Mar
16
2014

Day of Days Returns

Our D-Day event will be returning this year to Three Rivers Paintball.  Formerly held at Battlefront Paintball, this event became quite popular with players due to its massive beach landing at the start of the game.  Will this be the exact same game as the one we ran at Battlefront?  No.  Of course not.  It’s a different field with different strengths.  However, we feel that we can make this a really fun event at TRP.  The beach landing will still kick off the game, but at Three Rivers, US players will be facing higher German fortifications.  More of a “Pointe Du Hoc.”  Knotted ropes will be secured to the higher points to help players get up to the top.  There are several easier paths up to the German bunkers, but we anticipate they’ll be heavily defended.  The choice is yours.

Day of Days will follow the same format as it did at Battlefront and will be similar to how Red Risk operated at Three Rivers last year.  Players will have a central HQ with a general and his staff.  The generals will be in charge of issuing all attack orders throughout the day.  The event will not be scripted.  Generals will tell you what flag zones to capture/defend and what type of side missions you will need to complete.  Ie:  Retrieve ammo crates, rescue downed pilots, snipe the enemy command, etc.

We look forward to bringing this great event back to the local paintball scene and hope you’ll all join us this July for its reemergence at Three Rivers!

Jan
23
2014

Battlefield: SteelTown

We are pleased to announce that we will be running an event at SteelTown Paintball in PA this spring! The event will be based on the popular video game series, Battlefield. Live out some of your favorite game modes such as Conquest, Rush, and Obliteration. The graphics will be amazing and there is no cap on server size! This event has been scheduled for May 31st.

SteelTown is a growing paintball field with lots of space that has recently opened in the Pittsburgh area and is looking to expand their scenario base.  If you’re not familiar with SteelTown, please take a moment to check out the following link to a write up we did a while back: SteelTown Paintball.

While .68 Caliber is known for our detailed, mission-style events and open-sandbox style games, like Day of Days, we want to keep this scenario straightforward to allow the new scenario players in the area get accustomed to scenario play.  What you should expect with this is a lot of “to-the-point” missions and larger engagements between the teams.  For this event, the focus will shift away somewhat from the complexities that we’ve injected into the games in the past such as decoding puzzles or finding hidden objects and putting them together.  For this game, we want the objectives to be easy to understand for even the newest player, while maintaining the same level of enjoyment that people have come to expect.  For seasoned scenario players, this frees you from Easter egg hunts and allows you to place more emphasis on working with your teammates, outflanking the opposition and really taking it to the enemy in order to secure objectives.

We’ve got a lot of fun ideas for this game and as always, more information will become available as we get closer to the event.   In the meantime, we know this is a popular video game with a lot of paintball players, so if you have any thoughts on things you’d like to see, give us a shout and we’ll take it into consideration.  (Within reason, of course.  Our budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of a bunch of quads and bundles of C4.  Plus safety would be a concern there…)

We look forward to seeing you all again this spring!

 

May
7
2013

Photos from OP Red Risk Are Now Available

 

Pictures from our event at Three Rivers Paintball are now available both in our photo section on this website in a higher quality version, and on our Facebook page, 68 Caliber Productions.

It recently came to our attention that a problem had developed in our photo gallery here on the main website.  After much poking and prodding of the site, it was determined that the photo gallery and a social media program that was installed on the site didn’t like each other very much.  The social media sharing feature has now been disabled, bringing the photo galleries back into view.  The galleries have probably been down for some time and we apologize for any inconvenience as we were not aware until we attempted to upload the most recent photos.  If you continue to notice any issues with the galleries at this time, please contact us immediately.

As always, please feel free to download any photos you find, both here or on our Facebook page for your personal use.

Thanks for joining us for OP Red Risk!  We hope to see you again in the future!

May
5
2013

OP Red Risk After Action Report

NATO and PLA forces locked horns for the first time in the center of the combat zone, fighting over control of flag zone Hotel.  NATO forces took the initiative by locking down Hotel first and didn’t let up for the remainder of the day.

