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Thin Green Line

The Silver Ball

The Silver Ball is almost impossible to earn under normal combat conditions and the Scarlet Purple-Nickel can be rather painful. But before you start asking if you’ve earned a Silver Ball, the first Marauder ever to be nominated for one eliminated eleven men out of a sixteen man attack force while firing only four shots, and he lived to tell about it! So when you can out-do that, let me know. And give me the names of your witness’s.

The Silver Ball was once thought of by headquarters to be a mythical award that could be considered to be paintballs equivalent to The Congressional Medal of Honor. It was widely believed that there would never actually be a need to fabricate even a prototype for the award because the terms and conditions necessary to earn one were so impossibly high. Well…On that point, we were wrong! 

Ranger becomes the first Marauder to earn a Silver Ball

He eliminated 11 players with 4 shots.

Dateline-Firebase Freedom
It was in the final battles of Firebase Freedom during the spring of 1997. We had a good crowd of more than thirty players on field. After splitting into two teams we decided to play a game of, “Defend the Firebase”. One team consisted of mostly rabble, reinforced with 4th squad. They moved out to occupy the bunkers on top of the hill. The sixteen-man assault team was made up of 1st, 2nd and 3rd squads with some rabble attached. The plan called for a three-pronged attack.

Predator and Maj. D Saster of 1st squad and Devilman, JB, and Hawk of 3rd squad would make an Alpha-Assault around the far side of the hill.

Pacman and Cisco, (also of 1st squad) along with some assorted rabble, would make their approach up the hill near the Jeep-Trail to attack from the Command Bunker’s ten o’clock angle. Twinketoes of 2nd squad would take his rabble and go right up the middle from the woodline facing the firebase’s twelve o’clock.

Its risky to spread your firepower out over such a wide area, but sometimes you’ve just got to try a new attack plan. The plan assumed that if the defenders were hit from enough different directions at the same time, their own firepower would be split enough for the attackers to infiltrate their positions and attrit them down.

What the attackers did not count on was Ranger of 4th squad. He started as his team’s rearguard, then worked his way down into The Abyss and along “Widow’s Fenceline.” Not finding any movement, he cut down the hill and worked his way through the underbrush until he came to the Jeep-Trail. Cutting across the Jeep-Trail he moved towards the shooting.

Finding three newbies who were huddled too close together, he moved in behind them and virtually tapped them on the shoulders, informing them they were out of the game.

Moving to his left and about four paces uphill he tagged out Minister and continued up the slope about twenty feet to the right where he tagged out Pacman from behind.

Cutting once more to his left, he shot Cisco who had moved just a few yards out in front of Pacman. From there he shifted more to his left at roughly the Command Bunker’s eleven o’clock and dropped down into the grove where he tagged out JB then shifted down to the left and shot Devilman. Continuing down through the treeline, he tagged out a newbie who was supposed to be acting as his team’s rear-guard. From there he maneuvered up through the “Tanker’s Den” where he tagged out Twinkletoes and Jason.

While all this was going on, Predator, Maj. D Saster and a few other attackers had successfully fought their way up through the woods and taken the Alpha Position. They were clearing some of the sniper-trails when they got all shot up and taken out in rapid succession. As they found their way down off the hill they couldn’t help but wonder, “What had happened to the rest of our team?”

“We went up the hill and walked into a hornets nest” Maj. D Saster said later.

As players filtered into the bivouac talking about what had happened and who had taken them out of the game, it became apparent that something extraordinary had occurred.

Ranger had defeated a sixteen-man assault team almost single-handed. At one point grabbing a players gun barrell. The game was declared as a career high for Ranger and a great moment in Marauder History. Ranger was later nominated for a Silver Ball at Headquarters where the motion was unanimously approved.