Airsoft Action 07 - Mar 2012 - Page 78

run a highly respected paintball operation) but over the years have developed a number of urban sites, including the old MOD camp at Saighton. They moved onto their present location, the old headquarters of the TATA Steel Corporation, about 18 months ago. Unlike many urban sites that hang under the ever-present threat of redevelopment, the site has been secured as an airsoft venue for the foreseeable future. Covering some 15 acres, the site consists of six large office buildings, an orchard and an overgrown ornate garden that staff must have wandered around in their lunchtime. In its heyday the site employed 5,000 staff and was the corporate headquarters of John Summers Steel. The main house was built in 1908, a mirror of a town hall built in Bradford. The buildings have over 600 offices on five levels within the main house and three within the F-Block. The main reception, kitting-up area and Safe Zone is a huge hanger-like building that can easily accomodate 80 players and their kit, with enough room that they’re not tripping over each other. All guns are chronographed to ensure that they fall under “…the great thing about CQB airsoft is being right on top of the enemy – and the worst thing about it is being right on top of the enemy!” the site’s 350fps rule (externally you can use full-auto but once inside it is semi-auto only) and a full safety and gameplay brief takes place before you move out. The warm-up game was a ‘straight in-yourface’ contact scenario outside. Starting at the eastern end of the site the Blue team was on the offense and the Red team had to maintain a constant fighting withdrawal. This was a bit like a boxing match: teams eyed each other up across the car park and there was little time for ‘where’s my best spot’ as game-on was called. It was pretty much carnage from the off and the momentum would be with whichever team could maintain a high rate of fire and tactically out-manoeuvre the opposition. Wave after wave of Blue attacks were repelled as the attackers were pretty much exposed. Numerous pyros were deployed, and after about 15 minutes the Blue team pushed through a tight walkway and drove the Reds back into the orchard. With more cover available the Blue team could spread out a little more and try various flanking moves on the defenders. It was a credit to the Reds that although they were forced backwards they defended every yard with a great deal of awareness, and the game was really tight on the ground. But the Blue team now 078 March 2012 had the advantage and move d in waves of covering fire to finally push the Reds back towards the building where the first CQB game would begin. Now if you’re a fan of CQB games you will know that the great thing about CQB airsoft is being right on top of the enemy – and the worst thing about it is being right on top of the enemy! If that’s a bit confusing let me explain… With most airsoft CQB fire-fights you are pretty damn close, maybe a room’s length away, and this makes for some adrenalinefuelled action (especially with flash-bangs and other distraction devices going off all around). But problems occur when you have a choke point in the game and what I’d call a ‘conveyer-belt regen system’ – players are being hit, dropping back and coming back into game a couple of minutes later at the same point. Games become static and a marshal has to throw something in from leftfield to stand a chance of changing the game dynamic. The buildings at SWAT Urban are large enough to negate this problem – there are choke points, but they are numerous. In the game I was taking part in the Blues had control of the first floor and the Red team had to wrest it off them. With well-placed regen points and the fact that the floor