‘Modern MilSim Man’ an Interview with C07 from Team Cobalt
As the phrase MilSim is coined more frequently, and is virtually, synonymously uttered with the phrase Airsoft – I wondered if it in fact it had become overly popularized.
That in fact may be no bad thing, as in general skirmishes and ‘walk on’ game days are becoming more immersive and structured with the use of more realistic sites and disused complexes and that the game is growing, with maturity too …
That said, I thought it would be prudent to take time out and get the perspective of C07 from Team Cobalt, proponents and active members of the UK’s MilSim community and get a glimpse from the inside …
GM75: How long of you been playing, do you have a preference for MilSim, Skirmishing or are you happy at either – I’ve pretty much got the whole team thing but tell us a little bit about your role in the team and how it all came to be ?
C07: Ok, so I’ve been playing since early 2008ish. I started out as most airsofters do, as a walk-on with a rental. If I remember rightly, the first AEG I ever used was either a Classic Army or G&G Classic AK. I’ll dig up a photo from my first time, if I still have it.
When it comes to Airsoft I do prefer MilSim, but I am happy with just a walk-on. It’s good just to cure that itch between ops.
Well, my role within Cobalt is mainly as the teams Radio Telephone Operator (RTO). This came about as I’ve done a fair amount of radio work within the Arma MilSim community, so it was almost second nature to a point. So I volunteered with my background knowledge. Apart from that I’m just the a regular team member and we switch up the main roles such as medic TL’s and 2IC’s. Although saying that Joyce is the main team leader. We have the flexibility within the team to swap from a Direct Action Force (DA) to a reconnaissance (recce) or split if needed.
what does it mean to you, your perception of what it is to participate ?
C07: Well MilSim is exactly as it sounds, a military simulation within a non lethal or controlled environment. Although people’s perspective may vary, but to me this means operating as part of a task force, with set goals in an environment designed to make it seem like real combat, the use of different assets such as vehicles and large ordnance just help to bring the situation a level of immersion that is hard to achieve at a walk-on. But also the people that attend also make the immersion, although some take this more serious than others, but none the less we all try to make the best of the situation.
GM75: Immersion, good point and I’m glad you mentioned it – it segues into my next question regarding ‘suspension of disbelief’. Whilst not all MilSim events are solely ‘yomping’ for miles, orienteering and hours of tedium whilst pulling observation and reconnaissance – but for you, and the team does it add to the ‘immersion’ of the DA sequences ?
C07: Good question, I’ve spoken to a lot of airsofters who for some odd reason have something against MilSim and I’ve never understood it. I guess it’s the amount of gear, time and money people already in the community have spent. Also people seem to have this perception of MilSim of either standing around on STAG or as you’ve said ‘yomping’ for miles on end and never actually being in a fire fight and having the chance to discharge your weapon in anger. But that’s far from the truth, although yes in some ops this can be the case and it is a case of luck of the draw when it comes to STAG (Standing At Guard) or well, more timing. Normally when on STAG it always seem like there is more action going on when you are sat on your arse.
There are differently ups and down in MilSim, where as walk-on games tend to be all action, MilSim’s are again more about the immersion.
The team mainly run as DA (Direct Action) so we are normally the first in and last out. So DA is the role everyone wants (normally), but for us it’s the norm and we love it. The chance to breach a building using door charges and impact grenades does get the old adrenaline pumping and that gives some great footage of which a lot is shown within the team videos. Although saying this, you can also do the same at a CQB skirmish site, the only difference being is the environment.
GM75: As you also mentioned earlier, the realism and belief can be all too apparently void at regular skirmishes, there is a strong and growing middle ground emerging ‘BattleSim’ – thoughts on these, are they a good entry point for the novice MilSim player or Skirmisher wanting something more ?
C07: I have to say this is the first I’ve heard of BattleSim, but from what I can make of it is that it is a more advanced skirmish day. Now depending on the level of simulation it could possibly well be that some of these events could be more less in-depth but offer an insight into MilSim, also never having played a BattleSim myself it’s a hard call to know the in and outs.
You don’t need a entry point to play MilSim, just be keen and not get deflated your first time out if it doesn’t go as planned. At the end of the day we are all at the OP to have fun but to simulate the pressures and combat environment of the modern day solider. So as long as you are like minded and treat MilSim the same way as the rest of the so called “big dogs” then there isn’t an entry point just the will to advance from one type of game play to the other.
GM75: So I’m aware you train as team, what specifically do you focus for MilSim, any best practices. Additionally what preparations do you make for MilSim, understandably the Op and AO will undoubtedly influence this ?
C07: Well there’s no set rule or guide lines for each OP, so when we train we try to cover as many of the aspects of combat as we can, making what we have just trained in and done right before moving on to the next.
We do the general cover and move, as well as breach and clear. I must admit we don’t train as much as we should. A lot of what we do is almost second nature so it comes instinctively (almost). The one thing that helps the most is moving as a train no matter what environment we are it, be it a skirmish or a MilSim we always move together, also as a team we have now got a fair amount of play time accrued with each other so we can read each other’s moves and see what’s next and what’s to be done.
Apart from that it’s all general communication. That being the biggest thing between team mates.
