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Reports - Raptors Airsoft

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So for the first time in a while both the raptors were able to make it to an NSC game day.

We made our way north as the wind and rain picked up testing our radio headsets en route as we’d had someproblems with them recently. Needless to say they worked fine until we turned off the A19…

Another good attendance despite the forecasted iffy weather. (Possibly as they know that means I probably won’t be sniping?). A full carpark is always a good sign at NSC, which has seen the addition of several structures over the last few months.
The morning battery charging ritual of the car bonnets

George shortly before being shot in a similar place.

Shortly after the photo was taken he was shot in a similar place...

With a few new players, including even a few from the now defunct MARRS, it made target identification ever more vital, indeed for the morning session I was taken out by my own team more often than the OPFOR. Although The Einherjar (TM) have got this sorted with their own merchanding now prolific in the safe zone!
Derka of einherjar (TM) shows off his mug

Rookie - either in JohnTravoltaCam with matching disco Stu trousers, or missing some form of pointy hood.. not sure yet...

The first game of the day was supposed to be a fast paced end to end game invoilving the Quarry and the village. However the dense undergrowth, and large number of players lead to an unwillingness to press home attacks. The teams inched towards each other with no-one willing to make significant advances. [although kudos to Sneak for some of the best infiltration I’d seen in a while as I struggled to keep up with him advancing along the quarry wall]. A gradual war of attrition set in until we were able to reduce the enemies numbers enough that there were holes in their flanks we were able to exploit to the full advantage (when not being shot in the back by my own team that is…)

The next game up was a firm favourite of mine. the hostage rescue scenario. Despite my repeated suggestion, apparently you cannot just shoot the hostage and call it a draw…
Again, whether the weather, the undergrowth or hangovers, play was slow to advance. The rescuers inching forwards to the structures before freeing the hostage and “legging it” as the hostage takers respawned and rushed to retake him. Although at this point I ended up left behind as my fellow rescuers dissapeared into the distance, unfortunately the chasing team neglected to check the buildings leading to what could only be described as a fantastic 30 sec turkey shoot as they dutifully filed past…

Post lunch a large site wide game again seemed slow to get moving. I must admit I really like these games that ramble and leave room for guile as well as rate of fire. We quickly spotted one of the enemy teams objectives (a laptop) and staked out the apporaches to it. The OPFOR eventually arrived, leading to some great fighting in and around the trenches.

Finally, we lounged about largely knackered as some fun 1v1,2v2 and 3v3 games took place in and around the quarry. Great fun to watch and cheer the players on, especially worthy of mention was young Robbie shooting his uncle. Twice. Including a cracking headshot. well played fella…

Plumley shows his weapon

One small hiccup in an otherwiose great day was Pikie not lookig where he was going, and winning a free trip to casualty to be glued/stitched back together… not from a BB but from a branch to the top of the head. Moral is look where you’re going!
Look where you're going!

And finally since I was trying out my new lens (you can never tell can you?), a gratuitous shot of Swampy…
Swamps

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So both Raptors made their way across the dales to darkest war-torn Staffordshire for First and Only’s Merc Day at Anzio camp, Leek.

The plot was staged around the area of a African conflict zone and we had chosen to play as the local Africans. Rather than a standard “run and gun” day, this was intentionally pitched as requiring role playing, indeed there were 20+ role players from amongst the F+O regulars and marshalls playing character roles from UN medics to engineers rebuilding the collapsed state infrastructure. We tried to support the role play by dressing the part!


Photo courtesy of Jamie, WASPs, as I left the camera at home!

The other players were formed into 3 teams of mercenaries whose objective was to make money! Either in the form of cold hard cash or Gold bullion which started out life in a bank being protected on a rota between the 3 PMC teams.

The day kicked off as usual at F+O with chronoing of all weapons to be used, including sidearms. I always applaud this mainly on safety grounds, but also for fair play. It provides a much leveller playing field for all concerned. Even better was the improvements on the method from my last visit to Anzio with results being taken as an average of 3 shots and several chronos being used for any suspect guns to account for any spurious readings.

