We last left the opposing teams all set at their respective bases counting down the time until the shout of "GO" was shouted out. The with hearts pounding we all started running at each other through the trees diving for the cover of any obstacles we could find to get away from the hail of paint balls that seemed to be coming from all directions both high and low.
For some stupid reason I first tried to hide behind a tree that saw me taking a paint ball to the stomach. Obviously the tree was not quite as wide as I expected it to be nor my stomach which must have been protruding from the very thin trunk (yes I am going with it being the trees fault) making a rather easy to hit target. Thankfully I had lots of padding (a few extra layers not just my stomach)so it didn't really hurt. Having been hit I had to put my hand into the air and walk the fifteen feet back to base to "Respawn". That walk though had me taking a couple of shots to the back as I wandered away from some overly keen enemy...
If I am honest the first game was a disaster for me getting hit from all sides and spending most of the time walking back to base getting shot on route. This was confirmed at the end of it by the large amount of paint balls I still had left in the gun.
Still not to worry the stag had been hit a fair few times and so had just about everyone else.
As gung ho as we all were deciding we were the best thing since sliced bread with guns we were outshone by a trio of lads that had come by themselves all kitted in in their own paintball gear. Now these folks obviously liked to do this sort of thing regularly but when surrounded by twenty "normal" people over two stag parties and a couples day out I am not quite sure why they seemed surprised when they got some responses from things they tried to command others to do.
To one guy they told him to "Give us covering fire!!" to which he replied "Waste your own paintballs"
Another one was "YOU run left and draw their fire!" to which the response was "YOU bloody run left and get shot"
By far my favourite one though was an action. Two of these guys commanded "We all run left...GO!"
Off they ran all by themselves into a hail storm of gunfire and to quick deaths. There was a quick look of smugness between the rest of us through our steamed up visors (I had abandoned the use of my specs inside them after the first game as it was like trying to see through blown double glazing) as these "Professionals" sulkily walked back to the base to respawn to the sounds of sniggers and "well done fellas" from the group.
Seriously, why would you try to tell a group of complete strangers who are on stag do's how to play this sort of game. There is strategy for the stag do boys and that is the desire to shoot the hell out of anything that moves from the opposite direction whilst manically laughing your head off.
There were several different settings mostly the longer firing range but one setting involved storming a castle. This was close quarters fighting and quite painful if you were unlucky enough to take a hit.
Thinking "Buggered if I want to get shot that much" I decided to chase the flank around to the opposite teams side to catch them off guard. I need to take a moment here to tell you about a young couple that were also playing the games. He got shot as much as the rest of us but she was brilliant! Any gun she used she seemed to be able to snipe you from a long distance with very little effort using only one or two paintballs.
Well, my sneaking was going well. I had used the trees as cover and worked my way around to the opposite teams base without getting wiped out. That done, my bravery started growing so I headed towards one of the entrance tunnels to the castle. I stood listening but could hear no sounds coming from the entrance. Full of bravado I walked around the side in a slight crouch and much to my surprise I found the young couple standing there. He was facing me with a hell of a surprised look in his eyes and she was bent over at the waist looking around a right hand corner completely oblivious to my presence.
I didn't think I just reacted. My gun was already up in the horizontal position and firstly it flicked to him as a few shots were fired. A yellow explosion of paint took him in the chest. The gun then flicked to my right where his girlfriend was still bent over looking around the corner leaving a more than ample rounded target swaying slightly from side to side.
Before I knew what I was doing I had fired off two more rounds which headed off on a direct trajectory to the twin moons that faced me. The shots were true and could not resist what must have been a slight gravitational pull hitting their target as if they were guided. As they exploded with a "whump, whump" she jumped up high enough to nearly bang her head off of the ceiling whilst emitting a high pitched squeal.
The evil side of me was delighted that I had managed to take two of the enemy out and another big part of me thought that the last shots I had taken and the outcome were hilarious!
This was very quickly followed by me feeling a bit guilty that I had shot her right up the arse. But if I am honest that last feeling did not last long. She had after all been sniping my team out all day long!
It also turned out I was not the only person trying to shoot the stag at every opportunity that arose but he seemed to have a hell of a knock of not getting wasted!
The day was a good one and the meal later on was superb! But I realise now that I am no longer 25 years old. I am not even 35 years old anymore. I ached from head to toe the following day...well days.
My friend is getting married in a couple of months or so...his wife to be set his stag do way way ahead of the big day. I don't think she trusts us enough to take him out the night before I mean he could end up on a train anywhere...or a plane.