The Junkyards Fort Ord Christmas Hill-First Assault Second Assault
Filed by Samuel Zentner
In World War Two, one of the largest and most costly battles was the fight over Stalingrad. This Russian City, named after the ruthless leader, put up such a fight that it spelled the beginning of the end for the German Army on the Eastern Front. In the spring of 1942, the 6th Army under General Von Paulus consisted of nine infantry divisions, five panzer divisions, and four motorized divisions. A total of 300,000 men attempted to take the city. Stalingrad was a major shipping and production center on the Volga River. More than 2,000,000 people died in the battle. Only 30,000 soldiers of the Germans Sixth Army returned.
It's a long drive to Selma Ca. And in the summer it's pretty hot as well. But the type of combat (urban) and the guys running the show at the winery make the drive worthwhile. We were in convoy as we pulled into the lot. There was a good crowd but not as large as our first trip. On the grounds, a lot of the dangerous stuff was cleaned up and carted off. They cut holes in the walls between the large rooms. It made the middle building more workable for attacks as well as defense. Behind the complex they built a Speedball course. It's in a pit so you can watch the game from above.
When the games began, we started out at the end closest to our bivouac. (start point A) I ran with 1st Squad down the catwalk on the second story of the closest building. We came immediately under fire from snipers in the tower. (Our own second squad we loaned the home team to even things out a little)
We made it to the end of the walkway then engaged the snipers. They did a good job staying back in the shadows a few feet behind the holes and windows. All we could see were balls flying out of the shadows. With 1st Squad fighting it out right over the vats on the second floor catwalk, the remaining Marauders were busy working the out- buildings as they charged out of the alley by the storage tanks. The boys on the catwalk did a fair job on the tower snipers; taking out three. But the snipers were quickly replaced by reinforcements and the balance of casualties left them holding the tower while I was cleaning the shot off my helmet back in the bivouac.
The winery is a labyrinth of corners and holes filled with shadows. Its a place where surprise is in every turn. The home field advantage is evident in the fire angles you find yourself under just when you think your safe. Altitude is everything in Paintball, and the tower has a commanding view of the south side of the field. But because you can only deliver fire on the small office and the "vat building", the lower floor has to be held by additional troops. These troops can be called on to reinforce the tower as needed but if they are gone from the groundfloor, the attack troops can take the tower. The storage tanks on the far south side of the field have been the scene of some rather bitter fighting as the opponents try to outmaneuver each other on their circular tracks. Pure murder.
As far as the out buildings are concerned, they seem to invite a close assault from any corner at any time. I have seen a few and we even have video of one pretty exciting assault. These attacks can be costly as many Marauders can attest. On one occasion I saw First and Second Division guys working together like they play together every weekend. They took the out buildings and swept the line all the way to start point B. They turned and attacked all three buildings at the same time. It was a great thing to watch. See photos and Map
The Junkyard Games.........DevilMan set up the Junkyards games.....
Filed by Samuel Zentner
When Firebase Freedom was closed, it took some running around to find a new place to set up. Among the places we tried out were a couple of junkyards near Hollister that were found by DevilMan. These games brought out the best in two separate styles of paintball, Recreation and Speedball. There are enough irregular edges in the terrain to allow for good squad movement but not allow guys to mushroom in. It also got games off a quick start.
When 1st squad rolled in on that bright Sunday morning, 4th squad had already set up In the bivouac and was ready to go. 3rd squad had a huge tarp set up against the elements. 5th squad was right next to them. There was an array of associate players in the mix including the famous Ray and Andre attack squad as well as some Mike Force guys.
The field was full of all types of discarded household items as well as a good array of auto and truck bodies. There was a large pile of wood that snaked the north end of the yard when we were there before, but now it was gone. Also removed were a couple of key vehicles we had used before. But the appearance of two large mobile homes made up for any disappointment I may have had. Later in the day those mobile homes proved to be a great centerpiece for a couple of games.
The games were moving quickly all morning and we were learning more and more good squad movement and cover techniques. The fast gun guys, much to the surprise of some of the older players, initiated a two hundred-ball limit. This kept more players on the field longer into the day. They didn't run out of ammo so fast. It also sharpened the target acquisition skills of some of the "rain men" in the group.
