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Airsoft events can be of different types. The favourite type of game for airsofters is still milsim, in which the players try to reproduce a real situation simulating the way the military units act.

These events usually require a huge effort from the organisation, to create interesting missions and to surprise the players, or to find a scenario that makes it unique.

There is, however, always a lack of dynamism when developing a modern fi ght simulation. And that can't be solved without access to armoured vehicles. After all, the troops’ mobility is essential nowadays.

Now, imagine an airsoft event in which the most important role is played by military vehicles, which you could use any time you need, as a transport or an attack device, a turret or for a cover, a hospital or a command center. And today it’s possible in the biggest airsoft event in the world: WARGAME!

Playing in Russia may be too far for most of the 0’20’s readers but not for all. Dimitry, member of the French team “Mitchell Team”, got the opportunity to live this experience and today, he tells us about it.

After introducing you, everybody asks the same thing: how did you manage to play such an important Russian event?

I live in France but I have a friend in Russia who told me that he had dreamt for several years about going to the biggest airsoft game ever. When he told me about the game, I ensured him that this year I would go with him and, for sure, with my French team. I think that every airsofter’s dream is to play with real tanks ;-)

I suppose that going to Russia has been a great adventure but, once there, did you  nd differences between the European airsoft and the Russian airsoft?

Airsoft is almost exactly the same in every country. The small differences you may  an often depend on local laws. In Russia, when you play in an outside  eld, the power limit is 500 FPS (with 0.20g balls), but if you play in a building, you can use a maximum of 400 FPS, and 600 FPS with bolt snipers. There is no restriction for full auto shooting or for head shots ;-).

That can sound scary, but nobody from our team has been hurt during the 3 days of very intensive battles. Respecting the rest of the players comes before all. The rules against cheats are stricter also. They are sent back home very quickly.

In the case of the Wargame event, only one player needed medical care because his grenade exploded in his hand. Only certicated grenades can be used in the game, but accidents may still happen anywhere. For the rest, same rules as the rest of the world.

THE WARGAME SAGA 

This event is relatively recent. It was created in 2012 as a result of collaboration between the Military Ministry of Russian Federation and the Airsoft Federation of Russia, organised by the “ZLO” airsoft team. And we have to say that the Ministry of Defence’s daughter helped a lot as she is an airsoft fan too ;-). She delivered the opening speech of the last event in May 2016.

The Wargame gathers between 3000 and 4500 players 2 times a year. Because of the harsh Russian climate, the airsoft season is very short, from May to October. Thus, lots of players are present for each event. And these events represent the beginning and the end of the airsoft season in Russia.

THE RUS SIAN TANKS

The tank culture has been developed very well in Russia since WW2, where the Russian tanks played an important role in the allied victory. Nowadays, Russia possesses one of the biggest tank fl eets in the world. An offi cial stock of more than 18,000 units.

Do you realise that only a few people that you play with will have played a match with tanks? How would you describe this experience?

It was fantastic. Not only because you have some real monsters next to you, but for the realistic atmosphere that they create. All vehicles used their weapons (with blank ammunition of course!): the tanks and artillery  were shooting around you while playing! You just had to ask your group leader to support your attack or retreat.

It was a completely activity thanks to the 3 military members on each vehicle who controlled every movement and action. This resulted in zero accidents.

The vehicles can be destroyed only by a direct impact with a rocket launcher. 1 impact and the vehicle stops; 2 hits, it is destroyed and it should return to the main base. The personal vehicles can be used without any limits, but with the same rules.

The main role of the vehicles is to create the needed atmosphere as well as their functions as mobile fortresses and transport vehicles.

 

Tell us everything, because there were more than only blank shots… How is it like to play with pyrotechnics?

Another big difference of airsoft in Russia is the grenades. In Russia, there are many different and very interesting manufacturers that produce airsoft grenades, rocket launchers and mortars with thousands of bbs in cardboard layouts which can be  red up to 100 meters. Also, the price is cheaper than in Europe, just saying!

The scenario is another key point of this event, what did you think about it?

The scenario is based in the future of the United States, where a new civil war begins between the North and the South, between the Confederates (blue team) and the Republicans (yellow team). The game is played “in the North-American  eld”. Every new event’s scenario depends on how the previous one  nished.

The main missions were to capture all the enemy’s cities, by deploying your  flag in the middle of the  eld and maintain it as long as possible, by capturing the enemy’s General or city’s chiefs in the special operations missions. Everything was allowed during the whole game without any of cial stops or breaks, day and night, rain or the sun. Real military  eld kitchens in tents have been provided for all the players, and the food turned out to be tastier than we had imagined.

There we were in two teams: Blue team – the Confederates, who use principally the US gear, and Yellow team– the Republican force, who use principally Russian gear. 5 cities and 5 hospitals for each team, 1 main neutral base, where we were able to respawn.

All actions are controlled and synchronised by the commanders. Nobody runs on alone. For the rest – it is a standard airsoft game, just with thousands of players ;-).

I would like to say thank you for motivation of our team: Francois, Paul and Yann. And most importantly to support our friend Mathieu, whose French post lost his passport with Visa just before the travel.

Also I would like to thank Grey-Shop.Ru (Russian on-line military store) for assistance in the organization of the travel and providing the Russian military uniform for this event.

We like a lot what you are telling us, and we are certainly not the only ones… What do you need to attend the event? Can everyone sign up or does it work by invitation?

Only team members of the Russian Airsoft Federation or players approved by it used to be able to participate in the event. This year, for the  rst time, the event became international and for now there are no restrictions for foreign teams. In this edition the teams came from France, The Netherlands, USA, Germany, Israel and all countries from the Ex-Soviet Union.

Without any doubt it has been a unique experience, and this is probably the most distinguished event that many airsofters can aspire to play. Sure you have more than one curious anecdote to tell us…

We went to the event from Marseille (southern France). We made an unforgettable trip that lasted a week to Moscow. Everything was interesting and we will never forget it. We were f****** tired of our ship! ;-) Our plane landed at 6 am and at 10 am, we were already ready for 24h of battle. This is how this event is called in Russian: “Wargame: 24h on the Tank’’. But in reality, it lasts much longer: 2 days including their cold nights with NVG and rain ;-).

But one single moment was unforgettable for me: when I saw the whole team of our regiment crossing over the lake by the ford. They came in rows in the cold water, holding up their replicas high. This was incredible! This is the Wargame.