Imagine owning a business that delivers amazing experiences and never actually taking part. After 3 years of owning Frontline and never playing Airsoft I decided to try it out and then let the world know my opinion. I have played paintball for over 20 years off and on so I knew my way around the field but I have to say it was an amazing experience. It was a nice winter day but still cool. (-4°C) I grabbed one of the Frontline Rentals, loaded up 2 high capacity mags and hit the field with my team for the first game. My preconceived ideas were that my reckless risk taking style of paintball would not match well with the more strategic and defensive style of airsoft. I was apprehensive about getting hit by Airsoft balls or other players not calling themselves out when they got hit. I was also a little concerned that the rental equipment would not stand up. Boy was I wrong on all counts.
Observation 1 – You can take chances with Airsoft and be rewarded
Airsoft balls do travel further and straighter than paintball but that works both ways. We played the D-Day field twice and both times the attacking team won. I found that with suppressive fire and pushing the field, players could advance and take the objective. Building clearing and moving quickly on the field is possible and the way to win the game. (Just be careful not to hit one of your team mates when they advance too far cough..cough Tilley)
Observation 2 – Getting hit is obvious and does not hurt.
This was a big one for me. I imagined that because of the higher velocity of the balls they would hurt. I know on bare skin they can, however, with only fairly light clothing there was no ouch factor at all. That being said it was obvious when I was hit due to the impact and sound of the balls hitting me. A great combination. I imagine with a heavy pack I might not feel the balls but I think I would hear the distinctive sound of the balls.
Observation 3 – Players do call themselves out.
There seems to be an unwritten code that all airsofters follow. In paintball because the ball actually has to break to count this introduces an element of impact without being eliminated that is not present in airsoft. If you hit someone they are out and the players call themselves out every time. Great sportsmanship.
Observation 4 – Equipment is reliable but is affected by the cold
Among our group there were some equipment issues. I had not factored the effect of the cold on my battery and I chose a gun that had a small butterfly battery. It performed pretty well but I could tell it was straining to be able to shoot and other players told me my battery was dying. In hindsight I should have grabbed a rental that took a brick battery and if I had my own gear I would have a LIPO battery for the cold. I played for 2 hours without any incident.
In conclusion, this will not be my last Airsoft game. I really enjoyed the playing style, equipment and the great group of players. I now have a new appreciation for my customers and the sport. I just wish it had not taken me so long to try it. Get out and play in 2016. You will not regret it.