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Airsoft war stories


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I've always theorized that working without leaky, inaccurate, jam-prone paintball guns would be a better experience and Yesterday I found out.

We pulled up at an abandoned piece of bush near a smelly pig farm in the New Territories, about 20km from the Chinese border at 10:30am. There were a bunch of newbies from all walks of life - plucky high school boys and the girlfriends they'd cajoled into coming, a few wannabe Triad members with tatooed 100lb framesa and in true cheat fashion - souped up guns, the usual plethora of reenactment geeks wearing full kit from various world armies, a couple of serious looking, fatherly guys in their late forties or fifties, a knot of 12 year olds sporting M4s and G36s decked out with all the latest attachments. My crew: a 22 year old bank employee, a 26 year old Cantonese hottie with eyes like saucers and long black hair, a 35 year old Japanese businessman, one 31 year old English Instructor and the only white guy in that part of Hong Kong.

It was hot steamy and smelled of pigs. Well, pig-turd to be precise. We noobs were issued US 3 color desert fatigues - great camouflage in the Southeast Asian jungle - horribly old and used Marui AK47 Spetsnaz models, a high capacity magazine (I still haven't figured out the feeding system) a mask and a bottle of a few hundred pellets. Boots and sneakers were BYO, as were cojones. I felt mine shrinking as we trudged through the hot sun. Though I myself had handled such BB guns before, there were no lessons for the uninitiated. I had to show my crew where the safeties and sights were. Aiming tghe weapons was a chore. They dropped off after about ten meters. To hit a target at twenty I had to raise the barrel over an inch. After twenty mters they were useless. Automatic fire sent pellets everyewhere but on target.

We trudged into the woods to a clearing with a few thick trees and many bails of bound twgs and branches placed strategically for cover. It was ringed with a red rope and and about 35 meters wide. There were command shacks at either end about 60 meters apart. Damn small. My baby arrived behind me already tired from the hike. The foresight of her AK was clocked with flowers and petals. Taki wanted to test fire hie werapon. He shot himslef in the finger and quickly gained an appreciation for why we try not to get hit. Ryan was toting his weapon around with the safety off and his finger on the trigger. As I plucked the plant matter out of the sight, I realized there was a learning curve involved here.

There rules were simple. One team at one end, one at the other, about a dosen each. We advance and engage. Last team off the feild wins. The whistle blew before I knew it. The clearing was fairly open and we could see and aim toward the enemy from the outset. Within seconds the clearing air was thick with plastic projectiles. people started leaving the field. Pinned down behind one bail I managed to successfully comman Ryan to lay down cover fire as I advanced in support of our platoon leader ahead of me. I made it to the next bail and was pinned down immediately. BBs pelted the ground and branches around me. Somehow I got tagged on the top of the head. it didn't hurt. I realised it had actually been lobbed at me from one of the weaker guns. I left the feild and waited about ten minutes. Taki never moved from the bail he'd been stuck behind and was the last guy on our team to get tagged.

The second game we started from the far end. I made it to the first bail and actually managed to send a few shots in the enemy's direction before another pellet seemd to just drop out of the sky and onto my head. Honestly I thought I'd been laying lower than that. I had to wait another ten minutes for that one to finish. At least our guys won. I noticed that most of the people to come off the field near the start were dressed the same as I was.

The thrid game I realized that if I was gonna get hit, it had better not be on my side of the battlefield. As the whistle blue I ran past two bails and dived behind the third. BBs were already showering the area as I hit the ground. I leaned around and fired on some visible targets in single shot. My rounds and someone else's pelted the trees ahead. Someody tagged him but I couldn't say whether it was me. Ryan landed next to me and I told him to cover me again. It was a long way to the next bail but I made it with a rugby-try dive and slide than skinned my elbows. I would wear the sleeves rolled down after that.

