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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 00:00

SuperGame XLIII

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For more than twenty years the Portland, Oregon area has been home to one of the best paintball big games in the world—the SuperGame. Founded in the 1980s by Bob Shano, the SuperGame is one of the longest running paintball events in the world—not just the Northwest. The game is now run (and has been for years) by Dan Bonebrake, an icon in northwest paintball. And the SuperGame is not just another big game. It’s a scenario, big game, night game, party, trade show, festival and all around great time all wrapped up in one giant three-day package.

We arrived at Sniperz Den, the current home of the SuperGame, late Friday afternoon (May 4) after finishing our field and store training class just 15 minutes away (Training.PaintballX3.com). This was my first SuperGame experience and driving onto the property is all I needed to see to know this game was going to live up to the hype. By dinner time on Friday there were already more than 1000 players on site and most of them set up camp for the weekend.  They were already gearing up for the three-man tournament and the night game. Just steps from the campsites were the playing fields, the trade show area, food vendors, check-in and just about everything else you’d need for three days of paintball. The atmosphere was alive, the trade show hopping, there was DJ’d music playing, and excitement was building for the two-hour night game that was going to be played in just a few hours.

 

Ralph "Shrek" Kleinschmit, Captain of Team Walkons summed-up the SuperGame for me, “The coolest thing about SuperGame is the camaraderie of the Northwest paintball players.  I really enjoy seeing all my friends of my extended paintball family.  Cory "Ironhide" Mcglothlin (Moongobbie) said, “SuperGame is the "Disneyland" of paintball—beautiful fields, constantly changing structures and objectives, camaraderie, tank squads, anti-tank squads, insane battles, vendors, on-site camping, tons of prizes, awards, constant 4500psi fills, (Mafia-air does a fantastic job meeting the demands of the players) sportsmanship, teamwork, clearing buildings and epic fun. At the end of a long hard day, after leaving it all on the field, having a few beers with your buddies, players from other teams, and new found friends… it doesn't get any better than that.”

And from my perspective it was great to see so many friends at the event as well—people I’ve played with and against over the years and those I’ve met traveling to games like Oklahoma D-Day, Skirmish ION and many others. In fact Dan Bonebrake and I played against each other on the pro circuit for years back in the 90s. Speaking of teams, there were a ton of teams at SuperGame 43 – teams like Walkons, Crossfire, OK Company, Moongobbies, A-Team, Hellfish, Bad Karma, Cascade Commandos, High Desert Mafia, Assault Force Legion, New Breed, Irregulators, OCMI, SSC, and many more teams and players.  And there were tanks (5-6 of them), pump players by the dozens, and even a little late night foosball.

The Game’s Generals

Yellow General - Dale "Nighthawk" Burbridge - Team Irregulators

Red General - Ryan "Stanchy" Stanchfield – SSC

SuperGame started on Friday evening with a solid 200 NightOps points on the line and in play. In all there would be nine major objectives for this game, each worth 100 points—and as many as six minor objectives, each worth 50 points. About 90 minutes before the scheduled 9PM Friday night game start time there was a mandatory safety briefing and orientation for all players. Once that was done players geared up and headed out into the pitch dark. Playing in and around the DMZ (open bunker speedball area) isn’t so difficult but hiking down into the woods would prove much more difficult—but fun nonetheless.

Not all of the 1200-plus players attending this year’s SuperGame opted in for this portion of the game, but clearly the majority of the players here Friday night participated. Players trekked through down to Darkwood and BB Hill where most of the battles came off the beaten paths. Tricky terrain, the dark and tons of firepower didn’t stop players from both sides from making moves. Skirmishes broke out everywhere and there were even stories of players barrel-tagging in the dark. As the two-hour game wore on the red team made several pushes to the flag base at the DMZ, where the firefights were non-stop.

Large squads of red players pushed into the DMZ and were continually fended off—but at great cost to the yellow team’s diminishing body count. Eventually the red team would dominate the field where by the Friday night game’s end they would take all 200 points and a nice lead heading into Saturday morning.  But for now it was time to get the gear off, clean up a bit and have a cold beverage and a bite to eat with some friends.

Friday NightOps Points Scored

Darkwood: Red, 100 points

DMZ: Red, 100 points

As Friday night morphed into Saturday morning even more players were on site as the chronographs opened around 7:15AM.  Newly arriving players quickly got their camps set up, registered and headed to the safety briefing—squeezing all of this in before the 10:00AM game start.

