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Baz JJ

R.I.F.T Airsoft - Chipping Warden, Banbury

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i played here today and felt the need to write a review.

 

Also known as Com's Site 3, this is an ex WW2 RAF site which is now well concealed by woodland that has sprung up in the last 70 years.

Certainly the Luftwaffe would have difficulty seeing it from the air now.

 

It offers a great mixture of open field, derelict buildings, trenches, bunkers and woodland.

 

RIFT have put a lot of work into the place and the site team pride themselves on quality airsofting and zero cheat tolerance. This was evident in many small ways such as the level of detail and preparation. For example, the site team move in on the day before a game and stay overnight in order to prepare and the signage is excellent e.g. minefield signs to denote site limits, large map boards at regens and so on.

 

Games are held every two weeks on a Sunday and they have a covered safe zone with hot food and a gear shop run on game days by Pro Airsoft Supplies.

 

Marshalling is firm and fair but low key - they don't interfere with the game play which I like. I never saw or heard any moans about hit taking.

 

There is a private car park which is due to be extended. Its located right next to the safe zone which makes it easy to pop out to the car for things. The entrance gate is locked once games start for added security.

 

Many of the tracks around the site are a hard surface and the buildings are on a concrete base so this site doesn't become a mud bath in heavy rain - something I was grateful for when I played (it rained incessantly).

 

One thing I particularly like is that red or blue team armbands are worn on different arms which makes it possible to distinguish friend or foe, even in low light. Also, regen areas are formed by fenced deadzones, which are clearly visible and allow you to take five, in order to reload mags, catch your breath, etc. A site rule is that you raise your weapon above your head when hit, to provide a clear visual signal. Very effective but tough if you have a SAW - Im joking :-)

 

They also have a distance marked shooting range which is great for zeroing weapons as it stretches out at 30, 40m, 50m intervals. Unfortunately, it is at the edge of an open field so you tend to get a little windage which can throw the settings. Access is open at any time of the day to players and its use doesn't interfere with gameplay.

 

Hot drinks are 50p unless you buy a RIFT mug for a tenner after which you get free hot drinks.

There is a real flushing toilet for the ladies and the lads get to use a portaloo.

 

Free camping on site is available by arrangement if long distance players want to arrive the day before in order to meet the 9am start time.

 

Although Ive not tried it, there is apparently a good pub in the village (walkable) called the Griffin for Saturday night and they are used to strange people in combats.

 

This site has a good community feel, with a loyal membership following but its not cliquey.

I definitely feel RIFT is going places with lots of exciting plans for the future.

 

The games are well organised and props are used. We had bars of bullion and a trolley in one game and flashing beacons in another. The site is large enough to hide but its not so big that you have long walks to find the action or regens. Even I didn't get lost and thats saying something. Ive been known to use a compass in woodland sites before.

 

The same organiser runs a smaller woodland site at Cottenham near Cambridge.

 

Cost is £25 with discounts if you are a first timer or bring another newbie with you.

 

Site membership is optional at £25 per annum but gets you discounts. For example 3000 .2g BBs are £5 to members. You also get a nice uniquely numbered membership shield with a velcro backing.

 

They also have their own forum which is used to communicate details of games and take bookings.

 

In summary, the level of thought and care that go into this site make it a winner for me.

The extra game level that the ex military buildings bring just lifts this site into another Airsoft dimension.

Would I go again ? you betcha..

 

http://www.riftairsoft.com/content.php?134-site-pictures

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21 Of Surrey Viper Squad are planning on going the 23rd of Feb hope your there mate should be fun , im excited.

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Played here on Sunday 22nd March and it was my first Airsoft day I'd been to as I've just started and I loved it, the site was great and the staff were very friendly and open to talk to. Really enjoyed myself here, will defo be going again!

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Their Banbury/Com3 site is really nice, I went with a mate a few months back.

 

Overall it was a good experience and of particular note I would say the attitude of the marshals was the best i've seen by far. Tony was really enthusiastic giving the safety briefing which is a good start to the day. Then once you move out the Marshal that went with our team to our respawn/starting area where there is a map suggested tactics we could use, they also congratulate players for good plays or taking hits throughout the day. It's done in a way that doesn't feel patronising though and i'm sure it makes people feel good about being honest.

 

We went a second time with another mate last weekend and again it was a good day. Tony who is the head marshal must have recognised I was not a regular and spent about 5 minutes chatting to me when I was walking back from regen. I can't think of another site where that has happened and it made me feel he really cares about the site and the players.

 

The games on the second visit were different but well thought out and as with our first visit a lot of players are keen to work as a team to complete the objectives. The site has sensible FPS limits and it's not uncommon to be taken out by a DMR. If a grenade is thrown into a room you are not allowed to leave so it effectively kills everyone the second it's thrown, the rooms are small enough that you'd be in the 5 metre kill radius so I think that's fair.

 

The staff are all excellent and other sites should take notes from them on how to run a site. Layout of the site is solid and the way it is set out makes it feel deceptively big.

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I played here yesterday (24th may) and I must say I was vastly impressed. Tony running the site was brilliant and was always making sure everyone was having a good time. Very well organised site and great games played all day. All players were respectful of the no cheating policy. And overall everyone seemed to have a good time. Drinks were cheap at 50p each and burgers were playfully named after various guns (mp5, ump etc). In all it was a great day airsofting and I would recommend this site to anyone.

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