I looked back and saw one of the older pros at my 5 o'clock. I called to him for instructions and he obliged: "One behind cover, 12 o'clock!" I leaned around the bail and popped him on the side. He raised his weapon and left the field. "Another one, tree, 1 o'clock!" I loosed shot after shot until he packed up and left too. "12 o'clock again!" Switching to auto I popped up and bobbing up and down, exchanged vicious volleys with a guy behind the next bail only 5 meters ahead. There was no need to aim. With such pathetically slow muzzle velocity, I could see my rounds arching toward him like tracers. I tagged him after a few attempts and he called it and left. "11 o'clock!" Full of adrenaline I sprayed at the eleven, but couldn't see a target. pellets were coming in from my one and two, so I fired over there to keep some heads down. I never saw who tagged me on the shoulder but it was clearly intentioanl. "Sei jo la," I called and left the field with my gun held alot by trembling hands. That round had been very intense and way cool.

After my team won again I was proud. I had helped and not just by soaking up the hits for the better players. We moved on to the next field with me thinking I was pretty cool....

Edited by budgie
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I play paintball regularly, but I have been curious about this for a long time: is there a way to tell that someone has been hit, other than by taking their word for it? It seems that airsoft would be proned to lots of cheaters. But it sounds fun, good story. I'd love to do it sometime.

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Not really rocket. The bb's do hurt maybe more than paintballs because there plastic, then again people grow to get used to paintball hits pretty sure people have done that for airsoft also. But when i played CQB in a house, friend had a MAC11 and when he hit me..i knew about it and he did to. Geuss you have to play with alot of friends not just anyone.

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Proper airsoft guns have higher power and shoot solid white plastic BBs as opposed to the 'safe' hollow yellow ones. Usually same caliber. trust me the ones we were using hurt. I still have a bruise on my cheek, but we'll get to that...

The fourth game offered a sublime moment but somewhat different to the third. Whereas I'd been in the thick of the action, trading fire then, on the next field, I'd be taking a different tack. After a quick break in the sun, we hiked a short trail to a green clearing in the woods. There was tall elephant grass and a few trees studded the football-field-sized arena. there wasn't much cover in the middle. Away from the brown forest floor of the last battleground, I felt self conscious about the desert fatigues. But I was soaked through with sweat and covered in mud from the rolling around. At least there was plenty of proof I'd been in there mixing it up. Taki and my baby had suspiciously clean and dry uniforms.

We divided up into two squads of about nine. There was my little 'fireteam' and the foursome of pubescent boys in expensive gear under David, the old pro who'd so effectively given me enemy positions in the previous match. The teenagers and a few stragglers wen to the other end with another old-timer. We agreed that the young fellas would go up the left flank of the clearing while we'd follow the squad leader right. In hindsight the kids would have benefitted more from his leadership.

The whistle blew and we inched cautiously forward. I was guarded on my left by some tall shrubs. the sun beat down and the elephant grass was bright gree. Already throughh the branches I could see movement across the clearing. Knowing that Taipan and King Cobra lurked in the New Territories I was genuinely concerned about stepping on something that moved, fearful of crawling at all. The shots started coming in, scattered and sporadic, not with the ball-sout intensity of the last three games. My baby left the field. I kept my eyes forward, the left-most member of the column as we advanced in a V. I called for taki to watch the left side As I watched the front. Ryan took up his position: Taki was already hit.

The Squad leader took us into an engagement. There were shots beging exchanged and he and Ryan both called kills. Then he shouted for me to watch the three o'clock as an enemy made a dash across the clearing, stumbling through the tall grass. He probably couldn't see my exact position due to the Bushes I was using for cover, but he knew we were there and fired a few bursts into the surroundings. I placed one burst as a marker and a second on target and he raised his weapon. Then David called out my 12 o'clock and I took down one of the teenage girls. They had to shout several times to remind her to hold her weapon aloft as she moped off the field. there was shooting wy over to the left flank - our second squad heavily engaged. A few shots pattered around our position. David was sure someone lurked in the bushes across the clearing to my eleven and I tried to flush them witha couple of bursts. Nothing. I volunteered to make a dash to a tree halfway between, to draw him out. David said, "Negative".

Somewhere in the shooting David was eliminated. Someone got the guy I guess. Then there were just myself, Ryan and another guy, a young pro. I made that dash to the tree and received no fire. We remained sure their was someonbe across the clearing to the left. The shooting elsewhere had stopped. Ryan and the young pro let off a few bursts. I signalled that I would flank around to the right of the suspected position as they swept across the clearing keeping low.

