Saturday, August 26


Today was my first go at paintballing. I've had previous opportunities to go but had always missed out on those for some reason, so I was quite excited to be finally taking part. So there I was, up at the crack of dawn (literally - I left after having prayed Fajr) to meet up with the rest of our thirteen man group at Preston Road for 7:30am in order to travel another seventy miles or so to Andover, where we had booked our day.

I won't bother describing how paintballing works, since I'm sure most reading already have a good idea. We joined people already there, and in total there were two teams of 25 odd. We managed to get ourselves all on the same Green team, which in retrospect wasn't really a good idea.

The Oranges consisted of a mix of ex-military Vietnamese, Chinese commandos and a few gang bangers to round them off. We, on the other hand, were made up of some Mauritian (who, although very nice were hardly vicious) and a few Eastern Europeans. Oh, yes, and three Imperial students. If you haven't guessed already folks we were totally outplayed.

I am being a teeny bit harsh here though, since we did draw the team games overall. It was a bit frustrating for a while though as since the Orange team were clearly better than us most of the last-man-standing games (where one team wins once the other is wiped out) were reduced to both teams holding back, hiding under cover and not doing very much.

It really became a game of who became bored first, since as soon as one team had enough of waiting and so charged, they got wiped out by the other. And we Greens were consistently impatient. I think once we realised that all of our strategising and planning wasn't really working and that we should concentrate on having fun instead, we did.

Still, things changed in the timed games, where teams had "infinite lives" with which to complete a task, the fastest time determining the winner. Since Green were all very much gung-ho this suited us better, and although we may have died more than we had to we did get a unbeatable time.

Personally, I came out pretty well, with not many aches and bruises. Perhaps I wasn't playing properly, but I did get killed in every game so it's not like I wasn't involved. I think I also got a positive kill count by the day's end, so I was happy with my performance.

Still, I'm not sure I particularly like paintballing. I'm not sitting here desperately wanting to go back, although I have a hunch it would be much more enjoyable if most/all of the players were known to one another. Still, I'm glad I finally got to try it.