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Area 66 Glasgow Site Review


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Hope this is acceptable! A friend of mine who makes airsoft gameplay videos is doing some site review videos as well now, for anyone Scotland-based or considering trying out sites up this end here's his first video of Area 66, a site in the Glasgow area.

 

 

Text-based summary if you'd prefer:

 

- Good off-field facilities

- Friendly marshals

- Good game area with a lot of mixed terrain

- The Castle (centrepiece, seen in video thumbnail) is an awesome piece of terrain that creates some intense mixed CQB+open battles as teams fight to both storm the fort and besiege it.

 

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Yup, that's my current local, I think it's just about bang on in terms of facilities, size, buildwork, variety, and the number of players.

 

If I had to ding it, it's on the marshalling being a bit too friendly and tolerant, but that's hardly unique.

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A few of us traveled from Edinburgh to play there last month. Had a pretty good day, weather was kind.

I believe there is a good bit of work to the church almost completed to allow use of an upstairs level 😎

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1 hour ago, Enid_Puceflange said:

I believe there is a good bit of work to the church almost completed to allow use of an upstairs level

 

Presumably the owls have moved out.  Ah, I wondered why the roof was off in that video.

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53 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

Urge to sniper-nest intensifies.

 Yup, it’s quite a challenge to attack as it was 😈

Now at least you know where all the lmg fire is gonna go

Imagine the floor up there - a ball pond for miniatures 😂

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They hadn't finished the upgrades when we were there, as you can see in the video, but they were talking about plans being afoot. Awesome to see they're actually underway! Might need to try to convince my friend to make another video from up there when it's done. 😃

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I am very impressed with the structures (from the videos and photos). Looks incredibly fun.

Although there is a nagging voice in my head whispering about flammable timber planks and li-po fires and people running on flimsy structures and things of that nature. Very curious who designed/built them.

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1 hour ago, Pseudotectonic said:

Although there is a nagging voice in my head whispering about flammable timber planks and li-po fires and people running on flimsy structures and things of that nature. Very curious who designed/built them.

 

They've had a few grass and foliage fires in dry spells, and have fire extinguishers, water, and first aid points located around the site.

 

The buildwork is all very sturdy.  I'm not sure who's doing the design and builds, but it's all decent stuff, and they're constantly improving it and keeping the greenery in check.

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Ok sounds like they have managed out the risks. Don't get me wrong I really do admire the structures. And it all looks very well designed and well built, just very curious if this sort of structure needs to meet certain standards on paper e.g. building regs. Is it because they are not technically buildings? Or are they classed as something like "playground equipment" (do they meet BS EN 1176)? Surely they needed planning application for it (found it).

I envy you guys, the site looks amazing.

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2 hours ago, Pseudotectonic said:

just very curious if this sort of structure needs to meet certain standards on paper e.g. building regs

 

Hmm, that is a reasonable question, especially in the context of kids using it.

 

I'm sure if a civil servant with a clipboard turned up saying "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" then they could find cause to shut down just about anything.

 

Some of the the Work at Height Regulations might apply.

 

From a player's point of view, if it goes badly wrong, you'd be suing the site or the owner, and their indemnity insurance should cover them unless they've lied so egregiously that the insurer could void it.

 

Even at that, if it reaches court, I'd expect the insurer to be told to pay up, then take it up with the site owner. That's what happened in some motoring cases that I looked into a few years back (apologies, I don't have the citations to hand).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rogerborg said:

 

 

I'm sure if a civil servant with a clipboard turned up saying "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" then they could find cause to shut down just about anything.

Spot on.  Who has the deeper pockets to argue the thing out in court may well prevail rather than 'rights' or 'wrongs.'  And all the time the structure/feature/play equipment is out of bounds because someone has put some flimsy tape on it.  

 

 And it all stands in amongst a whole load of climbable trees.  

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8 hours ago, Tactical Pith Helmet said:

And it all stands in amongst a whole load of climbable trees.  

True, but many sites specifically mention no climbing trees in the briefing. 

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I realise the difference in liability issues re: natural features and man made structures.  What amused me was that we 'stop' people climbing by telling them or putting up signs and a tape. 