We were fighting the same game to a stalemate over and over along the west flank of the field. We were supposed to put a brief case into the window of one of the mobile homes. The home became the "Plane" that the briefcase would have to be deposited in. The defense was well dug in among some wrecked cars right in the attack path of our patrol. It became obvious to some of us that we would have to charge. The call went out to anyone in our vicinity to assemble on the right flank. Time was taken to put the last few precious balls into the hopper. In the end there was between seven and nine Marauders ready for the attack.
The call was given. Everyone and I mean everyone burst from cover at the same time with all guns blazing. They were a little bunched up as they ran directly at the defenders but it was still magnificent. I was the far right flank and started out behind the main mass of Marauders so I could not even see any targets until I cleared their flank. But I could hear it all. Some guys were shouting from the fortress of wrecks, all guns were firing, and some of their troops began to break and run. I could hear balls, tearing the air and Marauders getting hit. When I finally got to the clear for a shot, I picked up target. It was a garrison guy in the trunk of a completely striped old Mustang (no doors, no seats and no windshield.) I began to fire in through the frame of the windshield and back through the seat frame right into the trunk. To make the shot I had to stop and take aim. More balls ripped by. More Marauders were being hit. The guy in the trunk was finally eliminated after I closed in with a couple range shots. By then it was a short run to jump in the engine compartment of the Mustang. This put me within ten yards of the plane and under intense fire. I backed a couple of guys off the corner of the "Plane" by shooting under the edge to wound one of them in the chin. More Marauders were now in a support position and the fire grew more sporadic on my position.
I was shooting it out waiting for the guys with the Brief case when they pushed back and began to hold ground on the other end of the Fortress of Wrecks. Which in some cases was just a car length away. I did not consider it good news when I saw the counter attack was being led by the Marauder we "loaned" the opposition. (To make things a little more sporting) A couple of my support guys got picked, as the fire grew very intense. I was in trouble again. When I jumped from the Mustang to cover my own flank, I caught one right on my rear loin. It left a monster do-nut and I was out of the game.
As I left the field, I could see the opposition moving in to reinforce their precarious position. I saw Big Al crouched up and moving in with his gun pouring paint. (Big Al is only 4ft tall) But Marauders were moving too. After a see saw battle raged for an all too short of time, the Marauders managed to put the case through the window and prevail. I was siting at the 1st squad bivouac when the game came to its conclusion. I was seeing that image over and over again; A bunch of Marauders in full charge right into the jaws of defeat only to snatch victory in the final moments. My helmet is off to you guys.See photos.
The First Trip.
Filed by Samuel Zentner
If we tried this in 1942 we would have been shot as spies. It was planned as a clandestine operation from the onset. That meant that we would have to enter Fort Ord without being seen. Thanks to the 1st squad having to gas-up(C02) on sight before we entered, we were pinpointed and detained by an agent of the Department of the Interior. After a short interrogation, we were allowed to pass. The agent's main concern was if we had any firearms. But since we had all our hardware (pneumatic paint throwers) hidden in our kit she did not register an alarm.
The patrol was not easy. Everything that we needed had to be carried in. Gas, Balls, and Beverage. Wizard stayed behind and guided the uninitiated First Squad to he machine gun range that would be the game field. The trail was long. When we finally crossed the nearly one mile to get to the location, we climbed the last long grade to see a beautiful sight; acres and acres of top quality game field. An Army Corps of Engineers type of course that went forever. see photos
We marched down and set up the bivouac, then decided to play "Capture the Flag"; The First against the Fourth Squad. . Wizard had fielded an entire squad of Monterey players that knew the terrain quite well. There was six of the Fourth and five of the First. The First moved out to defend the flag as the Forth made ready.
On the first game the Fourth made a gallant try against the flag but was eliminated with the help of Widow Maker on a hard charge using support from the rest of the fire team. The most notable event of that action was the command by Maj,D, Saster,"volley fire" The idea came to flower later that day in a big way.
In the second game, the First Squad had the job of the attack. We decided to go right up the middle with Widow Maker and Tanker on our hard right flank. Pacman was on the inside position of the picket line and came under heavy fire. From a position on Pacman's right the Predator was working angles on the offenders. As the two teams closed on each other, the fire grew in intensity. At one point as the First Squad was closing the button hook on the Fourth, a grenade flew over the hedge in a tall arch towards Pacman. Before it could come down and cause any damage, Predator shouted a warning and Pacman had time to flatten down and escape elimination
Predator was in a direct gunfight with a member of the Fourth Squad. He finally landed a "hit" before he was eliminated by the player he didn't see. (Good tactics by the 4th) Widowmaker closed in on the player who shot Predator and completed a crossfire that eliminated him in short order. Widowmaker then fought his way to the flag, grabbed it, and made the long haul to the "Free Line".
