Another weekend has arrived and you are eagerly awaiting the arrival of your teammates then off to the game site for more Airsoft Speedball action; or is it more like, oh no not another weekend and more force on force action in the same environment, the same rules, the same zombies, the same worn out scenarios? Thinking in the back of your mind how much can you sell all your gears for, maybe the boredom is a sign you should take up golf?
Is the same ole weekend play not getting your juices pumped like it used to? Are you thinking of taking your airsoft adventures to the next level?
In an attempt to revive your love and enthusiasm for the game you assemble your team and sign up for the local tournament.
Most local and national tournaments are based on the speedball environment. Speedball is fast paced and quick, allowing for more game play, rather than having a tournament that has 5 hours play time and too much down time for eliminated players.
Airsoft speedball like any other team sport is a game of skill, communication and tactics. Learning the basic tactics and skills will go a long way to assisting you and your teams effectiveness and overall standings in the competition.
Take a look at some of the basic skills sets and IAD’s you and your team can practices to prepare you for tournaments, and even better prepare you and your team for regular MILSIM play as well.
Know Your Role
As with any other team sport, airsoft speedball can begin to utilize various positions (roles) for each player on the field. Some positions are easy to understand:
Point (runner): The point man is the one furthest down field heading towards enemy territory as soon as the game begins. Of course this depends on your game strategy and tactics used. The point man is usually smaller, carries less gear, and can run fast, and has a better understanding of concealment and cover positions. The point man is usually the one setting the tempo for the game, they will be the one grabbing the flag, or bomb disarming, or whatever situation the scenario calls for. The point man is the one who will lead the team to a certain degree.
Rear Guard/Overwatch: RG and Overwatch players remain in the back behind their team they will provide cover and vital information regarding enemy positions and opposition and teammates that have been eliminated. The Overwatch position will need an accurate AEG with a lot of ammo, because they will be providing cover fire to team advancement.
Flank Position: This is the outer positions on the right and left side of the field. These flank positions will find it is easier to fire at angles, meaning right flank shoots left, and left flank shoots right, because this offers better opportunity for engaging the opposition rather than shooting straight ahead. Shooting straight ahead does not offer the best cover or opportunities to engage your opponent.
Assault Teams: These are the inner teams, inside the flankers advanced ahead of the Overwatch and assisting the point man. Depending on the number of players you have there can be two or more assault teams. There can be assault teams that penetrate into opposition territory allow for the secondary assault team to follow behind to set a perimeter so the point man can remain in a protective bubble and complete the mission.
The Keys to Success
Communication and teamwork, without either one your team has already been defeated before they even get boots on the field.
It is vitally important you and your team operate as a single unit no matter how many players you have. This is one of the MOST OVERLOOKED aspects of airsoft that I have noticed.
Teamwork, as with any other sport be it soccer, football, baseball, hockey or basketball, is the most important factor to success, no matter how skilled your team is, if they cannot work as a team they are already defeated before the game begins.
Hand-in-hand with teamwork is communication. Communication is a vital part of teamwork; it is so vital that even your own body cannot operate without it. That is the primary reason for your nervous system to relay information to your brain, and the speed at which that information is relayed is also important. Here is an example, all of us can basically catch a ball right? To simply catch a ball that has been tossed to us is no minor feat, it requires the whole body to execute the catch, from your eyes to your toes, and every thing in between. Now imagine for a moment you cannot see the ball as it is tossed to you, what are the odds of you catching it? What if you could not communicate to your arms and hands, and one arm is moving faster than the other, do you think you can still catch the ball? Quite simply the answer is not likely.
No matter how skilled your eyes, hands, and feet are, unless they work as a single unit and the communication is timely and understood you cannot catch the ball with any consistency.
Think of your airsoft team as a combat body, as a single unit, and your communication as your nervous system, without proper communication you are paralyzed. It doesn’t matter how skilled each member of your team is, or thinks they are, without proper communication your team is paralyzed at the worst and the least highly ineffectual.
Communication, updating your team mates on the position of your opposition, who has been eliminated, where you are moving to, where to cover, where to advance to and so on.
What About Tournament Play
Ok now the time has come, you and your team are going to the big game, the tournament, your team and your tactics are under close scrutiny and your performance will be envied or the pun of many jokes for months to come.
You are probably wondering what to do first.
1. Walk the field, get a birds eye view and assign the cover bunkers names or grid coordinates, for example, Red 4, or Blue 2, breaking the field into two color coded sectors or into 4 color coded sectors and each cover bunker a number.
If you have a member of the opposition at a bunker or barrier that is a “hot” location, so Red 4 is hot lets your team know that is an occupied bunker.
2. Decide who is going to perform what duties and in which fire teams.
3. Locate spots on the field that will allow your fire teams to stop in between bunkers and engage the opposition.
Typically in the beginning of the game both team will run out onto the field as if it is a mad dash for key positions, if you have select fire teams run onto the field and engage the opposition immediately before they can get to cover it will go a long way to assuring victory for your team.
Then once the rest of your team is in position they will cover the movement of the special fire teams so they can get to their assigned cover positions.
4. Know your positions, know your role in your fire team, and above all make sure you are familiar with the field.
5. Once the BB’s start flying it is easy to forget everything and your mind will switch to survival mode. Know how to turn this mode off in your mind is a vital skill, it will allow you to keep the welfare of your team in your mind and allow you to work better as a team.
The game itself, is fast and adrenaline pumped, everything is happening fast and unless you have had adequate practice it will be difficult for you and your teammates to think and perform their functions. To be able to function under this kind of pressure takes skill, a cool head and confidence.
A great example of this would be Jordan of Team My Airsoft Shop. To watch him in a tournament you’d think it was just another day in the park. He is calm, controlled, and under extreme pressure and income fire he is calm cool and calculated. Even when his mag runs dry he calmly ejects the mag, places it in its spot in his vest, pops in a new mag and continues to engage the opposition. He fires in controlled bursts without breaking cover and seems to know where his team mates are and when they need his cover fire.
It would be a good idea for everyone to play a few games with Jordan and his team and watch and learn.
Its important to keep the game moving DO NOT stagnate and DO NOT camp out, keep your team working their fire team objectives and complete your mission quickly.
Copy Right 2009 © S. Chip Bridgmon and Black Briar Tactical Solutions. All rights reserved, if you wish to use this article include without changes in its entirety including the copy right information.