Raptors made it out for a game day at last!

Raptors in stereo

Raptors in stereo

Made more important by the fact a good buddy was going under the knife this week (get well soon Derka) we both got up to see him for a game at NSC.

Deka practising using only 1 leg..

Derka practicing using only 1 leg..

First thing I noticed was how lush and green the place was, brilliantly jungle like in places, the next just how many first timers and new people there were. Really good to see some old friends as well and find out how they were getting on. Not that you care mind you, you want to know about the shooting I’m guessing…

Great to see the first games were favourites of mine, some limited site quick matches to get everyone up and shooting. There has been some considerable site work since my last visit and loads of new structures that caught me out. A mention must go out to whoever got me along the main path – cracking shot that I never saw coming, centre of the chest. Well played…

As we assaulted the quarry to mop up the stragglers of the first game the new structures became very apparent. Good use of caravans, Reliant robins and wooden barricades gave those defending a good chance to make us work for the kills.

After a quick return match of changing ends we moved into some scenario based games. Locating the bomb and moving it to the enemy base. I liked the way in which the spawns were set away from the base as it is very easy to give the defenders such a quick respawn in these type of games that the attackers stand little chance of actually completing the mission. The woodland at NSC is superb for these wider ranging games with lots of cover, slopes, dips and good tree coverage. Playing alongside some buddies Jamie and Derka the teamwork seemed to be like riding a bicycle in that we naturally fell into supporting each other and some great comms and banter all round (well done lads!)

Well earned rest. Knackered

Well earned rest. Knackered

The end of the match got tense as we came under sustained fire as we tried to secure a route for Jamie (lightest, youngest and therefore fastest) to leg the bomb to it’s target once we had secured the route in. Exciting stuff that I’d really missed playing and for those wondering whether they should give airsoft a go, I can honestly say xbox/playstation shooting or even paintball never comes close to these moments…

On the turnaround version of this game it did become evident that the team starting in the far wood had a definite advantage when making ground early. Down a slope with little in their way it became hard for the team starting from the quarry to make headway. Having said that, it was great fun defending as the opposition sought to make good their lack of a win so far on the day (sorry, had to rub it in…)

The afternoon brought some trench attack games. I’d forgotten just how hard it is to get up into the trenches against some determined defenders. Whilst I must admit it is great fun defending as I can bob up and down claiming some sniping kills, it quickly becomes exhausting to be on the receiving end of it.

They'll be along soon... oh goody...

They’ll be along soon… oh goody…

Our attack on the trenches was simply knackering. Only some dogged persistence by some inexperienced players combined with some that hadn’t realised old and unfit I may be but I can sill climb a decent slope to appear from the least expected places meant we eventually made it through.

Who knew Spiders could climb...

Who knew Spiders could climb…

Surprise Mofo!

Surprise Mofo!

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day, which is the main point isn’t it?

One last word, and something we both agreed on and mentioned on the day. the sportsmanship was some of the best I had ever seen. I do not remember a single instance of thinking “damn it I hit him”. The hit calling was exemplary amongst both experienced and newbies and I don’t think the marshals had to talk to a single player at all throughout the day. So BZ all round…

Thanks to Mick and his marshals, all the players and some great teammates for a top days airsoft.

Dog tired. Ready for beer. But very happy.

Dog tired. Ready for beer. But very happy.

NSC Airsoft website here

Photos by Swampy, or shamelessly pinched from the guys at NSC. Video by Spider

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Politics is probably like football and religion, topics best left out of friendly conversation. However I’d noticed some political posts over on twitter by big retailers obviously very pro one party so I wondered how the general election could impact airsoft?

To those who think it is of no consequence, a little recent history is worth checking… we came very close to losing the hobby on the initial drafting of the VCRA. Only huge lobbying efforts, players getting involved and accepting a lot of rules prevented it disappearing.

So I simply asked the candidates from the big 3 parties in my consituency on twitter
” last Lab Govt tried to ban our hobby.Can you give the many NE players an assurance Airsoft is safe for the future?”

Which got the following replies

First up, they all replied swiftly – so thanks for that! As you can see some are more supportive in tone than others. I leave it up to you kind reader to read between the lines and decide the support or lack thereof airsoft would receive!

Of course there are many other matters which effect our votes. Trifling matters of taxation. welfare, defence but on this one matter dear to our hearts you can at least make an informed choice.

Last point is a personal one.

Vote.

You have a privilege many do not and many fought to get you. Whatever person gets your support, or if you just scribble an abusive note and no suitable candidate, do something. After all “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”

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Righto you lot

Been a while since we’ve got out for a game. You know- life, the universe etc. That’s not to say not reading and keeping informed on stuff. So it is with regret we share the info of a theft in the Prestwood/GreatPrestwood/Great Missenden/High Wycombe area

Ratty from Bluestreak airsoft had a car raided for the following, so if you get offered cheap, or see these for sale from a dodgy source get in touch either direct or feel free to email us and we’ll pass on.

