Following much organisation by Gwylim, on Sunday morning, Simon, Jen, Gwylim and I set off for our paintballing adventure at the Delta Force Fernwood Centre just outside Reading. Steve and Hannah sent their apologies on the day and Jon met us there. Numbers were bolstered by two friends, Neil and Amanda, joining us from Tetbury. The journey there was creative as Simon's TomTom chose to not work but a combination of navigation skills from both JenJen and GwylGwyl ensured our arrival a mere 20 minutes late.
At our first game, we (the Reds) discovered that our opponents (the Blues) had a tendency to scream like teenage girls. As they really were teenage girls, we couldn't really object. On the first game in the Village, we showed that we were up to the task and trashed them in a record time. On the return game, our squad showed that this was no fluke, as we once again eliminated the Blues with no loss to our side. Rumours were spreading that we had some level of military training.
On the next game, with President Gwylim leading from behind, we didn't do so well but we thought it might encourage the opposition to come back after lunch. The plan didn't work however and both Gwylim and Simon defected to the Blues as their numbers dwindled to five. It didn't really matter, we still trashed them and it gave some of us a chance to legitimately open fire on our beloved coaches!
It was in the Bridge game that Jen really showed her mettle when she managed to get the flag into the Blues stronghold by a sprint right through enemy ranks. Not satisfied with doing this once, she then repeated the feat five minutes later. Unfortunately, someone on the Reds was involved in a close fire incident so we lost our 10 points for that game. However, we had time to spare so our marshal, Billy, gave the blues another chance at taking the flag. This time, the Reds changed tactics and Neil (a.k.a. Rambo) took the flag around the outside before charging headlong through the Blues for a third time, also gaining us an extra five points for the extreme carnage he caused on the way.
It was during the Barrel game that Simon took on the Terminator (a rogue element who wanders through games selecting targets). Somehow, he succeeded in getting the Terminator's superior weaponry and managed to finish off several of the opposition before the time ran out. This game worked to the Blue's advantage though as they were very good at hiding behind things.
One of the funniest moments (and there were several) was when we had to bomb the Fort. Game rules said the bomb had to go through a door only, Jen managed to launch the bomb through the window three times before managing to correctly identify, locate and target one of the four doors in the Fort. Thankfully, the Scout Hut has no windows.
As for battle scars, Jon did end up with an impressive selection across his back. Gwylim offered to complete the smiley face for him but Jon declined. Anyone paddling this week with Jon should ask to see it. Don't worry though, we have photographs! Jen spent most of the time mentally changing her wardrobe for an upcoming business trip to Lisbon, starting with strappy tops/skirts and ending with long sleeves/trouser combos as the bruises spread. At one point, Gwylim sported a fetching orange goatee and I ended up with a mouthful of paint after a direct hit on my Darth Vader face mask.
In the end, we won our section and proudly take home our certificates. The prize of free paint balls next time has been put into the Isis CC Paintballing pot for the next time. Please let us know if you're interested in joining us as it really is brilliant fun. Any discussion as to whether this is a sport or a game should be taken up with Gwylim.- Niamh Martin