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Old 06-27-2013, 03:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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"head per acre" numbers in big games

In ranching, you tend to keep a rule of thumb for the number of animal heads per acre you can support. Of course that varies on several factors, but a rancher gets to know his own numbers.

For big games, I've noticed variations in game play that goes with the number of people crammed (or not) on a field. While I understand "the more, the merrier" concept, I have to say that I think I like a total enlistment of about 8 to 12 players per acre. Of course the real time number varies (lower) with breaks and weather. Not that I can't enjoy a game with 5 or 20 per acre, but you start getting some odd plays.

With too few, you end up working trails and hot spots, and people can sneak around in between. It's fun to sneak through lines, but in a big area, success means you can spend an hour or two just hiding out.

With too many people, you end up stacking up on corners and you can't retreat from a fight for a better position without getting shot by your own stragglers. Contact is pretty continuous and sneaking gets a bit thin.

Anyway, have you ever considered how many people you have on your field, per playable acre?
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Last edited by Spider!; 06-28-2013 at 09:43 AM. Reason: how MANY
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting thought. Considerations of course can be made for different types of terrain from a base number - for example dense forest +2; open field -5 etc.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think there is a sweet spot where the game is fluid. Nothing worst/more boring than a stationary line the moves back and forth for hours... Waynes world: (narrow) Sweetspot 250-350. Paintball Charleston : (square) sweetspot 300-400
I think both are 50 acres ish.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This presents a major flaw in the big game / scenario business model. They can start off with the optimal or even less than optimal numbers, grow and popularity and then become sub-optimal.

I agree that the terrain often makes a difference.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would rather have fewer players and more room, than more players and less room. There comes a point when the field becomes unplayable because there are just too many people.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing you can do if you have slightly too few or slightly too many is change the re-insertion process.

Too few - instant rejuve
Too many - timed reinsertion
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Interesting ideas

Played big games on a 15-20 acre ish area. Has lakes in middle. 2 castles. Village. Couple 2 story towers. And 2 speedball fields mixed in the woods

With 200+ it's sometimes just a line at the 50 of people shooting

With too few and you never find people.

Key also is teams/groups of guys on each team that work together

A group of 10-20 guys all working together can make a big difference in pushing threw

Also knowing sneaky spots or having them



The reinsert idea is brilliant

Also played legends where it's almost too many people

Decay of nations last year had a good balance of field and people
The village is crazy fire fights. Woods is all sneaky sniper stuff
Only thing was a few groups on one team made it in even


I use to wear a banana suit at big games and help people push, worked out well
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah this is very true...I know a scenario I played at Waynes World probably did not have as many people as it should have. My crew was able to hold a small village for 15 minutes to earn the points and we never encountered anyone from the other team. Later in the same day we ended up walking the entire field and never encountering any of the opposition forces.

While all in all it was fun....there were times that we had our doubts.

I can see where getting feedback from the players would be key in this process. There are many variables that would come into play such as what was mentioned, the terrain. But also the shape of the field would be important as well. And initially some playing around would be needed in order to find that "sweet spot"
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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At my field we try to do a "big game" or two per year. We've got just over 7 acres in the field boundaries, with deadboxes outside the boundaries. We run 50 to 70 usually, with 75 being our highest, though we feel like we could hold up to 100 and still be nicely played. Our field is a long rectangle, so there are choke points to be had, but the terrain also divides it quite well (high/low ground, creek, treelines). With 70+ players you can sneak very well, or you can get right into a firefight at the front lines. This lends to an ideal situation for running a main operation of holding ground, with smaller side-missions for points.

Our area is so small and sparsely populated that I doubt we'd see more than 100 players at a time. If we ever got to that point I think I'd just cut off registration.

The timed deadbox idea is what we do as well. We release every so often, but also flush the deadbox immediately if it ever becomes too full. We've been able to keep the games competitive by the deadbox timings alone.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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We have about 30 acres we can play on at my field, but we typically only use about 10 acres. And the best size (imo) is about 30 players. (15 per side). That way you see lots of targets, (the middle 5 acres is where most players stay, a few guys will go on the outskirts, but it is rare to see anyone else when you do this).

More than 40 players and it starts to stack up (no where for players to hide, so you get multiple people behind the same obstacles).


When I play scenario, the crowds of people are huge, but depending on where you go, will determine how many people you see. I stick to the hardest terrain, as most players stay off that, and it allows you to sneak around and take out high value targets, instead of just getting in a large lopsided firefight, where both teams are just trading paint for no real purpose other than just shooting someone.

I only walk on trails if I am out. Otherwise, I am in the thick brush. The thicker the better...

I have played for over an hour in a huge scenario and not seen another player... And there were over 600 players on a 30 acre field that day! It was so quiet, I thought they called the game early! Till I walked up behind the other teams HQ and finally saw a guy, who was pointing his gun at me...

I said "What's going on?". He said "Well, I'm going to shoot you then wait some more..."

I saved him his paint and raised my hand and we both laughed. He totally had the drop on me!
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