You should be aware there is a small reward on offer for info leading to a capture (or kill!).

So stay alert, and keep the situational awareness high. We don’t need scumbags like these out there with airsoft kit.

The stolen gear –

1 Apple I-Pod Touch 64gb
1 Pouch For I-Pod Black
1 Oakley Jacket Sunglasses
Tools
1 Military Plastic Storage Stacker Tray Green
1 Crow Bar Red, well used
1 Professional Heavy Duty Jump Leads
1 12v Digital Car Tyre Quick Inflator/Compressor In Case
1 Tool Box (EX Army Ammo Box for Grenades) Brown
1 Snap On Spanner Set Open End/Closed End Flexi Head Ratchet Type Silver
1 Professional Flat Head Screw Driver Set Black
1 Professional Cross Head (Phillips)Screw Driver Set Black
1 Professional Socket Set
1 Professional Spanner Set
2 Adjustable Spanner
2 Hexagonal Key Set
1 Plier & Grip Set
1 Precision Screw Driver Set
1 Stubby Tool Set
1 Wire Crimping Set
Airsoft Kit
1 WE 888 (H&K 416) Tan Gas Blow Back Airsoft Rifle Custom Desert Cam
6 WE P Mag Style M4 Gas Blow Back Magazine Tan
1 Magpul PTS ASAP Sling Plate (Fitted to 416)Custom Desert Cam
1 Voodoo Tactical Single Point Bungee Sling, Coyote Coyote Tan
1 WE 4×32 WeCog with Sight Doctor (Fitted to 416) Custom Desert Cam
1 Stubby Foregrip (Fitted to 416) Custom Desert Cam
1 Madbull Gemtech G5 Flash Hider & Mock Suppressor (Fitted to 416) Custom Desert Cam
1 Viper Multiple Gun Case With the Above in It) Black
1 WE Glock 17 Gen 4 Tan Gas Blow Back Pistol Tan/Black
1 RWL Nighthawk Custom 1911 Co2 Pistol Black (Logos Blacked Out)
4 RWL NightHawk Custom Co2 Magazines Black
Tac Gear
1 Voodoo Tactical Tactical Chest Rig, Coyote Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical Heavy Armour Plate Carrier, Coyote Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical Triple Pistol Mag pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical AK47/M4 Double Mag Pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical radio Pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical 12″ Roll Up Dump Pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical Utility Pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical Accessory/Admin Pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical GPS/Gadget Pouch, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 BlackHawk Serpa CQC Holster Colt 1911, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 BlackHawk Strike MOLLE Platform for CQC Holster, Coyote (fitted to Heavy Armour Carrier) Coyote Tan
1 Blackhawk Pistol Lanyard (fiited to Heavy Armour Carrier) Black
1 Voodoo Tactical Matrix Assault Pack, Multicam
1 Voodoo Tactical Trauma Pouch, Complete (In Assault Pack) OD
1 Voodoo Tactical Phantom Gloves, Coyote Tan
1 Voodoo Tactical Operator Baseball Cap Tan (with Viper UJ Patch Tan) Tan (Well Worn)
1 Snugpak Softie 10 Harrier Sleeping Bag OD Green
1 JetBoil Flash Personal Cooking System (In Assault Pack) Multicam
1 JetBoil Locking Pot Suport/Stabalizer (In Assault Pack) Silver
1 Jetboil Cooking Gas Tin (In Assault Pack) Silver
1 Mil Com Cooking Set (In Assault Pack) Silver (In Black Draw String Bag)
1 Gerber LMF II Survival Knife & Emergency Tool (In Assault Pack) Coyote Tan
1 Gerber Folding Shovel Black
1 Surefire X300 Weapons Light (In Assault Pack)Black
1 Army Tec Predator Pro Weapons Torch & Mounts (In Assault Pack) Black
1 Travel Blanket,Blue/Yellow Fluffy

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NTAC 1
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

NTAC 2
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

Andy prepping the shop...

Andy prepping the shop…

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.

So best of luck with the new venture, being 5 mins away during my lunch hour will almost certainly ensure I visit and I am sure details will follow on NTAC website and the inevitable Facebook page!

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Quick post to point you all towards our new youtube channel where future videos of gamedays will be posted.
Enjoy!

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A very warm welcome to our new contributor! We’re happy to have MilGeek give us his review of a game day we both attended recently. A cracking write up of a great day I had playing alongside him. Make sure you make a visit over to his regular home at the MilGeek blog for all manner of gaming, modelling and military history as well as airsoft. If you’re eagle eyed you can even spot him in some footage we put together of our visit to Centurion CQB. You can find the vid link at the end of the post… Enjoy!
-Spider

+++TX MilGeek+++

First of all, I must thank Spider for giving me the opportunity to submit this game report as a guest writer. It’s rather nice to be trying out new surroundings!

