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A “special ops” team tries to sneak up on rebels through a river that leads to the seized village in Leave No Man Behind held in Iligan City last Dec. 7 & 8, 2013. (Foto: Redeemer Cocoy Batoy)

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Iligan City—A GROUP of rebels has seized a village in a hinterland area close to a popular waterfalls here.

The village lies in a slightly forested area that features huge boulders, and is close to a dirt road that leads to the rebel’s main camp.

A full-scale assault has been voted down by authorities as it could prove disastrous as the rebels have the only road leading to the village shut down and they are currently building fortifications to repel rescuers.

Making matters worse is the disturbing intelligence report that the rebels have no problem with the idea of using the villagers as human shields should rescue teams enter the area.

Military strategists, however, have identified a potential entry point that could allow a small special ops team to insert itself into the area and catch the rebels by surprise.

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A sniper takes position near the village. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

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Carrying two watercrafts into a river that ran up to the outskirts of the village, a 10-man special ops team is now on its way to attempt to slip into the village undetected, kill the rebels, and free the hostages.

Unbeknownst to the special ops team, the rebels have the body of water on watch and are preparing a welcoming party complete with RPGs.

This is how the first stage begins in the three-staged mission given to the participating airsoft teams to the first-ever military-simulation (milsim) airsoft event: Leave No Man Behind held in Iligan last weekend (Dec. 7 & 8, 2013).

The two-day event took place in around five hectares of forested land located within the premises of the Iligan Paradise Resort.

The Iligan Paradise Resort  sits right beside the Mimbalut Waterfalls—one of the must-see waterfalls frequented by visitors (local and foreign) in Iligan City.

Participants to the airsoft event were billeted at the resort.

Leave No Man Behind is a project of the socio-civic organization, Eagles Club (Metro Iligan and Mt. Agad-Agad Chapters).

It was hosted and facilitated by the Iligan Daltans Airsoft Gamers (IDAG) in cooperation with another airsoft group of Iligan—the Radical Airsoft Mercanaries (RAM).

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“Soldiers” and rescue teams converge on the road that leads to the main rebel camp. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

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The six teams that participated in the event came from the Northern and Western parts of Mindanao. These teams were:

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A player calls for reinforcements. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

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PAGI (Pagadian Airsoft Gamers Infantry)of Pagadian City;

WARDOGS of Dipolog City;

POWER PUFF BOYS of Iligan City;

CAMO (Cagayan Airsoft Milsim Operators) of Cagayan de Oro City

CAG (Cagayan Airsoft Gamers) of Cagayan de Oro City, and

ARMADA of Cagayan de Oro City

The teams alternated fielding in 10 persons who tried to complete the three stages in as little time as possible while avoiding taking out hostages.

1st Stage: Watercraft Defense

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A “special ops” team boards their watercraft. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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Each 10-man special ops team boards the two watercrafts and start navigating up the river. This part of the mission is demanding as several members have to pull on a rope in order for the watercraft to move.

While some members are pulling on the rope, the others are kept busy shooting at rebels that pop out from either side of the stream.

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“Special ops” team on its way up the river. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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RPGs represented by rocket fireworks (kwitis) whistle past the operators and explode at a safe distance overhead.

Once the two watercrafts reach the edge of the stream, the players disembark and split into two groups.

The assault on the village is tricky as the players have to watch out for hidden snipers, booby traps, as well as take out well-entrenched rebels.

Once the village is taken, the team has to raise a red flag and radio back to base.

2nd Stage: Close Quarter Combat

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Preparing to take back the road from the rebels. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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With the village cleared, the players would now use it as a staging point for its assault on the main rebel camp.

However, the retreating rebels have taken position on the main road towards their camp and have established communication with its base.

The players’ mission is to secure the road and take out the rebel’s ability to communicate with its base by planting a bomb.

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Clearing the road of rebels. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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The assault begins with the players blowing their way into the road by destroying a barrier that the rebels erected to cover their retreat.

What follows is a close quarter combat through a narrow road that is littered with hastily constructed bunkers.

Once the road is secured and the rebels’ communications tower blown up, the players radio back to base.

3rd Stage: Ground Assault

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A player jumps over some boulders to escape rebel fire. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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This is the final assault where the players try to take the main rebel camp.

The job is made harder by a report that a member of a reconnaissance team sent earlier has been captured by the rebels and is now being held hostage.

The players have to proceed again with caution as not to jeopardize the life of the hostage.

The players’ mission in this final stage is to rescue the hostage and proceed to the extraction point.

Leave No Man Behind

Before every stage could be declared completed, players were required to always come back for their hit team mates and transport them to designated areas using a wooden stretcher.

Leaving a fallen comrade behind is penalized severely with point deductions.

According to Anthony Jade de Gracia of the Iligan Daltans, “Leave No Man Behind” is a warrior ethos that is best identified with the US Army Rangers  who were duty bound not to forsake their fallen comrades in the field of battle.

Drilling this sense of duty into the minds of participants to the milsim event seemed to be of utmost importance to the event host.

“It is part of the ranger creed,” De Gracia said.

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Dressed to kill. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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First-Ever Milsim Event in Iligan

According to the Iligan Daltans, Leave No Man Behind was the first-ever milsim airsoft event to be held in Iligan.

Iligan, however, is a city that is no stranger to airsoft. In fact, the sport is very popular here with Iligan boasting of several airsoft teams.

It’s just that it’s the CQB/Speedball type of airsoft game that is currently more preferred here.

Leave No Man Behind organizer, Mr. Lyndon Zerna, said that they hope to change that by slowly introducing milsim to the airsofters of Iligan.

Leave No Man Behind is actually part of a larger effort by like-minded airsoft teams from the Northern Mindanao area (like the Cagayan Milsim Operators or CAMO) who have banded together to popularize milsim events among airsofters, Zerna said.

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Winners

Champion: WARDOGS (Dipolog)

1st Runner-Up: CAG (CdO)

2nd Runner-Up: ARMADA (CdO)

Best in BDU/Best in Execution/Best in Gun Accent: CAMO (CdO)

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Player keeps watch as his team mates cross the river. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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Player emerging from the river. (Foto: R. Batoy)

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365airsoftshop zombi half face mask

(Foto: 365airsoftshop.com)

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ARE the airsofters who still believe that airsoft is a gentleman’s game clinging only to a romanticized view of the sport?

It is often repeated that airsoft relies on the honor system. In fact, this lesson on honesty constitutes one of the very first things that are taught to newbies.

However, everywhere one goes these days, airsoft cheaters just seem to abound.

From the jungles to the urban playgrounds, sighs of “zombie” or “Robocop” could be heard from frustrated airsofters. And the complaints are only mounting.

Cheating in airsoft has become so prevalent and widespread that it is even feared that it has already become part of the sport’s culture.

Could airsoft be emulating soccer where it’s kinda okay to engage in theatrics to draw a foul?

Faking injury is seemingly accepted there as “just part of the game”, and it is rarely punished. Many soccer spectators even laugh off these attempts by players to be dishonest. 

Is this what’s happening to airsoft today?

No matter how airsofters may hate cheaters, the disturbing fact remains that the presence of these non-hit callers has become accepted–even expected–in airsoft fields and game sites.

If one cannot attribute this exponential (??) growth of airsoft zombies to some secret government research project that went awry, airsofters would have to look for other reasons that can explain why the ‘living dead’ are invading airsoft fields and game sites.

Below are the common reasons why many airsofters just can’t seem to call their hits:

riftairsoft1

(Foto: riftairsoft.com)

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Prolonging the ‘High’

There is no question that playing airsoft gives one a rush. It’s like a drug. However, getting touched by a bb means coming down from that oh-so-good ‘high’. Cheaters do not want to do that. Thus, they refuse to acknowledge getting hit, and continue playing.

