Fulda Gap 2016 - By Foolybear
Capping off a busy 2016 scenario paintball season, Team Capital Offense met up for their annual year-end event. It’s one that thousands of players from around the world have attended for over a decade – the Fulda Gap Mega Game.
For those of you as yet uninitiated to this one, here’s the quick scoop. It’s a large-scale game simulating a Cold War era military scenario of a WARSAW land invasion of Europe. Don’t want to dive into the history? Think approximately 1500 players, bases and forts all over a giant paintball field, tanks galore, anti-tank rocket launchers, a mess of snipers rocking First Strikes, big name vendors, and some of the best teams in scenario paintball. Now stretch that over two days with many of the teams choosing to stay on site to camp (some come as early as Thursday), and you’ve got yourself a year-ending paintball bash!
Once again this year we had our friend from across the sea, Jack Wood, running and gunning with the TCO crew. He was joined by Anthony “T2” D’Ambrosio from Boston Paintball and a few other guests eager to sample the team’s off-field hospitality and our on-field aggression. Last year TCO offered their services to the NATO side, but the lopsided victory left us hungry for more, so this year we switched up and ran WARSAW, putting us back where we belong – on the attack!
The Action on the Field
Saturday’s game began with a WARSAW struggle to gain ground. Unfortunately for NATO, we brought our A-game and a squad of 25 seasoned paintballers rocking the latest Planet Eclipse markers and HDE uniforms, rolling with coordinated radios, a pack full of the best smokes in the game (Thanks Enola Gaye!), and Virtue loaders and masks. It didn’t take long to poke a hole in the NATO defenses, and once we had a toehold in enemy territory, we never let up, taking base after base as the day progressed.
One memorable moment saw TCO on the far side of the field in one of the border bases, Fort Apache. After digging out the defenders, we established a perimeter and prepared to hold off against the constant onslaught from a nearby NATO spawn point. Wave after wave crashed against the TCO cliffs. There are few things better than railing off a string of paint from an CS1 at charging enemy players who then take a short walk and come back for more. It took a tactical nuke called in from our own command to take us and the fort out of play.
And come back for more is exactly what NATO did on Sunday. Their side looked like a different team. We had a feast Saturday night, but NATO apparently skipped the food because they woke up hungry! Sunday was some of the best paintball we’ve seen – in-your-face action all day. Tank-on-tank shootouts, crazy charges and ambushes, and one insane final fight for the hilltop base Rex. I thought, based on Saturday, that the game would be a blowout, but NATO narrowed the gap and made it competitive. WARSAW brought home the win this year, but the teams got what they came for – a professionally-run, competitive, massive paintball battle. Command Decisions Wargames Center once again put on an amazing show.
The Off-Field Action
I love playing for Team Capital Offense. We do this paintball thing right. Our staging/camping area this year featured a giant table able to seat the entire team. Not only was it covered and lit, but it was even heated! Big thanks to Janet and Robert Cox who take such good care of us at this game, from fresh biscuits in the morning to brisket in the evening, and gallons of coffee to get us started each day.
I think our guests join us as much for the off field antics as for the paintball adventures. I’ll just say that there are stories to be told, but like Las Vegas, what happens at Fulda Gap stays there; however, if you have an imagination, I will reveal that there was fire, karate chops, and a guy in a bear suit. You can try to put the pieces together.
Foolybear on the Frontlines
One of the highlights for me this year was getting to test-drive the Etha 2. I’ve been a big fan of the Etha. There’s something about it that just fits my hand perfectly, and even though I had other options, I spent one year shooting nothing but that marker. I set out to see how much it could handle over the course of a dozen scenario games in all weather conditions. The Etha took all I dished out and came back for more, so when I had the chance to test the Etha 2, I jumped at it.
My first impression – game changer. It’s steady, quiet, and dead on target. It’s light and agile, a nimble marker for gun-fighting and one that’s easy to haul around for hours at a time. Once you get your hands on one you’ll be able to see for yourselves. Game. Changer. I would gladly carry the Etha 2 in any scenario event.
Want to see more pictures from Fulda Gap? Team Capital Offense had the talented English Rose Photography following us all weekend. I’m posting pictures on a daily basis, so follow @foolybear on the Twitter and keep up with the #paintball and #PlanetEclipse action!