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.

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation PAYBACK – Download Now

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!

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation DEADLIGHT Promo

This incredible 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.

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation SANDSTORM DVD release

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 […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation ORCHID DAWN promo

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 […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation SANDSTORM Writeup

“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 […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – JAWBREAKER and BLACKHEART DVD release

After many edits, re-renders (taking on average 24 hours each time) and lots of work printing labels, cutting box inserts to size and generally fussing to create the best product possible – it’s ready! The Jawbreaker and Blackheart DVD double set is shipping with 1 day’s notice!
What you get:
Jawbreaker
– my latest film, 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.
Extras:
Slideshow of Jawbreaker images, the End-X Brief and two promo’s (Jawbreaker and Tier 1 – Year 1)
 Blackheart
– this film was shot by myself and Chris at the amazing Stanta FIBUA site, which has lots of Afghan compound-like houses and where the troops practice before heading out to the Middle-East. The final cut on the DVD is my version of our two editions. It features an incredible morning serial by the US team and retreat straight into the waiting Taliban forces. 29 minutes of action!
Extras:
Slideshow of Blackheart images, the End-X Brief (included at the end of the main film) and two promo’s (mine and Chris’).
The collection:
Housed in an attractive two-disk DVD box with a custom label and DVD insert.

[…]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation JAWBREAKER writeup

If you are interested in a DVD then please CLICK HERE to open the ordering window

I stood looking out of the café window at the sun soaked street outside. People dressed in dishdashas and pakols were setting up shops in the buildings opposite. Quite a funky bhangra beat was coming out of the speakers in the next window along and the men were all slightly bobbing in time as they worked.

Behind me, sat at a rickety table strewn with maps and plans, were the organisers from Tier 1’s Operation Jawbreaker game.

[…]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation BLACKHEART promo

Hot off the render machine comes the first release from our site! This is a short promo for our upcoming DVD that shows some action from the Blackheart Tier 1 game a few weeks ago. We finally got it approved by the Ministry of Defense! […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Tier 1 – Year 1

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. […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Helicopter Ops at ROLLING THUNDER

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 […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation BLADERUNNER

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 […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation SNAKEBITE

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 […]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation SNAKEBITE writeup

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.

I again cursed the idea that I was the only sentry.

My team leader, Trip, had listened to our single-sentry concerns and then laid out what we were going to do, “Well,” he began, “we can leave, but if we do the AQT will turn on us. Or we can stay. The opposition will probably attack in the early morning, so I will make sure that we have the last sentry watches. I will go first. Basho, you will take the last watch.”

I didn’t sleep very well as what if the enemy sent in a silent unit to take out the sentry? We wouldn’t know we were under attack until we were all murdered in our sleeping bags! Consequently I kept my boots and fighting rig on when in my sleeping bag, with a drawn pistol next to my leg. I was determined not to be captured without a fight.

Four hours later it was my turn and here I stood, alone in the darkness, straining my ears to hear any noises and feeling the tension in the air. I was on the last watch, so I knew they would be coming any moment. I leaned over a barrel to get a better look at a suspicious tree and then, satisfied, turned away to walk on. Suddenly, there was the unmistakable crack of a stick being stood on – someone was right behind me! My heart beat in my ears as I flicked the selector switch on my M4 to full auto. I thought to myself: I must be fast and smooth, I must get off a burst in an arc to be sure of a hit then I have to shout the alert to the sleeping base. As my eyes strained to my left I suddenly saw a flash of unmistakable movement in my peripheral vision. He was coming low and left for a knife kill! I planted my foot forwards and span, pulling the trigger as I turned. The AEG motor kicked into life and started spitting high-speed BBs. I was sure that I was going to get at best a 50/50. My arm strained to draw the arc of fire as fast as possible and the opposition shape started to resolve, raising itself up in alarm of its own. The white BBs flew through the air between us and rattled into the –

– into the deer!

I released the trigger, but it was too late and the deer took a scything burst across the haunches. It brayed in fear, reared-up its legs high in the air and then bounded off into the night. Gone. Just as suddenly as it began it was over and I was alone again with only the sound of my heart pumping in my ears and my face flush with cold embarrassment.

A whispered voice came from one of the huts, “What was that? Is it a stand to?”

I pushed the selector to safe. “No mate, false alarm”.

“Right,” the voice said, tired, and went away.

I walked on, continuing my vigil. I knew that they were out there – probably laughing.