Prolonging Game Time

Airsoft is an expensive sport. Aside from shelling out money for guns and gear, one still has to pay registration or entrance fees just to be able to play. Factor in the sacrifices made just to be free on Sundays, and players would naturally want to stay in the game as long as possible. Getting hit so early in the game means to sit out the rest of one’s very expensive recreation time. Thus, cheaters continue playing to get their money and time’s worth.

(Foto:thefwoosh.com)

(Foto:thefwoosh.com)

The Need to Impress

So, who does not want to get congratulatory pats on the back or be called ‘The Man’? Airsoft cheaters are secretly building their own legends so they will be held in esteem by their buddies. Thus, they pretend not to have felt that bb just to be able to penetrate the enemy’s defenses and blow them all away. (What an action hero!)

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The Lure of the Big W

The honor and glory of becoming champion is sought by any airsoft team. However, some teams have members who work for that dream the wrong way.  Thus, many cheaters develop thick skin just to give their team an advantage during competitions.

Marshal‘s Call Doctrine Prone to Abuse

It’s true that the Marshal’s call is final, especially in CQB/Speedball. If the marshal does not call a player out, that player can validly continue playing despite already being hit. A lot of cheaters take advantage of this rule. Some even arrogantly tell opponents who complain that they should, instead, blame the marshals for being blind.  Thus, voluntarily calling one’s hits is increasingly becoming the exception rather than the rule in games.

(Foto: gerogriniaris.blogspot.com)

Mask for the serial airsoft cheater. (Foto: gerogriniaris.blogspot.com)

Lack of Morals

This is the number one reason why people cheat in the first place. There are airsoft players who seem to lack the ability to tell right from wrong. Thus, they lie through their teeth even when it was plain clear to everyone that they were hit.

Studies have shown that people lie or cheat even when they knew it was wrong.

So, the question is not so much if people could tell right from wrong, but more of “when is it ok or not ok to lie?”

Many airsofters  obviously grapple with this question every time they play, and a lot obviously make adjustments to their honesty levels depending on the situation.

Still a few more boldly declare that honesty is the best policy in airsoft, but they cheat on their wives or girlfriends and lie to their superiors at work just to be able to play.

To be able to play airsoft honorably, an airsofter should be a honest in everything he does and be a real gentleman on and off the field.

Now, that’s a tall order.


#1. Blind Firing (liberal) — the act of firing an airsoft gun without a clear line of sight to the target, and without exposing one’s self to danger.

#2. Blind Firing (conservative) – the act of firing an airsoft gun above head or eye-level. 

#3. Blind Firing (Universal) – the act of firing a gun without seeing the target.

blind3

IS THIS BLIND FIRING TO YOU? Model airsofter Syben Magalso dela Pena of team COYS demonstrates what he saw a soldier did in the news. (Foto: Al Fritz Ermac)

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THIS ARTICLE is a continuation of iliganairsoft’s attempt to pin down the definition of blind firing in airsoft.

In the quest to learn what the blind fire rule truly was, iliganairsoft encountered, instead, several views on the matter which he has attempted to put into words with the hope that they captured what the different airsofters that subscribed to them meant.  

These views are listed above as the unofficial but existing definitions of blind firing in airsoft.

[iliganairsoft does not purport to be an expert on the subject of blind firing or of airsoft for that matter, and is merely collating information gathered and presenting them for discussion.]

It is difficult to find any clear-cut definition of what blind firing is in airsoft on the Internet, but iliganairsoft discovered that most who attempted to define it simply meant the act of firing a gun without seeing the target.

However, iliganairsoft quickly learned that there were situations where one could see his target clearly (like when he was sticking his entire head above cover while shooting), but still be called out for blind firing because of how he held his gun.

This leads us to the conservative view of blind firing that dictates one observe the proper firing position, and not hold his gun above eye-level.

This conservative view held sway for a time until challenges to it started. Soon, airsofters could be seen holding their guns not only above eye-level, but way above their heads, too.

It appears that airsofters were starting to become more liberal in their interpretation of blind firing.

A closer look at blind firing in airsoft would reveal two major underlying factors that need to be satisfied otherwise one would be considered in violation of the rule. These are: (a.) Safety; & (b.) Fairness.

Airsoft is just a sport, thus, safety of players remain the number one concern.  If the firing is done blindly, it becomes unsafe for everyone.

Blind firing is also unfair to other players as one could be hitting opponents one didn’t even target. It is also unfair since the one doing the blind firing is hiding, and therefore, not giving the opponent anything to shoot at while the latter contends with the shooter’s bbs.

Below is a look at the three existing definitions of blind firing in airsoft vis-à-vis the two factors.

 #3. Blind Firing (Universal) – the act of firing a gun without seeing the target.

blind

This is the picture that best illustrates the universal view of what blind firing is in airsoft. (Foto: Al Fritz Ermac)

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Under Definition #3 (Universal View), it is clear that safety for others is the primary consideration. Anyone who is familiar with practical shooting knows that one has to make sure of his target and even what lies behind it.

Firing one’s airsoft gun blindly presents problems for spectators, marshals, team mates, including the “dead” opponents who may just be trying to exit the game site.

They are all in danger of getting hit because the person blind firing cannot see what he is shooting at.

This is also not fair to the other players as they have nothing to shoot at when they return fire because the one doing the blind firing is hiding behind a solid cover.

#2. Blind Firing (conservative) – the act of firing an airsoft gun above head or eye-level.

blind1

The conservative view considers holding the gun above eye-level to be blind firing. (Foto: Al Fritz Ermac)

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Under Definition #2 (Conservative), the emphasis is without a doubt on realism and discipline in the acquisition of targets, and not so much on safety and fairness.

Airsoft definitely started as role-playing and a simulation of the real thing where participants used realistic-looking toy guns.

Many want to keep it that way, and demand that one exercise the discipline needed to (a) acquire targets and (b) to fire a gun—there must be a body behind it to deal with the “recoil”.

Thus, even if one was out in the open while firing, if the gun was raised higher than one’s eye-level, it would still be considered blind firing.

#1. Blind Firing (liberal) — the act of firing an airsoft gun without a clear line of sight to the target, and without exposing one’s self to danger.

blind2

The more liberal view asserts that this is not blind firing as the shooter can see the target and is exposing himself to enemy fire. (Foto: Al Fritz Ermac)

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Under Definition #1 (Liberal View), the rigidness of Definition #2 is relaxed.

Since an airsoft gun produces no recoil (never mind the blow-back versions), what’s the point of holding it properly?

This may very well be the philosophy behind the view.

It may seem harmless; however, such an attitude could drive the wedge deeper between the purists and those who look at airsoft as just a sport (read: not role-playing or simulation of what armed forces do).

This view also makes no mention of how the gun is held, thus, allowing one to hold the gun as high as he can over his head so long as he could see his target and he presents himself also as a target for his opponent.

This view asserts that holding the gun above the head should be allowed because the two prerequisites of the blind fire rule are satisfied:

(a.) Safety – the shooter has a clear line of sight to target; and

(b.) Fairness – the shooter exposes himself to danger as he is also presenting his head or head and part of his torso as a target for his opponent while he is firing.

Iliganairsoft does not know where this innovation started, but will mention here that it was the veteran airsoft team of Iligan City—the Iligan Airsoft Gamers (ILAGA), through Mr. JP Bansuelo, who introduced it locally.

(It was rather a painful birth process for this innovation–but that’s another story.)

At present, this more liberal view of blind firing has already won acceptance among airsofters who play CQB or speedball as it does make it more convenient for players to shoot, especially while running.

Many airsofters reading this may disagree, but one thing is clear: airsoft is not exempt from changes.

There will always be players who will tweak the rules to adapt these to their preferred way of playing the sport.

They may prefer to allow a certain way of holding an airsoft gun because there was no recoil or they would not consider a ricochet as a legit hit as bbs bounce a lot.

They may even consider one as “dead” even if the bb only touched the tip of his boot or extension of his clothing.

The important thing there is that those playing should all be in agreement as to the rules adopted for a certain tournament or skirmish.