The First squad had its hands full that day with the Fourth Squad on their own home turf. The action was superb and the scenery was without parallel. We used a tactic that never failed to cause an elimination on the opposition; VOLLEY FIRE
The First Trip
Filed by Michael G. Shanks.
Christmas Hill in Gilroy, Ca. is a small square of land bordered by a road along one side and flat farm fields on the other three. Within this geographic postage stamp, the terrain rises into a small knoll. The high ground runs as a low ridge from the right corner of the road frontage and runs diagonally towards the center of the field. Rising slightly to a high point a little more than halfway across with the hillsides falling away gradually around the sides and slightly steep on the backside down to the level of the farm fields.
Theres an old wood and cinderblock building at the right rear corner of the field that looks as though it was bombed, shelled and fought over more than once.
With the exception of a small clump of trees and bushes along the right property border, there is not a great deal of brush cover. There is a scattering of individual trees, some of which are quite large and there are some artificial fortifications constructed out of brush, branches, tree limbs and anything that could be used in a hedgehog type of defense. There are also a number of rocky outcroppings and various dips and rolls in the ground that create some interesting breaks in the lines of sight. Theres even a couple of "fox-holes" here and there. This field is being great for short, fast paced squad action games.
When the Marauders arrived, the weather was pretty bad. The rain was pouring and the wind was freezing .In spite of the foul conditions, we still had a great turnout. The Santa Cruz Paintball Team showed up but decided the pizza shop in Gilroy was a better choice for the day. There was a good showing of independent players as well. In all there was close to thirty players there at one time or the other. Everyone went to work setting up their bivouacs and no sooner was the tarps up and combat gear being assembled than the question of whether Or not to play when such foul weather came up. Some folks were of the opinion that there was really no way to play under the prevailing conditions.
Predator called everyone around to take a vote and see who wanted to stay and play and who wanted to pull out. Amazingly, as we were counting hands, the rain let up and the field became quiet. Suddenly, the game was on!
Splitting the available players into two teams; Marauders Vs Everyone else, (Our favorite!) we prepared to hit the field .
In Game One, the opposing force moved out to occupy the bombed out house. The objective of this game was for the Marauders to take the house. The Marauders split into two lines of attack. One assault team went over and around the right side of the hill, while the other assault team, consisting of Predator, Maj.D.Saster and Sandman, fought its way over and around the left side.
As they reached the crest of the hill, Predator came under immediate fire from a defender who was trying to reach the top of the hill. He was completely surprised at the sight of the attack force and was eliminated by combined fire from Sandman and Predator. By the time D.Saster got to the top of the hill, another defender was firing from the bottom of the hill behind a tree. Taking a position in one of the outcroppings of rocks, Predator returned fire. Ignoring some long-range area fire coming from the house, Maj.D.Saster got into another rocky position just above and behind Predator while Sandman moved to the left. When Predator left his position and moved to his flank, the opponent saw them moving down the hill. He tried to head them off by also shifting his position toward the left side of the field. As all this was taking place, Maj.D.Saster moved up to take Predators place and eventually charged down the hill to obtain a flank shot on our restless opponent who quickly found himself under fire from three different angles. This assault closed in towards the house where Predator was eliminated. Finally, after a prolonged shoot-out, Maj.D.Saster advanced on the house and quickly circled the building while firing into the doors and openings. This daring assault eliminated a couple of the defenders before Maj.D.Saster was hit and put out of the game. But by then the rest of the Marauder assault squads had moved in and were shooting through the front openings of the building to clear the house and win the game.
In Game Two, the Marauders took the walk to occupy the house. Most of us defended from within the house with Wizard and another sniper posted in ambush positions outside. Wizard eliminated the first unsuspecting attacker which turned back the first attack. The rest of attack never appeared to be very well coordinated, and came in as a series of individual sniper actions. At one point, a push on the right flank of the house saw two opposition attackers work their way towards us using the trees to advance. There was a third attacker in the rocks on top of the knoll who was probably trying to provide some support fire for his associates. But the range was so far as to render him ineffective. We kept an eye on him; but where he was, he was not a threat.