[…]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Urban Airsoft Training Day

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.

I don’t blame them for this; as it is the commonly held consensus that leading airsofters is like” herding cats” and not worth the effort. Consequently, while airsoft players often dress like the most elite of Special Forces, in battle they lack the most fundamental structure that every unit in the armed forces learns from day one. It can be quite funny to watch players wearing thousands of pounds of kit get laced up by mongrel teams in jeans and toting AEPs because they are acting only as individuals not as a cohesive unit. I often refer to such “team’s” airsoft tactics as a Barbarian Horde approach, but actually this is an insult to the great Hordes of antiquity that worked well together. No the actual playing style of the average airsoft “team” is best illustrated by allusion to the teamwork shown in the movie Black Hawk Down…

…and I don’t mean by the US.

[…]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Airsoft Training Day

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.

[…]

Ground Zero Weekender 2010 – The DA Team

Note: The film is at the end of this article. If you want to just watch that then please scroll down.

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.”

The member of team Delta Alpha to my right leant in and said,

“Do you feel better now, though?” He asked.

I considered the question.

[…]

Sennybridge, a Basho film about “The Chernarus Conflict”

A  few weekends ago my airsoft brothers and I were players at the TA Event’s, “The Chernarus Conflict”. This was a 24 hour Milsim game using the, freshly revised, BattleSim rules developed by Iain of TA Events.

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.

[…]

Airsoft Adventures Podcast

Welcome back to OC, Cesca and I have been away for two weeks as she has been creating a prize winning show garden at the prestigious RHS Malvern Show and […]

Operation Zulu

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.

[…]

Magpul PTS AEG – Part Two

Part two of the Basho review, the gun in play!

Band of Delta-Alpha : A Basho Film

The Ground Zero Weekender is the biggest yearly event on the UK Airsoft calendar.

Tokyo Marui Pro Goggle Review

How well do the new TM goggles hold out?

Magpul PTS AEG review – part one

The greatest AEG made by a man?

Maxpedition Rolly Polly Extreme Review

Maxpedition's latest is put through its paces

Longmoor November 2007

The DA airsoft team attend the Longmoor weekender and win the Snatch Cup!

BASHOCAM! Longmoor November 2007

Footage taken on my gun mounted video camera of the day's play on the second day of this fantastic event.

Headshots In Airsoft: Argument For Full Face Protection

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 […]

Ground Zero National Airsoft Game 2007

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!

Sarah Connor? – Basho’s WA Hardballer Review

The shop was fresh out of Phased Plasma Pulse-Lasers in the forty watt range

SCAR Review

The boys from Snatch review the Classic Army SCAR.

– Why are we reviewing the SCAR Turkish? What’s wrong with your current AEG?

– Oh nothing Tommy, its tip top…I’m just not […]

Electrowerkz Charity Event Video: 1

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 […]

TM M3 Super 90 CQB Mod Guide

The M3 Super 90 from TM is one of the best non AEGs on the market.  It uses the now ubiquitous 10 shot red shells and fires each pump with […]

Humiliation in airsoft

From this (“Airsoft knife kills?, yes or no?”) discussion,
The word humiliate makes me wonder…
One the subject of humiliation, it is an unfortunate side effect of airsoft that someone is going […]

AIRSOFT HAS BEEN SAVED!

Amazing news!  The forums are a’buzz with the news that the ABA led by minimiman have had their request for an exemption form the VCR bill granted! Oh day of […]

Charity Airsoft Event – Write Up

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.

My comments on the thread are:
Well done everyone, we did airsoft proud yesterday.

Pediatric Hospitals do some of the most important and heart breaking work and anything, anything, that will help is help well received.

For us to raise £1800 quid running an airsoft event shows that this is not a low and selfish sport, rather it is an emerging and fledgling community that if allowed to survive has everything to offer.

Today, we can hold our heads up that little bit higher and tomorrow some little kid is going to get a brighter future because we are airsofters and we care.
My new 1911’s gear up for the event:

So how did such an event come about and how did it go down?

Well, it started as a set of discussions over whether it was possible to run a single shot only day at Electrowerkz. Gauntlets were thrown down and picked up. This combined with the long held urge to do something for charity led to the rather brilliant idea of mixing the two and holding them on a weekend. My involvement came about through my regular Tuesday night stints as a safety marshal for Andy. I leapt at the chance to be able to get involved and lend a hand.

