What was this? After the massive success of last years event, Mac and Detty at Electrowerkz ...very kindly given us [...]
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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.
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
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The quotes are from various people in the arnies airsoft discussion on this issue I have recently become embroiled in [...]