Both teams first focused on consolidating their front lines with the PLA taking zones Mike and Oscar, while NATO reclaimed Bravo and Alpha.  Within the first hour, a well-defined front line began to form along the edge of Golf and at the first flag check, NATO controlled 8 territories while the PLA controlled 7.  Territory switched hands back and forth several times all over the map, but the NATO war machine slowly pushed the PLA forces back and the PLA soon found themselves being forced to defend their back territories and fight off repeated attempts to overrun their HQ.  At the lunch break, NATO had successfully captured 10 territories, leaving the PLA with 5 and trailing in the points.

During the lunch break, both teams had an opportunity to present their case to the media via each team’s XO.  Dean, from Mission Masters went first for the Chinese PLA side.  In a hilarious “translated” speech,  he made it very clear that the PLA were not about to give up and would in fact be victorious at the end of the day.  Brian from Total Resistance spoke next for NATO.  Unable to follow the PLA speech, he opted instead to rally his troops, let them know what a great job they were doing and to have confidence in their upcoming victory.  The referees, acting as the media, overwhelmingly chose the PLA speech as the more persuasive of the two.  -Perhaps wrongly, but hey… that’s the media.

After lunch, the PLA caught their second wind, fighting back and reclaiming some of their lost territory.  The PLA were also the first team to attempt a side mission the second half, securing nuclear material from zone Mike.  Soon after, they attempted a second recovery mission to secure ammunition, but found the zone overrun by NATO troops.  NATO answered back, repeating the success of a defense-style mission that they ran earlier in the day.  Both teams then sent recon personnel into the field to report back information as a side mission.  The PLA reconnaissance players sent back information detailing enemy positions, size and location, scoring them huge points.  The NATO recon team sent back decidedly less valuable information, scouting out “the perfect location for a picnic” as one referee described it.  By the third flag check, it appeared that the PLA were on the verge of making a comeback, now holding 7 of the 15 flag zones.

However, things took a turn for the worse in the final hour and a half for the PLA.  NATO forces succeeded in keeping the PLA’s attention more or less fixed on Juliet and Kilo sector while they quietly overran additional PLA zones in the corners of the field.  Dedicated PLA troops kept up the fight, but it was an impossible battle which eventually concluded with the NATO team securing all territories on the map in the final 15 minutes of the event.

During the day, NATO succeeded in killing PLA leadership three times with successful shots on the dummy at their HQ.  The PLA managed one assassination on NATO leadership towards the end of the event.

NATO also returned more gold bars at the end of the game for points, while the PLA opted to use the gold that they recovered to purchase more defense units.

NATO succeeded in controlling the PLA HQ at the conclusion of the event, netting them additional bonus points.  They also were successful in their secret mission to have zones Echo, Hotel and Golf in their control at the game horn, giving them further bonus points.

The final point total ended at 1,020 for the PLA and 2,385 for NATO.

A huge thank you to both generals for this event.  Jason (SN Toter) from Ronin Brotherhood and Josh (Chappy) from ARC troopers.  Both generals had their hands full at times during the game answering questions from players and trying to out maneuver their opponent on the game map, and we sincerely appreciate the professionalism that they brought to this game.

We look forward to seeing you all on the field again in the future!

 

Feb
10
2013

Operation Red Risk Patch

The first 100 players to pre-register for Operation Red Risk through Three River’s website will receive this handsome commemorative patch, courtesy of Three Rivers Paintball.

Expertly crafted using only the finest Egyptian cotton, this patch has been designed to make a statement.  It  features the silhouette of a lone piece of armor standing sentry against the backdrop of a blood-red sky and concertina wire.  The bold black and red color palette says, “I am a force to be reckoned with!”  It’s more than a patch, it’s a tactical accessory!

Alright, that’s a little ridiculous.  Even so, we think it’s a pretty cool looking patch and you just can’t go wrong with a tank and military font.  We look forward to seeing you this May!

Feb
5
2013

Operation Red Risk Information now Available

Information regarding Operation Red Risk is now available under our 2013 Events section.  This is our first game at Three Rivers Paintball, in Freedom PA and we would like to express our gratitude to the field for the opportunity as well as to Mission Masters who have graciously given up a time slot to allow us to run our event this May.

