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Baz JJ

Okto Eight Milsim

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Hi guys, after posting about the planning and execution of the inaugural game, I promised that I would give some sort of summary and review after it happened.

 

I will try to be objective.

 

The game was a Milsim held at Westwood Country Park in Kings Langley just off J20 on the M25.

 

People could play for the day or weekend.

 

The cost was 35 pounds for the day or 60 for the weekend for early bookings and free camping was available. People started to arrive from 1600 onwards on the Friday and the camping was on a large, secure flat field. There were a few horse pats here and there but they didn't cause any trouble provided you used a torch when moving around at night. The toilets were proper, flushing, ceramic bowl toilets situated in a brick building, although it was a long walk in the middle of the night.

There was also a fresh water standpipe there although most players brought their own water with them. Some camped in tents and one pair of players even brought a touring caravan with them.

The organisers office which was a caravan and a large tent was also in the camping field and they provided charging facilities and a shop selling BBs, gas and pyro.

 

The game started at 0900 on Saturday and there were three forces in attendance as per the game advertisement. The principle of the Okto Eight games are eight hour games in the battlefield held over a weekend and with socialising in the evening after the cease fire at 1700. The Milsim nature of the game dictated no two tone weapons, a loadout guideline and prohibited use of highcaps.

 

The organiser provided two vehicles; a Russian GAZ jeep for the rebels forces to use and a Ford Ranger 4x4 pick-up which was shared between the other two forces. Once the safety brief had been carried out, weapons were chrono'd and there was a brief explanation about the game itself. The number of players was quite low compared to a skimish, about 22-24 players, but it was an inaugural game and it worked quite well in the end.

 

The government forces were able to walk to their base which was a large tented camp with a tower and flag as it was only a few hundred metres beyond the "Caution - Moldistan Border" sign which signified the start of the warzone. The rebels were driven to their secret village in their jeep which then stayed with them all day. The SF were inserted in the 4x4 and did what SF do.

 

It has to be said that the site is huge. Reputed to be about 120 acres, it is woodland with no hard permanent buildings but has a mixture of terrain from woods to open fields with plenty of dips, hollows and long grass.

There are vehicle tracks which provide 4x4 access to most of the bases and key features used.

 

The organiser had constructed for the purpose of the game, the two bases, an abandoned village, a mine entrance and a checkpoint.

 

Operation Skylight was set in the fictional eastern bloc country of Moldistan in modern times.

 

The game had already started some six months previously on the Facebook page where the story and game prelim had spun up around a corrupt government and a Titanium mine. Players could log on to their secret team group so they could get to know their fellow team mates and discuss tactics long before the game weekend.

 

Once in-country, everybody was allowed to settle in and there were three different radio nets being maintained and run by the organisers. Each force had the ability to call up a command centre for orders and advice. The main activity of Saturday revolved around the official opening of the mine. The government forces were assigned to escort the President to the mine for the opening and the rebels were instructed to assassinate him. The SF had different but mission related orders.

 

The President was played by an actor and turned up with his bodyguard, another actor, in a bulletproof minivan and then a 4x4 for the last part of the journey. What was good is that you could shoot at the vehicles, even though they were "armoured". The rebels attacked and used an RPG which fired, but unfortunately, the attack was a little premature and the President escaped. The government troops did a great job of protecting him. The day was peppered with battles between the factions and the MPF rebels did eventually manage to take out an armed patrol with the RPG later. A rebel pointed the RPG, it fired with a bang and there was an even larger explosion from the car, which resulted in black smoke, bodies slumped, etc. Further adventures over the weekend included all forces hunting an American journalist through the wargame area (SF managed to locate him and exfil him by a car posing as a helicopter - not as silly as it seems in practice). There was also another attempt to open the mine where the opening was finally achieved but the President escaped again. This was followed by an all out attack on the rebel stronghold with mortars and the SF rescuing a stretcher bound hostage.

