Allmost Vietnam: Airball Jungle Warefare

Back at the end of Novemeber, (when we were still in Phuket) a bunch of staff from Phil’s company were planning a friendly airball game. Luckily I was invited along and graciously accepted. Airball is a less expensive alternative to paintball, (and the little solid plastic balls hurt less too!). There are some inherrant problems with airball comparred to paintball though. Mainly, bad players with a little bit of pain tollerance can cheat really easily. Over longer distances the smaller airballs lose quite a bit more of their velocity (and hence trajectory) over paintballs. Thus if you shoot an opponent at a distance of more than 15m they can easily shrug off the shot, bite their tongue from exclaiming out loud and tuck in behind cover a little more. This helps them pretend that they were never hit, and that the shot was really “close” and nothing more.

We arrived after a half hour drive to find about 5 Thai guys, 6 American and Canadian expats and 2 Thai kids (around 11) waiting to play. There were two fancy guns which could shoot incrediby rapidly and had accurate scopes attached. When any of us “new” guys tried to get those guns we were quickly told that they were privately owned by two of the guys and we could only use the heavy, slower (and way less “attractive”) rental guns. When it came time to dividing the teams, it somehow went with Thai versus Caucaision except for Phil. This made the teams rather uneven at 6 to 7 but they claimed the kids only counted as healf each. I should clarify here that the kids were in full body armour (heavy padding like an umpire wears) and looked VERY comfortable handling their weapons. I wondered if they slept with them perhaps….

So, here we were about to seemingly recreate the Vietnam war from the 1970’s. Complete with several big burly (or more easily targeted) beer bellied white guys all over or close to six feet high, and several little “Charlie’s” that were tiny, hard to track targets and could scramble around as quietly and as efffortlessly as the most deadly jungle cat. These enemies had guns though. Rapid fire, sleek, lightweight chinese manufactured guns… In the end we did fairly well. At the beginning of the first game Phil was duly sacrificed by his Charlie teammates. He suggested it was miscommunication afterwards, but they told him to go one way where three of us shot the snot out of him very quickly. Meanwhile his teammates all stealthily went the other way once we were all distraced with the high of our first kill. I didn’t make it to the end of that first game, but I was proud in getting a great surprise kill in before I was taken out later. We somehow won that first game and we started to consider that perhaps we had a chance. Then in the second game their overrall plan began to take hold. Our batteries that provided the “Oomph!” in the propulsion system were getting low. I had the key “lookout” position and my rental gun jammed at a very important moment. Naturally I was allowed to go off the course unharmed and perform any nessesary repairs. By the time I returned however our position was severely compromised by an influx of enemy sneaking up along the side that I was supposed to be protecting. We lost that next game, but still did incredibly well considering that our batteries barely seemed to be pushing those plastic beads out at all.

We insisted on charging up the batteries after that in preparation for the second game. Then we enacted our sure-fire stategy. It wasn’t so sure faire we quickly discovered. This is where the rampant cheating came to light in our minds. We had two guys surrounded o twosides and were firing like cazywith no apparent effect. He just didn’t flinch and adjusted his body so that he was just barely protected a little more. We could see each other shooting at him abrely 4m away but he was just taking the shots and pretending he wasn’t hit. (I made a point of lookig at his back when he changed shirts at the end of the games and he was riddled with welts. That gave us a minimal smug satisfaction…)

2 Responses to “Allmost Vietnam: Airball Jungle Warefare”

  1. Tim says:

    Dude – you actually did a tour of duty in (well, near) ‘Nam. Did you guys lay back and crank some Doors tunes afterwards?

    I got a big stack of newspapers from you guys today, and they are great. What I find really amazing is just how much better they are than North American newspapers. Well written, reasonable stories without a hint of sensationalism. Amazing. One newspaper had a plea for relgiious tolerance from the Malaysian prime minister on the front page in huge type. The Yanks could learn something from that guy.

    Loved the postcards as well – we got of downtown KL and an Australian one for Gracie from Alex – she was thrilled to get mail (especially from Alex, who has sort of taken on mythical proportions in her mind).

    We’re all doing okay here. Christmas season is gearing up and I have a party for the cubs to plan for next Monday. Tney are an exhausting lot, but they are pretty good crew. I think Ian enjoys it. Jo is off to YK all next week so I am doing that single parent thing which is adding to the pressure.

    It’s colder than a penguin’s scrotum here right now, but we’ll survive, as we always have. Hope you all are healthy, happy and having a great time. All the best from us.

  2. Rick says:

    Just remember, it was only a “Police Action” not a war. Agh, now you’re making me miss the party/visiting season in Smith. Damn! That’s the best part of small towns, even more excuses to get together, drink and play games. I’m glad the papers finally arrived. Geez that took a long time! I’ve been collecting a few others (much thinner) from Thailand & Laos that I will mail from Hong Kong in a couple weeks. You are incorrect however in believing that the Yanks could ever learn something from anyone…