The games went very well. Split into two teams of red and green…

Red team:

Green team with Kiero and H&Kchick at the front:

…and sporting all manner of single-shot airsoft guns we kicked off the day. The way the day was organised meant that there were no rental “newbies” onsite and we were looking a fairly strong turn out of dedicated airsofters. The first few games soon set the tone for the day and the standard of play was very high. Electrowerkz has recently had some changes to the layout and the ground floor now sports a new regen point in a previously covered stairs. This meant that even long term players, like the resident DarkAngel’s, were pushed to dominate.

A very nice custom TM shotgun

In order to keep things running smoothly the large marshaling team was split into two, with one team playing and one marshalling. This way, if one side looked like unbalancing the game the player-marshals could be ordered to switch sides in order to even things out a little better.

Game scenarios were very well planned for the day and included Electrowerkz classics like speedball, which is excellent when played in day time and using only single shot, as well as new games such a flag capture. This scenario was very well thought out and flowed as follows:

One the top floor the opposing flag colours were separated by the length of the floor. Each team had to come up from the ground floor and capture the opposing team’s flag and transport it back down their stairs. However, the staircase that the teams came up was at the opposite end to their flag, so it was necessary to fight across the top floor to get to their flag. In another subtle twist, each team was allowed two defenders. They could start on the top floor under the opposition’s flag and could hide within 3m’s. This meant that anyone super fast, who got up the stairs before the opposition, still had a (small) battle on their hands to achieve the goal. I was one of the defenders and had great fun keeping people at bay using my shotgun and dual pistols.

The top floor from both directions:

 

The teams get ready:

Credit has to go to head honcho, DA leader and event organiser; Lex for coming up with such excellent scenarios. I have to say that when I was marshalling I saw very little in the way of cheating or unsportsmanlike behavior. This is a sign of a well run event!

My load out for the day was my new “recon” load out that I have designed for summer play or play in woodland, where my full “Assault” rig would be too heavy/hot. I was wearing a recon assault harness with my pistols moved up from my hips (where they normally live) to my pits using a dual shoulder holster. I also had on my Chalker sling that holds the gun but center of the chest enables fast shoulder swapping in battle. To keep cool I was using a 3L insulated drinks pouch attached to my back. Using this load out I could move significantly faster than normal without sacrificing a protection to the torso and ability to carry weapons. It worked really well!
A highlight for me was in the “Magnificent 7” game, where the marshals took on the rest of the players and fought a retreating action through the building. In the final room, the “last stand”, I put my pistols down onto a barrel and blasted away with the shotgun. Too soon I was out of ammo and forced to retreat as I did so a guy slid through the door on his knees. Instinctively I reached down to the barrel and picked up both pistols in one hand and opened fire. It was really a shock for the poor fellow to get hit with double the amount of bb’s in a short space of time! Both pistols firing on one hand looked funny strange to say the least.
In the end I hope that this will be the first of many single shot airsoft events at Electrowerkz as the atmosphere was excellent and the crowd good fun to be with. I eventually arrived home at 10pm, tired and happy. A great experience and a worthy cause.

Some shots to Trip lookinf very Geardo, like he was in Iraq or something!

 

MOVIES:

Movie 1. Whilst I marshal the greens and reds flood into the top floor and get ready for battle.

Movie 2. Flag capture!

Regards,

Basho

[…]

Cheat?

Cheat.
The soldier carefully moves a few steps out onto the deck of the burning oilrig scanning right to left, his heart beats like a drum in his ears and his […]

TM93r MAEG Review PART 2

At long last the task is finished. The Soul Edge is mine. A weapon of such awesome power that gravity itself appears affected when the mighty energies contained within this weapon are unleashed.

Channel 4 : Guns are cool?

Channel 4 documentary review

AIRSOFT: Longmoor Weekend Review

This weekend the Dark Angels attended the Longmoor FIBUA village near Liphook owned and used by the M.O.D.

Email on BBC Radio Oxford

A few months ago now I had an email read out on a BBC Radio Oxford call in show that was talking about Airsoft. Here is a link to the […]

TM 93r MAEG review

A review of the new Tokyo Marui 93r Mini AEG

What does it mean to be a man in the modern world?

Putting an argument forwards for our sport.

Letter to MP: SAVE Airsoft!

Office of Hazel Blears MP
Minister of State
Home Office
50 Queen Anne’s Gate
London SW1H 9AT

Dear Mrs Blears,

I am writing to you today in response to the announced plans outlined in the Violent […]