With the Atlanta skyline as their backdrop, players at Dosser Works Paintball fire rounds of pigment on four outdoor fields, each covered to keep out inclement weather and the sun’s judgmental glare. Experienced paintball players run these facilities, and they channel their knowledge of the game by supervising safety and regularly changing field layouts and game scenarios. Themed competitions and night games play out on two tournament-size fields, an astroturf-covered speedball field dotted with air bunkers, and a post-apocalyptic warzone where competitors dive and shoot from behind mounds of tires, sandbags, and an authentic burned-out Ford Windstar. A sniper tower between the speedball and dirt fields lets players take aim and give constructive haircut critiques to those below. The play area at Dosser Works Paintball has expanded to include two new fields called "The Back Lands" with two airplanes, a derelict van, two mountains connected by a bridge, topped with flag towers.
In July of 2014, Dr. Timothy Lietz admitted a patient suffering from a mysterious disease to his lab. Although she should have been dead?all her vital signs were virtually absent, save for a trickle of brain activity?the former medical student suffered from violent fits and, well, episodes of biting. The violent virus soon spread to the rest of the staff, including Dr. Lietz, as evidenced in the doctor's haunting audio logs. The disease has since spread, creating hordes of what are now recognized as zombies. Visitors to Zombie Works, located at Dosser Works paintball arena, have one mission: take out the zombies. Armed with paintball guns, the spooked survivors must take on scores of the undead, who succumb just as quickly to the impact of paintballs as they do to an axe in the skull or a very loud recording of the guitar solo from "Crazy Train."
In Lithia Springs, there's a tiny clapboard building called the Church of Mighty Pain. Its name is a big hint that it's not a traditional worship center. Passers-by seek refuge not from the world's ills but from an onslaught of paintballs. Their fully stocked pro shop located on site, one of five fields that also feature spaces to play with airball and spool markers. Teams battle each other in fun skirmishes or competitive tournaments, including playing capture the flag just like the United States and Great Britain did before things got out of hand in 1812. Players can rent a Tippmann 98 marker from Classic Paintball or buy one from the pro shop, which makes future games less expensive and future house-painting sessions more fun.
Players advance and retreat across three acres of battlefields at Xtreme Paintball Conyers, semi-automatic markers clutched tight. Weaving in and out of dense obstacles, firing at opponents attempting to snipe from forts and bunkers, or running and ducking on the fast-paced speedball fields, warriors of all stripes can find the backdrop suitable to their preferred brand of action. Xtreme Paintball even offers up gaming formats for the strategist: capture the flag or attack and defend. And to ensure that first-time players can compete, the staff rents out markers, hoppers, CO2 tanks, and protective masks that keep adversaries from seeing nostrils flare in surprise.
Together, the Snellville indoor field and the Conyers outdoor field make up the paintballer’s paradise known as Wildfire Paintball Games. Within Snellville’s warehouse-like space, gunrunners dive behind walls of corrugated pipes. Overhead netting prevents errant paintballs from splattering the ceiling, and large bunkers akin to oversized beanbags offer temporary cover to players who need to tie their shoes or quickly finish a book report. At Conyers, ramshackle huts and fort-like edifices give snipers a spot to target their opponents. A forested area provides camouflage, and the speedball arena’s regulation-style obstacles stand tall on the grass field as players duck and run.