The briefs were comprehensive with a safety brief first, and then the scenario brief for the day. Getting 200 or so players to the right place and on time is like herding cats so well done for getting the game to start on time!

Bongo was the designated team leader for the Africans as we set up in our home building, and he set out his plan. Go forth and cause chaos! The whole team did this with exuberence, happily getting into the role play aspect I saw everything from players trying to sell christmas decorations to wandering security details, to drugs sellers and a drum band with spontaneously started following some mercs about. Our first real encounter was as a sightseeing VIP escorted by a PMC team came past our home. Obviously not happy with all their weapons outside our house a group of Africans soon gathered and shouting ensured! Fatman from the Wasps took this opportunity to get close enough to lunge through the protective cordon and stab the VIP… bad luck for his guards who I’m guessing didn’t get paid…

From then on the stage was set. We generally enjoyed ourselves harrassing hapless PMCs who were wary of shooting unarmed civilians and incurring the wrath of the UN inpsectors (a 20 min sin bin/investigation) and pretty much had to take it while we wound them up. We put up posters on their buildings, tried to wander in their security cordons and basically made a right pain of ourselves.

Things got more “serious” after some ingenious africans liberated large quantities of gold and money. The merc onslaught became merciless as they realised Bongos warriors had not only found him chairs from all over the site but gold and cash! Some frantic assaults on our base meant all the BBs saved earlier were rapidly expended.

The afternoon progressed getting ever more frantic with assaults on the merc bases and some great taxi driving by Jamie from F+O in his landrover ferrying Africans direct into the middle of firefights which was great fun, although you had a limited life expectency on bailing out in the midst of open ground and flying BBs.

Come the evening the raptors stopped for some proper food having run nearly all day on adrenalin, and realised just how knackered we were. It was testament to a fine days airsofting that neither of us realised just how hard we had run, pushed, hid, shouted and laughed in a great full days gaming.

High Points.
Giggling like school kids as we stood behind the Landrover preparing pyro to take out the engineers and their security details we’d been waving and smiling at seconds before

Low Point
Getting absolutley shredded in the knee which left me hobbling for quite a while (and then listening to the other teams comms as they congratulated each other on doing it) – but a tiny hiccup in an otherwise great day.

Overall, the level of commitment to the role play side of the day made the event. The preperation and work by the guys at F+O and especially those who agreed to role play characters made it easy for the teams to get into the scenario. Far more actually happened in a long days softing than I could hope to remember – One of the best days I’ve had for a long time.

Big thanks to the role players, the player marshalls, all the fellow players (nice to see the WASPs again!) – African and merc alike, and our illustrious team leader Bongo. You all made it a cracking day.

I’ll certainly try and make the next one.

+++UPDATE+++
Almost forgot… best line of the day to the desert/tan team…”watch your six… he’s got a banana!”

+++ Swampy Update+++

Couldnt agree more.  Was a great days shootin.  Made a complete change from milsim/ woodland/ speedball type games and was all the better for it.  With a pistol in your waist band and a fist full of pyro you had to use guile to find  your way to your objectives and adapt when you got there.  ‘Go hire the engineers’  ok so off we went.  Couldnt get near them werent allowed to talk to them so we pyro’d them instead plus about a half dozen PSD troops hehehe awesome.  Cant wait for the next themed day.

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So a diminished but not beaten Raptors duo set out for NSC on a cold damp and windy Sunday. The NSC Forum had been busy with reports of numerous new and visiting players, although that had happened before with large bookings which subsequently fail to show. Annoying for the players, but even worse for the site owners I’m guessing.

