First trip to Skirmish Mansfield playing airsoft and expectations were high. A couple of us had previously played paintball here about 10 years ago but this was going to be a totally different experience. Set on the edge of Sherwood Forest the site is naturally brilliant for a combat sport venue with easy access in and out and a potential regular haunt for us being how close it is to most of our guys.
A shout out to the TBL guys who were our opposition for the day, they consist of some memorable characters and provided a solid and fair opposition throughout (as well as plenty of pyro, squirrels and even a HPA minigun).
Where: Skirmish Mansfield NG22 9FG https://www.skirmishairsoft.co.uk/
Date played: 22/08/2020
Weather: Mild, Overcast, A couple of small showers
Type: Woodland with crafted cover
Arrival & Safe Zone
Even though I had a rough idea of where Skirmish was and despite the large signs on the side of the road, I missed the turn in. Let’s get that out of the way. The car park is big and there is loads of room and from there you can see into a couple of the game zones. Covid guidelines and policies had an effect, we waited in the car park and were called forwards, you wander down to the main sign on desk where we checked in and paid the balance up. £10 reserves your spot in advance and £20 on the day (non member) gets you in.
Safe zone is a large graveled area with plenty of room and loads of seating, ideally could do with some more tabletop space but I’m being very picky at that. A massive change to the norm, they have running water both hot and cold, electric, toilets you don’t feel dirty coming out of and even HPA fills.
Signing in was a painless affair, I’d already paid a deposit so all my details were in place, handed over a disclaimer I’d printed in advance and paid my game fee. They have fully stocked shop on site with all of the BB’s, Pyro, Gas, Chocolate, Drinks, Tea, Coffee and anything else us airsofters need to function. Pricing was fair and no complaints from one of the guys who needed to purchase as he’d forgotten his lunch.
Safety Brief & Chrono
Chrono is done in the shooting range to the side, there were a lot of weapons getting put through on the day and a really nice thing to see was chrono was done on your shooting weight and then checked against the 0.2 equivalent. Another plus point for that. 1 of our guys was asked not to use a DMR as the marshall thought it was over, when we double checked the figures it was actually 394 so made the marshall aware and he OK’d the rifle to be used, again a refreshing attitude rather than the “I am right no matter what” approach some sites take so thank you to the marshall for that. Site limits are 350/400/500 for AEG/DMR/BASR.
Safety brief was your standard approach however did seem to go on for a while and for saying we’d arrived on site for 8:30 we didn’t get out and onto the site until after 10:30.
Site & Playing Areas
The site is based in a pine forest so the ground is quite sparse but there is a really good canopy and all areas are netted in on all sides so there is quite little crosswind. We didn’t play all of the zones but we did play a well constructed village, 3 bridges, compound (bit meh as it was industrial containers in an infinity loop shape) and a fort with both down and upstairs. Game zones were smaller than we are used to playing but it was a nice change, the village had only 1 long sight line which was made advantage of when sniping but the buildings were spaced enough to not feel cramped but not too far so it felt impossible to go from one to another.
Games varied throughout the day, TDM was used a couple of times, the 3 bridges was a hold and control format and there was a 3 location push/fallback used towards the end of the day (real energy killer after a big lunch). There was no person to person medic used but attackers were infinite regen and defenders were mostly 2 life self revive. This was a bit of an odd one though as in the village you’d get flanked, hit and then had to count to 20 before coming back in however you can’t move so your attackers are then surrounding you and have rifles pointed at you. Probably room for manouvering that mechanic a little.
Marshalling was brilliant, very clear and concise rules given out and in game there was always a presence felt. Going back in to safe zone was very attentive checking each weapon individually to ensure it was clear. My only criticism is that after every game we went back to the safe zone for 15 mins. This felt like there was a lot of time in the safe zone and not much on site playing. This was even for a TDM game where we swapped ends. Honestly just shouting that players need to “take some extra ammo” should suffice for keeping people out more than in. Overall though, great marshalling, attentive, helpful and happy to engage with their customers.
We only played 50% of the game areas which was a shame as we played maybe 4 games in one zone in the morning so should have had ample time to move around. Hopefully on returning visits we’ll see more of this great venue.
Skirmish have a couple of prominent sites nearby and have recently opened a CQB up very near to me so that will be getting played (and reviewed) very soon as well. The site has high standards and is an example for others to try to be.
We had a great day but there does need to be some tweaks to some game mechanics and the amount of time you spend in the field rather than in the safe zone. Needless to say, we all enjoyed it and will be returning (very soon actually).