HICO, Texas — There’s a quiet corner of Central Texas where the battles rage!
In Hico at the mini tank battlefield—it’s 66 acres of fun. You can strap yourself into a pint-sized armored vehicle that shoots paintballs!
Robert Valdez will lead your day at this family-run paintball battlefield. He retired from the army and had a second career in law enforcement.
He became familiar with these British-made mini tanks that were used in airshows in England.
"I talked to Paul and my other buddy, Eric, and we said, can we convert this to paintball?" said Valdez. "And they said, sure, we can do that, and that's how it began.”
He was initially looking for retirement property but after finding the land in Hico, his plan changed.
“I wasn't thinking about paintball at all at that point, but that's where afterward it was like, hey, I can do it here.”
And now there are three different battlefields to choose from.
“The first one is a fury battle," Valdez said. "And that one we do a defense and an offense way, and then they switch roles where the Germans do defense and the Americans attack, and then we go over to Battle of the Bulge. And that's more like a free for all. It is actually a 'search and destroy' mission where they're, just like a battle of the bulge, when the two armies were just confronting each other and battle it out. Vietnam is more of a foot paintball where you're not own the tanks, but you're in regular infantry like you're in Vietnam.”
You’ll be outfitted in protective gear, including a helmet and neck protection. You’ll want to wear long sleeves and closed-toed shoes.
"The oldest veteran was a 78-year-old veteran," Valdez said. "They came out here and he was actually had his son and his grandson that they were battling with. I have had bachelor parties, birthday parties. I even had a divorce party.”
There are a few rules you are told to follow but has anybody gotten hurt doing this?
“No, nobody. You really can't get hurt out here, only a little yellow or black, blue mark or red mark or whatever because they shot it so close.”
Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it! And you can 'BYOB' but no drinking before the battle.
"Bring a change of clothes because you will get paint all over you," Valdez said.