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Asomodai

SE Tour Review: The Mall - Reading (Berkshire)

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Hello all.

 

After a recommendation, we decided to finally check out The Mall. It was a Thursday night which has been stated as being the better time to play. Whether you can call this the South East of England is up for debate, but we'll gloss over that one!

 

The Mall is in central Reading right next to the train station so easy to get to on public transport.  

 

Previous reviews had been mixed, but have recently seen a marked improvement in the past year or so. 

 

This a small/medium sized Urban indoor CQB environment. Short to medium range engagement distances. The site has plenty of elevation with many stairwells and vertical play. 

 

Positives: 

 

Transport: The site as stated is right next to the main Reading train station, there is a bunch of taxis outside, buses are regular. Quite easy to get to in terms of from London. Parking is plentiful and has a marshal to guide you into and out. 

 

Its a freakin' mall: My buddy and I agreed we have never felt more operator then when playing at the Mall, genuine CQB tactics are needed here, room clearing, rushing etc. The layout is incredibly fun, it is less about the shop front areas and more about the basement and stock room/access areas. Stairwell fights are intense, the vertical engagements are the most difficult but rewarding. Soft play area is a bonus if you need to take a time out. There are some surprisingly long engagement distances due to some huge open rooms. 

 

Marshaling: Much like its sister site Battle Lakes, the marshaling was second to none. Fantastic briefing by a funny guy, literally covered everything in a quick and timely manner. People listened and took it in. The other marshals were very friendly and genuinely seemed to care about the players. They picked up on infringements and dealt with them accordingly. 

 

Game modes: Were plentiful and interesting, First was infection which gave us a fantastic bit of vertical skirmish action, ending in a massive firefight in a large room. The last game was unique and my favorite of the night, acquire the photographer and get a photo taken to get points. The more people in the photo and performing depraved poses, the more points you get. Fantastic. 

 

Safe Zone: Two large rooms to set up in, seats and actual table/stations to set up on. Unexpected in an urban CQB site and greatly welcomed. There were two male toilets and a female/staff toilet, they had an actual sink with genuine soap. Snacks and various cans and bottles of drink were available for purchase. There were various second hand RIFs available for sale as well as a rare boneyard section (Pretty much unheard of at a site in my experience). 

 

Clientele: A much younger clientele then expected and a fair few rentals. But for the most part the players worked very well together and against one another. People for the majority took their hits well, helped eachother out and took RISKS for each other. You genuinely felt like a team. 

 

Rentals: I did not hear one complaint about the rental guns. They looked clean and pretty new. Good rentals are important for the future of the sport. 

 

Timely turn around: Games had a 10 minutes maximum turnaround. We felt that we got the maximum amount of game time possible for an evening. 

 

Negatives: 

 

None: Apart from, why couldn't this site be closer to East London! 

 

Conclusion: 

 

What a real gem of a site! We enjoyed ourselves immensely. The site was run efficiently, we had fun, we felt operator and we were ridiculously knackered by the time we got home. Do NOT take this site for granted, its incredible that we have access to an abandoned mall in this country. Get yourself down there before it will inevitably lost to regeneration. My battle buddy and I could only WISH that we had a site like this in London. 

 

We had slight annoyances with some players not taking 50/50 hits, this is not the sites fault though and is indicative of fast rush based CQB. 

 

Zed Adventures marshals and sites are simply the best that I have encountered. You can tell that money and love are put into these skirmishes. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend this site. Go there and enjoy it whilst it exists! I should have prefaced this by saying, I am not a CQB player and generally don't enjoy short engagement distance. I think that says a lot.

 

BRING A TRACER UNIT, YOU WILL HAVE SO MUCH MORE FUN WITH ONE

 

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Good review, what was the temperatture like inside?

 

I got a really good workout when I played there and was really sweating, and that was when it was 18 outside.

 

Been holding off going back until it is cooler, but I can only go on a Sunday.

 

Cheers

G

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2 minutes ago, MisterG said:

Good review, what was the temperatture like inside?

 

I got a really good workout when I played there and was really sweating, and that was when it was 18 outside.

 

Been holding off going back until it is cooler, but I can only go on a Sunday.

 

Cheers

G

 

A balmy sweaty 27 degrees. My buddy had to go outside for a breather every so often. I carry very lightweight kit so managed the entire night with no big issues. I didn't bother with glasses and went with mesh. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting. 

