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Dentonboy

Enjoyment of skirmishing falling short of anticipation

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Firstly, I apologise for what could be a bit of a ramble.

 

I am writing this post to see whether I am alone in how i feel about the state of airsoft these days.

 

I have been 'into' airsoft since 1993, when I saved up and bought a TM NBB Desert Eagle from the then legendary Sussex based 'Battle Orders'.

 

An array of springers followed; usually bought from Sussex Model Centre in Worthing and on the annual trip to the War & Peace Show at Paddock Wood (my family has owned military vehicles since 1987, so this was a calender event since then).

 

I started skirmishing in late 2005, after buying my first AEG; a TM AK47 Beta Spetsnaz. This was at EAG in Worthing.

 

It is fair to say that the hook was set after that! I wanted to try out bigger and better sites and monthly trips to CSW set in.

 

Pre-VCRA in 2007, a lot of gear, AEGs, GBBs and various magazines were bought to feed the habit.

 

A hiatus in playing between 2010 - 2014 (met fiance, bought a house, married her, had children) meant the hook wiggled free. But I found out a (very unlikely) manager of mine skirmished, so I started buying airsoft magazines again and the hook set in after trying out Ace Combat at Pembury.

 

I have now taken in at least six skirmishes at Ace, five at Holmbush and two at The Defilade since the end of 2014. This is a lot for me these days, what with a career in education, a wife and two children!

 

But recently, I have found that the anticipation of skirmishing has vastly out scored the reality of doing it.

 

I love reading the magazines; goodness knows how many sale ones I bought from Landwarrior recently for a quid each, I love buying bits of gear (my darling wife has bought me a MARPAT ICWS top for my birthday) and have taken to the forums more and more to trade, buy and sell gear. I love this.

 

But getting to the raison d'etre - the game days...they seem to fall a bit flat by comparison. I haven't been to CSW for years now because it is just so far away and costs so much in petrol these days. Ace Combat is very well run, and is a great site, just the right size with mainly excellent players and games; but again, it is a 2+ hour round trip. Holmbush has an excellent site, loads of players and varying terrain but the arena boundaries are quite narrow and it all feels a bit 'squeezed in' and I found last weekend you were rarely able to move out of range of the opposition, despite the game area being geographically huge, but relatively narrow. I have to say that The Defilade at Chailey hasn't disappointed yet, but it is a lot smaller than the aforementioned sites, although being five minutes away is a huge win.

 

I don't know whether it is how I approach the game, whether I feel my AEGs are inadequate when compared to others (I am sure they aren't, but is it just me who always feel others have a much better range than what you seem to be firing?), or whether it is the constant stream of repairs that always seem to stem from a game day, but something just isn't sitting right. Having a gun that suddenly decides to stop working is hugely annoying, breaking or losing something even more so...does anyone ever have their full collection in good working order all at the same time?

 

I hugely enjoy playing - most of the time - and I know that just plinking would never be enough. I am fortunate to play with a regular bunch often enough to form a small team, so it isn't like I am on my Larry all the time...so why am I finding game days, dare I say it, a bit of a let down?

 

 

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I'm in the same ship; I've been skirmishing since 97, but over the last few years my interest in the game itself has waned.

 

I love the guns & gear, but so often I'll be looking forward to a game but by Saturday night when I'm packed & ready I'll just have lost all interest in actually going.

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I get where you are coming from entirely.

Airsoft for me has very little to to with the gear it's all about the playing but I have found I don't enjoy most skirmish days very much lately.

Its why I mainly play small private games now as they are much more enjoyable. The meet up game back in Feb was a good night and I am looking forward to the next one but not so much the couple of skirmishes I am booked in for.

I think its mainly down to the people playing. I like to try and get stuck in and get as much out of the day as possible. But I find a lot of players just don't seem to approach things with the same gusto, they like to hang back and are far more interested in looking the part than actually being it. Also seems like the hit taking is getting worse but not from the new players.

