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Exclusive: Interview with Ledz re the weekend's event at Basset's Pole ......

Robbo

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Since I was unable to attend Nicky Truter and Ged Green's event at Basset Pole this last weekend, I thought I'd better ask someone who did attend for their views on what went down …. if indeed anything went down apart from the rain.
Ledz was there with his team, The infamous Sandbaggers, as well as an event supporter with his company, Planet Eclipse.



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Ledz gassing up - After he's murdered a 15 inch pizza,
that's when he really gasses up …..



1. Ledz, firstly, thanks for doing this at such short notice.
I know it’ll be hard to come away from the weekend’s Paintfest/GCC event with a completely positive appraisal because of the weather but I want to ask you the most important question:- Did you feel as though you and your team got value for money ??


Value for money… errmm not sure. If you went to Paintfest (where the GCC was held) and JUST got involved with the GCC then £750 entrance fee might be a little high but there is so much more to Paintfest. For one, they have a player’s party on the Saturday night with FREE booze.Factor that in with all of the other stuff going on then I’d say 'yes', £75 a head for a 2 day event was a fair price.
FREE camping, loads of food vendors, trade stands etc…However, it starts to add up for the players if you take all of the expenses into account. So we (The Sandbaggers) shot 38 cases of Paint over the 3 days (our ticket included Friday so we went and got involved in the Big Game as well on the Friday). So you’re looking at between £25 and £40 a case for Paint plus entrance fee. If you camp that’s free, but if you stayed in a hotel that would be extra (God I wish I had stayed in a hotel). So our bill was just over £200 per player. Not cheap but that’s shooting nearly 80,000 Paintballs at a 3 day event (2 days for the GCC and a day playing Paintfest).

2. Would you play the event again if a similar one was held later on in the year?

Not this year no!
But that’s no reflection on the event - The Sandbaggers decide on the events pre-season and then the players book other none paintball things on the free weekends so we couldn’t field a good team and we will certainly look at it again for 2020.

3. How were our industry represented in terms of number of companies having a stand at the event?

Brilliantly, everyone was there! We (Planet Eclipse) had tech support and a showroom, all the major UK vendors were there (Just, BZ, Warped, NPF), along with others like Paintball Magazine, Valken, Enola Gaye and loads of others. If you wanted gear you would be well catered for.

4. How was the overall infrastructure of the event with things such as toilets, staging areas, availability of food/drinks etc?

Ged, Kerry, Fraser, Ricky all of the NPF crew are brilliant at what they do, so none of this stuff is left to chance. As you know the weather was pretty awful all weekend but they just got on with it and hay came out to dry up muddy patches etc.Some other companies wouldn’t even bother but those guys do. Toilets were always clean (ish), bar open all day and night… food stayed open until late into the night. That side of things is done very well, they want it to be a festival, and it is.

5. Do you think the way the tournament was structured in terms of qualification and groupings was a positive?

Yes and No but before I start, it's easy to pick holes in things after the fact. What the GCC tried to put on was solid, no issues there. The prelims on the first day were fine, it gave everyone a shot at the big boys (so to speak) and made us fight for our Pro spot for the Sunday.
Not sure if I was a very young team looking at playing the GCC I’d be that excited about playing some of the heavy hitters though so maybe running a lower division from the start might have worked for some of the teams??
Not sure.. It worked fine.

6. What do you think of the dual format being used (one woodland field and one concept field) - Do you think it should have been just one or the other?

I didn’t mind this at all, playing on different styles of field is great in my opinion. What I didn’t like was how poor the woodland field (especially) was laid out, one end was very biased and the ends were pre-determined which doesn't really help. We knew on Saturday night that we had 2 woodland games against Preds and Joy from the bad end. The field could easily have been better laid out for sure, toss of a coin for ends as well would have been fairer. The Concept field wasn’t great either. At first look it seemed OK but if you didn’t want to play you could quite easily dig in on a concept field which is never good. In my opinion, the problem was that both fields had a poor risk vs reward element that was inherently unbalanced. If you took the risk to make a key bunker - it didn’t really open up that many new/better opportunities for you but it did make you an easier target so what’s the point in making the risky moves?

