Stay In The Game: Avoiding The Staging Mentality


Stay In The Game: Avoiding The Staging Mentality |
(this post contains affiliate links)

I’m sure you’ve seen it many a time.  After a great round of airsoft at your local field, you head back to the staging area to reload, get some water, and then get back into the next round.  Although this is supposed to be a simple grab-and-go thing, it turns into a time to gab about the latest gear and a time for players to outdo each other with tales of their airsofting awesomeness.  Your short reload and refuel time, quickly turns into a 15+ minute ordeal (at a CQB field, the staging time can take longer than the round itself!).

This is not to say that there isn’t a time and place to talk with other airsofters about their gear and stories, but in the staging area, with a limited amount of time to enjoy doing what you planned on, namely airsoft, may not be the best use of your (or others’) game time.

In this post, I will outline some ways to avoid getting into the “staging mentality”, and how to get back into the game faster, and still have time to talk with your fellow airsofters about the finer points of this great sport!


Keep Focused

This sounds easier than it is.  Keeping your focus on the task at hand (reloading and refueling) while others are chatting and hanging out can be difficult.

Having your ammo bottles at the ready, a couple of extra mags pre-loaded, and having  a couple of water bottles and a snack bar (I’m a fan of Clif Barseasily accessible can go a long way toward getting you back in the game, faster.

You can help other players keep their focus by helping them refocus.  If a player wants to talk, ask them if you can help them reload and refuel (be sure to have some extra water bottles on hand to offer to other players).  Get them refocused on the game by asking if they know what the next round’s scenario is, or how many extra magazines they think you’ll need to carry for the next scenario.

Be friendly, but be focused.

Be Friendly, But Be Focused |


“Be Prepared”

This Boy Scout motto still rings true.  It’s common sense that having all your gear in a row and ready to go will shorten the amount of time you spend in the staging area.

Before every game, organize your gear so you can easily find it.  Make sure you have some basic repair equipment (screw driver, electrical/duct tape, extra batteries, etc.) so you can fix minor gear malfunctions without having to ask around for some tools.

If you have room, carry a spare mask or goggles in case something goes wrong with the eye protection setup you have. (HERE is a very inexpensive option for a back-up mask)


Chat With The Staff

Try asking the staff a simple question like “What’s the next scenario” or “When do we get the next round started” to jump start the next round.  Ask if there is anything you can do to help out, and don’t be a problem creator.

Show that you’re eager to get some more airsofting in and want to make the game time fun for everyone, no matter who’s winning.


Be sure your eagerness to get on to some more airsoft action doesn’t get in the way of having good time.

Remember, the most important aspect of airsoft is the people that play it.  Be friendly and helpful, ask other players about their experiences when it’s an appropriate time, and do your best to be the first one ready to get back in the game, and you’ll get plenty of fun-filled airsofting!


Airsoft Tips From Videos: The Chief Airsoft: Intrigue Airsoft Gameplay


Airsoft Tips From Videos: The Chief Airsoft: Intrigue Airsoft Gameplay


In the below video (from The Chief Airsoft YouTube Channel), the Chief engages in some great airsoft combat at Intrigue Airsoft in Kansas City, MO.

(if you’re an email subscriber, click HERE to view the video on

Here are some ways to improve your airsofting by using the shooting and CQB tactics from the Chief’s video:


Use The Angles

At 1:55, the Chief moves up to an excellent position that commands an great field of fire on the center field.  By using the great shooting angles, he is able to make kill after kill on enemy players trying to move up.

From the Chief’s perspective, this is a great spot.  He is able to sit tight in relative safety, and eliminate players who have to expose themselves to get to the cover provided by that centrally located crate.

From the enemy players’ perspective, they had several options that they could have used to limit the Chief’s effectiveness from this position.

By moving up the flank he is located on (which you can see that attempt at 4:25), they could push him out of the position.  Another option would be to use the opposite flank to pin him down in that position (you can see the effect this method has in my Intrigue Bomb Round video at 3:00 ).


Do Some Snap Shooting

A shooting method that the Chief uses throughout his video is snap shooting (a great example of this can be seen at 1:35).

Snap shooting is done by identifying where the enemy is, or may be, around a corner, and then coming out for a split second with your gun and sights at the ready to take him out.  By changing up the height and angle you come out of the corner at, you can make it almost impossible for the enemy to get a good shot.

(Note: An important thing to remember is to not get so target focused (also know as tunnel vision) on the enemy player you’re aiming for because when you come out to snap shoot, you may miss seeing another enemy who’s ready to take you out!)

