April 12, Team Desert Edge hosted the 2nd Annual Triad Challenge. Players from across the Utah, Idaho and Wyoming regions came to experience what some players called “the funnest game format in paintball.” Three teams with roughly 40 players each dueled it out for most the day in the cedar flooded hills of Eagle Mountain, Utah—home field of Team Desert Edge.
The format is simple: three teams, three base flags and a center flag. Teams get a point for each minute their color is raised. The game has three rounds (one hour each) and a final battle--with the base flags removed. Teams rotate bases between rounds so each team gets the chance to attack and defend each flag.
With a format so simple, teams had to have a game plan a bit more complex. Branching out too far, assaulting too many bases while fighting against one team, may mean getting “back-doored” by the other team. Bralen Jackson—head referee of the event commented, “The strategies that worked were the ones that held their own flags and attacked only one flag at a time. The teams that tried to attack two or more flags while holding their own got rolled.”
I think it’s the simplicity of the format that keeps players coming back, and in-fact--asking for more. Comments throughout the seasons from players requesting more Triad Challenges are overwhelming. The concern is to keep the game fresh, and “not wear out the format” says “Danger Dan” Saunders--the designer of the game format. Although the number of people attending doubled from that of last year, the game will remain an annual event. The event attracted the largest variety of Paintball players I have ever seen, ranging from well grounded scenario teams, first-time players, large families, and even paintball veterans like Brad Russian (former Naughty Dog), Jayson Orvis (Special Ops owner), and Jayson Nielson (director of SPPL) to name a few.
Sportsmanship was top-notch, and several players received awards for it. Combine that kind of fun atmosphere with enjoying one another’s camaraderie, great admin and reffing staff, and a beautifully wooded field, and you too may ask, “When’s the next Triad Challenge?”
Whenever it is, we'll keep you posted and I’ll see you there.
Photos courtesy of Josh Eades.