After Sunday’s game, I was chatting with callsign Mouse (aka. Jake), and as I was describing some of the things I have planned for the field, it struck me that I haven’t been super clear on my plans.
Building up a nearly 30-acre airsoft field on a shoestring (or no) budget is tough. I actually get a lot of “if you’re charging people to play there, then why should I give you things for free?” and I get that. So as the field can slowly afford things here and there, and as the amazing people, both near and far, contribute, things get accomplished. “It takes a village…”
So here’s a rundown of what we have planned to build up and expand the field.
It’s true! Pallet Fort isn’t even half done. More like 1/3. Possibly only 1/4.
Some of you may recall that Pallet Fort used to be “two pallets tall”. Sure, in retrospect, that seemed a touch foolish because it was easy enough to shoot through the slats, but damn, it was impressive! It was also structurally unsound, especially with the amount of wind we get on the Ridge. However, we did tear down a bulk of Pallet Fort a couple years ago and started the rebuilt, doing it a whole lot more smartly this time.
Pallet Fort will again be two pallets tall with “fully slatted-in” walls, which immediately doubles the number of pallets we need, and triples the amount of work we need to do to prep (busting the pallets, flattening the nails, sorting all the pieces – all without throwing my tools around).
However, the corners will all be constructed as THREE pallets tall. Yes, proper battlement towers. They will also be fully enclosed (very much like how we stacked the tires inside this spring). We will also be adding extras to the gate openings, and really making Pallet Fort an imposing thing of beauty.
Inside, it’ll be a terrifying CQB “kill house” style of structure, with the possibility of a second story on the Waypoint inside (we’ll be announcing the name in a bit.. it’s been MUCH too rainy to paint signs, so we’re going to do the reveal once the sign is finished and hung).
In order to finish the outside wall of the Pallet Fort, I think I came up with a number of just under 300 more pallets needed. That will give us enough to finish the second tier and slat them in, with enough 2x leftover to put a good top plate on the the walls. At that point, we’ll have to buy some new PT 4x4s, joists and decking to build battlement floors and steps/ladders (steep steps).
But until then, we have our half walls and tire piles. 🙂
The field surrounding Pallet Fort is another important thing to consider. It’s just over 2 acres of basically wide-open field.. sure, there’s a few tire piles, which are great, and those big yellow things. I’ll cover the OP Wall in a moment.
In short, we need more “cover” in that field. We’re still planning on that farm truck that was graciously donated to the cause; we’re just waiting on the hauling company. We have a couple of campers pledged, a pickup truck pledged, and maybe even a boat.
Yes, I know that players can’t hide behind pledges, but the cogs in this machine turn very slowly, so we need to be patient. Same with the OP Wall.
This spring saw the tires on either side of OP wall expand into tall embattled walls. Our plan is to finish walling in the other three sides with the tractor trailer tires… at the very least, wall in the north and south. Perhaps building it in an “H” shape. Perhaps completely removing the OP Wall itself and replacing it with tires, and using the wall part somewhere else on the field.
The point of all this is to leave long-rang firing lanes open for our snipers and designated marksman players, but still provide enough cover for the speedy players to be able to get up close and personal versus the defenders of Pallet Fort. And of course, enough mid-range cover for everyone else.
Plus, we need to come up with a name for the Pallet Fort Field. Currently accepting nominations.
As we place structures and decide what goes where, we do so seeing the wooded area of the field divided into quadrants. This will play an important part in the coming years…. most noticeably, we want to widen, flatten, and gravel in the boundary roads and two center roads. This will not only help to delineate the field for players, but it will allow us to introduce vehicles into game modes.
Immediately, one of the big problems that we’ve already run into, and it’s why the “west side” of the field remains largely undeveloped, is the bog that runs down the center of the field (more like the center of the two western quadrants, but you get the idea). So while wetlands are important and we don’t want to fuck that up, we also need to be able to get equipment and building materials on that side of the field.
The plan was to have a footbridge already in place by now, but Pallet Fort and field took priority. Then it started raining and forgot to stop. Also, I have no idea how to build a foot bridge. We sourced some old railroad ties, so that’s a good start, right? I hope so. My back hopes so.
One of the other immediate issue is the fact that pretty much the entire southern part of the field is swamp, so that’s going to take a lot of contemplation and “figuring”.
The plan is to have at least one Pallet Fort-like structure in each of the quadrants, and with that, enough surrounding smaller structures to allow cover for approach, etc.; we’ve already started on that structure in the South West Quadrant with Fort Chase. Different quadrants will have unique geographical characteristics that will provide different and unique challenges for the players.
The field will also be “littered” with a number of smaller structures like North Garrison, Outpost Omar, Barrels, and Grizzly Den.
We’ll get there, but like I said, the cogs in this machine turn very slowly. With social media being constantly problematic for airsoft businesses, we are really limited in ways to share our goals and dreams and grow the community. This is why we are grateful for every one of our players who come out and sling plastic with us.
I promise we’re going to make this the absolute best airsoft field in Maine, potentially the best in New England.