 

All in all, a great weekend. The weather was brilliant for airsoft - dry, sunny but not too hot. Everybody played their chosen roles perfectly. There were no raised hands when hit, the rebels were dressed for the part and even talked with faked Russian accents. Some were camming up and the vehicles were fantastic. There is nothing quite like shooting at a car which is doing its best to evade you or better still a technical with armed guards firing back at you. At one point, there was a firefight between SF and rebels as they helicopter tried to evac the journalist and it was very much a hot extraction with the BBs flying around the helo, callsign HELO2.

 

Good Points

==========

 

There was enough players to let the game function and let everybody have hands on the props.

Props included the already mentioned RPG, vehicles, working pyro landmines, dynamite and timer strapped to the silencer of one of the vehicles as a car bomb and much, much more. Attention to detail was superb. Even the mines which entered the game on the back of the GAZ were in a straw filled ammo box. A real mine clearing kit was provided to the SF at one point in one of their drops and there was even a defib kit for battlefield medics seen in one of the tents.

The game was clear and communications flowed well.

Some players had flat gun batteries in the afternoon and the organiser loaned them new ones whilst charging up their knackered ones for them.

One player was loaned a PTT to enable his headset to talk to a Okto supplied radio (The Organiser supplied high power radios to all forces).

There was a good social on Saturday night with people eating their supper around campfires and enjoying a beer and a smoke together.

You could keep extra equipment and ammo at your field base - the SF received parachute drops of equipment.

 

Bad Points

=========

 

There was a bit of confusion about whether a vehicle was a moving car or flying helicopter at one point.

One of the rental guns misbehaved even though it was nearly new, but this was exchanged for another identical weapon so the player was only inconvenienced for a short time.

 

A few more players in the game would be good, but not too many. Okto advise max limit is 36-40 players depending on game details. Hopefully, this will be achieved in the next game. There already appears to be a loyal following keen to book for the April game.

 

Bandages and morphine worked well, although there was some confliction between the published rules and the briefing as to how the morphine was to be used. The morphine jab certainly saved a long walk back to regen.

 

A bit of confusion about respawn points. It was found that the hard points were a long way away and the legs ached after about the 10th time you died, so the organisers started using mobile ones to assist. This concept wasn't fully understood by some, so it could be explained better next time.

 

A couple of players were a bit hit and miss on their hit taking on the Sunday but the marshal had a word and the problem cleared up. Some of the non-milsim experienced day players used a bit too much auto on the Sunday but its only milsim experience which prevents that and its easy to get carried away.

 

The front gate sign on the approach road was a bit hard to spot.

 

You really need to be a Facebook user to get the best out of Okto games - they don't have a website.

 

There is only an Okto Eight game every six months...

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Hi Baz,

 

I thought id add a little something from the player side of things for the game last week.

 

the day was really well planned and the story was very immersive which you don’t get from a lot of game days. The use of small squads of people made the day IMO play a hell of a lot better than having say 80 odd people there in total. The site from the outside I didn’t think much of and was a little demoralized when I turned up but when you get in the play area.... holy hell! It was like your very own world had opened up in front of you! At times tabbed for a good 10 minutes without even a sound of anything around me which added to the feel of being isolated from any outside help (I was on the SOF team). The organizers but in quite a bit of effort with the bases and structures that were on the site and I liked the use of vehicles for the teams (I did understand why the SOF couldn’t have any transport other than for insertion but my legs and feet were not so understanding! Haha).

 

Pros for me.

- Well organised

- Large site with immersive feel

- Good players (couldn’t be happier with the hit taking)

- Medic rules worked well

- Character drop ins worked well

 

Cons for me

- Couldn’t always get through to our team lead at HQ on the radios

- Mixed/confusing messages meant we walked halfway to an objective then got recalled for something else

- Needed a decision maker on the team

- More use of props would be good all round

All in all Baz I really enjoyed myself and I think you and the guys at Okto 8 should be very proud of what you pulled together! I think the more people that play a game with you guys the better as I think your type of milsim would suit a lot of people.

