The sport of airsoft has come under much scrutiny as of recently due to the airsoft guns likeness to real guns. The ICS company produces the M-4, based on the compact M-16 assault rifle which is used by the military and police. The company KSC also manufactures realistic guns such as the Glock 19 which is based on the real thing (subcompact version). These are two of many realistic guns used in Airsoft, the only difference is the ammunition. Rather than bullets the airsoft guns use hard plastic six millimeter BB’s. (No gun powder is used, they are either battery or gas powered.) The actual weight and size are identical to the real thing.
There are many airsoft teams which are able to play without problems. However these are teams which own or rent their playing fields. There are a lot of players who don’t have that luxury. My team over the past year has been forced to move from one spot to another, mostly using closed down gun ranges or woods that are state or privately owned. For those players that don’t mind a change of scenery this might be an option.
Another playing style Close Quarters Battle (CQB) scenarios, empty warehouses are preferred. However it could be expensive and police take notice. Most of which are not fond of the realistic guns. Another problem with warehouses is the amount of players you must have. In order to pay for the warehouse rent and for legal purpose, insurance, you need at least 100 team members. After dealing with the legal aspects, paying utilities, rent, insurance and parking, you are looking at paying out well over five thousand dollars per month. This is not for airsoft players who just enjoy the game and want to play with no headaches.
Recently when a few players and myself were playing at a out-of-business fire training school, which we had been using for months and had permission for, the local police came to spoil the fun. We were told we had to leave and not return or our equipment would be confiscated and we’d be going to jail. This fact did not change even after we had told them the local selectman had given us permission. The worst part was, on that particular day, a U.S. Marshall was on his way down to play. Seeing as most of us were ex-army, fire fighter and EMT’s we had put a lot of work into the old school. Inside the two building school we built barriers, barricades, walls and a lot more to give the game a more realistic feel, so it was hard to walk away from it, but we chose to walk rather than go to jail. So we started searching for a new spot.
The following weekend we found a new spot; problem was there weren’t enough players. Our new spot was in the woods, and our small team from the old school was not enough to cover a woodland game. In the end, we disbanded.
While recently talking to the old teammates about getting a team back together, we went over our options. One option came to mind, my new home is complete with backyard mountain. This idea got a lot of positive responses. A plan B was to use a paintball field, which can be set up for airsoft as well.
In Connecticut we have Strategy Plus in East Hampton, as long as you have ten to twenty players, each with twenty bucks to give at the door your good to go. Strategy Plus has eleven wooded fields for playing some that have barriers. Take a look for yourself at: http://www.strategyplus.com
Another spot to check out when you have at least twenty players is Tolcom in Massachusetts ( http://www.angelfire.com/ma2/perez/ ). A once a month massive game is played with hundreds, sometimes thousands of players from all over the Northeast. Tolcom sits on a 300 acre piece of land with woods, fields and small villages in which to play.
Airsoft is an exciting game, but it doesn’t have to be costly. If you’re just starting out, look around for unoccupied woods and fields. Save the pricier places for if you have paying members. Most importantly, check with the local police department, some could care less about the realistic guns, others might return fire!