Sometimes those moves helped but quite often they were just futile and often giving your opponents another G.
Shame really. However, playing woodland and concept (not Sup'Air) was fine and I’d tend to encourage it.


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Ledz setting out to nail some fool who's not paying attention ….

7. I’ve heard there wasn’t sufficient judging staff or of sufficient quality, is there any truth to this or is that just players/teams blowing off steam because they lost etc?

I don’t like to slag off the refs because without them being there we don’t have an event. There were 9 refs a field, I think, probably enough for the concept field but they certainly needed more in the woods.‘Some’ of the refs were not great at all - Some were fine - but you reap what you sow. A lot of the people moaning are often the biggest cheats. They love having a moan about someone they think they shot or did shoot but when they get away with a playing on, wiping etc they just keep their heads down. You can’t have it all ways. I found it quite amazing watching some of the players, some that have not played for 10 or 15+ years just slipping back into their old habits. It was really quite sad to watch them sometimes. As an example I played one of the back mounds pretty much long balling all game and players at the other end were doing the same. If I shot someone in my opposite I’d probably have to hit the goggle, loader or gun at that range for it to 100% break. I got bounced quite a few times back there but every time I did and it was in a place I couldn’t easily see I called for a ref to check and that wasn’t easy because there was no refs about watching that back line, which most teams had 3 or 4 players on at least.


So if you were so inclined you could happily sit there cheating all day long without anyone really caring… or at least that is certainly what it felt like. At one point, I said to myself is there even any point shooting over at player X as I know what he is like!!! It’s easy to blame the refs but they are not the ones who push the rules or cheat. We need to police ourselves as well and have a long hard look in the mirror. If we want great refs we need to start respecting them more. They probably need to get paid more and that in turn puts the price of entrance fees up. But if that’s what’s needed then that’s that, and we can’t moan because we are the ones who are forcing the very issue we are moaning about.


8. Did the new firing-rate restrictions of 5.5 balls per second work out or does it need looking at again?

The rule is, mechanical markers with a single trigger, or electros capped at 5.5 balls per second and this was the first time any of the Baggers had played at 5.5bps or Mech. In the woods I don’t think it made any difference.

But that could just be down to the poor field layout - In the woods you're shooting smaller bursts of fire, over the top, 4 or 5 balls and back down again. So I didn’t feel any disadvantage in the woods at all. It was fine and I’d be happy to use a mech again in the woods, however, on the concept field I was a rear gunner shooting a lot more paint and that wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It's been years since I've played mech at this kind of competitive level and I certainly didn't find it easy.I didn't have any problems ripping a short string, but keeping that rate of fire high wasn’t easy. But that’s probably just a lack of practice, and probably a good thing, to be honest as it makes you work for it rather than having a computer in your grip frame doing it all for you.

I don’t know… Jury is still out for me - I'll tell you that 3 out of the 11 Baggers switched during the weekend back to their CS2’s. One explained that if he was shooting right but needed to look left (on the concept field) while still shooting right and keeping his lane up, when they looked back their shots were way off target, I guess due to the extra effort needed to shoot a mech??? They said they preferred the slower rate of fire and ease of shot that a 5.5bps limited CS2 gave them over the potentially higher peak rate of fire of a mech. Might also have something to do with it being cold and wet and horrible, and they wanted an easy afternoon??

Don’t get me wrong. It's not ‘Hard’ shooting a mech (most of the Baggers were shooting EMEKs with 3 M170Rs) but it certainly takes more effort, concentration, and skill than shooting electro. Even these very latest mechs can't compete with something like a CS2 in terms of ease of use and refinement, that's for sure.

One of the things that I did think was needed was limited paint.Seeing players go out with 10, 12, 14 pots is mental. I've got no idea why they would do that. 5.5 mech was brought back in to re-introduce movement into the game but if someone is just going to hose for the whole game that sort of defeats the object doesn’t it?I think making players carry no more than 5 pots per person should be plenty - it makes it cheaper to play and means you can’t all just sit there shooting none stop.


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Some schmuck gets a new hair-cut ….. have that phuk-face !!!!


9. From what I’ve been told, the firing rate restriction was pretty much incidental insomuch as it made no real difference to the ways in which the game ended up being played?

