AirSoft - How to go beyond your limits, having fun!

Cit.: "AirSoft is an fun-recreation activity for team, based on the simulation of military tactics."

Run the year 2010 when I came into the sport through friends, acquaintances, colleagues, but.. ehy, stop for a moment! In small words, I was the last arrived! This sport (officially recognized) for those who doesn't know yet is in predominant diffusion. I will try to analyze the secret of this
surprising social response.

Introduction - Secureness:

The airsoft is played with the help of face protective masks (mandatory), and so on where you consider it necessary, to other parts of the body. No sport would rises without the necessary secureness. Protections make the gaming experience extremely enjoyable to anyone and are the starting point to play.

The game: 

When a group of people, military dressed with heavy boots, embrace Airsoft weapons with symbols of recognition spread all over the jacket, and found themselves together... Well, at that point after some greetings and a quick equip wearing (someone changes its "civil" clothes without too many problems in front of the car...)  it's time for a new adventure!  
Usually the forces are divided by two groups, and if the number is enough, in various sub-teams, called platoons.
Contrary to what someone could imagine, you don't just shoot during airsoft games. Much of the game is to keep your self-control, resist fatigue of long marches or wait without moving for times(!) or to coordinate the rise of an hill, everything of cours with the weight of your 4kg electric rifle, as well as all the equipment that follows, that increases the weight of 10kg more.

If you thought to live a "Call of Duty (tm)" way inside airsoft, you will get disappointed... your own physical limits, the movement of the team or even the conditions of poor visibility due to rain or vegetation, will force you to be extremely cautious, slow, quiet, and to prevent running longer than 30 meters (!); the risk is to run out of energies or to being hit by some enemy that notice you. All this is very different from the explosive cinematic vision of war showed by video games and movies, where a Rambo dodge any shots like Neo in Matrix(tm) and shoot with sniper precision enemies coming from all the bushes with a machinegun.

Honesty in the game, and in life:
During the game no one dies for real, and no one gets some bizarre colors upon the clothes (this is Paintball). What kick away an opponent is a plastic or ceramic small sphere with a diameter of 6mm and a weight of 0.20/0.24gr, fired with a power of less than 1 joule (all this by law rules).

When one of these dots strikes us, it is in our moral charge to raise the  hand and say "Hit" and then leave the battlefield. Usually the missions are divided into small stages of 20 minutes, so the waiting time for the next battle is easily bearable

All this to say that the motto "referee Asshole!" is not present. There are no judges or controllers apart the companions on with you play and of course yourself. This is called "Fair Play".
How many sports you know that teaches honesty to other participants?
In Formula1 the winner is the first to come, maybe cutting the road at 300km/h to an opponent; this one is considered a champion, and after that let's go with testosterone, screams and fanaticism.. on the true roads!
In football the good one is who makes goal with force, even if the ball has been obtained by hurting, kicking legs and pulling T-shirts, and all this properly behind the eyes of the referee, but in front of the audience ... also in this content the "subject" is a champion...
In Airsoft, fortunately, we
completely depart from this bad uses, and those who likes to be dishonest cannot last so far. Finally, a good sport, normal, clean in rules and spirit!
Often among the "new members", perhaps because of the individualistic society in which we find ourselves, there is always the fighter that "fire thousand shots but never receives one" (at least that's what he thinks). Here we have what we call an airsoft Highlander, the famous Last Immortal, as well as a poor man to be commiserated.

The point is that everything is based on the personal honesty of the individual, and only after repeated and boring reprimands, if the person doesn't accept the rules, he will be removed from the sports club.

