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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Warriors in the Woods VI: Operation Cobra

The remnants of Hurricane Floyd made landfall in Nova Scotia the night of Saturday November 3rd bringing with it torrential rains. Twenty foot high storm surge had washed out many roads throughout the region, winds over 90 mile per hour left more than 175,000 families without electricity.
When the sun rose on Sunday morning, residents of eastern Canada began to cleanup uprooted trees, and wind strewn debris of all kinds, left in the wake of the major storm. While most people were grumbling about not being able to make coffee and how to get the water out to their basements without electricity, the spirits of 400 paintballers were not dampened in the least by the 2 inches of rain that fell in a few short hours. These hard core paintball addicts avoided objects blown onto the road and took alternate routes to avoid washouts, descending on Mersey Road Paintball in East River, Nova Scotia to attend Warriors in the Woods VI: Operation Cobra.

Warriors in the Woods VI: Operation Cobra was a continuation of Warriors in the Woods V: Operation Rhino played in the spring of 2007. In Operation Cobra the Axis team was tasked with retaking the fictitious town European town of Strudelburg, from Allied forces who had successfully captured the town, in a daring rush during the closing minutes of Operation Rhino. The Allied team's objective was to hold the town and, if possible, completely annihilate the attacking Axis forces.

After a delay of only an hour and a half, the opening horn sounded and Warriors in the Woods VI: Operation Cobra was under way. From the start both teams rushed headlong toward each other, crashing together in a hail of paint and orders being screamed between teammates. After a pitched battle, the overwhelming volume of fire from the numerically superior Allied team ground the Axis advance to a halt. 
The Allied superior command and control was evident as their unrelenting pressure turned back the Axis tide, forcing them back toward their start point. Surrounded and outnumber, the Axis team then attempted to reorganize and prepare a counter attack. The first issue to overcome was the two avenues of approach to Strudelburg from the Axis start point were both over bridges. Hurricane Floyd had turned the exit point from the north bridge into a knee deep lake, leaving the south bridge the only point of advance. This created a choke point where the Allies could concentrate fire and be better situated to repel an attack.

Allied players established a strong defensive position, completely surrounding the clearing on the exit point of the bridge. The Allies team successfully held off, wave after wave of Axis players attempting to cross the bridge, in a vain attempt to retake the initiative and push on to Strudelburg. Thanks to their concealed positions, and interlocking fields of fire, the Allies suffered few casualties of their own as the defensive perimeter withstood the Axis onslaught. Advancing Axis players that were able to make it across the bridge were torn to shreds as they ran into a hail of paint coming from all directions.

Realizing the futility of direct assaults the Axis team dug in near their respawn area, at which point the game then degenerated to static World War I 'trench like' warfare. The remaining two hours of the day were spent with both teams hunkered down in their positions, lobbing balls back and forth at each other over the bridge, with neither team willing, or able, to move.

When the final horn sounded the Axis team was soundly defeated as the Allies successfully held the town of Strudelburg, unopposed throughout the entire day. The Axis team still clung to their small foothold around the respawn area, never surrendering, and fighting to the bitter end.


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