First site review, I’ve had such a blast, first time at Matlock Combat Games (referred to from here on as MCG). Really deserves to be credited.

Where: Matlock Combat Games DE4 5FW http://matlockcombatgames.com/
Date played: 22/06/2019
Weather: Warm, Dry, What you’d expect for June
Type: Woodland (more details further down)
Cost: £25 including lunch token.

Arrival & Safe Zone

Arriving at the MCG site you are met by a well placed road sign pointing the way in. No way you’re missing that. A short drive up the main track gives you a look at a few of the game areas and also a feel for the site. You’re quickly driving into the safe zone. It’s a good size but quickly fills up. We were lucky enough to be there early and the van was promptly parked in the far corner. Homework had been done and a couple of folding tables were pulled out. Whilst there are some tables provided and there were some undercover areas, we were happy to get bombed up under the shade of the canopy.

The safe zone is fully netted all the way around and there is a firing range in the “back corner” for those who want to test and tune. There were a number of well placed bins as well as the usual on site shop selling pyro, BB’s, Drinks and chocolate stuffs. 

Sign In

A simple name & signature. The usual insurance “blurb” is pinned up and it is accepted that by signing you are accepting. Personal feeling is you already know the risks so just sign the damn form! £25 for non-members, £20 for members including a lunch token which was an unknown extra, we’d brought packed lunches but they came in useful for our 3rd player.

Safety Brief & Chrono

Feeling a little sheepish we made our way out of the safe zone for the safety brief, first time I’ve ever been briefed not in the safe zone but it really doesn’t matter. A very well explained brief, clearly outlining all the extremities of the site, places you should and shouldn’t be doing what. Clearly outlining medic rules and kill types (knife kills and what not). A nice change as well was one of the site owners was milling around in the crowd actually quietening down some locals and drawing their attention to the brief. You can tell there is a lot of respect for the owners, usually there is always 1 group acting the fool but not this time.

Chrono straight after the brief, 4 marshals appeared from nowhere and got through the large crowd quickly. I am so used to there being a chrono on a tripod and a massive queue this was really a positive in my mind. There was no “marking” to show who had been through but there was the right amount of time taken to try and ensure everybody went through. 

A dividing subject in airsoft is “how” you should be chrono’d. Well 0.2G was the preference but the guys at MCG were switched on enough to have a chart in hand so those of us using other weights were fairly tried. double thumbs up guys! MCG operate a 350-400-500 structure with HPA locked at 330 to avert joule creep.

Site & Playing Areas

The site is a woodland site, it has a few man made indoor structures which add to the flavour, there is a small killhouse however I avoided this as I play sniper. There are some areas which are open and some which have thick bush, most is clear but uneven terrain with dense but thin trees. Play areas cover a well put together village, at least another 2 or 3 “compounds” which are man made offering hard cover and in some places raised platforms.

What I will say about the site is that it is not the biggest I have ever been to but that’s not a bad thing, MCG use the space they have to their advantage massively and it was a refreshing change to not have a 10-15 minute walk to the first game on. All games moved dynamically between at least 2 different zones and being close to the safe zone meant if you needed to nip back, it wasn’t far and you were back in game quickly. Whilst there was clear instruction you are going from A to B, there was no restriction stopping you from going via Z which really adds to the experience I found as it is very easy to tunnel vision.

After the warm up game we were split into 2 teams. Blues had a coloured band on the left arm and Greens had a coloured band on the right arm. No fuss.

Games

Game 1 was a warm-up game of Zombies. 6 Zombies started on the red shed just outside of the safe zone and the remaining pack (at least 50 of us) grabbed cover in the village across the road.

Game 2 was an attack and defend fallback, we defended first, Mortar Pit, the first area was a well thought out and spacious compound which we needed to keep the enemy out of. We were on hit, medic, hit and out but when out you fell back to zone 2. Zone 2 was hit, medic 3 times and then out. the second area was known as “Beeches”, it was more open, longer channels with less cover, ideal for my sniper and the accompanying DMR although there was a kill house close by to us (ideal for the speedsofter who wants fresh air).

Game 3 was the reverse of 2, we were attacking this time and was just as much fun however we at least now knew where was going to be difficult to get at.

Lunch

So this is where I probably can’t be too in depth, 2 of us had a packed lunch however we had spare meal tokens. These were palmed off onto player 3 who enjoyed 2 cheeseburgers and a poly plate with chilli & nachos. It looked great. Lunch was probably 45-60 minutes long and were quick to get people mobilised and back out.

Games contd…

Game 4 was a CTF but each team had a flag, flag person could only walk not run and the objective was to get your flag carrier into a compound, raise the flag on the specified tower and then defend the flag for 5 minutes.

Games 5 & 6 were a capture the objective, 3 objectives and the defending team had a limited number of respawns. This kept the game moving and risky for the defenders. Attackers were unlimited respawn but had to walk back to the start point. Game 6 was change of sides and repeat.

Game 7 was the last one of the day, as our team had been winning we got to attack for the last game, planting a bomb into another compound location (Pillar Boxes). The objective was deliver both a bomb and a battery and then set off said bomb with battery.

Marshalling & General Attitude of Players

Marshalling was really on point, both dedicated and player marshals were around, constantly reinforcing the objectives, helping with minor rule and game area advice and keeping an eye on the players (not that it was needed). Not that at any point did I need to shout for a marshal, I did overhear a player marshal on his radio communicating with the others to check a handful of players at one area as their had been a comment to ensure hit taking. A gentle and pro active approach but that was all I was aware of all day. Random chrono’s were carried out throughout the day, marshals were close enough to keep an eye but not interfere and it was mentioned there were several first aiders on site which was nice to know.

Player attitude was brilliant, there were no arguments that I witnessed and a general friendly atmosphere, it was our first visit to the site and felt extremely welcome and were spoken to by both other MCG virgins as well as regulars. The player mix was broad from young to “young at heart” and there were smiles all day.

Overall

If you can remember that feeling when you first played or first found your “favourite site”, that is what I am sat here writing this with. That funny kind of giddy, can’t wait to go back feeling. We went just wanting to have a quiet game day at a site we were not familiar at and have come away with the sense that we will be spending many more days just like today at Matlock Combat Games.