Operation Last Refuge, the First ever Paintball Mil-sim went off with a bang last Sunday, July 6th.  This was a slightly changed version of the Airsoft Mil-sim that occurred 2 weeks prior.  The premise was that the Russian forces (NSC) had invaded the autonomous peoples republic of Makistan to exploit its oil resources, while the NATO troops had moved into the area to restore peace and counter the Russian offensive.  The citizens of Makistan were caught in the middle of the 2 factions, and were distrustful of both armies.  This opening scenario was an interesting take on the old Cold War world scenario, but in our milsim, the story line included that a nuclear exchange had occurred, rendering the republic of Makistan the only place left on the planet not devestated by Nuclear strikes.
From this opening point both factions wasted no time trying to curry favor with the local citizenary, only to find that the village contained some less than savoury characters. We had one citizen who’s sole purpose was to betray and assasinate anyone from either of the 2 factions, any chance they could get away with it. Needless to say, this caused more distrust, and some tension between the factions and the villagers.  As the scenario evolved and play advanced, NATO took the lead, at least partly because they had befriended the village and took great pains to stay on the villagers good side. The NSC side made advances and offers of friendship and assistance of their own, helping to improve their tactical standpoint.  By Mid day, it seemed that both factions were at a standstill, with Nato holding a slight lead as far as their footing in the village.
All sides broke for a well deserved lunch late in the day, and play resumed with just over an hour left in the scenario.  The action for that final hour was fast, furious, and sometimes heated.  I dont think I have ever heard that much shooting in such a short time, and the ever present threat of a random barrage of bazooka or mortar fire (with paintballs) looming over everyone’s head kept it interesting.  The final assault on the village had an unexpected twist. Many of the villagers, believing that the village was siding with NATO were preparing to join the NATO forces to fight against the NSC as they assaulted the village. Unbeknownst to them, the interim commander of Makistan had decided on a last minute double cross, but NATO realized it, and slaughtered the villagers, taking the advantage and gaining a strong foothold in the Village. NSC put up a mighty fight, but was unable to roust NATO from their position of advantage.

All in all, despite some misunderstandings and the necessity to try reballance the battle towards mid day, most players seemed to have a great time, and there were lots of smiling faces and excited talk from happy, tired players at the end of the game.