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I had the same 'problem' a few years back and decided to remedy it by trying something new... I went to a stirling weekend MILSIM game, completely changed the way I looked at airsoft and I haven't looked back since. The bigger weekend games are spread out and there's a decent community of teams and players to talk with which builds up the anticipation for each game, as well as the new kit you'll 'need' (we all do it) for that game. Hit taking is usually very good at these games as people are there for the immersion more than the winning (you can't 'win', there's no flag to collect etc), though obviously you'll do less shooting and more waiting.

 

Trying something different worked for me, I still do sunday walk-ons every now and again to have a laugh and test out new kit, but I've found quality > quantity.

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I had exactly the same although it happened much quicker for me.

 

Skirmishes quickly lost their appeal and I ended up getting involved with milsims.

 

Dare I say its something to do with age?

 

I love the immersion of milsims and collecting kit. The challenge of tactics and problem solving adds a needed dimension to the actual shooting.

 

I've heard other guys say similar and a few have commented that skirmishes have lost appeal after switching to milsim type games.

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I like the idea of milsims, but I just cannot take orders from weekend warriors - that would grate very quickly on my willpower to give it a go.

 

I think my favourite game-play tactic is flanking and getting the drop on people...and at some sites, you just cannot due to imposed boundaries. That then annoys me...I have to change my playing style...yada yada yada...losing faith in skirmishing...

 

Cheers for the input guys, am so glad it is not just me.

 

I don't want to be just a collector.

 

I don't want to be *that* guy in the safezone with all the gear but unwilling to play.

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Try one. Many people think its all uber anal team seal 6 wannabes and its not, well not the games I've played.

There's a lot of humour, a bit of role play and banter.

Usually decisions are taken collectively in the groups or teams which is half the fun.

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I think going to the same sites every time can have effect on interest and motivation, and it's difficult to tackle this problem. Me and my friend have the same problem, most sites around us are in forest, we are planning to try the mall but that's 3h drive, or milsim, never been on one, maybe trying different gun will help, I always run with M16, maybe using sniper would spice things up

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I've never been to a milsim game where i've received 'orders' in a formal sense.

I've been to plenty of milsim games where the guy in charge of whichever team I'm on (goodies, baddies, tan, green... doesn't matter!) has said "we want your unit to go here and do this", but it's never an 'order' as such.

 

Even at the most hardcore game I've been to (Combat Airsoft Group OP Eagle Fury a couple of weekends ago) which was run very similarly to a military exercise there was no 'weekend warrior syndrome'. The guys running it were all ex or serving military and they approached the C2 & planning elements as they would for real; delegating responsibility and autonomy to the guys on the ground who had more information. Tasking was given, we'd be instructed to hit a particular building or sweep for IEDs in a certain area but that largely was to drive the game.

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I'll have to give one a go, once the kids are a bit older - they are young enough atm to drive us mad if we're alone with them for a long period of time!

 

Any milsim games in the Sussex area then?

 

Cheers!

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I think going to the same sites every time can have effect on interest and motivation, and it's difficult to tackle this problem. Me and my friend have the same problem, most sites around us are in forest, we are planning to try the mall but that's 3h drive, or milsim, never been on one, maybe trying different gun will help, I always run with M16, maybe using sniper would spice things up

 

I have been weighing up buying a SVD to try a bit of sniping.

 

I also got hold of a PKM, so that will change my game style too...

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Back where I came from airsoft is different. We/they don't have skirmishes (that is paintball with airsoft guns). You can play skirmish for some time until you learn all the things there is and you get bored. There is no next level of knowledge. The milsims in the UK are rare, too expensive, many times too "military" for the average player.

 

The airsoft games back there are always about fire teams. 3-8 players form a fire team and they stick together. Almost every time there is a commander for every side, even if the game is just a "find all flags" or something. There is also radio communication of course and the main thing IMO: no breaks. You start in the morning and stop playing in the late afternoon.

