At Indy Paintball Battleground, players engage in color-coded combat on expansive, wooded arenas that evoke imagery from The Walking Dead. Fields littered with abandoned cabins, ghost bunkers, and woods made from actual trees give players plenty of room to outmaneuver each other, stage ambushes, or just catch up on their reading. A shaded staging area offers a spot to cool off, take a break, and have a snack snagged from the on-site concession stand.
One of the hostage takers adjusts his protective mask nervously as the dull thuds of the police team's fire hits outside the makeshift house. He and his four allies protect a VIP they kidnapped while the rescue team waits outside. Moments later, the door bursts open as the rescue team breaches through and unleashes a fury of paintballs at the villains. After a few tense minutes and paint-spatter casualties on both sides, the battle is over, the hostage rescued, and the teams reversed. This is a regular scene at Indy Acres Paintball, a field that takes pride in the variety of scenarios available on its six fields.
From hostage rescue to large-scale woodsball and fast-paced speedball, the outdoor fields accommodate every type of play, and Indy Acres equips players with .50-caliber paintball guns that hurt more than a rubber-band snap but less than knowing that the sun has a shelf life. Additionally, the field?s rules of conduct maintain fair play and fun for every participant.
Paintball Indiana's owner and operator Chris bought his first marker––a PCS Storm––almost 20 years ago. He was hooked from the very first paintball shot, and within five years began refereeing games and designing his own equipment. Six years ago, his passion led him to purchase Paintball Indiana's expansive 20 acres of fields, which revolve around a central defensive castle. Chris now employs his own referees, a staff of young and passionate players that regulates games of speedball, woodsball, or scenario play on the three fields and lobby sofas. Chris' fields also play host to three- and five-man speedball leagues, which help players hone their marksmanship before upcoming tournaments. Large-scale games are de rigueur as well, as Chris and the staff takes down the nets between fields for the Big Game––an event hosting vast armies of players battling across 700 feet of terrain in the hopes of capturing the castle's prized Beanie Baby collection.
Sprawling over 500 acres, eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat entertains guests with a swath of old-fashioned adventure in the middle of Indiana. Fourteen ziplines, two sky bridges, and a rappelling tower offer a bird's-eye view of the scenic forest year-round. As zipliners soar back and forth above land and lake, guides lead tours of ATV riders on off-road explorations below. The rhythmic cough of paintball guns echo through the trees as teams compete for dominance on one of 10 scenario fields, some of which feature crashed planes. After a day of fun, visitors retire to the climate controlled cabins or open campgrounds for a night spent in the embrace of Mother Nature.
Proving Grounds Paintball releases pretend warriors onto newly updated paintball fields where they can safely stalk, ambush, and battle other humans. Painters can survey the fields and then choose a battleground, all of which feature large barricades and strategic obstacles, based on playing style. The popular castle-themed field beckons stealthy riflemen with a two-story rampart surrounding a courtyard and a high tower, an ideal setting for players to pose as bards, sing songs about free music downloads, and then snipe anyone who comes out to listen. PGP also has speedball fields with inflatable barriers for airball and pipe bunkers for hyperball.
Flushed from his position, a player dashes from behind a tree and toward a bridge. Just as he reaches the opposite side, he hears "Dead man!" as an opponent pops up from underneath. Paintball Country's outdoor fields?which include an air ball field, six speedball fields, and five woods fields?present combatants with loads of such tactic-testing terrain. As referees maintain house rules to keep players safe, teams navigate obstacles such as two-story tower buildings, upturned cable spools, and corrugated tubing. Between firefights, Paintball Country's staff serves refreshments such as pizza, nachos, and victory-flavored energy drinks. An onsite pro shop also caters to guests with advice and equipment sales.