Sorry for the delay on this, was waiting for some more pictures to be available. Thanks to Hoopy on the Gunman Forums and Ray for most of the new ones
This report is on Operation Greenback, a weekender event taking place from the 17th until the 19th of August 2012 at the Eversely Site for Gunman.
Origin: Forestry Commission Site
Operator at time of writing: Guman Airsoft
Style: Dense Woodland with areas of interest such as watchtowers and villages in place
Postcode: RG27 0PY
Due to it being a Forestry Commission site, there is not a huge amount of safe zone facilities in order to minimise the amount of impact on the site. Kit storage area would normally be cars for a single day of play but thanks to it being a weekender, there was plenty of space to camp and dump equipment. No water or food on site so you have to bring all of that yourself which can be a bit of a pain. However, some water was provided at the bases in game due to the weather (hitting 30 degrees C on both days with stupidly high humidity).
Plenty of parking spaces although the road in may give some cars pause for thought. The camping area is huge and there was a great deal of community spirit amongst the players with nearly everyone sitting around the big campfire on the Saturday night
General Game Rules
Guman’s complete set of rules are available here so I won’t go through them in their entirety. This weekend event was using a set of rules known as FilmSim, designed for making airsoft games play like an action movie with high speed play and dramatic deaths. I think they worked really well, especially when combined with the scenario focus of the weekend. The medic system was simple and easy to remember mid game and really made wearing your helmet worthwhile, despite the blistering heat.
I was a little puzzled at their choice to allow ricochet and weapon hits to count as 90% of the sites I have been to don’t count these in order to prevent constant death. However, due to the slower pace of the games it made sense as well as fitting in with the old style movie feel.
Another worry was the large number of non-airsofters roaming around. Access to the site is open to all so some care had to be taken around the outskirts of the site in regards to walkers and horse riders.
Site Layout and Environment
The entire area of the site is thick woodland with a large number of bush system constructing rat runs in some areas. This makes it quite easy to sneak around in some areas while others are quite open allowing longer ranged combat. As you can see on the map above, there are also quite a lot of obstacles and buildings put up, making it more than just a fight through the woodland. These become the focus points of most of the fighting making them good places to hold or keep an eye on. My personal favourite has to be the Tower, thanks to its ease of access all around, making it easy to escape from when you need to fall back.
Overall it is a really fun site – it feels like a huge area, but it is easily crossable in 10 minutes or so removing the need to trek for half an hour between objectives.
The Scenario – Operation Greenback
I was playing 82nd Airborne all weekend so unfortunately I can only write it from the Allied perspective with one or two Axis asides thanks to camping with a group of German players
Operation Greenback is a secret mission set in 1943 just after the Allied attack on Salerno. British Commandoes have been in the area for weeks trying to make contact with an Italian Officer wishing to defect (codenamed Greenback) as well as observing the Germans who are in the area in a big way. This all came to a head when element of the 82nd Airborne were inserted to assist the Brits and get Greenback out to his new life in America thanks to Uncle Sam.
The scenario unfortunately started poorly for the Yanks with them landing off target and loosing half their number as well as their command staff (This was actually due to real life problems and later written into the story). Due to this, the combined Able and Baker squad had to trek from A19 on the map all the way north in order to meet up with the Commandoes, ideally without being spotted by the Germans. Luckily, we managed to do this by the old tactic of diving for cover as soon as anything spouting comedy German came anywhere close to us.
Once meeting up with the Brits we checked in with Colonel Harvey, British Commandoes, and were sent out on recon missions throughout the map trying to find Greenback and also spot large concentrations of Germans. Throughout the morning the standing orders for both sides was to hold fire – in fact, the Germans had been advised to not engage Allied units in the open as long as they seemed to be trying to hide. This lead to some tense moments such as when a German runner stopped mid way back to the CP, turned around and spotted a squad of US Soldiers hiding in the undergrowth. Being part of that squad, we were moments from popping out and dropping the guy.
However, the king of tense moments came around the middle of the day, when we were ordered to investigate movement around the Tower on our way to meet up with Greenback. Literally metres from it, our squad went to ground prepare to engage a token force around it. As we checked ammo and cleared sights, a squad of Fallschirmjäger turned up on patrol. Now, it was pretty obvious they had spotted us thanks to their multiple comments about the large rabbits nearby and so we started to prepare ourselves for the final fight. The Germans even started to pretend to pee into the bushes near to us.
By now the number of Germans had started to escalate rapidly and we knew it was only a matter of time before we got lit up. However, the Germans stayed on point and completely ignored us giving us an awesome memory of the weekend. At the tower we discovered a metal box which we dutifully reported in. This tied into the main objective of the weekend.
