Nothing ends up quite as awkward than when a casual skirmish site throws it’s hat into the ring and tries to pull off that most daunting of tasks, and announce… “We’re holding a MilSim game!”
The initial flow of enthusiasm that accompanies a local MilSim is swiftly overtaken by the full knowledge that it’ll be shit. From my own experience of local sites attempting to run MilSim games, I’d genuinely end up less disappointed if I’d managed to get Scarlett Johansson back to my bed, only to find out that her cock is bigger than mine.
It might sound unfair to tar everyone with the same brush, but I’ll explain why local sites can’t run MilSim games. It boils down to three main reasons.
- The Site Itself
- The Local Players
- The Organisers
Now I’m gonna be frank here, for some people this might be a little bit of a kick in the balls. I’ll try to not offend for the sake of it, but I’m not pulling any punches either.
The Site Itself
The majority of airsoft sites are just not suitable for MilSim, end of. The few that are, still have to use their site wisely. I’ve played games at fantastic sites but they were used poorly, UCAPs Sandpit being one that stands out. Whilst it wasn’t a MilSim but a themed game, the AI500 that was held there was a proper shower of shit.
The same applies to Blue Fox II (held at the fire service college), a game that I still have bittersweet feelings about and would still attend despite it’s many flaws.
A MilSim will often base much of it’s gameplay around key areas within the area of operations (AO), using the geography to its advantage. Stirlings use of The Trees is a good example, until recently it lacked any form of building at all, but has always been regarded as a great MilSim location, albeit one that’s heavily geared to long range patrols and not a lot of action.
The problem with local “skirmish” sites is that they’re set up for short sharp games, the facilities are all in one location and the gameplay area is rarely large enough to allow the tactical side of MilSim to actually be employed.
I’ve not been to every airsoft site in the country, but from all the Sunday walk on sites that I’ve been to, only a couple have the potential to hold a good MilSim. Battle Lakes is one, the other one has been closed for years… The aforementioned Sandpit.
So let’s look at your local site, can you honestly say that it’d work for a 24/36 hour nonstop game? The answer is probably no. If you think it’d work, you’ve still got to figure out an answer to problem numero duo.
The Local Players
Most airsofters don’t actually want MilSim, they just want to unload their high caps at their mates and carry around a loud as fuck half bottle of blasters, whilst clock watching to see if it’s lunchtime yet to eat their greasy £5 death-burger.
The bigger problem is that there’s a certain breed of airsofter (I’ll call them “The Filthy Casual”) that actually thinks they want to go to a MilSim. They actually don’t, but they’ve not done enough research to realise that MilSim is 90% preparation and mindset, 10% actual game.
These filthy casual bastards will quite happily turn up to a MilSim game having not read the rules, they’ll give piss poor excuses as to why they haven’t got the right kit and they’ll moan and bitch until the organisers cave in, letting them wear their Matrix costume complete with foam axe and katana, whilst dual wielding MP7s with box mags and a rucksack with 500 pieces of shit held on it with carabiners.
And that ladies and gentlemen, leads me to problem number tres.
Nothing is as fucking weak as a site owners resolve. There are a few exceptions, but if you give the majority of them a choice between upsetting a customer who can’t follow rules and the loss of a walk on fee, they’ll usually choose to bend the rules to make one person happy.
I haven’t got any mid caps…
I always wear this Loadout to a game…
But I want to play on that team…
Where’s the water? I didn’t bring any…
I’ve heard this shit said at the front gate of Stirling games where it was clearly stated in the rules about uniform requirements etc and the required kit list for that weekends event, so what hope does your average skirmish site have when their regular players don’t even prepare for an away game?
The truth is that the vast majority of these local MilSims are run by people who don’t understand why makes a MilSim an actual MilSim, they also won’t enforce their own rules, which makes it pretty much a shit skirmish with armbands and a medic rule that no one understands.
I’m all for a little new blood at MilSim games and it’d be awesome to play a proper objective based game that didn’t take several hours to get to, but unfortunately the odds are stacked against anyone trying to run one at their local site. But for anyone whose interested, here’s a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve heard muttered around the campfire:
- If you’re using armbands, it’s not a MilSim
- If there’s a safe zone, it’s not a MilSim
- If it’s 8 hours long, it’s not a MilSim (rare exceptions apply)
- If there’s a dude running around with an ARP9 and a Dye i4 mask, it’s not a fucking MilSim.
- If there’s a lunch break, it’s not a MilSim.
- If I see a cold steel katana and the game isn’t set in Wake Island 1942, guess what? It’s not a MilSim.
- If you end up shooting more than you’re walking, it’s not a MilSim.
- If you don’t have a chain of command to keep the game running smoothly, it’s not a MilSim.
- If you allow high caps in anything other than something belt-fed, it’s not a MilSim.
If Stirling Airsoft don’t even call their games “MilSim”, then quite frankly you shouldn’t either. Call it a themed game, save us the crushing disappointment and just do one thing… Stick to your own rules for once.