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The Warped Big Game ... the Mother of all Events

Robbo

Owner of this website
Jul 5, 2001
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I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I’m going up to the Warped N v S Big Game, the thousand pound gorilla of all events in the UK/Europe.
It’s the 25th anniversary for this event which is a truly remarkable achievement considering the ups and downs our sport/game has gone though in that 25 year period.

The only explanation for the longevity of this event is the fact the Warped guys focus acutely on what the rec/scenario boys like to experience … and then gives it to them, big time !!!

Year upon year they serve up a monster event that caters for every whim, fantasy and brand of excitement any self-respecting baller could dream of, and dream up - It’s a paintballer’s dream event … and then some !
I don’t care who you are in paintball, if you are lucky enough to play this event then you cannot fail to have a great time, that is of course if you ain’t one of the clean-up crew assigned to cleaning out the Portaloos at the end of the event.

As most of you know, I was always wrapped around the tournament scene but when I played the event some years back - it was an absolute mind-blower for me.
It was a brand of excitement that’s not really available in Arena format tournaments and I can’t seem to put my finger on what it is.
It might have something to do with the sheer scale of the event - so many people involved all wanting and experiencing a great time at the same time.

In Air-Ball tournaments, the atmosphere is fundamentally different and it maybe because the emphasis is laid squarely at the feet of competing whereas playing the Big Game is laid squarely at the feet of having a great time.
I’m not suggesting for one second that the rec/scenario guys aren’t as serious about playing as the Inflatable bunker boys but their focus for playing seems to distort the ability to have fun and maybe that’s the price the Air-Ball brigade have to pay to call themselves serious competitors as against seriously enjoying themselves playing the NvS.
I think the acid test is, and always has been, ‘smiles on faces’ and whereas it’s pretty much the norm in these NvS Big Games, it most certainly isn’t customary in the Air-Ball tournaments.

The sheer scale of the game takes your breath away when you first step into the woods to play and you then realise there are literally hundreds and hundreds of guns out there just waiting to shoot your ass off.
It can get a bit intimidating playing Air-Ball events but that pales into insignificance when you’re playing the Big Game.
I have an abiding memory from when I played the Big Game a few years back …
It was the NvS Game where the event theme for that years was James Bond.
Ledzy was Blofeld with his cat, and I was the suave and totally sophisticated James Bond - I mean, who else could have done the role better?

If Ledz had been offered the role of James Bond instead of me, it would have been like asking Matt Lucas to take the lead role in the film, Billy Elliot.
Ledz was born to be Blowjob …ooops, sorry, I meant Blofeld, as I was born to be Bond …. Robbond !


The Massacre of a Living Legend.

This account of what happened during that game is a bit sketchy and I’ve maybe exaggerated a little bit here and there but for the most part, it’s essentially true.
I’m unable to recall the precise details of what happened back then but it will be close enough, give or take a few hundred eliminations administered by my trusty gun.

The game had already kicked off and seeing as I was supposed to be James Bond, I thought I better go find some spies to shoot otherwise the legend that is Robbond would start to wane.


I was moving cautiously through the brush and trees with a few guys from my team - I’m not sure how it happened but I somehow ended up on my own - whether it was conspired that way or not, I’ve never really been sure one way or the other but upon realising I was on my Jack Jones, I quickly looked around to see if there were any potential witnesses because I was gonna shoot my boot and give myself an honorary discharge from the field of play.

There was no way I was gonna be on anyone’s ‘shot out’ list of the day especially if some spotty-faced 15 year old of a rec player with a 50 quid marker managed the shot of a life-time and eliminated me - I could not have stood the shame of it …. Unfortunately, it was then that I glimpsed something out of the corner of one eye, it resembled a train broad-siding over the crest of a hill about 100 yards in front of me.
I tried to make sense of what it was but then the terrible truth dawned on me, that was no broad-siding locomotive careening down-hill before me, those were my opponents strung out on the crest of a hill like the final scenes from the film, Zulu. - And horror of all horrors, Ledz was out in front of them with his eyes firmly fixed upon my soul … here was his chance to finish me off and secure the Monday morning begging rites … I shivered at the prospect of such an injustice.

He’d always been terrified of me in tournament play but now was his chance to turn the tables on me - his tactical brain had now kicked into top gear when he realised I was on my own and he had the very slight advantage of over a hundred players to back him up, I always knew he was a shrewd character when it came to choosing the right time to fight.

Luckily, I had my mobile phone on me and I knew Ledz had his …. I was scrambling to think of an exit strategy that didn’t involve me surrendering [That weren't ever gonna happen, NEVER] or getting shot more times than Colonel Custer .. my options were thin on the ground … as was my rear end.
My shaky fingers managed to somehow dial Ledzy’s number …. 1-800-BigButt - I had it on speed-dial if ever I needed an emergency container-load of pizzas.

As I stood transfixed watching this hoard of Northern Orcs all wearing flat-caps move toward me, I saw Ledzy reach into his pocket.
He had his mobile on vibrate and so he let it ring …. and ring …. and ring some more ….
Eventually, the contented grimmace across his face passed and he pulled the mobile out of his pocket to see who was calling him.

