Posts Tagged ‘armourgeddon’

Stag Party Tankball

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Tankball you say?  Yes, tankball.  It’s like paintball, but with tanks.  Take a moment and allow the awesomeness of that thought marinate for a bit.

My best mate Robert secretly arranged for a group of my friends to meet up in St. Pancaras to board a train heading north.  The plan was to keep the events of the day secret from me until we arrived, but on of my friends let things slip while we were waiting so my anticipation was triggered early!

Rosie (our tank) and I

Upon arrival there was the usual waiver signing (you know it’ll be fun if you have to sign a waiver), briefing and dividing into teams.  Our gang was transformed into three groups of three: driver, gunner and loader/firer on each team.  We then headed out to meet our tanks.

My command & conquor profile

You have a member of staff in the already cramped tank with your team at all times.  Each team member gets a chance to drive the beast around their circular track (smiling for a photo op halfway through), then a shot at sitting in the gunners seat working out the aiming of the gun and calling out when to fire, and finally you’re in the loaders seat shoving ping-pong balls full of paint down the barrel and pressing that oh-so-satisfying FIRE button.  Once you’ve each made the rounds, it’s time for a quick spot of tea and some strategy before the tank-on-tank melee begins!

This was the view through the front of the tank.  I've actually enhanced the contrast, the visibility wasn't this good.

This was the part of the day I was most excited about, and since it was my day I got to choose the position I wanted on my team.  Driver.  I had visions in my head of barreling around the field and tactically positioning our tank for the most cover and best firing positions.  I was moderately let down here.  The battle actually takes place along two parallel tracks where the pair of tanks plod along in a straight line, stopping 4 or 5 times at marked locations to fire a couple of rounds and then move on to the next marker.

While disappointed that my tank driver fantasies were dashed, I wasn’t going to let that get me down and vowed to push our ride to it’s breaking point while still keeping within the confines of the rules laid out.

After lining up side by side with our enemy, we were given a countdown and then the green light to go.  My foot stomped metal, metal made contact with metal somewhere below and we were off!  As we approached the first marker our staff member began to urge me to slow down so we could stop in time.

I ignored him.

Only after four or five frantic requests across the mic to slow down did he finally say the magic word ‘STOP!’.   This caused my lead foot to switch from full on accelerator to full on breaking.  Somewhere behind me I could hear my team mates Rob and Neal being thrown about in their seats and this pleases me.  They somehow managed to regain their composure and fire off our requisite shots…I had no idea if they were hits or misses.  All that really mattered was getting to the next marker in record speed.

The tank crews!

In the end our team of brave, battered warriors were victorious over Robert, Alex and Tim with a score of 10 hits to 7 out of a possible 12.  While congratulations and commiserations were being given I heard the opposing teams staff member say it looked as though our hard driving had almost broken our tank a couple of times.

This also pleased me.

All in all, it was a brilliant day out.  Thanks to all my friends who came along and made it even better.  There are a couple more images in the gallery.