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Good review buddy glad you enjoyed it and will pass it on to the staff when next there.

 

Give a Sunday a go as well to compare the two. I actually prefer Sundays as it is more of a challenge and I can sometimes almost get bored on a Thursday. We are all different so what suits some isn't right for others.

 

Didn't make last night as had a choice between Thursday and Saturday and Saturday won. The wife would go nuts if I did both.

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Fantastic and accurate review sir.

 

Hope to see you there sometime. 

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Great review, but as CQB sites go I wouldn't say 250,000 sq ft is "small to medium".

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10 minutes ago, Lozart said:

Great review, but as CQB sites go I wouldn't say 250,000 sq ft is "small to medium".

 

I typically use a universal rating. Which to me would mean it is small to medium. 

 

It is probably leaning more to a medium size though. I mostly do woodland sites so I compare it to those. There is no perfect review format. 

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Great job, its my favourite and usual go to site!! Couldn't agree more with what you said!

Like Trigger said try a sunday too, its a totally different type of day. I LOVE the smaller thursday/saturday/special games as its more like 20-30 per team where as a Sunday can be 120 odd people. But Sundays are a different kind of fun to the smaller ones, especially if you know the site anyway ;) 

 

But as Lozart said I would imagine as CQB sites go this is one of the larger ones, unless proven wrong!

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13 minutes ago, Albiscuit said:

Great job, its my favourite and usual go to site!! Couldn't agree more with what you said!

Like Trigger said try a sunday too, its a totally different type of day. I LOVE the smaller thursday/saturday/special games as its more like 20-30 per team where as a Sunday can be 120 odd people. But Sundays are a different kind of fun to the smaller ones, especially if you know the site anyway ;) 

 

But as Lozart said I would imagine as CQB sites go this is one of the larger ones, unless proven wrong!

 

I concede it is probably the largest CQB site by some margin in the UK. However my strictly inflexible review system cant say its a large site ;)

 

I am generally not a fan of CQB and especially large numbers. So I would be reluctant to try it, but who knows! 

 

A lot more sites out there to try first! But we will be back. 

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Isn't the Mall actually the largest indoor CQB inside the UK?

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21 minutes ago, Duff said:

Isn't the Mall actually the largest indoor CQB inside the UK?

 

I don't think anything else could possibly be bigger. 

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1 hour ago, Asomodai said:

A lot more sites out there to try first! But we will be back. 

 

Thats fair... We had every intention of travelling to loads of different sites but tend to goto the same so good on ya!! Variety is the spice of life lol

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10 minutes ago, Asomodai said:

 

I don't think anything else could possibly be bigger. 

 

Strikeforce brags itself as the largest "purpose built " indoor CQB site in the UK. Technically correct as the Mall wasn't purpose built for airsoft but it dwarfs Strikeforce 5 times over. 

 

I'm sure @ImTriggerHappy can confirm it's actual size and where it stands amongst other UK cqb sites...

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Was a really good evening. The marshals are excellent and the guy with the Mohawk has a brilliant sense of humour. 

 

A little frustrating at times but only due to not knowing the layout etc. Games were really good and varied. Players were very good and honest, calls of good shot and fist bumps were plentiful. 

 

Travel took a lot longer than than I expected so won’t be as regular a visit but will be going back on a few Sunday’s in the future. 

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Thanks for the review, I've still not tried it yet.

Would you say it's sufficient to turn up with a pistol or with the variety in range it's worth bringing the rifle?

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8 minutes ago, Gtech said:

Thanks for the review, I've still not tried it yet.

Would you say it's sufficient to turn up with a pistol or with the variety in range it's worth bringing the rifle?

 

Pistol only is the way to go mate. Especially on a Thursday night where it's a little quiter.

 

I main pistol and carry a pump shotty for backup when at the Mall.

 

By all means bring a rifle, it's semi only and max fps is 340 on .2's across the board. So if it is over that, leave it at home.

 

Also get a torch with a pressure pad of some kind.

1 hour ago, E21A said:

Was a really good evening. The marshals are excellent and the guy with the Mohawk has a brilliant sense of humour. 

 

A little frustrating at times but only due to not knowing the layout etc. Games were really good and varied. Players were very good and honest, calls of good shot and fist bumps were plentiful. 

