Friday, 3 December 2010

WW2 Filmsim Game at The Asylum

Hi guys, and a very good evening to you all on this chilly night

It's been a while since my last post and this evening I bring you a review of the WW2 'filmsim' game held recently at The Asylum near Kidderminster, one of a whole host of sites currently being run by the guys at First and Only Airsoft Adventures, and I'd like to extend my thanks to everyone concerned for putting on a thoroughly enjoyable days gaming. Clicking on the link above will normally take you to their very professional looking website, however, it is currently undergoing some reconstruction and will be back sooooooooon

Where to start? Well, we arrived at about 8.30, before the gates to the site were officially open to the public, how keen is that, thoroughly looking forward to the prospect of taking on the Allies and giving them a darn good hiding. I say 'we', and that is somewhat deceptive, since I was chauffeur for the day to a fellow Fireball player who had put his name down for the the Allied side!

The game was organised and run as a 'filmsim' event, along the lines of those put on by CIA and Gunman Airsoft, and as such there were a number of restrictions 'in force' that wouldn't ordinarily apply to an open day style airsoft skirmish, all designed to make the experience more realistic and encourage the participants to get more fully immersed in the game. So, players were encouraged to attend in full WW2 kit, with WW2 replica weapons, and there were ammo limits, of 300 rounds and two grenades per player, in operation so people couldn't employ the spray and pray tactics so familiar at regular skirmish games. For those without 'full kit' F+O supplied 'lookey likey' outfits at a reasonable price and players were allowed to use modern weapons but were restricted to firing on single shot at all times, unless they were a support gunner in which case they could carry 2,500 rounds and only fire while prone or with their weapon 'located' in an historically appropriate manner!

A couple of shots of yours truly in my guise as a Leibstandarte Scharfuhrer
The event was reasonably well attended, and I'm sure the accompanying photos will testify to the fact that most players threw themselves into the spirit of the game by wearing predominantly period clothing and using period weapons. There was a healthy mix of veteran WW2ers and 'noobs', a little wet behind the ears, but as someone quite rightly remarked, we all had to start somewhere. What they lacked in experience they more than made up for with enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is infectious

Two young guns. Ideal recruits for the Hitlerjugend

God damn, those yanks sure know how to look cool. Thanks, CJW, for the piccies

The Allies: tooled up and ready for action. Fun shooting you guys. Can't wait for the next game!

Heer, SS and Gebirgsjaeger. Go get 'em lads!

The standard of gameplay, as is generally the case with events of this sort, was exemplary. I didn't hear of a single complaint of non-hit-taking or unfair play of any kind, which allowed the in-game marshals to run the game, set objectives, and generally keep an eye on which side was winning!

Having arrived, chatted, booked in, chatted, finished getting organised, chatted, listened to the safety and game briefings and walked to our starting positions, the game got underway at about 11 and was due to go on until 6, so we would be playing the last hour or so in the dark, a fairly daunting prospect without a torch! I have included an outline of the game scenario below, and although the weather on Saturday threatened to make it feel more like Stalingrad or the Ardennes, once we got started we all warmed up a treat:

France, March 1942

After the lengthy German invasion of 1940 and the 3 day defence of Holland and the defeat of Belgium, thousands of French & Allied soldiers littered the fields of France. The German military machine had control of the low countries and was busy fortifying their positions throughout the Gallic region.

In October 1941 French Resistance member Pierre "Fabien" Georges committed the first violent act of resistance against the Germans in Paris when he assassinated a German naval cadet in the Barches-Rochechouart Metro station. More than 150 Parisians were be shot by the Germans in reprisal.

So, in the small industrial French town of Marquets de Lorne, the German garrison is about to come under attack from within, by the newly formed French Resistance or Free France Fighters.
The German Garrison is under the command of Herr Felix Jaeger. At his disposal are a small group of Waffen SS troops, a small Panzer Unit and a unit of Heer. Their role within Marquets de Lorne is to ensure peace and the protection of the industrial facilities.

The Resistance have managed to communicate with Allied command and have secured a small Allied force of No 1 Commando and others including Canadians, French and Poles. Their objective is simple; to eliminate all German positions and destroy German controlled facilities and industrial buildings resulting in an embarrassing defeat for the Germans on occupied, and supposedly safe, soil.