This underlines the need for game organizers to announce (and even demonstrate) properly the rules to be followed in order for players not to get confused.

Since blind firing in airsoft seems to have several definitions, game organizers–and this applies especially to CQB and speedball–should clarify what they consider as violations of the rule.

Players should also take care to find out what blind fire rule is in place for a certain tournament instead of just going in, well… blindly.  :-)  

ILAGA marshall (Foto: Alex Orbegoso)

(Foto: Alex Orbegoso)

NO MATTER what the reasons may be for fists to fly at airsoft tournaments, the problem could almost always be traced back to the airsoft marshal and how he performed his job. The moment the marshal loses control over the players, the game immediately becomes chaotic and ripe for trouble.

To avoid controversy, and ruining airsoft events, airsoft teams who want to host tournaments should make sure that the marshals they field unto the game site know the basics of How to be an Effective Airsoft Marshal.

iliganairsoft is compiling here a list of the basics of Airsoft Marshaling that is supplemented with interviews with airsofters who have played the sport for years or have been part of a team that hosted successful tournaments in the past.

[Note: The word 'Marshal' as used here refers to the umpires or referees that officiate airsoft games.]

The Basics Of How To Be An Effective Airsoft Marshal

Be an Airsofter First. Thoe Sanday, co-founder of the Cotabato Airsofters United (CAU) of Cotabato City, says that the advantage of using airsofters as marshals is that “alam na nila kung ano ang tama at hindi [they already know what is right or wrong]“. Non-airsofters would be more concerned about the pain than watching out for hits, he said. “Non-airsofters also do not understand the game and its rules, like the 5-meter rule, knife kill, etc. that they will fail to anticipate hits and protect players,” Sanday said.

Wear White/Use Reflectors. Alex Cruz, a.k.a. Bandit, of G.I. Janes and the CEO of Bandit Airsoft in Hong Kong says that a marshal, who has to be in the game site to be able to see hits (and thus, in the line of fire), should be easy to spot and recognizable to players. [This way, he doesn't get shot at (well... at least, not unnecessarily).]

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reflector vest===

Wear Protection. To be a marshal means to get hit. Lloyd Alvarez of Team BRATT from Tubod, Lanao Norte says a marshal cannot do his job properly if he is too busy trying to avoid getting hit, like turning his back or moving off to a safer distance where he cannot see clearly. A marshal should always wear the proper body armor so he may do his job properly,” he said.

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Bring a Shield. A shield is a very good tool that affords a marshal added protection. Redeemer “Cocoy” Batoy of RAM Iligan says that a piece of plywood is usually the material of choice for this purpose. “The shield is extremely useful when fetching hit players who are trapped under heavy fire,” he said.

shield

Foto: airsoftretreat.com

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Use a Flag on Stick. Alfritz Ermac of Team COYS from Iligan City recommends employing a stick that is as tall as a person (depends on the user) with a flag that can be used as an extension of the marshal’s arm. “Instead of approaching a player, the marshal can just use the stick (not to hit the player w/) to block the hit player’s view to signal that he is out,” Ermac said. [Remember, an airsoft game site is very noisy and sometimes a player cannot hear a marshal call them out.]

flag on stick

Foto: theflagshop.co.uk

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Observe the 1:1 Ratio (as much as possible) . Jerome Tare of PAGI, the veteran airsoft team from Pagadian City, says that the ideal ratio of marshals to players is 1:1. This ensures there are enough eyes on the field to cover everybody. [If this is not possible, a marshal may watch two or three players as long as they are within his vantage view. It is preferable that his view intersects with the view of another marshal in this case -- iliganairsoft.]

1:1 is the ideal ratio of marshals to players.

1:1 is the ideal ratio of marshals to players. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Mind Assigned Zone. A marshal should focus on his area of responsibility. The failure of the marshal to spot hits on players who are close or directly in front of him because he was too busy watching other players on other locations could infuriate the players and the audience alike [Iliganairsoft].

assigned zone

A marshal should watch players in his assigned zone, and not look elsewhere. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Don’t be Eagle-Eyed. Calling out hits on players who are not in your assigned zone or are far away, like on the other side of the game site can cause problems as players will tend to challenge these calls. In fact, even the assigned marshals for those areas might overrule such “eagle-eyed” calls, which results to more confusion [Iliganairsoft].

eagle eye

Calling hits on players who are far away and not in a marshal’s assigned zone is discouraged. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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eagle eye1

Such marshal should, instead, call the attention of his fellow marshal who is assigned to the area of concern and inform him to watch the “player of interest” closely. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Run-Down Violators. It is common for many players to intentionally or unintentionally not hear being called out, and, instead, run farther down the field (and away from the marshal who saw them get hit) despite being already “dead”. This can present a host of new problems as marshals in the new area where the “dead” player enters would not know that he was already “dead”. Marshals should be quick to react as this is a potential flash point as opposing players would certainly protest angrily about it. A marshal worth his salt should immediately chase after the erring player, physically restrain him (when necessary), and escort him out. If it’s clear that the player ignored the call, a yellow card should be in order. Some host teams punish this act severely by issuing the red card regardless of the player’s reasons [Iliganairsoft].

run down

Marshals should chase after hit players, and escort them out. Players who intentionally ignore being called out should be penalized. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Anticipate Hits. This is part of being proactive. Hiroshi Kitane of Team ARMADA, whose team has co-hosted several tournaments in Cagayan de Oro, says that a marshal should take the initiative and protect players and prevent them from getting unnecessarily hit and injured. Anticipating hits is best illustrated in overrun scenarios where a player may have his back turned or is otherwise unaware, and the opposing player is already rounding the corner or approaching fast and ready to shoot. Clearly, there is no way for the former to avoid getting hit, so, the marshal should block (preferably w/ the shield) the unaware player and shout “hit” while signaling to or waiving off the approaching opponent that there was no more need for him to actually shoot the other player. [Note: The overrun scenario is the powder keg for airsoft brawls.]

anticipate

Anticipating hits is for the protection of players. Marshals should always be proactive and alert, and prevent players from unnecessarily getting hurt. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Employ Bouncer-Marshals. This is a different type of marshal whose sole job is not to watch for hits, but to pull out players who have been declared hit. Like bouncers at an entertainment club, bouncer-marshals should be big and strong as they are expected to bodily remove difficult or troublesome players. It is recommended that there should be four bouncer-marshals stationed on either side of the game site [iliganairsoft].

bouncer_big

Bouncer-Marshals should wear the proper protection. Foto: michellehenry.fr

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When in Doubt, Draw. At times it’s extremely difficult to tell who shot who first, like when two players are very close to each other and both are claiming they hit the other. Since a marshal needs to be snappy in making decisions, the best solution is to declare a draw (where both players are declared hit). It’s a win-win solution. If it was two players (on the attack) versus only one opponent, and they were all firing at each other, the solution is to declare a draw between one of the two players attacking and their lone opponent [Iliganairsoft].

draw

Regardless of who pulled the trigger a split-second faster, when a marshal is confronted by a situation like this, he should declare a draw. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Know the Solid Cover Rule. This is another scenario where it’s difficult to tell who shot who first. Merrill Sajonia, a range officer and founder of Team COYS from Iligan City, says that when a player is shooting from behind a solid cover at opponents who are rushing him but are out in the open, it is only logical to assume that those in the open (who are exposed) were the ones who got hit.

solid

This is a scenario where an attacking player is out in the open and his opponent is “mounted” or behind a solid cover. If the marshal did not see who got hit, the presumption always lies against the player who is exposed. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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solid1

From this angle, the attacking player is clearly exposed. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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solid2

This angle shows how small a target the “mounted” player is. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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[Two against one who is behind solid cover. Both attackers are hit.]

2vs1a

To declare the “mounted” player hit just because there are two attackers coming at him is controversial in airsoft. The “mounted” player has less chances of getting hit as he is offered protection by his cover. The attackers on the other hand are out in the open and exposed, and therefore, prone to getting hit. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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[However, if "mounted" player follows the first attacker w/ his gun, the 2nd attacker is risk-free.]

