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First & Only

Posts Tagged ‘First & Only’

Well its been a long long long time since I was on here.  My daughter can now answer me aback 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.

 

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A welcome return to Airsoft for me, after a Christmas break of 4 months!!!

The planned trip to Otley saw us arrive amid melting snow and patches of ice.  One of us early and one of us late ahem…. A good turn out with a first in Airsoft for me, a large group of voucher users.  F+O have used the Groupon offer system and the result was at least thirty players the vast majority of which, if not all, were first timers.  A good idea and a way of inexpensively introducing new players to what can be or at least can  be perceived as an expensive hobby.  Again another good idea was the hire gun users being loaned a tac vest as part of their package another way of making new players feel more included in the ‘geardo’ feel of things.

So into the game brief, which we mostly missed, and another turn up is the handing over of control of the site from owner Jamie to a couple of his regulars badger and erm sorry if forgot the other guys name.  Still the instruction, safety and advice was delivered well and with more experience will only get better.

First game saw us defending bunker hill at the far end of the site.  Same as last time, although with no greenery, it was a bit of a turkey shoot but none the less a good warm up?  This part of the site is cracking with undulations, sand bags, holes, ridges and recounts.  More work here would make an excellent ville.

Second game, the ambush, saw us attacking down hill towards a known choke point to spring an ambush and fight our way throu with our VIP. Never knowingly undersold or outflanked, the raps were justly done in just so a fashion.  An excellent bit of sneaking by the enemy saw a lone gunman through our lines to fire on us from behind.  Well played fella.  Sorry I didn’t catch your name!

Third game was a tricky setup given the number of new players.  Three teams split up, one to take the VIP to a meet with thesecond, whilst the thwe’d us were hell bent on interdiction.

All went well until game on when all hell broke loose with bb’s flying everywhere! Not quite as the marshals intended however a cracking game with a couple of damn fine nerve shredding hits for the oppos when spider slotted them from deep cover.  Never knew what hit em, till he stood up and laughed at them.

A break to the safe zone up the previously mentioned big big arse hill saw the raps nursing a couple of injuries (paggered more like) and an extended lunch break was had.  Good to catch up with my mate and talk about all things Airsoft. Like my shiny new ascu2 installation on my G3!! Cheers to mick and sneak and all in the chat for talking about it.  Works a bloody dream!

Post lunch was reverse of the morning and saw us attacking bunker hill. A hard climb and a fair old stalk for not much offering but a good game none the less with the new guys starting to push hard and make a go oF it.

Finishing up at the car park again the raps knocked it in for the day and headed home.  All in all a really good day.

Again Otley is hard work, muddy but a really good site.  Am looking forward to it being full and hosting site wide games hopefully in the future.

Anything I miss spider??

 

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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

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So both Raptors made their way across the dales to darkest war-torn Staffordshire for First and Only’s Merc Day at Anzio camp, Leek.

The plot was staged around the area of a African conflict zone and we had chosen to play as the local Africans. Rather than a standard “run and gun” day, this was intentionally pitched as requiring role playing, indeed there were 20+ role players from amongst the F+O regulars and marshalls playing character roles from UN medics to engineers rebuilding the collapsed state infrastructure. We tried to support the role play by dressing the part!


Photo courtesy of Jamie, WASPs, as I left the camera at home!

The other players were formed into 3 teams of mercenaries whose objective was to make money! Either in the form of cold hard cash or Gold bullion which started out life in a bank being protected on a rota between the 3 PMC teams.

The day kicked off as usual at F+O with chronoing of all weapons to be used, including sidearms. I always applaud this mainly on safety grounds, but also for fair play. It provides a much leveller playing field for all concerned. Even better was the improvements on the method from my last visit to Anzio with results being taken as an average of 3 shots and several chronos being used for any suspect guns to account for any spurious readings.

The briefs were comprehensive with a safety brief first, and then the scenario brief for the day. Getting 200 or so players to the right place and on time is like herding cats so well done for getting the game to start on time!

Bongo was the designated team leader for the Africans as we set up in our home building, and he set out his plan. Go forth and cause chaos! The whole team did this with exuberence, happily getting into the role play aspect I saw everything from players trying to sell christmas decorations to wandering security details, to drugs sellers and a drum band with spontaneously started following some mercs about. Our first real encounter was as a sightseeing VIP escorted by a PMC team came past our home. Obviously not happy with all their weapons outside our house a group of Africans soon gathered and shouting ensured! Fatman from the Wasps took this opportunity to get close enough to lunge through the protective cordon and stab the VIP… bad luck for his guards who I’m guessing didn’t get paid…

From then on the stage was set. We generally enjoyed ourselves harrassing hapless PMCs who were wary of shooting unarmed civilians and incurring the wrath of the UN inpsectors (a 20 min sin bin/investigation) and pretty much had to take it while we wound them up. We put up posters on their buildings, tried to wander in their security cordons and basically made a right pain of ourselves.

Things got more “serious” after some ingenious africans liberated large quantities of gold and money. The merc onslaught became merciless as they realised Bongos warriors had not only found him chairs from all over the site but gold and cash! Some frantic assaults on our base meant all the BBs saved earlier were rapidly expended.

The afternoon progressed getting ever more frantic with assaults on the merc bases and some great taxi driving by Jamie from F+O in his landrover ferrying Africans direct into the middle of firefights which was great fun, although you had a limited life expectency on bailing out in the midst of open ground and flying BBs.

Come the evening the raptors stopped for some proper food having run nearly all day on adrenalin, and realised just how knackered we were. It was testament to a fine days airsofting that neither of us realised just how hard we had run, pushed, hid, shouted and laughed in a great full days gaming.

High Points.
Giggling like school kids as we stood behind the Landrover preparing pyro to take out the engineers and their security details we’d been waving and smiling at seconds before

Low Point
Getting absolutley shredded in the knee which left me hobbling for quite a while (and then listening to the other teams comms as they congratulated each other on doing it) – but a tiny hiccup in an otherwise great day.

Overall, the level of commitment to the role play side of the day made the event. The preperation and work by the guys at F+O and especially those who agreed to role play characters made it easy for the teams to get into the scenario. Far more actually happened in a long days softing than I could hope to remember – One of the best days I’ve had for a long time.

Big thanks to the role players, the player marshalls, all the fellow players (nice to see the WASPs again!) – African and merc alike, and our illustrious team leader Bongo. You all made it a cracking day.

I’ll certainly try and make the next one.

+++UPDATE+++
Almost forgot… best line of the day to the desert/tan team…”watch your six… he’s got a banana!”

+++ Swampy Update+++

Couldnt agree more.  Was a great days shootin.  Made a complete change from milsim/ woodland/ speedball type games and was all the better for it.  With a pistol in your waist band and a fist full of pyro you had to use guile to find  your way to your objectives and adapt when you got there.  ‘Go hire the engineers’  ok so off we went.  Couldnt get near them werent allowed to talk to them so we pyro’d them instead plus about a half dozen PSD troops hehehe awesome.  Cant wait for the next themed day.

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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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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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