I was reading through some comments on the blog and I ran across a comment asking if it was possible to have an airsoft war with just a few players. This got me to thinking about what is possible with just a few players and the lessons I have learned from small battles and backyard skirmishes. In this post, I want to share some of those moments with you, and hopefully inspire you to take advantage of all the small battles you can have with just a couple of friends over.
Throwing Down the Gauntlet
In medieval times, when a knight “threw down the gauntlet” it was a challenge to other knights to fight him for honor and glory. Whoever picked up the gauntlet accepted the challenge, and a one on one battle began. As ancient as this tradition is, small airsoft battles essentially do the same thing. They challenge you to fight a single enemy (or two) in combat. They force you to think about that specific player’s airsoft skill, their tactics, and how they think. This personal challenge not only makes you a better player, but it allows you to learn from other players. Often times the biggest lesson to be learned during a small skirmish is patience and timing.
One battle I was involved in was a simple 2 vs. 2 match in an open field with just a few trees on the edges. This field was only a few hundred feed wide and a few hundred feet long. The center of the field was filled with waist-high grass. After each team lost a player to shots lobbed across the battlefield, I decided to go into stealth mode and circle for a flank, using just the tiny bit of natural cover available. This battle lasted an entire HOUR! Yep, that’s right, an HOUR. Because the enemy player also used stealth and circled the field hunting for me, we each went undetected. At one point he started patrolling for me and we were less than 5 FEET from each other! In the end, I was able to secure a short burst of BBs on him after he decided to take a more straight forward approach and march through the field looking for me. Just goes to show that even a small battle, when taken seriously, can teach you a lot about tactics and what you excel at as an airsofter.
Winning One Fight At A Time
Another thing that small battles taught me was focus can make a big difference in how you play. Small battles force you to think before you move or shoot. You have to consider what the result of your actions will be. You learn to fight with precision and focus during the fight at hand, rather than considering what everyone else on your team is up to.
Although one on one battles are not the best way to learn overall battlefield awareness, they do teach you much more about personal awareness. You learn to move with stealth, anticipate enemy moves, and control the in-the-moment-adrenaline. All of these skills make you a better player in large battles and will make you more effective at being a contributing team member.
Defeat Does Not Mean Failure
Nothing in airsoft seems to hurt more than losing to your friends or battle buddies (and believe me, I have lost my fair share of one vs. one games). But, this is a major learning opportunity.
I remember a one vs. one battle that did not go in my favor in any way, shape, or form. I was playing in unfamiliar territory against a stellar airsofter (you can check out Chief’s YouTube channel HERE), and I got pounded…. badly. Every fight seemed to end up with me in a position will zero cover and perfect firing lanes for him. But, I was able to walk away from that battle with a deeper appreciation for terrain knowledge and its effect on a battle. In that way, a loss turned into an amazing “ah-ha” moment for me as an airsofter.
So, the next time you have a few friends over, that the opportunity to do some good airsofting. Even with just a friend of two, you can learn so much about your personal airsofting style and ability, and also get a deeper appreciation for the battle buddies you play with.
Special thanks to Delta Charlie 7 for his comment that sparked the idea for this post. If you have a question about airsoft, or idea for an upcoming post, leave me a comment below!