Event: Centurion Airsoft’s’ first CQB ‘tester’ day
Venue: The Military Adventure Park, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Something of a pleasant surprise, that very nice chap and airsoft aficionado Spider alerted me to a CQB event being run in Scarborough by Centurion Airsoft. Well, as the venue was virtually at the bottom of my street – sort of – there was no excuse for me not to join in.

In fact, I had been planning a return to airsoft for some time, it was just fortuitous that Centurion managed to secure a temporary indoor site at the town’s Military Adventure Park (which usually runs laser quest games). Centurion described the event as a ‘tester day’ to evaluate the viability of a game run in a relatively small building – which turned out to be the old outdoor swimming pool admin and changing rooms!

MAP CQB venue, Scarborough

Drawn from memory, so probably not 100% accurate, but this diagram gives you some idea of the layout of the CQB venue at the MAP. The ‘red room’ is the main point of contact and the main bottleneck.

This dilapidated building is quite compact but is a bit of a Tardis as it consists of a maze of small rooms which filter into the large changing rooms – most recently the building has been used for Zombie Apocalypse games (hence the rather unnerving ‘blood’ smeared walls). Centurion Airsoft secured the venue for this one-off trial event and the building was just about right for short format games for about 20-26 players, any more and the rooms would become too congested.

MAP CQB venue, exterior

The only playable exterior entry was this side entrance – the majority of the action was conducted inside the building and AEG’s were prohibited anywhere outside the designated safe zone so we didn’t freak out the locals!

Game Formats

Obviously, long format and complex ‘mil-sim’ operations were not perhaps appropriate for a site of such limited space. The limited number of rooms available to us was just not great enough to afford varied locations as we used all the available space for all the games. So, shorter ‘attacker/defender’ type competitions were organised, such as ‘free the hostage’, ‘escalating attacker’ and – a very ingenious – ‘find the bomb code’ game!

The ‘escalating attacker’ was ideal for a limited player situation – everyone but two players defended the main room and the two designated ‘attackers’ tried to ‘kill’ defenders in order to convert them into attackers. EVentually the balance of numbers would turn to the attackers favour and defending would become harder and harder.

CQB Find the bomb code game

A win! Yellow team decode the bomb to take the game! An excellent prop and well thought out game – captured ‘defenders’ had to be searched in turn to discover the secret bomb code.

It’s worth repeating that – as a first time venue – this was a ‘tester’ event and some of the games were modified and improved – based on player feedback – as the day went on. But all-in-all the day worked out very nicely indeed and it was a credit to the Centurion staff that things went off so well.

Safety and enjoyment

Obviously paramount importance was given to safety. As a very close quarters game a lot of emphasis was given to the need to avoid head-shots, also firing was limited to semi-auto only with a FPS limit of 350fps (nobody opted for sniping for obvious reasons).

Now, here’s where there was a bit of a conundrum (and the only hic-up in the day)…

By it’s very nature CQB prohibits the amount of fully exposed target opportunities and while the staff heavily emphasised the preference for ‘centre of body mass’ shots and ‘no head shots’ naturally the head is often the only part of the body which become visible in this sort of simulation!

Simply by random chance you ARE going to accidentally make a head shot even if you aren’t trying to – defy anyone to say they didn’t – I certainly did! The plain fact is, due to darkened rooms how would you know a lot of the time? (— Note to self: Erm, take a torch! —)

Illuminating a doorway in CQB

“You want ME to go in THERE?”

…The issue of limited target exposure aside, what made this such a contentious issue on the day was the baffling choice made by many of the players NOT TO WEAR FULL HEAD PROTECTION! Yes, despite this event being clearly advertised as a indoor CQB airsoft event approximately 75% of the players on the day opted for the ‘cooler’ polycarbonate ballistic glasses eye protection…And maybe a hat!

I personally opted for full helmet, goggles and lower face protection (which earned me some derisive glances)…

CQB protective head gear

My goggles are the perforated steel plate type of ‘mesh’ googles and not the less safe wire mesh goggles – though I did take my hardy Bolle polycarbonate double-layer eye protection, but in the end I was concerned about ‘fogging’ up so went with the less safe mesh. I noticed that Spider chose to wear mesh goggles and a mesh lower face protection as well, and also had a handy head mounted video camera to protect his bonce!

At this point I could write a huge diatribe about the whole ‘full face protection spoils the realism’ and ‘it’s not paintball’ arguments made by some airsofters regarding full face protection….But guys, THIS WAS CQB! Headshots will – and did – happen, I know because one of the things about wearing a helmet is that you hear the head hits like a snare drum being played on your head and I had a virtual military tattoo being played on my head at times!

Headshots – a lesson learned

As if to stress the point even further, I was involved in an incident which perfectly illustrates why head-shots can happen even though there is a ‘no head shots’ rule in place. As I say, head shots can happen purely accidentally but more particularly in the case where you are dealing with a darkened room. Putting fire into a darkened room without illuminating a target (…oh, I wish I had brought a red dot and a torch…) is something of a necessary evil at times – you want to lay down suppressing fire but you may only have the vaguest notion of where your target actually is (judging by the direction of incoming fire).

