The following is a re-presentation of a game concept that I offered to paintball players everywhere, back when we still had these things called magazines that you could buy at other things called newstands.
I was prompted to write it during a period in our games history when the weather outside was frightful. Since everyone had “no place to go” (thank you Bing Crosby), I figured it was appropriate to offer it up again as an alternative way to play paintball that didn’t involve going outside.
In fact, this new – shall we call it a format? – requires no HP fills or CO2, no paintballs and can even be played without a gun.
You should of course put your mask on for safety and, if you’re going to try and play this version of the game, get permission to use the land you’ll be playing on. Chances are it will be the living room, den, kitchen or basement, and I strongly suspect that the other people you live with would want to know what’s going on. So do them the courtesy of checking first and everyone stays happy.
The only thing you’ll really need outside of normal paintball gear is a stick. A yardstick will do. A half-inch or three-quarter-inch wooden dowel works pretty well (any stick about two to three feet long and about a half-inch in thickness will do). In worst-case scenarios, you can use a barrel swab or squeegee.
You’ll also need to set up your field. Pick a room at home or at work where you’ve got a little space. Push the furniture around so that it resembles a bunker layout. (Couches make great snakes.)
Next, put your goggles on (not only will you be practicing proper safety protocols but it helps keep the experience real).
Grab your stick (dowel, ruler) and hold it like it was your paintball gun. Then, start your game. (Give yourself a countdown if you want – the more you do this like it was a real game of paintball, the better the experience will be.)
Grab a bunker. Slide into that snake! Belly up to that wardrobe (it’s really a huge oak tree!) Pop out and squeeze off a few shots at that guy behind the ottoman. Watch out! – the other team is trying to flank your position from the TV stand!
Send those rounds down field. If it helps you get into the scene, make shooting noises – “pew pew pew brrrrrraaaaaap!”
Then, when you least expect it, whack yourself somewhere about the head or body with the stick.
WHAP! You’ve been hit! (If you’re playing speedball, whap yourself five or six times when you least expect it.)
Duck back into your cover. Check the hit. Did it break? Did it bounce?
The decision is yours to make….