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Baz JJ

MILSIM - What is it ?

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I asked this question on a general Facebook Airsoft group and got some quite strange answers.

 

We know what it stands for i.e. military simulation, but what would you expect of a quality milsim game ?

 

Seems to me that a lot of skirmish sites are trying to cash in on what is seen as the current vogue for milsim.

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I think Berget has it down pretty well.

 

What I'd expect are , players organised into squads and the like, command elements with radio contact to organise what people are doing. Objectives throughout the weekend, like capture and hold the ammo depot and your team's ammo limit is increased. Also, extras you don't get at a normal skirmish usually, like vehicles, anti vehicle weapons, mortars and all that cool stuff which helps to add with immersion. AFAIK at Berget if you call in a mortar strike, staff mark the area with smoke grenades and tell people in the target area that they are dead or wounded.

 

I'd also like to be able to Dig in, whether im a sniper digging an OP or just someone digging a slit trench to defend my position. I think the increase of freedom like that allowing you to think more tactically is important for the immersion.

 

Mind you I'm the type of idiot who'd want to carry his rucksack everywhere and get as close to real life as possible, not everyone will be after that.

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I'm after coming back from a 36hr one so guess I'll chip in.

 

It really depends on the site. My local site is 400 acres large and has multiple vehicles in play so it adds a lot to the experience. Everything is in play and an objective. Random team members selected as HVTs,vehicles can be stolen and driven by some players (Got a go myself),rolling objectives- Everything will flow on and change and affect the teams,sometimes an old objective might come back into play.For example we had to keep a town under control,which fell back and forth between sides,robbing jeeps to restrict freedom of movement,capturing checkpoints and MASH tents,capturing ammo supplies,capturing Replica RPGs which can be used to destroy vehicles which removes them from the game for a set amount of time and 'repairs' them at their home base,etc... We also had civvies in play who were in the know regarding who's doing what and going where,you could buy info off them with money which can be earned through various objectives. There was also a drug smuggling thing going on which was quite new,never tried to set up a fake deal by having lads pretend to be civvies and then busting it in an airsoft game of all things. I think we did plug a plan to distract us at our home base allowing the insurgent team to lace our HQ with IEDs.

 

Of course, big key is organisation into squads,with proper command and communication,communication being a massive factor.

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Compared to the average skirmish I suspect the following key elements change the gameplay quite significantly:

- Command, control and contact. Combination of a commander, fireteam leaders and the organisation that comes with it combined with radios.

- Matching camouflage, no coloured armbands and reasonable accurate loadouts with limited ammunition.

- Objectives throughout the day but with no arbitrary limits. If the commander wants to put defence 50m out from the point he can and should be able to, the only rules are those that apply globally rather than individually to any one particular scenario. Its this flexibility that leads to force multiplier tactics being possible (like ambushes or flanking attacks when defending).

 

The highly scripted elements are a choice but I don't feel they are required. Given a bundle of objectives across the game zone teams can and would organise their own attacks and raids and go about doing particular missions of their own based on what mattered to them based on supplies and other aspects of those objectives. I suspect the scripted gameplay works to drive the day on a little better and I suspect a mix of elements likely works best (so players feel in control of what they do without making it just a battlefield domination game). But I don't think scripted is really a core to milsim, its more that the objectives themselves can be realistically handled.

 

I feel that needs an example. Today we played a fallback game, 1 life in each of 3 locations, a section ends once the attacking team gets its hands on its objective. This is obviously a highly scripted aspect of gameplay forcing falling back and particular key objectives, but rules like defenders can't go outside this area restrict the tactics that can be used and dying and having to walk to the next place (and the attackers having to wait for the defenders to get ready) are all highly unrealistic. Its relatively simple to work out how to do this type of gameplay scenario in a milsim way, by and large its "defend these 3 points, first one allows access to second because of XXX and then second gets access to third because XXX". It doesn't require anything more, the falling back and how attacks are coordinated are all in the mission briefing and how it has to play out.

 

Vehicles and other elements are nice gravy but I don't think they make it milsim, indeed some sites use it despite not really hitting the more important milsim aspects. So my personal expectation is actually its mostly about those 3 elements, CCC, allowed loadouts and the way the rules work.

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I'd go with Bornleverpuller and TeddyBhoy,s responses.

 

Story driven, with objectives opening and closing depending on the previous outcomes. Not something that follows a clearly defined pathway that feels preordained. Surprises and curve balls, like something happening elsewhere impacting on your plans. A defined hierarchy within teams and the expectation that you follow "orders". Although many games involve some kind of special forces team so small units being given a task or series of tasks but planning how they would best complete this by themselves like the "Chinese parliament" often described in SAS books.