2vs1b

The “mounted” player can be called out when he continues shooting at the first attacker and the second attacker arrives. Most of the time, a draw is declared between the first attacker and the “mounted” player. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Don’t Tolerate Use of Human Shield. The use of a human shield is a practice that is being discouraged in airsoft as it can result to chaotic play. Besides, when a player uses a team mate as a shield, the opposing team shoots them all, nonetheless. In real life, the human shield would have tumbled and died already (not continue to run a few more feet) and expose the person hiding behind [Iliganairsoft].

Human shield

Shrewd player uses team mate and marshal as cover. Players who do this should be penalized as it is an unfair practice. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Neutralize Explosive Scenarios. This is where the number of marshals on the field and their presence of mind becomes a huge factor. Recognizing trouble before it actually happens and physically placing oneself immediately in between opposing players allows the marshal to stop a fight from happening.  At the first sign of trouble, marshals should act immediately and grab players and escort them out. All available marshals within the area should swarm on the players and prevent them from getting close or even saying anything to each other.

explosive

Marshals should prevent hot-headed players from approaching each other. Instead, they should immediately grab the players and escort them out. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

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Know the Blind Fire Rule. There are a couple of schools of thought for blind firing in airsoft. The first one is rather conservative and considers firing a gun above head or eye-level as blind firing. The second one does not. According to J.P. Bansuelo of the veteran airsoft tournament organizer, Iligan Airsoft Gamers (ILAGA), firing a gun above head or eye-level is okay as long as the player has a clear line of sight to his target. “It should be allowed especially when the player is exposing his head or portion of his body while firing,” he said. What’s important here is that the host team choose which school of thought to subscribe to and announce this to the participants of their tournament.

Foto: lemt.by

Blind firing is shooting without a clear line of sight to the target while not exposing the head or torso — iliganairsoft. (Foto: lemt.by)

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Be Professional. A marshal should not be biased. He should not favor any team and give them tips on the sly during a game. Merrill Sajonia of Team COYS says that a marshal should not prosecute teams he dislikes by calling non-hits or imputing imaginary violations on them. “Whimsical and capricious calls should be avoided as these are unfair to players who have spent money and travelled distances just to play at the tournament,” Sajonia said.

Be Consistent/In Control. A marshal’s decision is final, and should not be allowed to be challenged (except through a valid process, like when it is coursed through a grievance committee). According to Luis Cruz of the Iligan Airsoft Gamers (ILAGA), once a call has already been made, such marshal making the call should stand by it, and the other marshals should support it. To waver at this point is to invite challenges to the host team’s credibility. “The marshals should appear to be in control of the game at all times. Bad calls are normal in airsoft; and to be indecisive would diminish the respect that players would have for the marshals,” Cruz added. [Consistency also includes not overruling another marshal's decision. The only one who is allowed to overrule a call is the head marshal, and only for the most compelling of reasons.]

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Marshals taking a break. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

===

Host teams should remember that airsoft is a game of aggression and that bbs do hurt a lot. Toss in the issue of money seemingly wasted on the registration fees, ammo supply, and gasoline for vehicles, and host teams should not act surprised as to why many players tend to become hot-headed during games.

The effects of ugly incidents at games reach outside the game site as well. Relationships between teams sour. That means such teams will no longer play at each other’s tournaments, and could potentially come to blows whenever they play each other in the future.

However, knowing the basics to being an effective airsoft marshal should help teams host a successful airsoft tournament free of controversy or fights.

By nipping potential trouble right in the bud due to the pro-activeness and professionalism of the marshals, and their being in control of the game at all times, participating teams would toe the line and respect the rules.

====

[iliganairsoft would like to thank J.P. Bansuelo and Team ILAGA (Iligan Airsoft Gamers) for the use of the venue for the photoshoot. Thanks also to photographer, Al Fritz Ermac, for doing the shoot, and to Merrill Sajonia and the members of Team COYS (Jovanie, Syben, Buloy, Louie, Rory, Plongplong) for supporting this project.]

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Player providing cover fire for his brave team mate. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

ILIGAN CITY–Consistent with the Iligan Airsoft Gamers’ (ILAGA) interest in introducing airsofters to new experiences, the veteran airsoft team amazed everyone by building a maze for a game site for their long-running Archangel airsoft tournament.

Archangel 2013 took place on September 21-22 at Camague here, and it challenged airsofters’ ability to maneuver with its labyrinthine design that saw many players losing their way not just once.

The network of paths made the seven participating teams feel they were literally inside a puzzle that they needed to solve first before they could even think of engaging their opponents.

“To kill the speed advantage,” was how Ilaga’s AA2013 point-man and game site architect, JP Bansuelo, explained the design.

“It is also meant to limit the chances of overruns,” he added.

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Archangel 2013 is now on its eight year, and this fact was also reflected in the shape of the game site which, if viewed from the air, looks like the number eight.

It would have been more meaningful for ILAGA if the participating teams reached eight, but only seven showed up. These teams were:

It was the first time for KSAF or Kidapawan Special Airsoft Team to play in Iligan City. It was also the debut of LUMADS, an alliance of five airsoft teams from Iligan (RAM, HEAT, ISAP, DALTANS, and COYS).

Scenario

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Player carrying water-filled balloon. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

The team that raises their flag first wins the game.

Bonus points were awarded if the teams managed to fetch water-filled balloons from various locations and taking these to designated areas. Stealing the opponent team’s water-filled balloons was allowed for more bonus points.

The water-filled balloons were especially delicate and needed to be handled with extreme care as they tended to just burst like bubbles. It was painful to watch players successfully take a water-filled balloon to its depository, but only have it burst as soon as it was put on the hot ground.

The Maze

The network of pathways was created using tie-wire, which was supplemented by colorful buntings. Long and short plywood covers were erected on various areas of the site.

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KSAF player making his way through the maze under heavy fire. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

At the center was an enclosed section with a pile of huge tires in the middle. A smaller enclosed area was located on either side of the pile of tires, which contained the key box.

KSAF team leader John Caseres said it was their first time to encounter a maze game site.

“It was a surprise for us, and it took our team two games before we could adapt to it,” he told iliganairsoft.

Dwin Candole of LUMADS said “Nabag-ohan mi [It was new to us].”

The confusion of the players while navigating through the maze was part of the game. Many found themselves making a wrong turn and paid the price by getting showered with bbs.

Players, however, expressed concern at the material used for the maze—the tie-wire.

Bornok Mohamad of DAWG said that they would have preferred that a clearly visible and more solid material was used.

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ONTAD player firing at Team LOW.

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LOW player returns fire.

“This is to avoid accidents as we are wearing masks while running, ” he said.

True enough, a good number of players kept crashing into the three-level tie-wire fences of the pathways.

No one was hurt, however, in the duration of the whole tournament.   

En-en Mercado of ONTAD praised the game site design as it discouraged close-range shootings.

Lisod ang overrun; dili ma-diretso [Overrunning the opponent is made difficult; one can’t just rush straight in],” he said.

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Archangel 2013 point-man JP Bansuelo. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

====

The Marshaling

Despite being reinforced by team COYS, the marshals fielded by ILAGA for the tournament still weren’t enough.

There were many complaints about marshals not being able to call out hits as they could not watch every player in the game site.

The marshals also could not immediately pull out hit players due to difficulty reaching them through the maze.

However, the overall marshaling job cannot be called bad either. The marshals were strict, and they really called out those whom they saw got hit.

Iliganairsoft is happy to report here that no fights erupted during the two-day tournament. That can also be translated to mean that the marshaling job—in general—was solid.

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LUMADS operative trying his best to outrun bbs. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

===

Random Chrono

Although ILAGA did not require that each gun be subjected to a chronograph test, it conducted random tests on teams suspected of having guns the fps of which exceeded 450.