So, the scene was set. The Germans had their base in the 'village/small town centre', aka the pagoda in the middle of the single storey buildings in the centre of the site, whilst the Allied base was located in the 'mortar pits', a small area of woodland at the bottom end of the playing area. The game ran continuously throughout the day and comprised a series of set objectives which needed to be met and a few others thrown in for good measure as the game progressed. Lunch was provided, included in the price of the game (£35), and consisted of soup and a roll, a chocolate bar, a bag of crisps and a drink. This was laid on between 12.30 and 2.00 and players had to decide for themselves when to take it whilst the game continued to run!

The objectives were interesting and varied, and there was always something to do. Very little time, if any, was spent wandering around aimlessly waiting for something to happen. It was an interesting and entertaining mix of full on action and purposeful role play - even if you weren't shooting at someone you felt as though you were 'doing something' meaningful that counted towards one objective or another. This was undoubtedly helped by the fact that all the objectives were 'pointed' as were all kills

Each side was allowed two medics and only they could revive an injured comrade. Each soldier was allowed to use the services of the medic once, with a bleed out time of 5 minutes, and when hit again he had to return to base and record his untimely death on the kill log, with points being awarded to the enemy for each kill recorded. He could then replenish his ammunition, up to a maximum of 300 rounds and 2 grenades, and return to the game as a 'fresh' soldier

The objectives we were fighting over were many and varied and included: capturing and holding the enemy 1ic, capturing/protecting the road bridge, knocking out/escorting the Panzers [two F+O Land Rovers, one with a fairly large support weapon fixed to the back and a gunner, in the shape of Treebeard, who was almost impossible to kill], resupplying the Panzers with ammo whilst they lay idle at the motor pool, guarding/protecting prisoners and/or buildings whilst the enemy tried his best to break them out or capture them respectively, organising an assault on the enemy base, and taking members of the FR prisoner, holding them and then interrogating them for stolen documents. All these, and more, objectives were pointed and some of them - like taking people prisoner -  could be done at any time throughout the day and as many times as you liked

"Wos is  you were hiding in your pants? Naughty boy. You're very lucky I do not shoot you on ze spot"

Certain 'rules of engagement' were also in operation and these, too, helped make the game play a little more interesting. For example, to simulate the fact that real Panzers were pretty well armoured, the gunner in the back of the Land Rover was allowed to continue firing, even if he was being hit, for as long as he liked until he couldn't take the pain any longer! Hmmm.  Certain Allied friends of mine have commented on the fact that our Panzer was virtually indestructible and gave us an unfair advantage. Sounds a bit like sour grapes to me, but anyway, they did manage to destroy it in the end.

On the other hand, the Germans were only allowed to shoot the FR players if a) they were visibly carrying weapons or b) they decided to attack us first, after all, to all intents and purposes they were civilians and we had to be 'nice' to them. We were allowed to push them around a bit and generally intimidate them, and we could arrest them and hold them in the 'prison block' for 10 minutes at a time if we felt like it. Of course, at different times during the game, they were openly hostile and worked alongside the Allies to help them achieve some of their objectives, but they were sneaky little so and so's too. I died for the first time during the game at the hands of one of them who strolled past me, with a wave and a cheery 'bonjour', before disappearing round a corner and rolling a well timed grenade at my feet. And if you’ve never seen a group of Waffen SS clad airsofters, running for their lives from a length of exploding baguette, then you’ve not lived. It was a sight to behold, let me assure you. The French Resistance character wielding the deadly bread stick spent most of the day dressed in a fetching pink necktie and carrying a fluffy pink pig, prompting a number of amusing verbal exchanges. The pig, incidentally, was blown up at the end of the game, having been stuffed full with explosive by one of the F+O organisers

A very suspicious looking Frenchie, minus piggy and baguette. Now, I wonder where that could have got to?

So, all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day, made all the better by the fact that the Germans won. By ONE solitary point! It just goes to show, every little counts, and I for one am looking forward to the next adventure. If you would like to view more photos of the event, follow this link: WW2 Filmsim at The Asylum

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