A sudden volley of fire from four Marauder defenders eliminated the nearest attacker on the right and persuaded his partner to pull back. Predator was itching for a counter attack but was kept in check by the other team members. Wizard and his wingman saw an opportunity and ran around the side of the hill. Tony Tiger was on the corner of the building and asked Predator if he wanted to go too. With only minutes left in the game, the Marauders swarmed out of the house and counter-attacked up the hill to clear the last of the opposition and win the second game!
Game Three was an elimination game. We employed a coin-toss to split everyone into two teams. After game three, several players packed it up and left. It was about twelve-thirty in the afternoon and the weather was showing no signs of improvement. A small handful of players stayed to get in another game.
As I said before, this is a great little field. Any Marauders who were not here should look forward to playing on Christmas Hill in the near future. Preferably when it is a bit warmer and not so wet.
See the photos and diagram
The Marauders Return.
Filed by Samuel Zentner.
On December 21st, the MARAUDERS returned to Christmas Hill in Gilroy. Because of the bad weather on the first try, we thought we would give the place a second go when the conditions were better. We should have left well enough alone. As probably could be expected so close to the holiday, the turn out for the MARAUDERS was not good. Out of the twenty or so guys that are on the active list, only eight showed up. On the other hand, the opposition was there in strength. They had sixteen players ready to go with some pretty fancy hardware. There were some members of the ASSASINS who are top-notch players with a lot of experience fighting MARAUDERS; as well as a whole slew of guys we've been shooting up all year. This includes the offspring of some MARAUDERS whose names will remain unreported at this time but have formed a team they call THE RIP RIDAZ and sport a nine-man team roster.
Game One The day started out with the MARAUDERS holding the blockhouse at the far end of the field. Our plan was to have a squad of three hold the hill- crest for as long as possible and then retreat to the house when the fire got too heavy. The whistle blew and the hill team took off for their objective. The fire on their position came quickly and relentlessly. There was no time to evacuate the position before the team was pinned down with no options for retreat. I was on that team and was quickly eliminated. I decided to watch the advance of the opposition. They were moving in teams and looked pretty good at that. They took that hill and set up for the attack on the blockhouse. As the other units of their team came into position for support fire, the assault teams moved in under a heavy blanket of cover fire on the blockhouse. The game was over in another minute with the opposition cleaning out the cinderblock house in a hornet's nest of fire. I didn't like the way that looked for our team.
Game Two It was our turn to attack the blockhouse. We decided on a two pronged attack, one from the ditch side of the field and one from the opposite end. When the game started the squad I was on went to the East Side of the hill and came under fire from a group that was in the corner in a grove of trees. A couple of gun problems and a couple of eliminations on our side left too small of a force to take the blockhouse. The counter attack by the opposition took out the remaining MARAUDERS in short order.
Game Three left nothing for the MARAUDERS to brag about. We thought that we would try to hold the outcropping of rocks again and make sure the guys in the house left a zone directly in front of the blockhouse that was clear of any opposition. That area would guard the flank of the squad holding the hill. That idea did not work as planned. The kill zone in front of the house did not hold up. The opposition was able to get in close enough to deliver fire on the hill from three sides and once again the hill defense collapsed. After that the house fell under one more hail of fire.
In Game Four we once again were on the attack. I was with a squad of three holding the left flank of the hill. Things were finally going better for us as we were holding that side while the remaining MRAUDERS kept the crown and right flank under control. We held out for a while doing what we could. But after we stalemated the situation, we began to take hits and run out of gas. Grunt's gun went down after a protracted gunfight on the far-left flank. With that avenue open, the opposition found a way to exploit that side and the rest of us were soon eliminated. After that even the most enthusiastic opposition began to feel a little sorry for us and two of their better shooters came over to our side to help out. With only those two guns added the tide was turned. We finally began to control the hill and actually dominated the in the final half of the last game.
The day did have a bright spot or two. There were a couple of times when shear audacity in a suicide charge actually had some of them abandon their positions and retreat, but all in all we had a historic low. Later it was learned that a very high-pressure area had settled in the region of Christmas Hill. This made the guns without expansion chambers work very inefficiently. The edge was with the other guys who had more of those guns present. My Tippman could not get more than 250 feet per second in velocity. All our heavy weapons were elsewhere that day and the short range of our guns and the fact we were so outnumbered, (they had more players than they had guns and replaced eliminated players as they left the field) made this a day to remember; But for all the wrong reasons.
See the photos and diagram
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