This past April I had the privilege to be able to play with over a hundred of the North East, Canada, South East even as far as Colorado for a two day MagFed event. For me this was a little more special at this event I would be playing with my best friend and team mate Fredy Palacio. We are both Marine Corps veterans and paintball has always been a great way for us to get together
This event was held at Combat Capital Zone just outside of Albany, New York. A newer field but one that has quickly made its name known. The Field has got to the the largest "Urban" Themed field in the United States. Playing across a large City with neatly cut grass was a new experience for must of us hardcore woodsballers. But for those who wanted to stalk and creep across the woods there was two patches of woods along the length of the field one with a swamp for the more adventurous and hardcore of players.
While I tell people that Paintball is not and will never be anything like "war". It is a great way to compete with friends. Paintball does allow you to use a lot of the field craft and training you used in the Military in a positive and exiting outlet. Years of field training come in handy when making your way through the woods, desert or urban field. This I believe with conversations I had with many fellow Veterans is one of the biggest Draws to paintball. The fact that skills that you have acquired and have no proper outlet for them in civilian life.
MagFed games I believe up the experience by allowing a more of less level playing field. Without the constant barrage of paint. It also makes the player rely more on his team mates and makes him have to move to get a better angle on a opponent. MagFed is very MILSIM themed as my previous article states it's a natural progression of the game.
At Zero Hour I was able to meet one of my personal heroes. Medal of Honor recipient US Marine Sargent Dakota Meyer. The Marine Corps is a real small part of the Military Service and to not only run across another Marine in paintball is a treat but to run into a Medal of Honor recipient is something I will never forget. I spoke briefly with this was his first paintball game and I wanted him to have fun. Sgt Meye told me that he really enjoyed the aspect of MagFed paintball. At one mission that had him as a High Value Target he was so into the game and Mission that he had his rubber training knife at the ready. He stated that he enjoyed the way MagFed related to out training and how its a good way to get out with friends and have the kind of fun one used to have as kids. Sgt Meyer works with many Veteran Charities and Groups. His dedication to his American Service men is an inspiration to me.
The event started Saturday morning with teams, Blue for the Private Military Company BlackMountain vs the Red Militia Fathers of the Republic taking on the field and at the game on signal it was on. Players in the north east quickly rushed clearing structures and huts quickly taking over the field. Meeting about halfway where the nature of the fire fights lead to a lot of players quickly darting from cover to cover as players who where using First Strike rounds used their range and acuracy to take up of the role of back players in speedball who usually lay down massive ammount of paint to cover their teams movements. I was helping Refing at this stage and I got to see my best friend Fredy Palacio (SAS 5poppa) with a team mates custom built Sniper bolt action First Strike rifle go head to head against Sgt Dakota Meyer. My Best friend was defending the Castle and Sgt Meyer and the Blue Side was making a strong push against the twin Sentry Guns that the Red Side had placed to protect the Castle. That is and will always be one of my fondest paintball memories.
MagFed games are won by tons of cordination and constant communications with all your teams and having players who are willing to make those Bold Moves that get missions acomplished. I had a kinda unique view on the event as part of the Game Writing Team and Part of the Mercenary force that was for sale at the event. I saw a ton of outstanding paintball. I saw the best in the sport. The Field Owner was extatic at the size of the event and how little problems there was. I found out that the average age of the MagFed player in about 25 years old. They mostly are of the MILSIM mindset and are loyal to this type of play. Many there choosing to skip the WestPoint big spring game to support the MagFed Scene. Red Team was able to beat out the Blue Team by a narrow margin to secure a Victory for the Militia Side.
With the Urban nature of Capital Combat Zone lead to a lot of CQB where more compact markers had an advantage for maneuverability and pistols specially TiPX's with Stark Pursuit Zeta mags where a very popular platform. I cant imagine the kind of fun a Pistol only matches would had been. At the end of the Game day players from all teams took to the Speedball field for Pistol/Magfed force on force games that where fun to watch and a blast for those who played.
There was a lot of industry support at the game too. Tippmann Sports sent a TIPX package that was raffled off and won by a player Adam Collyer who had driven all the way from Canada for the event. (Adam sorry i lost your picture when my phone crashed) We had not even finished packed up when the Field Manager approached us about coming back with the event. So rest assure that Operation ZeroHour will return in 2015 giving the North East a great MagFed event to attend.