Now remember at this point that the defenders in the darkened room have the advantage – as attacking from even a low lit room means that you are silhouetted against the doorway every time you pop out to take a shot!

Sillouette of doorway from darkened room

Defender’s eye view of one of the main doorways – any attackers coming into
this entry point are clearly silhouetted targets!

Illuminating in CQB

The same entry point, this time illuminated by Spider (attacking). Without a
flashlight this is a big black yawning hole of doom!

Because I had good head protection (LOL) I popped my head out the doorway more than I perhaps should – in fact on a number of occasions I moved across the open doorway laying down fire as I went…And I got a hit, a head shot! Du-oh! To which the recipient shouted ‘no blind firing’!

A bit annoying as THEY had the tactical advantage in that they could better see me than I could them – and I must have been clearly visible crossing the doorway as I fired!

— Discuss this situation! (The moral could be to only fire at positively identified targets BUT this is difficult in the frantic situation of CQB and without illuminating the target – and in so doing giving away your position in return. Maybe clarify the ‘suppressive fire’ rule so everyone understands the difference between ‘suppressive fire’ and ‘blind firing’? Though I suspect the guy was just annoyed that I hit him!)

CQB painting a target

I’d say that was ‘positive target acquirement’ by Spider and his magic torch!
‘Take the hit?’‘Er, yes please!’

Conclusion – emphasising the positive

Now, I’ve gone on far too much about negative sounding isolated events – but hopefully you will understand that there are ‘positive’ reasons I included these incidents as they highlight some of the challenges about playing CQB – a very difficult game format. However, I have to balance these with a whole day of enjoyment and good play.

The Centurion staff did an amazing job, they were friendly but firm about discipline (a good thing) and were very ingenious in their game format development. Saying that this was the first time they had done this I think they really have to be commended for running such a well organised and fun event!

Airsoft CQB entry stacking

Spider’s eye view of my big ass! As you can see I sort of fill the doorway and make a wonderfully silhouetted target for the defenders!

I really hope that they think that the event was a success and decide to run more – and not just because having a airsoft event at the bottom of my street is ‘convenient’ for me! If I had journeyed to this event I would still have thought it very much worth while. So thank you very much Centurion Airsoft and also a big thank you for the owner of Scarborough’s MAP for making the venue available.

SO – now to the traditional pros and cons:

CONS:-

  • Perhaps not advertising/emphasising the ‘advantages’ of full head coverage in a CQB event so that potential players can make a more informed choice about whether to wear it.
  • Not marking ‘safe zone’ with signs (just as a visual reminder)
  • Not organising an alternative mini-competition for the long-arm shooters while the pistol comp was going on (those not involved with the pistol comp were getting restless due to the length of waiting)
  • And that’s it! 🙂

PROS:-

  • Well and courteously run event.
  • For your £20 (walk on) fee you got a a bacon butty and cuppa before starting and a bread and stew lunch! Terrific!
  • Very sporting fellow players – as far as I could see everyone took their hits! Excellent.
  • No arguments – not one ‘it was a hit’ – ‘no you didn’t’ nonsense (again this was due to good event management, well done Centurion).
  • No-one was sin-binned or sent home (I probably came closest by my unfortunate head-shot on the Marshal)…Oh dear!
  • Very enjoyable and ingenious game – I particularly enjoyed the ‘bomb code search’ game.
  • Just the right amount of players, it could have so easily be over-congested
  • Very good venue – small, but an interesting set of rooms
  • Very friendly and entertaining set of fellow players (Spider was on his usual great form)
  • There were proper toilets – hurrah!
  • BBs were on sale.
  • …Oh dear, I could go on and on…

Bottom line: Bloody good day and I’d definitely do it again! Highly recommended – 7/10.

WELL DONE CENTURION AIRSOFT!

CQB in darkness

So, just how dark was it?

Suggestions:

And finally, just a few ideas for whatever they are worth…

– Portable cover with ‘kill house’ boards: These are free standing portable boards – about one player wide – that can be moved about by the staff to vary the cover in the ‘kill house’. They are particularly useful for modifying ‘bottle necks’ by providing additional cover just inside doorways and in the middle of large rooms.

– CQB timed target clearing mini-events: One idea that could have been used for the ‘long arm’ shooters while the pistol shooters did their thing would have been a separate ‘steel plate’ or paper target course through a few rooms. Timed target course for room clearance techniques.

– ‘Hostages’ scenario: A few designated people could have acted as hostages – shooting a hostage would have resulted in the attackers loosing a player. More than two hostages killed would mean a win for the defenders.

– CQB tactics mini-briefing: Not a training session as such, but some ‘useful hints’ about good CQB entry techniques for everyone at the beginning.

– White board availability: Sounds daft BUT it might be useful to have a large white board available in the safe zone to illustrate game rules and job down ideas, techniques and tactics.

