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Ground Zero National Weekender 2012 Day 2 Report
I thought it was raining hard outside when I woke up at 0600H as there were loud and big drops of water on our tent. I peered outside and it was just light rain. It must be tree branches dripping water collected that night and when the wind blew, bigger drops for our tent. At least, it was just light rain outside and I guess the whole camp was still asleep as there was not a soul outside the tents.
Last night was a subdued one, and it was relatively peaceful and quite at the "Louder Camp". I expected that I would be awaken from time to time with loud music blaring or people shouting for the whole night from their tents. But not much of those, perhaps the rain just made them call it a night and all had a good night's sleep.
The camp began slowly stirring to life right before 0630H as the rain stopped and people getting about to wash-up, prepare breakfast and have their loadouts ready for the game. Since it stopped raining, we were able to pull the table out of the tent and into the open, allowing us to take out our stove. A quick Jetboil for our coffee, eggs and hotdogs for breakfast whilst the Swiss Invaders went off to the Snack Bar for their morning meal.
Whilst the others prepared their loadouts, for us it was preparing for our camera equipment since we planned to cover the game from morning till noon and from there, play with The Others in the afternoon. It was almost 0900H when we're ready, a short photoop with the Swiss Invaders and off we went to the Main tent area.
People were just starting to trickle in, which was a surprise since last year by 0900H the area was already teeming with players by the time we got there. This gave me an opportunity to look for H to show ourselves to the boss that we're around as yesterday we were not able to get a hold of him even for just a short chit chat. He was at the registration area and had some small talk with him about last night which he agreed with my observations. After talking to him, we milled around as the area started to fill up with players, all decked in a different types of gear, though we noticed that this year an even greater number of players wore MTP/Multicam pattern, given the availability of MTP surplus gear after Crye Precision's Multicam Pattern was adopted by the MOD and given it the name of MTP or Multi-Terrain Pattern The MOD added their own modification that was derived from the old DPM, but you cannot really distinguish any difference between the MTP and Multicam.
As the Main Tent area got filled up the marshals started calling everyone to the staging area, where pre-game briefing will be done. Off I went ahead to do some video of players arriving. There were already a few players when I got there, though the main body of players were not far away. The usual music blared out from the loudspeakers that I thought I can predict what the next song will be right after that.
Then it started to rain again and I had to pack my video camera into my backpack as it wouldn't stand a chance against it since its battery is exposed. Good thing my digital camera was weatherproof so that's the thing I pulled out to resume taking photos. The heavens must have been playing with us, teasing us with abrupt downpour, then the sun coming out, then a drizzle. But those wouldn't prevent players who came prepared for some wet weather airsoft.
Briefing by H was shorter this time, though the highlight of the pre-game briefing was when he announced that a couple got engaged at the Ground Zero, which was a first for an airsoft event as far as I know. Last year, Ground Zero also produced another first, when Danny and Wanda of the Swiss Invaders spent their honeymoon shooting it out with players rather than have some quality time for themselves off to some sun and beaches. Some incidents such as missing airsoft guns which the whole Ground Zero staff started looking into when they were first reported.
The commanders for each group were announced, and Spud was announce as the commander of our group, "The Others". Spud had previously led Delta and for this year, it was his turn to lead the The Others. A little bit past 1030H all groups were led to their starting areas: The Bravos from The Burrow, The Deltas from Fire Base Charlie, and The Others from The Facility. I positioned myself to take photos at the area near The Nest and radioed Masterchief to join me there. We were sure that if wanted to take a firefight quickly during Ground Zero, The Nest is the best place to be as it's the central area among other objectives and players will need to cross the area to get the other objectives. Controlling The Nest was also vital as it gave players a great vantage view and take potshots at their enemies. However, controlling The Nest was hard as it's usually called a "BB Magnet" with all sides always trying to take control of it.
Anyway, right before 1100H it was game on and indeed it was a perfect position as The Others and Bravos started going for The Nest as it was nearest their starting areas. Though The Others were at a disadvantage as The Bravos were at a vantage point whilst The Others had to go up so we saw The Others slowly being picked one by one until most of them retreated and The Bravos were able to control the surrounding areas near The Nest. Masterchief and I went up The Nest to find out it was unoccupied with most of The Bravos' airsoft guns trained on it, waiting for someone from the opposing force to come up and try and occupy it, if they came. Eventually, it was just Bravos remaining in the area and they decided to take over The Nest itself. With lesser action that area, we moved off to where we can find more.
We slowly moved to the direction of Fire Base Charlie, where Delta was based for the day. Along the way, lots of players crisscrossing the roads as they made their way to their objectives --- collecting intel, drugs, and other goodies that can be found to grab as many points as possible that Commanders can use to purchase some support such as missile strikes or nuclear attacks. We reached Fire Base Charlie where it was under attack from two sides by both Bravos and The Others, but it never got breached while we were there.
By 1200H, the action was now in full swing, we moved around near The Fort, The Village and The Prison Camp and a lot of pressure was being brought on to the Village, which after The Nest, is another favourite area for players to occupy. BBs were whizzing by and I got hit on the back, then another one in my legs. Masterchief seemed not bothered at all as he took photos, I just hoped he took good care of my lens as they were expensive to replace.
It was almost 1300H when went to the Main Tent to get lunch and prepare to join in the action. After a quick lunch, we went to our tent and took a short nap. We loaded up with our gear before 1400H and we hurried off to The Facility to find out what Spud's orders were for The Others. We got there to find Danny reporting about The Others occupying The Village and Spud gave orders to do some demolition work with it. Danny donned the Engineer's loadout and we went off to support him on his way back to Village with a big group of The Others whilst we covered the rear as the Bravos were going for The Village.
