Simply put Milsim is Military simulation. There are various levels of Milsim ranging from more basic skirmish style events that have a loose story to build the game around to the “hardcore” Milsim that are virtually like being on a military exercise.
Many events run for 24 hours or over allowing the game to flow and build up over the time. Even the short events that can be as little as 6 hours all have a continuous gameplay as opposed to lots of 15–45-minute games that you play on a skirmish day. The game follows a plotline or story that has been cooked up to build up the scenario for each team. The rules of the game vary but most of the time include medical rules which are often subtly unique to each organisation hosting the event.
The more hardcore Milsim games are very bias to military inversion and often focus more on patrolling and security as opposed to engaging with the enemy. Some teams may spend the 24 hours or more evading or not actually seeing the enemy at all. Most of the time and I believe every hosting company intends on the teams engaging one another, that said, isn’t there a well known comment where all plans no matter how well thought up go out the window upon first contact.
It is important in my opinion that everyone gets a good dose of engagements throughout the specified game time. I agree with the immersion but at the end of the day the players are not soldiers but paying customers and deserve to use their guns be it airsoft gelball or whatever the sport the milsim has been organised for. Call it a reward for living in the field, patrolling etc.
Whilst here in Australia I have had the pleasure of attending a few milsim games. Unfortunately, I heard of many players complaining about the events having had worse experiences than myself. Now I am a firm believer in it is what you make it to be. Going on that belief I attend under the principal that I paid for a ticket to enter this imaginary conflict. I respect the plot line but that being said I will always ensure I will get as much trigger time as I can get and try to do my part in securing my sides victory.
In the United Kingdom I attended a few milsim and other large airsoft events over the years. I experienced the same issues some people have had in Australia, but then I changed to my current mentality and found I enjoyed the games a whole lot more because if I wasn’t sent to confront the enemy I would make sure I find and engage them.
Many games used props and many of the games were played in military training areas, this allowed the games to use real patrol bases, compounds, buildings and in some cases complete towns all designed for the military to fight through. Some key elements I really enjoyed in various games were the objectives or missions. They were well thought out and if successful there was great reward for our side, be it points or penalising the enemy somehow.
One example was a late night parachute mission to sneak into the enemy part of the military training village. Eight of us went into a large van, each given a backpack with a rope and carabiner sticking out of the top of the backpack. This was clipped onto a wire that ran along the inside roof of the van. We were all stood in 2 lines with a marshal by the sliding door. The van was driven slowly away from our HQ. After about 5 minutes drive the van slowed to a slow walking pace. The red light in the back of the van changed to green and the marshal opened the side sliding door. One by one we were aided to the edge and then jumped out to do a roll on our side. Our rope in the backpack was pulled out as we jumped. It wasn’t attached to our bag but at the end if it was a fluoro orange tag to signal to the marshal in the van the player jumping has cleared safely.
When I got to the edge of the van I looked out. The whole area was covered in smoke and red lights. I couldn’t see the road just smoke. The roll on the ground obviously took out any impact but also disorientated me a little. When I stood up I looked around to see the van lights disappear in the smoke and the next couple of jumpers having landed just up the road. I found my section already in the tree line. Once we were all together we patrolled into the town in search of the fuel dump supplying their forces technicals (utes). After evading a security patrol we continued through the town moving from shadow to shadow until we found their fuel dump.
A marshal was there awaiting our arrival. I was nominated to attach the arming device and blow the fuel dump. In my backpack I had the arming box and when I got to the marshal he handed me 2 wires. I connected them and turned the firing switch. The marshals had pre-laid explosives and made sure it was always clear of animals and people. The explosion was large. I could feel the heat through the damp cold air of a Welsh Spring. Once the explosion went off we had to extract and do it fast…….. The enemy were hot on our heels and our extraction vehicle had beenfound and destroyed. Our only way back was on foot. It was only three quarters of a mile to get back to our HQ but being hunted made it feel so much further. We retreated all the way back covering our tracks with a bounding rear guard. Due to our successful destruction of their fuel dump, the enemy lost the use of their vehicles for 4 hours. This gave us an edge over them and a tactical reward.
This sort of thing is what appeals to me about Milsim games. It is harder than a day skirmish and you will need a lot more kit to accommodate yourself and feed yourself over the duration which is all part of the adventure and experience.
The kit you will need is subtlety different than a day skirmish and vastly different from speedball or speed QB. Your loadout will undoubtedly end up heavier mainly due to having to carry water, food and extra ammunition. It is beneficial to have a base level of fitness to enable you to endure hauling this gear often over fairly large distances and possibly fighting with it all too. That being said, it’s more a mental state to allow you to push yourself to go the distance.
Alongside this being very individual so far, the most important aspect and indeed the difference of a milsim is TEAMWORK. Each side must work together and more often than not have a chain of command to have any chance of success in the game. It’s a must to respect the orders from your command. There isn’t much time or room in this type of game for being a lone wolf seeking a kill streak or some one on their own agenda. As I mentioned before it is possible to ensure you do get trigger time without ignoring the team goal or objectives.
It can be daunting stepping up to MILSIM from day skirmishing. The best thing to do is to either form a team from your group of friends or join a team that already does go to MILSIM events. Most of all if there is any curiosity, just try it. After all, it is not the real military it’s a beautiful scenario you can immerse yourself in and meet fellow players both local and often afar to battle with or challenge yourself against, and remember it is what you make it to be.
Here is a list from Femme Fatale Airsoft for recommended kit to take on a MILSIM. This is all absolutely relevant for both Airsoft and gelball.
I see a lot of questions on Airsoft Community forums for a 'MilSim checklist' so I decided to put together list of kit that I would recommend for a 24+ hour Op, obviously this isn't an exhaustive list but it does give those of you who aren't familiar with MilSim play an idea of what kit to bring!
Camo for your respective side
Thermal layers if in cold climate
Outer layer such as softshell (even better if it's waterproof too!)
Spare dry clothes
Underwear (sports bra for the ladies!)
Waterproof boots that support the ankle
Hat (beanie or cap, beanies are particularly nice at night!)
Tooth brush and toothpaste
Foot powder (Mycota powder is antibacterial!)
Miscellar water and cotton wool (to keep your fresh clean and fresh)
Wet wipes or For ladies Femfresh feminine hygiene wipes
Roll mat (a cot bed is much more comfy however!)
4 season sleeping bag (5 season is better!) for Aussie winter, 3 season for warmer climate
Camping stove and gas
Saucepan / kettle
Ration packs or boil in the bag meals
Snacks for between the main meals
Plate carrier/Chest rig/webbing/beltorder
Face protection (optional of course)
Ear defenders (optional)
Power source - batteries/gas
Ammo – BBs/gels
Red dot sight/scope
BFG/disposable pyro if site permits.
Comms (I recommend Baofeng and PTT)
Torch plus spare battery
Notepad and pen
Night vision optics
Gear bag/plano case
Black bin bag
Headtorch ideally with a red light.
You may have seen we have added a page to the website, TSI are organising our very own event to bridge the gap between skirmish and milsim, a day where we will be running missions and objectives all day but also making sure that you are entertained by having plenty of firefights with you opposition. The outright absolute goal is to ensure all players have the best time possible and hopefully spark a heap of interest from newer players that may then entice them along to some larger milsim games run by other companies that are already running huge and outstanding events through Queensland. Check out the Event section of the website for more info.