Yesterday we began pitching around new ideas for the marines in order to find them some other occupation than traditional reenacting. The primary problem with what we consider as traditional reenacting is that the tactics employed, casualties taken etc are not generally in keeping with historical precedent. This issue has been addressed before by other groups, but namely in the interest of improving existing events. My concern was that the marines find a new venue distinctly separate from reenacting that allowed them to open their operation in another hobby or area of interest - in the same way that our sailors have made a reasonable foothold in the sailing and wooden boatbuilding communities.
I've had the idea rolling around in my head for some time that paintball would be the way to go. But even loading and firing one round at a time from conventional paintball guns is nowhere near the procedure for loading and firing a flintlock or caplock musket. But what if our flintlock and caplock muskets could fire paintballs? - and in the same manner they would fire a conventional ball? The conditions could be ideal for an entirely new merge of paintball and reenacting - one in which the capabilities of troops had a direct impact on operations in the field - putting the manuals to the test in a more realistic setting and tactical context.
As the President likes to say "let me be clear." I'm not advocating putting paintballs down the muzzle of your black powder firelocks - but what I am saying is that I am more than willing to encourage our marine leaders to experiment and construct a viable solution to this. The result would be a new genre of experimental archaeology, very much akin to what our sailors are doing with our boat programs and distance cruising in open boats. Very interesting. Keep up the good work guys!