He realised it was me calling as soon as he saw the stored name of ‘Paintball God’ flash across his phone’s display.
He somehow resisted the urge to go down on one knee and salute me with a wave of his Ego leastwise that’s how I interpreted his delay.
My ego vs his Ego, there can only be one winnner and he ain't
By now, the rest of his Northern ingrates had realised it was yours truly and a wave of excitement Mexican-waved itself across their line - they wanted blood, my blood to be precise.
And I was definitely not in the mood for being scenario-bait …..
The urge to grab a white hanky from my pocket and wave surrender was met with my heroic resolve to run like fuhk ….. however, I’d forgotten one slight technical issue with that exit strategy, I was in my fifties and the Orc-brigade in front of me were young, fierce and decidedly ugly.
I mean, everyone's got a right to be ugly and uneducated but a lot of those guys took the fuhkin piss.
It was true to say that my escape would have been short-lived as they would have hunted me down like a rabid dog, all of them looking to claim my head so they could one day place their grandchildren on their lap and tell them of the day they’d shot a living-legend.

They hated me not because I was such a great player, or possessed devilish good looks, or even because my iQ was more than all theirs added together, they hated me because I'd somehow managed to remain so humble .. even as a paintball megastar.

I could not bear the humiliation of next day’s paintball headlines that would have read, ‘Robbo shot running away from Northern scenario players’ …. I decided then and there, I would not run, I was gonna turn and face them like a man, a real man …. And then run !!!

By then, Ledz was looking puzzled as he stared at his phone’s display obviously wondering WTF I was calling him for - he knew damned well I’d never surrender to a bunch of domino-playing northerners but he also knew I had no escape as another bunch of about 20 Orcs swept in behind me shaping up like the blade of a scythe.
I then experienced a surreal moment …. I noticed four or five judges with their distinctive yellow jackets assembling on one side of the field, all of them looking in my direction.
I then realised the significance of those judges as they lined up for a front-seat spectacle.
They weren't coming to make sure there was no serious overkill going on, they came to be entertained and my ass was gonna splattered across Staffordshire.
I realised this whole situation had been arranged - my players miraculously going on the missing list, the timely emergence of the northern hoards with Ledz at their front, and now, these judges turning up with back-packs full of popcorn at just the right time - they were all about to witness the shooting of a living paintball legend …...

Ledz was just about to die .....
Oh, did you think I was the ‘living legend’ who was gonna get shot?
Ah hah, ‘Get the Fuhk Outa Here’ ….. real heroes don’t die, we're immortal :)

Colonel Custer’s Last Hurrah ….

Ledz finally answered my call …. He was looking straight at me ……. I spoke, telling him the following:-

‘Ledz, we’ve been friends a long time’ ..
His answer was laconic and decidedly unsympathetic, ‘Yes Pete, we have, what do you want’ ?

‘Ledz, you’ve got well over a hundred of you facing me down, and another 20 or so coming in behind me’

‘Yes Pete, you’re surrounded, what do you want’ ????

I was feeling a bit irked concerning Ledzy’s somewhat unsympathetic tone toward me …….

‘Ledz, in total, you’ve got nigh on two hundred of you uneducated thugs bearing down on me - I’m on my own, don’t you think the odds are a bit unfair’?

‘Pete, yes they are unfair, what do you want to do about it’ ?……

‘Ledz, I think you better go and get some more players and try to even things up a bit mate’.

A few seconds passed as Ledz tried to make sense of what I’d just said ….
And when he finally realised, my demise was swift and brutal with the sound of well over a hundred guns firing all at once and drowning out my subsequent screams …

I learned a valuable lesson that day ….. don’t play rec/scenario Pete, it’s just waaaay too much fun :)

Back to this year’s Big Game …….

I remember a conversation concerning paintball with Sergey Leontiev, owner of the Russian Legion., he told me, ‘The devil is in the detail’ ……. and there is no greater example of that in paintball than the N v S game.
Tim, Jim and the rest of the guys from Warped never seem to fail in coming up with something different, something new, and something that rec/scenario guys never even thought of, and yet, The Warped boys serve it up time and again.
Some people would describe it as a knack, I’d say they were just fuhkin good at their jobs.

I think Ledzy put it quite well in his video interview about the event when he said [not verbatim] The N v S big game has got to be on every European baller’s list as a ‘Must Play’ event, and he’s damned right.

I don’t care if you’re a novice, a pro, a semi-pro, a full-blown rec/scenario player or whatever…. All ballers have to play this event because it takes us all back to that first time we all played …. That first time was a mixture of sheer, unmitigated terror and excitement as we all embarked upon on our journeys through our beloved paintball ….. Let’s face it guys/gals, it’s cowboys and Indians for grown-ups and there’s no better theatre for this ‘shoot or be shot’ game than the Warped NvS, it’s the dog’s bollocks of a weekend, and long may it reign.
A big fat thanks from all ballers goes to Jimbo and Timbo - And for any player who’s ever played the NvS Big Game, I’m gonna borrow a quote of Vinnie Jones’s character in Lock Stock when he says - ‘It’s been emotional’ .
.... Play the event and you’ll know what I mean.
 

Missy-Q

300lb of Chocolate Love
Jul 31, 2007
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Harlem, NY
Awesome post Pete. laughed my ass off.
Guys, you just don't see humility like this these days. Let this be stickied as a rare example of how we might make others feel better about themselves through self-deprecation.
 
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Flip flop

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Jan 3, 2016
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Your not wrong Pete. This was the first year I've played the big game and I must say what an absolute mind blower. Never have I been so scared and excited at the same time. I didn't know what to expect but boy I wasn't disappointed. Can't wait for next year. Would like to back up your thanks to everyone at warped for a fantastic weekend.