RDG AAR in Reindeer Games XIII Posted December 13, 2014 I'm just posting this to help event staff improve things in the future. For background, I've been playing paintball since 1997, including both tournaments and lots of large scenario games. I switched to airsoft due to the price, lower impact, and the fact that I moved across the country to an area with very few paintballers. Reindeer Games is only my second "large" airsoft game, my first AMS event, and my probably my last AMS event. I was on CoST squad 2-4. Registration and pre-game communicationRegistration was painless, though I was surprised how little information was provided to me at registration time. I've been to at least 40 paintball scenario games, and this was the only event I went to where I didn't have a schedule available BEFORE handing over my money. As a semi-local player, knowing what time to show up is important and should have been available earlier. Once things started to be communicated out it was fine, but it was just much later than I was expecting. Check-in, Chrono, and Safety BriefingWhen I initially drove into the parking area Saturday morning, I was impressed. All the guys walking around in faction camo, flags flying, it was just cool. Really cool. As I parked I was thinking "holy shit this is awesome". Everything looked good. Check-in was easy. Gave them my name, they handed me my packet, BB's, and ski cap. Safety briefing was fast, but the guy giving the briefing was only interested in covering the weapons that people listening had. It seems like telling everyone how sniper, DMR, support, etc., weapons work would be useful. Chrono line was extremely long. The officials running the chronographs were also fixing guns (if someone got to the front of the line with a broken gun). While it's nice to help the one player with a problem, when there's a line of 20 players waiting may not be the right time to stop and troubleshoot. HUGE SAFETY PROBLEMAfter we got driven to the starting area, split into squads, insert mags into guns and take test shots, etc., and the commander of CoST started giving a speech about how he wanted to avoid "war crimes". During this speech he said ~"don't do this" and then he took off his safety classes. At any paintball event I've been to, deliberately taking off your mask in the field would have gotten you escorted back to your vehicle by a ref. Seeing the guy in charge do it was just jaw dropping. Breaking safety rules just to make a point is just, well, I just speechless. Keep in mind this was after everyone had mags in their guns and a bunch of people had been firing off into the woods. Game-On: First 60 minutesMy squad was told to provide security for the mobile re-spawn barrel. At this point I was pretty excited, but I then spent the next hour sitting around doing NOTHING. I think we were completely surrounded my friendlies going out 150 feet in all directions, and we were being told to stick with our squad, follow orders, and defend an area that one one was attacking. I was told specifically which tree to hide behind to be and what area to watch, and then spent almost an hour kneeling in the mud* next to a pile of cow shit doing nothing but listen to other people's guns shooting in the distance. Game-On: Time 60 to 75 minutesEventually we were told to move up, but not far enough to actually get into a fight. Any time an enemy advanced close enough (or we started advancing towards an enemy), the [guys who seemed like] experienced players and squad leader started yelling "Fall back! Don't advance! Hold! Fall back! Don't advance! Fall back!". At least four other players mentioned to me that they were annoyed at our team leadership holding us back from actually playing. One guy on our squad did advance, got hit while engaging a couple UFS players, and was told to "Stop yelling. You're going to die alone so do it quietly" when he called for a help. Great attitude...I'm pretty sure it was our squad medic you yelled back at him. We did have several 'dead' friendly players walk back through our squad to re-spawn. I distinctly recall them calling me a "fucking pussy" and being told to "grow a pair" because I was in back defending as ordered. Game-On: Roughly 75 to 90 minutes into the gameAt roughly 75 minutes in, I gave up and started playing solo. I eventually crossed a ravine, bridge, and ended up with some guys from CoST squad 2-2. They were just standing around trading shots with UFS players who were far out of range (and they knew it...several commented about it but kept shooting anyways). I dumped a mag into a tree (in the general direction of UFS players) just so I could say I shot something during the game. Around this time I mentally switched from being a player to an observer. I was expecting a fun game, and was getting to stand around doing nothing. I distinctly remember seeing one guy with nine of the little AMS "I" patches velcroed to the back of his helmet. Yes, I counted. At that point I was so disillusioned I couldn't believe someone would go to one of these events nine times. Game-On: Roughly 90 to 120 minutes into the gameI spent my last half hour on the field trying to convince myself that it was worth toughing it out for the entire 6-hour game. I pulled back towards the hill that 2-4 was supposed to be guarding. I eventually concluded that standing in the woods doing nothing for another four hours wasn't a good use of my time, so I pulled my dead rag, walked back to staging, and drove hope. ConclusionCompared to all of the paintball events I've been to, was the lamest event by far. I got the impression that CoST leadership put all of the players-not-on-teams into one squad just to keep us out of the way. If that really was the intention, letting the newbs beat themselves bloody attacking something pointless would have at least given us a batter experience. As it was, it just felt disrespectful to the players. I'm glad I went, mostly so I can say I went to an AMS event and so that I'll know not to go to another one. I got to try it without the expense of a plane ticket, hotel room, or any of the other logistics usually involved in a major event. I can think of that as positive. It cost me about $350 for camo, entrance fees, gas, and equipment I'll never use again, but I can say it was only $350 and treat it as a learning experience. If other people enjoy that style of play then good for you, but it's definitely not my kind of game. --------------------------* After I got home one of my friends [who was raised on a farm] pointed out that cows pee far more than they shit, and that mud wasn't rain water. Eew.ETA: I should probably mention I was only there Saturday. Couldn't make it Friday because of my work schedule.