One of the places many airsofters first get to experience a game is in a backyard. A couple of spring pistol battles later and their hooked. After awhile, they want to expand beyond those small battles on the lawn and check out what the rest of the airsoft world has to offer, namely dedicated airsoft field games! But the transition from the casual backyard games to the highly competitive and structured field scenarios can be a harsh one. If you want to learn more about how to make this transition better and help other players too, you’ve come to the right place!
(Note: Backyard games must be safe and comply with local laws at all times. Be sure to do your research and require full seal eye protection as well as proper face protection at all the game you host or play in. The backyard is not a time to slack off or stop using common sense. Respect your neighbors and notify them if you plan on playing. If you think you shouldn’t play, DON’T! The airsoft community thanks you for keeping the sport honorable and safer for everyone.)
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The biggest thing to remember when you’re going to your first field game is to be prepared (in case the title of this section didn’t get your attention). Preparedness requires that you hone your skills on more than just the tactical level (although you’ll want to spend a lot of time on that too!).
The first way you can prepare for a field game is mentally. Understand that field games aren’t really like a backyard game. There will be a lot of people you don’t know and they will all have a different style of airsoft. Some of them will have a lot more experience and understand how to “play” the field better. Don’t let that concern you. You just have to mentally accept the fact that not everything is going to go right and you may be sitting in respawn a bit more than usual for the first few rounds.
Research is another valuable tool to use when you are preparing. Look up the rules of the field and the layout if possible. Use a program like Google Earth to see a satellite view of an outdoor field, or ask players that have visited the field before to give you some tips or draw a simple map. If you understand the dynamics of the field, you can prepare for the most likely scenarios that will occur.
Train for the Field
If you have prepared properly and understand as much as possible about the field itself, then you should take some time to implement that knowledge. Go out and practice running scenarios specifically for the field. Implement proper tactics and shooting principles to enhance your skills. The muscle memory you build, and your better understanding of tactics, will boost your confidence when you show up at the field.
Here are some training ideas:
- Watch videos from the field and analyze the tactics used.
- Practice the different shooting positions (standing, kneeling, prone, etc.). Both supported and unsupported.
- Have a backyard game and try out some squad tactics.
- Practice using different communication skills to relay battle information.
Proper gear is a vital to making the transition from backyard to field games easier. Make sure you have the basic gear you need for the field you are visiting (right BB weight and number of BBs, batteries, hydration, kill rags, eye and face protection, etc.). Don’t worry about having the best gear or most tacticool load out. This is your first field game. Just bring what you NEED and use the game to learn what you WANT in the future.
HERE is a link to my Basic Gear List to give you some ideas of what you may need to bring to your first field game. Check the field’s website or give them a call if you want further information on recommended gear.
Here are a few ways to make your field experience better:
- Arrive earlier than you think you need to if possible. You’ll have more time to set up your gear and get settled in.
- Fill out your field safety waiver before hand (most fields post them on their website).
- Organize your gear and know where everything is so you can find it quickly in between games.
- BRING WATER!
- Bring a small repair kit or tool box for minor fixes on both guns and gear.
- Remind yourself that you are there to have FUN!
Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I would be happy to answer them. Also, let me know any tips you have for making backyard to field game transitions better!