I was introduced to airsoft in my teens. I have heard it described as “a game of Cowboys and Indians for grown-ups” – but it is much more. I have yet to find a better and more social game than airsoft. I have made life long friends, worked out, released stress and engaged my mind as well as my body, all things not offered by more prosaic sports. As a close friend of mine put it: “It is the ultimate catharsis”.
I am a committee member of the well-known London team: Delta Alpha (the DAs). From 2004-2008 I was head safety marshal at the London urban airsoft site known as Electrowerkz. Since then I have become a professional airsoft filmmaker and I have been helping Tier 1 Military Simulation as a Senior Marshal and filming their games.
A best of from years 2 - 5 of my Tier 1 Military Simulations films and a look ahead to 2016.
Basho Films is proud to present a film commission for http://war-zone.co.uk/; a new milsim company setting up in the UK. I was contacted about doing a film for this new company, but there was a problem - [...]
This incredibly well played event showcased some of the highest quality effects ever used in milsim. Including RPG attacks, EOD detonations, explosive entry and more. All captured in the 20 minute film from Outside Context. If you have any interest in milsim then this is a must watch!
This Tier 1 event included elements of a Tier 1 Sub Op and involved two live kidnaps of players obtaining their Tier 1 Team Badges. Some fantastic action, strong story and roleplay. Basho is proud to present some of the finest milsim on the planet.
I know I know, its a year late... but, finally my film of Tier 1 Military Simulation's Operation Sandstorm is complete and released for immediate digital download. (I did a write up of the event, which you [...]
New release! Just fresh off the render machine is our latest production for Tier 1; Operation Orchid Dawn. In aid of the charity ORCHID - Fighting Male Cancer, Warrior (UKAZ) in association with TIER 1 [...]
"But I didn't want to raise the alarm" "Why not?" I asked "Well," said the man, uncertainty creeping into his voice as his mind digested what he was about to say, "I didn't want to [...]
Shot entirely on location at CopeHill Down. The main feature is 37 minutes of the best milsim ever undertaken in the UK! I had an inside track on the “serial” events, a first person perspective on the role play and took part in all the big actions – including the capture of the objective for the US team. All cut together with music and professionally coloured, this is a great film of how deep milsim can go.
I have played many and been to many events where the organisers said they had reached the perfect balance point between real military exercises and a simple skirmish. I realise now that they either made the game too boring or little more than a skirmish with complex medic rules; milsim for the Xbox generation. In Operation Jawbreaker, Tier 1 also strived for that perfect balance themselves and in the most important respects I think that they came damn close to achieving it.
This is a dual editor collaboration. The DVD will contain 2 x 30 minute renders of the footage from the game (one by me and one by Chris). We had filmmakers following both teams, capturing all the briefings, the serial events and all the action in the best FPS Basho tradition - quite a package!
This film is a compilation of clips and unseen footage from the games I attended run by Tier 1 Military Simulation. Before 2011 I had not played much milsim, now... well I recently laid in a puddle from 1am, freezing cold and surrounded by poisonous mushrooms, for 8 hours to spring an ambush! I fell asleep and started snoring. Moments later I was awoken by a wet weight crashing down on my back. Team commander Trip had thrown a log at me, missed, hit a tree and it had collapsed a rotten limb across my sprawled form. Had the opposition walked past at that particular moment then they would have heard the rest of the concealed team completely failing to stop laughing.
Here is a quick cut, colour and render of the Helicopter Assault during Tier One's Rolling Thunder Milsim event. I have put this together at the request of a friend, this isn't the official film [...]
My first ever commissioned film was released today and stands as a landmark for Basho films. I have learned more about Sony Vegas, filmmaking and special effects from this project than I could have ever [...]
I have often remarked that the challenge of making an airsoft film - when you are also playing in the game - is that you can only edit what you film. In other words: all [...]
I stood alone in the pre-dawn of the morning and the silence of the surrounding forest was punctuated only by the hooting of owls and the snoring of AQT players as they serenaded the coming sun. I was taking my turn on watch and the firebase was so dark that I couldn’t really see my way to walk around the inside of the perimeter. It was a large base by airsoft standards, about 70 meters long and 20 wide, with several small wooden buildings, huts and fire positions all surrounded by steel barrels acting as the wall between the players and the trees beyond. Every few steps I raised the NVG scope to my left eye and took a look into the gloomy and misty darkness. Through the NVG there were only dark shapes with blurry outlines, suggestive of men among the trees, but these didn’t move so I took them to be bushes. Nevertheless, I gripped my rifle tightly in my right hand.
Criticism isn't as easy as people like to think. This is because that, while everyone knows when things have not gone optimally, as the old adage goes, “opinions are like assholes; everyone has got one”. However opinions are not often the result of well thought-out analysis, but rather the result of frustration and the need to vent anger. In airsoft, where bad command decisions can lead directly to the unquestionably real pain of being laced or embarrassed, most teams have a very simple method of dealing with the potential for such situations: They don’t have commanders at all.