Related links:

> Centurion Airsoft official web site

> Scarborough’s Military Adventure Park official web site

And now the vid as promised!

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A bitter sweet report this one, the final game day as the guys at GunHo airsoft in Guisbrough go for the big Endex. We made the effort to get along whilst we could and see them off.

The last hurrah

The last hurrah

Summer had definitely departed as we all kitted up, despite it being the last day there was a good briefing before we got stuck into some games. The first few games were of the attack/defend variety, getting everyone warmed up and in the mood. It reminded me how much I like the woodland GunHo was set in. Fairly flat but with undulations allowing for movement and hiding, and the guys there had an impressive number of structures accumulated.

The next couple of games were attacking bases set in one of the forts. Now my own lack of familiarity with the site showed here as I happily set off to attack completely the wrong structure – but it did allow us to flank a bit and get a few good shots in before it was quickly over.

Easy to get lost in here...

Easy to get lost in here…


When we defended at first we ended stuck out on a flank and I though it may be a quiet one, but before long the heavy resistance elsewhere lead the Opfor to try the route past us. Plenty of kills ensued including this belter…

The last few games we took part in were much larger rambling games, centred around capturing a device and getting it into the enemy base – one of the forts, whilst they tried to get it to our base. We set off on a stealthy and lengthy flank, which saw us getting into a few close firefights, some mad dashes and an advanced position putting fire on the enemy base. Which, when some more of our team caught up with the two old fat gits went well..

All in all a fitting send off I think. It’s a shame that real life has got in the way for the guys running GunHo although completely understandable. I think many players don’t realise the amount of time and effort that goes into running sites, not just from the owners but all the volunteer marshals.

So thanks for some more great game day memories, all the best for the future and I hope to see airsoft played once again back on a great little woodland site.

I did make this my first game day using my new gopro, which if i can edit together enough decent footage I will add up in due course!

A great place for stalking

A great place for stalking

+++UPDATE+++
Finally got around to editing and posting some of the video…

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The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed a new page above on the menu – The Armoury. It will be the home of gear and gun reviews. Unlike most magazines or popular sites we do not get free (or even cheap) gear , we’re not sponsored, and like every other player we have to shell out our hard earned for our Airsofting supplies. So you can trust us!

Having said that, if anyone wants to send us free gear we’re totally for sale, and utterly without morals.

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intel
Sad news that GunHo Airsoft in Guisbrough is closing down. Sorry to see any site, especially one I’ve managed to get to a few times close up shop.

They’re hosting a final skirmish day this coming Sunday, hope they get a good turn out to see the place off in style all the best for future endeavours and thanks for all the games!

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[Spiders opinion]
OK, maybe setting myself for some flack here, but I thought this needed wider audience.

The National Airsoft Event took place as usual over the August bank holiday weekend, with near 1500 players descending onto the Zero One site “Ground Zero” near Verwood. Now we didn’t make it this year for one reason or another but it seemed that a good time was had on the whole by most with the usual grumbles we’ve had over the years.

A good write up was in Popular Airsoft which if you read between the lines says good game, lots of people who don’t know each other so hit calling an issue.

What I find really worrying if accurate was the article by by Maree on Yossers Airsoft Odyssey. usually a good blog to read it describes seeing signs up at the Zero One shop stating “No UKARA needed this weekend with festival wristband”, and even stuck a photo in as evidence.

Image from Yossers Airsoft Odyssey

Image from Yossers Airsoft Odyssey


Now I have a similar view on UKARA to Yosser in that it is a purely voluntary industry association. There is nothing in law that says you must be a member. BUT it is an easy way of confirming membership of a skirmish site with public liability insurance. retailers and sites put a lot of effort (ie; time and money) into complying with it to allow their players to easily purchase RIFs and remain within the specific defence in the VCRA that was so hard fought for.

Even on the government website it advises that the first of the key elements of these arrangements for the airsoft specific defence under sec 36-38 of the VCRA 2006 are:

“new players must play at least three times in a period of not less than two months the two months before being offered membership”

This proves not only that you can turn up at an Airsoft “Festival” but that you are a bona fide member of a site with liability insurance.

For a founding member of UKARA to blatantly ignore the rules set up to protect the hobby to gain a commercial advantage on its competitors frankly takes the piss.

It takes the piss out of retailers who would all love to just sell you goods but choose to accept a regime that has commercial implications for them for the good of the sport.

It takes the piss out of players who abide by the rules by risking our sport for a few extra quid.

So what now?

Zero One are alleged to have a letter from the home office giving them an exemption to sell at their own events. Therefore it should be easy for them to publish this advice and we can all sleep easier.

If not then UKARA have suspended retailers before. It must maintain its credibility by doing so again and removing Zero One registered players from the database. Will this inconvenience players? Certainly. It will also hurt Zero One when players moan that membership there does not grant them the same ability to purchase from other retailers as other site memberships. Of course the cynical amongst you may ask if that is Zero Ones ulterior motive – to make so that their members can only purchase from them?