Team LUMADS was given a surprise random chrono test after one marshal—who tumbled to the ground after getting hit on the head—complained.

Thankfully all the team’s guns passed the test.

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Airsoft combat photographer protecting his equipment. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

The Food

Lunch on the first day consisted of chicken curry, pancit, and rice. The second day saw lumpia, a beef dish or barbecued chicken, and rice. Drinks served were juice or soda.

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Team STAR of Cagayan de Oro successfully defended its title as Archangel Champion. (Foto: Alfritz Ermac)

Winners

Team STAR of Cagayan de Oro emerged as champion after winning 10 games and earning 60 points. STAR was also the champion of the Archangel tournament last year.

The list of the winners and their scores are listed below:

  • STAR                      Champion                 10 wins/60 points
  • ONTAD                 1st Runner-Up             9 wins/65 points
  • DAWG                  2nd Runner-Up            8 wins/40 points
  • KSAF                      Sportsmanship

The Trophies

Iliganairsoft does not include descriptions of the trophies awarded at airsoft tournaments, but breaks this tradition for Archangel 2013.

The trophies for this particular tournament were indeed different and worthy of mentioning.

The trophies were made out in the shape and image of the main characters of the 3D computer-animated comedy movie Minions.

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Minions are those lovable yellow henchmen in search of their perfect villain/master that first appeared in the 2010 hit movie Despicable Me.

When asked to explain the choice, Bansuelo said that ILAGA thought about changing the concept of airsoft as a macho and aggression-fueled sport.

“Why not make it different? More child-friendly?” he asked.

Team KSAF’s sportsmanship trophy was noticeably larger than the Championship trophy. It was also in the shape of a big smiley.

“That is to emphasize the importance of friendship,” Bansuelo explained to iliganairsoft.

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Team Force of Luzon being released at the insertion point. (Foto: Mark Julius)

ILIGAN CITY–Before anything else, the airsoft tournament of the Radical Airsoft Mercenaries (RAM) last Sept. 7 & 8, 2013 held here was different as it could boast of being truly national in scope.

Luzon was represented by the FORCE of LUZON (an alliance of airsoft teams from NCR); Visayas by Team SCAR; while Mindanao offered up some of its finest teams, like the following:

KAST of Kabacan, North Cotabato; ATU, ZEAL, and EXCOM of Zamboanga City; CCAT of Cotabato City; ARMADA, WULF, WARHEADS, and SAAT of Cagayan de Oro; ORTAC Squad of Oroquieta City; ISAP and COYS of Iligan City; KILABOT of Municipality of Sultan Naga Dimaporo (SND); and PAGI of Pagadian.

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This picture captures the intensity of the airsoft battles during Bakbakan sa Iligan. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

These are some of the biggest names in airsofting circles, and the spectator at the Ludo Field (beside the Bayug River) in Barangay Santiago here where Bakbakan sa Iligan was held knew he was in for a treat as the tournament was indeed a battle of champion teams.

(Even notable teams in Mindanao that failed to register were able to send representatives to play in some of the participating teams.)

The host team, RAM, should be credited for its efforts at bringing together such a big number of heavyweight airsoft teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to Iligan City.

Games Site & Scenario

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Player from Team Wulf retrieving one of the boxes. (Foto: Redeemer “Cocoy” Batoy)

The game site was big enough to comfortably accommodate two 15-man teams battling it out to collect flags which could be used to score points and end the game.

The site sported a two story complex in the middle with a tunnel underneath.

Separate battles could also be fought on both sides of the main site. Players had to work to retrieve a key from the tunnel to be used to open a cordoned off area on the side of the kill house where a different set of two keys was placed.

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Player firing while running towards his assigned spot. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

The two-key set corresponded to two boxes containing a flag each. One box was placed near the entrance to the main game site while the other was placed outside on the right flank.

Players were required to have the two-key set always in hand while retrieving the boxes, and to only open the boxes at a certain area. Once the flags were taken out, players would then take these to the top of the kill house and raise them.

The game ender was a third flag that was also placed outside on the right side. Installing this flag at the top of the kill house ends the game.

Marshaling

Airsoft marshals are only human, and they are allowed a certain quota of wrong calls and non-calls.

However, on the second day of the tournament, where there were noticeably fewer marshals, complaints particularly on non-calls grew.

Sadly, Team SCAR of Cebu City walked out of the tournament in protest.

The walkout was followed by an incident between teams ZEAL and CCAT where a failure to exercise restraint in shooting escalated into a player getting smashed on the side of the head with an airsoft rifle.

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The unfriendly incident between teams Zeal of Zamboanga City and CCAT of Cotabato City in the afternoon of the 2nd day of the tournament. One player swung his airsoft rifle at the head of another player. (Foto: MSU-IIT Coop)

Thankfully there were policemen around to stop the fight from becoming a full-blown melee.

It must be noted here that there were actually around eight uniformed policemen deployed at the tournament, and there were also a sprinkling of soldiers. An Army truck could also be seen in the area.

To the unfamiliar, airsoft is a game of aggression that simulates war, and is painful.

That’s why fights tend to break out when those playing do not follow the rules or fail to extend courtesies, like not shooting another player in the back at close range.

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RAM Iligan’s hands-on President, Johnson Po, was on the ground serving as a marshal. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

Kudos to RAM for ensuring there was an adequate number of policemen and even soldiers at the scene.

The Food

As is the business of Iliganairsoft, what is fed airsofters at an airsoft tournament is always a point of concern.

For RAM Birada: Bakbakan sa Iligan, the food was worth the registration fee of P1,000.

Lunch on the first day consisted of braised beef, sotanghon, and rice. The second day saw fried chicken, sweet and sour fish, and rice. Both meals came with several 1.5-litter bottles of soft drinks.

The freebie was a tournament t-shirt.

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ORTAC Squad’s Doc Syo attending to a wounded team mate in the Red Cross tent at the tournament grounds. (Foto: Gerald Lacandula)

Winners

An unknown player from Team Luzon: Northern Alliance expressed amazement at the type of game they experienced at Bakbakan sa Iligan.

Although they played CQB back in the North, “Hindi ganon ka-bilis!” he was overheard as saying.

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The champion of Bakbakan sa Iligan: Team ATU of Zamboanga City poses with their trophy and friends. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

The airsoft games played here have increasingly become of the speedball type.

And after two days of high speed close quarter battles, the following teams emerged at the top:

  • Champion: ATU of Zamboanga City;
  • 1st Runner-up: WULF of Cagayan de Oro;
  • 2nd Runner-up: WARHEADS of Cagayan de Oro;
  • 3rd Runner-up: ARMADA of Cagayan de Oro;
  • 4th Runner-up: KAST of North Cotabato; and
  • 5th Runner-up: FORCE OF LUZON (NCR).

Special Awards

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Team EXCOM’s Carmelino “Tracer” Bagsic, Jr. holds up his Best Airsofter trophy. (Foto: Redeemer Batoy)

Sportsmanship: Team Kilabot of the Municipality of Sultan Naga Dimaporo (SND) in Lanao del Norte; Best in CQB: Team WULF; and Best Airsofter: Carmelino “Tracer” Bagsic, Jr. of Team EXCOM of Zamboanga City.

Bakbakan sa Iligan is the 1st Mayor Celso Regencia Airsoft Tournament in Iligan City. It is also the first major airsoft tournament hosted by RAM Iligan, which is also a multi-champion team.

Bakbakan sa Iligan, although held on a September, occurs in the shadow of the older and more established Archangel Tournament hosted by the Iligan Airsoft Gamers (ILAGA).

The Archangel Tournament is held every September here in Iligan as part of the city’s fiesta celebration in honor of its patron saint Michael the Archangel.

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Redeemer “Cocoy” Batoy of the host team, RAM. (Foto: Mark Julius)

[Iliganairsoft would like to thank RAM's Redeemer "Cocoy" Batoy for providing information and the pictures used in this article.]

