Oklahoma D-Day is the world's largest scenario game of paintball that recreates events of World War II, held at Oklahoma's D-Day Adventure Park in Wyandotte, Oklahoma every June.[dubious ]The game was created by Dewayne Convirs, and was first held in 1997 - with attendance of 135 players. The following year was more popular, with 335 players participating.
The game seeks to faithfully recreate battles from the real Normandy invasion, including Omaha beach, Utah beach, Sword Beach, Colleville, Sainte-Mère-Église, Caen, Pegasus Bridge, and Vierville. The game caters to an average of 4000 players a year, often run on the anniversary of the events being recreated.
The game is played on a 740-acre (3.0 km2) area at the D-Day adventure park, with a range of differing terrains to suit different scenarios (including open fields, ravines and creek beds). Trench works, villages, firebases, headquarters, bunkers and gun emplacements provide strategic options for players. Play itself deviates from standard tournament paintball rules - in that when hit by paint, players move to a reinsertion zone and are back in the game within thirty minutes. Emphasis is on completing objectives rather than solely eliminating enemy players, and the game makes extensive usage of World War II era equipment and vehicles (including tanks and bazookas, among the standard paintball markers).
In game, players belong to either the Germans or the Allies. Allied forces include the French resistance, Americans, British, and Canadians. Each side has its own Battle Staff in corresponding "tactical operations centers" and divisions assigned to three different beachhead or other objectives. The Allies invade from off playing field locations, including actual wet insertions from landing craft.
"Soldiers of Paint", a feature documentary film about the event by filmmakers Doug Gritzmacher and Mike DeChant, was released in May, 2013, on Amazon, iTunes, VOD, and DVD. The film became available on Netflix Instant January, 2014.
The site at the D-Day adventure park includes 100 acres (0.40 km2) of camping area, showers, restrooms and food vendors for players. The mimimum age of players is ten years, and all players who participate in the game are charged a playing fee (which may also allow the player to enter for prize draws), and must sign waivers. The field operators recommend purchasing at least two cases of paint. Players are given the choice at a recruitment depot of which side they wish to play on, and which particular unit to play as; dependent on places available.
The game continues to evolve and the overall realism is improved every year. The most recent changes have been a massive terraforming project to create the beach landing of Utah beach. The game has mechanisms that are installed to facilitate the flow of the game, the mechanisms take away some of the realism but are generally approved. For example, players (even snipers) must have a brightly colored hopper cover designating their side. GPS and 2-way Radios are permitted despite their non-existence in the real invasion.
These countries historically represented are the United States, Britain, Canada, and France. This unit represents the oppressed French under German occupation, who banded together to help the allies any way they could.
The German side is represented in the spirit of the German soldier who fought for the love of his country like the allies.
Players are sorted into various units on either side. Each unit has its own objectives to accomplish throughout the day.
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force — SHAEF —
|1st Infantry Division(US)||101st Airborne Division(US)||2nd Armored Division (US)|
|3rd Infantry Division(British/Canadian)||6th Airborne Division(British/Canadian)||13/18th Royal Hussars Regiment (British/Canadian)|
|4th Infantry Division(US)||82nd Airborne Division(US)||899th Tanks Destroyers Battalion (US)|
|238th Engineer Combat Battalion (US)|
|1st Ranger Battalion (US)|
|2nd Ranger Battalion (US)|
|5th Ranger Battalion (US)|
|Free French Forces|
|Royal Marine #41 Commando (British)|
German Army Command West (OB West)
|91st Luftlande Division||6th Fallschirmja(ä/ae)ger Regiment||21st Panzer Division|
|352nd Infantry Division||Geisterja(ä/ae)ger Sniper Korps||352nd Panzerja(ä/ae)ger Battalion|
|709th Infantry Division||Brandenburg Kommandos|
|716th Infantry Division||1058th MEK Marine-Einsatzkommando|
|726th Infantry Regiment||260th Kriegsmarine Artillery Battalion|
|914th Infantry Regiment|
|916th Infantry Regiment|
"Soldiers of Paint"
In May, 2007, Washington, DC, filmmakers Doug Gritzmacher and Mike DeChant approached Dewayne Convirs about making a feature documentary film about Oklahoma D-Day. Convirs was enthusiastic about the project and agreed to cooperate. Gritzmacher and DeChant attended the 2007 game in June of that year to familiarize themselves with the event and discuss the project with players. After receiving enthusiastic response for their idea, Gritzmacher and DeChant began pre-production on "Soldiers of Paint" in July, 2007. They planned to cover the 2008 battle and the year-long intense preparation both sides undertake throughout the year leading up to the game. The filmmakers sought to cover the strategies being developed by each side but were met with resistance from Allied and German commanders when pressed for details. Noting that the commanders suspected they might be spies planted by the opposition, the filmmakers proposed a contract that stipulated no knowledge of strategies would be shared outside of the project's core personnel until after the 2008 game was completed. Allied and German commanders agreed to this proposal and signed the contract in December, 2007. Principal photography began in February, 2008. The first footage shot was in Niangua, Missouri, at the home of Bill Bailey, the German supreme commander. Principal photography concluded in August, 2008. Gritzmacher and DeChant filmed additional footage for the film at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 games. Post-production on the film began in November, 2008, and concluded July, 2012. In September, 2012, First Run Features, an independent film distribution company based on New York, NY, acquired the film for distribution. They released the film in May, 2013, on VOD, DVD, iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube. In September, 2013, First Run Features secured a deal with Netflix to have the film available for instant viewing. Netflix made the film live for streaming in January, 2014.
- Adkisson, Kevin (June 1, 2008). "WWII inspires paintball game in Wyandotte Discover Oklahoma". Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- Dwayne Convirs (July 2009). "A note from Dwayne Convirs". Paintball X3. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "D-Day adventure park - Camping FAQ".
- "D-Day adventure park - Registration & Requirements FAQ".
-  Oklahoma D-Day Website