Posts Tagged ‘Groundzero’

[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

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]


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


We’ve been quiet of late I know. Our visit to Northern Alliance in July never got written up and Spider had a run out to NSC where they fielded an APC! Worst of all is we won’t be making Ground Zero weekender this year, for only the second time since we both started playing, and gutted not to be there.

Plenty of reasons, all involve real life getting in the way of airsoft, but hopefully a chance get to maybe a single day in somewhere soon and rack some games up in October and November.

So for now best of luck to all the lads heading south. To Razor and the Misfits, anyone from NSC, Northern Alliance, Legion Airsoft Clan and North East Airsoft UK, and anyone else we know going down, have a great weekender, (no getting naked and trying to jump on quad bikes, it’s uncouth) and make sure you absolutely murder Delta.

Get some fellas.

…& in case you didn’t notice we recently topped 100K hits, you lot must be bored for something to read! thanks for coming back!


Well, what a weekend. Plenty of highs and lows, and certainly eventful!

Mrs Swampy put up with us both burbling on for an entire evening the night before as we loaded up everything we could think of taking…

There's a sink in there somewhere...

We set off heading south to our first stop of the tour. Action Hobbies. I’d arranged a pair of MP5PDWs to be waiting, I’d been looking at these for a while now and well, since they were in stock and we were passing!

Gimme da Gunz!

A warm welcome from the guys there, especially considering they were in the middle of building their new shop area and not really open to the public. Should be good when complete, plenty of space and certainly looks like business is booming. Certainly deserves to be, several times this year I’ve found their website to be the only one with decent stock levels as opposed to lots on offer on other websites only to be found to be out of stock and no date for restocking (yes it is a pet hate of mine). Anyway, a brace of full metal (and solid feeling) CYMA MP5PDWs into the car and off we sped across Milton Keynes to our next stop.

Bletchley Park
Home of the codebreaking effort during World War II. I’d wanted to visit here for a while and you know, since we were passing!

The Goose that laid

anyone got a fuse?

As probably befits its clandestine history it’s a fairly discreet turn off into Bletchley. It has a rich history and its origins are fascinating. It became home to some of the most brilliant minds of its day as they battled the Axis cryptographic services including the fabled enigma machine. To even begin to summarise it’s contributions to the allies would be to do a disservice somewhere, far better you have a look at their website, or even better check it out for yourself! (I also recommend a good read such as Station X), you can learn about the men and women that gave us such marvels as the Bombe and recently recreated the world’s first operational computer – The Colossus


The dastardly enigma

We had a cracking few hours wandering the hallowed huts and there are plenty of exhibits that until fairly recently were largely forgotten and ignored (The restaurant in Hut 4 also served lovely pasties and ginger beer!). Just looking at the complexity and ingenuity of the code breaking effort is breathtaking. The only proviso is there is obviously a lot of restoration work still underway and a few huts were closed off – all for good causes I am sure!

Bombe's Away!

Of particular interest to me personally was the history of HMS Bulldog and her part in obtaining “The Loot”. I served part of my time on her modern namesake as an RN Officer where we remembered the actions of our predecessors every year. (The cinematic historical travesty U571 is not an accurate portrayal….)

Proud to have served on her namesake...

This inconspicuous little establishment and the men and women who worked there in utter secrecy played a vital role in the Allies eventual victory. it can be argues that without them Britain would have starved as the wolfpacks cuts us off. It seems strange walking around them that the minds at work in these little huts were one of our greatest weapons… Whilst we always must remember that history was not played out with the benefit our current sensibilities and morals, it does seem shameful the way we treated a man who did so much for us.

Thanks largely in part to him you don't speak german

(Footnote to Bletchley Park – Since our visit we have read of the sad death of Tony Sale, one of the founders of the Bletchley Park Trust and the mastermind behind the successful rebuild of Colossus. Without dedicated people like Tony our historical knowledge would be far less complete, and a lot more boring!)

Yes I always look like this driving a ship...

Onwards to Battle
We hooked up with the Misfits at a suitable hostelry just before GZ and landed on site together. Fortunately we managed to get base camp erected before the rains forecast for the Friday turned out to be torrential monsoons!

Basecamp Raptor

The heavens opened and given the camp site is a riding field for much of the year the inevitable Glastonbury conditions soon occurred. The roads were soon requiring the attention of several tons of urgently acquired gravel and with the back breaking efforts of the marshals some semblance of a road was restored.

GZ marshals combat engineering roads

I took the opportunity for a walk round the safe zone, having a stroll round the Zero One Marquee which seem to have plenty on show, and the boot sale, where plenty of players had second hand kit for sale.

If only...