 

Travel took a lot longer than than I expected so won’t be as regular a visit but will be going back on a few Sunday’s in the future. 

 

Yes Luke is the man. He is a great tech too, a veritable wizard who owns in excess of a million pistols (no not an exxageration)

 

And so sorry I couldn't make it dude, I heard Trigger didn't turn up either which makes me feel even worse.

 

Let me know what Sunday you are going and I will endeavour to be there. Any Sunday except 15/07/18 or 16/09/18 is good for me.

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4 minutes ago, Duff said:

 

 

Yes Luke is the man. He is a great tech too, a veritable wizard who owns in excess of a million pistols (no not an exxageration)

 

And so sorry I couldn't make it dude, I heard Trigger didn't turn up either which makes me feel even worse.

 

Let me know what Sunday you are going and I will endeavour to be there. Any Sunday except 15/07/18 or 16/09/18 is good for me.

 

Yea I heard him giving out some advice at chrono. Sadly my pistol failed chrono. 

 

No worries mate, work comes first and all that. I latched onto a guy who knew the place well for a while so was ok after that. 

 

I may may try and get up there again in August, if not I imagine i’ll visit more frequently in the winter. Got a few woodland sites I want to visit and their sister site Battle lakes has jumped up the queue now as well. 

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14 minutes ago, E21A said:

 

Yea I heard him giving out some advice at chrono. Sadly my pistol failed chrono. 

 

No worries mate, work comes first and all that. I latched onto a guy who knew the place well for a while so was ok after that. 

 

I may may try and get up there again in August, if not I imagine i’ll visit more frequently in the winter. Got a few woodland sites I want to visit and their sister site Battle lakes has jumped up the queue now as well. 

 

I really want to do Battlelakes too and I have transport. So let me know mate, chuck me a PM and we will sort something. Feel like I owe you for letting you down aha.... ;)

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39 minutes ago, Gtech said:

Thanks for the review, I've still not tried it yet.

Would you say it's sufficient to turn up with a pistol or with the variety in range it's worth bringing the rifle?

 

If you have a short rifle by all means go for it. My Aug more then held its own and the tracer just kicked ass. Didn't use my Pistol as much as I thought to be honest. 

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4 minutes ago, Asomodai said:

 

If you have a short rifle by all means go for it. My Aug more then held its own and the tracer just kicked ass. Didn't use my Pistol as much as I thought to be honest. 

 

Meh not neccessarily true. My springer is well over 60cm's and is perfectly fine even in the tight corridors. I see tons of guys with stupidly long M4 builds and they have zsero trouble negating the place.

 

I actually feel like it's a phallacy that has arisen that short weapons need to be used indoors. I mean yeah don't skirmish with a bloomin' sniper but any M4 or whatever platform build would be fine at the Mall.

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36 minutes ago, Duff said:

 

I really want to do Battlelakes too and I have transport. So let me know mate, chuck me a PM and we will sort something. Feel like I owe you for letting you down aha.... ;)

 

Honestly don’t worry, you owe me nothing. Will do, think I’m going to go somewhere different for the 29th (back at dogtag for the 15th) so will let you know. 

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1 hour ago, Gtech said:

Thanks for the review, I've still not tried it yet.

Would you say it's sufficient to turn up with a pistol or with the variety in range it's worth bringing the rifle?

I used a scorpion evo and enjoyed it.  Didn't have a pistol at the time, which reminds me gas just delivered, off to try the G17.

 

Cheers

 

G

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On 06/07/2018 at 14:21, Duff said:

 

Strikeforce brags itself as the largest "purpose built " indoor CQB site in the UK. Technically correct as the Mall wasn't purpose built for airsoft but it dwarfs Strikeforce 5 times over. 

 

I'm sure @ImTriggerHappy can confirm it's actual size and where it stands amongst other UK cqb sites...

 

Strikeforce is TINY by comparison. It's a basically a big "killhouse" style place with loads of particle board walls. Bloody great fun though!

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45 minutes ago, Lozart said:

 

Strikeforce is TINY by comparison. It's a basically a big "killhouse" style place with loads of particle board walls. Bloody great fun though!

 

1/5 of the size apparently. Feels like ages since I was at the Mall last. Actually think it was like April or something ridiculous....

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