I crept through the bushes and out into the open. The shooting had stopped completely. I dropped the ammo tube as it was rattling too much. At a crouch I tensely proceeded into enemy territory. It was sunny and yet seemed cooler. My heart was in my throat. the grass had thinned out and given way to fat-leafed, waist-high shrubbery. There was no cover unless I dived to the ground. I'd have no need to do that until the shooting started. Of course I was suddenly alone in enemy territory with no idea of how many were left. If a shot came, I'd probably get tagged anyway, as I was out in the open with no idea who might be watching.

This is where my moment came. I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to get shot and knocked out of the game. I wanted to stop and go back to the safety of the team. I panned my sights over the terrain nervously, sensitive to every sound and movement. I scanned the bushes and dark spots for a hint of a shadow or an outline. I didn't like creeping alone though enemy territory with no idea of who was stalking me or laying in ambush. But I also knew that I had to do it for the team. That was my job - what I'd volunteered for. If I didn't get him he might get Ryan or the young pro. If he got me they might get a bead on him while he was occupied. I started to get a feeling of what real soldiers go through for their buddies. It was tense, frightening and wholly undesirable, but even in a game, part of teh experience. In my small pathetic civilian way, I was willing to take one for the team.

The pincer movement was almost complete when I heard voices. The whistle blew and I came within sight of the guys. There had been no enemy there. It was one of our guys - the 12 year old with the AK47 - who'd been perched and waiting for targets. I didn't blame him for being gutless, he was young and had lost his buddies. They probably would have benefitted form better leadership whereas we'd found our feet just fine. Nevertheless, we had just spent the last ten minutes chasing a ghost.

It was time to head back to the admin shack for lunch. More action tomorrow.

Edited by budgie
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We headed back to the shack for lunch. Most of the guys had to take off their shirts - mine was soaked through and I hung it in the sun to dry. The gals had to strip down to tee shirts. They served us some hearty but otherwise uninspiring rice and stir-fry. We drank lots of water and in a rare fit of decreased glucose, I had two cans of regular coke. Outside we practiced shooting at a rusty barrel 20 meters away. The smell of the hogs didn't bother us anymore.

We noobs got to play around a bit with the cool guns the pros had broghut along - the difference was noticeable. Our old AKs would drop off after 10 meters and tended to curve to the left or right after that as well. To hit the barrel we had to aim above it. Another 50% further and we'd be unsure of hitting anything. By contrast the M4s and G36s were dead on at 20, with no sign of dropoff. One of the clowns who'd been banned from the first game had a G3 with an extended barrel. He'd modified it so that it was so powerful the pellets threatened to punch through the drum. The rate of fire was up around 1200rpm. Not something you'd want to be on the receiving end of.

Heading to a new spot past the previous battlefields we found ourselves in another lightly wooded clearing. We were all tired, as much from full stomachs and an hour's rest as from the morning's workout. It was already 3pm. At least my shirt had dried quickly. The clearing was ringed by a wall of trees and vines on one side and a tiered slope on the other. There were bales of sticks for cover on the slopes, bushes, shrubs and two thick, low trees in the center of the clearing. There was an open patch of tangled weeds and elephant grass in the middle that looked like the part least likely to be traversed. The teams were divvied up along similar lines to the previous game and we got the end of the arena with easiest access to the slope.

The whistle blew with the enemy still only halfway across the clearing. Shooting started immediately as we scrambled for the high ground. I was hit inside of a minute and within five our position had been overrun. Without preparation time ther was just not enough cover.

The second game we took the low end. I tried flanking around the slope side from there with Taki, but found the enemy already dug in. damn if we'd had more time after the whistle in the last game we could have done the same. I shot the same teenage girl again who was way out in front of her position. At least she'd been brave. Ryan was hit and left the field; Taki and I were pinned down for over five minutes. I called him for cover fire and made a dash to one of the bales. Sliding down behind it I was covered from the enemies who were peppering my position with pellets. However I was not covered from the guy a tier up from me who'd been crouched out of sight in the bushes. He shot me in the cheek under the rim of my mask. It was only about 7 meters away and it hurt. Two wasted games as far as my negligible performance went.