Unfortunately for me at this point I decided on some rigorous testing of the portaloo facilities due to a digestive system failure. In an attempt not to waste the airsofting opportunities I retired very early and felt sorry for myself. I believe that in my absence and despite the conditions a good time was continued to be had by all as they had merry games such as “watch the shop flood”…

Saturday kicked off with better weather and the usual GZ style with a safety brief and then the teams depart to their respective bases. There’s obviously been a lot of wok since I was here last as the structures have become more substantial and more atmospheric. GZ have also increased the gaming area to the west with a serious amount of woodland ideal for creeping about in now in play.

We started up at the well known check point Charlie and spent most of the morning in either setting ambushes or hitting Delta near their base. Hanging out with our old friends the Misfits we managed a couple of fantastic well timed attacks and covered a lot of ground.

I had a slight hiccup when attempting to flank an enemy junction through the thick undergrowth I found myself next the Fort with an unprotected open doorway. I then spent a tense 30 mins sneaking about in the dark ground floor shooting anyone who came in and listening to the Bravo forces upstairs calling for help on their radio as there were “loads of enemy” below. I’ll take it as a compliment lads!

The day gradually wound on to a ferocious firefight over the village for the close of play, with a three way battle and a never ending stream of dead walking out. I estimated at least 100 Others piled in and similar from the other teams all in a small tight area. The noise and charges were epic!

Once we finished for the evening I must admit the dodgy stomach and lack of proper food and fluids took their toll on me, and I made my excuses for a quiet evening again.

Overnight I discovered that because the Others had completed the most tasks and launched the most nuclear strikes we were naturally last in the points stakes. (as always!)

Sunday kicked off slightly later and more humid. This time we started from the very exposed Burrows site and were immediately hit by both teams at once. It was during this battle I experienced what must be acknowledged as one of the problems of GZ. Hit calling. Whether it is the high proportion of younger players, or the fact that people only play there one a year I don’t know. But after realising no-one was going to call a sniper rifle hit I stormed a postion with my pistol. The first 2 guys sportingly called it with a fair degree of surprise, but a younger player laid in a bush with his back to me was a different story. Completely unaware of my approach I got to within 18 inches of him so decided a single shot to the assault vest was sufficient. He turned to face me and started to bring his AEG up so I shot him again in the front. Only to be asked “what I was doing?” Needless to say I shot him again, this time on an unprotected arm whilst explaining “waiting for you to call your hit”. I was told he “wanted to see who it was” shooting him. I tactfully explained it makes no difference if you’re hit and you should call it, and shot him again for good measure.( Somewhere he could definitely feel it). It was obvious he was sure it was friendly fire and he was looking to avoid calling it. Things like that really ruin the event, as you can’t help but think “well if they’re not going to call it…” it takes a real effort to keep yourself honest after something like that.

I should add it’s not a situation limited to GZ and I’ve seen it at other big games with lots of players who don’t know each other, and whilst the marshals do their best,(even catching the guys who decided no hot pyro didn’t apply to them as they rained smokes onto my position!) with 1700 players it’s always going to be tough.

I got stuck into defending our base and before long several hours had passed. During my next spell in the dead zone my radio battery died, and between that and a renewal of my stomach ache I beat an early retreat to the campsite.

Overall, I had a great weekend. It’s always good to get the Raps together and we had some great stops. Fighting alongside friends such as the Misfits is always enjoyable. Personally I could really have done without feeling poorly which hampered my socialising and I missed out on saying hi to so many people. So best wishes to BattleTec, Legion, and anyone else I meant to see!

Finally thanks to H and his merry band. The marshals really do work hard to lay on what is a massive festival of airsoft now. Hopefully they know it’s appreciated! next year with some luck I may be in better condition to enjoy all of it!


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!


But intend on getting there this year. 

Ground Zero’s National Airsoft Event is a biggy.  ‘The Weekender’ attracts over one thousand airsofters from around Europe and condenses them into a large, hilly wooded airsoft areana for a weekends socialising and shooting.

The site itself near Hazelwood is very large however having up to 500 per team on three teams means you are never far from a seriously large shoot up.  In recent years they have opened up a mature pine platation which provides an eery ardennes like forest to stalk through.  Particulary suitable for those of a sniper bent.

All types of airsoft can be encountered with CQB in the buildings, stalinkg in the woodland combined with the more open terrain of the 4×4 course giving open shoot outs between large groups.

Combined with an on site shop and bar its a cracking weekend with fellow airsofters and if you camp, a ‘social’ scene you wont forget.  Or in our case very often remember.

Last year we cancelled due there being no thursday camping, its a long way after all, however this year it may be back on and even if its not it left a big hole in the airsoft diary.  Hope to see you there.