Operation Red Risk will be held on 5/4/13.  For those of you who are familiar with our style of game, then you’ll feel right at home at this event.  For those of you who have not played in a .68 Cal scenario, we look forward to meeting you and ask that you please read through the event information pages carefully to familiarize yourself with how our games are run.  This will be a non-stop event, with the exception of a one hour lunch break.  All missions will be coming from your team’s commanding officer, so it’s important that you check in with him each time you return from your reinsertion area.

This event is loosely based off the classic board game, RISK.  Each commanding officer will have a battle map at his HQ where he will be attempting to secure various territories around the field.  The CO will be able to boost “defenses” at each friendly territory, thereby increasing the amount of time required for the enemy to capture that zone.  There will also be individual, squad-based missions that will be assigned by the CO at his command post.  To be clear, no missions will come directly from .68 Caliber.  You must talk to your team’s CO in order to find out where you’re most needed on the field.

To pre-register for this event, you will need to head to Three River’s website.  We have also created a Facebook event page that you can use to invite your friends to this scenario, but we would like to remind you that confirming attendance through the event page does not qualify as pre-registering.  It’s simply a tool to help you invite additional targets… er… friends to the field.

We look forward to seeing you all this May!

Jan
17
2013

.68 Signs with Three Rivers Paintball

We are excited to announce that Three Rivers Paintball has invited us to produce their 2013 season opener.  Three Rivers is located in Freedom, PA just a short drive from the Ohio border.   The field is 70 acres of mixed, wooded terrain including hillsides, flat ground, creeks with bridges and a pond.  The battleground is also littered with bunkers, castles, artillery pieces, a tank hull, helicopter, boats, vehicles and tail section of an aircraft.

For those of you who attended our games at Battlefront, you’ll be pleased to know that event pricing is comparable and that camping is available on-site and is encouraged by the field owner.  Three Rivers also offers free open play the day after an event to anyone who participated in the scenario,  so we encourage you to stay through the evening, share your war stories around the campfire and get ready to mix it up again the following day.  It’s a great way to burn off any paint you may have left over from the scenario and an added value for your dollar.   The event will take place in early spring and will feature a prize raffle at the end, courtesy of Three Rivers Paintball.

To our old friends who have attended our scenarios in the past, we invite you to come out and see us again at Three Rivers this spring.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with us and who have attended scenarios at Three Rivers before, you’ll note that our events differ slightly in format from what you may be accustomed to.   .68 events typically start at 10:00 and run straight through the day, stopping only for an hour lunch break.  Most of our events have mission orders coming directly from the team’s commanding officer, not the scenario producer, so it’s always critical to check in with your CO at his or her headquarters after respawning.  Some of our events have scripted objectives, provided to the generals at regular intervals, while others give the generals complete freedom to decide what type of missions to run or territories to assault in order to achieve victory.  This event is scheduled to be the latter.

Our scenario for Three Rivers will be military-themed and event details will be posted under the “2013 Events” tab at the top of this page when they become available.

We look forward to seeing some of our old friends this spring and to making new ones at Three Rivers!

Dec
27
2012

Murphy’s Law of Combat

Saw this on the internet and decided to repost a few that were applicable to paintball.  Hope everyone’s holidays went well!  Enjoy.

 

Murphy’s Law of Combat

If the enemy is in range, so are you.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

Don’t look conspicuous, it draws fire.

There is always a way.

Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.

Professionals are predictable, it’s the amateurs that are
dangerous.

The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:

a. When you’re ready for them.
b. When you’re not ready for them.

Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.

The enemy diversion you have been ignoring will be the main
attack.

If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.

Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.

Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.

Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won’t be
able to get out.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.

If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in a
combat zone.

When you have secured an area, don’t forget to tell the enemy.

Never forget that your weapon is made by the lowest bidder.

Friendly Fire Isn’t.

Nov
14
2012

What Makes a Good Scenario?

d-day-011

If you’ve attended more than a handful of scenarios, then you’ve probably gone to that one amazing event that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.  For me, it was ARC Trooper’s Tet Offensive back in 2007 and was the catalyst for getting into scenario production in the first place.  However, most people have probably also attended a stinker of an event and later lamented that the money could have been better spent on Slap Chops, Sham-Wows and other miscellaneous late night TV products, or by getting grandma that breast implant procedure she’s been wanting.