There is a dedicated medic and only he/she can heal anyone in the fire team, there is usually a 10 minutes bleed out time, but if someone bleeds out, the whole fire team goes to respawn.

The skirmish-like games are just when some friends get together for some fun airsofting. Every normal game is like that above.

 

And this gives the next level: to be able to play in a fire team. It's a vastly different style to airsoft, and it's awesome fun. Building a team, practicing skills, and using them "live", building reputation is cool.

And it's just a game style. No vehicles, no special gear, no military style objectives, no LARP needed. Just a few rules that keep the fire team together. And no go damn breaks. I do hate those. :)

 

But it's not going to change. It is like there because airsoft developed in a different way. Here in the UK site owners are not interested in games like that. It would be less profitable, and here one can't just organize a game.

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Back where I came from airsoft is different. We/they don't have skirmishes (that is paintball with airsoft guns). You can play skirmish for some time until you learn all the things there is and you get bored. There is no next level of knowledge. The milsims in the UK are rare, too expensive, many times too "military" for the average player.

 

The airsoft games back there are always about fire teams. 3-8 players form a fire team and they stick together. Almost every time there is a commander for every side, even if the game is just a "find all flags" or something. There is also radio communication of course and the main thing IMO: no breaks. You start in the morning and stop playing in the late afternoon.

There is a dedicated medic and only he/she can heal anyone in the fire team, there is usually a 10 minutes bleed out time, but if someone bleeds out, the whole fire team goes to respawn.

The skirmish-like games are just when some friends get together for some fun airsofting. Every normal game is like that above.

 

And this gives the next level: to be able to play in a fire team. It's a vastly different style to airsoft, and it's awesome fun. Building a team, practicing skills, and using them "live", building reputation is cool.

And it's just a game style. No vehicles, no special gear, no military style objectives, no LARP needed. Just a few rules that keep the fire team together. And no go damn breaks. I do hate those. :)

 

But it's not going to change. It is like there because airsoft developed in a different way. Here in the UK site owners are not interested in games like that. It would be less profitable, and here one can't just organize a game.

This is the reason I had so much fun at Bunker 51 when almost everyone else loathed the place. We had a small group of regulars there that operated in the form of a fire team and we were so affective that others started to follow with their own fire teams.

 

I tried to do the same at The Mall but it's too big and too complicated a layout to stick to any real "plan" for the entire match. It's a great idea though and it's what I try to do on most game days.

 

I think fast paced milsims would be great with this idea... sort of like 20/20 cricket vice test cricket.

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Try one of our Filmsim games, it's a step up from skirmish games without going full milsim.

 

We basically take some stuff from skirmish (open day, turn up and play, break for lunch, solo players welcome, nobody Barking orders at you) and some stuff from milsim (story driven game, meaningful objectives, camo for team ID where possible, use of more realistic props, team play encouraged, use your imagination to complete objectives, multiple objectives).

 

Alternatively try night games, if they're run right, they're usually fast and dynamic and get the adrenaline going.

 

Failing that, see how you get on with full milsim games, there's two day games with a break overnight like Okto 8 do or 36hr ultra realistic ones like Sterling and Tier 1 run.

 

Somewhere in there you're bound to find your next favourite thing

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Personally the disappointment always comes not from the gameplay aspects but from other people. It's the same as back in the good old days when I played in a band, if there's someone that's just not quite playing with the same level of enthusiasm as you are or your style clashes with someone else, you're not going to enjoy yourself so much.

 

I would honestly be quite happy just fiddling with guns and acquiring them as a collection but I do enjoy getting out for a good session in the woods (oo-er). As long as I have at least one or two of my good mates that play in a similar style and enjoy the crack as much as me then I'm fine.

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Try one of our Filmsim games, it's a step up from skirmish games without going full milsim.

 

I played there and it was good. A bit more balancing would have been good, but it was the closest to the style I prefer from the games I played in the UK.

