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. At 6 am a stag deer came into the forest, only yards from me. It nibbled the leaves and then it sensed something was wrong. It couldn’t see us, but it could now smell us. Then someone moved and I saw its face as it realised that it was standing amongst 15 humans disguised as forest floor, buried under leaves and mud. With two hurried bounds it was gone.

Milsim is great fun, I recommend it. If you are worried if you can “hack” it, don’t be. You can, physically – it’s mentally you have to be ready for. After 24 hours in game (with 12 to go) you will be tired, frayed, frazzled and still in combat. And it will be raining. It’s at this point you will be ready to curse everyone around you. Your teammate with the better kit, your team leader sending YOU out on stag, the world for putting you in this place and especially the opposition who WILL attack you during the night… sometime during the night.

So, no sleeping without your eye protection on and a firearm to hand. Photo’s taken during milsim show tough men turning to jelly.

That is your challenge, can you stay mentally strong?
Enough to work as a team?
After all team play means sacrifice…

So, why do it?

Because, the harder the game and the more realistic the mission then all the more rewards are there to enjoy. Sure, the lows in milsim can be tough, but the highs… the highs are simply the best airsoft in the world. It was our side who attacked the enemy camp in the dark. Unleashing a battle of epic proportions as we had surprise but, like cornered rats, the enemy had nowhere to go and so turned and fought.

This was followed the next day with a counter ambush on our troops that led to a 2.5 hour long contact. 2.5 hours of unrelenting, balls-deep airsoft action. So much can be done with 2 hours, tactics… hell, strategy as the teams probe each other. flank, flank back, rush, fall back and lay up.

It’s incredible.

Players acting together as a team in ways never seen in airsoft, all commanded smoothly and everyone gets their oats. Eventually one side withdraws after running out of troops, this was my side and the opposition followed us only to walk straight into our IED’s laid behind us by our pyro expert (an army EOD). Milsim is worth the cold, the wet and the mentally brutal.

It’s one of the best ways to release stress and tension I know. It is also the best way to meet new and interesting people (and shoot them) that I can imagine.

You will look back at your weekend, you will see your moment of glory in a film and you will smile as you remember the feeling of achievement that only comes from playing at this level.

We call it Tier 1.

It’s the way I play airsoft.