Would I book again.... in a heartbeat.

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Thanks for a good review Clumpyedge.

 

The inaugural game wasn't perfect and I guess things never are, but we have analysed all the feedback and made some changes for the next game.

 

Regarding radios, there was somebody operating the radio net most of the time, but they were communicating with three teams and doing other stuff as well. In reality, radio traffic between SF and HQ would be minimal and its not unusual to have to call a few times on some sort of sched because of bad positioning or atmospherics.

 

In that particular game, you were playing the sniper attached to a fireteam and if I recall for much of the time, you were remote from the main team doing what snipers do. The plan communicated in the SOF FB group was for you to be under the control of the 1IC in the SF fireteam and you had a radio link with them to coordinate activities. Leadership at milsims is always difficult. Some players don't lead naturally and some don't like to be led. In the real world, you do as you're told or at least in the SF, as agreed collectively in the plan but its harder to push this in a leisure activity where people pay money to enjoy themselves. Certainly, as an organiser we try to set up groups to promote this and we encourage and advice, but nobody can be forced to do as they are told. The good thing about milsims is that nobody gets killed permanently and next time round, you can put yourself forward to lead !!

 

Regarding props, I know cos I queried it with you this morning that when you say props, you mean things like mortars.

 

We actually had mortars in the game on the Sunday, but as you played on Saturday, you obviously weren't aware of this.

 

We had a lot of props out in the field and I suspect because you were out in a sniping role and just played the one day, there were many you didn't see. For example, on Sunday, your team were dropped a British Army Mine Clearing Kit and they were doing EOD on landmines !!

 

Regarding the confusing orders and tabbing, welcome to the army mate. There were a lot of sore legs in the SF when we extracted them on Sunday. My answer is "well you wanted to be special - thats why SF do selection and need incredible stamina" :-)

 

All joking and banter aside, your team did well, even if we did have to help them out on the Sunday with a UAV !!

 

 

Cons for me

- Couldn’t always get through to our team lead at HQ on the radios

- Mixed/confusing messages meant we walked halfway to an objective then got recalled for something else

- Needed a decision maker on the team

- More use of props would be good all round

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no complaints! just merely saying that i think i need to personally up my game and get my stamina up!

 

shame i couldnt stick about for the sunday for the use of more of the props than what i saw, sounds like a blast! like i say ill be signing up for the next one when its announced and hopefully be a bit fitter by then hahaha!

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To be honest, we had to hold some of the props back in the end on the Sunday otherwise it would just be too much and too confusing.

We have some more interesting toys for the next game and we are always shopping for new things.

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If anybody is interested in photos, there are some photos of the day on the Okto Eight Milsim Facebook page and a lot more on the Okto Eight Milsim Kill Club group on Facebook, which is the community group for the players.

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Great weekend and loved the site. I walked around for about 1.5hrs on my own and got to know the place quite well! Your SOF sniper role would have suited me clumpyedge, lol.

Some of the rules need addressing,as Baz knows and is on the case. For a first event though the players made it, the organisers had their ears open, the weather was just right and will be signing up the next one

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The rule tweaks have already been made. Stocking up on props for the next one in April.

The only problem with so many people coming back for the second game is that we need to get some new stuff to

keep it on the edge ! lol

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Right. Where to begin? (Bare with me, I'm terrible at writing anything that's over a paragraph long, especially a review) If you think anything needs clarifying, please don't hesitate to tell me, and I'll sort it out.

 

I'll start off with the weeks/months leading up to the event. Baz initially set up a group on Facebook in which he posted up snippets of fake news articles which helped to build up the background history to help you get truly immersed into the story of it all such as why the rebels had formed (because the president Gretsky was labelled as "corrupt" ; filling his own pockets off a new titanium mine which was due to open instead of spending it back into the country) as well as the possible American SF which was apparently secretly in the country (although the state media denied this). After you booked and paid the deposit, you were invited into a secret group in which you could meet and greet the rest of your team on Facebook and discuss plans with each other as well as receiving any new information from "Foxtrot Command" which needed to be kept confidential from the other teams.