It is often said that Airsoft is a game of extreme variety. At one end of the spectrum there are the speedball players who only play in small arenas. For they the game is about CQC accuracy, high rates of fire and aggression. Tactics tend to be personal and if they play as a team at all it is usually in very small groups. There is hardly what could be called commanders. This was the airsoft of Electrowerkz. Veterans of that site tend to be tough, able to run into massive volumes of fire without flinching and a little unhinged. All the way at the other end of the spectrum is the sort of military simulation that companies such as Stirling offer in the form of training missions, hiking into countryside for 2 days for a 10 minute fire fight and being tortured when captured. It is into this enormous dichotomy that Tier 1 Military Simulations has launched their services pitched at both parties.
It was when I was sitting in the steam room at Virgin Active with 20 sweaty men all dressed in the same set of bright beach shorts, and making jokes about their penises, that something struck me as odd, “This has to be,” I announced into the cloud of steam, which was being jetted into the room at an alarming rate and temperature, “the most surreal Ground Zero Weekender I have ever been to.”
To those of you who play computer games, the country of Chernarus may ring a few bells. As anyone who loves the Arma series of games from Bohemia Interactive will tell you Chernarus, or Black Russia, is a fictional post-USSR country somewhere in the East that is used as the main game location. TA Events have licensed the entire storyline from Bohemia meaning that players at the event could sign up to the various factions found in the series. When someone says that you should get out from behind the keyboard and get some exercise, these events enable you to re live the brilliant, in-depth storyline for (almost) real. A detailed account of the factions and background to the event can be found here and it has a very professional depth to it not usually available to airsofters.
I have been playing airsoft now for 7 years, which is an easy date for me to remember as I started my first proper skirmish on my stag night. I went on from there to play regularly at the old London site of Electrowerkz and was soon drafted into the Dark Angels (as they were then known); a 30 strong team of serious CQB players. Soon after that I was asked to join the marshalling team at Electrowerkz and rose to become a senior marshal and even ran the venue on my own a few times. Unfortunately, Electrowerkz closed on the day I left to go travelling and the Dark Angels became team Delta-Alpha. They have gone from strength to strength since then and have successfully branched out into playing military simulation games as well as appearing on TV, a music video and as “resistance security” for the Sarah Connor Chronicles London launch party
The DA’s have played some unusual games over the years, but this was a first for us: this was the first time that we were asked to be a scripted opposition. The idea has a lot of merit if you think about it. Firstly, games often ebb and flow randomly. One side may gain the upper hand in an attack, but they loose too many men to reinforce the position and soon are driven back and it is the other team who are then on the offensive. Similar to a game of football. However, sometimes a team simply hammers all opposition to such an extent that the suffering team cannot fulfil their objectives at all. Sometimes they cannot get out of their safe zone. The game suddenly becomes unbalanced, tempers raise, cries of cheating go up and no fun is had at all. Well, at least none by the team getting a kicking.
The first thing that hits you when you are trying to sling the Magpul PTS is that it is not heavy. Even with a battery and loaded P-Mag in, it still is lighter than many AEG’s. This is due to mainly to the size of the gun, the skeletonised stock and the light but strong plastic in the hand guards. I slung it to a Chalker “Tactical Bra” sling that hangs the gun directly on the bodies centre line. It was short enough that when I knelt it did not strike the mud, but of course if you are tiny then this may still happen to you.
After coming home from my travels I accessed my secure shipping container and got out all my airsoft gear. GZ is coming and I wanted to do a ops check and full clean so I would be ready. My old, fantastic, HFC mesh mask had seen better days. After considering the risk of using rusty mesh, I benched the mask and started hunting around for another solution. There was something else too. My team now play 24h milsim games. As I was going to join them, I needed a face rig that would enable me to eat and sleep in the field, but not be a compromise on safety.
The Magpul PTS AEG MOE Carbine is the first AEG from the the PTS Division who are a part of the Magpul company aiming towards training and therefore of great interest to airsofters. Their website is slick as hell and everything points towards a Gucci product.
The quotes are from various people in the arnies airsoft discussion on this issue I have recently become embroiled in a very heated community debate regarding headshots in airsoft. I am going here present the [...]
The state of the badd'ass art! On the september bank holiday weekend, the DA's went to the National Airsoft Event hosted at Ground Zero. I made a movie of the event that shows how much great fun we all had!
What was this? After the massive success of last years event, Mac and Detty at Electrowerkz ...very kindly given us thier site free of charge for another 8 hour Pistol and Shotgun only Charity extraveganza [...]
On Sunday, my airsofting brothers and I held an airsoft event on behalf of the little kids at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Many people gave up their time and gave across their money for the event, including the Electrowerkz site owner's, marshals, medics and players. The net result was a combined donation of £1816.68 to the charity.
What does it mean to be a man in the modern world? How do men feel and why do men play violent sports?