Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fort Ord Airsoft

I just got home from a day of Airsoft action at the abandoned army base Fort Ord in Marina California, near Monterey. I went with two of my friends, Devin and John, who essentially got me into the game, and who both have more experience than I do. Devin, who is pictured on the right in the shot above, may not be intimidating to look at but he is a beast on the field. Single handedly clearing buildings with his sidearm, or barking commands to less experienced players, he is well respected by the organizers and really knows what he's doing. He lent me his Model 1911 pistol with a hard holster which is a necessity at Fort Ord as primary weapons are not permitted for indoor engagements. With all the house to house fighting at this airsoft course, I was glad to have it but never got to fire it at an opponent. I'm still getting used to the game and tend to use my time for supporting fire and flanking maneuvers. I did get to try out my brand new JG AK-47 Auto-Electric Assault Rifle (the vid in this link is the exact model that I have), and the Blackhawk Tactical Vest that I got for a great price from a local guy off of Craigslist.
The Fort Ord airsoft course is run by Roundhouse Productions and is located on a portion of the old abandoned army/navy base that was vacated in the 1990's. The play map is a rectangular grid of buildings, mostly two story barracks with the glass windows removed and the interiors gutted. There is a sloping hill on one side of the complex and various overgrown trees and beds of wild ice plant. Here are some pics to illustrate:

We went dressed as civilian militia with T-shirts and blue jeans as apposed to full camo BDUs. Fort Ord is pretty strict about the dress code so it's easy to identify what team people are on. With house to house fighting and people firing from windows you have to be able to tell friend from foe at a glance. I will probably have to get some BDUs at some point because my friends will often wear theirs and I prefer to play on the same team as them. Our militia dominated the first scenario, taking the objective from the enemy and keeping the opposing team from taking it back for the duration of the round. Each round of action goes for roughly an hour to an hour and a half. The second round game was a little more fairly matched as our enemies were given five minutes to take control of the strategic points before we could deploy. We then had to sytematically clear buildings across the fort, dislodging them from defensive positions and pushing them back as we went. I had just made my way to the firing line at the far end of the fort where most of the action was happening when they called game over. I had been in some scrapes along the way, being pinned down by crossfire from second story windows and a sniper that I could not see no matter how hard I looked for him. He sure could see me because he would pepper my position every time I poked my head out to take a look. I died more times than I killed but I had a ton of fun and that's how it goes when you're learning the ropes. One of the main drawbacks of airsoft is that it is an honor system with no paintballs to mark hits. I swear I shot a couple guys who didn't call their hits but that's also how it goes. We stayed for the raffle, which is included as part of the registration fee, but we didn't win any of the prizes and decided to skip the final round of play. My back and legs are thanking me for that right now. Sore, sweaty, and dirty, maybe I should go hop in the shower and leave this blogging stuff for later...

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