May 25, 2009

AXBL #1 - Lows and Highs

Photos from AXBL #1The Tippinators kicked off their sophomore season of Atlantic Xtreme Paintball League (AXBL) competition Saturday May 23 at Mersey Road Paintball, in East River Nova Scotia. With dry land training throughout the winter and intense weekly practices running up to event day, the Tippinators were confident they can compete head to head against any team in the league.

The first match of the season against Moncton Disturbed did not go according to plan. Though playing hard all day the team fell 16-4 to Moncton. Team Captain Bruce Johnston coached, rather than played for the weekend, due to injury, had a great view of the team’s collapse from the pit area.

“The first two points Saturday I was excited at what I saw.” Johnston said, “The guys did everything we practiced, and it was working. We won a point and lost a point but our system was working.” Johnston continued, “Then for some inexplicable reason we reverted back to how we played last season. Sitting back, trading paint, not moving, just waiting for them to come in and run us down.”

The one sided loss in the first game of the season was a surprise to the team. Chris Landry analyzed the team’s performance, “We failed to adjust to the way the game was being played, each point we got behind we seemed to play more conservative, when what was needed was blinding aggression.” Landry continued, “I think everyone had all night with their thoughts and told themselves what they needed to do better.”

The team was battered and disappointed, but not broken after Saturday’s loss. Landry summed the team’s attitude, “Saturday was a gut check, and wake up call, that will make us play better for the rest of the season.”

Sunday the Tippinators matched up against an experience Northport Warriors team, who were hungry for victory after a heart breaking tie against the Halifax Mercs on Saturday. The Tipps came out with guns rolling and feet moving to dominate the Warriors 13-6.

Photos from AXBL #1Chris Mullins, voted one of the Sunday’s three stars, was pleased with the overnight turnaround, “We learned from the mistakes we made on Saturday and came out Sunday determined not to sit back and gunfight. We took key bunkers and push up the field with more aggression.” Mullins was aware of what a second straight loss would mean to the team, “I think everyone knew that another loss would put us in a really bad spot, so we all stepped up our game and played our hearts out.”

Johnston was relieved to see the team that turned out to play on Sunday, “The team that showed up Sunday was the team I knew I would see this season, and saw a glimpse of on Saturday. They fired, moved, chewed up the field, took it to Northport and were successful. It was truly a thing of beauty to watch.”

Johnston mused at the team’s turnaround, “At one point Saturday I wanted to bust through the netting, grab a marker and run up the field myself. Sunday, I just sat back and enjoyed the show, and what a show it was.”

The Tippinators will continue to practice hard, and keep the momentum going for June’s AXBL event #2 in Moncton, New Brunswick.

..:: Visit the Tippinators Official Website - for up to date news and official information about the team. ::..

May 6, 2009

Getting Your Photo Taken

I have been playing paintball for a number of years. In the past few years I have started photographing the game I love.

Shooting speedball is relatively easy. The game all happens in a small area and if you position yourself right you can usually get a few spectacular shots. Woodsball is a completely different game to photograph. The game play is spread out over a wide area and you never know from which direction the action will come. A good photographer will move toward the sound of the firefight in search of the perfect shot.

Every player wants to be photographed on the field here are a few tips that will help you get photographed.

To have your photo taken you have to make yourself accessible. If you spend three hours crawling through the weeds, chances are you won’t be seen and therefore can’t be photographed.

Know where the photographer’s position and work toward them. As you are working toward the photographer do something to attract attention. Yes I know that you will also attract the attention of the other team and might get eliminated. Remember an elimination lasts a second but a great photo will last forever.

Don’t look at the camera. Keep on playing your game, pretend the cameraman isn’t even there. The best photos are natural photos. A good photographer will work around you to find a good shot. Shoulder your maker and take a few shots for the camera even if you can’t see the other team. Make yourself a subject worthy of wasting memory card space.

I said not to look at the camera, which is true, but don’t be afraid to smile.

