|June 14th, 2017, 00:51||#1|
Review: Airsoft at Ultimate Paintball, Milton, ON
The Basic Details
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/281383585644293/
Location: 1151 25 Side Rd, Moffat, ON L0P 1J0 (very close to Guelph)
Admission: $25 tax included, cash only. No rental packages available
Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM Sundays by FB event announcement - not every weekend.
Field Rules: (see most current Facebook group event entry)
Ultimate Paintball is east south east of Guelph and just less than an hour from Toronto. 401 to Guelph Line, then 25 Side Road (or 34 to First Line Nassagaweya) pretty much gets you right there. It’s right off of 25 Side Road, and the parking lot is packed gravel.
There was little difficulty finding it – the sign was clear and there were even some signs on Guelph Line indicating where to turn.
When I arrived, there were a lot of cars, but there were only about a dozen Airsofters in the staging area. There was a very casual air to proceedings. We were warmly greeted by one of the organizers (I believe also one of the field owners/backers – sorry, I’ve forgotten your name! David?). After getting chrono’d and paying our admission, we were off quickly. We had arrived late, so we didn’t want to dawdle.
Initially, I wasn’t sure who was running things. Turns out that the Airsoft games at Ultimate are entirely volunteer-led, and our fearless leader for the day was “Magic” Michael B. Michael is a confident, friendly (and loud!) sort of gent, who treated us to some off-colour comedy and comments about where he's been shot as we geared up. I immediately took a liking to him. It should be noted that John H. typically runs games, and Mike was asked to help out on an ad hoc basis.
Michael took us through a quick safety brief and lead us off to our first game.
My first impression was that this was primarily a paintball field with Airsoft as a new kid on the block sort of position here. The atmosphere was friendly, casual and not very structured.
I’m fine with both highly-structured and casual games, and after the more disciplined MilScrim I had played the week before, I was happy to do some simple, off-the-cuff play.
Admission / Rental Equipment / Pro Shop / Facilities
Admission was $25 (tax in) and cash only. The pro shop carried a lot of paintball stuff, and according to questions later asked of the organizers, does not currently sell any airsoft consumables or ammunition; “not at the moment but in discussions to remedy that.”
The pro shop sells water for $1 and energy drinks for $2. They also had a BBQ going at lunch which was selling $1 (!) hot dogs. I had packed a lunch and can’t speak to their quality, but they looked like decent quality cheap hot dogs.
The field currently rents no Airsoft equipment.
There is a washroom with no running water.
A large firing range is just steps away from the staging area and a chronometer was set up for both airsoft and paintball shooters. There are an abundance of targets and range increments to target on the range, one of the best examples of such I’ve seen yet at a field.
Beside the medium sized staging area, there was also a picnic area:
Field / Terrain
Ultimate Airsoft is primarily set up as mostly discrete playing areas joined by a network of paths. The fields are intended to work separately on skirmish days. On this particular day, "Magic" Mike had us booked into various fields over the course of the day to avoid conflict with various paintball games that were going on.
The locations are “Old Town”, “New Town”, “Hill”, “Castle” “Dark Forest” “Ghetto”, “Hyperball” and “Back 40”. “D-Day Attack” fronts onto “New Town” and is more or less in the same place.
Old Town is a dense concentration of buildings with multiple interlocking rooms. Lots of CQB.
New Town is a large, more open set of structures and buildings, with a few two-storey areas.
D-Day Attack is on the opposite side from the buildings of New Town, and is intended to evoke the terrain of a Normandy beach.
Hill is a large hill with a number of one and two storey structures scattered over it, an old school bus at the bottom and a large watch tower at the top.
Back 40 was a nice wooded ravine. Sort of small for a wood lot area fight, but a change from the more built-up areas.
Hyperball is intended for rapid, speedball-type play. We had a couple of pistols-only matches there.
I did not take pictures of Dark Forest – it’s more or less a straight and regularly planted farmed pine tree regrowth. Ghetto was so indistinct that I didn’t realize it was a separate field.
OK, I’ll speak to the elephant in the room… this IS a paintball field, and even though they mandate field paint, which washes off a little more easily and biodegrades, there is paint ALL over the place. You put your back up against a wall, or climb something, or round a corner closely , you’re going to get paint on your shiny BDUs/ACUs. If you can’t handle that, don’t play here. You will not like it.
This is the most variety of terrain you’re probably likely to come up against in an outdoor field.
Full on, almost open areas with scattered cover (D-Day Attack); lots of buildings and cover with two storey structures (Newtown) built-up, CQB-heavy urban combat (Old Town); an uphill battle with watchtower, bunkers and forest on the flanks (Hill); forest and fortified outpost (Castle); natural growth forest ravine (Back 40) and the regularly patterned tree farm (Dark Forest) all make for a variety of experiences. They aren’t very much of a cohesive whole but with some careful planning and mapping it could work.
Mike mentioned that they had run a game where players advanced from the Back 40 through the Dark Forest into New Town, so larger, multi-terrain battles can be fought here.
We only had about fourteen players total, so the games were quite small. The organizers note that it was the weekend before Nightfall, so a lot of players and teams were sort of saving themselves for that. John H. commented that a typical turn-out is closer to 30-40 people.
First game was a quick match play of capture the objective at Castle. Five lives attackers, three lives defenders, get one attacker into the castle to win. Simple, quick, fun.
We then played a couple of games at New Town of straight team deathmatch (TDM) which wasn’t as successful, as the team with the west side of the field with the two storey buildings had a distinct advantage.