Before any OP I like to square away my gear early, double – maybe even triple checking I have everything I personally will need and then what the team might need. So you can imagine the bag can get quiet full.
But I generally play about with my weapon systems at home, so just practicing a pistol draw or presenting my rifle and shouldering it. Just so everything feels comfortable right from the off. Double check batteries are charged and we have plenty of spares, and food, try to take food thats not heavy on you but also not going to just give you a burst of energy.
The Op and AO do affect the way in which we play, more so now then ever, such as The Sandpit we use to run DA all the time, but it just go too heavy and we weren’t effective as a force as we were just slow and tired. So we now like to switch it up and have the flexibility of both kits ready to run depending on the task given. But again you can’t always cover all the bases its just far too much kit to bring for a weekend. If we where in a the field for a week it be a different story.
GM75: You’ve made some firm friends at MilSim events, collectively I’ve seen some amazing footage of your team, with Diablo, Gray Fox amongst others – is this perhaps indicative of a growing community – especially with more and more ‘young bloods’ upping their game and drifting to more ‘themed’ events ?
C07: Yes, if we are at event with teams we know and play with regularly then we will always coordinate with them on tasks during the op. But yes we have made some great friends at even, sadly though, Gray Fox are no longer an active group. However this isn’t anything to do with the community as a whole, as the saying goes, it’s the minority that spoil it for the majority. But I digress. The last thing we want is an up and coming player to think of us as elitest, as this is not the case, many times we’ve had people contact us, saying there are attending the same event, but yet said person never comes up and says ‘hi’.
We are a welcoming bunch and have some great banter (maybe too much at times) but we will always listen to others and help guys out, however we don’t suffer fools gladly. The community is growing, be that for good or bad, it’s an inevitable thing. But people shouldn’t ever be put off due to one or two bad experiences, but it’s always good to meet and greet new people and it’s great for the community as a whole. But saying that we always get the one or two trolls which we can deal with given the info and time. My advice to the young bloods would be to go into MilSim with a positive mind set and always be active and talking to people, never be scared.
C07: I do think the term MilSim is thrown about a lot, and needlessly, it’s a pretty simple term and it’s can get confused with BattleSim I would guess. However it’s not so much the use of the term, moreover it’s the popular misconception of its meaning. But I do believe the mix of both its use and misconception leads people to be left with a somewhat diluted state of the MilSim events that are held in the UK and indeed other countries.
GM75: Now, I’m sure everyone’s dying to hear about this – any particular moments, or a MilSim in particular that standouts or any tales of ‘derring do’ you care to share ?
C07: Well where to begin, there a number of spots I myself or the team have been in which always give a good story and surprise they aren’t all at Milsim events.
One of my favorite set ups (Ambush) was at Ambush Adventures The Depot site, myself and Sam (C09) where at a two door entry to a building with a large number of Op For wanting in. This is all on video as well, so holding the entries I move to the second door the Op For clearly haven’t noticed this door or have chosen to ignore it. After Sam calls it I kick open the door blocking the Opfor from gaining entry and slotting the guys stuck between the two doors. It was a fantastic moment, just the feeling of kicking open a door and slotting some guys is hard to outdo.
That would be one of my favorites from a walk-on, Milsim wise, there to many, but chasing down a HVT after a boat ingress with the whole team and Diablo was an amazing experience, again all on footage. I have a few stories but honestly, most of then are all on footage.
I guess the main thing with the stories is at MilSim it’s more to do with the fact we can pretty much come up with an idea on the spot and execute it, such as climbing a walk at night, or using assault ladders to gain entry to the strong hold. It’s all relevant to the event.
GM75: Last question (kind’ve a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ?
C07: Your welcome the questions have been awesome, something I could really get my teeth into.
As for 30 Rnd mags, I’m honestly can say I’m not a fan, I think 30 Rnd’s is too little in Airsoft, you need a minimum or 90 and a maximum of 120 to be realistic, this is due to the difference in accuracy between an Airsoft AEG or GBBR compared to that of real live firing modern day fire arms. The effect wind has on your round is tenfold that of a bullet so the extra rounds help to give a sense of realism in yes you have to reload, but we have a higher chance of hitting the target with more rounds, 30 you’d need to be changing mag each time you have a new target. I personally use between 90-120 purely as the PTW which I run has 120round mags. Which seems perfect. I can admin load and no I have enough rounds to put down range when the time comes or before entering a building. Plus you have a excuse other then having a LR/DMR to carring a side arm, from breaching shotguns, M302 and the trusty Glock or any other pistol. So I think 30 round mags wouldn’t be the best, but each to there own. I do believe in enforcing a maximum carry capacity of mag and ammunition, as no real solider will walk around carrying upwards of 10mags with out a pack. Honestly if you need that many rounds, I would suggesting going to a range and learning to aim better. (Although saying that we do have a member of whom carries 10 Mags, but as I said each to their own). Hi-Cap Heroes are the purest of Airsoft evil, along with cheaters of course.
So there you have it. A highly personable account of the inner workings of a prolific MilSim team from the the inside by one of its very own members. Big thanks to C07, keep an eye out on the field for them and take the opportunity to stop and say hello as these are a great bunch of guys with a huge passion for what they do.
Phot’s courtesy of Guy Butler Photography – https://www.facebook.com/GuyButlerPhotography
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