One thing I found out early in my paintball photography career is that paintballers are cheap. Sorry but it’s true. I spend thousands of dollars on gear that I risk getting destroyed every time I step on the field, money for gas to get to the event, money for food, plus a full day of my time to take professional photographs and nobody ever wants to pay for them. Since you now know that paintball photography is a labor of love don’t expect me to crawl around in the mud looking for you.

As soon as players get home from an event the posts will start on the forums “I saw some cameras today. When are the pictures going to be posted?” Arrggh, are you kidding. Give me a break guys. I take between 2000 - 3000 shots during a one day event. If I can get 500 useable shots out of the lot it has been a great day. I have review, sort, crop, edit, process every photo, it takes time. Since I am doing all this for free, be patient.

One last thing and this is the most important tip of them all, DON’T SHOOT THE PHOTOGRAPHER. If every time I walk near a certain team, or certain part of the field I get shot 25 times, guess what? I’m not going to go there, and I’m not going to take your photo.

There are a number of professional and talented amateur photographers who come out to events all over the country. Paintball photography isn’t easy. When I play an event I might get shot 10 times, at the most. When I photograph and event I’m lucky if I have under 50 welts and can’t begin to count the number of times I’m hit. If you see a photographer or videographer on the field, show them some respect, make their job easy and you never know, you might end up in Paintball Sports Magazine.

..:: Visit the Tippinators Official Website - for up to date news and official information about the team. ::..

May 3, 2009

RISK Scenario Game

Tippinators Produce Scenario Based on Popular Board Game

In a departure from the usual reenacting historic battles or emulating television or movies the Tippinators Paintball Team, to create something not before seen by the players of Eastern Canada, on May 3rd, 2009 produced a scenario event based on a board game – RISK.

Like the Parker Brothers (now a division of Hasbro) game of strategic global domination, Mersey Road Paintball in East River, Nova Scotia, was divided into six territories for which two teams had to compete. Each territory had a point value based on size and accessibility. To further simulate the board game the playing field had large sections taped off as oceans, creating choke points and forced zones of conflict.

Point scoring was simple for the teams. Every ten minute period a team controlled a territory points were awarded. In addition to the ten minute awarding of points, timed ten minute respawns replicated the end of game turns.

Event organizer Chris Landry of the Tippinators was the pleased with the games acceptance. “Basing a paintball scenario on a popular board game is outside the box thinking for sure.” Landry continued, “Since the 1950’s people have loved RISK and a lot of players came out just to see how the game would work.”

Due to the multiple objectives, and defined avenues of advance, the game was fast moving with multiple changes in zone occupation throughout the day. Constant shifts of momentum and changes of territory occupation kept the players interest and hungry to continue in an effort to dominate the world.

Unlike the board game, players on the field are unable to see the big picture, Landry’s solution to the problem was simple. “We allowed the refs, who were in contact with each other, to act as source of intel to the players.” Landry said. “Players were given a broad overview of how much territory they held and suggested whether to send players to the north or south side of the field.” Players coming from the respawn could decide to sure up lines of defense or exploit weaknesses of the other team.

The players universally appreciated the use of intelligence as it helped the game flow. “Having an idea of what was happening elsewhere made the game much more interesting.” Said Ed Bryant of Halifax. “Each respawn meant a new challenge at a different part of the field; it kept us on our toes all day.”

The eagerness of the players to keep up the fight was evident by the lack of people in the staging area while the game was in progress. “You would see a player literally run off the field, get paint get air and run back.” Commented Landry, “One of the signs that you have discovered the winning formula for a scenario is the players not wanting to stop.”

Due to the overwhelming success of RISK Landry was asked about the theme for the Tippinators next scenario. “ I’m not sure. Maybe Monopoly? Have everyone fighting for Boardwalk and ignoring Baltic.” After a thoughtful pause Landry concluded with a smile “We would have to hide GO, I can’t afford to give every player $200.”

The success of RISK shows that a producer can step outside the reenactment mode for a scenario game. The most important elements of a scenario are clearly defined objectives, simplified game play, organized and dedicated staff and a most importantly a group of paintballers will to go out, shoot paint and have fun.

..:: Visit the Tippinators Official Website - for up to date news and official information about the team. ::..