I have had multiple airsofters remark that comments regarding this on the Zero forums are shut down (no surprise really) but this is serious. This sort of behaviour risks everything that was fought for. I trust you will amend your airsoft purchasing habits accordingly.

BZ to Yossers for the report

+++UPDATE+++
Thought I’d check out the ZeroOne website for their rules. It appears that they know what they should do!

Do as I say...Not as I do

Do as I say…Not as I do

[/Spiders Opinion]

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For the first time in nearly a year both Raps made it to the same game!

If you go down to the woods today...

If you go down to the woods today…


It was great to get together at our spiritual home ground at NSC, thanks to a lovely summer the place is like a jungle in parts and Mick and the lads have been very busy improving the structures dotted around the site.
Loads of new players (well, new to us!) was good to see although one regular not out (Best wishes to Derka who is recovering from a horrific achilles injury from all the Raps. Get well soon bud & stay away from all those other sports!)

So, to the gameplay!

A couple of assault/defend games in morning. Spread over a good portion of the site with the ultimate target of “goldilocks house” it quickly became apparent that the bright sunshine and thick tree coverage made advancing difficult. So many shadows and places to hide made it a defenders paradise. We chose to attack first and learnt the hard way that the quarry was a veritable killing field for the defenders and only some sterling work by our team across the whole front eventually got us through.

So naturally when we swapped ends me and Swampy made straight for the quarry as the Norvern Monkeys lead their assault.

Swampy was quietly taken down by a great bit of sneaking in his initial position high on the quarry wall. As it turned out it actually played in our favour. With him sniping and relocated we were both in a position to cover the approach to each other without exposing ourselves too much and the slaughter began. Each time one of use was under fire the other could take down the attackers, and the extensive cover made even spotting us hard for the attackers. By Endex I’d lost count of our kills and Swampy had taken the only Raps hit.

It was very flattering in the post game reload to have the attackers come and ask “how many of you were in the bloody quarry?” to which we could honestly reply, “er, him and me.” In the end they gave up trying to get through and redeployed their team elsewhere. The ultimate accolade for us. A whole team diverted just to avoid two fat unfit old buggers!

After a warming lunch provided by the site we set off in a rolling assault game. Stroming through the far woods this time we ended up assaulting the Quarry again , albeit from a competely different direction. Taking the slow sneaky route through the undergrowth you can see how jungle like it was!

The Swampy nesting in his usual habitiat

The Swampy nesting in his usual habitiat

We managed to creep through whilst firefights broke out all around us and waited for a chance to make the mad dash over open ground

In 5,4,..oh sod it now!

In 5,4,..oh sod it now!

Pulses racing we dived behind what little hard cover there was as we shouted for the rest of the team to keep up! Then we began clearing the buildings.

At this point kudos to the excellent sporting play of Vita on the site who as I covered a window with a pistol stuck her head through and immediately just said “fair one I’ll take it” before I’d even said anything. I may have got the shot off first (but I wouldn’t bank on it) and her speedy sporting reactions meant neither of us had to risk a point blank stinger! Bravo Zulu

The final part of the rolling assault was up into the trenches. Hard graft at any time but after 2 assaults already we were knackered! that didn’t stop Sneak joining us to prove that the gully can still be assaulted! Exciting daring-do as we traded BB’s up the steep hill to break into the rear of their defences. Although by the end of that absolutely knackered!

Good to see I can still be ready to shoot when knackered!

Good to see I can still be ready to shoot when knackered!

We ducked out a bit early to go grab a beer and chat as we’d not got together in ages – in no way a reflection on the day as it was an absolute cracker!

Great to see so many new players, and a fantastic day completely lacking in non hit callers, marshals having to get involved or shoutiness! Thanks all round as usual and we’ll make sure it’s not as long before the Raps both play there again!

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After a bit of a strip down and a clean my 96 was playing up a bit. The symptoms were the bolt was very stiff going forwards and backwards, sometimes jamming up.

After carefully checking the grub screws in the otherwise excellent pdi hop unit which can protrude into the nozzle grove if not careful and obstruct the last 20mm of movement in the bolt, I managed to eventually pin down the issue.

Essentially a grub screw which secures the outer barrel to breech block needed to be so tight that it was deforming the outer barrel. This was because over time the thread had worn and the screw needed to be really wound in to get purchase.

The remedy!

