Individual and Team Airsoft Tactics
Being Efficient in Airsoft
Airsoft is one of the closest thing you can get to an actually firefight and unlike first person shooters, you are in the action-shooting people while they try to shoot you with plastic bbs. There are infinite ways to play from backyard airsoft to full scale events depicting full scale military/police operations. Here we will cover some individual tips and tips on working with your team to ensure survival and achieving the mission.
Before going to the games, it is always good to do some research on the area where you'll be playing at least a week or two in advance. This can be done in a variety of ways but not limited to visiting the area in advances, looking at the map of the playing field, or talking to those who have played in the field. For the bigger fields I'm not familiar with, I carry a map of it. Also, research on the type of games played and the duration of each game. Doing so allows you to plan more efficiently for the game as well as developing tactics to ensure your survival on the field.
Airsoft Guns- There are many different types of airsoft guns in the market today such as springers, gas and automatic electric guns (AEGs). The type of budget and the type of games you will be doing will dictate the type of airsoft gun used. When you get the airsoft gun, know how to manipulate it until it becomes second nature. Also, know the distance for you gun. I can't tell you enough how people waste rounds because their opponent was way beyond the max range of the airsoft gun. Not only will you be wasting ammo but the sound of your gun can give your position away. In addition, practice speed reloads. Speed reloads should not take more than 3 seconds during the firefight. Also, use the appropriate weight bbs for your gun as well.
Vests, leg rigs, holsters, slings, boots, goggles/paintball masks, uniforms, camel packs and pouches are all available on the market to help you store your gear and hold your weapons. Many vests and rigs and be used to customize where the pouches go. The most expensive ones aren't needed for airsoft. Just get the ones that will get the job done. Also, besides under packing, over packing gear on your body is bad too during the games. Over packing can hinder your movements and tire you out, making you more vulnerable to injury. Remember to stick with the gear plan when it works and only change it when necessary.
Positioning of gear- Gear should be positioned in such a way that 1) It is secured and 2) It can be accessible at a moments notice. If you are packing lots of gear, here is my advice- side arms, extra magazines, speed reloaders and ammo should be positioned where you can grab it in seconds. Batteries, extra gas and other gear should be available as well depending on the needs of the individual. Remember to pack what is absolutely necessary for the game you will be playing in.
You don't have to necessarily be an athlete to play. However, in airsoft, there is some running, crawling, crouching, keeling and walking involved. There are different terrains as well. The 2 acre airsoft field with hills will require more physical output than an indoor airsoft arena. Minor stretches and exercises will help you stay healthy and reduce injury when you do airsoft. So remember, do some push ups, sit ups, go for a jog, etc when not partaking in games. Plus, you tend to make sound tactical decisions when you are not so fatigue.
You should wear relaxing fit clothing that matches the environment. It is not necessary to go out and buy cammies or ghullie suits but at the same time, you don't want to stand out such as wear bright clothing in wooded area. Boots are nice to wear when the terrain is rocky or rough.
Very rarely do you find yourself alone in airsoft games, especially sanctioned matches. Being a lone ranger can be fun at times, but it is pretty difficult for a person to take on groups of people by himself in airsoft. A team that can work together and apply tactics generally wins matches. The major basics of team tactics are communications and formations.
Communication is vital and can be done in three major ways: signaling, voice or radio/phone. Radios are not necessary but they do help in terms of coordinating different teams. In one of my matches my team was ambushed and got pinned. The opponent manage to take out most of my team leaving myself and a teammate. We got on our radio and called another team. Within minutes, our other team came and saved us. Without the radios, we would have been eliminated.
However, voice communication is just as vital. It allows team members to move by coordinating supporting fire from another teammate. Telling your teammate where the shooting is from is one of several important forms of communication as well, especially in an ambush, ie 'contact front.' This allows team members to respond by fire and maneuver. Communication should be concise as possible.
Signals can be done by hand or smoke. Though effective for visual and maintaining silence, it is best to ensure all team members know the signals. Signals are useless if someone receiving it doesn't understand or if the sender sends the wrong signal.
Formations do not have to be complex but they can help. Formations allow three things: proper spacing, proper position of personnel to direct maximum fire without friendly fire and allows effective movement. Terrain, weather, likely enemy contact, and other conditions may require different formations to allow movement and direct maximum fire towards the enemy (without risking friendly fire).
Ideally, spacing in an open area or forested area should be about 5 meters. Since there are airsoft grenades/launchers, automatic electric guns and even mines, your team wants to have proper dispersion so not all of you get wiped out at once. If you are indoors or assaulting a room, your intervals may be a bit closer. Your dispersion may also depend on the thickness of the brush or other conditions that will affect the team's ability to communicate and account for each member.