Unfortunately the conditions prevented the use of the new additions to the Raptors armoury of a gleaming pair of Mosin Nagent carbines, courtesy of Swampy! (well played fella)

I arrived early and the car park quickly filled up with people having to park outside! Obviously it was going to be the biggest attendance for a long while, all those having booked actually having made it! it was fantastic to see a good number of regulars, new players, and experienced airsofters who had travelled to play.

The games kicked off by throwing all the regulars out of the way for a quick game so the safety brief could get done for new players onsite with the minimum of fuss and heckling!. A good idea that seemed to work well as well as ensuring all players get to shoot stuff with the minimum of delay.

The Warm Up and watch your back!

We kicked off with a quick game of “Quarridge” (from Quarry vs Village”), but with an interesting twist. Before we started cards were drawn and one player on each team was a spy who could dispatch his own team as he saw fit, obviously trying to remain undetected. As yours truly was the spy I waited for my team to storm into great defensive positions and then whilst shouting for players to watch out for non-existent fire coming in proceeded to slot the entire team one after another. (much fun I must admit… sorry all!) The game was over in minutes and the opposition appeared wondering where everyone was. All very satisfying I must admit, and gave the site-virgins a chance to listen to the brief without undue distraction.

It seems a much bigger site running around it…

Next up was a site wide game with a capture the real estate objective. This lasted till lunch, and ranged back and forth between several spawns and objectives. The Opfor seriously put us under pressure from the word go, pinning us down and making us fight for every inch, then as we concentrated an attack to pin them back into their village spawn the tide turned (at least on the bit of the battlefield I could see!). Listening to the team comms I could tell frantic attacks were being thrown in all over the place as we tried desperately to capture the objectives. As the last few minutes approached we were only holding 1 of the 3 objectives as I made a stealthy advance through the village towards the “camp site”. I’d checked the 2 guys in the Opfor spawn were going to be there a minute or 2 ( I say checked – I mean I offered to shoot them again) and as I crested the ridge I saw 3 defenders all with their back to me. So being a gentleman I shot 2 as fast as possible but the third reacted fast and dug into the bunker refusing come quietly! Almost simultaneously Errol had spawned behind me and started peppering my position. Faced with a fight on 2 fronts I retreated to a safe position and managed to take Errol down with a damn lucky shot before hearing 1 minute called by the marshals. Desperation now took hold as I advanced on the bunker again, only to have some of the Opfor detonate a remote pyro they had rigged in the bunker – taking out their own man! Hardly believing my luck I dived into the bunker to the sound of several enemies opening up. Bravely I hugged the ground hoping I could wait out the last few seconds as I dare not even try sticking my head out to see where all the fire was coming from – just as the marshal called Endex! Success by the narrowest of margins…

Straight after lunch was a solid trench clearance game. The regulars defended first, and the attacking side were relentless. Despite a fairly high kill rate mainly due to site knowledge the defenders were slowly overwhelmed by some stirling attacks, coupled with some epic pyro which turned the trenches into a mist-laden Somme. The determination to get to get through was admirable, and on the turn around the defence just as difficult to break as we tried every trick in the book to get through. Including the sneak attack from the gulley. Which I will admit to being half way up as the grenade landed just at my feet with nowhere to go… bugger.

Finally another site wide game with a task based objective. First of all find the suitcase, then recover it to our base and find out the last task. Thankfully we started from the trenches so no massive hike out! This time the Raptors duo paired up for some sneaking about, which found us in a tiny foxhole in the middle of the wood, with the enemy advancing I heard on comms that our team had “withdrawn” to re-group as the enemy had captured the case. Just what you need to hear! We spent a frantic few minutes climbing over each other desperately firing off mag after mag and managed a quite a few kills before the Opfor re-spawned, re-grouped and came at us organised. Needless to say we didn’t last long after that! However as they tried to break out of the wood with the case, we were able to mount a counter attack en route, steal the case before they could do anything about it, and due to some great running by our bomb tech win the day!