 

Distinct requirements for skill sets, eg dedicated sniper teams, support team, patrols. And games with a pace that allows distinct units to be deployed for particular tasks, not all the time mind. I would not expect a sniper to deployed in the field for the whole game dug in, but potentially I could see someone with sniper kit swapping between their rifleman loadout and their sniper load out as tasks dictate.

 

Milsim to me would require times of simple admin type activities, guarding a base or check point, but that this could lead to defending bases from assaults. Less breaks from game time, so 12, 24, 36 and 48 hour games with personal admin being completed in games. It being a prop and vehicle heavy environment. But I wouldn't expect people to be humping all of their kit all the time, packs to be left at LUP's etc. A definite kit requirement to fit the time period of the story and team setting, eg SF kitted out as SF would be, Vietcong in black and green.

 

Battlesim and Filmsim would take some of this stuff but potentially involve a degree of role play, be shorter, perhaps involve periods in game punctuated by out of game, eg 9am-9pm in game 9pm-9am relax and socialise out of game.

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Answers so far more or less what I would have expected.

 

Some very strange answers from the Airsoft Community page on FB.

 

LOL

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Answers so far more or less what I would have expected.

Some very strange answers from the Airsoft Community page on FB.

LOL

give us some examples?

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Well i dont want to embarass individuals but its clear to me that a lot of people trot out the milsim/Tier1/Stirling mantra without any real understanding of the differences and key factors in milsims. References to lots of shooting in milsims, no hit taking problems and testosterone fuelled stamina/endurance challenges i.e. the longer and harder the milsim period, the better it is !

 

Proves nothing of course but interesting nonetheless.

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Personally I'm not really sure what the difference between filmsim and milsim is. It makes me think of ammo limits and camo/clothing restrictions per side which I like, although if it I had to only wear what british or american armed forces wear for instance not so much.

 

The only one i've been to is airborne airsoft which is along the lines of desert camo/MTP/Multicam on one side and more woodland/flat colours on the other with ammo limits and nothing like box mags on an M4. It did also become apparent how important the use of radios are, although this is true of larger skirmish sites even if it is to a lesser extent.

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Join tne club - Ive never fully understood the difference between filmsim, milsim and LARP.

It has been explained to me a few times, but the differences are still blurred.

 

I think what we do at Okto has ingredients of all three, but what do I know.

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The terms are used interchangeably by some and as distinct by others. It would be great to have a clear definition for each but it's just not that simple. I've heard people using "soft" and "hard" milsim. The soft milsims seemed closer to what I have experienced as Battlesim. All bar the last involve some kind of kit requirement and stricter rules on ammo and weapons.

 

- Hard milsim (maybe more like milsim as Tier1 and Stirling) standing around on stag for 23 hours and an hour of shooting stuff. Lots of "realism" which means in my head lots of "hurrying up and waiting". A definite level or expectation of fitness and a level of discomfort. Roleplay required regarding positions and duties, but characters and back stories are unimportant.

 

- Soft milsim/battlesim, less of the tedious stuff - more action. Based in a fictional or real environment, possibly taking aspects of current or historical conflicts and making a composite storyline. A degree of comfort pauses to allow those of us who don't regularly run marathons to get ourselves squared away. No expectations that players will yomp 4 miles in full kit and then fight a 2 hour running battle. Roleplay may be involved but is second to airsofting.

 

- Filmsim I would deem to be a soft milsim/battlesim based on a film storyline. Roleplay could be involved but is second to airsofting.

 

- Gamesim (as above but based on a game of some kind, eg COD). Roleplay could be involved but is second to airsofting.

 

- LARP (I'd put zombie games in this category) based on current/historical periods or fantasy. Roleplay is the main part of this with airsoft second. A rounded character and back story could be very important.

 

- Skirmish: no requirements of any kind, a free for all, anything goes.

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I find there is a lot of smoke and mirrors with the milsim genre - I even produced a kind of "milsim at a glance" table to make it easier for people to assess what they were getting.

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I want to play a weekend long milsim but can't find any in Scotland anyone know of any?

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I don't think there are any in Scotland which always puzzles me when you have so much open spaces up there. A few of the Scots lads who do milsim seem to come across the border and play at places like Catterick.

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In short, from what I gather about it - It's more scenario based, with more realism elements. Also, people take it way more seriously than skirmishes or CQBs.

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In short, from what I gather about it - It's more scenario based, with more realism elements. Also, people take it way more seriously than skirmishes or CQBs.