[Team RAM was assisted by the ILIGAN DALTANS AIRSOFT GAMERS (IDAG) and HEAT in the preparation and marshaling work during the tournament.] 

PHILIPPINES-HOSTAGE-6

Foto: inquirer.net

AS FILIPINO airsofters held their breaths due to a scheduled Barangay Elections in October that was to follow the recently concluded midterm elections in May this year, news of the enactment of Republic Act 10591 broke.

R.A. 10591 has a lengthy title that reads: AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LAW ON FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

This law was passed by both houses of Congress in February and signed into law by Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Jr. last May 29, 2013.

The significance of this law to airsoft in the Philippines is that every time election season rolls in, the COMELEC (Commission on Elections)–the body that conducts the elections–imposes a gun ban that lasts for several months.

This gun ban covers airsoft guns and airguns.

The result is that airsoft games in the entire Philippines grind to a halt for up to 6 months due to an election gun ban.

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Under the Omnibus Election Code (Batas Pambansa 881) that was enacted in 1985, the COMELEC should only include in its gun ban “firearms” and “deadly weapons”.

As to how the COMELEC came to view airguns and airsoft guns as either “firearms” or “deadly weapons” is explained by Philippine National Police (PNP) Order No. 12, Series of 2008.

Such PNP Order unfortunately (and erroneously) considered airguns and airsoft guns under “firearms and deadly weapons”.

That is why airsofters hate election seasons here in the Philippines.

A 6-month gun ban is a long time for airsofters with itchy trigger fingers.

This is also why one can see many airsofters taking on other hobbies now, like badminton or biking.

However, long lay-offs from airsofting is a thing of the past now. Thanks to R.A. 10591.

Section 3(L) of R.A. 10591 clarifies the definition of firearms to refer only to “any handheld or portable weapon, whether a small arm or light weapon, that expels or is designed to expel a bullet, shot, slug, missile or any projectile, which is discharged by means of expansive force of gases from burning gunpowder or other form of combustion or any similar instrument or implement.”

Need it be said here that the projectiles expelled by airguns and airsoft guns are powered only by air or spring?

It is clear now that airguns and airsoft guns have been excluded from the legal definition of firearms, and are thus, no longer subject to election gun bans.

The COYS w/ their Championship and Sportsmanship trophies during the SAAT/ARMADA Honor of Legions airsoft tournament in Opol, Misamis Oriental last Oct. 7, 2012.

JUST a couple of months ago, the airsoft team COYS of Iligan City, looked to be in the final stages of drowning. It just seemed incapable of ever recovering from the Sendong tragedy.

To recall, the massive flash flood unleashed by tropical storm Sendong on Iligan in December 2011 killed nearly a thousand people and washed away entire communities out to sea.

When the waters subsided, many members of team COYS were left with nothing. All resources went into re-building. Surviving.

With airsoft furthest from their minds, the team just stopped playing the sport. There was nothing to play with anyway as the flood either washed away or buried airsoft guns and gear under mud and sand.

Weekend skirmishing became a thing of the past, and airsoft tournament invitations were turned down. Pretty soon, talk of the COYS disbanding surfaced.

The Ermac residence that doubled as the COYS Armory in Iligan City after Sendong.

A ‘BAD’ secret

As the talk spread, COYS founder, Merrill Sajonia a.k.a Masta Chief, decided to perform CPR on the team.

As many of the team members played badminton, the Chief implemented a carefully laid plan that would draw out the COYS members from whichever hole they crawled into by constantly posting on Facebook pictures of members playing at a local badminton gym.

Seeing how much fun their friends were having from the Facebook pictures, the attendance at the badminton gym grew week by week. By August this year, majority of the team members were regularly showing up for the Monday-Wednesday-Friday badminton games.

The COYS at their ‘private’ badminton hangar.

And as is expected to happen when one gathers a bunch of airsofters together, talk always shifts to, well, AIRSOFT (no surprise there).

However, the final jolt that revived the team came from a highly unexpected source–the Philippine military.

As it happens, several military officers from the Phil. Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade based in Lanao del Norte befriended the COYS and started to regularly play badminton with them. Soon after, Col. Carlo Nava and Capt. Glenn Apresto invited the COYS over to the brigade camp in Brgy. Ma. Cristina last September to play airsoft.

As this was an offer no airsofter could refuse, the team jumped at the opportunity. And once the COYS members tasted the sting of bbs again, life started to flow back into the airsoft veins of Team COYS. 

A month later (Oct. 7), the team, despite the lack of lipoly batterries and using rusty Sendonged magazines and AEGs (that kept malfuncting at the most crucial moments), saw action at the SAAT-Cdo and ARMADA-hosted Honor of Legions airsoft tournament in Opol, Misamis Oriental. 

The Championship and Sportsmanship trophies from the Honor of Legions airsoft tournament last Oct. 7, 2012. Models: COYS power couple Jhovanie Sabas and Diana Margaha.

The COYS comeback was doubly made more meaningful as the team edged out 10 of the top teams from Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities to win the Championship, plus the Sportsmanship Award.

COYS buhi pa!

According to COYS President Syben Magalso dela Pena, the team never expected to win. “In fact, we just wanted to avoid getting run over and manhandled by the other teams,” he said. 

The unexpected victory proved to the COYS members that nothing was impossible, and that a person or an airsoft team could bounce back from adversity.

The victorious moment was best captured by COYS co-founder, Al Fritz Ermac, when he uttered the new COYS battle cry: “COYS, Buhi Pa! [still alive!]“

[The COYS would like to thank the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and Teams SAAT-CdO, ARMADA, HEAT, RAM, LOW, WARHEADS, W2, ONTAD, CAG, KILABOT, and CRAB for helping them get back on their feet.] 

All photos by Al Fritz Ermac

(foto: Angelo C. Rebollos/RAM)

“This is much better than the usual overrun and kill-‘em-all scenarios,” said Derek Lactuan of Team HEAT of Iligan City, “It’s a thinking game.”

And what a thinking game did Honor of Legions–the airsoft tournament co-hosted by Cagayan de Oro’s Team ARMADA and the Special Airsoft Action Team (SAAT-Cdo Chapter)–turn out to be last October 7, 2012 at Zone 4, Brgy. Igpit, Opol, Misamis Oriental.

With a four-stage mission scenario that involved symbol to symbol and color to color matching, the games’ objective was really to test the airsoft players’ cognitive skills while they were in a combat situation.

 Twelve teams registered for the tournament, and all, except one–PDAT–played. The eleven teams that participated were:

  • Warheads
  • Team W2
  • Lords of War (LOW)
  • Ontad
  • CRAB
  • Special Airsoft Group (SAG)
  • Cagayan Assault Group (CAG)
  • Kilabot
  • HEAT (Iligan)
  • RAM (Iligan)
  • COYS (Iligan)

ARMADA President Dave Actub, 29, said that Honor of Legions was in honor of the airsoft warriors, and that it was also their attempt at infusing into the airsoft community some of the qualities and values of the recently deceased former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Actub said that Honor of Legions was co-hosted by the Cagayan de Oro Chapter of the Special Airsoft Action Team (SAAT), and was in cooperation with Opol Mayor Dexter Yasay.

Ramming speed. Player from Team RAM of Iligan trying to get into the kill house under heavy fire. (foto: Angelo C. Rebollos/RAM)

Game Scenario

Honor of Legions presented participating airsoft teams a different kind of challenge as the overriding requirement was the ability to think clearly and to perform the tasks correctly while under pressure.

