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Snowsofting in Austria

  • 20-12-2010 12:01am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    A few shots and a video from a game I played today in Austria. It was my second invite to play with the "Russian Players Airsoft Club" (RPAC) on their field north of Vienna. They are a Russian themed team with a pretty international membership.

    This morning it was -14C when we got to the site, with about 20cm of snow on the ground. It was an Invite* game for RPAC members and invited friends of the club only. With the cold the Austrian airsofting scene is quieter during the winter, but it's a point of pride with the RPAC that they live up to their Russian theme and go out in all weather. The local SOCOM club were to come along today but it was too cold for them I think :-)

    125_0419.JPG
    Getting ready for the first game. A fire is lit and people cooked sausages and beans in it before the 09:00 start.

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    This is "Fido" who takes his Russian themed approach very seriously. That is a genuine Russian winter suit, real vodka, and yes, he was drinking it for breakfast.

    125_0423.JPG
    Yours truly invested in a German winter camo suit (€35) which was excellent. About half the rest of the guys went with disposable painters overalls. It should be said that I was wearing 3 layers on my legs, and 6 on my body (light wicking layer, thermal top, fleece, goretex, flora camo, and snow camo). I was toasty all day, even when hanging around in the snow. Remember - "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing".

    125_0435.JPG
    Everyone was in Russian themed gear, and with one exception we all had Russian guns. This was the Draganov in operation.

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    One of the best games was a capture the base one, with guys in white against the others, five on five. That's an RPK on the left.

    125_0449.JPG
    The base was nicely sited, with open ground (shown) on one side, a forested slope behind, and light and thick clumps of trees on other sides. It made for very good gaming.

    125_0459.JPG
    These were the last two defenders, well dug in here. It took the attackers 15 minutes to get them. Here is the video I took after I was taken out:


    Unfortunately I didn't manage to film the end of the assault as the batteries in my video camera gave out. The cold meant you kept spare AEG batteries in your clothing and had to be ready to do occasional swaps (under fire) of cold for warm. Surprisingly the Chinese battery that came with my CYMA AKM lasted almost all the day with no problems!

    *The other main type of game in Austria is a Free For All (FFA) where any one can come provided they pre-book their place. Numbers are usually capped at 60. Places fill up fast as there are almost no commercial sites in Austria so you can't just turn up someplace on the day if you want to play.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 MerryDespot


    Nice one sir! If only my own foreign exile wasn't in a non-airsofting country (Switzerland)!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,904 MagicIRL


    What's the FPS in Austria? Looks awesome fun!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    Nice one sir! If only my own foreign exile wasn't in a non-airsofting country (Switzerland)!
    I gave Fido a lift to the game today so we had a long chat about the scene in our home countries. Airsoft in Austria is in a bit of a grey area, not illegal, but not quite legal either (like it was in Ireland before last year). There is no representative body, and it exists at the whim of the regional governments. Only last year they decided to ban anyone under 18 from playing or owning an airsoft device.

    Personally, I found it awkward to get playing in Austria when I moved over last January, because you pretty much have to be a member of a club to get invites to games. And as a (non German speaking) foreigner you can struggle a bit to get in with a club. At the moment I am on my trial period for the RPAC guys, but they reckon I will probably make the grade :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    MagicIRL wrote: »
    What's the FPS in Austria? Looks awesome fun!
    This is one of those grey areas. Legally, anything under 5 joules is not a weapon. There is a gentleman's agreement amongst most sites to use:
    AEG: 400fps, 1.5 joules.
    Semi-auto: 450fps, 1.87 joules.
    Bolt action: 500 fps, 2.3 joules.

    Chronoing is usually done with a 5% tolerance. So you could have an AEG at 420fps, or a sniper at 525fps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,398 MerryDespot


    Well, in typical Swiss efficient fashion, there's no grey area here - it's outright banned! Apparently they're only happy for people to have real rifles an ammo in their homes rather than replicas...
    That said, Austria is a lot closer to Zurich than Dublin on those weekends when I'm stuck away - might be worth the trip over.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    That said, Austria is a lot closer to Zurich than Dublin on those weekends when I'm stuck away - might be worth the trip over.
    There seems to be a number of clubs and sites out in the west of the country. The one I have hear mentioned most often is the Tiroler Gotcha Club. I think they are based near Insbruck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,029 ✭✭✭ Hande hoche!


