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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Warriors in the Woods VII: Operation Iceberg

Atlantic Canada's premier paintball event, Warriors in the Woods VII: Operation was played on April 13th at Mersey Road Paintball in East River, Nova Scotia. 425 players from across Atlantic Canada, some as far away as Quebec, played the latest installment of the Banshee Paintball's hugely successful scenario game series.

The Warriors in the Woods (WiW) series is set in World War II, European Theater. Each game is a continuation of the previous with the specifics of the scenario based on the outcome of the previous game. Every game is also designed as a stand alone event, players new to WiW can enjoy a meticulously prepared scenario game without having played any previous events. Veterans of the WiW can see the progression of the story line from year to year adding an extra dimension to the game not normally found in scenario paintball. Eric Fisher of Banshee Paintball has created unique experience with each game acting as a chapter in a much bigger story.

Austin "Juno" Flaherty of the Tippinators sees the WiW series as a true paintball event, "A terrific experience for players of any kind; Warriors proved itself as a Maritime benchmark for scenario games." Flaherty continued, "At the end of the day, recballers, veteran scenario players, and tournament players alike all shared war stories and laughs as they packed up their equipment"

The Tippinators, along with the Milsim Maniacs, helped anchor the Axis squad in an attempt to halt the Allied juggernaut that had won the previous three WiW games. The total domination of the Axis by the Allied squad in WiW VI: Operation Cobra coupled with the narrow Allied victories in WiW V: Operation Rhino and WiW IV: Operation Market Garden left the Axis team hungry for a victory.

Flaherty was impressed with the play of the entire Axis squad, "The Axis team rallied together, bringing the fight onto the Allied doorstep repeatedly throughout the day." Playing through billowing clouds created by smoke canisters and the yelling to be heard over the sounds battle being played over a loud speaker on the field, the Axis team was able to counter initial gains and contain the Allies for the bulk of the day.

After four hours of pitched battles, the Allied team was being pushed back. A decisive victory looked to be within the grasp of the Axis team. With defeat imminent the Allies attempted a final push to break the Axis strangle hold on the game. A strategically placed artillery strike followed by a surge forward of Allied players to capture the Axis flag station and respawn point in the waning moments of the game was to no avail. This same tactic that had proved effective in Operation Market Garden and Operation Rhino was not enough to alter the outcome of the battle. The flag pull stopped the game but the point total ended in favor of the Axis.

At the end of the day neither team was able to claim undisputed victory. Axis domination countered by the final Allied push left both teams eager to continue the fight to determine a winner. The stage is now set for Warriors in the Woods VIII and players eagerly await what Eric Fisher and Jennifer Washtock of Banshee Paintball will create for the next game in the series .

Despite the inconclusive outcome every player in attendance agreed Warriors in the Woods VII: Operation Iceberg was a huge success.

Even though he was fighting hard for the Axis win, Flaherty sees the fun factor as paramount, "Playing alongside fellow Tippinators and other enthusiastic players made the difference for me all day."

Flaherty's feelings we echoed by Tippinator teammate Tyler "Dexen" Johnson, "This may have been the best Warriors yet." Johnson continued, "Seeing new players with rentals playing along side, and against, veteran scenario and tournament players and everyone smiling at the end of the day was great to see." Johnson concluded, "It goes to show that it doesn't matter what style of paintball you prefer, shooting paint and having fun with your friends at a professionally run event is the most important part of the sport."

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