Paintball is like a production of Hamlet: it's exciting, demanding, and by the end everyone has pretend-died. Take paintball arms against a sea of troubles with today's Groupon: for $17, you get a 250-paintball package—including marker rental, 250 paintballs, coveralls and safety mask rental, one tank of compressed nitrogen, and field time—at Death Valley Paintball in Strasbourg (a $35 value).
At Death Valley Paintball, sharpshooters lock, load, and fire paint pellets across six distinct fields in 15- to 30-minute intervals. Staff members equip players with Tippmann 98 markers and outfit new recruits in coveralls so as not to ruin any white jeans or ecru togas. Crawl among bushes, wooden crates, and a gutted Winnebago in the Valley RV field, or play patty cake with alien life forms behind upturned cars at the Area 51.50 field. At the Light Speed field, hoplites rush between light-bulb-clad poles that are conducive to a wide variety of game scenarios and spot-lit recitations of John Wayne soliloquies. Meanwhile, multihued salvos fly overhead as competitors duck and crawl through interconnecting, 3-foot-deep trenches at the Trench Warfare field. Players can acquire extra ammo, gas, and beverages at the office at an additional cost, and bring their own burgers, hot dogs, and thermochromatic topology maps to warm on Death Valley's propane barbecues.
Death Valley Paintball
Of Death Valley Paintball's six outdoor fields, the largest is Area 51.50, named for the replica UFO javelined into the ground. The objective of the game: get a medical kit from a neutral part of the field, get it into an ambulance, then rescue the downed extraterrestrial and escort it back to the ambulance. The play of this field often looks like a shot out of The X-Files, with up to 50 players holding position behind overturned vehicles and stacks of tires.
This specificity of play characterizes each of Death Valley's fields, where the terrain design enhances the combat of the 15- to 30-minute games. For example, the Trench Warfare field's nearly 2,000 feet of dugout sunk 3 feet deep gives ideal concealment for snipers taking a break to plant next season's crop of paintball seeds. In addition to the playing fields, a fully automated target challenges marksmen with 15 pop-up targets that alternate between enemies and civilians. Between games, two on-site propane stations offer fuel for players who bring along their own grillable sustenance, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, or soup-can skewers.
Strasbourg, Saskatchewan S0G 4V0