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Tuesday July 9, 2019


“I move carefully through the high grass with my two companions. Our goal is the nearby edge of the forest, where there is a little more cover and we have a better view. I carefully raise my head to orient myself. Nothing. We advance slowly, packed with gear that gets heavier by the hour. We've been walking around the huge area for almost three hours now. Our camouflage clothing is great for not being seen – but now uncomfortably wet with sweat running from every pore. We are on the road as scouts for a platoon of the "Battle Link Airborne Unit" and our task is to spot enemy troop movements and report them to our command. This makes us part of "Operation Black Sky" – the largest 24-hour paintball magfed event in Europe. It is now taking place for the ninth time in Mahlwinkel on a huge former Soviet airfield. There are bunkers, house ruins, barracks, tower, forest, streets and even a swimming pool – a real idyll, almost relaxing. If only we didn't always have the feeling in the back of our minds that we have long since been discovered by the "Revolutionary Operation Troop" or the "Dynamic Defense Cooperation" and are about to receive the reward in the form of a few well-aimed First Strike hits.

But nothing happened. So further forward. Suddenly movement just opposite, less than twenty meters away, behind the trees! A complete enemy train moves slowly and carefully diagonally in front of us. I wish we had significantly better cover because if we're spotted now, it'll be painful. At the same time, I fervently hope that my two companions don't move either and remain undetected. But these are old hands – they've been there seven times already – great guys. As a newbee, I can't keep up with that. They probably think the same thing about me – don't shoot! The pulse is racing, the tongue is dry and now at the latest the idea of the rabbit in front of the snake becomes reality. Five minutes later it's all over and I feel great. We remained undetected and our radio operator passed the enemy's marching rod to our platoon commander. Task completed."

This little factual report describes pretty well what Operation Black Sky is all about: experiencing pure adrenaline and overcoming your weaker self with the help of lots of cool guys who are just as crazy as you are.

Players will travel from all over Europe to compete and share the experience with their peers in this real 24 hour game. An international event that has become a real trademark in the Paintball Magfed scene. If the usual games with a playing time of two to six hours and various breaks are not enough and if you want to push your limits, you will not be able to avoid this event. If you have received one of the coveted invitation cards, intensive preparation is a must. Absolute will, team spirit, good preparation, well-considered action and perseverance are absolute prerequisites for being successful in what is currently the most demanding and intense Magfed Paintball Game in Europe.

The game concept is unique and its complexity can be compared to real-time maneuvers. Here one notices immediately that the planners have a direct connection to the military in some cases. At the ninth edition of Operation Black Sky, external advisors from the Bundeswehr were there to help with the organization – a mark of quality that no other event can claim.

The night missions in particular have it all – this is where the differences to all other events become apparent. The night game experience is something very special. Everywhere you hear noises and suspect enemies who aren't even there while you're trying to complete your task. The mental strain here is a recurring, new experience for many players. In the night, victories believed to be certain are lost and heroes are born.

However, any planning is only as good as its implementation on site. Dozens of helpers are busy here for days before and after the event, preparing the site and the missions. And the players then turn it into a top-class event with fairness, dedication, camaraderie and self-discipline. An event over three days with an actual playing time of 24 – 26 hours without a break does not always run smoothly, of course. Minor injuries and accidents happen again and again and so the paramedics are called upon more frequently. Unfortunately, the good weather before the event (forest fire level 5) only allowed the use of simulated smoke by the specially hired fireworkers. The players, on the other hand, were forbidden to use small smoke grenades or signal fire tactically and everyone stuck to it. Respect for that, you rarely see that!

So the local fire brigade was almost unemployed – apart from their work at the goulash cannon, from which they sold pea soup for little money at a "meet and greet" on the Friday before the event.

Some players probably underestimated the physical exertion of such an event. As a result, some fire teams were not fully on their way early on Sunday morning. The lack of sleep, the physical and psychological stress, especially at night, take their toll. But few abandoned their comrades and left early. In the end, the winner of Operation Black Sky IX – BADLANDS is Team BLUE by a razor-thin margin

To determine the winning team, the organizer has developed a sophisticated point system. Throughout the 24-hour game, teams can collect points for their team in each individual mission segment. These are added at the end to determine the winner.

It's all over on Sunday morning around 10:00 a.m. Most of the participants are now standing together with friend and foe at the award ceremony on the parade ground, hugging each other and are happy to have survived the event. You can see the effort and the lack of sleep. But they are all happy. Now hurry home to the family and relax and be cared for. – Because the next OBS event is already coming up for most of them just six months later.

Yes, you read that right, the next Operation Black Sky event is already in the starting blocks. Registration starts on July 1st. The invitation cards for the pre-registration of regular players and teams have already been distributed. The organizer currently (at the time of going to press) expects around 50 event tickets to remain. The OBS X is also practically sold out well before the actual start of ticket sales. The event, which runs under the name OBS X – BADLANDS II , will tie directly to the storyline of the ninth OBS part and gives the defeated RED team the opportunity for revenge.

If you want to know more about the Operation Black Sky event series, you can find out more at www.black-sky.de . Alternatively, you have the opportunity to meet the organizers personally at our big MagFed Store event on Saturday, July 20th, 2019 in the Paintballsports.de shop in Hanover, Langenhagen and to discuss all your questions about the event with them.

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