August 22nd was witness to a day of Showdowns. In Chicago. Hence, CHICAGO SHOWDOWN hath come! Seriously, some familiar faces and some new ones showed to once again take shots and kick ass in Oak Lawn, IL. Already, I knew the day was off to a good start when I was in the parking lot unloading my gear. I had my BBBB (featured in “Blaster of the Moment” slung over my shoulder, when a police car rode up. The officer inside was cool guy, and simply asked “So where are you paintballing?”
I showed him my blaster. “Foam! Nerf, definitely not painball, sir.” He only wanted to know what was going on, and he went on his way. A sigh of relief later, I made my way to the field. I had already dropped off barricades and obstacles, so what was left was getting locked and loaded.
It was most of the usual suspects from the Nerf Internet Community but there were a whole bunch of fresh faces, too. Not to take anything away from any of them these kids brought their game. It’s made me start to think though about ways to get people to be better informed about events so they know what to expect. In any event, the games of the day were Team Deathmatch, Team CTF, Defend the Core (IN A PLAYGROUND, terrain = ftw), and even a bit of Team Powerball. Team Powerball was new to me, but it essentially followed in the spirit of Powerball from American Gladiators, only with nerf blasters.
Defend the Core took place on a playground, which was a lot of fun to watch. I videotaped and the footage will follow, but I’m a big fan of terrain that changes levels. High ground, cover, it’s all a factor and it was just cool to see. Eventually though a lot of younger kids with their parents came by so a good half hour later we were done and had to relocated back to the field.
Our events now have street cred too! A cop actually came by to watch. It was in fact, the same officer from earlier. He was just interested and according to some of the other nerfer parents there, said we could be doing worse things. Hear, hear.
Probably the coolest thing I can think of was the new people from NHQ and the people who just jumped in with us near the end of the day. This is what I dig, playing a pickup game of sorts, and drawing people in to play. I think we all had a decent time, even though there was an imbalance of modded vs. stock blasters. But running and gunning all day with random strangers brought together to have fun? I dig it. Big props to the Des Plaines kids and those new kids we played against for jumping in with us.
Now for the PSA portion of our presentation:
1) If you’re going to test fire a blaster, by all rights MAKE SURE THE AREA YOU ARE FIRING INTO IS CLEAR. This avoids shooting someone in the face when they’re not expecting it. It’s one thing to pop someone in the heat of battle, it’s another when you’re standing around talking and get whapped out of nowhere.
2) Shooting someone from behind when they’re clearly not paying attention to anything and watching the flag go is considered UNSPORTING. Especially when it’s from 10′ away with a modded 2k.
3) This goes without saying, but definitely take care of taking shots in a playground. On at least one occasion a parent came over a little concerned their kid was going to get pegged. We’re good about taking our shots, but all it takes is one accident.
4) I hate to say it, but if you’re playing out in the open you’re going to lose ammo. That’s why a lot of the NIC makes their own darts, it’s cheaper that way in the long run than buying even BuzzBee stock ammo. Not to mention even removing an AR means you can load other ammo down the barrel of your blaster and it makes an easier time of reloading.
Video soon, gallery now!