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 hands bring his weapon to bear on the myriad hiding places between the doorway and the plane. The sound of gun fire comes from nearby behind the cowering hostages and he makes his call. If the four innocents are caught in the doorway by the fire of the enemy they will die and it has all be for nothing. For nothing will the desperate action fought by his team to extract these four hostages through the oilrig to the plane. The stairs and iron corridors behind them are now paved with the dead. Every step fought knee deep in blood and every corner costing him more of his young team’s lives. Finally he had succumbed to his fear and started jumping at shadows as the mission time ran down and their movements became increasingly more desperate. He had pushed the struggling hostages onwards to a fork in the road and two paths to victory were before them, two ways to the plane out on the landing pad.

He had counted his remaining men and looking in their grime smeared faces devised a desperate tactic. He would send his entire remaining forces one way to draw the opponents while he alone went to other with their frightened charges.

“On me,” he calls to the civilians with a waving hand signal. The gunfire continues and the hostages can also hear the protection team fight along the other path and they fear that at any moment that they too may walk into an ambush laid by their well known enemy and chief tormentor. The terrorist known only as Angel1. The soldier waves them out again and they come in baby steps; very unsure and looking to him to hold their hands. The plane is now only a short sprint away across open ground and the soldier keenly checks the flanks deep in shadow.

Quick! A target emerges! A glint of steel and the sound of a hot intake of breath. Shoot! Too slow! Too slow! His hand raises his pistol but he knows he hasn’t spotted the man quick enough. Sinews tighten as he wills his hand to move quicker, to stop acting like it is embedded in treacle, if he is not quicker… His finger pulls the trigger and he and the enemy swap fire. He clearly hits the single opponent but at the same time he feels a hot round thud into his leg and the pain hits him followed by the disappointment.

“I’m hit!” he cries as he falls to his death and dies. The last thing he sees is into the eyes of the now helpless hostages; he sees their fear and knows he failed; only seconds are left before the plane departs.

Darkness takes him and the rest is silence.

But wait, sometimes death waits in the balance just long enough. Sometimes the falling can see the fate of those who are left behind and from some unknown energy a last moment is granted.
He falls out into the space and his feet stagger him away from the hostages leaving them alone, but not uncared for; “Run!” he cries as death glances in his direction and demands to know why he still moves. The hostages cover their heads and make that final dash as the last 5 seconds left counts irrevocably down. As the solider finally succumbs those last seconds are like the ticking of some final great clock counting down to his demise and the hostage’s freedom. They run to the plane away from the stricken solider expectant that at any moment the deadly fire of Angel1 will mow them down. But it doesn’t come, the ruse had worked; Angel1 is trapped in the other path and the solider raises his hands to sky in one last defiant gesture of thanks; they made it. My sacrifice was worth it.

“GAME OVER! Red team win.” shouts the marshal. “Everyone go back to the safezone and reload for the next game, you have five minutes people; get moving! Basho, come over here a moment. Look, your a marshal, from where I was standing it looked like you covered them out after you were hit.”

“I was only trying to walk away from them as per the rules. I had my hands up and moved away, it just happened to be in the direction of the plane. I can hardly cover four people can I?”
“You tell me what that was then?”

“I just wanted to see how it panned out, I didn’t engage nor point out any targets, nor cover the hostages directly.”

“You tell me Basho, what that was.”

“I see it every week, it wasn’t cheating, it was wanting to see how it ended, it was victory.”
What is it to cheat at Airsoft? Obviously not taking a hit is cheating, we all know this but is there more?

Many would say yes, including I. But, when does playing stop and cheating start? For example, once hit you are supposed to not talk, yet most teams running to and from the regen will gee up their men with “Common! Move it!” According to the rules these men should move in silence and say nothing.

Similarly a game may involve attacking a room with infinite regen for the attacker and a single life for the defenders. Is it cheating to simply rush the room again and again, taking out one defender at a time but dying over and over and over?

Where does cheating start and playing stop?

I marshal regularly and here are the most common occurrences of actual definite cheating I see. How many do you agree with and how many more can you name?

1. Not taking hits. Many people are guilty of this in one way or another. Many innocently stand there and ask themselves “was that a ricochet?” Many more are frozen in pain. No matter to the attacker, they shout “Oi! Take your fucking hits!”
2. Hiding hits. A common tactic of using a torch to shine in the eyes of the opponents when defending a point (say behind a slit between two barrels). With the torch on, the opponents cannot see if they hit you. You can very easily take a few hits and because you were not seen, forget them…
3. Covering team mates. This is when a hit person purposefully walks into the line of fire to cover their team under the pretence of walking out of the way. Often this cannot be helped of course, corridors being what they are; tight.
4. Dead shooting. This is the very common tactic of having one-last-burst on full auto clearly after being hit and claiming it was 50/50, forcing the opponent to walk as well. Often the dead person will bemoan when the opponent doesn’t walk that it is he who is cheating. Some people will even shoot a good few seconds after the event and still claim 50/50.
5. Over armoring. Wearing masses of soft armour that mean you don’t feel 50% of slight or pistol hits.
6. Blind firing. This old chestnut is well known and UNSAFE!
7. Recon. Using supposedly solid objects like mesh cages etc to recon through.
8. Hot Guns. The sneaking of a hot gun into the mix to cause more pain. Strangely the motivation for this (in most cases) is to force people to take their hits because it hurts too much to ignore.
9. Ignoring ammo limits. People often simply ignore any rules laid out in the briefing and use multiple mags in the wrong game. When challenged they simply claim that they missed the briefing.
10. Not returning to the regen. Finally, the most common of all cheats. Not going ALL THE WAY back to the regen point when hit. “I will just count to 30,” they say, then proceed to count to 30 starting from 20 and going 4 per second. This is mainly because they are too tired to walk up/down three flight of stairs, etc.