I finally got the time to sit down and put what happened at SonShine (July 12-15, 2000) in writing. SonShine is a Christian Music Festival in Wilmar, MN. When there isn’t a band playing that you’re interested in, you’ll always find something interesting to do. This year, I planned a huge water battle. While it didn’t turn out as big as I had wanted it to be, it was fun, anyway.
First of all, SonShine is about 1 mile wide and 1/2 mile deep, a nice sized battlefield. The actual fight began on the 15th. Enough people had shown up that we were ready to go. I had already let the other 3 Commanders know (Green, Red, and Yellow) that we were going to be starting. When a nice group arrived at my army tent, I just said, “Welcome to the Blue team!” and gave them the blue arm bands. That gave me a team of about 20 or so people.
I had already picked out my spot at Sonshine to make my “base.” I’m not a base player, so it was more of a fill up point: a direct connection to the main building where I could recharge all of the SC weapons. On the way to the station, I started telling the team the rules: No shooting innocent bystanders (it wastes ammo), no shooting the face (little kids), and so on. Right away, I knew there was trouble. About 2/3 of the group was grumbling already so before we got to my station, (it was a bit of a walk) 2/3 of the group handed in their armbands and left. Well, that was kind of a relief to me, as I didn’t want to command those who wouldn’t listen.
Once we got to the base, we all refilled. All 9 of us that were left. My 2 SC Pak combo, 2 2500’s, XP110, 2 XP270’s, SC600 and 2 people with nothing but water bottles. (They _were_ useful.)
We then headed out for Tent City (What most of SonShine is.) Urban warfare time! Before we even made it into the tents, we happened upon the Green team, which consisted of 4 guys. Let me rephrase that, 3 HEAVILY ARMED GUYS and a scout. The Commander had a MXL (hooked up to a 2.5gal backpack) and a 1500 , the guy who was supposed to be Red Commander had (my) MXL (hooked up to a 5gal backpack), a third with a 2000, and the fourth with an XP270.
This was going to be fun. I began by waiting until one of my XP-armed guys got the Commander to empty himself and I ran up to him with a dual showerhead. Soaked him for a good 5 seconds. He laughed and said “Yeah, but you’re empty!” I laughed and switched to dual 3X’s and moved on to the next half dry guy (I was far from empty.) My group was doing a VERY good job at micromanaging themselves; they had managed to keep themselves very dry while blasting the living daylights out of the heavily armed guys. The XP270 was very busy trying to keep up with my Second with his 2500. When it looked like everyone was just about out, I ordered one last blast at the MXL’s. “Surround and destroy them!” This was followed by a quick withdrawal. As my group headed back for the station, I looked at the now dripping Green team and at my surprisingly dry (but now empty) Blue team and was very pleased.
After a refill, (I had to refill someone with my paks so someone could keep watch) we headed back out to Tent City. We were attacked by a “Rogue group” comprised of 3 guys with 2 2500’s,a 2000,a 1500,an XP310, and a 2700. They caught us by surprise and unloaded everything they had on us. Fortunately my group was a lot younger (average age 13) and outrun them quite well. At one point the “leader,” with his 2500 and 2000, came after me, but was quickly drawn off by my Second who blasted him with his 2500 on 20X. The leader missed and I nailed him with dual Showerheads. Once they were empty, I assessed that we should keep on going through Tent City since we barely used any of our water. (The people with bottles filled us back up and then quit for lack of weapons.) I thanked them and went on to the FAR end of Tent City.
We had still seen nothing of Yellow and were wondering what kind of team they would amass. Their leader (picked out by me beforehand) was a guy who we nicknamed “Arnold.” He wore dual 3000’s and had the build to earn his nickname. We took an alternate path back and noticed a group of people with a water balloon launcher. I immediately brought them in because I had a feeling that Green (or Yellow) would have created a base that we would need to siege. We headed out toward the army tent. There was a nice line of hills perfectly placed to create a launching platform for the launcher and still keep all of us hidden. Sure enough, we noticed the former Red commander who joined Green, filling up his 2.5 gallon backpack, hooked up to MXL instead of the 5 gallon as I later heard was broke. The rest of Green was nowhere to be seen. So we shelled him.
Once the beating was done, I was ready to order a full out charge. I thanked the launcher team, turned, and was amazed. My team, led by my Second, was already headed towards the MXL. He had no idea which way we were coming from. “Let the drenching begin!” was my cry as my entire team began unloading on the poor guy. I joined in and ran circles around him rapid shooting with dual 3X’s. At one point the hose from his 2.5 gallon backpack came loose and one of the guys from my team ran up and refilled himself with the water that was rushing freely out of the backpack. I called everyone off and looked at the “drowned rat” we had created. The guy (who happens to be my best friend) was glaring up at us and still trying to pump up his MXL.
Then the rest of the Green team arrived. They were just about tired out. (The entire campaign lasted an hour and a half and it was REALLY hot out.) They noticed their drowned team member and the Commander just congratulated me and gave up. They then told me about what had happened to the group that left my team.
After we initially soaked them, they went out to find more people. They found part of my deserters (the other 3 were the “rogue” group.) They had just as much trouble with them as I did. In fact, they just about took over the team. As it turned out, as we were going the long way around SonShine and recruiting the launcher team, they were trying desperately to find us. No luck and no sign of Yellow. From what it sounded like, it was a good thing they didn’t find me, as their team would have loved to get revenge. As it turns out, Yellow never entered the game. He was busy at one of the stages watching a concert. Nonetheless, it was a great time.