A while back I posted on RiotACT asking how people thought Adventure Paintball on the Old Tuggeranong Road stacked up against Predator Paintball, outside Michelago.
See, I was a relatively regular patron of Predator and after a few bad experiences at some other paint ball joints had decided to stick to just them. Kieran, proprietor of Adventure, was kind enough to respond to my post from way back when addressing some of my questions and inviting me to take a tour of the facilities.
Well, I did not, but the best man for my wedding did, and promptly booked them for my bucks party warm-up.
So on Saturday we ventured out there early in the morning and got going. Here are my impressions:
The briefing before we got started was pretty stock standard, though there were a few interesting rule differences (such as no automatic firing squads for masks off at the wrong time, and no ‘surrender’ rule, but something similar).
As per usual, each team was given their kit – a notable difference from Predator was the fact that each team had a different type of cams to wear as opposed to a different coloured armband. We would later find out that this would make it a LOT easier to figure out who you were shooting.
The guns were good quality and there were no real issues with them. The refs were regularly following us around and kept us gassed up and loaded with paint.
Can’t really remember Predator’s pricing, but I think that Predator’s paint was a tad cheaper (negligible amount) whilst it was cheaper to get started at Adventure – ie $40 to get going with 200 paint balls as opposed to the $60 at Predator. As always I expended a ridiculous amount of paint (at one point wasting 300+ paint balls on ONE COURSE), so it was a relatively expensive exercise for me, but what can you do.
We had one ref for the whole time, with one or two other blokes making cameos along the way. Unlike most paint ball refs I’ve experienced, the ref was pretty cool calm and collected the whole time and didn’t need to shout at us or make smart arse comments to make his point (though I guess we never gave him cause to).
Loved the courses. They were well set up and were probably perfect for a group of our size (14, two teams of 7). We used the first 4 courses, as apparently course 5 was under repair. There was a good mix of speed courses and strategic courses. My personal favourite is the first course which strongly resembles a tournament course (with barrels instead of those flashy padding things – technical terminology) and it allowed the team with stronger tactics and more aggressive play to win (as opposed to a course where blind luck wins the day).
My only criticism of the courses is that there were no large courses – 1-4 were all pretty small, and whilst suitable for a smaller group, it would be pretty crazy playing with 20 or so. A larger open course makes a nice change from a smaller fast-paced one. Perhaps course 5 is their big one?
Pretty much standard here. I should note that, as the buck, I was pretty unenthusiastic about the possibility of ‘hunt the buck’ games, but am happy to say that the worst I copped was having to wear a different colour jumpsuit and mask.
People that have been to Predator will remember that they follow you around with drinks for the whole day so you can order between games. At Adventure we had to agree to take a drinks break and head back to base. Granted, the base was all of 10 metres away, but it still meant longer delays between games in order to get a drink. I would have preferred getting a drink between games whenever I felt like it – that would’ve saved all of us from having to go back to base.
Overall I think Adventure has got themselves a good setup. They’re definitely on par with Predator in terms of equipment, and already match them in terms of courses – will probably exceed them when they get a bigger one as well 😉
The bottom line:
The only thing that would keep me driving to Michelago given I live 2 seconds from Adventure would be if Adventure failed to meet or beat Predator’s service. They met it in some areas and exceeded it in others. I guess from here on in I’ll save myself a 40 minute trip whenever I want to paint ball…
Thanks to Kieran and the team for a good morning (particularly as I came away relatively unscathed).