Edited by budgie
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So we come to the final few games. These all had mixed results but at least I didn't get killed. After chilling back under a tree that housed a spider in a web with the legspan of a dinner plate, we were told that no more arenas wpuld be open and we'd finish up the day in this clearing. The next mission was to be search and destroy: One of the more yooung pros in the enemy team would wear a blue beret. Their job was to protect him and ours to tag him. naturally they got the defensible slope as they wouldn't be expected to be moving much.

I warned Ryan and David that I would run up to the first bit of cover, a stack of branches placed under the thick low tree in the middle of the clearing; under my cover fire, they were to bound past me, leaping over my legs to the next bit of cover to my 3 o'clock. Taki should have been with me, and my baby with Ryan. When the whistle blew I bounded up and took the position. I had a straight line between two shrubs across the clearing to a defensible bundle of sticks the enemy were using for cover and a tree right next to it. Behind this construct there were three of them popping up and down. I pelted the position with automatic fire to keep their heads down. Looking around, Taki seemed to have stopped somewhere to my 9 o'clock and was laying steady shots across the tangled shrubs and grass; the rest of the team were way behind me. I could see streams of white pellets criss-crossing the clearing here and there.

We were pinned down, but I was determined to make sure no brave souls in the oppostion tried to seize any ground. Working my crappy AK in long and short bursts I effectively kept the three at their first line of defense form shooting much at all. They'd pop up and immediately duck down again and I was burning through ammo like there was no tomorrow. I called for backup and my girl landed beside me. I told her to fire while I reloaded. Those things carried about 250 BBs and I'd already empotied the clip. Reloading without spare mags was undesirable. There under fire I had to slink down, take out the clip, take out the baby-bottle of pellets, open the clip's hatch, pour the shells in, close it, put the bottle away, wind the wheel at the base of the clip and slam it back in. It took as long to do as it does to read and those preciouys seconds could have been fatal. To top it off the high capacity clips aren't spring loaded: They have a novel feed system that sometimes causes them to stop loading mid-burst so precious more seconds are often wasted, winding the whell on the clip and shakling the weapon to get it firing again.

My carbine back in order I resumed keeping their heads down. I told my girl to move over to the next piece of cover which she dutifully bounded over to - at least she had guts - and huddled behind. The only problem was she had her head down behind the cover as her ass up in the air. I hollered at her to "ie down! Lie down!"

Ryan materialised beside me. I guessed Taki had already been tagged again. We started to suspect hje was calling hits without actually taking any just so he could go off the field and have a smoke, so frequently had he been tagged at the start of a match. I asked Ryan to provide cover and I went over to the vover beside my gal to back her up. We were in good positions and would only get hit if we were stupid, but we weren't going anywhere. At least in the exchange more shots were coming from our side. My baby had to reload. After about seven minutes we were banging through that ammo.

David called out from behind that there were targets at my 1 o'clock. I moved to get a better vantage point and found a ten meter patch of elephant grass facing west at 4pm. Do the math. All I could see was sunlight glinting across the grass, dazzling me. I had no idea who lurked in the trees just beyond - their side of the field - and taking a run across that patch to get back in the murky darkness where I could see better seemed suicidal. I considered crawling through the grass, but it was a tangle and they'd see me coming from the rsutling. Besides I still had the fear of lurking snakes. David kept calling enemies at my twelve now. I popped up and sprayed in that direction on the off chance I'd scare them away. The occasional pellet pattered off a branch in my area but they seemed to be stray shots rather than directed at me. in any case If I was spraying in the enemy's general direction without being able to see him, he was probably doing the same to me.

Ryan and my gal were working their weapons as hard as I'd been. They finally each scored a hit and David was able to bound up and flank the position, taking out the last defender. I ran up after him and we took cover using our side of the position we'd just siezed to aim further up teh slope where the enemy were still firing down on us. However the whistle blew - someone had tagged the principle and somehow we'd won. I hadn't racked up any kills, but I had succeeded in effectively pinning down three enemies single-handed for the first five minutes of the game. Of that at least I could be proud.