The mission could be broken down into four stages:

  1. First stage — airsofters should work their way to a flag pole (one for each side) and raise the flag. Once a team’s flag is raised, the door to their side of the kill house is symbolically opened, as well as the door that leads to their opponent’s side. This stage is worth 5 points.
  2. Second stage — airsofters enter the kill house and select one (bamboo) tube from several containing a rolled up piece of tarpauline (bond paper size) that contains the picture of a symbol. (The kill house had no gun policy, so airsofters who brought their guns inside where immediately considered hit.)  This stage worth 20 points.
  3. Third stage — this is where airsofters should correctly match the symbol they retrieved from the kill house to the cover that was marked with the same symbol. Once the players locate the correct cover with the matching symbol, they hang the tarpauline there on hooks provided. When this is accomplished, they get another clue inside another bamboo tube hidden at the base of the cover. This is the color-coded clue. This is worth 25 points.
  4. Fourth stage — players take the color-coded clue to their opponent’s side where they have to locate the cover marked with the matching color, and hang the colored tarpauline on the hook there. This is worth 50 points. 

    En-En Mercado of Ontad Hobby Shop (standing center) surrounded by players from Team Ontad. (foto: Coys)

The symbols and colors were transferred and shifted around among the covers between games so that airsofters would have no choice but to search for the correct covers for every game. 

ARMADA and SAAT-Cdo also spiced this up by putting decoy clues inside the bamboo tubes, which sent teams back into the kill house to fetch another symbol and to match this with its corresponding cover. In other words, to go through the whole process again.

Mismatching of the symbols carried a heavy penalty with all the points earned by a team being awarded to their opponent. This is what happened to Team RAM of Iligan who managed to overrun and take out Team LOW. However, due to their haste they made a mistake in matching the symbols, which resulted to RAM’s hard-earned 100 points to be given to LOW instead.

Given how close the scores of the participating teams were, the 100-point loss must have been heart-breaking for RAM. 

Team Lords of War (LOW) takes 2nd runner-up spot. They tied w/ Team W2.

Marshalling

Of course, this aspect of any airsoft tournament could never be perfected. Not by any host team. However, ARMADA deserves to be commended for the quality of their marshalling job.

Worth mentioning here is the proactiveness of the marshalls who would not wait for a player to get unnecessarily hit and injured.  ARMADA also had several veteran marshalls on the field whose age and experience lent absolute authority to their calls. The marshalls would chase hit players, and also nip potential trouble immediately in the bud by swarming hot-headed players or giving arguing players no further opportunity to raise each other’s blood pressure by grabbing them right away and escorting them out.    

Team HEAT of Iligan City with lone woman operative, Ms Adel Pabillar (standing, far right), whoops it up after receiving their trophy for 1st runner-up. (foto: Coys)

ARMADA also tolerated no misbehavior and rule-breaking, and immediately handed out yellow cards to infractors. Those who were already declared hit, but continued to rush the opponent were awarded the card.

A random chrono test was also conducted from time to time. Players whose AEGs exceeded the 450 fps limit were penalized with a yellow card.

It was sad to note though, that despite ARMADA’s efforts at being firm but fair, the Special Airsoft Group (SAG) still staged a walk-out in the middle of the games to protest the marshalling.

En-en Mercado, 34, of Team Ontad, however, found the marshalling to be satisfactory.

“It is normal [to make mistakes] in marshalling,” he said, “We still enjoyed at the tournament.” 

Mercado, who owns and operates the airsoft shop, Ontad Hobby Shop, in Carmen, Cagayan de Oro even praised ARMADA for their firmness, “gi-barogan gyud nila ila rules, mao pud naka-chada [they did not compromise their rules and that's what made the tournament good].”

Fritz Christian Matilos, 25, of the Cagayan Assault Group (CAG) said that because it was a speedball type of game, it was “expected to be ‘medyo gubot‘ [a little chaotic].”  

Matilos said that all in all everything was ok, and that it was ‘sulit‘ [worth it].

Team RAM, in a text message to iliganairsoft, said that the marshalling “was the best”.

Heat’s Derek Lactuan also told iliganairsoft that he and his team mates found the marshalling fair and that they were satisfied with it.

ARMADA’s enterprising Ricky Policarpio (left) serving a customer at his liitle open-air store at the tournament venue. (foto: Coys)

Results

The Honor of Legions airsoft tournament winners are given below:

  • Champion: COYS (Iligan) 750 points
  • 1st runner-up: HEAT (Iligan) 730 points
  • 2nd runner-up (tie): LOW (CdO) & Team W2 700 points
  • Best in Uniform Award: CAG (CdO)
  • Sportsmanship Award: COYS (Iligan)

The COYS celebrating after being declared Champion of the Honor of Legions airsoft tournament. The team also won the Sportsmanship Award. (foto: Coys)

Are you too old to play “Pusil-Dunggab”? Are you tired of clicking on that mouse? If you are looking to inject a healthy dose of realism to that need to play war games, then airsoft could be the right choice for you.

As to how “healthy” a dose of realism it would be depends entirely on your knowledge of airsoft and its rules on safety. Thus, if you are new to airsoft, it’s best that you read on.

[This article is intended for newbies/rookies to airsoft in the Philippines. However, additional information is always welcome. Please feel free to add them in the comments section at the end – Iliganairsoft]
 
What is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a sport that simulates combat using guns called automatic electric guns or AEGs to shoot round plastic pellets that are usually 6mm in diameter and weighing 0.2 grams.

What Do I Need To Play Airsoft?

Below are the most basic needs of airsoft that beginners are advised to have in order to be able to play the sport:

AEG. This is your primary weapon. Airsoft guns used to cost a fortune but with the entry of the China-made AEGs, airsofters can now get one from P5,000 to P7,000 ($100-130) only. Visit your local airsoft shop or airsoft forums where many airsofters are selling 2nd-hand AEGs.

Mask/Goggles. If you value the ability to see, then NEVER play airsoft without wearing an airsoft mask or, at least, safety goggles. An airsoft bb (the round plastic pellet) can and will take your eye out and leave you blind. Refusing to wear a mask or eye protection can also get you banned from the game site or field.

BB. These are your ammo. What good is a gun without bullets, right? Always have a bag of 6mm, 0.2 gram bbs with you when you leave for the game site. Brands popularly in use are ICS and Golden BBs. They come in 3/4th-kilo or 1-kilo bags and cost from P230 to P250 ($6).

BDU. Battle Dress Uniforms will give you that soldier boy look. They also protect you from the sun, and injuries from things you come into contact with, especially when playing in a jungle environment. They also take out some of the sting of bbs because they are usually made of thicker materials. Unless you have an army surplus store in your area, the best place to forage for BDUs would be ukay-ukay stores (there are good finds there). However, for purposes of dressing your airsoft team, the local tailoring shop would be best.

Vest. A vest functions in two ways: first, it protects your torso from injury and the pain of getting hit by bbs; and two, it serves as your magazine carrier. You can also attach your radio to it or put other things into its pouches.  Vests are sold by airsoft stores, but check out local tailoring shops, too, as some of these shops cater to police and military needs.

Boots. Wearing the right footwear helps protect your feet. Airsoft involves running, so make sure you are wearing something (they don’t necessarily have to be combat boots) that keeps your feet safe while affording comfort and ease of movement. 

foto: newbieairsoft.webs.com

Do I Need to Have a Team In Order to Play Airsoft?

Having a team is preferable. However, if you are just starting, you can play with a couple of like-minded friends at an open lot or abandoned building. Just make sure there are no other people around, especially children, who could get hit accidentally.

How to Meet Airsofters

Ask around if there is an airsoft field in your area where you can meet up with other airsofters and play. Visit airsoft forums or join airsoft Facebook groups (there are many friendly airsofters there who would gladly answer your questions). The nearby airsoft store could also help. The guys there would tend to be airsofters, too, and know the local airsoft teams. 

How to Play Airsoft

Airsoft is different from paintball. A paintball hit is clearly visible because of the paint unlike in airsoft. Thus, airsoft is a game that relies on the honor system. If you’re hit on any part of your body, you are considered “dead”, and required to acknowledge it by shouting “hit!”

Shouting “hit” informs other players, too, that you are already out of the game, and therefore, no longer a live target. Hit players should raise their gun over their heads and immediately exit the game site. To ensure you don’t get shot at while exiting, shout “dead man walking” as you exit.

Note: Never remove your mask even when you are already “dead” and on your way out of the site.