Overall, it was one of the best days I have had in a long while at NSC. Every player I saw got stuck in despite the cold damp conditions, and some fantastic game play made for some great games. Particular mention should go to the Airsoft commandos who had travelled a fair distance to be there,

and a special mention to Zippy and Co, who were fresh from having a trim the day before in aid of Help for Heroes. Well played lads, pleasure to get shot by you!

The more regular teams were out as well, obviously the Raps patch was in force!

But also the new Einherjar team under Toes erstewhile leadership…

and not to forget Halo, the longest serving team at NSC whose patch was still worn proudly by Sneak!

Cheers all who were there, including the refs, who gave us a great day out. Hopefully more to come!

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So October has arrived and so did Corps wars at First and Only’s site Anzio Camp.

The Weather God
We set off on Friday afternoon, negotiating the intricacies of the A1 roadwork’s and Sheffield’s third world style road system. As we headed across the hills the heavens opened and what appeared to be the start of another biblical flood descended on our happy band. My weather predictions of clear cold skies appeared to be seriously out…

We arrived in darkness just as the rain ceased and the skies cleared. (Oh ye of little faith) and found the barn that was to be digs for the weekend. First and Only had provided a big area where the cars could be brought in with plenty of room for all to bed down, and best of all out of the very cold wind, and with some portaloos!

The rest of the comrades arrived and soon there was a healthy Raptors contingent present. (Clone, George, Swampy and myself, plus a few NSC regulars, Rookie, Plumley and Caaw). We met up with the guys from Wasps and looked forward to a few sociable drinks and the weekend ahead!

catalogue poses for the camera
FPS
First up on Saturday morning was the chrono’ing. Every gun gets chrono’d, which I personally think is a great idea. With a few caveats.

Almost without exception, every player I spoke to said their gun chrono’d significantly higher than they expected, usually in the region of 20-30 fps higher. Also after putting several BBs through the chrono it would take only a single reading of more than 350fps to get a gun sidelined, and I mean a single reading. One player I witnessed had a single round of 351fps, the rest all significantly lower, and the AEG was not allowed.

I had an AEG chrono’d Sunday morning, at first no problems readings were between 312 and 320fps. But for no reason I can determine there was a reading of 380fps on a shot! It was only after we proved the AEG with another chrono (and about 20 shots, all less than 320fps did the marshal accept that the first chrono was faulty and my AEG allowed.

It also nagged at me that with chrono’s giving such wildly varying results, and any AEG testing even slightly hot in the game getting the player kicked from site, that a player who honestly allowed their RIF to be tested before game start could find themselves on the wrong end of a duff reading and kicked later. Not a confidence building situation.

Whether it was the weather, or faulty chrono’s, or operator error I don’t know. But unless players can have complete faith in a sites chronos it can damage the atmosphere severely. Personally, mine will be checked again on a full bore chrono accepted by the local Police for weapons checks. Maybe they were right and mine have been consistently chrono’d low previously. I’ll let you know.

Don’t misunderstand; I applaud the F+O approach to safety. It should be a priority, and hot guns ruin gameplay. But I think you can be over zealous, and marshals should be allowed to apply some common sense in interpreting the reliability of the results.

Intel
So, onto the briefing, a carefully devised intel briefing and some great team leaders helped build the atmosphere for the role playing aspect of the weekend. Despite being warned to pace ourselves, from the off the team piled into some frantic building to building firefights.

The buildings at Anzio are ideal for airsoft. Reasonably spaced out and with doors and room largely intact. The undergrowth has been allowed to run riot in areas making dead ground passable with care and allowing you to get within range of a building to make assaults.

The semi only rule inside buildings and with 15 feet of a structure works well, (indeed I found myself sticking to semi only fire most of the time out of habit) as does the medic rule. Every player carries a bandage. The first time you are shot, you have 5 minutes for any other team mate to apply your field dressing and you’re back in, if not done in time you “bleed out” and must head to the respawn. Next time you must go to the respawn. It encourages team-mates to make that effort to revive you and makes for some exciting “rescue” runs! The time to respawn also makes it important not to throw lives away as there is real consequence to losing players in the middle of a firefight.