Edited by budgie
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My catharsis nears an end. The final real game provided my third sublime moment - one that combined the visceral intensity of that front line firefight in the morning and the creeping fear of stalking through enemy territory just before lunch. It was a fitting completion of the experience and one I could pat myself on the back for heartily.

We switched sides of the field again yet kept the same basic teams. The referee suspended a waterbottle from the tree in the middle of the clearing and told us the first team to siexe it and return to their lines would win.

The only real pro with us, a sixty year old American-Chinese who'd served with the Marines in Vietnam instructed the team's smallest member, the soft looking boy with the AK47, to ditch his cumbersome weapon and just make a dash for the bottle under our cover fire. There was no way the little ###### was going to let go of his security blanket.

The whistle blew and the shooting started. The few idiots who went straight for the bottle got tagged. It settled down into a stalemate of close fighting, with both sides pinned down about 20 meters apart, the tree and the bottle in between us. I too cover behind some shrubs where I couldn't really be seen., but from where I'd have to pop up to fire, exposing myself. Taki and the boy moved closer to the edge of the clearing, shielded from sight by elephant grass. Ryan and my baby held the position we'd worked so hard to flush out in the previous game. More members moved up or tried to flank around the slope, but never came back.

Taki was soon eliminated. I tagged an enemy stalking the bottle. Another tried flanking us through the sun-drenched patch of elephant grass now to my left. With warning from Ryan on the higher ground, I was able to pop up and tag him with a short burst at under ten meters. The stalemate continued, with two much plastic in the air for anyone to dare venture forward into the open ground.

Looking to my 3 o'clock I saw a body sliding down the slope about fifty feet past Ryan and my baby. She was covered from that side but he wasn't. By the time I warned him they'd taken up defensive positions above our whole line's right flank. Ryan engaged them but they were well hidden and already knew where he was. As soon as he got tagged I moved instinctively up to take his place, dodging the fire rolling in from the clearing.

When the head popped up again I let off a burst and he crouched once more behind cover. It was one of the high school boys, gutsy teenagers. Using his heads-down moment I ran up a fe paces and crouched behind a tree. When he came up again it took a moment to track me from my last position so I fired again and he ducked once more. Shots peleted the tree and I saw another shooter just behind him. Two of them and they knew where I was now. I sprayed the area with automatic fire and while they were running, moved closer. Now I had siezed their position and they were falling back, laying down fire to keep me from getting too close. It was tense and scary: me alone against two shooters. As before I wished I had back up or I could just stay put. But I knew if I did, they'd easily flank me. I had to keep them moving - preferably backwards - or tag them or go down trying.

My senses were alive and bristling. They were hard to see behind shrubs bushes and stacks of branches. Also with the wider patch of elephant grass below me to the left where the slope fell away, I had to constantly glance in that direction to see that nobody had a bead on me from below. I would shoot, glance left, move up or dive for cover. Luckily they felt the pressure and continued to retreat. I was afraid again of taking one for the team, but I simply couldn't allow my teammates to fight with their flank exposed.

The punks popped up again and I fired again. They went down and I moved up. They fired and I ducked. Seeing I was closer they fell back. I popped up and fired; they ducked and saw me and fell back and so on. Leapfrogging thus, I pursued them all the way round the slope and back to their side of the clearing. I never hit them once but by the time the whistle had blown my aggression had won out: they were almost back where they'd started the game and we waved to one another in mutual respect for a hard fight as we headed back down to the rally point.

Unfortunately the whistle had blown because with our guys pinned, another gutsy teenager had made a successful dash for the bottle. I didn't mind losing the match though: as for my own little battles, I'd won hands down.

Edited by budgie
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The shadows were growing long and we were running out of time. The referee called a last minute free-for-all. He quickly reorganized the teams and we kept our side of the clearing. There was to be no action on the slope he said. We were to stay on the flat and take out as many enemies as quickly as possible.

