Archive for the ‘Review’ Category
Well its been a long long long time since I was on here. My daughter can now back answer me and give me cheek its been that long! Last time I was on I think she had managed to open her eyes a bit….
So to make it up to the Spiderloon, a few reviews and write ups methinks. Starting with a recent trip to First & Only Retail in Swinton. I happened to be passing by the area so called in for a chat and a look at some new kit as I hoped to be hitting the field again. New TM and ASG aeg’s on the wall oooooh.
Got chatting to Dan the store manager about airsoft in general including import issues retailers are facing (making CYMA a bit harder to get hold of…) and had a look around the place. They’ve a cracking tech centre and shooting range for short arms, plus a well stocked pistol cabinet. Most gear tends to be on the mobile store however (if you frequent F&O sites you’ll be familiar with the beast) so if you want something in particular give them a call first. First rate staff who know their stuff and how to run games.
Dan took me through the next gen TM with recoil and the new ASG Scorpion CZ Evo 3A1. Both of which are cracking pieces of kit. The TM showed the best recoil setup I have seen on any attempt to date, and the ASG comes with mosfet prefitted and three round burst on the selector as standard…… oh dear. Both are midcap options but with dead gun on mag empty. The scorpion requires the forward release to be operated before gunning can continue.
I bought the ASG on another trip a couple of weeks later…. review to follow.
Jamie turned up a short while later and I was pleasantly surprised that he recognised me and mentioned the Spider, given the hiatus and frequency of our trips to F&O sites. I/we have always rated and enjoyed F&O game days and weekenders – they seem to lack the crap that sometimes comes with big site and multi day operations. Just shows that listening to your players and looking after your customers pays off – a sale sir? Why not.
A pleasant hour spent mooching and talking about softin’. Can recommend a call in if you are a noob or seasoned player.
To balance out todays previous bad news it occured to me that we did not say cheers to Stitch me up for their excellent patches we took delivery of at christmas.
They do loads of work for airsoft teams and I’ve yet to hear a single bad word about them. Our’s was certainly delivered promptly and in great packaging protecting the patches – at a very reasonable price! You can check out their facebook page for loads of examples of their work and they’ll do batches large and small…
Well done Swamps for picking them!
Anyone who reads our game day reviews knows we try to be as positive as possible and highlight the best points of sites, so this is one of those rare occasions we have to report something definitely not so good.
Recent Raptors returnee and resident grenadier expert Derka was looking to book a private game day for a special occasion, having played all the local north east sites and having had good experiences on the whole at all of them we had no hesitation in recommending the most local one to him to cut down on hassles with travel. So he contacted NTAC at Shildon.
He contacted them to ask if they could take 30+ full hires with a some additional walk ons (airsoft regulars with own kit) on a Saturday as part of his brothers stag weekend. Well over a £1,000 worth of business, when you figure in extra BB’s, pyro and drinks and munchies probably closer to over £2,000. Having had the booking confirmed and even offering to make a deposit he was informed no deposit was necessary and “pay on the day”. Off he went to inform everyone and book transport…
Fast forward to T-4 days when he was asked by the site if he knew a name in his party. When the name was unfamiliar it became apparent to the site that they had double booked the day and told Derka he would have to have another weekend. On the Tuesday before his brothers stag weekend. I’m sure you can imagine how this news was greeted.
In the sites defence they have explained that their booking system was overloaded as it could only cope with 100 free messages and so didn’t read any more, and they apologised for “any inconvenience caused”.
Have to say that the inconvenience is considerable, cancelling 40 or so players with less than 4 days to go, for his brothers stag weekend, having had a booking accepted and confirmed and having booked minibuses for transport. For a business taking orders over a thousand pounds the excuse that our free booking system was overloaded and we didn’t clear it is pretty unforgivable. I’m certain that if anyone was spending that amount on any other service you would expect a decent level of professionalism.
So what now?
Well, Derks is faced with last minute panic through no fault of his own. To further compound the disappointment all the other sites in the area say they would have been happy to help if they had a bit more notice to get hold of marshals etc, understandable really.
In all good conscience if you’re looking for a large game day booking we cannot possibly recommend NTAC following this. For a large airsoft booking in the North East try either NSC at South Shields or NAA at Dishforth depending on your location and preferences. A quick look back through our reviews and you can see from our game day reports that we’ve had a warm welcome and many great days airsoft at both.
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…