My First Airsoft (CQB) Playing Experience
So today was my first day of playing airsoft.
Our friend Matt showed up at the house with all his goodies. Since we don’t have any equipment or guns yet, Matt brought everything he owned and walked us through it all to show us our options.
It was pretty overwhelming. So many different options. He had about 5 vests to choose from, tons of guns and anything else we could have possibly needed. I had no idea what I wanted, should wear or what I would need in the game, so Matt pretty much picked out my outfit and dressed me. I stood there as he made sure the vest fit me and that the helmet and such was secured properly. Check out what I wore in detail.
Once Matt finished dressing Nick and I, we figured out which guns we would use. I ended up using an H&K MP5. It is a smaller gun but still fairly heavy. There was no way to attach it to a sling so I had to carry it around the whole time. Even though it has a little bit of weight to it, it was not bad at all.
We got the car all loaded up with our guns and gear we needed and headed out to Commandos Eastside Indoor in Warren.
The whole ride there I was super nervous. I wasn’t nervous about getting hit (maybe a little) but more about the fact that I had no idea of what to expect or what the other people there would be like.
Once we arrived though, we took all our gear inside and there were about 5 guys there already. By now, I was asking myself what the frick I was doing there. I couldn’t believe I was going through with it. Even though I wanted to turn around and head home, I got my gear on and got my gun all set up and just waited. Matt was having problems with one of his grenades (which unfortunately both were broke and he was unable to use them) and Nick was getting his stuff on.
One of the guys, also named Matt, introduced himself to us and took us into the field to show us around and gave us an idea of what it was like inside. The field was set up so it was practically impossible to take a long shot. There were a few places you get could some good angles (firing lanes) but for the most part, the field was tight. So after we were read the rules, given a quick tour, it was time to get the game going!
We were to set up in the back, where our re-spawning area was. The first game we played was “Team Death Match’ for 10 minutes with unlimited re-spawns. While waiting at the back for the guy to get the game going, my heart was racing like crazy! We had 5/6 guys on our team, with no way to tell who was who except to remember what they looked like. Then the guy running the games yelled, “Go-go-go!” and the game was on!
I ran out and was ducking around corners, saw my first guy to shoot, went to fire and got shot. Getting hit actually was less painful than I expected by the way. Check out this article to read more on what it was like getting hit. But for the most part, it was like a little pinch. Anyways, after getting hit I ran back to my re-spawning area and realized my safety was on. Such a beginner (noob) thing to do. Once I got my gun all set to go, I was back out into the field.
It was a blast. The adrenaline rush was insane. It is just so exciting to be ducking and sneaking around corners and trying to figure out where the other guys were at. A few friendly fires did happen though (that’s where you accidentally shoot your own guys). It’s hard to remember who is on your team at times because as soon as you see someone your reaction is to shoot. Even Nick shot me in the butt at one time. Luckily though, the guys that were on our team were super nice and shrugged it off and didn’t give me a hard time about it.
I did struggle with my gear though. Since I was borrowing stuff from Matt, it wasn’t the right size. The mask I was wearing was pushing against the bridge of my nose and was actually starting to hurt. By the last game though, I figured a better way to wear it, and solved that problem.
The biggest issue I ran into was my goggles fogging up. You are not allowed to take your goggles off in the field and really you shouldn’t want to! I don’t want to imagine what it would be like to get shot in the eye. Anyways, they would be fine, but as soon as I would start running, it was just instant fog. So not only did I not know my way around but my goggles were fogging up to the point I could hardly see out of them. So… I would hide in the corner of the re-spawning area, shove my thumbs up my goggles and wipe them out super fast. Matt, new guy we met that night, let us use some of his de-fogging spray to keep them from fogging up, but it didn’t help much. After a couple times of changing my head-gear around, I got it to where they wouldn’t fog up too bad and I could focus on the game.
We went from “Team Death Match” to three games of “Capture the Flag”. The last game of “Capture the Flag”, was also combined with a game of “Domination”. These games were a little more fun because there was more of a purpose to them versus just shooting the crap out of everyone. The second game of “Capture the Flag” I actually managed to get to the flag, but was shot in the process of pulling it down. In the third game, our team didn’t capture our flag first so we had to try to win in “Domination”.
In “Domination” there is a pulley system with two flags on it. The goal is to get your flag up, and try to keep the other team from getting there flag raised. The flag up at the end of 10 minutes wins. Unfortunately, our team did not win and from there we played two games of “Push”.
The place we were playing at had two garages connected to each other. At each end, there were openings that would let you go to the other area. So, to play “Push”, one garage was completely neutral (meaning no one could shoot in there) and in the middle of the neutral garage was where both teams would go to re-spawn. The goal of the game was to make it so that the other team was pushed and couldn’t get out of their entrance from the garage and basically was stuck back in the re-spawning area. I did not enjoy this game.
By this point, our team had lost every game of the day. Mostly because we were all new. One, maybe two, guys on our team had played before. So for the most part we had all new people, who had no idea what we were doing, going against a team of guys who had played before and together a few times. I don’t have a problem with loosing. But it was getting frustrating feeling like we didn’t have a chance at all.
Another thing that we became aware of was a few of the guys had “PolarStars”. It’s a type of gun that uses a combination of battery and compressed air to shoot out BB’s. Our guns, which are called AEG (automatic electric guns, which is standard), use a battery and gears to get the BB’s out. So where our guns can only shoot as fast as the gears can move (only semi-automatic is allowed in CQB), their guns can shoot out BB’s as fast as their fingers can go. So they might as well have been shooting full-auto. The other problem with these guns is they can be “turned up” to shoot faster. Where we were at, they did not chrono the guns (check how fast they shoot). The limit at Eastside is 400fps (feet per second) which is already pretty high for CQB (usually it’s around 350fps) so there is really no telling how fast those guns were shooting, but what was becoming more clear as the game was going on was that they were turning them up. I could tell because when I got hit by a PolarStar BB, it fricken hurt like no other. When I had been hit by the other guys, it was like an annoying little pinch, but getting hit by a BB from a PolarStar, it was almost crippling for a good 30 seconds. Another way we could tell the gun was shooting too fast was because the BB’s were breaking on the boards. The last two games played were “Hostage” and I offered to be the hostage. While sitting there, the guy was shooting at my friend Matt, who was holding me hostage, and his BB’s were shattering on the boards.
So it was getting frustrating playing against a group of guys who have played before. Like I said, we didn’t really stand a chance. Then we were getting shot at by guns that were shooting way to hot and pretty much full-auto. But, this is what you have do deal with sometimes when playing airsoft. I’m not saying everyone out there is like this. Matt, the guy we met, was super awesome and helpful. You just have to accept that there are going to be people out there who don’t get the difference between playing for fun and playing to win. There will be jerks and it’s just something that you’ll have to deal with.
Over-all I had a great time playing. It was a little heart-pounding at first, but once I got into the groove of the game, it was a blast. I don’t feel that sore at all. I have quite a few welts though, but nothing crazy. They will probably turn into small bruises, but they don’t hurt at all. I have no pain from playing except just feeling exhausted from having such an adrenaline rush and constant running.
What I would say if it is your first time playing, don’t go to a place that has such a high FPS limit and maybe look for a place that is a little bit more open. You’ll have to deal with jerks sometimes, like I did, but don’t let that get in your way. The guys on the team I played with were pretty cool and we had a good time chatting. Even made a new friend out of the whole experience!