The enemy team members could have combated the Chief’s snap shooting, by fighting it with some snap shooting of their own, combined with a bit of good ol’ suppressive fire.  By getting into a few key positions on the field, and focusing on keeping the Chief and his team behind cover (this is easy to do in a CQB game because most players won’t come out with BBs pelting the cover they’re hiding behind, whether there is a chance of BBs hitting them or not!), and practicing good use of their own cover, they would have had a better chance of taking down the Chief’s team.


Fire A String Of Rounds

You will notice that the Chief almost never fires just one BB at an enemy player.  He essentially uses a well aimed “burst,” or 3 or more rounds.  This is an excellent airsoft shooting method no matter what environment you are airsofting in.

By putting a “burst” of several rounds down range at the enemy, you do three things:
1. Up your chances of getting a kill (more BBs=better chances of a hit)
2. You can lead your BBs to the target throughout the enemy’s run from cover to cover (again, giving you a better chance of hitting him)
3. Intimidate the enemy player and team (this is a nice side effect)

I hope you enjoyed this video from The Chief Airsoft.  Be sure to check out his other great videos from Intrigue Airsoft!


Safety Kills: The Unfortunate Truth


Safety Kills: The Unfortunate Truth |

Safety kills are a part of airsoft that I understand but don’t fully enjoy.  I like that they give airsofters the chance to be honorable, test their skills, and keep the game safe.  On the other hand, I dislike that safety kills can create strife in a game and cause issues that wouldn’t arise if they weren’t implemented into the game.


How A Safety Kill Works

In case you are new to airsoft and don’t understand the safety kill, here is how it works:
(Note: A Safety Kill is not the same as a Knife Kill.  A Knife Kill involves the player physically touching the enemy player to make a kill (i.e. with a rubber knife, gun barrel, or hand).  A Safety Kill does not involve physically touching the player.  A Knife Kill focuses on stealth and speed, while a Safety Kill is focused on split second action when another player surprises you.)

Safety kills are used to prevent close range shots that may hurt airsoft players.  Often they are used within a Minimum Engagement Distance (MED) (i.e. don’t shoot within 10 feet.), that varies from field to field.  So, if the enemy player is withing that MED, you are supposed to offer a Safety Kill.

To initiate a Safety Kill, you say a phrase like “Safety Kill”, “Bang, Bang”, or another phrase created by the field to represent you shooting the enemy player.  The enemy player often has the choice of whether they will accept it or not.  If they do, they walk back to the respawn point.  If they don’t, they can start firing BBs at you, and you can return fire.  If both players safety kill each other at the same time, they “Parley” and both go back to respawn.


Warning Sign |

The Problems With Safety Kills

Although in theory the Safety Kill sounds like a good system, in practice it has several issues which I will go over.

First, your natural instinct in combat is to fire at the enemy, not say “Bang, Bang”.  You have to disengage yourself from combat, think about having to make a Safety Kill, and then act upon those thoughts quickly, which can result in some tricky situations.  It takes quite a bit of training to pull off a safety kill when an enemy comes around a corner and you aren’t expecting it.

Second, Safety Kills can result in some fairly unsafe situations.  If the other player disregards the safety kill, you had better be ready to get hosed down with BBs from less than 10 feet away.  It seems like it would be easier (and safer) to just put one or two rounds into the enemy player so he can call his hit and get on with the game, rather than engage in a slug fest in extreme close quarters.

Third, Safety Kills can create arguments on the field.  What happens if the other player chooses not to accept the Safety Kill, even though you could have hit him easily if you hadn’t have offered it?  What if the other player is sure they Safety Killed you first?  What do you do if you accidentally start firing on an enemy player (that you should have Safety Killed) and they become irate?

On the flip side, what do you do about friendly safety kills?  Since most fields allow the airsofter to have the option to accept/not accept the Safety Kill, do you or your teammates just have to not “accept” the Safety Kill to be rid of the friendly fire?  Or, because a Safety Kill is technically supposed to be the same as putting BBs down range, do those “friendly” Safety Kills count (but your enemies get a choice!)?


The Solution

Safety Kills are a solution to one set of problems that created another set, but since Safety Kills are a required part of the rules at many fields, you can’t simply ignore them if you’re an honorable, rule following airsofter (like we all should be).  Removing Safety Kills from the rule set of airsoft may be a solution to the problems created by it, but this is quite a ways down the road, and will require a change of thought by many fields.

Safety Kills aren’t all bad.  They add to the honor system that airsoft is based upon.  I’ve had instances where I was able to see first-hand the honorable airsofters that were willing to call themselves out when Safety Killed or make a Parley when the circumstances warranted it.