 

It is really very immersive. Okto in the last game had its "filmsim" elements, characters played by the staff to do particular things and drive the story and the missions along but really what made the game was all your team mates and the tactical play. In a skirmish when you put someone somewhere they wander off after 5 minutes, that just doesn't happen, your team mate will take his sector seriously. There were many moments of brilliance in the previous game, most of them unscripted by the organisers and more to do with the team mates and how they acted.

 

I highly recommend it, it is so far the best "airsoft" game I have ever played by a long way. You can't ever get that experience in a normal skirmish because they lack the level of commitment and command and control.

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Milsim type games are definitely worth checking out. One of my best memories of a game is 8 of us sneaking through a section of dense ferns at Longmoor for maybe half an hour. It was a game where there was over twice as many players on the opposite team so we knew we had to pick our battles. It ended with us getting pincered by two groups of 10-15 players each and we got horribly slaughtered but the atmosphere and tension was incredible.

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Anything that simulates being in the military i guess! Longshot has it right, is just people taking it (i.m.o far too) seriously and lots of extra rules / detail to the game scenario. And probably spread over 24 hours or a weekend.

 

I've had bad experiences with it, too many army-wannabe douche-bags bitching/arguing with each other and not enough action, combined with no freedom to do what you want (gotta follow orders apparently). I'd rather have an argument with the missus the night before a game, get kicked out the house, and sleep in a tent outside a normal skirmish site. At least then I'd get a days worth of airsoft out of it.

 

Hoping to go to one the big events this year and have a better time about it, increased numbers should hopefully increase the odds of having enough decent cheerful types around to make being stuck in a patch of woods for 24 hours a good time not an endurance.

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I follow the milsim groups on Facebook and it always amazes me how many different milsim experiences are out there, the misconceptions of those who believe what others tell them and often just downright ignorance that their style is right.

 

There are lots of flavours of milsim. Its just about reading the information and playing whats right for you.

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Reading through the lazy player thread, another difference between milsim and skirmishing occurs to me.

 

In many skirmishes, players will rush objectives or try bold moves, knowing that failure involves a short walk to regen and they are back in the game a few minutes later.

 

In milsim, regen is deliberately made to be an effort - usually a long walk or at least medic rules with bleedout time. This is not done to be mean or inspire some kind of hardcore experience.

 

There is nothing like being scared of being shot.

Its a natural emotion in a real action, for obvious reasons.

 

Long regens help to add a degree of realism.

 

That heart thumping fear and inevitable adrenaline rush when a firefight kicks off and you are, both trying to conserve limited ammunition by short bursts of auto or better still, semi and you know that taking a round will put you out of the game long enough to at least miss that firefight.

 

You often read about hi-cap fests with players trying to get as many balls in the air as possible to maximise their chance of winning. Milsim players using mid caps or sometimes even real steel limit low caps will conserve ammo and pick their shots, knowing that any prolonged action will have to be punctuated by time sapping mag changes.

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It is really very immersive. Okto in the last game had its "filmsim" elements, characters played by the staff to do particular things and drive the story and the missions along but really what made the game was all your team mates and the tactical play. In a skirmish when you put someone somewhere they wander off after 5 minutes, that just doesn't happen, your team mate will take his sector seriously. There were many moments of brilliance in the previous game, most of them unscripted by the organisers and more to do with the team mates and how they acted.

 

I highly recommend it, it is so far the best "airsoft" game I have ever played by a long way. You can't ever get that experience in a normal skirmish because they lack the level of commitment and command and control.

Thanks man I will go one day for sure :)

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It is really very immersive. Okto in the last game had its "filmsim" elements, characters played by the staff to do particular things and drive the story and the missions along but really what made the game was all your team mates and the tactical play. In a skirmish when you put someone somewhere they wander off after 5 minutes, that just doesn't happen, your team mate will take his sector seriously. There were many moments of brilliance in the previous game, most of them unscripted by the organisers and more to do with the team mates and how they acted.

 

I highly recommend it, it is so far the best "airsoft" game I have ever played by a long way. You can't ever get that experience in a normal skirmish because they lack the level of commitment and command and control.

 

Is it more expensive?

The impression I get is I'll have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on uniform (combats, boots, webbing/assualt vest) and gear (bergen, basher, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, ration, etc...) to look like the real deal.

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No its not expensive, You dont sleep in Okto games so you dont need military camping gear. I think one of the rebels at an earlier game was boasting about a £20 loadout, The dearest thing is buying five or six midcaps as you cant use high caps or carry loose bbs with you.

Even the MDF is only DPM so is quite cheap to meet. The game is £60 though.

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