A lot of big things start in a garage; Boston Paintball, however, needed a warehouse. The team of paintball enthusiasts came together in 1992, and they spent 10 years in a downtown warehouse, introducing thousands of people to the sport and spilling more paint than an artist working on a tilt-a-whirl. But even that space eventually proved too small, and the company has since expanded to three locations in the greater Boston area.
Fully stocked pro shops and indoor fields greet players at the Chelsea and Ashland outposts. Maynard, on the other hand, takes the game outdoors. At every location, the staff keeps competition safe and fair, pairing up players based on ability from beginners all the way up to tournament level.
A player crouches and duck walks toward the base of an uprooted tree, stepping judiciously to avoid crunching the fallen leaves and pine needles that might give his position away. In the dense woods, an opponent could be mere feet away, perhaps lurking behind a nearby rock wall. Fox 4 Paintball's 34 acres span both wooded terrain and fields designed with inflated bunkers. In addition to supervising the grounds' public play, referees oversee special mission-based scenario games, which are designed after action films such as Ice Station Zebra and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Beyond the fields, Fox 4's facilities encompass a snack stand and picnic tables where players can enjoy any refreshment they bring, barring alcoholic beverages and whole roasted mastodons.
Strategy is the hallmark of Citadel Airsoft & Gaming, whether plans of action unfold on a tabletop or the battlefield. Indoor airsoft matches pit players armed with pellet guns against one another in various modes of play, including team death match and capture the flag. More than 5,000 square feet of the facility are devoted to tables, which are used for hosting large events for games such as Magic: The Gathering and Star Wars X-Wing.
BBs fly across Citadel Airsoft's 60,000-square-foot indoor facility as marksmen square off in CO2-fueled contests. Three days a week, open skirmishes reward strategy in 30-minute games that follow a variety of rules and scenarios such as Downed Pilot, where rival teams compete to either rescue or capture a specific player. For more experienced sharpshooters, Citadel organizes indoor and outdoor simulations that test players' mettle with unique obstacles and targets painted on remote-control houseflies. First-time players can boost their airsoft skills during training events and add to their personal armory with safety equipment and supplies from the facility's onsite pro shop.
BattlegroundZ facilitates recreational combat with an indoor compound designed to accommodate games of paintball, airsoft, and laser tag. At BattlegroundZ?s indoor paintball facility, masked and visored shooters safely bombard each other with reusable silicone balls while negotiating 10,000 square feet of treacherous halls and repositionable obstacles. Depending on the particular skirmish, joyful gangs of paintballers strive to accomplish a variety of objectives, from ganging up on a marauding band of zombies, to pelting other players to capturing an opposing team?s flag or tricking rivals into designing a flag with clashing colors.
Split into two rooms, the 4,000-square-foot laser-tag arena lets combatants take cover behind phosphorescent partitions as they take aim at enemies clad in illuminated vests. BattlegroundZ also hosts airsoft competitions in which players dodge BBs while attempting to accomplish tactical objectives. Before games, weapons are tested to ensure they do not fire pellets faster than 270 and 350 feet-per-second, so their impact feels less like a blow to the body and more like a raspberry to the soul.