Kudos to you all!

I must comment on the sportsmanship on the Saturday here. It was probably the best I have ever seen. Every hit seemed to be called, players were almost gushing in their praise of the opposition and very sporting in not giving away enemy locations after they’d been hit, or over-magging. More than once I witnessed two opposing players walk away from a corner, shake hands and agree to take a hit to avoid dangerous close range shots. To every player I encountered on Saturday, well played, you were all fantastic airsofters.

Capitol Americas Rock! (for a while!)
As a team we rampaged across the site. Storming buildings and even stealing enemy flags (not for points or objectives but because we could!). In some of the best CQB fighting I have taken part in, I spent most of the afternoon with my ears ringing from grenades or wishing the wall or doorway was that providing cover was a bit wider. Frantic dashes and yelling for support figured highly!

As a result the CA captured a hatful of objectives and territory. But inevitably with 3 teams in opposition it was not to last. As the light faded and our base exposed in a field became vulnerable we seemed to become the target of wave after wave of attacks, to compound this I took a dive on top of my AK Beta and ended up with a stock in one hand and the rest of the AEG in the other, and by the close of play in the dark Saturday night we had been comprehensively mauled and our gains stolen.

The Come-uppance
Sunday dawned (and it was bloody freezing!) and the CA tem discovered as a result of the battering at the close of play the night before we had to fight our way to our own Command point to start with! The day started little better than the night before as it appeared all 3 team had agreed to give us a kicking, and they went to work on it with relish. We had a hard struggle to regain our CP and then faced concerted attacks from several sides with teams that appeared reluctant to attack each other. Probably a well deserved consequence of our early successes the day before!

But even midst the chaos and carnage of the seemingly endless attacks the team work held and we had some great battles. I had a great time storming the garage with Rookie, and the nervous tension was high as we cleared building after building again.

Unfortunately we had to clear out a couple of hours early to make the trip back home, but we left absolutely knackered and smiling!

De-brief
So, all in all, a great weekend. It went a long way to restoring my faith in airsoft “events” after the last Catterick outing. F+O have got themselves possibly one of the best airsoft sites in the country, as long as they continue to judge the team numbers and pace of the games as they have this weekend. It was not crowded and there was a chance to flank the opposition, but conversely a firefight was never far away if that was what you wanted.

The marshals took a light touch approach which seemed to work well and there was enough role play to make it interesting and fun with becoming hard core mil-sim and a chore.

Because of the distance, probably not a day trip site for me personally. But one I will definitely keep an eye on and I hope to be at the next episode of Corps Wars.

…and for next time. No deals. Not with anyone…

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A smallish team presence (GotJ, Swampy, Clone and myself) at NSC this week made for some good softing. The undergrowth is still thick and jungle like in areas as you can see
NSC undergrowth
Heartbreaking to see the vandalism on some of the structures on site, but some great short games and some enthusiastic first timers who really got stuck in and made the games very close and tense. Only 4 of us playing though(although Derka showed up to pimp some gear!) – and the others sorely missed (hurry back guys!)

Personally, it was a chance to give my SPR Mod 0 a run out, it’s first in a very long time, combined with testing out a new tan warrior chest rig and tan fleece. All in preparation for Corps Wars next month. First impressions were great, all very comfortable and the SPR shoots well with it’s new inner barrel and hop (I’ve previously used it as a crash mat and smashed the stock off…). Interesting using mid-caps, love not having to wind them, but realised just how trigger happy I am with my beloved AK105!

Later on in the afternoon, took my new camera for a spin to capture some action and managed to find George leading the assault as usual!

He seemed to be having great fun with his new AK, judging my the amount of giggling and hit calling going on…

All in all a good day. Nice to see some of the lads out again, and look forward to being back there in a fortnight… now what gun to use then?

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