Address: 2407 Ansonville Road Marshville, NC 28103
Field types: hard-obstacle speedball, woodsball, enclosed arenas (6 fields I've seen total, but they mostly stick to just 3 of them)
Entry cost: $32 flat fee (includes rental equipment, all day air, 500 paintballs - bringing your own equipment does NOT reduce this entry fee)
Entry deals: $20 for 4 players with rental equipment and all day air through LivingSocial (requires additional purchase of 500 paintballs for each - case doesn't count - so roughly $16 per person), $20 groupon for 1 day's play with equipment, 2 air refills, upgraded barrel, and paintballs
Rental Equipment: Tippman 98c markers, Vforce Armor masks, Tacamo arc or other gravity fed loader, and 48/3000 HPA tanks are standard for rent. They do carry lighter markers and tanks for smaller, younger players. You can also rent a MacDev Cyborg 7 with Dye Rotor and 68/4500 air tank for $25 extra. You can rent 2-tube podpacks or individual pieces of equipment (tank, rotor) as well.
Paint: Diablo Heat, field paint only, $50 per case or $15 per 500 paintballs
Special Rules: Semi-auto only, there does not appear to be a cap to firing rate but most everyone is using 98s. Must get players to surrender when within 20 feet. You can slap an obstacle protecting a player while calling "bunker" to force an automatic out.
I've been out to Paintball Kingdom to play a number of times, and nearly all of my favorite paintball experiences have been at this location. Because of their pricing structure, this field tends to attract more rental players than players with their own equipment. You don't tend to see more than a half dozen visitors with their own equipment, and many of those players will bring Spyders or Tippmans that match the rental gear provided. The largest day I've ever seen at this field was about 40 players, while the smallest day I've ever seen at the field was about 20 players. Many people only stay for 2-3 hours, so games tend to average 5-10 players per side.
The pro shop shares its store space with Kingdom Arms - the firearm side of the business. In its heyday, the paintball shop carried the FEP line markers along with MacDev. It seems to be trending more to just distributing Tippman equipment, but you can still see tons of tackleboxes lining the walls marked with Quest or Cyborg parts. I've never looked too closely at store gear, but I know they sell CP products, Ninja Tanks, and they also sell a number of classic used markers off their back wall, including Ions, Spyders, and Angels. The owner, Jim Shuler (goes by Smoke at other forums), used to be a mover and shaker in the world of Bob Long markers, so he may be a local resource to talk to if you have questions or problems about your intimidator.
As far as the fields themselves go, there are no airball fields to play on at PBK. They do have one hyperball field called the Town - it has some broken down cars, wood structures including a center castle, a speedboat, and a wooden-fabricated tank to provide hard obstacles while you run through the field. I find the spacing and obstacle sizes to be the absolute best of anywhere I've played in Charlotte. Games on the town field are fast paced, relatively close combat, and just about guaranteed to find yourself behind enemy lines as both sides get entangled. The Town is the closest field to the staging area, but it's still a good 500ft+ hike from staging to play on the field. The Town has netting that can be extended from mast poles, but most of the time that netting is retracted. Quadrants of the field can be closed off for smaller groups to play on a reduced field size as necessary.
The next closest field is the assault course. One side has the high ground and a nearby two story fort for protection. The other side has to cross a creek to run uphill between obstacles. Alternately, the low-end side also has a small building in the corner called the "sherrif's office". This field has the advantage of nice tree cover to make it a cooler place to play on hot days. However, the odds are almost always stacked against the low-side force, and the cover distribution is much better on the right side of the field (from low-side's perspective) than the left. Still, I find myself shooting much more on this field than the Town field, and often have to remind myself to bring extra pods for play.
The third field down the road is the large Woods field. To be honest, there's so much of this field that I've never even seen. It has lots of cover obstacles near the road you travel down to access it, and there's even more buildings, shelters, ammo crates, and logs as far as the eye can see. The key to this field is to remember to look around periodically to avoid having someone sneak around beside or behind you. Since it shares the same woods as the Assault field, again the playing field feels cool and has many trees to hide behind. What's interesting is the slight rolling of the terrain hills, which can have you travelling uphill or downhill depending on where you're headed. Since it's so big and so hard to find people, this field is really recommended once you have more than 12 players per side. A note to watch out for is that the creeks and wet areas do seem to attract a lot of mosquitoes, so bringing some insect repellant is a must for play at this location.
The back part of the Woods field and Assault field is an area I've heard referred to as "rocket vs. radar dish". It's not listed on the website and I'm guessing it's part of scenario play. I've only played this section once, but it has a lot of trees and small cover points, especially closer to the rocket point and the radar station. One item of note on this one is that there is a cleared walking path along the back fenceline. I was able to walk down this path to circle around behind the other team, leading to a complete rout. I suspect that's why they've never taken me back to the field again. The side path has a lot of good, large trees for cover if you get spotted when only halfway across enemy lines.
The last two fields are two parallel enclosed chicken coops. These seem to be very popular for younger kids because of the tight quarters. I've never gotten the chance to play in either indoor field because they typically only open the fields at the end of the day. This is because they lower the rental marker velocities down to the 240-250 range rather than 280 for the field standard. The refs do not use the 20 foot surrender rule because of the close quarters. I would say that if you're interested in playing on the indoor fields to try to arrive at PBK around 2-3pm - the tradeoff is to call and confirm they'll have rental equipment for you.
As for the refs, there seem to be 3 main refs that I'm embarassed to say I've never learned of their names. One is blond haired with a grey/black profiler mask, one is a female ref with the initials MIK on the back of her jersey, and the last guy is taller with dark hair and a dye mask. I find the reffing to be fair and consistent, and the refs know to move around to watch the field of play without necessarily tipping off the location of players on the field. They are very strict on marker and mask safety, as you'd hope they would be. For newer players, I have seen the refs give a field tour without markers so that everyone can get a look at a field without needing to have their masks on. I always wish for more refs at any field, but this main trio does a good job of covering the field. A number of people also run the store, including the owner and his family. This makes signing in, picking up paint and equipment, and refueling your air tank an efficient process. All of the store employees are very friendly and glad to talk about their classic markers, firearms, or just to socialize.
Like most paintball fields in Charlotte, Paintball Kingdom seems like it is a field in decline. They no longer carry new equipment for major brands of the past like FEP and MacDev (looks like only new equipment is Tippman brand). To my knowledge they have not had a scenario at the field since Biological Aftermath in 2011 (which is a shame, because the field seems exquisitely built for Scenario games). Most of their classic used markers and their high-end rentals (those Cyborg 7s) are getting long in the tooth. Even still, more than any other field I've played at, PBK reminds me of my favorite large woodsball fields of my early days in paintball. For such a good team of shopkeepers and refs, I hope the improving economy will help them return to a golden age of play. In the meantime, you should also check out their online store if you have any need of old FEP Quest, Bob Long Intimidator, or MacDev parts. Even if it's a little pricey for local players that have their own equipment, you should make sure to put this in your top 2 of fields to check out the next time you're going to play paintball in and around Charlotte.
This post has been edited by Unfated33: 29 September 2012 - 09:13 AM