Sunday, 28 October 2007

SYA airsoft skirmish - 28th Oct. 2007

My very first airsoft skirmish report of my visit to South Yorkshire Airsoft. This is very much a 'newbie' eye's view of attending a skirmish for the very first time, so bear with me...

'Alpha' squad, Red Team at pre-match briefing. I'm the big chap in the
middle in the black balaclava.

I guess - for me - the only downside of traveling to SYA was the 5.20am get up (to travel from Scarborough). If you don't have your own car this is one of the chief worries about airsofting - as all sites seem to be tucked away in the middle of the countryside...

Having got to SYA - thanks to a mate who does have a car - the first thing that gets you is the sheer size of the site! And as a noob this was scary, as being unfamiliar made it that much harder to grasp the objectives for the day.

Everyone else nodded in recognition when the Marshal briefed us and pointed out 'The Trident Club', 'The Tank Sheds and so on...

Advice No. 1 - 'Hook up'

So my first bit of advice to any fellow noob is: Hook yourself up with a squad that's been before - you'll easily recognize them. Don't be afraid to ask if you can hook up either - everyone is very friendly and wants to help...

But also don't be offended if a group doesn't want to hook up - a lot of people play with mates or like to do certain things (like the excellent sniper team we 'Reds' had on the day - fantastic job guys!). If they aren't too keen to have newbies tag along it's NOTHING personal - it's just that they have tactical reasons why they can't baby-sit...

But you will always find a group who will have you along.

Advice No. 2 - Listen to the Marshals

The 'briefing' at the beginning of the day (about safety and rules) is GOD'S LAW - get close to the Marshal who is giving this and listen. There is loads of good advice in this speech - and you can ask questions afterwards.

Next: Listen to your team briefing - the one with the mini-map of the site where you'll be shown your objectives...

Bit of a tip here is get yourself on Google Earth before you come and zoom in on the site and print that out...If nothing else that will show you just how big the place is!

SYA Proteus camp - click on image to see large version

The game

Get ready to REALLY enjoy yourself!

Experienced players have told me on the forum that there isn't any way to describe airsoft until you've actually done it. And that's spot on.

It's not like paintball, it's not like playing BF2 on your computer, and it's not like playing soldiers when you were a kid...The main difference to me was the TENSION.

When I was on defense and waiting for the Yellow Team to attack - I actually got a sweat on!

 One of my visits to 'Regen'. 

Does it hurt?

I suppose this is the biggy for newbies...

And the answer is - yes and no!

The pure adrenaline of the game can sometimes make you not feel anything at all until you are walking back to Regen ( and I would say this is why some people are mistaken for cheating - sometimes you really don't feel even a close hit!)

At other times - when you are taken by surprise - it stings like buggery!

My arms and my ass (thanks Wayne!) look like I have measles - and they are tender to touch.

I noticed that the 'young guns' had a lot of bravado about being hit - and wore the marks like badges of honour....But that didn't stop one of the young lads screeching like a scalded cat when I hit him in the neck (sorry mate). Yet two minutes later he was laughing and showing off his 'war wound' to his mates in Regen!

My rule of thumb is simple. I don't have anything to prove, and I work in an office - so little round red pockmarks are boring to explain. I padded up, and I was happy as a sandboy - if anyone thought I was a pussy, they didn't say it to my face! And that's all that matters to me.

And finally...

Right or wrong I wrote down some 'general truths' that I learnt from the day (some tongue in cheek but useful!)...

1. The other guys rifle will ALWAYS out-range yours!

2. Your Hi-Cap mag will stop feeding AS SOON as you have a large group of enemy in front of you who didn't see you coming.

3. If you do not buy any pyros/grenades you WILL come across a large group of enemy sardined into a small room.

4. NEVER believe the words 'I will cover you'.

5. ALWAYS be suspicious when an experienced player says 'after you mate'.

6. The first person to shoot you in the ass will be a team mate (and probably a 'friend').

7. When five of your squad are clearing a hut the 6th member of your team will ALWAYS decide that is a good time to lob in a smoke grenade.

8. If you are in any way 'over-sized' you will ALWAYS get 'point'.

9. The phrase 'don't worry, we're behind you' means exactly the opposite when you suddenly come across a large group of the enemy.

10. NEVER believe it when someone says 'don't worry, they WON'T come from THAT direction'.

My first 'war wound'. Shot in the 'ass' by my own side!