First up, a slightly larger grub screw (M3 in this case) fitted (see below) tapping the hole out to receive it. You could probably do this by just winding the screw in carefully to the block as it’s fairly soft metal. (remember to keep backing off and use lubricant – ooer missus!). Then simply cut the grub screw to length required.
breech block
Next up, you can see the damage done to the outer barrel here. This was evident inside as well with a pimple forming that was preventing bolt movement. Bit of patient use with a dremel or round file sorts this (and if you can be bothered a polishing wheel on the dremel to finish off the inside and make it slide smoothly in and out… No this is not scripted by Frankie Howard)
barrel thread

That should do it…

Whilst it was apart I grabbed a photo of the set pin mod. This failed a while ago when a stronger spring was fitted. (Originally a Well MB01, about 6 years ago!). Rather than payout £150+ for a laylax trigger block I found a piece of key steel (the part between door handles works well) followed by a bit of measuring, a hacksaw and some finishing off on a grinding wheel (a file would do just as well) and voila, you have a bomb proof set pin for about an hours work and about 2.5% of the cost!
set pin

Hope this helps at some point!

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Quick thought for the day here. Watched this vid, seen via popular airsoft.

The actual poster of the vid asks what would you have done? Have a watch first…

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I guess we can expect to see more of this as HD cams become cheaper and more frequent. My immediate thought was like may I suspect “what a cheating b*****d!”

But backing up a bit a few things occur.

We have no context. We don’t know if the video star has had an afternoon of shooting players who refuse to call and was frustrated and decided to do similar. Despite the video we cannot actually see the BB’s hit him only his reactions which we draw the inference that he was hit. There is so much we don’t see.

I also thought about my own play. Like everyone I hope I’m a sporting player, I like to think I call my hits, I occasionally even shout a “good shot” to whoever got me. I try not to overkill, and I like to giver players the chance to surrender rather than take a painful close range shot, and I try not to shout at people I’m convinced aren’t calling hits…

Do I manage to live up to these ideals all the time? Of course not. Can any player honestly say they have called every hit? I don’t mean intentionally necessarily, but when ricochets are flying, your webbing gets hit, you’re wearing a bit soft shot absorbing ghillie, or you’re in the middle of a dash for cover did you call every hit? Really?

Now consider this. That one time you don’t notice it, or were convinced it was a ricochet it gets videoed and put on youtube by an irate player. Is that likely to make you more or less sportsmanlike to players you don’t know?

Not sure myself, by all means show a ref to back up a complaint. Fair play to the guy who made the video for not losing his temper, but this now smacks of vindictiveness, which is no more gentlemanly than deliberately not calling the hit in the first place.

Controversial I’m sure. I’m certain we’ll see more of it in the future, just not convinced it’ll enhance the sport.

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Expect a bit of a hiatus at the moment due to the news that Swampy has got a new recruit!

Congratulations and best wishes to Mr and Mrs Swampy on the birth of Miss Swampy Jnr, or Lily as she will be better known. Delivered last Monday with everyone healthy and safe I’m sure everyone will join with me in wishing all in Chez Swamps all the best for the future.

Lily

Lily rocking the snow camo already

Finally someone in the Swampy household who may be able to shoot straight!

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Some good news for all the airsofters in the North East, yet more opportunity to shoot your friends!

NSC Intel revealed

NSC Intel revealed

Mick at NSC has announced a new site and increasing their game days from fortnightly to weekly to play alternate weekends at their new and existing sites. The site is near Beamish and from the photos I’ve seen should be a cracking play. One to visit as soon as I can!

All the details you need, including the inaugural gameday on the 27th Jan can be found on their website and forum. More places to play and more opportunities to get new players involved, that has to be a good thing!

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Raptors would like to wish all our friends and their loved ones, to all the sites we visit, all the players we meet and play alongside & also the OPFOR that make it such sporting fun a fantastic Christmas, and a peaceful, safe and happy new year.

We’d especially wish those that aren’t at home, or those that have loved ones away serving at this time our best wishes for safe returns.

Here’s to a BB filled 2013! – Spider & Swampy

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We don’t really do much in the way of kit reviews as we only talk about kit we actually own and use, and obviously nobody sends us free stuff to comment on and review (although if you are manufacturer or retailer and are looking for a mention we have negotiable morals depending on the size of the freebies!…)

But saw this via Popular Airsoft. It is actually the first Airsoft Weapon in a long while that made me think “I want one now!”… Now all that remains is to find the price and eta!

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Are you a student type in Newcastle?

Do you like, or think you may like Airsoft (lets be honest why wouldn’t you?)

Then keep an eye out as they’re trying to get a Airsoft Society off the ground. They already have the obligatory facebook group up and running, make contact, say hi, get blamming. Much better than all that studying crap…

See you on the battlefield.

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Not really an after action report as we didn’t make it this year, but more of a congratulations.

To the Misfits, Legion Clan and anyone else who played for “The Others” this year well played fellas. Beautiful news to see the team dedicated to chaos and mayhem overwhelming the corporate nancy boys of Delta and Bravo. Hope you all came back with tall tales of daring-do!

See you there next year!

Bravo Zulu

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So after a fair break we finally got together for a trip to Op-tacticals the Stan. Set in the old Stanley Tools site in Sheffield.

Sheffield loss is airsofts gain…


We arrived early and rigged for CQB expecting the action to be close up and frantic. MP5s,pistols and plenty of pyro being the order of the day. Also good to see plenty of guys from the North-East alongside us from NSC, Einherjar and NEAUK.

First impressions were of a large site, and although certainly dilapidated great potential for some CQB shenanigans. The OP-Tactical guys use an indoor area as shop/safe zone/briefing area which will be really useful when winter hits! The safety brief was probably the most detailed I have ever endured listened to, and whilst I am always supportive of anything that keeps us safe I think judicious use of a chrono is far more productive than letting me know the method statement for risk assessments is available for my viewing…

Whilst on the safety subject, the site insist that all weapons are left inside the safezone during lunch. Now I can understand the desire to declare the site safe and let everyone have a break, but stopping a player taking unloaded and cleared kit back to cars to change out, repair or walking to their vehicle with an unloaded pistol in a holster is getting a bit overkill. Especially when they can walk around with them in the safezone to begin with, and walked to and from the car park at beginning and the end of the day.

All OPFOR to reception please…


Anyway to the action! One of the marshals kindly gave all the visitors a walk round the site before gameon to give us at least a vague idea of where we were going. Turned out to be a big help. The teams were roughly divided along the lines of visitors (Raptors, NSC and so on…) versus the locals. We kicked off defending three boxes on different floors with the locals attacking with a time limit to recapture them. Good game to get everyone moving and our lack of site knowledge obvious as we were flanked in stairwells and struggled to hang on to the last box before the hour was up. But some strong teamwork and grit saw us through… as did a bucketload of BBs and pyro…

Wait until you see the whites of their eyes lads…


The next game involved us moving a VIP from the third floor to the ground (by the long route) and across the car park to the office block. With 45 mins limit to accomplish this it was always going to be tough. With 10 mins left we had barely covered half the ground before some urging on and fearsome attacks saw us get to the last door onto the car park as Endex was called… then some well deserved lunch…

What? In the dark? on my own?…


After lunch some banter from the homies on how they could have done the VIP game easily led to the marshals abandoning the planned game for a rematch of moving the VIP with the roles reversed. We restocked and rearmed and went to the task at hand with gusto. Smokes and pyro rained on us and the locals kept the attacks relentless.

Get Him!..and him!… and him! and that one! what about that one!


Although the chap who nearly stood on me decided to wisely take the surrender when I tapped his undercarriage with the muzzle of my MP5 and suggested it…Full marks to the “Special Forces” for not giving up and fighting to the very last second.

Hold the line!


Now I know it’s a bit annoying when a big bunch of travellers turn up on a site and are pitted against the regulars and hold their own, but we were getting the feeling that this was getting stacked against us when the marshal who was our spawn point kept buggering off early, our limits on defending were further back than the previous game and one of our guys timing it called over 52 mins played on the 45 min game… not so simple I guess and I will admit made it all the sweeter to hold them to just clearing the first floor… Great fun, nonetheless!

The last game of the day involved finding your teams general and capturing the OPFOR general, all the while keeping an eye out for valuable packages. A whole site game this gave teams a chance to explore a bit, with firefights rapidly breaking out all over the place.

Which floor are the bad guys on again?


A few of use became determined to push across the bridge and into the offices, leading to some cracking firefights on the bridge. I will at this point have a moan. I really did not appreciate the player deliberately shooting out the remains of the lighting above my position to shower me in broken glass and fluorescent tubing. I know it’s frustrating when someone is well dug in and protected by his team mates, but seriously, no need, and not funny. Fortunately the rest of his team were better sportsmen.

We were so successful in our push through (well played to the einherjar lads who came with us and Fleet!) we actually ended up in the OPFOR spawn. Not by design I may add as we couldn’t have found it if we wanted to! So after a brief chat with a couple of their guys we pulled back half way to the bridge and held the line to prevent their counter attack through that direction. They seemed determined to keep coming so naturally we kept defending it, with some guys sprinting back to respawn and return asap when hit. All in all a most enjoyable an hard fought win.

The NSC Lads – “Pie Hunters”

So overall feelings? A great CQB site. Hopefully the photos capture how tense and fast the action becomes in the tight surroundings, time limits fly by and with serous fire fights lasting an hour or more expect to get through some ammo, at which point I must mention their shop which was very reasonably priced for BBs and pyro. The OP-Tactical guys have kept large areas dark and I recommend a tac-light if you can. Charlie who seemed to brief and run most of the games did a great job organising and getting things running, thoroughly enjoyed the day out seeing players from all over the northeast making the trip down. My only reservations on the site would be given the ranges a bit more enforcement of single shot, I witnessed a few players getting rinsed from very close ranges; and I found myself missing the opportunity to lurk. Given the CQB nature of the whole site it is very hard to find any sort of tactical advantage to manoeuvre, games become very straightforward and linear, I missed giving people that little surprise from under a well camouflaged position.

Definitely worth another visit, and if you like CQB then you need to try it!

[All photos by Swampy and he has updated the previous MP5 PDW review. Nice work fella]

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