By Mike Kinney, CBS 11 News
img 20111122 00169 Milsim Paintball Feels Like War, Without The Fear Of Dying

(credit: Mike Kinney/KTVT/KTXA)

ROANOKE (CBSDFW.COM) – If you’ve ever wanted to play weekend warrior without signing up with Uncle Sam, milsim paintball might be the place for you. Milsim is short for “military simulation,” and that is not far from the truth.

Tuesday’s ‘Through the Lens’ took me to a battlefield in Roanoke, at the DFW Adventure Park. Several teams gathered to re-enact the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam, made famous by the movie “We Were Soldiers” starring Mel Gibson. Unlike the normal small inflatable obstacle course paintball fields that everyone is familiar with, this battlefield is spread out over several acres of wooded land and allows the players to use more strategic tactics than just ‘shoot as many paintballs at the other guy as fast as you can.’

This scenario-based gameplay is complete with helicopters buzzing the battlefield and pyrotechnic blasts to simulate artillery. All of that together gives you the very realistic feel of a battle without the fear of dying. A paintball zipping at you around 300 feet per second will leave a mark, but it probably won’t kill you.

img 20111122 00167 Milsim Paintball Feels Like War, Without The Fear Of Dying

(credit: Mike Kinney/KTVT/KTXA)

I spoke with several members of team Redrum who enjoy going to milsim or scenario events all over the region and around the country to participate in these paintball wars. It gives them a sense of being part of a military unit — and a rush of adrenaline — as they compete in multiple battles over a weekend.

It looks like a lot of fun playing “toy soldier,” and I’m told it even helps let off steam at the end of a long, hard work week. Thanks to Redrum for letting me tag along, and thanks to all the players out there that didn’t shoot at the guy holding the camera in the middle of the battle.