But there is some more to say! The
dishonest game gradually loses importance, the effort spent loses any purpose, his reputation in the group erases as well, and since the game is usually played in the early morning, the highlander will not feel good getting up at dawn to do "fake-play"
This feedback mechanism, which I like to call: "the natural selection of airsoft", allows teams to be usually cleaned by dishonest players ... I assure you that it works. I can assure you also that, thrown a social contest of capitalism and hegemony (!) we all know, there aren't huge airsoft teams, but many small identities of 20/30 members: the honest and sports enthusiastic ones.
The equipment:
The minimum requirements to start playing are:
  • First, mask or safety goggles, all for the protection of the face. They are mandatory. 
  • Good hiking boots. Attention, they are very important! Water, mud and sometimes snow will come.
  • A decent camouflage, with the possibility to add something for the winter. In addition a balaclava and light gloves help a lot the camouflage.
  • An ASG also called electric airsoft rifle with battery, charger, about 5k/10k dots (5000 dots biodegradable usually cost 10 euro) per semester. We recommend "Full Metal rifles" for a better guarantee of the mechanical parts and for robustness.
  • A bottle of water or a military water bottle if you prefer. Absolutely essential.
  • Last but not Least: a lot of will to participate honestly to hard gaming sessions, to meet people, to make friends, to exchange ideas and of course ... to exchange many shots!
The total of this basic equipment costs around 200 euro (2012 AD), and 300 euro including camouflage and boots. Of course, buying "low cost" material of medium quality. Personally I've played more than a couple of years with this configuration.

Some useful accessories but not extremely necessary, are:
  • "Midland" Radio transmitter to access radio channels that are free, otherwise you will find that cyclists of the Sunday are also hardcore radio amateurs! It is also very useful for a radio speaker and microphone, to obtain silent communications during the game.
  • An upper level Mimicry like: cap, ghillie (clothes ultra-vegetated), camouflage for the weapon, etc. Radio + Mimicry give you the initiative for the attacks. Very useful for coordinates team ambushes!
  • A "camelback" or backpack carrying water. Extremely useful for long sessions, and replace your water bottle. 
  • An electric airsoft gun as second weapons
  • A camouflage poncho because the club will take you from the deepest forest to the darkest storm (hehehe)!
  • A tactical vest to store your magazines, and radio, etc..
  • Any other accessory you want, but consider that you must reach at the end to move without dying of fatigue ...
The total equipment of those secondary accessories is around 200 euro. With this configuration you will not have so much more fun, but will play better.

But, where to buy?
Honestly, I would suggest you to take a ride inside an airsoft store around you, just to see directly the  guns and accessories, or some tactical vest. Then return to Online sites and compare prices and  analyze the costs. The savings will be amazing using Online (I suppose). But be careful with camouflage and boots because if you are not sure of the measures in Online shops, you must try and buy in a ordinary shop...
The playgrounds:An air soft Battle of is usually conducted in open spaces such as forests (not always surrounded by fences ..), or semi abandoned buildings as old industries etc., and any place your club will find around that allows a minimum of isolation from civilians and motorcyclists.
That's because the presence of an external factors in the game take the game to interruption and to a resume shortly after. Obviously the interruption results very boring and dangerous, because radio communications requires a minimum of time... Generally clubs look for isolated places then, free from bird watchers and improvised explorers of the local flora.

The battlefield is extremely important, makes you feel inside the action, let you create ambushes, test  camouflage and standing ability to remain posted even if surrounded by a advancing platoons.
In airsoft it is focused on self-control of the senses, hear,
acute watch, move silently and resisting fatigue. Everything is done to organize the "great assault", or to resist the advancing enemy!
In those moments the air burns and makes tense while the target approaches, and the explosions of the first ASG rifles all around you trigger a secret survival mechanisms, rather primitive: we must resist all this.
To Conclude
You can say anything bad about a sport that "glorifies war", "inciting fanaticism" or bring young people to the "violence" but would just be careless remarks. Like all sports, fatigue and friendship always teach important values, and airsoft meet as many friends as.. a lot of fatigue

In a world where we are all connected but nobody really talks each other, you have to go there, in the cold mornings, where Eagles dare, to simply find yourself!
So what are you waiting for!? That I'll ask to you on my knees!? Hehehe ...
Just try this sport, and perhaps take a trip to the First Division Eagles (BG)! Even for just a friendly battle in our camp! I'll be there waiting for you, with my friends and with my M4A1 pointed at the leader of the platoon!! UA! ;)

Lord Hol Napult
(Copyright by Lord Hol Napult 2012)