 

Now onto the arrival, which was actually very good as the post code takes you directly to the front gate, which is a bonus as we didn't have to faff around trying to find some secluded entrance behind some big bush or some back path, although the gate remained closed which (if it wasn't for the Okto Eight sign) made us think that we were too late or there was another entrance to go through. As we arrived at the safe zone, I managed to get all my gear on just in time and introduced myself to Baz and the rest of the MDF team (governmental forces) as well as some of the guys from the MPF (rebel forces) who were all very friendly and chatty with myself and each other. We then had our safety brief which was well executed and straight to the point which managed to get it all over very quickly, before being redirected to Baz who told us the background story and the events all leading up to current day in case anyone had missed any information from the Facebook page. We were then handed our equipment such as radios to receive important messages, bandages which were about a mile long and an edipen to some people for an extra revive for those who had paid for the privilege (I must admit, i thought this was a bit unfair that you could pay to have an extra bonus over other people, although it was nothing game changing at all). We were then driven out to our starter zones ready to begin the day(FOBs for the MDF, a village for the MPF and a bergen in the middle of the woods for the SOF). Personally, I would have liked the FOB to be moved forward so that the tower covered the bend in the road so we had a bit more time to react to enemies assaulting our FOB.

 

It was now about 10am and we decided to get comms up and running and then came up with and rehearsed a security plan to protect the president who was later going to open the mine (a marshal who acted out the role who did a pretty damned good job of it as well). It would have been nice if we were formally told that we had started as we were a bit confused at the beginning whether the game had actually started or whether we were still waiting for the other teams to get ready (oops, I remember being told that the game started over the radio, but unfortunately, my headset wasn't plugged in properly :unsure: ). At about 11, we decided to patrol the road down to the mine opening to make sure that the rebels weren't close by and had not planted any traps to destroy the vehicle that the president was travelling down in. However, on the way, we were engaged by rebel forces who were trying to get ready and lie in wait for the president which ended up in a long lasting, heated firefight as we struggled to push them back whilst trying to stay alive as you had a real sense of self-preservation so you didn't have to watch the rest of your small team die and return to base. The immersion by both teams were great as once you were hit, you would go down to the floor screaming "MEDIC!!!" watching the firefight revolve around you as the rest of the team desperately tried to reach you. As the firefight drew to a close, the amount of people who were injured, rolling around the floor shouting "MEDIC" was actually kind of scary and daunting as you notice the amount of casualties taken in on both sides who were screaming, pretending to be in pain. I felt truly immersed within the game as many of players ran around shouting out in Russian accents (which happened to be quite comedic as well).

 

10665087_10152675730611265_8529047816192

Some of the M72s which were confiscated on the second day.

 

The use of props throughout the day was amazing as well as the vehicles which could be used to transport yourselves around the 120 acres of woodland at your disposal. Although these had to be used at your own risk as sitting on the back and getting ambushed basically makes your self a sitting duck and proved to be quite painful aswell. There was a functioning mortar at our FOB (although the range was something else to say about, but that didn't stop us bombing the rebel village with it on the second day thanks to the marshals throwing pyro into their base after being directed by a small recon team who were only about 20 - 30 metres away from their main base :lol: )There were also RPGs and M72s used by the rebels which could blow up the vehicles and kill it's occupants which we had to deal with to try and go in and rescue the injured before being ambushed at CP 15. All 3 teams played to their roles perfectly with the rebels constantly providing a challenge to us by ambushing us at unsuspecting moments and I didn't even see the SOF at all on the first day as they stuck to the shadows but apparently they had engaged us quite a few times that day without us even realising, helping the rebels to clear us out, before killing them off as well.

 

10714418_1464888243793270_87385349643281

One of the squads from the MDF who provided eyes on the ground for the mortar strike.