Designing a quality game is not always as easy as it seems.  It takes a tremendous amount of time to get things just right and a keen eye for loopholes.  Over the years, we’ve come up with a few basic fundamentals that we try to put into place for each of our games.  It doesn’t mean you always hit a home run, but it goes a long way to preventing a disaster.  So for anyone looking to put together a game for their home field, today I thought I’d draw back the curtain on a handful of our principles and ask for your feedback on what you feel makes a good scenario event.  It’s by no means meant to be a comprehensive list, but it’s a good jumping off point.

First and foremost, the event should be fair and balanced.  That should go without saying, but if it did, I wouldn’t be mentioning it.  If teams are lopsided or objectives and spawn points poorly placed, the game is going to fall apart faster than a Chinese “Rolex.”  When one team ends up with a strong advantage through poor game planning or exploited loopholes and runs away with the event, leaving the other team no chance for a comeback, you’re in trouble.  The dominating team typically punishes the weaker team so badly that they lose morale and give up, succumbing to the inevitable Falcon Punch of defeat.  While the stronger team may initially be quite pleased with themselves, they’ll quickly realize that the game isn’t very much fun to play without an opponent and are forced to spend the rest of the event playing Rock, Paper, Scissors with their teammates.  So it’s important to make sure things stay fairly balanced throughout.

The second principle that we try to include in each game is to give the event a bit of a pendulum feeling.  Years ago, before the whole Jar Jar Binks debacle ruined his credibility, George Lucas brought what’s now known as an “action beat” to the movies with Star Wars, where the film would sway between character development and an action sequence every 10 minutes or so.  This kept the movie from either feeling as though it was dragging on, or just overwhelming the viewers with nonstop chaos.  While we don’t exactly stop for character development, we do try to create our own action beat by maintaining a bit of an ebb and flow in the balance of power during our scripted games so as to keep things interesting for both sides throughout the entire event.  (With non-scripted games like Day of Days, this is a bit more challenging as the generals control the flow of these types of events.)

Third, we try to give some purpose to the missions.  If you don’t care about your objective, or you’re not involved in the story line, then you’re not really immersed in the event and you might as well be playing walk-on woodsball.  Not every player cares about this, but for those who do, it’s a critical aspect.  While I’m not suggesting the event needs to be a LARP (google it), the storyline and reasons behind the objectives should be known to most players.

 

hoth-247Even with the best planning, things can go horribly, horribly wrong in a game.  One team can up and quit for seemingly no apparent reason, a loophole might be found that ruins a well planned out objective,  weather can affect attendance and completely alter the dynamics of what was supposed to be a 500 person game (now 75), or one team can just end up being far less aggressive than another and flounder all day.  All of this means that  it’s important to have backup plans so that things can be adjusted on the fly.  It’s not always going to be enough in some cases, but it’s good to be prepared so that as much of the event can be salvaged as possible.  It’s also important to be subtle with those backup plans, otherwise you may need to be prepared to defend yourself against accusations of deliberate game balancing, which some players take an exception to.  We were called out on this during our Hoth game several years back where our wampa ended up developing more of a taste for Rebels than Emperial troopers as the Empire struggled to make any significant ground, assaulting through the deep snow.  It’s true, we did use a bit of a Jedi mind trick to get the wampa to eat more Rebels, but the alternative to that would have been to allow the Empire to become completely demoralized and go home.  Nobody likes a grumpy Darth Vader.  Still, in hindsight, it would have been better for the wampa to devour his prey in private instead of right out in the open so that it was a bit less obvious who was being eaten…

That being said, it’s important not to get carried away with overbalancing the event.  You want to keep things fun for both sides, but not meddle in the game so much that it alters the natural course of events.  The exception, of course, is if you were to discover a fundamental flaw in the game that needed to be fixed in order to keep things fair.  If one team is just being lazy however, you don’t want to overcompensate in their favor and end up giving a win to a team that never had a shot in the first place.

