Wolfmen – A full contact horror experience
Wolfmen is one of RAM Training’s newer experiences, and we had high expectations from the makers of Zombie Boot Camp…..
We arrive at the compound to be greeted by ‘Sniper’ Jack, who provides directions to the car park where we await further instruction. Once everyone has arrived you are brought into the base and provided with protective clothing, consisting of vest, helmet, gloves, and elbow and knee pads. At this point the amount of protective gear seems excessive and overbearing. I worry that the hindrance on movement I may suffer from will impede on my enjoyment, and we sit down for a briefing with the stern Major Roy.
During the briefing, we learn that the area has a history of attacks which could be linked to werewolves, and that there have even been rumours of a special ops team going missing back in 2010 while investigating these claims. The briefing is accompanied by graphic pictures which leave little to the imagination and it is advised to ensure your tea is fully digested or you close your eyes. Next comes weapon training with Max and Jack The technique of ‘stacking’ on a door before entering is demonstrated and we are given the opportunity to use either the round or rectangular riot shields with batons for close quarter combat. It is obvious at this point that these guys are not only deadly serious but that they know exactly what they are talking about. With all instructors being from the military our training on how to use this equipment is as real to life as the equipment itself.
Once finished our first mission is explained. We are to negotiate a series of rooms in teams of 3 or 4, clearing the rooms of hostiles as we move. During this mission we will not only encounter werewolves but also inmates from the local asylum who may be on the loose. these inmates may or may not also be hostile, and we are advised to utilise negotiation techniques before force wherever possible. On entering the base we are to clear we first have to travel down a long narrow corridor, where we are subsequently attacked from both the front and behind by crazed inmates and werewolves. We use the techniques learnt to push down to the end of the corridor and it is here where the extent of our experience is realised.
Go back to when we first arrive and are issued with protective clothing which we fear is too cumbersome and over the top. Now we wish we could go back to this point and tape bubble wrap around ourselves from head to toe before putting on double the amount of issued gear. Wolfmen is NOT your stereotypical scare experience. The actors don’t touch you, they charge at you, grab you, and slam you into walls. Sod the usual ‘don’t run’ and ‘do not touch the actors’ basic rules! You run, you run fast, and you beat the living daylights out of anything that touches you. Granted we are supposed to check that our target is hostile before retaliating, but once the adrenaline kicks in and combined with mass disorientation, you’ll probably end up taking a few hits from team mates as well.
At the end of mission 1 you will be hot, out of breath, dripping with sweat and covered in bruises. And you have 15-30 minutes rest time before you get to do it all over again……
Mission 2 involved paintball guns with your trusty baton playing more of a back up roll. This time you are trained in the art of close quarter battle, and how to effectively clear a room in pairs is demonstrated before the mission briefing. This time you will be taken to a 2nd location which again has to be cleared, you will work through each area in two man teams clearing hostiles as you go. You begin by being bundled into the back of a van and whisked away to the mission site. The team moves quickly into the base, and although the combat is not as physical as mission 1, mission 2 involves obstacle negotiation which in the dark and with all your protective gear on is not the easiest thing to do. On leaving the base you are chased right up to getting back into the now moving van.
I personally made the mistake of being more bothered about checking I had put the safety catch back on before getting in the van than making sure we were not being followed. This resulted in being grabbed by the pursuing werewolf, followed by my best girly screams and flailing of baton until he let me go. Thankfully the rest of my team came back to help me, and even more thankfully they waited until I was clear before firing on the sneaky wolf and bundling me back into the van.
At the end of mission 2 you will be even more hot, even more out of breath, dripping with more sweat and covered in more bruises.
Just a little note, unlike other experiences I have been on, refreshments are not provided free, and you have to pay £5 per person for access to the photos taken during the event. So take plenty of water with you if possible and be prepared to pay a bit extra if you want a memento of the event.
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