On our way up to the Village, the main contingent were able to make their way through whilst for us at the rear were quickly ambushed by some Bravos lurking in the bushes. It was bummer, we got hit without us firing our first shots for the day, so off to the nearest Regen area for me and Masterchief. We had to stay at the Regen area for 10 minutes before we can go back to the game.
After Regen, we were able to make it near the Village but we were under fire from The Bravos from two directions and they were slowly picking us off. Masterchief got hit again and I was left with a female The Others players at the intersection near The Village and one Bravo Sniper was taking potshots at us. The demolition of the village was accomplished but the Bravos were able to occupy it. Eventually more reinforcements came but it was bit late. Masterchief came back and went deep inside the forest where we had a good view of the village and put some pressure on a Bravo hiding inside one of the huts. More snipers joined us and we positioned them to where they can have a good view of the remaining Bravos inside The Village whilst we guarded their rear since we anticipated some Bravos will try to reinforce their mates there. It rained hard again but it were covered by the foliage so we comfortable inside whilst waiting for some players from the opposing group to make the mistake of going to our area. Indeed there were several Bravos who entered our area, and we successfully took them out. Masterchief and I were having a great time guarding the rear as Bravos attempted to enter the bushes but by 1500H an emergency was called a few seconds after I hit another Bravo. I heard players shouting "Medic! Medic!" or "Marsha! Marshal!" that I had to shout on my comms on Channel 7 for Marshals about an medical emergency. It seemed that everybody was on that channel shouting for Marshals.
One player dislocated his knee near the area we were guarding and it was between The Fort and The Village. All Marshals nearby rushed to the aid of the player, had to quarantine the area and turned it into a no-go zone go as they looked after the player whist the staff called for an ambulance. Too bad that we had to vacate the area where we were having a good go at The Bravos. We fell back to The Village as The Others have occupied it again and now was under pressure from Deltas arriving from the Northwest. Masterchief and some of The Others held the road where the Deltas were expecting to make a quick move and I positioned myself again in the bushes to watch for some Deltas who might avoid the group of Masterchief as they guarded the road. I found a good group of trees and bushes and waited if some might come my way.
"Knife Kill!" I radioed Mastechief as one lone Delta tried to make his way to The Village and just passed me when I tapped his shoulder. A few more minutes and another knife kill on another lone Delta, everything went quiet in my sector with the firefights now building up West of The Village and I heard the usual sound of very high ROF airsoft gun from one The Others player. It was really doing some rock and roll just like last year. Masterchief and his group were able to hold their area and it also went quiet. It was already 1600H and it was not long before another wave came in, this time from the Bravos. We went back to our usual positions as we covered the approach towards The Village. By around 1615H, Masterchief radioed in that he got hit and told me that he'll wait for me at the safe zone. The Marshals then declared the previously No Go area as open to players and I immediately moved to that area and made my way to The Fort only to find a big group of Bravos making their way there too. I hit one who reported my position and I came under fire. A stream of BBs from a player with a high ROF gun nearly grazed my arm and I decided to fall back so I ran back towards The Village.
As I ran and got near The Village, something right in front of me moved, and I realised it was a Bravo Sniper who had his sights on The Village but found too late that I was almost on top of him. He called that he was hit when I rapidly approached, and the only reaction I had was a meek "Oh, thanks!" I guess it was a bonus knife kill for me. But that was a very honest thing for that Bravo sniper and hat's off to him.
I made my way back The Village safe but The Village looked very much secured by The Others. It seemed that they had no use for me. I checked my watch that showed it was already 1650H, I decided to go back to the safe zone as the game would be over in 10 minutes.
Masterchief was nowhere to be found at the Main Tent so I guessed he was already at our tent and I was right. Since we had an hour to rest before the raffle draw, we took the opportunity was took off our gear. I took out the cameras again since it was time to document the raffle draw. By 1800H, we went back to Main Tent area and most of the players were already there and it was really, really filled up. I went up the APC to join H so I can take some photos and video clips before I climbed down again to go around and mingle with the players. H announced that The Others were leading the Deltas by just a hundred points by the end of the first day and there was a loud cheer from The Others with the Deltas cheering back that they'll get back tomorrow. A few more announcements and the raffle draw began, with even more prizes this time, and there were over a hundred raffle prizes waiting for the lucky players. Well, that was the job of Masterchief to take photos of the prize winners, whilst I went about taking photos and video clips of players.
By 2000H the prizes have been awarded and most players went back to their tents either to party or prepare for night game. We stayed at the Main Tent area to have some beer and listen to the live music, which was another first whereas in the past years, there was none. Masterchief introduced me to one of the leaders of the National Airsoft Girls (NAG) who was seated behind us with her friends.
By 2100H, we went back to our camp area where the Swiss Invaders were reliving the day. They had a great day as they were able to accomplish the objectives that were assigned to them by Spud and we congratulated them. They were really tired but very much ecstatic, especially after playing a big role in pushing The Others to the top on the first day. We discussed if we will be able to maintain the lead the next day, and we had our doubts, but the Swiss Invaders were determined to ensure that lead. We all agreed that the opposing groups would put pressure on The Others tomorrow, especially Delta which would want a repeat of their win last year.
We were all tired, especially after a very long but very much eventful day. We noticed that the morale of The Others was at its highest that night, even if there were apprehensions that the lead might be taken away the next day. It was already 2230 when the Swiss Invaders called it a night, they wanted rest early to be ready and in good shape to help protect that lead of The Others.
For us, it was fine and we wanted to go in early too. That night, another snoring competition transpired in our tent.