Paying homage to the STBB

Not just any ol' stacked tube blowback marker, the one with a mechanical flavor.

But first, my own little piece of short history and nostalgia...

Behold... The "Meched" Kingman Rasta Spyder Flash
I feel fortunate to have been brought into the sport of paintball by someone who has some history with and of the game. My teammate, ChoSanJuan, has shared stories and explained the roots of the game from what he refers to as the "Golden Age of Paintball." I was taught the inner workings of and how to tech a stacked tube blowback marker. Developing my own affinity for that style, I snagged the sought after 100% original Kingman Rasta Spyder Flash in a thrift store auction bidding war as one of my first markers. It's a good shooter and it's purdy. Suffice to say, the basis of my knowledge started with the STBB.

Enter the announcement for the Big Money - Cheap Guns 3-Man Paintball Tournament in STL land...

A tourney featuring only mechanical stacked tube blowback markers. What better way to pay homage to the marker that started it for many, including myself?! A full-on speedball field full of Spyders, Azodin, and Piranha type markers and clones. There was an enticing list of prizes, including a 1st place prize of $1k. It sounded like a tournament reminiscent of the Spyder Cup. Well dang. The perfect opportunity to show off the Rasta all meched out. What's old is new again. This has to be done for a multitude of reasons -- the best one being FUN!

Good things don't come without challenges...

The tournament meant a road trip to the St. Louis area. Some of our usual suspects on the With Intent Team were unavailable. Our new WWMD friends were unavailable as well. Time, distance, and life in general was making it difficult to get a team together for BMCG. Eesh.

But in the 11th hour, ChoSanJuan was able to work all the angles to get us two teammates from MO to assemble a team.

Yet another challenge and twist had me ultimately going solo. So off I went to make the trek from MKE to meet up with my MO bros at Wacky Warriors Paintball (West) in Wentzville. Much excite.

Past the Arch and over the river to Wentzville I go...

Game Day...

After much anticipation and communication. I was excited to get to the field and meet my teammates... of course after a coffee stop. Tony beat us all to the field. I arrived and Zach arrived shortly after. I greeted them with a hug... because I'm a hugger. I immediately felt at ease since they were great guys and psyched to be there. The field was buzzing with activity which was great to see.

"With Intent" featuring my MO bros. Tony and Zach
After all the logistical stuff, we got to walk the field a bit and noticed the setup was smaller than expected. We developed somewhat of game plan based on our comfort levels. Zach would be our back, Tony was game for snake, and I would go center. We got the skinny on all the things during the captains' meeting which was well attended by many. Round robin play, 3 minute NXL style two-point games, and no need to eliminate... you could totally tag up the dubbya bunker for your points, if so daring.

Wacky Warriors Custom Layout for BMCG

The first game was a bit rough as we were trying to figure everything out, but as a plus that nervous anticipation fell off for Tony and I after that first game. We felt a lot better going into the second game and really started having fun. Zach's outlook of it just being an opportunity to play like an open play Sunday definitely was so awesome. Were we the best? No. Was that the intent? Nah. Having never played together, I felt like our team was gelling and we were really enjoying the experience of the event. I even anticipated and got someone I figured was headed for the snake off the break... it was extremely satisfying to successfully shoot someone in the face. ;)

I do value the playing time and learn a little something every time. I learned the lesson of not being predictable during this tournament. The last game we played, I pretty much got tagged right away. During the game's conclusion I was given kudos for playing center, but knew right were I was going. Ahh man... I should have trusted my gut and changed it up like I was thinking moments before start. It's all good though... opportunity for growth.

It was neat to see all the mechanical STBBs out there and a couple of Tippmans (the event conceded to allow them last minute). As we watched the games, those markers were showing their trusty and reliable workhorse characteristics despite many having velocity issues or loader challenges. Even though the highest I was shooting was 230 fps, my Rasta was still getting it done and looking good while doing it. I did have one confirming comment that if there was a prize for most beautiful marker, my Rasta would be the winner. Awww... all the feels.

Actions shots:

Take advantage of the day with open play...

The paintball community is uniquely awesome. As usual, the other teams and players were super cool, especially the one that was next to us in the staging area. So much so that I joined them and other tournament players for open play. The weather was so fantastic that some layers disappeared. We agreed with the ref's suggestion for us 10 or so remaining tournament players to take on ALL of the walk-on and rentals players, which was roughly 30 people. Yasss! I'm game.

Perfect weather for T-shirt time
I protected the castle, tried to capture the flag, and protected the president. The Wacky Warriors Paintball West location has a ton of fields. I was eager to try some of those new to me games that James graciously and enthusiastically explained on his home field. I had a considerable amount of paint left, so I brought out the space gun to spread the love of coverage. It was so much fun that I ended up doing the Midwest goodbye... you know, leaving 30-45 minutes after my initial comment that I should go, but I was there and YOLO! As long as I made it home before midnight. ;)

Honorary Team Member

The Words Recap...

Being new to the game and with people I've never played with, my forever goal is not to suck. I did learn and tried to take in the whole experience.  I got to show off my Kingman Rasta Spyder Flash meched out. As a bonus, I made some friends and my teammates confirmed they had the best time ever. So much that they may show up at a Wisconsin event one day. I also got the down-low on some other regional events from my newly made friends. I stayed as long as I could for open play before packing it up and heading back to MKE. It all made for was a good and fun day.

I love the intent of this tournament to celebrate the STBB and be a part of the resurgence of markers from the golden age of paintball. I will continue to learn and carry on it's legacy.

The brain child of the Big Money Cheap Guns Tournament and man responsible for the recap video - Kevin QMTO!

The Video Recap...

Check out Tony's sweet slow-mo and you'll find me in here for a couple of seconds too. :D

Addendum: Good Foods...

No trip would be complete in our team's eyes if we didn't seek out good regional foods. Things we normally cannot get at home. So it would be lacking if I didn't mention the food highlights from my trip.

First order of business upon arriving in Wentzville... BBQ courtesy of Sugarfire Smoke House. Having been in St. Louis previously, I knew this was a good spot. It did not disappoint. 

I opted for one meat and a yummy starter and side. I happily got down on the jalapeno cheddar sausage, smoked fried artichoke and corn chowder feature of the day, accompanied with some Spicy Juan. 

Yum. BBQ fix satisfied. And no meat sweats from the Big Daddy tray... which I totally recommend by the way.

On the way home, I made a point and was determined to stop at Guerrilla Street Food on Del Mar. Again, a spot worthy of returning to and very near the one-of-a-kind Moonrise Hotel.

I demolished the Bicol Express, Shanghai Lumpia, and washed it down with the oh so yummy Calamansi Cooler. Man, I could eat Filipino errrday. So good.

It's also a neat place to hang out and of course I managed to strike up a conversation. Can't take me anywhere.

Adventures in eating thoroughly enjoyed. ;)

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