England 140 – 100 Scotland. I’ll get that out of the way first. England led from the word go but Scotland never gave up in what was probably the greatest game of airsoft I’ve ever been involved in (so far). Yes obviously I’m delighted that we finally got a long overdue win…
Squad 5-1 (Norvern Monkeys) with the Stirling trophy afterwards. I’m 5th from left.
Aside from that, this game has everything for the player, and challenges your full skill set, fitness, and equipment. Although based at the British Army FIBUA training village, because of the range of airsoft weapons it still meant a lot of engagement over comparatively open ground, fighting through woods, and intense building clearance. Here’s a trailer for last year’s event to give you an idea –
(I’m in there for about half a second)
Everyone had a role, from sniper to mortars team to well-drilled riflemen. Every hour, on the hour, selected buildings needed held to score points. Inbetween, we had hostages to rescue, laptops to recover and jerry cans of fuel to use in a Saracen armoured vehicle. The action was absolutely relentless and really takes it out of you. The regen areas, often visited, were a welcome respite for a few minutes to reload, take on food and drink and then get regrouped ready to run out to the next objective. Dawn to dusk and beyond was filled with the sound of mortars and grenades as teams worked tirelessly to clear and hold buildings. Furious shouts and radio chatter as we set perimeters and reinforced positions. The call of “Eagle?” “Eagle!” as we tried to identify friendly forces. I genuinely can’t think of another event where I’ve turned up and seen a full team (it was 60 vs 60), elements of which have never met before, instantly gel and start pulling together. Different callsigns recognising the need to listen to each other without argument. I think ultimately that’s what helped us to a win and it’s something I’d like to see more at standard Sunday skirmishes.
Honorary Monkeys Ronan, Alex and Albie geared up and ready to go.
As you can imagine with an event of this level, there was a massive array of kit on display. Expensive and highly accessorised guns, high end load bearing, top quality BDU’s, night vision, grenade launchers, lasers etc. But, as I’ve been rattling on about for ages, it doesn’t make all the difference. This England victory wasn’t borne out of bank balances, absurd rates of fire or YouTube subscribers. This England victory came down to players’ ability to think, move and work together. Getting basics right. Covering the guy in front of you as he moves and knowing the guy behind you is watching your six. Looking at where your team is covering, and putting yourself where they’re not. Helping out the guy across the road who is pinned down and needs support. Feeling like your legs and lungs can’t give any more, with darkness falling and temperatures dropping, but running back to the action and asking teammates “Where do you need me?”. Having been disappointed with that side of things at last years event, it’s something that will leave a lasting impression after 2017 and I’ll continue to evolve loadouts and tactics from what I’ve learned here.
Monkeys chief Scott (front right) delivering taskings as night rolled in. With low visibility, it was time to drop all excess kit and remove anything that might make excess noise.
Big shout out to the Norvern Monkeys as ever. A great bunch of guys, some of whom I’ve known since my first day at airsoft and it’s always a pleasure travelling with them. Looking forward to seeing where we end up in 2018. Stirling Airsoft for yet another fantastic event. Scotland for putting up a fight despite being behind from the start and never giving us an easy time, and some very sporting play from a few of them; especially the guy who crept up behind me while I was sniping out of a window and refrained from pulling the trigger at point blank range. And it was nice meeting the guys from Contact Coffee Company (check them out), even though I hate the stuff.
And that’s me done for the year. December is a busy time with work and family and airsoft will have to take a back seat, but come January I’ll be back with plenty of new projects which I’ll unveil in the next few weeks.
Smallzz, front left, looking like a fucking creep 😉