The last aspect I’ll touch on is staffing.  Players will tolerate a weak event from time to time, especially if you have a strong track record (because let’s face it, they still get to shoot people), but they absolutely will not tolerate an incompetent referee staff.  It’s extremely important that the referees are all on the same page with the game and are prepared to answer questions from players on the field.  The referees should always treat players with respect (though we expect that to be reciprocated) and should always be doing their best to stay involved in the action and make the best calls as each situation allows, making safety their number one priority.

Referees have a tough job.  They’re frequently outnumbered 25-1 or more and a lot is expected of them, so it’s ill-advised that inexperienced referees are put into these events without first having reffed a few basic walk-on games.   It’s critical that flawless communication is kept with your referees throughout the event so that things are kept running smoothly.  .68 Caliber  will typically have a referee briefing prior to each game in addition to the emails that go out to the refs prior to an event which cover any specific job roles each ref might have during the scenario.  While on the field, each referee has a radio as well as their cell phone for backup.  This has helped to avoid many potential issues during past events and kept the line of communication open when low flying jets, government brain-washing signals or even a stiff breeze has interrupted our radio transmissions.

So what are your thoughts?  What makes a good scenario?  Mission objectives?  Quality leadership?  Or does the event even matter so long as it’s an interesting field?

Nov
7
2012

Future of Mag-fed Scenarios

oewdsc_0378

2012 is drawing to a close and without any remaining scenarios on the calendar to prepare for this year, frankly, we’re bored.  So perhaps in the meantime we can get you thinking about various aspects of the game we all love so much.   Today’s thought:  the future of mag-fed scenarios.

With the rise of mag-fed markers over the last few years, there’s been a greater call for fields to start hosting mag-fed only scenarios.  The tactical element of a mag-fed event is something that appeals to a lot of paintballers.  Players with mag-fed markers are itching to try their skills in events that are fair and balanced to their style of play, but there’s a problem:  mag-fed events don’t pay the bills.  Most fields rely not on event fees to cover their expenses, but on the sale of paint.  With a mag-fed event, you’re just not going to move the volume of paint that you otherwise would during a normal scenario.  To complicate the matter, the majority of paintball players don’t own mag-fed markers at this time, so field owners are left with only a few, miserable options.  1:  Open the event to stock class and tac caps in addition to mag-fed.   Generally speaking, this is probably the safest option, though may undoubtedly upset some of the mag-fed purists and doesn’t really improve revenue that much, only attendance.  2: Partner with a company that can supply mag-fed rentals to players.  Unfortunately, this has the potential to increase the cost of the event to unacceptable levels in order to pay the company for their markers and puts the field owner at a risk of liability for the equipment.  3:  Make it a strict, mag-fed only event without outside support and hope for the best.  Obviously, attendance will be limited and it’s likely that the field won’t make enough money at the event to make future mag games worth their while.  4:  Flat out increase the field fee for the event.  Players are going to balk at this however, especially if they’re accustomed to attending events at a particular field under one price structure.

Personally, we love mag-fed events.  We tried our hand at partnering with Rap4 this past summer and running an  event in Ohio.  While it certainly wasn’t the highest attended game that we ran and .68 Cal wasn’t flying its staff to any tropical vacation islands afterwards with the proceeds, I think tactically, it was one of the most interesting.  It also ended up being an event that we received a tremendous amount of positive feedback on, so we feel that these games definitely have merit.  Unfortunately, as stated above, it’s a tough sell to a paintball field because there’s an understanding that they just aren’t going to make the amount of money that they typically would at an event.  Running a quality field is an expensive endeavor.  If paintball begins making a real push towards mag-fed and players that previously used 2 cases of paint at an event are now making it through a day with 500 rounds, where does that leave commercial fields for our sport?  How do they adapt to remain in business?

So what are your thoughts on mag-fed scenarios?   Is there a way for field owners to strike a balance between selling less paint and still turning a healthy profit at one of these events?  Or is it possible that an extreme rise in mag-fed markers will eventually be the downfall of a lot of commercial fields throughout the country?

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