Friday, May 28, 2010

Nightsoft – Tips for Night Airsoft Skirmishes

Nightsoft, a night-time airsoft skirmish, is an excellent way to change up your airsoft play to add a new degree of excitement and challenge to the sport. It you live in warmer climates, it is also a great alternative to playing in the summer heat. Here are a few tips for planning a successful nightsoft skirmish.
  • Integrity matters even more in the dark. Choose your teammates and fellow skirmishers wisely. If you think people cheat in daylight, wait until you get them in the dark!

  • Take a break to prepare for nightfall. If your switching from day play into nightsoft, it is best to have an official break to make sure everyone is ready for the transition. This will give you an opportunity to recap night-play rules and to get your gear situated. If you misplace gear in the darkness, it is likely lost for good, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure everything is secured.

  • Determine how you will navigate the darkness. Night vision goggles, though expensive, are an awesome way to enhance the sport. (Go Gen1 if you can afford it.) If going night-vision free, you need to some sort of lighting device on hand in case of emergency. This could be a formal lighted scope added to your airsoft AEG, or a simple handheld LED. These lights can also help when doing a quick surveying of the area or trying to locate something you have dropped; just make sure you don’t give your position away!

  • Identify the teams. Use glow-in-the-dark tape on the upper shoulder/arm to identify team members. One team might be three lines in a row, while the other is a triangle… or any symbols that are easy to tell apart.

  • Keep the game structured. Night games can become chaotic, so have a very clear goal for each team. Capture the flag, for example, is an excellent nightsoft game. Make sure team members also have clear role with objectives as well. Clear strategies will help prevent the game from deteriorating into run-and-gun chaos.

  • Protect yourself from injury. Because of limited visibility, you are much more likely to get hurt when playing at night. The most popular injury I have seen is twisted or sprain ankles. Running shoes won’t cut it. I recommend water-proof military/combat boots, which will provide extra support for your ankles.

  • Dress for night temperatures. If you are in cold climate, be sure to come prepared with several layers of clothing. You may be lying close to the ground for long periods of time which can get quite cold. In some climates, warm summer nights are perfect and require little modification, in others, you’re better off with long johns, ear warmers and wool socks.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the VP of Operations of Airsoft Megastore, an airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, airsoft shotguns or the right airsoft blowback guns for players of any experience level.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So Your Child Wants to Play Airsoft?

One day it’s Legos and then suddenly your kids are asking for airsoft guns for their birthday. For many parents, games involving fake guns can create some anxiety, especially when the fake guns look so realistic. However, talking to your children about certain important aspects of airsoft will ensure that players remain safe and give you the chance teach kids valuable lessons about personal responsibility and teamwork.

  1. RULES: Familiarize yourself with the rules of airsoft and help your children understand why they are important. Be sure that all players understand and follow the rules when involved in gameplay. Compromise with them – you will let them play if they follow certain rules. There are many resources available, from airsoft websites and blogs, to people in your community that you can turn to for help, information and advice.

  2. SAFETY SWITCH: Teach your children how to switch the safety on and discuss why it is important to have it on at all times when not playing. Explain to them the possible repercussions if gun safety is not practiced.

  3. SUPERVISION: Make sure the games are supervised by you or another parent. Getting to know the game and why the children enjoy playing it can be an exciting way to bond and get to know your children’s friends and their friends’ parents. When the game is over, be sure to lock the airsoft guns in a cabinet safely out of reach of children as you would with a real firearm.

  4. DO NOT REMOVE THE TIP: The orange tip of the airsoft distinguishes it from real guns; explain this to your children and make sure they understand why it is important to leave it on and the legal repercussions of removing it.

  5. KNOW THE LAW: In most states there is a minimum age for airsoft play and in some, like California, an adult must be present. Talk to your children about why they think it is necessary to have an adult nearby.

  6. RESPONSIBILITY: understanding airsoft means understanding that it is still a firearm. Making sure your children know this, and are familiar with gun safety, makes them more responsible. Education about how to handle guns is the best way to ensure that all players play fairly, correctly and without injury.

If you are able to listen to why your kids want to play with the latest airsoft guns, they will be more likely to listen to your concerns and follow your rules. The most important thing for parents to understand is that airsoft is not dangerous when safety precautions and game rules are followed carefully.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President of Airsoft Megastore, an airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, full metal airsoft rifles or the right airsoft gas gun for players of any experience level.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Choosing the Right Airsoft Facility

Finding a reputable place to participate in airsoft skirmishes is getting easier. As the sport’s popularity increases, we are seeing more and more dedicated facilities cropping up, giving airsoft enthusiasts more options when playing. Here are a few things to look for when selecting where you play airsoft.
  • Indoor vs. Outdoor Facilities. You can often identify outdoor areas through local forums or hobby shops. These can vary greatly on terrain, quality and safety, while indoor facilities tend to be more controlled. A couple world class examples include Tac City Airsoft, the Airsoft Playground here in Los Angeles, and the SS Airsoft facilities in Georgia. Be sure to check out their galleries for an idea of what you will see when you visit a high-quality indoor facility. Most indoor facilities will also have equipment for rent. This is a great opportunity to try out certain weapons and gear prior to purchasing them.

  • Referee vs. honor system. Some facilities provide a field referee to help ensure that hits are counted. This helps clean up the game, especially if playing against or with strangers. If you do not have referee, the best strategy is to play with a group you trust to actively practice the honor code.

  • Staffed vs. non-staffed. Indoor facilities should be staffed with knowledge airsoft enthusiasts. These staff members not only keep the place running smoothly, but they are a resource for information on the latest electric airsoft guns and gear. Outdoor airsoft areas are less likely to have an active on-site staff.

There are a number of things that make for a great airsoft facility. I personally look for a combination of realism, attention to detail and safety. My local facility creates a very realistic war zone CQC environment. Even the dead zones are comfortable! When you find a good facility like that, you will inevitably become a repeat customer and part of a larger airsoft community in your area.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the VP of Operations of Airsoft Megastore, an airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, full metal airsoft rifles or the right airsoft gas gun for players of any experience level.

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