This will probably have passed by those who don’t frequent the Shoreline Facebook group, but it’s a topic worth expanding on.
Shortly after the Tippmann Challenge, Tim Barnett from Shoreline posted up a lengthy tale of having his concept for a tactical, mission-based event (the titular Shoreline Cup) ripped off by another company that were supposedly meant to be partnering with Shoreline. Initially no names were mentioned, however the clear implication was that Warfighters (suppliers of the Humvees at TCUK) were the other party, along with a (again unnamed) ‘site team’.
Many group members (me included) expressed their outrage at the betrayal outlined by Tim, however several things subsequently occurred which cast some doubt on the accuracy of Tim’s portrayal.
First, it quickly became apparent that the ‘site team’ in question were the Renegade Rebels – well known, well liked and well respected members of the scenario community. Second, it appeared that much of Tim’s ire was specifically directed towards two individuals within the Rebels – Rob ‘Papabear’ Gell and Mick ‘Tack’ Beeby. Now for those who aren’t aware, both Rob and Mick are moderators at ukscenario.com (as is Tim) and Rob had been the blue team General at TCUK, with Mick slated to be a faction leader at BoB 1.5, both Shoreline events.
Although I’d never met Mick and had only briefly spoken to Rob at TCUK, from their online contributions I’d always found them to be amongst the most level-headed and thoughtful members of the community.
In the past I’ve publicly stood up for Tim & Shoreline (specifically in his spat with Robbo et al on p8ntballer), however something certainly didn’t feel right about the accusations being made here.
With Rob, Mick and the owner of Warfighters all banned from the Shoreline Facebook group, they were unable to provide their side of the story, however Mick took the time to get in touch with me and provided a lengthy rebuttal of the accusations (tip: if Mick phones you about a topic he’s passionate about, stick the kettle on, you’ll be there some time ;))
The accusations have subsequently been deleted (presumably by Tim) from the Shoreline group, however the damage to the reputations of Warfighters, the Renegade Rebels and Rob and Mick had already been done by then.
To redress the balance slightly, a detailed account of their side of the story has been posted up on the Rebel’s website here:
I won’t regurgitate the content here, but can certainly recommend it as an interesting read, albeit one which doesn’t paint Tim in a particuarly flattering light.
Where does the truth sit? Only those directly involved can really know, however I’m more inclined to believe Mick and Rob’s side of the story, as Tim’s has numerous inconsistencies.
The key question for me is one that I posed on the Shoreline group, although sadly it didn’t elicit a response: What exactly was allegedly stolen?
Throughout his posts Tim refers to it being a ‘new concept’ and that the entire plan was stolen, however Warfighters have, to the best of my knowledge, been running these kind of tactical games (on a smaller scale) as their core business for a long time, so the concept itself hasn’t been taken.
The facility for the proposed event in question is Warfighters own, so they’re certainly not able to steal that.
That leaves……what exactly? A rota of who plays when? Some publicity and branding? It seems to me that there’s hardly any real substance that could have been stolen, other than perhaps the relationship with Tippmann.
Which begs the final question, if the allegations are true, surely Tippmann would have walked away from any involvement with Warfighters? Draw your own conclusions from the fact that Tippmann continue to work with Warfighters.
Personally I’m disappointed that I allowed myself to be so easily led in my initial reaction and as a result this has tarnished my view of Shoreline somewhat. It would be nice to see a public apology from Tim, however I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation.