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Away Game

Posts Tagged ‘Away Game’

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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A day out in Scarborough! A shame we could only do half a day due to commitments but it turned out to be a great find!

An early start for us as we headed to the east coast. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as the rain poured across the North yorks moors. As I had no idea how long the drive would take so I ended up arriving early, to find the first few Centurion guys setting up their tents for the day.

Shortly followed by MilGeek (good to see him back out!) and Swampy. First impressions were – It’s on a f*****g mountainside! Closely followed by a complimentary bacon sandwich and brew; In fact that pretty much set the tone for the day…

A bit light on numbers for the day they nevertheless began with an excellent briefing, concise and covered everything – even ensuring players were reminded to keep fluids up and look after themselves. Everyone was chrono’d and guns tagged as legal (something else I like to see as it promotes a level playing field)

The first game showed us a little of the terrain. It had rained consistently for 5 days prior and it showed. Trying to just get to the first spawn was an effort as I ended up knee deep in mud on a very steep slope. I am not the fittest of players but it was a real endurance test, it was re-assuring that it caught the marshals out how boggy it was! The game was a fall back attack/defend scenario with 3 stages in it and the marshals arranged it to run down the hill, meaning that the game play (the important bit after all) ran well. Like all sites you can quickly spot the guys who know the terrain and they used it well. I managed a few good shots before being crept up on and slotted before I even knew he was there. Well played sir!

As is fair we changed ends next, and after the slog back up the hill we attacked. The only thing I could find to complain about was that the opfor I spent a while stalking missed out on a grenade as the flashbang I dropped at his feet failed to go off, probably sank in a foot of mud given the condition… although 2 quick rounds from the pistol followed though…

Another quick game before lunch entailed chasing down a flag to return it either to our base, or the enemy base. In truth I’m still not sure which, but I suspect that’s my fault for not listening properly, as by this point I was busy breathing through every orifice available. Happily I managed a few quick kills before heading back for lunch, again thoughtfully provided by the lovely ladies back at the safe zone tent…

Unfortunately we had to make tracks at half time, although gave us an opportunity for a chat before going our separate ways, and also hearing MilGeeks views.

Overall for the day? For a site that has not been running long they are very well organised. Great briefings and well thought out games. The hospitality is second to none, for a walk on fee of £15 you get greeted with a bacon buttie and tea, lunch (substantial) is thrown in and more importantly everyone is welcoming. The site itself will lend itself to slower paced games that range about and allow sneakiness just due to the terrain, some great woodland interspaced with open area that mean you must think about your routes (and provide good killing grounds for bolt action users). Be prepared to get knackered, they must be in the running for the steepest airsoft site (even compared to Otley!) But well worth a visit and one we’ll certainly be back to. If you’re in the Scarborough area certainly no reason not to go…

… and I need to get fitter!

Centurion Airsoft website
Centurion Forum

– Spider

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Beauty and the beast this one…

Beautiful weather, the best for ages, as we tried another new site. Gunho in Guisbrough, near Middlesbrough. It’s a site I’ve been trying to get to for ages as it’s so close and eventually all (both!) the Raptors made it.

They’ve got a a great location, laid back from a main road by a couple hundred yards it’s nicely out of the way. No neighbours to disturb and plenty of space.

So after the usual tarting about, sorting kit in the car park they eventually assembled a good crowd of about 40 including lots of 1st timers. These were fairly easy to spot for the bright hoodies and flourescent trainers. The safety brief I’m afraid to say was dire (really bad, the worst I have ever been at). There was some mumbling about taking hits and keeping eye protection on and that “fps for bolt actions was high”. Nothing about safe zones, or how to clear a gun, the marshal even had a safety brief sheet to read from which he ignored… Now I know that experienced players shouldn’t really need telling, but for the young newbies there (and there were lots), in their best hoodies, faced with rows of guys in full camo, tactical gear and fancy weapons they really needed a good loud authoritative and above all comprehensive safety brief. Not a great start.

great safe zone - if only the safety brief was as good

The first games were attack/defend type games. It’s at this game brief we discover “don’t go too far the paintballers are over there”. Now whilst I’m not as fervent anti-paintball as some, having both on the same site, at the same time with vague boundaries worries me. Anyway, the game ran well. Defenders only had a single life, attackers unlimited. It’s a good type of game to get going with as it gets everyone involved. Although giving the defenders 2 lives makes players more willing to get stuck in a bit. (I should also add I reaped the benefit of stripping down and cleaning my L96. Straight, consistent, accurate. Easy to be awesome with such a weapon at my disposal). As only fair we swapped ends, although when we attacked with the Einherjar lads the game did seem somewhat shorter… 😉

Einherjar lads take a tactical pasty

The day developed into some scenario games based on moving, capturing or discovering a bomb (shiny blue metal case) and getting it to the enemy base. The first of which gave us a run round the far end of the site. At this point you discover the sites best aspects, beautiful old untouched woodland. Fantastic even at this time of year with cover, some undulations to creep about it, and plenty of hiding spots. As we regrouped at our base having first grabbed the bomb we made a concerted move to get to the opfor base. I went scouting ahead for out bomb carrier, clearing a path, and pulled off what can only be described as an awesome shot, a one shot kill, on a target moving between cover some distance ahead. Only marginally reduced in it’s awesomeness by the realisation that he was on our team… With time running out fast we launched a co-ordinate attack on the enemy base as they cowered inside, falling short by some 20m as time ran out. A moral victory none the less.

After lunch we launched into some more objective based games. The woodland really is great, perfect for airsoft, and we got to see even more of it as the paintballers cleared off having spent fortunes on ammo…

Don't get lost

The first game of the afternoon involved medics. A good way of opening up the site and encouraging players to look out for their mates. Two things struck me here. First up, it’s great to see so many young players getting involved. They are the future veterans after all. But if the site can run paintball on the same day and supply camo overalls to those customers why not the airsofters? It really is annoying when having just crawled to a perfect sniping spot where I know they haven’t noticed me when a gaggle of young lads in bright blue hoodies (and I do mean bright) mill about asking you which way to the enemy. Not their fault and I try to be encouraging but sometimes you really feel like shouting piss off…

Next, organising games. Medic rules are great, and need bleed out options for when a medic isn’t coming. But simply dumping a dozen players immediately in the rear of a team that has just cleared and checked it’s rear really isn’t sporting. It’s bloody annoying.

The last game of the day involved pegs. It actually ran really well, and hooking up the raps and einherjar paid dividends as we subtlety flanked then stormed the opfor base, pinched all the prized pegs, shot a few more of their players coming back to their base thinking they were safe and had done well having grabbed a few of our pegs only to have them removed and returned. Team work pays off, and there was an object lesson. We are not the fastest, or have the most expensive systemas. But play as a team and communicate and it works…

The only way to finish the day appropriately was to bask in the glow of the beautiful evening sun and our victories at the pub down the road. All in all a good days airsoft.

Over a beer everyone seemed to agree the overall rating for the day was good, but disappointed a bit that it wasn’t great. Gunho have a great site, some of the best woodland going. The have a great location where they can build and a good safe zone. But the briefings and organisation were lacking on the day. I understand speaking to the guys that it wasn’t the usual marshal briefing. I understand it happens, but as they say “We have a dedicated staff of enthusiastic Airsofters with over 10 years experience in the sport”. Which means you know what happens with a lot of new guys and no clear directions. I also felt the day suffered sharing the site with paintballers. We all visit sites which get used for both – but not at the same time. It would allow them to give the hire guns some camo, and increase the number of marshals if only one activity is run at a time. I know it’s a financial decision ultimately, but with 40+ airsofters at around £20 a head (more for hire guns) plus sales of ammo, gas and pyro it’s not as if the airsoft was an insignificant activity on the day…

Enjoyed the day, great to see the lads out, and some fellow airsofters we hadn’t seen in a while – Definitely coming back, but would think about timing next visit when only airsoft is on.

GunHo Airsoft website

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The Raps are planning a return to Otley on the 12th Feb, for a combined outing. Long overdue return for me after Christmas and real life jobs so looking forward to shooting with my team mate again on the calf burning slopes of the Khe Sanh wood! Rock on.

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On a blustery, wet and windy Sunday the Raps headed for our latest site,Northern Alliance Airsoft near Dishforth. Despite glorious weather for 2 weeks, autumn had definitely set in as we arrived. The high winds meant the “Longs” were left in the cars and the new MP5PDW brought out to play.

Easy to find, and on the edge of Dishforth Airfield at first glance the site looks quite barren. Once you park up and wander in you realise that there is a wealth of concrete stuctures and blast protection defences left over from more real steel appliactions. You get a good appreciation of the layout on Google Maps

Swampy stalks the buildings....

Relatively new, the site has only run 6 games to date, but already there is plenty of evidence of the effort they have put in with numerous structures. Although some of these are left over from a paintball operator who shares the site there is little paintball litter, and I couldn’t see any of the usual splatter which ruins the environment at most paintball sites.

With the WASPs, several Einherjar and a small contingent of Misfits joining us, we were met onsite with a friendly welcome. They obviously have a small loyal local following already, and things were kept very informal and friendly compared to some big operators.

Spider takes aim...


The day consisted of a shoot’em’up first game to get everyone playing around the site. Between the bunkers, blast walls (slippery when wet!), structures and undergrowth there is a wide variety in what is in fact a small site, even left over Airfield command vehicles.

Lunch was very well catered for, with hot food, drinks and munchies all included in the game fee. The amenities are good as well, with some of the bunkers used for shop/office, tables and chairs and proper on site all important toilets!

The afternoon consisited of more focused objective based games (capture items, locations, or move the VIP) which lead to some great firefights as the the regulars stacked up against all the travellers. Although we were outnumbered and lacked site knowledge I’d like to think we gave a good acquittal of ourselves and made them work hard for it!

There is real scope for this to become a cracking site. An there is an obvious enthusiasm to develop both in terms of the site and the running of the site.

One thing the site does suffer from is wind. Because of the open exposed land all round it I think bolt action days would be rare.

I really enjoyed the “get stuck in” atmosphere that the site has, friendly staff and the relaxed atmosphere. Possibly my only gripe would be for the marshalls to keep a closer eye on loaded weapons in the safe zone. A couple of times I put my glasses back on just in case, but they seemed to have it well in hand by the end of the day. In fact nice as the safe zone is, it does seem a shame that all the bunkers on one side are given over to the safe zone. Using it for games would open up the site a lot and make for some great longer games of base v base with objectives spread around the rest of the site.. and opportunities for sneaking and lurking about…

Overall a good day out, a good site in a good location (A1 Junction 49 with A19) that fills a large geographic gap, and more sites, especially ones this friendly is always good.

Their website is worth a look, with some good photos, as is their facebook page (I hope I can be forgiven for shamelessly pinching pics of me and Swamps from it!). Definitely worth another visit.

Last word, CYMA MP5PDWs, lovely feeling aeg. Perfect size, however we’ve both managed to snap the end of the barrel from the body in the space of 2 game days. Both of us. Something I have never done to another aeg. We didn’t have fancy silencers or peripherals. So fixes needed all round. Shame because I really like them otherwise!

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Right, about to load up and get going eventually hitting GZ in Hampshire on Friday. There’s a few stops on the way that we’ll reveal later, and I’m going to experiment with lots of updates on Twitter, including in the game zone (Nothing too revealing for the opfor obviously!). So stay glued, we’ll be using the hashtag #GZWeekender and you can follow us either here on the right, or on our twitter feed here

We’ll see how it goes!

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Raptors have another away day planned. After the highly enjoyable trip to Anzio last year for the “Corps Wars” run by First and Only Airsoft, we’re off to take part in their “Mercs” game in April.
A Day of Private Military Companies, war-torn anarchic African tribesman (including us naturally), and some character players yet to be discovered. It all sounds good fun, and if the previous F+O games are anything to go by a cracking days airsoft.

Report to follow!

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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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Leek and a days shooting with the boys. Off to First and Only Anzio site with the WASPS and some others in tow.. Cant wait.

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