I’ll pre-requisite this and say that NPF was a fairly regular haunt for us during the latter part of 2019. It offers good site services with a decent playing field with FPS levels that suit most of our guys. It’s a great all rounder but there in lies the problem, I can’t say there is anything stand out!
Where: NPF Airsoft (Bassetts Pole) B75 5SA https://www.npfbassettspole.com/
Date played: Oct, Nov, Dec 2019
Weather: Dry October to wetter Winter
Cost: £25 plus lunch which cost varies on depending what you have
Arrival & Safe Zone
Arriving at NPF is always great fun. Usually we meet at the McDonalds right next door for breakfast so full of McMuffin and coffee we head in, you drive through the main car park and more or less straight into the paintball woods. you follow a pretty well sign posted track (low slung sports cars will struggle) to the far end of the site where you park alongside the track or if you’re unlucky and arrive later you’ll get hard standing but it’s a loooong walk to the safe zone.
The safe zone is net on 3 sides with only the side facing away from the skirmish area open. There is a fire pit and a decent enough test fire area. There are a large number of tables and benches, most are under cover, again get there earlier to guarantee a good spot.
NPF is notorious for long queues when signing in. A typical insurance waiver on every visit is put in your hand whilst queuing which you have to fill in as well as a map which you literally can’t refuse and a menu for lunch. You can pay by cash or card as you hand over your signed waiver where you get a wrist band which is signed to confirm you’ve paid.
The cabin has some basic supplies, a few RIFs, BB’s, Pyro, drinks and chocolate available as well as free tea and coffee throughout the day.
Safety Brief & Chrono
Safety brief is long at NPF, you get the impression they tender to a lot of commercial parties so are very thorough but with large crowds such as NPF gets this can work against them. There is no PA, just the lead marshall/organiser Kerry stood on a bench which can make hearing her hard some times.
All guns are chrono’d with 0.2g BB’s. 350 for AEG, 450 for DMR and 500 for BASRs. I have taken issue with this as a player went through chrono and some how managed 400+ with 0.48g BB’s, said player also then chrono’s with a 0.2g and got sub 500 and the marshall OK’d them to play! The player to his credit refused to use the weapon and I did send an email questioning this but have not heard back.
Site & Playing Areas
The site is predominantly woodland although it has some areas of very dense brush and the main playing areas near the missiles at the top end of the field are extremely open giving very long site lines and an absolute paradise for snipers. The NPF woods are large but the playing field almost feels circular and the mission are very centrally oriented as in you start from either end to grab an objective near the middle and take it to somewhere else equally near the middle, this means that you can never be sure you are at the extreme flank but also means that if a team are very strong it is very easy to get pinned in which we have witnessed both on the pinning and pinned sides a few times.
NPF try to operate a non stop morning, from game on it’s non stop, rolling re-spawns until lunch (no medic rules). Usually you will have a main objective to attain and deliver as well as a focus on hold and control of 3 flags placed at each quarter of the area.
Finding a fire fight is extremely easy and you can very quickly disengage from one and end up in another on a totally different objective.
Lunch is a choice of beefburger, chickenburger, veggie burger (all available with cheese and salad accompaniment) served in a decent brioche style bun and the option of chips is there as well. A burger and chips will cost you about £4-5 and they are certainly at the higher end of quality of lunches I’ve had at airsoft sites. Lunch is generally around 45 minutes to an hour and they are quick to get you back out.
The afternoons are normally a change of ends and a tweak to the morning missions, again there is a core objective surrounded by flag ownership. Usually the last 30 mins of game play is channelled into a specific area of the map for some real heat.
Marshalling & General Attitude of Players
From our experiences I would say 90% positive. Most players are happy to call their hits and players are generally friendly and talkative even though there are some large groups that play, they tend to be very open and not “cliquey”. One small group even budged up on a wet day and called a couple of us over to share their shelter. Marshalling is generally very good, at least 2 marshals per team are on field at any one point.
NPF will always crop up in our conversations of deciding where to play. It has a good all around play and feel to it. The site evolves well throughout the year and we generally tend to have good days there even when we get beaten badly. It’s kind of like a comfy pair of slippers that you can always rely on however that also makes it a touch tiresome at times.
Guaranteed action within a 5 minute walk is always a welcome but the uncertainty of never quite having a “safe 6” is a concern when you play slow and sneaky.