So, you’ve booked onto a MilSim or themed weekend game… you’ve chosen your side, you’ve possibly got a few mates going with you. It might be your first game away from your local site or you might be a seasoned MilSim player with all the gear and (hopefully) a little more than no idea.
Let’s get some of the most often asked questions out of the way…
Q. Do I need to have a certain level of gear to play a milsim, or can I turn up in my usual gear?
A. Unfortunately this isn’t a straight forward answer… As for gear, It depends on what the requirements of the Op are. Quite often you can go in surplus DPM or MTP combats depending on the team you are going to be on, however certain games and event organisers will require specific uniforms, equipment and sometimes (very rarely) a faction specific weapon. The best answer I can give you is to double check with the event staff as far in advance as possible, by all means check with your buddy whose been to dozens of games with them but if he says “Should be fine” but the event staff say “Nope” then guess who has the final say! The general rule of thumb is that the more you try and fit in with the games theme, the more fun it should be for you and those around you.
Q. Do I need a TM Recoil or PTW or can i use my combat machine?
A. No-one needs a specific manufacturers replica to play a MilSim, While its true you’ll find a fair amount of Systema, Tokyo Marui and GHK replicas your also going to find a fair amount of JG, G&G Combat Machines and WE replicas in the game zone. Use what works for you, no-one else has control over your money (Except possibly your wife) and an out the box combat machine will serve as well as most replicas in a weekend long game.
Q. Everyone seems to have NVGs, will it suck if i don’t have a set at a weekend game?
A. Big shocker, NVGs (Especially Gen 2+) will enhance your ability to function tactically at night. No they are not essential and no they are not 100% needed, plenty of people play regularly against people with NVGs and come out the victor. Money cant buy tactical awareness, you’ll see people with NVGs lose a lot of their self awareness and wander in the middle of a field during a full moon and think they’re a ghost… The truth is that all NVGs will do is give those that understand the principles of moving tactically at night a big advantage, and remove it for those that don’t.
Q. I’m going on my own because my mates dropped out, will I be billy no mates?
A. No, If your willing to make new friends and have the right attitude your generally going to find a group that’ll take you under their wing. Have a word with the event organiser and they should be able to stick you in with a group of guys to ensure no ones left on their own all weekend.
Q. I’m a little worried that it’ll be walty as fuck and ill spend all weekend on stag guarding a gate while the regulars do all the cool shit, does this happen?
A. I can only comment on what I’ve seen… and mostly this is through Stirling Airsoft along with a few other low key events. The event team want everyone to have a good time, yes there will be some “Stagging on” and yeah… sometimes it feels like the other guys get all the cool jobs but in actual fact everyone is getting generally a fair crack at the whip. I was recently approached by some younger players who were considering MilSim but were put off as they’d heard that the “good guys” always win… absolutely not true. I reckon its been about a 50/50 split, the events are scripted only to keep some semblance of reality and grounding and lets not forget, you’ve paid to play a game that is scenario driven as opposed to two teams forming up in the woods to sling plastic in ranks of three. Throw yourself into the game, ask for taskings and take your fair share of the workload and you’ll have fun… spend all night in your sleeping bag and your only making it easier for the other guys to have all the fun.
So, with those common questions out of the way lets get onto the nitty gritty… A kit List.
My kit list is constantly evolving and driven by a constant desire for cool bits of nylon, nifty bits of gear that make me more comfortable and wanting to look the part. I’ll give you a rough idea of what I consider my essentials when I go away for a weekend game, bear in mind that I generally play OpFor and play with a hit and run mentality.
- Water (3 litres per day plus 2 litres)
- Eyepro x 2 (If your only pair of eyepro is damaged then your not playing… ALWAYS pack 2)
- Primary weapon plus 6 mid cap magazines – Currently my Recoil Mk-18 Mod 1
- Secondary weapon plus 3 magazines and holster
- Ammo and speedloader
- Gas and Spare LiPo
- Load Bearing Equipment (Belt and Chest Rig)
- Warm Jacket (Anytime of year 4am can be a shock to the system)
- Combat Pants (Cryes if Taskforce, FFI M81 or DPM if OpFor)
- Base layer T-shirt in team colour
- Underwear and socks
- Boots (I’m currently using Merrell Moab walking boots)
- Waterproof jacket
- Jetboil + Spare Gas
- Sleeping bag, bivvy bag and rollmat
- Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
- Food and snacks: MREs or Wayfarer foods if on the ground, Bacon rolls and Home made Chilli if I have a stable base of operations.
- Brewkit: Coffee and Hot Chocolate, Milk and Sugar I can live without.
- Wet-wipes and tissues
- A complete set of dry clothing only to be used for sleeping and mooching around.
There is a secondary list… The “Desirable” List. This includes anything I feel will make the weekend more desirable… It is tailored to each event and has often included items like Hammocks, table and chairs, spare replicas for certain missions such as covert surveillance and mountains of pyro.
The truth is that you have to make up your own list. Pack it, take it with you and if it doesn’t leave the bag all weekend then make a note. If it doesn’t leave your bag 3 events in a row then your probably better off without it, the only exception to this would be your IFAK… I’ve yet to use mine in Airsoft albeit for small booboos but I always have one on me and a larger kit in the car or back at the fob.
My countdown to the next game is always something I’m considering… I like to buy things well in advance and try and use something in a non-stress environment before it comes to depending on it, A key example would be the ENO Hammock… I slept a night inside it a week or so before, there’s no going back once your on site and the gates are locked. I do still end up waiting for that final item more often that not…
My next game will be at “The Trees” with Stirling Airsoft, I’ll be playing with some of the awesome guys from Team Diablo who I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside at Longmoor FIBUA and a few other games in the past. Hope to see some of you there and I’ll certainly be putting some of the gear through it’s paces as it’s looking to be a wet weekend (When is it not wet on the welsh border?!)
Most important thing you can take with you is the right mindset, A willingness to play in the spirit of the event and also a good sense of humour will go a lot further than 2 grands worth of NODs and a nice loadout.