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"Per is
Vel in is"
January 29th 2011
Operation: Roll Tide

The ARCs decided to make our winter road trip this year to the annual MOUT game at Fort McClellan in northeastern Alabama. The game is run by and takes place at the Alabama National Guards Urban Warfare training center, pitting the “Coalition” vs. “The Hammer of Light”.

Alabama Roll Tide Team Photo
ARC Troopers roll tide at the Alabama MOUT Game
I shall give the play by play for this game as best as I can while also pointing out the strengths and weaknesses we saw, I’m afraid, although we had an excellent time, that many of the weaknesses outweigh the strengths.

ARC was assigned to HOL because we were told the coalition “Was really stacked on that side”. At registration it was clear to us that HOL was easily outnumbered by the coalition at 2 or 3 to 1, and rumors began to circulate that the game was always run that way because they didn’t want “the bad guys” to win. This didn’t bother us much, we are used to winning when things are stacked against us. We attended the mandatory safety briefing on Friday night before the game, you got your id cards, air cards and paint there as well. We heard a safety briefing from the Alabama National Guard and the Head ref as to the do’s and don’ts of the field, most of these were concerned with building safety issues and a little was said about not having full auto, bounce or ramping, it was said that infractions would get you tossed off the field, we later learned it wasn’t a rule that was enforced. We got our preregistered cases of paint and purchased 2 extra cases as well because paint looked extremely limited and we didn’t want to run short, afterwards we hit an awesome BBQ joint "The Rocket" and prepared for the next day.

The next morning we arrived at the designated parking lot where all our gear was loaded on 5ton trucks and we loaded buses out to the MOUT facility. After setting up camp we loaded pods, filled air tanks and began to take stock of the situation, including talking to our General from the Rebel Force Pirates. We discovered our team would wear no armbands or ID and that the opposing force would all wear red\orange marking tape on their masks. This came to our first problem, the whole weekend when trying to ID targets we had a tendency to say “Red Team” because of the marking tape, but we were actually the red team and they were the blue team, our communication was not wholly effected because we know each other well enough to get over that barrier, but when shouting to allies it became a bit confusing.

As we looked around we began to realize just how badly outnumbered we were, this game was really lopsided. We started the game located in the buildings in town with orders to take the I building, unfortunately only 2 of our guys made it into the building and the rest of us were easily pushed back across town. The rest of the day was basically a stalemate, we made no real headway.

It was at this point that we began to see things that were a bit off, first we noticed the no ramping rule flew right out the window from the get go. We acknowledge walking triggers can be done up to 16 bps, but not for a sustained amount of time and not instantly, every time we asked a ref we got nothing but a noncommittal shrug, as if it didn’t matter. To get this out of the way right now the Reffing on the first day was really sub par. Refs were both reffing and playing, which we have seen done many times, but…they sometimes played in their ref jerseys, and when they went back to reffing they left the marking tape on their masks. This led to A lot of players being eliminated because they thought the guy that popped into a window was a ref when the ref was playing, course it also led to a lot of refs getting shot all weekend because you didn’t know if he was reffing or playing. Refs also didn’t seem to care about certain rules (ramping) and only enforced rules against HOL and not against he coalition. The whole first day itself seemed to be a bit of a cluster, “missions” that were supposed to be going on never happened, we were simply told all day to take one specific building. The HOL did make headway towards the end of the day, we began pushing the coalition around and began taking buildings, we finished up that day figuring we were losing but felt good that it had to be fairly close.

The second day was an absolute turn around, the teams switched spawn points, which were really close to each other to begin with, and the Refs seemed to do a lot more reffing this day than playing. We also were given a clear mission objective first thing that morning, ARCs took the central bank and were told to hold it for 30 min. We ended up holding it all day, fighting off waves of coalition players. While we held the bank other ARCs secured the buildings all around us, giving HOL an effective stranglehold on the whole facility. HOL basically owned the whole second day, from our vantage points ARC radioed intelligence to the General all day long and Coalition didn’t make a move all day that wasn’t radioed into the General. We played until the 1:45 stand down, never having lost the bank and shooting every paintball we had, ARCs that got shot out ferried ammo and air back into the bank to replenish their comrades. It was the perfect exercise in teamwork and communication. By the end of the day the tables were turned and HOL owned the whole field and outnumbered the Coalition.

However, at this game apparently bad guys don’t win, which being sponsored by the Alabama National Guard I can understand. Even though we had clearly won the second day by a landslide the score was completely lopsided in the Coalitions favor. Oh well, we packed up our gear and began our long trip back into the frozen north knowing that we had pwned and Rolled Tide.

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