Phoenix Airsoft is kind of like home in a way, it’s where I first entered the wonderful world of Airsoft and became the go to site twice a month for nearly a year before we started venturing out to new and varied sites. It’ll always have a special place in my heart but that doesn’t make it exempt from criticisms. This review does not reference a specific day.
Where: Phoenix Airsoft Mansfield NG20 9JX https://www.phoenix-airsoft.co.uk/
Date played: 2016 onwards
Arrival & Safe Zone
Arriving at Phoenix you drive down the track past a few play areas before finishing up very near to the safe zone if you can get on the hard standing, if not you just dump as close to the safe zone as you can. On very busy days there is a bigger car park hard standing area which is further away but usually you can get close enough in to not need to use it.
Safe zone is made of a horseshoe of container/open sided portakabins with the open side facing out towards the car park, there is lots of undercover space available mostly with tables available as well as a few picnic benches in the middle in open air. Toilets are to be used only if extreme desperation kicks in!
Sign in is done in the main office, a print, sign and pay mechanism here. There are pyro and BBs available for reasonable prices.
Safety Brief & Chrono
Safety brief is done at pace but always sticks to the same script, Jeff the owner goes out of his way to explain as much rules as he can and make light of situations that can occur that we’d rather didn’t. There are no weird or wonderful rules. Chrono attracts a long queue as usually there is only 1 available and being a woodland site virtually nobody carries 0.2s on them. All guns are chrono’d with a 0.2 which is not normally site supplied. AEG’s are 370, DMR are 450 and BASR are 500. Marshals are quite forgiving here if you are a touch over with an AEG or DMR but BASR’s make sure you’re not even into 500.1 territory or you’ll be having a bad day.
Site & Playing Areas
The site is an ex ammo storage site and is a very large and wild woodland which has been left to grow. There are several structures on site including a terminal building (2 story container building), a kill house (single story CQB container building) as well as other play areas including a sniper tower, downed plane with trenches, a G&T bunker sand area, a village, a scrapyard and what was deemed as 5 a side which is a large brick perimeter with a varying maze internally.
The games in the morning and usually geared to keep you out all morning. This includes either a 3 building attack/defence where the defenders when hit are out and roll back to the next building or an escort mission where the attackers objective is to go from point A to point B and where defenders are on a hit and walk back 20 paces before digging in again to defend. A great, fluid game play experience which if is accomplished the marshals are quick to think of a side mission to keep you out and moving.
Lunch is a fairly painless affair. Chips, burger either beef or chicken and a can of drink for £5. Tea and Coffee are available all day although attract 50p per drink. The food is averagely priced and is usually cooked to an edible standard which is more than what a lot of sites offer.
One of my criticisms here is the sheer amount of time you get for lunch with 1 hour often being the minimum before thinking about kitting back up.
In the afternoons the games are a little less furious and are drawn out over a longer distance, I don’t know if this is done intentionally but the missions tend to be a little slower and over longer distances of the site. A lot of the missions at Phoenix are rinse and repeat side switch so attackers will defend and vice versa. Occasionally a marshal will think of a twist to move the game play around but these are rare unless one team is getting really beaten.
Marshalling & General Attitude of Players
There is usually one marshal per team which can cause problems. The majority of players here are experienced and a lot are regulars with the whole feel being more like your mates private woods than an airsoft site at times.
Players take their hits surprising well here, there has only been one occasion where I was sure I was hitting a player who didn’t call it and I had a marshal on my shoulder watching who promptly went and pulled said player out.
Phoenix have a great site with a lot of space. The space is very overgrown in some patches which does detract a little and there is often a long walk to the firefight. Players are friendly all though you can identify the “cool crew” quite quickly who are noticeably the die hard week after week folk.
Phoenix is always a consideration although our current mindset and adventures find it coming low down the list, very similar to NPF it is a safety blanket rather than an exciting adventure out but if you haven’t been before it’s certainly worth a try.