My solution is to follow the rules and be honorable on the field, even when others are not.  By understanding how Safety Kills work, being tactical and honorable, and doing your best to be prepared for the conflicts that arise when using Safety Kills, you can live and battle with them.


I hope that this post has helped you to better understand Safety Kills and to see the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations they have.  Let me know your thoughts on Safety Kills in the comment section below.


Tactical Training: Train Like You Fight


Tactical Training: Train Like You Fight |

Training is key to building tactical skills and enhancing your airsoft abilities.  But, training is useless if you don’t do it properly.  Improper training can create bad habits that will cost you in battle.

One of the keys to proper airsoft training is to “Train Like You Fight”.  I’ll be explaining the meaning of this simple phrase in the remainder of this post.

“Train Like You Fight” basically means that every time you train, no matter how informal, you try to replicate real airsoft combat.  If you can make every training experience as close to the real deal as possible, you will be better prepared when you are actually in combat.   Here are some tips to make sure that you “Train Like You Fight”.

Wear The Gear

One of the best ways to condition yourself for airsoft combat is to wear all of the gear that you would bring into battle.  Filling your hydration pack, loading your magazines, and putting on your head gear are great ways to add realism to your training sessions.  By wearing your gear during training you will also be able to test it and weed out what gear you really don’t need in a given situation.

Add Reactive Targets

The best reactive targets are other teammates that are willing to have a few BBs shot their way.  Your teammates can tell you exactly where and when your BBs hit; and provide you with feed back on how well you did.

Your teammates can also fire back at you, adding an extra real and challenging training experience.

Add in some cans, metal plates, bottles, or any other target that will make noise or fall over (audio-visual targets) when hit to give you more feedback on your accuracy without having to walk over and check a paper target.

Make An Objective

In any successful battle you will have an objective.  In battle, just taking out an enemy isn’t enough.  You must move up, claim good cover, and prevent the enemy team from accomplishing their goals.

In training, the goal shouldn’t be to simply hit targets.  You must go deeper than that if you want to become a better airsoft warrior.

A great way to add an objective to your training session is to time each part of the training using a stop watch or timer.  Try to improve your times on each part of the course every time you run it.  Timing the training will also allow you to identify what part of your airsofting you need to work on the most.

Another way to add an objective is to force yourself to shoot from a specific location and shooting position at each target.  For example, you may have to lay prone on low point and engage a target on a hill top 75 feet away.  This would make the shot more difficult than if you were, say, at 50 feet and kneeling.  This will help you to improve your ability to engage targets no matter what shooting position your in.


Always try to “Train Like You Fight” so you can become a better airsoft warrior.  Make every airsoft get together an opportunity to become more effective; and learn or try something new.


Know Your Terrain: Why It’s Important



In a couple of recent battles, I noticed a main factor that really made the difference between how well (or not so well) I did in battle.  This factor was knowledge of the terrain.

Let me explain what I mean by giving you a few examples from those recent battles:

Battle #1
In this battle I was over at a location that the Chief had played at a couple of times; but I had never been to.    We decided to play 1 on 1.

The terrain comprised of evergreen trees, bushes, thickets, and other forms of foliage.

Since, I had never played at this field before.  The Chief was kind enough to walk through the field with me beforehand to give me some knowledge of the field’s layout.

During the first battle, I got slaughtered by the Chief.

Between getting hit through the brush, getting misplaced (aka lost) for a little bit, and trying to locate my well camouflaged enemy, I just couldn’t get my act together.  Believe me, he had a field day taking me down.

In the second round, I was able to get a few hits on him and we tied that game.  The Chief had been able to work the field excellently.  He found great cover, shot through breaks in the foliage like a pro, and pulled back right when I was getting set up to fire on him. His superior knowledge of the field had worked perfectly to his advantage.

Battle #2
This battle was at a location that I knew well.  I had been on this field several times before, so I knew some of the best places to be, and how to use them.

We had two 3 on 3 teams.  None of the other players had been on this field before, so we did a quick walk through before we got going.

In the course of three scenarios, I made 10 eliminations and only got eliminated once.  It was a completely different outcome from the previous battle.

The reason I was effective was due to my ability to move with confidence and speed because I knew the terrain.  Again, knowledge of the field made the difference.

I was given a first hand account of how much of an effect that knowledge of the terrain had on my game play.

Below are three tips to help you know the terrain better no matter where you are:

1. Do A Walk Through
If it’s possible, walk through the field with someone who has been there before.  Have them show you good places to hide out, where key positions on the field are, and any other helpful tips they can give you.  A walk through is the best way to get knowledge of the terrain.