Turns out that Greenback was in fact a British Secret Service agent and was reporting in the existence of a secret weapons program through out the area. The metal box we discovered was but one of three scientific sites that needed investigation by a highly trained technician that had been dropped in (a marshal in character) So we now had our objectives for the afternoon and as part of this was given the all clear to engage.
Objective 1 saw us back at the Tower with the Americans forming up on close protection while the Brits made use of their overabundance of collected camouflage to hide out around the tower in the various bushes and gulleys. For 27 of the 30 minutes need to fully test the site, we didn’t see hide or hair of the Germans. However, as we started to pack up, grey shapes were drifting down both side of the valley and before we knew it the Germans were upon us forcing us to split and make a break for it through any gaps we could find. The Americans fell back as two small groups taking it in turns to pause, fire off a few shots into the undergrowth before carrying on. There was a harrowing moment when we reached the road, only for a member of the other group to simply tell us we had lost the Sarge to enemy action. We marched back to CP in silence and prepared for our next op
Objective 2 started off well, with a quick and speedy assault onto Badlands CP1 meaning we knocked the Germans back. Unfortunately, CP1 was just down the road from the German HQ leading to it coming under constant attack as the Germans simply got cut down, respawned and got back in the fight. We didn’t manage to hold it for the 30 minutes but the scientist bought it but not before he gave one of the survivors the captured intel. Unfortunately, I didn’t survive this fight, bleeding out and receiving a red death card marking me for some special event on the second day.
Objective 3 was a mortar pit at Badlands CP3 allowing the Allies to fill the area with reinforcements. We manage to hold it for the full length of time but was finding it hard to extract the scientist due to enemy fire. It was at this point that I traded my helmet for the scientist’s labcoat in an attempt to make an escape. I got out of the bunker and ran off to the north west before running into a German squad comprised of my fellow Teessiders. I was shot, knifed, tee-bagged and executed before going back to regen and hearing the end ex for the first day.
Apparently our British commandoes had recovered a German diary that alluded to the presence of a scientific mission in the area for longer than the Germans. It also pointed to them working with a Professor M. However, as night fell both sides put out their sentries and went back into social mode.
A little aside but apparently the discovery of the diary also included the discovery of a mass grave of scientists by the Germans. When this was reported back to their HQ, the German Commander drew his pistol and commanded that he be given the diary. According to the Germans, this led to a stand off between the Commander and his troops and the FJ leader and his troops.
As Day 2 dawned, both sides reported that a large number of their wounded had vanished in the night and disappeared into the centre of the site. These were all the players who had received the Red death cards the previous day. This represented them being mortally wounded by managing to drag themselves back to their HQ and get back in the fight. On the second day, these had all been affected by the alien spacecraft buried under the hillside. After having been saved from death, it used its pawns to protect its attempts to get back into space thanks to the involvement of Greenback who is in fact Moriarty who was helping the alien return to space in return for immortality. As one of those who had been critically injured, I was now working for Moriarty – seeing him as the Allied CO.
I really loved the plot at this point – being off the wall without falling into the Nazi Zombies trope. Also shouting out “MORIARTY!” when we were shooting was also fun.
As the mind slaves, we set about recovering all the parts of a machine (the sites we investigated previously) and then dug in and prepared for a two prong assault from both the Germans and the Allies. This turned up as some serious close quarters fire fights, started off by another Teessider deciding to open up on an Allied group attempting to parley with the Germans meaning the first part of day 2 was more action packed than the while of day 1. I took advantage of this by managing to get revenge on the guy who tee-bagged me on the first day before I was rescued by my Allied comardes. In fact, the Allies managed to clear out Moriarty’s base, forcing him to vanish off into the undergrowth to skulk around and make sure his device went off.
Due to this third threat, the Allies and Germans finally managed to form a truce. However, their lack of radio communications meant pockets of the Germans were still fighting. One of these was the rest of the Teesside group and there was a touching moment where we managed to inform them of the truce and reconnect with them. In jokes were shared, stories told and we finished the day off as friends having stopped Moriarty’s plan.
At the end of the day, volunteers were asked to join Major Harvey’s special division of cutthroats and desperados to guard the device as well as take part in other secret missions. All those who failed to volunteer were gunned down. The rest? Well, they might appear next time… On Secret Missions of World War 2!
Overall I loved the weekend – perfect plot which the players took seriously but not too much. Everyone got involved with the role play side of it spouting out things in comedy accents. The Germans win in this regard with some of the finest ‘Allo-‘Allo style lines and catch phrases as well as the contestant japes (“Hey Hans, want to hear a joke? The 82nd Airborne!”). Players were fair and mostly followed the rules and there was no cheat calls all weekend. I’m really looking forward to the next game and whole heartedly recommend filmsim to the more experienced player. Expect some more write-ups soon of these events as I’ll be setting money aside to go to many more.