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The airsoft games back there are always about fire teams. 3-8 players form a fire team and they stick together. Almost every time there is a commander for every side, even if the game is just a "find all flags" or something. There is also radio communication of course and the main thing IMO: no breaks. You start in the morning and stop playing in the late afternoon.

There is a dedicated medic and only he/she can heal anyone in the fire team, there is usually a 10 minutes bleed out time, but if someone bleeds out, the whole fire team goes to respawn.

The skirmish-like games are just when some friends get together for some fun airsofting. Every normal game is like that above.

That sounds awesome.

 

I actually enjoy following orders - as long as the person giving them acknowledges their failing even when it was in fact those under their command that screwed up.

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I played there and it was good. A bit more balancing would have been good, but it was the closest to the style I prefer from the games I played in the UK.

Good to hear. There have been occasions when we have had to reshuffle the teams at lunchtime when it's been obvious that it's unbalanced.

 

One of the problems with using camo for ID is that if you need to rebalance teams it means switching to coloured armbands instead as most people don't want or can't afford to have multiple load outside, much less change them at lunchtime.

 

We usually have enough player and marshal feedback by lunchtime to see if we need to rebalance, but having said that, we don't always get it right every time. Hope it didn't spoil your enjoyment too much :)

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I must admit, I'm getting bored of playing at the same site so me & mates are going nomad this year trying other sites

 

A mate of mine says that after his 1st milsim, he looks at skirmish days incompletely differently now.

 

My first milsim is the weekend & no doubt it'll give me a different perspective on skirmish days. The problem I find is cheaters you know from a previous site that you've walked away from, get caught out by the marshalls & migrate to the new site you play at

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Dont know of any. A few in North Hampshire. Gunman do day games at Eversley.

 

I'll have to give one a go, once the kids are a bit older - they are young enough atm to drive us mad if we're alone with them for a long period of time!

 

Any milsim games in the Sussex area then?

 

Cheers!

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I will admit I was thinking of doing a milsim then I saw Cheesy's post about spending 15 hours in a first floor room staring through a camera and thought it sounded a bit too close to being a stalker.

 

Seriously though I do think more structured games has got to be the way forward whether thats full milsim or filmsim is really down to what you want out of it.

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and I'm only there for the clean portaloos

 

ok, maybe not, I'd say the whole day is exciting... Waking early getting the guns together, realizing your missing a battery, traveling with all your kit under a blanket (aha for me) getting there, looking like a mug as I'm the youngest there, getting all the stares *oi lads, look it's mini lets play soldiers kid* then something breaks, you fix it, then the games, superb fun, then something breaks, fix it (or try to), go to next game, more fun, get shot more than get any kills, something breaks again, then just think sod it, let's go home, BUT NO, your trusty friend who you have known for 15 minutes hands you his mighty spring shotgun, your faith is back, you go back on the battlefield, and get your as.. not kicked.

 

then ye go home all cheerful

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I will admit I was thinking of doing a milsim then I saw Cheesy's post about spending 15 hours in a first floor room staring through a camera and thought it sounded a bit too close to being a stalker.

 

Seriously though I do think more structured games has got to be the way forward whether thats full milsim or filmsim is really down to what you want out of it.

 

That was a very specific role we'd signed up for, the rest of the 'good guy' team were acting on the information we were providing from our hide. No other milsim I've ever been to have taken the time to set up a proper reconnaissance element like that, 9/10 times it's 'intelligence' that's been radio'd in from the other team's marshalls/leaders to give the other team something to do.

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That was a very specific role we'd signed up for, the rest of the 'good guy' team were acting on the information we were providing from our hide. No other milsim I've ever been to have taken the time to set up a proper reconnaissance element like that, 9/10 times it's 'intelligence' that's been radio'd in from the other team's marshalls/leaders to give the other team something to do.

I respect the fact you could do it. I would be bouncing off the walls in the first half hour, I have the attention span of a 5yr old.

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