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 $25, you get a premium package (a $70 value) at Xtreme Kombat in Durham. The premium package includes all-day play and safety equipment (a mask and vest), as well as two pods, an air tank with unlimited air, and a supply of 500 paintballs.
Xtreme Kombat has more than five themed fields at its Durham facility. Bone up on your nocturnal urban-combat skills as you sneak among the strobe lights of Paintsburgh City, which contains 20,000 square feet of mock shops, police stations, schools, parks, and more. Oktar Woods lets you go guerilla among the rich vegetation and strategically placed bunkers, and the ultra-fast Hyper I and Hyper II fields create apropos arenas for speedball and "Yackety Sax"–fueled mayhem. Whatever the field, be prepared to crawl on your belly over rocks and dash between bunkers with the whiz of small paint-filled capsules humming past your ears; then open fire, tucking, rolling, and shouting in slow-motion, your enemies, best friends, or co-workers decimated in a splatter of color.
Paintballers can also personalize their pigment-powered pleasure with regularly scheduled scenario games. Past events have given Technicolor trigger fingers a chance to role play in Operation Zombie Massacre, Operation Abduction—which transformed Paintsburgh City into a fledgling city-state besieged by a sinister coalition of world governments—and Medieval Massacre, an unscheduled scenario during which hopelessly lost Renaissance Faire players wander onto a paintball field, looking for a place to set up. The facility is open by appointment only Monday through Friday, but stays open on weekends from 10 a.m. until the very last players have left.
Participants must sign a waiver.
In Paintsburgh City, warriors use a rundown embassy and unoccupied police station for cover as they dodge opposing armies. Friendships have been put aside for the day as teams stealthily move about the 20,000-square-foot ghost town, aiming their CO2-powered paintball guns to hit targets and score bragging rights. The elaborate city is one of several scenario fields that make Xtreme Kombat's paintball and training facility a draw for both recreational players and professional law-enforcement and military personnel seeking challenging training environs. In addition to Paintsburgh's watchtowers and wrecked vehicles, the other themed fields—with names like Fort Massacre and Death Valley POW Hills—combine imaginative storylines with wooded landscapes, obstacles, and freelancing ghosts. The complex's fields are also illuminated for after-dark play.