Posts Tagged ‘woodland’

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

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??

 

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

Raptors Encampment


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

great Ruskie loadout

Great Ruskie Loadout!

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

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

the woodland

The are 13 snipers hding in this picture


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

One of the smaller slopes... possibly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Squawks