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SE Tour Review: Red 1 Fort Borstal (Kent)

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Site Name: Red 1 Fort Borstal

Contact details: 01727846069

Website Address: http://www.red1airsoft.co.uk/events/index.php/skirmish/the-fort

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Airsoft.CQB.The.School/

Site Address: Fort Rd, Rochester ME1 3NT (Access through Prison car park)

 

My battle buddy and I popped along to Red 1 The Fort (Borstal) yesterday. Very little has been written about the site since its inception to airsoft last year. Almost no reviews have been written so it was a completely blank slate to work on. 

 

It is a small stone/brick fort built into earth overlooking the gorgeous river Medway area. Its a mix of Short and medium engagement distances. It has lots of elevation, ramps, ladders, steps. There are high ramparts and tunnel/underground sections. No water features though it was full of puddles. There are dark sections so do bring a torch for the day. If you have a tracer bring that for the tunnel games. 

 

Good:

Playing area variety: It's a genuine fort. This was originally built in the 1800's and updated in world war two to support anti aircraft guns, the emplacements (Though gunless) are still there and are used in game. There is an extensive if simple underground section that are used for dark games. The ramparts and small woodland sections in-between then gun emplacements look out on some fantastic views. There are some above ground tunnel style sections which can be used to get around the rear of enemies. There were loads of nooks and crannies that despite playing all day we didn't get to investigate as there was much to see. 

 

There is even a long moat section which is far below the main fort that has three access points, one of which is through ladders and scaffolding and rope pull up a hill to gain access to the fort via a gun emplacement. The moat is full of mud, barricades and detritus. It's hard going but fun!

 

Game modes: I usually don't comment on game modes, but because the site is so varied the game modes available to it are numerous. 

 

Parking: A good amount of parking is available right outside the venue, accessed through the local prison car park. 


Attacking spawn points: Marshals themselves were the respawn points for attacking teams, I do like to see this as it keeps the game flowing. This seems to be happening more and more on sites as time goes on which is a good thing. 

 

Safe zone: Though it is small in size, it is indoors and has tables and chairs for people to sit on. If you are late arriving you need to setup in a corridor more open to the elements, but still way better then being outside!

 

Average: 

 

Toilets: A mixture of outdoor urinals, underground toilet and above ground porta-cabins, whilst none were perfect there were no queues. 

 

Bad:

 

Marshalling: We found the marshalling to be a bit lacking which is disappointing as the same people run Chislehurst and there are no problems there. Lots of confusion as to the rules and boundaries on certain game modes where the marshals had to keep calling each other on walkie talkies to get parity on what was happening. Many times players were left frustrated over the lack of information or clarification. Though I can imagine this site being very hard to administer due to the complexity of it, some more organisation beforehand and an extra couple of marshals could really help. 

 

Clientele: Possibly down to the marshalling, but there were a number of incidents of whining and non hit taking. Lots of frustrated players that day. 

 

Food: Same as Chislehurst, confectionary, water, pop and pizza at lunch. 

 

Briefing: Was quite short, the out of bound areas were explained to us but without looking at the site first new players struggled to work out where those areas were. Briefing felt catered towards experienced players rather then the newer player. 

 

Shop: BBs, Pyro and gas. That was all. 

 

Lack of directions: The site was very confusing to get to, we had to look back at the comments of an old event from last year to even work out that access was through the prison car park. We managed to hit two dead ends and we thought that maybe game day was off. Even if it is written clearly somewhere, neither myself or my battle buddy could find this info without some frantic searching online. 

 

Conclusion:

 

A very interesting site. For the negatives that I have written about, many could be explained away as just a bad day in particular. The actual site is pretty unique and if you would like to play something that is a bit different by all means give it a go! The site is only used once a month so make sure that you are available for that one Sunday.

 

There were just under 40 players for the day and I reckon it was just about the right number to keep the area from getting swamped. It was a cold wet day which may have added to peoples frustrations. I do think that there needs to be some work on the organisation of the day, but the site itself has nothing wrong with it. Chislehurst is run very well so I am sure the organisers can sort it out with a bit of time and effort. 

 

Definitely give it a go once, you will enjoy the playing area and its probably one of those places that wont be around forever due to the nature of the site. 

 

 

Bullpup watch: Poor, one Aug and one P90 (Fake bullpup) owned by the same guy I think.

 

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Great stuff...

Super useful as always, especially as your in the same are as me. Will certainly look out for the next game day here as it sounds like such an interesting site!

 

Cheers

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+1 on that, I used to see the signs for borstal when I drove up to fort Amherst, but didn't know there was a fort there, as far as sites go they sound similar, & I miss Amherst so I'll defy give it a try 😁.

Incidentally what's the approximate size of the site, Amherst had some woodland there too as well as the part of the fort that was set aside for airsoft, playing area was around 16acres I think ?.

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6 minutes ago, Tackle said:

+1 on that, I used to see the signs for borstal when I drove up to fort Amherst, but didn't know there was a fort there, as far as sites go they sound similar, & I miss Amherst so I'll defy give it a try 😁.

Incidentally what's the approximate size of the site, Amherst had some woodland there too as well as the part of the fort that was set aside for airsoft, playing area was around 16acres I think ?.

 

It would be hard for me to estimate it to be honest. I can only say that people 40 people is enough to have a good day. Anymore might get a bit crowded. The only use the moat and tunnels for specific game modes from what I experienced. I would hazard a guess at about half the size of Chislehurst, but as the area has so much more in it, seems larger. The moat seems longer then it is due to the obstacles. 

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33 minutes ago, Tackle said:

+1 on that, I used to see the signs for borstal when I drove up to fort Amherst, but didn't know there was a fort there, as far as sites go they sound similar, & I miss Amherst so I'll defy give it a try 😁.

Incidentally what's the approximate size of the site, Amherst had some woodland there too as well as the part of the fort that was set aside for airsoft, playing area was around 16acres I think ?.

 

Miss Amherst as well

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On 24/09/2018 at 15:45, BibbsOnTour said:

Cheers for this, been considering going as others have said it's alright.

 

See you at the AFUK mall game!

See you there mate. :)

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The running of this site has now been taken over by Reaper Ops Airsoft. They have opened up some previously unused sections in the main area, but have cordoned off the moat in the short term. 

 

They will be running the site more often (hopefully twice a month). 

 

It will be interesting to return and see how a new marshal team would run it. 

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