JBLM paintball tournament brings warriors to battle
June 16, 2011
- JBLM reenacts D-Day in Axis vs. Allies paintball tournament.
- Tournament brings over 100 warriors to battle.
- Axis vs. Allies is the largest of many events hosted by the JBLM field.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash.-- Over 100 warriors entered the battlefield with guns blazing and hearts racing and a goal of eliminating their enemy and emerging victorious during an Axis vs. Allies paintball tournament at Paintball Incorporated’s field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, June 11.
“Axis vs. Allies is a scenario game that was designed to let folks play as much as they wanted for six-hours. We also expand the field layouts so it’s a larger area for them to play in,” said Nick A. Goobin, owner of the Paintball Inc. field on JBLM. “Having a good turnout and larger playing field makes it more interesting when the larger groups run into each other in large-scale battles.”
The match is conducted twice a year and is the longest and largest event offered by the JBLM field.
“Our normal events during the weekends are 20-minute games. We like to change it up a bit with larger matches. This is probably our most popular game of the year,” Goobin added.
The wooded terrain added to the complexity and durability of the event and made the team’s efforts to establish authority more challenging, he added. The competition was judged by points earned after each team completed different objectives.
“I like playing in the big games with a lot of people against each other. It’s something you can’t do without having the feeling of competition and danger which makes it fun. It gives you that thrill,” said newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Peyton Johnson an aspiring platoon leader headed to his first assignment in the 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
They received points by raising their flag above their enemy’s flag on a tower after conquering one of the four control points. They earned the most substantial points by shooting the opposing force’s general, which was a cardboard cutout each team hid in secure locations.
“Our strategy was to move in a pack with about six or eight of us and just bound from tree to
tree taking over spots little-by-little. After we would capture the area and raise our flag we would have to defend it for a couple of hours then move on to the next,” said Spc. Jonathan T. Rivera, combat medic, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Madigan Army Medical Center, a member of the Axis team during the match.
Once hit by enemy fire they would be out of play until they walked to a predetermined re-spawn point in order to reenter the fight. Many gained small or large teams for ambush and defense while other players operated on solo missions.
“I don’t try to think about the tactics of it. It’s more fun to come out here and kind of wing it and have fun,” said Johnson.
Though a presumably aggressive sport, participants consisted of servicemembers, teenagers, parents, children, and many others representing a diversity of demographics and a variety of personality types said Goobin.
“Paintball is its own little community. It’s got kind of its own code of ethics. Everyone uses good sportsmanship out here. It’s actually very interesting because on one hand there is a lot of adrenaline out here, but on the other hand everyone is really respectful and uses good sportsmanship,” said Peyton Johnson’s father Jeffrey M. Johnson, a former U.S. Marine Corps officer. They both represented the Axis team during the match.
The Axis vs. Allies tournament provided participants an ideal opportunity to compliment their competitiveness, get their hearts pumping and burn off steam.
“Paintball is an inferno for burning up stress, even stuff that you don’t even realize is bothering you. You come out here and at the end of the day you’re relaxed, happy, and a bit tired. It’s good exercise, and putting it into an activity like this makes it a lot more compelling,” said Goobin.
After six hours of strenuous, intense battles the Axis team emerged victorious with an ending score of 16-14, but the war continues as both victorious and defeated paintball enthusiasts plan for when they will meet again on the battlefield.
“The adrenaline is definitely what is most attractive about this sport. When you hear that pelt smacking the wood right by your head your whole mindset changes. Your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure goes up, adrenaline pumps into your system, and all that adds in when you are trying to accomplish a task,” said Goobin. “The whole getting shot at might not appeal a lot of folks but that’s what gives it the thrill.”