2. Do Recon
If you can’t do a walk through, or even if you do, try to get to know the terrain while you’re playing.  Team up with players who know the field.  Figure out where bad cover is on the field and use it to your advantage.  Find the key positions on the field.  This will give you the confidence to move quickly to a good spot and start knocking out the other team.

3. Team Up
As I have said before, team up with players who know the field.  Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they know the field and if you can tag along for a while.  If they show themselves to be tactical and a good player, make sure you take their advice seriously.  If it doesn’t work out, move out on your own or find someone new.  No matter what happens, you still get a win-win.  You’ll meet other players and get to know the field.

I hope this post has helped you to understand the effect knowledge of the terrain has on your game; and how you can get it to work to your advantage.  Let me know your thoughts on this post below in the comments.  See you on the battlefield!



Using A Clock for Tactical Airsofting


Using A Clock for Tactical Airsofting |

In the video below, The Chief and I will show you how to use a clock to be a more tactical airsofter.

Practicing good communication is one of the best ways to improve your airsofting.  The tactical communication method shown in this video, I use almost every time I’m in battle.  It allows me to quickly communicate directions to a teammate so everything runs smoother.  Take this method and try it out in your next battle or training session.  Be sure to comment below and let me know how it goes.


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You?


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You? |

Below are definitions of different airsofting styles and an accompanying weapon that best represents them.  Check all of them out and figure out which one, or combination of weapons, you are.  Let me know which one you are in the comments.  Have fun!


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You?: Spring Pistol |
Spring Pistol
This airsofter prefers skill and patience to speed and power.  He uses only the basic gear he needs to complete a mission.  He spends most of his time in a battle working his way to a tactical position and waiting for a close-range eliminations.  He can get an advantage over the AEG or the Knife because of his good hiding and close-range battle skills .


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You?:  AEG |
AEG (Automatic Electric Gun)
This warrior focuses on pushing up the battlefield.  He likes speeding up the field and gaining as much ground, getting as many eliminations, as possible.  Sometimes he forgets about needing to work with his team; but he is an invaluable member due to his “go get ’em” attitude.  He gets most of his eliminations by taking out unsuspecting Bolt Action Sniper Rifles using his speed and the element of surprise.


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You?:  Bolt Action Sniper Rifle |
Sniper Rifle
This operator’s goal is to make “high-quality” eliminations and leading a team.  Focusing on getting into some excellent cover, waiting for the enemy, and taking the unsuspecting enemy down is the way he rolls.  He emphasizes tactics and weapon skills.  His likes to work with the Spring Pistol airsofters because they are the most willing to be patient on the battlefield.


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You?:  CO2/Green Gas Pistol |
CO2/Green Gas Pistol
This airsofter has the same style as the Spring Pistol.  He uses skill to get eliminations.  The difference between him and the Spring pistol is that his focus is more on speed rather than patience.  He tries to combine his skill and “over the top” attitude to be one of the best warriors on the field.  He works best with the AEGs; but sometimes is upset by their less-than-tactical style.


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You: SMG |
SMG (Sub Machine Gun)
The SMG warrior is a combination of the AEG and CO2/Green Gas Pistol warriors.  He is always ready to move; and prefers front line action.  He has tactical skills and good leadership abilities; but sometimes the desire to go for the enemy overrides everything else.  He is at his best when working with the C02/Green Gas Pistol warriors because they are able to work off of each others strengths and weaknesses.


Which Airsoft Weapon Are You?: Knife |

What this airsofter doesn’t have in tactics and patience, he’s got in sheer guts.  He is the first into the battle.  Always charging head on into the heart of the enemy resistance.  Some think he’s untactical, which is true; but no one can say that he is afraid to attack the enemy.  No one is sure who he works best with.  It all depends on who is moving up on the enemy at the time.

I hope you had as much fun taking this test as I had making it.  Finding out your airsoft style is a big part of becoming a better airsoft warrior.  Learn from your style.  Improve on your less-than-awesome qualities and build on your best ones.  Good Airsofting!


Out On The Field: Working With Others


Out On The Field: Working With Others |

I recently visited a field to get in some summer training and to get back into the airsofting groove.  The team that hosted the day decided to start off the day with scenarios to introduce new airsofters to that form of game play and to enhance the training aspects of the battle.  One of the scenarios involved our team securing and holding a water supply for a set amount of time, while keeping our “interpreter” from being captured.