 

The game finished sharply at 5 and we all headed back to the safe zone to get debriefed, before setting up camp for the night but you had to be aware of where you put your tent thanks to the amount of horse s***s there were lying around in the field, and don't get me started about the daddy long legs. They were everywhere and when they saw the slightest opportunity to get in your tent, they would go for it! :angry: I had the pleasure of camping with the rest of my team and we had a laugh in a small circle although it would have been nice if everyone got together round a large fire and had a laugh, but still, I enjoyed the evening and was certainly one of my highlights being there for that.

 

10669148_1464877290461032_27539395652015

Pre game time in the safe zone on Sunday

 

The game started at 10 again the next morning and the team got back together with one man short who unfortunately fell ill and was unable to continue on the second day. The second day was also a lot more fun, although towards the end of the day, you could tell people were getting tired as they were getting frustrated that they weren't shooting any body and someone decided to remove themselves from the immersion of the day by going back to the safe zone (which was out of bounds during the game day unless it was necessary) and decided to make himself a pizza in his caravan's oven which may or may not have made me a bit jealous as all I had was a can of heated up baked beans in a mess tin for breakfast :( But we managed to change a few outcomes throughout he day such as destroying a weapons cache and confiscating a bunch of M72s before having to hold off a giant ambush against the attacking MPF. But I did feel slightly outnumbered on the second day as when the MPF teamed up with the SOF, we were outnumbered 3 to 1 which felt quite demoralising as we knew we weren't going to win any engagement we had with them. The mobile spawns also proved a PITA as I don't think the rules were clear enough and the rebels would be able to spawn after we killed them in a matter of minutes, meaning that we just ran out of ammo and got overwhelmed at some points. Luckily, towards the end of the day, some of the rebels were getting tired and we managed to push the rebels out of the village and hold it until we were told to withdraw back to our FOB. During the last hour, we were tasked with taking the old cache we had secured from the rebels again which felt a bit skirmish-y for me as I had no real understanding as to why we were there and it was just a massive-ish shoot up.

 

10636672_1464877993794295_55446217510817

Holding the FOB against the rebel counter-attack (if you look carefully, you can see me cowering in this picture :) )

 

In conclusion, the weekend was a massive amount of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it with the hiccups hardly causing much of a problem for me. The teamwork and camaraderie was great and I would definitely play with these guys again and we have agreed to try and keep in touch and go somewhere else again. The storyline was great and I like how the way you and your team play affects the storyline of the game as we managed to save president Gretsky from losing his hide (just!). I will definitely go again the next time it is on and i think it is well worth the money and time spent preparing for it and I recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going (as long as you join the glorious MDF :P ).

 

As I said earlier, anything you think I should add in or any questions, feel free to ask or tell me. Phew, finally done writing it up :)

 

10460853_372930796190647_195122188912708

Giant team photo from Sunday (It would have been great if more people were there, just saying that you lot should come, that's all)

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Good review Zak.

Glad you added the bit about you not plugging your headset in therefore missing the STARTEX ! lol

 

Running back to the caravan for pizza makes one of your fellow MDF. a humongous cock womble, but what can you do with em ?

Everybody else was digging into field rations at their bases.

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The next game in the series, Operation Tailspin has gone up on the FB page. Not until April though.

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Booking opened for Operation Tailspin and first deposits received. Game on..

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The plot for Operation Tailspin is evolving and there are already public news reports on the Facebook page and privileged force intel complying with OPSEC on the secret team groups.

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Can someone give me details for the fb page so I can have a read and possible sign up for the next milsim please

 

Nick

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Thanks baz :) appreciated

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Seriously considering giving this Milsim business a go and trying this out. How easy is it to get to from the local station?

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Op Tailspin Update:

 

The Special Forces eight man team is already fully booked and we have 9 deposits received across the other two forces so far.

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Sry, this is me being a div but what is the link to book a place?

Edit:

Found it :rolleyes: Deposit sent B)

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MDF. Cant have them pesky rebels ruining the party.

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