Aftershock is one of the oldest teams in Pro Paintball. They started winning paintball in the woods and are now again back in the woods winning more. My first chance to play against aftershock players was the 1989 Masters. It was against the Lords of Discipline before they merged with Scream to become Aftershock. This was Bad Company's first game in a national tournament. We had won many local events and thought how different could this be. They beat us in 35 seconds! Welcome to the big leagues. Some of the players from that team that beat us came to the UWL Masters last year. Mike Karman a former Scream/Shock player played his first UWL in CA this year and is building a team out of the NW. We talked to Long time member of the Aftershock camp Rennick Miller and he gave us some interesting information about the team and their passion for Woodsball Tournaments.
Can you give us some history on your team?
Aftershock was formed in January of 1990 by myself and Steve Copeland of the Lords of Discipline. I captained Scream, a young upcoming team and Steve was the captain of the Lords. We decided to combine teams, taking the best players from each to create Aftershock. We played together and immediately gelled, making several semi final appearances but not quit able to win. Then in 1993 we won Boston, The World Cup, and the Masters 5 & 10 man. All woodsball tournaments After that season we became a force to be reckoned with for years on end compiling win upon win and World cup after World cup.
You have played and won Pro Championships in the woods and on airball fields. What do you see is the biggest difference?
The differences to me are similar to the difference between chess and checkers. With woodsball tournament of course being chess. Airball by design is a game of repetition with a handful of attainable spots made from a small variety of shapes. This gives you less variety of plans to make and angles to shoot. Limited movement is common to the point the rate of fire gets lowered to facilitate play. There's nothing wrong with it, I maintain my pro team and love to play however it isn't woodsball.
Woodsball tournaments on the other hand offers up limitless possibilities, nearly infinite angles, elevation changes in terrain, no like shapes to hide behind, concealed movement. Anyone that thinks woodsball is " easier " or " slower " come on out and we'll show you just how wrong you are. I've had the opportunity over the past few UWL seasons to play alongside and against some current PSP pro players in the woods. The differences is staggering, they literally get lost in the angles and movement.
What do you like about woodsball tournaments?
Everything! The challenge of out thinking, out playing, and out maneuvering your opponent. Walking a field and figuring out what you are doing, then what your opponent is doing, before a single shot is fired. Absolutely everything!
How do you get ready for a UWL event?
Obviously we play as much as possible leading up to the event but the field walking is huge!! I can spend hours and hours walking a field.
You played in what I call the Golden age of paintball. What would you say to our fellow players from that time period?
Yes we absolutely did!! Anyone from the woodsball era needs to come to a UWL event and in particular the Masters this September. Just seeing all those faces and reliving the glory years is rewarding enough but whoever said it had to end? Lots of people stopped playing for their own reasons but here we are, still able to play and have a blast. The current crop of UWL players, while good and getting better, is a far cry from the game we all left behind. If you played then you can play now!!
Do you have any advice for new teams?
The number one thing is find a UWL team in your area to play against. You will gain untold experience and knowledge, remember the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to woodsball strategies. You will realize just how fast a game can be won or lost, how to recover, push, counter, defend, trick, trap, and even walk fields. You cannot ever have too much experience in the woods. Plus you will be supporting a field owner that supports woodsball, other players and teams and by default helping us rebuild this amazing sport from the ground up instead of top down.