Fish Out of Water – Playing in Living Legends 6 [paintball]

First, let’s get some pertinent links out of the way:

CPX Paintball
Living Legends of Paintball
Viper Paintball Scenarios

A favorite saying I have is that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  Having played Nerf so much, I also try to keep an open mind about the other Ways to Play out there, whether it’s water pellets, rubber bands, or in this case, paintball.

I barely remember my first time playing paintball, just that it was a bachelor party.  It was fun, but definitely different from Nerf in range, pain factor, ammo capacity, and so much more.  It was its own game, and I had a blast when all was said and done.  It was cost-prohibitive to me though, so I didn’t play all that often.  Whenever someone had another bachelor party or random get together, I managed.  And then I found out about Living Legends.

For a little history, the first Living Legends was held in 2008, and it was a relatively huge paintball scenario game that took place at CPX Sports, an approx. 143 acre property with about 18 or so different fields.  Only for Living Legends…. basically the entire park was the battlefield.  It was intended to let people come together and have a great experience playing paintball with some of the greats in the sport.  And maybe through the weekend, earn a legend of your own.   That first Living Legends had just under 700 people.

This year’s, number 6, had just under 2,000. 

CPX is below:

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=CPX+Sports,+Chicagoland,+Schweitzer+Road,+Joliet,+IL&aq=0&oq=cpx+c&sll=39.739318,-89.266507&sspn=8.697629,19.753418&t=h&ie=UTF8&hq=CPX+Sports,+Chicagoland,+Schweitzer+Road,+Joliet,+IL&hnear=&radius=15000&ll=41.466207,-88.155785&spn=0.071946,0.071946&output=embed” width=”425″>
View Larger Map

Anyway, I decided this was something I needed to experience at least once, so I went for it.  Two teams (New Empire vs The Horde), and a game that ran all weekend.  I picked up some gear, played a couple of more times at CPX leading up to Living Legends, and finally this happened –

(Language warning, a word or 2 slips in the video)

It was intense, it was dirty, it was great.  Work to organize an event like this began about 6 months prior, in order to organize missions, planned skirmishes, the works.  Points and objectives were all out there, it was up to us the players and our commanders to get out there and do the work.  From about 10 AM until 6 PM I was respawning and marching to different points of conflict, making friends along the way, and just throwing myself into it.  If there was a particular spot they needed people, I went.  If I was walking along and ran across a firefight, I joined the line.  It was by and large one of the most physically demanding things I ever put my body through (on top the gear and activity, it was about 80+ degrees that weekend so water was my best friend) but it was worth every bruise and sore muscle afterward, just to say that I did it.

I had a number of tense moments in trees, bushes, and buildings thinking that I’d turn a corner and run into a cadre of Horde team members all bearing down on me, or just trading shots with multiple targets and hearing paintballs fired at 270-300 fps zip past my ear, break on trees and burnt out cars.  And your only choice is to keep going until you’re hit, paint, or air ran out.  (And the way they handled logistics, it was more likely you’d get hit before the other 2 conditions played out.)

Not to mention that there were some great people I ran into.  Our Commander, Wolf , was very easy to talk to and say hi, whether at HQ or at the concession stand.  I used a few videos of TechPB’s as a reference about what to expect and how to prepare, and managed to meet him as well.  Everyone I spoke to (either on the field or moments of down time) was either willing to help answer a question about where to go, what to do, or if a ball had broken on me.  The refs were great, making sure the rules were followed but also that players had answers and most importantly, were doing ok.  I had never been asked/told to hydrate so much, it was good reminder.

Also, in the video I mentioned “tanks” and this is kinda like what I’m talking about –

Taken from Bunker Shots – https://www.facebook.com/Bunkershots

Sadly, I only went for 1 day.  Day 2 was the “Final Battle” where moments like this were commonplace: (it’s a battle over a single spot to score points). 

Photo taken from “Bunker Shots”  – https://www.facebook.com/Bunkershots

That being said, I consider this Bucket List item only half complete.  Next year!  Until then, I’ll keep exploring this hobby too and hopefully have a new trick or two up my sleeve for next year.  There’s truly nothing else like it that I’ve experienced yet, and I can’t wait to do it all again.

See you on the field.

Thank you so much to CPX and Viper for putting this all together!  Thank you to the pro shop staff!  To HK Army!  And most of all, to every player that was on that field.  It was an honor.

Announced: JT Splatmaster Tournament is coming to Chicago(land!) PSP Chicago, June 2013!

Fresh from JT Splatmaster… they’re starting a way to introduce newcomers to league play and competition!

(my original review here: http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-jt-splatmaster-z100-z200-and.html)  I was a fan of it then, and am still a fan of it now.  Between the accuracy and the comfortable feel of the Splatmaster line, it’s a solid buy if you’ve been thinking about it.  It’s nowhere near as painful as paintball (due to the decreased fps) but tons of fun at closer ranges than you might expect with paintball.

All the rules and regs are listed here:
http://empirepaintball.com/jt-first-shot/. More, after the break.

Players must NOT have any tournament experience!

When:
  • Saturday, June 22
  • 8am-6pm
Where:
2903 Schweitzer Road
Joliet, IL 60436
Registration: $75 for a 3 person team.  But here’s the part where I find it interesting….
Divisions
  • JT SplatMaster
o   No previous paintball tournament experience
o   4 players max per team roster
o   Age Groups
  12 and under
  13 and older
o   Equipment – Must use provided event equipment to participate
  JT SplatMaster z200 Shotgun
  JT Goggle
  JT SplatMaster Ammo
  Quick Load Tube
  JT SplatMaster Versus Vest
o   Paint Consumption
  30 balls per player per point
o   Simple Rules – 
  4 minute matches
  If a player is hit directly by a ball that player is eliminated
  If a ball breaks on the bunker and sprays on the player that player is not eliminated 
  No foul language
  No Alcohol
  No physical contact
o   Prizes Per Age Group –
  1st Place
  Trophy per player
  JT SplatMaster z200 Shotgun per player
  2nd Place
  Medal per player
  JT SplatMaster z90 Pistol
  3rd Place
  Medal per player
So there you go.  If you’re an adult and not quite sure how you like regular paintball (like many of my friends), a parent with a 13+ child and looking for a fun activity to get into together, or just looking to introduce yourself to the sport or try something new, this might be the way to go!
Nevermind that CPX is known worldwide as one of the best fields in the nation (if not the world) but just to get out there and try something new.  
I do love Nerf and everything that goes along with it, but I also keep an open mind.  I’ll be checking this out, and hope to see you on the field.