Archive for July, 2011

The Raptors headed to First and Only’s newest site in Otley near Leeds. Our first game for a while and as we headed to the wilds north of Leeds the weather forcast was not good…

Raptors Encampment


On arrival it was obvious that it was not going to be a big numbers day. Just a few cars in the car park (which can easily accomodate a lot more) surprised us both as we’re used to the turnouts at Anzio for First and Only games. However even with the small numbers some great load outs were on view!

great Ruskie loadout

Great Ruskie Loadout!

Jamie and Bibby from F+O arrived having brought the shop trailer even for the expectedly low numbers which still gave us plenty of stuff to look at whilst chronoing and briefing. It did not take long before we set off into the woods for the first game

Two things immediately struck me, the woodland is fantastic for airsoft. Mature woods with lots of thick bushes for cover, masses of large ferns and big boulders, even numerous streams in small gulleys. It’s like something from a film set. The atmosphere due to the rain was hot and humid, all contributing to a close tense feeling (and more exciting!).

the woodland

The are 13 snipers hding in this picture


The second was the slopes. Largely formed in a valley bottom, the terrain is tortuous. Steep slopes abound, made even more tricky by frequent boggy areas and slippery surfaces when wet. All meant you had to plan and execute movement with care, and speed nigh on impossible! It meant however that moving and manouvering became even critical to the games.

One of the smaller slopes... possibly

The games kicked off with a fight for control of an area style game to get the two teams into the action. I wish I had some form of guncam at this point to get across just how dense the woodland is. You become convinced that every fern or bush hides a sniper, and with careful planning you can seriously get close to the opfor! I managed what probably appeared to be a stunning stealth attack to take the base from the enemy with about 60 secs to run and hold it to the end of the game. In reality, I had tripped over, slid downhill about 30 feet to find myself staring into the base with Bibby looking the other direction. A brief panic ensued with liberal use of the trigger finger to get me inside where I had little choice but to pray for the time to run out desperately taking down medics as they wandered in to revive their team captain.

The next game involved a rolling attack, where we as defenders got to set ambushes. If you are prepared to get your head down, and a little damp there are limitless hiding places. More than once I was able to let the attackers roll straight past and attack from the rear. I could hear the opfor position thanks to some great support gunning from one of our team who tirelessly enganged them with some considerable enthusiasm! It saved me having to keep raising my head for a look. Ultimately the opfor (red team) displayed some great teamwork to get their VIP to the final required position. It is incredibly hard to break down an attack when they communicate and co-operate as much as they did… well played!

Following this the scenario of an escaping drug cartel continued. They had to make a break for freedom as we pursued them. Unfortunately as the previous game was all downhill, this meant this one was uphill. By the time the battle had raged all the way to the carpark I had no idea who had won as I’d got lost in the dense undergrowth and was contemplating having a coronary… the lunch break was very welcome!

I'm sure I looked even more knackered...

After lunch I decided to give the bolt action L96 a run out (and Swampy running his bolt action as well). The dense woodland and valley of the site give it a lot of protection from the wind. As a result the gusty conditions in the carpark only last for the first 20 yards or so, at which point the sniping potential becomes clear. with so many places to hide, and relativley calm conditions it is a sneaky sods wet dream! We kicked off the F+O Khe Sanh game, with 3 areas to be sequentially defended. The first showed us some of the hard work already completed by the F+O team with several great bunkers to be defended. Following that we moved further down into the woods, where I had some of the best long range shooting I’ve had for a long while. (Kudos should also go to the Opfor for the sportmanship in calling every tiny hit, because some must have been hard to feel in the undergrowth.) I believe Swampy was having a similar time, and the Opfor continued to distinguish themselves in their repated enthusiastic attacks which must have been knackering to say the least! Especially worthy of mention were the two red team members who infiltrated our last base from behind causing mayhem and confusion and leading me to have to medic one of my own team after I accidentally pistoled him!

The last game reinforced just how tricky it is to move here. We had to attack across the slope. I had no idea where the opfor base was, and despite my best efforts managed to walk almost into it before realising as the BBs opened up. I then spent the remainder of it crawling through ferns in desperate search of some cover as Swampy kept up the radio commentary of just how precarious my position was (cheers bud!)

Yeah, of course it's safe down there...

All in all, a fantastic days softing, far exceeding any expectations I had. F+O have got themselves a great site with tons of potential. It probably isn’t your average run and gun field. But it is so much more instead. The possibilities for stealth, tactics, manouvering and atmosphere are limitless. For a self confessed sneaky sod like me, it’s close to airsoft heaven. If they can maintain the friendly enthusiastic sporting atmosphere this will be a site that every airsofter should visit….

Thanks all, players (of both teams) and marshalls alike, you made a great day!

P.S. We found a suitable hostelry as well! Just down the road. Hope you’ll all join us for a pint next time!

UPDATE
You can find booking info and directions all at the F+O forum page here

Squawks