Archive for the ‘Review’ Category
Now we know that we only do game reports if we’re both at a site, but given the lack of play recently here’s one anyway.
Spider headed down to NTAC near Shildon to see some friends and get some shooting in. A Blisteringly hot day and having met up with some of the Einherjar lads it was apparent early on that it was well attended. Numbers were in the region of 75 so good sized teams!
It was immediately apparent that lots had been done since my last visit, briefing rooms, and the containerised offices to start. But once we got in the morning games the “arena” area has become a CQB fest of portacabins connected by walkways and fire zones. Some really good close in battles erupted and I was impressed by the sportsmanship of the players on both sides. The assaults of the fort were great to be defending although alarming at receiving such a volume of incoming fire! You know it’s only a matter of time so you cling on and keep firing for as long as possible!
You get some idea of the morning battle zones from the headcam here
The afternoon became more strategic with large ranging games taking in the whole site, including some wooded areas, trenches and the CQB buildings. In the heat movement became more limited and it took some real hard effort to secure wins. After a longish layoff from playing it was a good day out, with a big bunch of good players and some epic firefights… Particular kudos to the ghillied up sniper who duelled bolt actions with me for some considerable time despite a lack of support from his team mates. Top shooting and most of all excellent sportsmanship in calling a hit through a ghillie at very extreme range. BZ
Also deserving a mention is the soon to be opening NTAC shop. As any reader will know I support anything that gets more folks playing and one of the biggest hurdles of getting into airsoft is the whole mail order side of things. NTAC have secured a small shop in Middlesbrough and are fitting it out at the moment
As a service to you kind reader, I did a quick recce (and because it’s round the corner from work…). Had the chance for a good chat to Andy, besides recollections of Ground Zero weekender Quad Bike shennaigans he showed me the store so far. As you can see lots done already and more to come. It promises to have airsoft and surplus gear (including a changing room!) Easy parking outside and he assured me that you will be able to check UKARA details (my thoughts on UKARA aside…) to process purchases faster.
Interesting article on Popular Airsoft about the motorola tx 700 tactical comms system, a ruggedised mobile smartphone style handset that provides first resposnders with comms, both mobile network and PTT radio and position data and availability.
The article has plenty of comments on how the milsim players will love it, I guess satisfying both the “real steel” obsession and the geardo inside us all.
A large percentage of airsofters already use comms of varying degrees of sophistication (see Swampys post), and I think positional and tactical data may well be the next level of softing. I use positioning a lot in my life outside of airsoft, so it was with interest I came across this website. Battletac Milsim GPS tracking.
First impressions are quite good, running from a browser on most smartphones or PDAs it requires a gps if you wish to broadcast your position, although you can see other units with that. It does require a data connection. You are required to create a login, although it is free at this stage there are addons and dedicated hardware available for purchase, and unit security is provided via a user created password you can distribute amongst your allies.
So what do you get?
The map screen (above) is a screenshot example. You get a fully zoomable google map with your allied units overlaid. You can pan and examine areas, or go straight to your location. You can go into the menu and there is a whole host of settings for you to screw about with…
Two more functions which may prove useful are the message function which allows you to broadcast message over virtual radio channels, which automatically appears on any screen logged in to your channel.
and the unit status, which then removes dead units from the display, ensuring anyone making tactical decision is doing so from available allies.
There are of course a stack of other functions available, and the website shows it in use for a base commander with a very nice setup of course.
Will I use it? well, it is only of any use if several of you agree to use it and it does have that magic price tag of free! I can see it being of some use on big games such as the Ground Zero weekender where I always seem to lose buddies. It does eat battery power as it requires a data connection, screen on and gps to be running all the time, but this can be compensated for a little by slowing the update rate – in tests a HTC Desire (android OS) and a iPhone (not mine I hasten to add) lasted 3-4 hours without too much trouble. So team this up with an external power pack such as these and you should be set for a full day at least.
Word of caution; I have no idea what amount of data is used. If you have a restrictive tariff it may well be worth checking first! If anyone does give it a bash please let us know, it would be very interesting to hear some views on whether it enhanced your airsoft or just proved a pain and got turned off after 5 mins…