The first battle for points came between 10:00-11:00AM at Stix, the farthest objective from the main staging area. Then Yeager, Darkwood and the Swamp would all follow, each in consecutive hours leading up to around 2:00PM. Amazingly yellow dominated play in this four-hour span, taking all of the available 400 points. Not bad considering they were pretty beaten down on Friday night. Jason Schaber of Team Crossfire and member of the red team told me, “I thought we had the field locked down. I expected the red team to be ahead at this point. We’ll get points back later.”

Jason was right. The red team got their first points of the day at Yeager Beach at 2:30PM (50 point minor objective) and that seemed to get the entire team going. The red team then took 100 points at the hideout—it was a really tough battle but they prevailed. At this point the overall score was 400 for the yellow team and 350 for the red team. The addition of several Blue’s Crew members and Greg Hastings to the red team energized the team, but not for as long as they would have liked. The battle at BB Hill was easily won by the yellow squad making the score 500-350 leading up to the craziness that is the final battle at the DMZ on Saturday afternoon.

The battle for the DMZ was as crazy as I expected. It’s hard to imagine what 550 versus 550 on a fairly small area of the field looks like until you’ve seen it in person.  Smoke filled the air as hundreds of players from each side charged out of their starting positions to take as much ground as possible from the game start. Watching the red team and one of their medics inside the main structures at the DMZ was a hoot. The words “medic… medic… medic” rang out non-stop. Paint rained down on the red team in what I would count as ‘hundreds per second’ as opposed to ‘balls per second.’ The almost arm-to-arm the red team hung in there long enough to gain the last 100 points of the day on Saturday, leaving the score 500 for the yellow team and 450 for red.

From Ryan “Stanchy” Stanchfield, the red team General, talking about the final battle (DMZ) Saturday afternoon: “Once we got on the field I had the army spread out shoulder to shoulder, 500 players wide.
One small kid about 14 told me he wanted to pull the flag at DMZ in the center of the field off the break!

I had a small group of guys run (him and a few others) so they could take DMZ off the break. I then sent a swarm of bodies up the left side, lobbing paint at the Yellow army who was charging forward as well. Our runner team pulled the flag in the first 30 seconds. I then sent as many players as I could in the fort to help. Bodies started to pile up in the DMZ and we controlled the objective for the entire 60 minutes! Before the objective was over we had filled the fort with over 100 bodies! The entire Red Army pushed together to control the objective for a full hour! It was a site to see, bodes everywhere, pushing the yellows back and controlling the DMZ as a team!”

Sunday Morning – Spoils of War

I got to the field at 7:15Am on Sunday. I was honored to be a small part of the Crossfire Ministry chapel service at 7:30. A bit later the chronograph station opened up and the Sunday morning safety briefing took place. Payers lazily hung around the staging/vendor area this Sunday morning, taking in the crisp, cool northwest air and some coffee and breakfast before what would be a game-deciding last four hours of play.

Down by a mere 50 points the red team was still alive and well on Sunday morning. Unlike Saturday’s battle at the DMZ to end the day’s play, Spoils of War would take place on the entire field’s property. The red team would make up their 50-point deficit and then some (a lot actually). By the end of the furious four hours of play, the red team had gathered enough props and objectives to run up a 707 to 475 Sunday score, giving the red team the SuperGame 43 win by a score of 1157 to 975.

As the weekend began to wind down Dan Bonebrake and his staff did another amazing prize raffle giveaway—which has become standard issue at the SuperGame. This year I believe the final raffle for charity amount raised was more than $50,000.

Final Words

From player Seth Dickinson: “What do we love about SuperGame? It’s not the 500 vs. 500 DMZ battles. It’s not the intensity of the Friday night Ops game, or the endurance test of Saturdays 7 hours of objectives. It’s not the headshots from the castles, or the fighting in the shoulder tall grasses in the Hideout.  It’s not the plunder of Sundays Spoils of War we seek or the bruises we’ve earned fighting for beloved army… What do we love about Super Game? It’s about the handshakes, the smiles, the random, “Hey Nice shot player”, you hear on the field. It’s about seeing 1200 people give it their all for the day and when the game ends, regardless the army they fought for, they share stories of victory and defeat. It’s about supporting our scene and doing what we can here in Oregon to help it grow. It’s about the $50,000 in raffle items donated by its sponsors and if that isn’t cool enough, Super game turns around and donates all the raffle proceeds to local charities. It’s about sharing the sport you love with person next to you. It’s about waiting anxiously for that Hellfish SuperGame DVD to arrive, so once again we can relive the weekend. To sum it up, what we love about SuperGame, are the people who make it what it is.”


I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Read 11489 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 December 2012 14:45

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