The whistle blew and I found myself at the edge of the clearing under a withering hail of pellets. People were already leaving the field. I managed to tag one guy trying to run and shoot at the same time through the small patch of elephant grass to my left. Another went down under a concentrated crossfire from several of us. It was about then I seemed to get it from all sides. The whole game lasted about five minutes.

There was just enough time for one more team deathmatch. We swapped sides of the field and I found myself not far from the position I'd held a few games earlier when I'd managed to lay such an effective base of fire. The whistle blew and it went as frantically as before. I got to the bail of sticks by the tree cover and croched, using the tree for cover on my left. I didn't need to use the bail for cover as the objective now was just to burn off ammo and rack up kills. They were charging hard and so were our guys. People were leaving the feild already and fire was pouring in from their end of the clearing.

I tagged one running across my sights, another trying to flank through the elephant grass. Shots singing off the on my side, I moved around it. Covered by the bushes and the low canopy of the tree on my left (all shooters with a view to that side seemed to have stopped) and byt the tree truck on my right, I tracked another runner who'd managed to sprint through the tall grass and was running around our position to the back. One, two, three bursts and I finally took him out: the referee was right in front of him and was ducking from my withering, yet I dare say accurate fire.

Someone to my left got hit and I saw two in the bushes up ahead again. I took the first one down but had to dive for cover to avoid getting hit by the second. Taki was behind me and we concentrated fire on him until he called it and left the field. Now the two or three people behind me were pinned by a shooter with an accurate, long range weapon just beyond the clearing. I sprayed some test bursts ahead to flush the shooter out, but received no return fire. It was going past me toward Taki and another guy. They were rather pinned. After spending about half a minute looking around from my safe vantage point, I concluded he'd be ahead and slightly to the left, probably behind that piece of cover I'd had pinned in the previous game, as it had the best protected vantage point down to the clearing. In the late afternoon sun I could see the white pellets streaming in.

I hissed for Taki to cover me, by spraying the position and rolled off past the canopy of the tree and into the elephant grass and tall weeds. Quietly as the fire continued sporadically I crept toward the enemy line, stopping to survey my surroundings from time to time. It was otherwise quiet. This was the last shooter left on their team. The weeds and vines got thiker as I got closer. the trail was less marked and I had to be carful not to rustle or make any noise.

Finally I came to a wall of thick undergrowth I just couldn't get past and wasn't willing to risk going around. I popped up with my weapon ready and started down the barrel. I was dead on his 3 o'clock. He was concentrated on the clearing from behind the cover not ten yards away. He was completely exposed. It was the kid with the nice AK47. I didn't blame him for being gutless and playing the sniper in a match that was supposed to be a run-and-gunner. Not much anyway. I let off two short bursts and hit him in the shoulder. he called it and stood. I lifeted my weapon up and announced myself to let him know where the shot that ended his last stand had come from.

We headed back to the clearing and the whistle blew. For once Taki, lying exhausted in the clearing where he'd been pinned, had survived the whole game.

I was pretty please with myself getting six kills - one shared - in such a short game. And for taking down the last holdout as he had been making it drag out a little too long anyway. Despite my exhaustion I was in high spirits headed back to the shack.

We washed up in a handbasin, finished our water. Burned off the remaining ammo on the rusty oil drum and checked in our weapons and uniforms. Back in my shorts and Hawaiian T-shirt I was in need of a beer. Taki, my baby and Ryan seemed relieved it was over. I was a little disappointed it had ended so soon. It would take a good night's sleep to reveal the extent of the damage to my system: Bruises, cuts, scrapes; cramps and utter exhaustion that lasted the better part of the next two days. Well at least I had the Cantonese hottie with eyes like saucers.

Would I do it again? Hell yeah: I'm going this Sunday!

Edited by budgie
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Sounds like you had a blast mate!

I've never had the privelage of playing with AEGs at a proper field, just some mates with springers in the back yard - still fun though..

The best time I had airsofting would have been in a pine forest in Scotland - a great time.. :rambo:

Give us the play-by-play of your game on Sunday - I enjoyed reading this one!

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