    Very impressive,looks like ideal weather for a Ushanka.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,261 Puding


    all i can say is im rather jealous of the site and the team :) been follow fibo's exploits on arnies and red alliance for some time


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    The site is actually pretty basic. It's a (mostly) wooded area about 150m wide and 300m long (about 11 acres in old money). You can see it here.

    Other than clearing some paths, and moving brush into barriers in a few places there has been little development. For Irish players it is surprisingly open to the public. This is a shot taken at a game I was at in Autumn of players walking along the edge of the site:
    03.jpg
    That is a public road and we had to move out of the way of traffic from time to time (btw that is a female player with the M249 on the far left). Other than a few stares people didn't seem to be too fazed by us.

    The site is a good spot for games. Though when you put 60 people in there for the FFA games it can be a little crowded and your tactical options decrease. Fido and the gang do seem to have ideas for doing different things with it. And I think I have found one spot where a 40mm grenade would be useful, maybe even a "need to have" for an attack.

    I might put up a few more pictures describing one of the more summery games later.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,518 [--SC(+)PE--]


    Looks deadly Sliabh. Im fleeing to Germany myself realy soon and was exited about the prospect of getting back into airsoft over there, until i found out the crazy laws they have in Germany :(.
    Im heading to innsbruck for new years and will probably be there every now and then aswell so im interested in maybe getting to a game or two in Austria. Seems to be a bit more info on Austrian teams and sites then German ones as far as i can find.
    It does seem awkard enough to get some good info because most of the websites i came across dont seem to say much about where they actually skirmish etc.
    If ya got any links/advice id seriously appreciate it, been to long since ive been out in the field :p


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    Scope, If you are looking for infor then three good places to hunt are here:
    http://airsoft.zanzaa.at/ - a directory of Austrian and intrenational airsoft, and has a list of clubs.
    http://forum.airsoftaustria.com/ - the main Austrian airsoft forum. Because of spammers it is awkward to join. You need to register, and then get your registration approved by a mod. Except you need to know someone who can contact a Mod on your behalf.
    http://www.oeasv.at/ - these are some guys who tried to set up an Aistrian airsoft association, but it seems to have come to nothing. There is some information on their website, and there are links to clubs around the country.

    Good luck.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,518 [--SC(+)PE--]


    Cheers Sliabh, ill be giving them a go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    MilSim in Austria
    I had the opportunity to participate in an Austrian "MilSim" game a few weeks ago. It was a little different to what we are used to so I thought I would put something up here about it.

    "Operation Tantrum" was run on a paintball site (nice interactive map here) just east of Vienna. Before the event I thought 200m x 300m would be a bit small, but it was perfect for the 80-90 people we had on the day. Being a paintball site the props and physical setup was great. There were loads of well built trenches, artillery pieces, and several fortified camps assembled from railway sleepers, hundreds of sandbags and ammo crates. I don't think I saw a pallet or tyre.
    IMG_1214.JPG
    Delta 2 squad on red team bunch up in a trench.

    Of course being a paintball site any surface out of the rain was covered in gloopy paint. So you had to be careful sometimes where you took cover.

    As a Milsim the game would have been unrecognisable to Irish MilSimers. There was no restriction on weapons (I did see a stubby killer with box mag and sniper scope), ammo, or uniforms. Sides were identified with red and blue arm bands and you decided who to be with when you registered on the day.

    There wasn't a story either. I had a lunch time chat with the organiser and his view was; this is MilSim, grunts just take orders, they don't need to know why. Some other things this MilSim didn't have were medic rules, or anything relating to capturing (I was just told I was a prisoner at one stage by a marshal for a game objective) or interrogating people (they didn't know anything so why bother interrogating them)!

    What it did have, and what made it MilSim in the eyes of the locals was very tight command and control. We were organised into squads of about 5-8 people. Each squad had a squad leader (about half volunteered on the day) and they were in radio contact with a red/blue commander off site in a tent. This guy:
    IMG_1345.JPG
    Blue team commander

    The commanders and the organiser effectively were marshals and worked from a master list of game objectives. These were relayed down the line to the squad commanders to execute. We had a designated radio channel, and the chatter on it was just the commander and leaders relaying updates and orders backwards and forwards. I don't speak German so I didn't tend to get all the details. But the first missions we had were along the lines of move to G3 via D2 (we had maps with all the site landmarks and a grid co-ordinate system). Assault enemy troops in base at F4. Hold F4 base until you receive further orders.