 

The old example from Mill is that we should for example put up a warning sign on a weak bridge, but not impede its use, as this would impinge on peoples liberty and agency.  

 

Some idiot will manage to injure themselves whatever we do or say; but surely some may argue that we have a duty to protect those less capable of making decisions, or a moral duty to risk minimization full stop e.g. Sweden's Vision Zero concept.

 

It's an issue that people have grappled with for centuries, and I expect still will do.  How we deal with it can be as ritualistic as the 'tell them the rules and then don't enforce them' safety brief.  The quality of construction won't be altered by a few feet of tape.

 

Quite how anyone was supposed to infer all that from the brief sentence I don't know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tactical Pith Helmet said:

The old example from Mill is that we should for example put up a warning sign on a weak bridge, but not impede its use

 

Which is the absolute worst thing you can do from a liability perspective.  It's effectively putting up a sign saying "This was predictable and avoidable, but we didn't avoid it. Please collect your winnings."

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Yep.  Markets, once worshipped as 'free and fair,' have introduced a logic that impedes the independent decision making which they were trusted to ensure.  

 

Imagine an insurance industry overseen by 17th century liberal today.  'To hell with your claim sir, you took the risk as a free and rational man.'  

 

 

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(Sorry about steering off-topic into airsoft site design in general)

The 2021 International Building Code (which is used in America and some other countries) have had updated to include "Puzzle rooms (escape rooms) are now defined and regulated as special amusement areas, requiring compliance with Section 411 and special means of egress requirements". (Which includes indoor airsoft sites)

This would affect affect (new) indoor airsoft sites (outside UK) because it deals with fire escape routes markings and distances and so on (so cannot be an absolute maze or you have to be clever about it) and sprinklers are mandatory in indoor sites bigger than 1000 square feet, and voice alarm PA systems, and fire rated interior finishes, etc.

Which I imagine would make it a little more expensive to start an indoor CQB site and you have to be more thoughtful about it, and in terms of gameplay it may have some implications on the complexity of layout you can design because now it should be simple and obvious enough to escape from in any emergency. Unless you come up with some clever contraptions to collapse certain areas to show an escape routes from the game area or something.

So while our castle and church in Glasgow is in sort of a grey area (they are "buildings" but not really), I would assume building regs do still apply (as they needed planning application) and this aspect was probably covered by the builder/contractor themselves who are self-certified on the Competent Person Scheme. And by the looks of it it seems to be built at least semi-professionally judging by craftsmanship etc.

So at the end of day I suppose as long as they are structurally ok, and safe in a fire (easy to escape / extinguishers etc) and safe to use (slip resistant chicken wires is questionable even though it is used elsewhere) etc it should be covered in terms of liability. They also can say the structures are only entered when there is real time monitoring by marshals standing at an observable distance so that by itself is a big plus. I suppose you guys need to sign a waiver to play as well?

And I just thought of there are people airsofting in abandoned buildings that are clearly dangerous, so this Glasgow site is far from being dangerous all things considered. And arguably the uneven terrain surrounding the structures is more dangerous than the structures themselves.

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While I cannot comment on the legality of any of it (though I'm confident in them as a long-standing and fairly well-known site, rather than some obscure pop-up run by people you've never heard of), I will say from having played there that the structures were all of solid construction, all seemed well secured (nothing bent, lent, or came apart despite people colliding into them rushing for cover), and Marshals were dotted around all the active areas for each game type. At no point was I milling about inside the castle without a Marshal wandering about the structure.

 

With regards to warnings about unsafe buildings etc, it doesn't apply to this site, but another site I've been to has a particular structure within one of the game zones that is out of bounds and players are told during the game brief where it is, what it is, and not to make use of it, because of structural integrity concerns. Area 66 didn't have any of this, but had when I was there fenced off part of the woodland due to it having become a bog, and we were in fairness given a location, description, and warning that it was not to be entered. If any of A66's buildings ever entered such a state I therefore assume they'd do likewise.

Edited by Poach
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Agreed, it was a general musing about sites.  Area-66 is notably diligent about doing robust build-work and flagging, taping and declaring hazardous areas out of bounds.  The whole church area was out of bounds one weekend out of an abundance of caution because of some damage to the big trees there, which they then had taken care of professionally.

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