been close to forgetting.

I also watched in amazement as the two pump players caught most of the kills. One from laying down in the dirt popped up over the three foot tall bunker, took a single shot at a player 75 feet away, and nailed him in the side of the head.

I watched the pump players more intenly after that, and saw some amazing shots (for paintball).

Afterwards I talked to one of the guys who was shooting a Phantom or Phoenix or Phalanx something-or-other. He said that he'd been a semi player for a while, but fell in love with the accuracy of his current marker.

Did you hear that? Accuracy. It almost brings a tear to my eye to say it...

When I was leaving I relized that I had a flat (last time I park in the loose gravel area of the lot...) but I strangely didn't seem to mind. I changed to the donut, and drove home.

On the way home I made a call to my paintball buddy to ask him to keep an eye out for a pump marker for me. He said I'd probably only be interested in a Phantom or a Sniper.

I called my dad on the way home to see if he kept the tire repair kit I left there when I moved out, went straight there, and (over the course of 20 minutes) figured out how the damn thing worked, and plugged the hole in my tire. I drove to a gas station, filled the tire with air, it didn't sound like it was leaking (success!), put the donut back in the trunk, went home and started researching the Phantom. Which I am eagerly wanting to get back to after I post this! bye for now!


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