1) Know Thy Enemy
2) Know Thy Team Mates
3) Know Thy Equipment
4) Know Thy Objectives
5) Know Thy Limitations
Know Thy Enemy…
The enemy – your opponent(s), however you choose to name them, your single most objective is destroy all trace. There is rarely a mission to be carried out, which will not involve some contact, which usually results in one of two options – kill, or be killed.
Some research into the enemies abilities will pay off, take note of what equipment the other team has in their possession – in particular their “fire power potential”. Depending on which Airsoft site you visit, they will probably have a briefing room where you will gather your troops, and be given the usual safety warnings. Take this opportunity to learn more about the weapons they will be using, and any other equipment they have about their person.
Check to see if they have radio communications, as this will greatly improve their success, and make them a more organized team. The chances are, if they do have radio communications, they will be standard PMR Radios, which although has a large number of channels, you can still find the one they’re on, which gives you the chance the cause some havoc.. Nothing is stopping you from listening in to their conversations? Take note of their call signs and radio fake ‘cries for help’… then watch them walk right to you. Ok, a bit underhanded a sneaky, but you get my point.
Know Thy Team Mates…
Airsoft is very much a team game. Forget images of Rambo taking on huge armies single-handed, with a machine gun and a few grenades, it doesn’t happen like that. One thing is very clear, and that is you don’t last very long out there alone. It is impossible for your eyes to be looking everywhere, therefore it is essential to establish a good team, with good communication skills.
Planning is an essential part of all military operations, so it would be wise to carry over this idea to Airsoft. Ensure all players are aware of their role in missions, what their objectives are and whom they should be providing covering fire to.
Be aware of your team mate’s capabilities, as it will have some bearing on their success to carry out their mission objectives. Some people are better suited to an assault role, hurtling through windows and kicking down doors in a blaze of gun fire, whereas others prefer to be perched in a tree, taking pot shots at passers by… or “Sniper” as we call it.
Know Thy Equipment…
Like any good craftsman, your tools are essential if you are to do a good job. If you have chosen to purchase your own weaponry, as opposed to hiring on-site airsoft guns, chances are you will have chosen equipment that suits your needs.
Some weapons are purpose built for certain tasks. An M16 variant for example, is best suited in a woodland environment, where the enemy could be engaged at long distances. The MP5 series on the other hand, is a good all round weapon, as the sliding stock gives it good accuracy, and its small compact size makes it excellent for Close Quarter Combat work.
You should take time to get to know your equipment, and what its capabilities are. Important factors to take note of are battery capacity and magazine capacity, both of which you don’t want to question when one of the two fails you.
If you have suitable clothing, be sure you know where everything is kept upon your person. Pay attention to chest rigging/webbing as the multitude of pockets can become a maze when under enemy fire. You should practice the art of changing magazines and batteries as quickly as possible, and knowing which pocket you keep important equipment in should be second nature.
Know Thy Objectives…
It is important to keep in mind the task at hand, and not become too side tracked with shooting down anything that moves. Usually skirmish sites only give you anything from 30 minutes to several hours to complete your mission, so you won’t have long to get to your target, neutralise the opposition, and run through the mission parameters.
Formulate a plan and stick to it, only deviating from it should factors beyond your control be changed. Get your team to the target as quickly as possible, and take time to assess the situation before sending in troops to complete the task, ensuring you are not leading yourselves into a trap.
Know Thy Limitations…
At the end of the day, the team is only as good as its players. It is important you know what you are capable of, and what you can contribute to the team. It is no good making promises about your abilities, if it all falls through, and your team mates are left to fend for themselves.