I’d say that was correct. I can tell you that I missed a lot of shots that I would have made at 10.5 ramping that’s for sure. Which is a good and a bad thing but that’s my problem isn’t it.

10. As owner of a company that manufactures a range of markers, mechanical and electro, do you think this type of event is the direction we need to take?

It was great to see a bunch of old school ballers playing again and that alone is a good reason for these type of events to exist. For me, I love Paintball in all of its formats - If you fancy playing this slower rate of fire event then great, if you want to play Speedball at a high rate of fire then that’s fine too, big game, scenario games, Magfed, pump, whatever. Paintball is an amazing sport in all of its many different formats. I think there is more than enough room for all of them to work side by side. If the 5.5 revival continues then I’ll be happy as it’s opening another door for players that might not have played for a long time to give it a go again and from what I saw at weekend a lot of them were loving it despite the rain.

11. Ledz, I want you to be as honest as you can when answering this next question:- Do you think more tickets would have been sold if I'd attended as a vendor?

What the hell would you have been vending Pete?

Erm, good point, well, I would have done autograph sessions, sign pics of myself, advise teams how to play the game properly and/or just be an all round demi-god of our sport/industry, ..... oh yeah, and I'd sign copies of my book?

Pete, you haven't written a book …..

OK, OK, OK ….. you got me on a technicality there but I'm sure there would have been some interest from the average baller, surely?

The only interest you would have generated Pete would have been from the local police constabulary after what happened when you were last up from London.

Oh, good point, in fact, that's a very good point, and I think it's time to terminate this interview on the basis of possible self-incrimination.
I'd like to thank you from all our members and visitors to p8ntballer.com and we all wish you, your company, Planet, and of course your team, The Sandbaggers, the very best of luck !



Final note from me.[Ledz] . Well done to Joy for the win. Thanks to all my team, The Sandbaggers, for fighting on in the wet and cold and to take home 3rd which was a better result than we thought we were going to get.
Great to see all the old faces and I hope we can do it all again next year in better weather conditions :)

Thanks Ledz !
 

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Tony Harrison

What is your beef with the Mac?
Mar 13, 2007
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I'm glad Ledz had a similar opinion to me about the fields.

Nicky has been all over the world to a lot of events, and seen how fields are designed. So I didn't understand why the Woods field was set out so badly....
 

Robbo

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I'm glad Ledz had a similar opinion to me about the fields.

Nicky has been all over the world to a lot of events, and seen how fields are designed. So I didn't understand why the Woods field was set out so badly....

John, you know Nicky as well as myself and it's not like him to have let this slip through his fingers.
I'm sure he'll come on here to respond to some of the points that have been made.
He's normally quite thorough in this regard and so I'm surprised the field was so problematic.

Nick ?
 

k4p84

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Oct 14, 2009
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If we go back to the older Mills you would play a Pro, Am, etc and your own div during the seeding process. The team would approach those is the same way as any other game but have a laugh that they all survived the breakout against Russian Legion (game lasted a couple of minutes ! ) or the game they won against Scalp. In a true self seeding style it is going to happen and it should in theory seed teams as to how they performed "on the day".
 

Dusty

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May 19, 2004
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Pete I'm guessing it was just a formatting mismatch between the forum and what program you originally wrote the interview in.
 

Tony Harrison

What is your beef with the Mac?
Mar 13, 2007
6,326
1,761
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If we go back to the older Mills you would play a Pro, Am, etc and your own div during the seeding process. The team would approach those is the same way as any other game but have a laugh that they all survived the breakout against Russian Legion (game lasted a couple of minutes ! ) or the game they won against Scalp. In a true self seeding style it is going to happen and it should in theory seed teams as to how they performed "on the day".
I like the way you can have a crack against the Pro teams. Manchester Lions - who haven't played for at least 20 years - beat Rushers in their first game. No small amount of skill was involved there.
 
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Tony Harrison

What is your beef with the Mac?
Mar 13, 2007
6,326
1,761
238
John, you know Nicky as well as myself and it's not like him to have let this slip through his fingers.
I'm sure he'll come on here to respond to some of the points that have been made.
He's normally quite thorough in this regard and so I'm surprised the field was so problematic.

Nick ?
He may be a while - he flew out to the ICC today with the Rushers.