    IMG_1239.JPG
    Austrian checks out a captured artillery piece. Observe the sloppy attitude to eye safety, something I see regularly in Austria. Which is especially surprising when guns of up to 525 fps are allowed!

    Some of it was more dynamic as well. We were holding some trenches near a road when we came under attack and we were given orders to bug out. At one stage when returning from respawn (standard 10 minute time) a marshal told me I was now a prisoner. I was brought to the blue side and held as part of a prisoner swap objective.

    The game did have airstrikes, but again because of the language thing I don't know how they were ordered. On the ground what happened was a marshal released a (very large) smoke device and both sides had to retreat from the area until the smoke cleared. They didn't cause casualties as such, but it did free up the game a bit by forcing defenders in a strong point to back off and then scramble to retake it.

    PAP_base.jpg
    Part of the base we were pushed out of by an "airstrike".

    Overall it was a pretty good day out. For the locals this was something different, but the view seems to be that it was a success. There was some bitching online (thank you google translate) about the €30 entry price when local games are often €15-20. But it was far better than the many "run and gun until you exhaust your ammo, then take a 30 minute break" games I have been at.

    So what worked well? The tight squad integration and control I felt was good. In a given action you had a fair idea what support you could expect i.e. 2 of our guys have been shot, so there are 6 of us left. And it also meant you could gauge the opposition as well. We attacked a base at one point and we knew there were defenders in it but had no idea about how many. A few minutes in we knew there was only only one squad so it was about 8 vs 8. It also meant that when we had shot 7-8 people we knew we had cleared the place. We could shift to setting up a perimeter and waiting for a counter attack or new orders.

    Of course there is a problem with this tight setup as well. When you respawn you may have no idea where your squad is, especially as most players did not have radios. And even if you do getting to them can be a problem because 1 or 2 won't last long if they run into an enemy squad.

    I am keen to hear of idea for how (without radios) you can get around this.

    More pictures here.

    Unfortunately I am leaving Austria in January. Or else I would get along to try out some of the "proper" big MilSim games on the Central Europe Calender like Border War outside Prague in April. This is a 50 hour game with about 800+ players. Previously it was played in an old Soviet tank base.And I see that this year if you sign up for the airborne infantry you will actually be inserted to the game zone by helicopter! There is a €23 supplement for that bit of immersion!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 Inari


    It's nice to see some proper Airsoft discussion threads on here.

    I think the biggest problem with MilSim is that it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It is rare that you get a large enough intersection in the Venn Diagram of the proverbial mindsets, which results in people being annoyed at, or disappointed in the games put forward.

    At Rionegro there were a lot of unhappy campers, and yet I had heard people say that it was better run than a couple of Sennybridge events. It just goes to show you how much of a game changer your fellow players are - if they're up to the challenge and on the same wavelength, you should have a good game...if not; good luck to you sir/madam.

    @Sliabh: To get around the whole "No Radios = awkward respawning" you could use a system where if you've been killed, you go to the commander, and he radios in to find out where they are to meet their "reinforcements" i.e. you. I know this still centres around comms, but I believe you said that the group leaders had radios to communicate with the team leader? If there were no radios, and you wanted to put in place a respawn system you could have a 'check-in' rule where by groups would have to check in (in person) to a Team leader to provide intel, and inquire about respawnees - they could then escort the newly 'healed' back into battle to the location of their team.

    Comms makes everything easier though


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    I have gone on record myself as saying to me MilSim is:
    • Story driven
    • More realistic equipment (e.g. uniforms, gun and ammo restrictions)
    • More realistic "game" rules (medics, bleed outs, interrogation, etc)
    • Chain of command
    The Austrians did the last one well. We have tended to focus on the top ones.


    When it comes to respawn I guess we need to think of them as reinforcements. If you are using something like a field and off site commander then your suggestion about directing them in that way is a good idea. In practice I guess the field commander has to decide between whether they push on with their objectives, or pause (and even pull back) to rebuild strength by getting the replacements in. And the reinforcements probably need to wait for decent numbers before returning to the game.



