Friday, November 30, 2007

TriggerTyme / SugarBottom

Okay... I think it's about time I followed up on a thread from last year. Last year I attended a 24hour scenario game at TriggerTyme paintball in South Carolina. I liked it because it was a huge field, the refs were competent, the facilities were relatively clean, and so on. However, while talking with the TriggerTyme owner over the behavior of a couple of non-sporting players, we were let on some drama. We consisting of FoxCat and Ryeata's players.

Essentially there had been some drama with a previous employee of TriggerTyme, and the result were hard feelings with the previous employee being persona-non-grata at TriggerTyme. The former employee basically had his own team of paintball players who were also under a state of non-welcome from Triggertyme, although they were not banned.

A few weeks later we found out that the previous Employee was now opening up his own Paintball field called SugarBottom. So, FoxCat and I trekked back to South Carolina to check SugarBottom out. Essentially, SugarBottom was a "pirate paintball" exercise held in a farmland.

Pirate Paintball means that the game is played at the players own risk. If you get injured, it is your fault. Most players of Pirate Paintball understand this, and it is considered one of the thrills of the game. Unlike a paid scenario field or a paid speedball field, you can quite literally take your life into your own hands if you screw up. So... don't screw up.

In comparison, when we attended the player briefing at TriggerTyme, the first topic of discussion was "Goggles down at all times on the field." You had to sign a release form to state that you were aware that you were firing .68 caliber weapons at each other that could run in excess of 300 feet per second. You had to chrono multiple times a day, and a ref could have you pulled off the field to have you chrony. Chrono / Chrony means checking the speed of your projectiles. If you repeatedly shoot too fast? You could be ejected from the game, and possibly from the field for a period of time.

The first topic of discussion at Sugarbottom? "Please don't sue us." No safety briefing. Just, a request to not sue them.

Things sort of went downhill from there. FoxCat and I came to the conclusion that we really did not like the home team SugarBottom fielded, which were friends of the former TriggerTyme employee. In my own words I described them as Halo Players. Our first experience at SugarBottom was effectively a case of all of the experienced players on one team, and everybody else on the other. Not exactly a good mix if we had been trying to introduce somebody new to the sport.

One of SugarBottom's party pieces was an old farmhouse set in the middle of a wooded area in the middle of the farm field. The people running SugarBottom had spoken like they had played in the location before. The claim was not backed up by the actions of the home team with some of them pulling barbed wire out of the wooded area. A quick check of the farmhouse revealed no paintball residue, nor did any of the trees show signs of being hammered. The quick conclusion we came to is that we would actually be the first group playing on SugarBottom, something we could not say we were comfortable with.

FoxCat and I decided to give SugarBottom one more chance a few months later. We agreed to help an associate carry paintball equipment up to SugarBottom so we could provide air, paint, and markers to new players. This time as we drove up, the Farmhouse wasn't there. It had been burnt down in an act that the police had already determined to be arson.

This is where the story gets more complex. SugarBottom blamed TriggerTyme for the arson. However, speaking from my own point of view, if I was going to torch somebody's field, I would have torched all of it. According to the SugarBottom people, only the areas that had been played in before had been burnt. The areas that had been marked off to play on for that day... had not been burnt. I floated the opinion to FoxCat that it was possible the home team for SugarBottom had torched their own field.

Either way, at that point FoxCat and I decided we did not want to have anything more to do with TriggerTyme or SugarBottom. We didn't care if TriggerTyme had committed the arson, or if the SugarBottom people had torched their own field. Somebody had raised the feud to a point that we wanted nothing to do with either.

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So, if anybody was interested, thats pretty much why I stopped talking about TriggerTyme.
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