A break for lunch was followed by a couple of VIP Rescue games at The Hill. Players had to rescue a VIP from two defenders in the watchtower, then fight their way back down to the bus. The Rescue Team had three lives and one medic. The defenders of the VIP, once dead, joined the Reaction Force at the bottom of the field, and had five lives in total. This was tricky but fun.
Final two games of the day were at the Back 40, again, a simple Team Deathmatch.
I prefer a little more structure to game play personally, with the Objective Capture and VIP Rescue being my highlights, but Magic was responding to the requests of players, so it was more the will of the players than the game control that was dictating pace and content.
I enjoyed the games and never felt like I was not getting value for my time and money.
Referees / Administration
So, here’s where I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Mike B., our guide for the day, was/is a volunteer. The other gentleman who was helping out for the morning and early afternoon was one of the field backers. Both served as game control. They were setting up games, describing the rules and making sure players more or less stayed in the lines. It was a very casual approach. Mike would suggest a game, players would discuss it and give feedback, and the game might be modified.
With only two game controllers (and later only one) and Mike often also playing, players were pretty much policing themselves. If anyone wasn’t calling hits, I didn’t see it.
There were some moments of eye protection casualness that had me a little uneasy, but I think that was more due to the small numbers and large separations between fields, as well as some younger players. Players and game control generally did call when the field was hot.
Mike had some interesting ideas for games and took feedback from players readily. That said, I’m not sure how many game controllers are typically on the field on these skirmish days, but one or two would not be enough for twenty, thirty or forty-plus players.
Possibilities for Improvement
This is the first year of Airsoft at Ultimate Paintball and frankly, there isn’t a lot of structure here. If you’re expecting the professionalism of Siege or Niagara Quartermaster with the organization of a MilSim, it isn’t going to happen, at least not yet. These guys are unpaid volunteers (or organizer/backers helping out) just trying to establish an Airsoft presence on the field. They’re doing it for the love of the game, and it shows, for good and for worse. John H. contacted me to let me know that they have a lot of ideas and plan for better organization and admin, but they need to build a trust and working relationship with the field owners. Airsoft is the newcomer here and we need to make a good impression.
You’re not going to get clockwork organization or pro-level refereeing at this field (at least for Airsoft) yet, folks. You are going to get fun, casual, free-wheeling games with a lot of leeway for variation and improvisation.
I’d like to see Airsoft consumables at this field – at least BBs and CO2, if not the full range offered at some other fields. Rentals would be good as well, but again, not necessary if the intent is to keep things casual. I’d also be fine with game control and games types becoming more organized and complicated than team deathmatches, but I also am OK with casual, low-stress fights. John H. commented that he hopes to have at least one full-time dedicated game controller on site at some point soon, with the volunteers/organizers serving to assist.
In terms of basic field and terrain, this is an excellent field for small, compartmentalized fights; outdoor “arenas” if you will. I don’t seen much opportunity or support for fights that range over several connected parts of the field. You could certainly do that, but it isn’t quite intended or set up that way, and until Ultimate starts getting a lot more players out for Airsoft skirmish days, that isn’t likely to change. Apparently on weekends where there is larger turn-out, they do games where two or three areas are all part of the fight. I do encourage people to come out and experience the field so we can get those numbers up and get those multi-terrain battles happening - it's really quite cool.
The support for Airsoft is currently scant. Admin is volunteer/as time permits and supplies are nil. That said, game controllers are experienced and open to suggestion as well as being knowledgeable about the game. Your quality of game play at Ultimate will depend on your expectations as well as what you put into it.
I think that the basic underlying structure for a great experience are here, and you can find it in small groups with glimpses and glimmers of larger potential. Personal gameplay experience will vary a lot with numbers, the volunteer game controller(s) and the players who show up. That’s true for most fields, but the effect is more marked here. To be fair to the field, this was a low turn out and maybe it was bad timing for a reviewer to be poking around.
My son and I had fun. I imagine that a lot of players who love the game for the experience and not for tweaked-up, super-sniper, maxed-out tacticool-ness will too. Some people will definitely not like their experience here, perhaps finding it disorganized and casual. Hopefully my review and descriptions will help you determine which camp you fall into. Even with perhaps half the usual numbers, the interesting terrain and the friendly, self-policing atmosphere, combined with two really interesting scenarios proposed by Mike made for a great day.
TL; DR Version
A lot of small, set-piece terrain/maps which are great for contained battles, each section of the field offering a very different and interesting experience. Watch out for paint. Casual and friendly volunteer admins may put organization-focused players off, but fine for casual players and play-styles.
Christopher "Kozure" Ono
Last edited by Kozure; June 14th, 2017 at 10:40..
|June 16th, 2017, 21:33||#4|
Join Date: Feb 2016
|June 18th, 2017, 13:41||#5|
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Meadowvale, Mississauga, Ontario
I played here once in the early spring. Great field, I love the mix of wooded forest and structures. Didn't have any problems with the players either, I would definitely like to come back.
Guardians of Asgaard - KF25 -
Primaries: LCT AS VAL, LCT AKS74UN, VFC M4 CQB Mk2
Secondary: Latino heat, TM Glock 17
|July 6th, 2017, 11:41||#6|
Wanted to note that I see that Photobucket has changed its TOS as of June 28th and I now cannot link images without a paid account. Goodbye Photobucket!
I will get my images moved over to another image hosting service and relink the images as soon as I can.
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