    In an ideal world, I'd have a vehicle to drive them to a field base. And there's another mission keeping that supply line open! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 Inari


    sliabh wrote: »
    • Story driven
    • More realistic equipment (e.g. uniforms, gun and ammo restrictions)
    • More realistic "game" rules (medics, bleed outs, interrogation, etc)
    • Chain of command
    Definitely agree with the above. The way I look at it is authenticity to improve immersion, whilst also providing as real an experience as possible within the game. Thus medic rules, equipment restrictions and chains of command are critical, as is your entire motivation and thought process i.e. story.

    In order of importance, using the items on your list, I would say (1 being most important, 4 being least):
    1.) More realistic rules
    2.) Equipment restrictions
    3.) Chain of Command
    4.) Story

    Story is the most interesting one, and probably the one that ends up being the prime focus...but when you think about it...although in an ideal world people will effectively 'get in character', it wouldn't be as important as the others.

    I believe the game rules to be critical - without them you don't really have anything resembling MilSim, and I believe equipment restrictions follow in very close behind...however I was torn between chain of command and equipment restrictions, as both are critical to MilSim.
    When it comes to respawn I guess we need to think of them as reinforcements. If you are using something like a field and off site commander then your suggestion about directing them in that way is a good idea. In practice I guess the field commander has to decide between whether they push on with their objectives, or pause (and even pull back) to rebuild strength by getting the replacements in. And the reinforcements probably need to wait for decent numbers before returning to the game.

    In an ideal world, I'd have a vehicle to drive them to a field base. And there's another mission keeping that supply line open! :)
    It would be very nice indeed to see a more integrated approach to respawns. They would effectively be reinforcements, or just newly arrived, and as such it falls under an executive decision whether or not to wait for them to arrive, or to go ahead with objectives. I can see it being quite a large bone of contention with people if it were done this way, but it might have potential.

    The whole troop transport thing I would love to see happen - adds immersion to the game, as well as more objectives (plant IED's to stop reinforcements) etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    Inari wrote: »
    I think the biggest problem with MilSim is that it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

    QFT.
    ...and yet I had heard people say that [Rionegro] was better run than a couple of Sennybridge events.

    There's just no pleasing some people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    Hmmm. I have an idea for a scenario than I can incorporate some of this into. Let's see can I get it written up tonight and a site and some volunteers to run it...

    Watch this space. Or a nearby one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,261 Puding


    Personally I see it a little differently but in the end you get more or less the same results.

    Milsim as a word in Ireland as been used as a catchall phrase to cover a large amount of content, the reality is a little more complicated. If you think about it in the context of other sports it can make a little more sence. You have an activity called 'cycling' but this covers a wide variety activity within that from mountain biking to an indoor velodrome. You can focus it even more, you have mountain biking but their is a world of difference between the different grades of runs, but all is still cycling.

    In theory the whole hobby of airsoft is 'milsim' , in reality there is a vast range of events giving you different experiences, the thing is to find which suits your play style as an even run by company A is not coming to be the same as company B even if on paper the rules are very similar, this is because the biggest influence on milsim is the mindset of the players and staff involved.

    Most people will be aware of ta events so we can use that as an example, most people will blanket refer to a ta event as milsim and leave it at that, in fact the event is played as battlesim, this is Ians own classification to help people get to the right event that suits then, battlesim is very much a watered down milsim compared to other events Ian runs and run by other event organizers, but for someone who has only played a Sunday skirmish it is very much 'hard core', as we can see perspective as well as mind set can have a massive impact. People say they want milsim but in reality most people going to an event still want their burger can and out of game sleeping for example. They want to have the impression of a military experience without the hardship :).

    In Ireland we have a tendency to go over board with rule sets and scenarios and there seems to be a belief that the longer and more complicated the rule set the better the event will be. I personally think their is a lot to be said for the KISS theory and the right people.

    But when it really comes down to it, it is up to the organizers of an event to choice who their target audience is, I'm of the view it is not possible to please everyone all the time and sometimes with milsim the harder you try to make it appealing to all the less of an impact it can have on the people taking part, it becomes to diluted in terms of game play.

    Ok back to mind set to finish, milsim in my eyes is not about a rule set, you can play milsim with a sunday skirmish rule set and no objectives, of course the advanced rules and scenarios add to the immersion but they are not necessary if you have the right people playing. From my experience the more i play the more I see that the more 'hardcore' the milsim becomes the less the rules become important, the simpler they normally are. This is because with the right people they are just not needed.


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