Contributed by Jared "Bad Karma Six" Bronson, Team Commander of the Bad Karma Paintball Team
A lot of players today, whether it’s speedball or scenario, are happy slinging paintballs at each other over short distances. In scenario play, this usually means you’re on some scrimmage line close to the middle of the field where the play can be very similar to that found in a speedball arena. If that style of play doesn’t get old for you, that’s great.
But there is a lot more to paintball—especially when it comes to scenario games. On the Bad Karma Paintball Team, we absolutely love the tactical challenges of missions, the rewards for completing them and the points that come from each. With all major scenarios games being scored in some way, those points become the obvious objective if you want to win. And who doesn’t like to win when they play?
If you’re new to missions, you might be asking yourself, how do I get involved? It’s not that hard really—especially if you have a team or group of friends that run together. The approach we take is that either the whole team or a team representative is always checking in with the general for the side. Sometimes we have to wait a bit until a mission is assigned, then we come up with a plan to accomplish the mission and move out. Let me repeat a key point: We come up with a plan. It’s not enough to put yourself on the field in the right area. Planning is necessary if you want to be successful.
Completing one mission is great, but how much does that really do for your team? How do you have the biggest possible impact on a scenario game outcome? The approach we have is to run mission after mission with little to no breaks throughout the day. When we come in to rearm, re-air and regroup, we try to minimize our downtime. We send a couple people with armfuls of HPA tanks to go wait in line and get tanks filled. We also send people to get food if needed while everyone else fills pods. We can be off the field as little as 15 minutes and usually no more than 30. Then we are right back out to run a queued up mission or report to our general for another. With any luck, our general is able to give us both a current and a follow on mission to maximize our time out on the field.
Missions can’t always be done with just your team or group of friends. You need to get more people involved. While heading out, we always ask fellow players on our side if they want to run with us. It's great to have people along and share in the excitement of running missions. In the process, we’ve converted more than one speedballer to scenario play. There’s just nothing like sneaking to the other side of the field to complete a mission when all odds are against you.
Are you going to complete every mission? No. But are you going to potentially create some havoc and have some stories to tell when you succeed? Oh yes. We’ve had many times where we’ve come back empty handed, but many more where we complete one after another.
Here’s an example of simple, but extremely challenging mission we ran at a past Living Legends game:
It was a mission to do a recon on the enemy command post, and we were transporting ourselves in a chopper when we were ambushed near a downed plane on the field. Upon landing, we immediately took heavy fire. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw our co-commander, Swagger, make a mad dash to the trees ahead of us. He had the mission card. The rest of us didn't make it.
As we were walking out with some of those that had ambushed us, one of my teammates asked where Swagger was. I gave him a look and told him to keep quiet. Once those that ambushed us were gone, I told him how Swagger was still running the mission, but realized he would have to travel about half the length of the scenario field.
But Swagger made some adjustments to increase his chances. Sometimes the Bad Karma patch is recognizable, so he decided to remove it from his vest and uniform. He reasoned that this gave him a little bit of an advantage seeing the enemy didn’t know we were on their side. He also alternated sneaking though woods and acting as if he just belonged there.
Getting to the command post was no easy task and time was ticking down as he had to get within range and round up a ref along the way to verify his recon and to sign off on the mission card. As he approached Ft. Courage, where the command post was, he decided he would take off his vest and act like he was taking a much needed rest. This was pretty close to the truth after making his way across half the field. A few heart-pounding moments later he sat there and watched enemy players around the command post. So far, so good. As time ticked down he knew he’d just have to swallow the fear of getting lit up with paintballs. Finally, the time expired and the ref came over to sign off on his card. Mission complete.
Well, on paper it was. Here’s the second half: Swagger had to make it back to the other side and turn in the mission card to get the points. He collected himself and his gear and casually headed back. Not making any type of hostile or even cautious behavior, he was able to walk right past enemy team members and head back to our side of the field. After a long walk, he was able to link back up with us, turn in the mission card, and we were off on another mission within minutes.
Did he empty hopper after hopper on the front lines? No. But did he do what raw firepower couldn’t and help his side win? Absolutely.
If you’re at a scenario event and wondering how to play the game in a new way—one that will help your team win and let you experience something new—hit your general up for a mission.