Kinds of Airsoft Games

You would need at least several buddies (6 or more) to be able to have a decent game. Below are the more common game scenarios that beginner airsofters can play:

Capture the Flag. Divide your group into two, each with its own flag.  The flags are usually placed at the base of each team. The team that successfully captures the other team’s flag, wins. A variation to this scenario is where there is only one flag that is placed at the center of the field; and taking this flag back to your base wins the game.

Rescue Hostage. This is a popular scenario where one team guards a “hostage”, and the other team attempts to rescue and take him to a designated area. The “hostage-takers” may shoot the “hostage” as he is being taken away. If the “hostage” is “killed” before he reaches the evacuation area or landing zone, etc., the rescue team loses.
 
Escort VIP/Ambush. This type of game has one team escorting a VIP on his way to a designated area. The other team hides anywhere in the area along the VIP’s route and spring an ambush. If the VIP is brought to the designated area, the escort team wins. If the VIP is captured or “killed”, they lose.

Assault on a Fixed Position. This scenario sees one team attacking a base or bunker that is defended by the other team. The defending team’s movement is limited to the area designated. The teams switch roles after every round. It is referred to as King of the Hill if the position to be assaulted sits on top of a hill.

Seek & Destroy. If you really lack the numbers, this would be a great game scenario for you. Have one friend hide, and the rest of you try to hunt and “kill” him. This can be played with as few as 3 players only.

Basic Airsoft Rules

Please take to heart the following basic airsoft safety rules:

1. Always Have Eye Protection. The wearing of masks or goggles is the number one rule in airsoft. These can only be taken off at the designated Safety Areas.

2. Observe Gun Safety Rules. Airsoft guns should be treated like they were real. Thus, the safety rules for gun handling should be observed.
a) An airsofter should treat his gun as if it was loaded.
b) He should not put his finger on the trigger unless he is ready to fire.
c) Players should keep the gun muzzle or tip pointed at a safe direction when not in play, and he should make sure of his target and what lies behind it.
d) Lastly, remove the magazine and put the gun on safety when exiting the game site.

foto: instructables.com

3. Establish Test Fire Area. Airsofters should establish an area where test firing guns should be done. This is to avoid accidentally hitting people. Shout “Firing!” to warn others that you are about to fire your gun. Observe the 180 degrees rule, which means no one should be within the area from your left side to your front and to your right side.

4. Establish Safety Areas/Safe Zones. Before playing, always establish a Safety Area where there is absolutely no firing of guns. This area serves as the place where airsofters can stay when not playing.

5. The Marshall is Always Right. Marshalls are the referees/umpires/game moderators. They are the ones who supervise the game, give out penalties, and call out the hits. Their word is law; thus, if they erroneously think you got hit, you have no choice but to exit the game site once they have already called you out. Arguing with a marshall is a big no-no.

6. Five-meter Rule. Airsoft guns can break the skin and cause welts and a whole lot of pain when fired at close range. Players should refrain from shooting other players who are within 5 meters from them, and instead, ask them to surrender or call out “You’re Hit!”

7. Knife Kill. Shooting another player who is so close to you that you can actually touch them is absolutely prohibited. Players should execute a Knife Kill instead. A Knife Kill in airsoft is done by tapping the opponent (whose back may be turned to you) on the shoulder to inform them that they are out.

Transport guns in bag. Foto: snapguide.com

8. Blind Fire. Blind firing is shooting your gun even without a clear line of sight to your target.  It also applies to firing your gun while it is raised above eye/head level. This is a very controversial issue in airsoft with some competition organizers allowing it. To be on the safe side, avoid doing it. Not seeing what you’re shooting at is not good as there could be other people standing there, like the marshalls (who are only human).

9. Transport Guns in Bag. If you don’t want to get arrested or mistaken for a threat and shot by the police, please do not display your airsoft gun in public. Always put it in your gun bag when transporting it. Remember, airsoft guns look and feel like the real thing. It is also your responsibility to protect the sport of airsoft by following the rules.

Note: Before you start a day of airsofting, always, always take the time to have a safety briefing. This ensures that the safety rules are fresh on your minds, and that nobody gets complacent.

Glossary of Airsoft Terms

To facilitate your transition into the airsoft world, it would help to know the terms and acronyms related to the sport. This also aids you when conversing with other airsofters. Below is a list of selected terms taken from arniesairsoft.co.uk with some provided by iliganairsoft:

AEG (Automatic Electric Gun). This is the most popular type of airsoft gun for skirmishing use.  It is powered by battery and operates through a series of gears and a spring-powered piston.

AK (as in AK-47). Avtomat Klashnikova or Automatic Kalashnikov.

BB (Ball Bearing). The ball bearing is the ammunition used by airsoft.  Usually 6mm in diameter, these small plastic balls weigh far less than half a gram each (usually 0.20g). 

BDU (Battle Dress Uniform). The name given to the clothing worn by a protagonist during combat. 

Bullpup. A design methodology for rifles.’Bullpup’ rifles such as the AUG and the British SA80 have the magazine and firing mechanism set behind the trigger and grip.
 
CA (Classic Army). An Hong-Kong based airsoft manufacturer who has specialised in the production of both AEGs and aftermarket parts.

Chronograph

Chronograph (Chrono). A device that measures projectile speed. Used on most, if not all airsoft skirmish sites in order to check the speed at which the BB is shot from the gun. 

CQB. Close Quarters Battle (aka Close Quarters Combat)

Fire Selector Switch. A switch that allows the shooter to change between modes of fire (Safe, Semi-Auto and Full-Auto fire).

FPS. Feet Per Second (a measure of velocity). Most fields limit gun velocity to around 350fps. In the Philippines, it’s usually 450fps (ouch!)

GBB. Gas Blow-Back.

Ghillie suit

Ghille/Ghille Suit. Camouflage worn by snipers.

H&K (Heckler & Koch). A German real-steel gun manufacturer, makers of some of the world’s most famous firearms, such as the MP5 SMG, the P7 pistol and the G36 assault rifle. 

Hi-Cap/High-Cap. High Capacity (usually refers to airsoft magazines).

HOP-UP (HOP). A device installed in most airsoft guns to increase range. A small piece of rubber that is pushed inside the back end of the barrel through a hole in the top. 

ICS. I Chih Shivan Enterprise Co.  An airsoft manufacturer founded in Taiwan in 1983.
 
Kill House. A building where close quarter battles occur.
 
Lo-Cap/Low-Cap. Low Capacity. Lo-Cap magazines are the ones that are usually supplied free with AEGs. 

Mag. Magazine (abbreviation). The magazine is a detachable part of the gun that holds the ammunition ready for shooting. 

Mechbox

Mechbox. The central mechanism of an Airsoft AEG. Also known as a gearbox.

Mid-Cap. Medium Capacity (usually refers to airsoft magazines).

Muzzle. The muzzle is the very front of the gun, the tip of the barrel. 

NV/NVG. Night Vision / Night Vision Goggles.

Real-Steel. A Real-World firearm or accessory (i.e. non-airsoft).

Re-spawn. To come back from the dead and re-join the game.

RIS. Rail Interface System (also known as RAS or ‘a Weaver Rail’).

ROF. Rate of Fire.

Skirmishing (to Skirmish). To use airsoft replicas in a mock battle, also known as Wargaming.

Stock of airsoft gun

Speedball. (Very similar to paintball) Played in a small field with lots of covers or bunkers.

Stock 1. (Noun) The rear of the gun.

Stock 2. (Adjective) An unmodified gun.

TM. Tokyo Marui (Airsoft manufacturer).

Trigger. The part of the gun that is manipulated in order to fire a shot.

Trigger Guard. A solid bar / obstruction that covers and protects the trigger.

Weaver Rail. Similar to RIS / RAS.

Zero. To align the trajectory of shots fired with the visual line of the sights.

Zombie. A player who does not acknowledge his hits, and thus, keeps on playing to the annoyance of other players.  A cheater.