I had realized by this point of the day that our team needed to have some form of organization if we where going to succeed.  In a previous scenario, our objective was to place a smoke can in a location across the battle field and set it off.  All the while we had to prevent the enemy from deploying their smoke can and eliminating our “interpreter”.  A main bunker complex lie only 50 feet from our re-spawn point and was a major hold up during the game.

Due to lack of understanding and our semi-uncoordinated team, we ended up rushing the main bunker complex with only a few seconds left and deployed the enemy’s smoke for them!

Back to the game at hand….

To prevent the lack of coordination that had occurred in the previous battle from happening again,  I decide to try and get a few players to work as a squad on the left flank of the battlefield.  Three newer players, a battle buddy of mine, and another experience player decided to work as a squad to push the left flank.  Using a few tactics, watching each others six, and  joining up with other players, we were able to form a solid left flank.  Although our impromptu squad dissolved as the battle progressed, we had been effective and helped to win the scenario for our team.

I learned that during a battle at a field to stay coordinated and effective:

  • Form squads to organize a large team into an effective fighting force. A squad is easier to control and work with than trying to coordinate a whole team to capture an objective.  They can be a game changer.
  • Ask for help, don’t command it.  I just asked a few players if they would be willing to go left with me.  They all were fine with it, most likely because it meant they had a sense of direction and purpose.  Try forcing people to join a squad, and you’ll just get some cold stares.
  • Plan as you go.  Besides having a general direction (left flank) we had no other plans on how our squad would operate.  I barely knew most of the people on my team.  We ended up doing just fine.  We used a point man that knew the terrain and implemented  a good team formation recommended  by one of our squad members.  By making up plans as we went and adjusting to the battle, we were able to be effective.

I hope this post helps you to be a good squad member and work with others at your next battle.  Let me know if you have a ideas on how to better coordinate a large team; or if you have had any experiences, good or bad, with coordinating a team and working with others at the field, and how you solve those issues.  See you on the battlefield!


How To Communicate With Your Team During An Airsoft Battle (From The Chief Airsoft)


How To Communicate With Your Team During An Airsoft Battle (From The Chief Airsoft) |

The below videos are from The Chief Airsoft YouTube channel.  In this two part series, the Chief explains how to communicate with your teammates and mistakes to avoid in battle.  In an earlier post, I talked about the usefulness of springer battles.  These videos will help you to see how you can implement tactics and refine them even during a springer battle.

Be sure to check out the Chief’s channel and let him know that you saw his videos here on

Battle Tip: Team Communication Part 1- The Chief Airsoft

Battle Tip: Team Communication Part 2- The Chief Airsoft


Why You Should Have A Springer Battle


Why You Should Have A Springer Battle |

Spring powered airsoft guns (or “springers” for short) are one of the most overlooked gun types in airsoft.  The reason they are overlooked may be that some believe they are cheap (which most are, the exception being bolt action sniper rifles) or that the low rate of fire will cause them to be less effective on the battlefield.

I contend that basic springers can still be an effective weapon type if used properly in the right setting.  They force you to up your game.  You can no longer “spray and pray” that your bbs will hit the target, you must use tactics and accuracy to win the battle.

The best way to break out those spring guns and still be effective and tactical is to have a dedicated springer battle.  As you can imagine, in a springer battle everyone can only use spring guns that are relatively equal in ammo capacity and power.

I like to use spring weapons for training purposes.  I just recently had a springer battle at one of my battle buddy’s HQ.  I used my trusty Crosman Stinger P311 pistol.  I was able to refine my communication and teamwork skills without the stress of a full-on battle.  (I will be putting some videos that the Chief took of the battle on soon)

Now that you know why you should have a springer battle, here are some ideas to help you refine your skills and gain new ones for your more full-on battles-

1. Try new things
Test new tactics and strategies in a springer battle.  You have nothing to lose, and you may end up with a new tactic that will apply to you bigger battles.

2. Focus on your weakness
Have you noticed that you aren’t properly using cover?  Are you too impatient in battle?  If you notice an untactical habit you have picked up, try to fix it during a springer battle.  Focus on that issue and train yourself out of it.

Springer battles are meant to be fun.  Get out there and relax.  Enjoy just airsofting and hanging out with your teammates.  If you don’t feel like being tactical, this is the time (just don’t train yourself into a bad habit).  If coming up with objectives and scenarios is your thing, go for it; but don’t let that get in the way of a relaxed game.

Let me know how your springer battle goes; and if there are any ideas you have to improve the training/relaxed atmosphere of them.  Watch for the videos of my recent springer battle, coming soon to