Tribal from Southern Congo here. As always, thanks to Moondog and Evike. The prizes especially were amazing this year (even is I didn't win anything
I wasn't able to make it last year, but from what I heard the hiding of objectives worked much better this year than last (where locations were assigned). We only had 20 people on South, so there was no way we could have defended a fixed location. This gave us the ability to shift and distract much better. We did not move our objectives once placed. The one I was aware of was in tall grass. Not buried, but definitely requiring an organized search patter (or dumb luck).
Overall thoughts for the game are as follows:
1) Ban alliances - from what I saw this caused more confusion than anything else, and resulted in a lack of trigger time for a fair number of people.
2) Make goggles required even on the "river" - This was where I saw the most issues with goggles being taken off the, while teams were crossing. This was still too close to the combat area for my comfort.
3) Require dead rags when moving across the "river" - Several times Tribals got yelled at for shooting people "while they were regrouping" with no way for us to know that.
Now the highlights:
"The key to being a Tribal, where you will always be outnumbered at least 5 to 1, is to be a sneaky SOB" - Me
"Please don't see me" - Early on, my primary went down and I was left with my TM Socom Gas NBB pistol. For those not familiar, this is an exceptionally quiet gun. So upon realizing my conundrum, I dove into high grass near my teammates and waiting for them to be over run. Then, as the aggressing team moved by I picked off people one by one with no one the wise . . . until I heard someone ask "hey, is that someone in the bushed?" I proceeded to take a BB right in between my face mask and googles, leaving a nice welt. However, given that when I called out and stood up it turned out I had an entire enemy team within 10 feet I will count my blessings that that's all I got. The combination of the rush of people not seeing me, followed by the horror when they did made this a memorable moment.
"Surrender . . . please" - At another point, there was an enemy team engaging several tribals across ridges. They apparently decided we were too much trouble and tried to bypass us, so I and one of my teammates decided to walk down across the valley and try to flak them. As it turned out, we came up on their respawn area, and with no realistic way around, we had to go through. This resulted in a rather awkward conversation with dead people about who I should and should not shoot. "Who's alive? Are they alive?" "Dead men tell no tales!" "But I'm trying not to shoot dead people!"
Eventually I drew a line in my head and proceeded to light into the people ahead of that line. A whole bunch of red flags went up, but no return fire?! Apparently there was confusing that this was an alliance malfunction. I shrugged, and moved up along with my teammate taking out people facing the other direction. At one point we cam up on a fire nest of four people all pointing away. I didn't want to light all of them up, so instead I got very close, hefted my gun (a large, fairly intimidating L86) and calmly said "Excuse me gentlemen, but I would greatly appreciate it if you would surrender." At which point my teammate showed up next to me adding "As would I." while pointing his own boxmagged m4. The look on their faces brings smiles to mine either now. From there we went on to eliminate the rest of the enemies forward guard, and proceeded to walk back to the accolades of our fellow tribals, having taken out about thirty people (the other members of the enemy force already having been dead.
"I belong here . . ." - Toward the end of the day I saw the MERC team disengaging from Southern Congo (the infamous I'm lost march). Not being allowed to shoot a disengaging team, but unwilling to let that many turned backs go, I simply walked up and got into the end of the crossing line (I didn't know what a walk I was in for). I proceeded to follow the line along the road and back across the "river" to the other side where they regrouped. While their commander gave new orders and rallied them I simply sat to the side and tried to be inconspicuous. I was in sight, and was told later by people that they saw me, but it just didn't register. Eventually the Mercs mobilized except for a few stragglers. As these people didn't have their googles on, I simply walked over and politely explained that, since their goggles weren't on, I couldn't shoot them, but to please consider themselves dead, which they very politely did. I then proceeded to walk up behind the rest of the Mercs, who where strung out in a very nice single file line, and one after another, poke them with my gun and quietly inform them they were dead, in some cases simply resorting to putting my finger to my lips when other Mercs were too close. To their credit, no MERCs made a sound as I killed them. It could not last though, and eventually I was shot in the back by someone who may or may not have been alive. However, before the question could be cleared up, the shot and conversation drew attention from the MERCs ahead of us, who turned around to see an inordinately large number of red flags behind them. Knowing I was screwed one way or another, and fairly confident that I was, in fact, still technically alive, I simply charged and started putting rounds in whoever I could. The last second surprise gave me a decent number of additional kills before getting well and truly lit up (thank your for shooting me center mass!). Marching up the line quietly taking people out will be one of the highlights of my airsoft career for a long time.
"Oops" - Of course, less I come off as Rambo, I also managed at one point to fail to recognize a teammate coming up being me, grab my gun to yell parley, and instead accidentally hit the trigger giving him a nice long burst of fire point blank to his ass. Still feel bad about that one . . .
Cheers to everyone, and hope you found my anecdotes amusing. See you next year!