250m of steep incline on loose rock, dusty dirt, tree roots and bush oh and did I mention steep Incline?
Oh and I forgot to mention - about 50 acres of absolutely bloody awesomeness. Some of the best skirmish ground I’ve ever played on.
Here is a few words dotted on a page about the highlights of my weekend. The story is in no specific time frame order. My pictures are not specific to the story as i was too busy playing my role that taking pics.
Day 1 saw us climb to the peak just twice, purely for rest and a breather as the top was our in game harbour area. On Saturday our second ascent to rest was at the time kind of annoying but Sundays climb was a different story.
Sundays climb started with OPFOR rolling through the BLUFOR base. Team work made the dream work here. As a squad we step by step, knee crawl by knee crawl. Knocking off BLUFOR players one at a time. The last of the opposition that were dug in deep in the rear bunker were eventually told to move oout by game control as their lack of effort to fightback and their intent to just hide in wait didn’t fair well with the game boss. Once they were "mortered" out of their hole we pushed through and cleared their whole main base, checking for IEDs and booby traps.
Nothing to be found bar a grenade ammo stash. Which we promptly blew up using the absolutely devastating party popper technique. Needless to say absolutely no gels were harmed, but they were spread over the dirty forest floor, rendering them useless to anyone.
From there we were ordered to continue to hunt them down as they ran. Intel told us (Jason the game boss again) that they had retreated back and were going to take control of our base at the top of K5 as all of our men were off hunting and the base was their only remaining hidey hole left.
This is where K5 changed from chore to challenge. Oh how cool It was.
Roughly 8 of my section comprised completely of Secret Squirrels Squad members pushed forward through the lower village, down through the gulley and up toward K5.
We formed a line out formation which was a good 50m wide. Slowly moving up hill through the thin dead wood scrub and loose rocks under foot, as we neared the crest our line formation of around 50m wide saw the guys on our far right make contact with enemy just 15m short of the main firetrail. The thinning dry low scrub changed offering more cover with larger bushes dotted around the place.
While the guys to my right had contact, my self, C4, AJ and Sven quietly and concisely flanked left slightly to take control of the near side of the hills crest, here we found a cluster of guys sitting in wait behind a thick bush.
C4 got Hit and had to sit and hope that Keith our medic would get to him within his 10 minute bleed out time... In which he did and he was revived.
Instead of taking them on and risking taking casualties we opted to flank further and try to come in behind them.
Whilst C4 was stuck still, AJ, Sven and I continued left encountering 3 guys behind some dense bush just 25 m away.
All three of us finding cover but keeping eyes on the prize. We all managed to get solid shots on straight through clearings in the bushes, with our gats running 35-40m with ease we were well within range and absolutely showering them in gels. One took a solid hit with an immediate dead rag on his head, one legged it away before getting hit and unfortunately the last one had evidently found him self some imaginary body armour or game cheat codes to enable God mode as he seemed to take more hits than Mike Tyson with out falling. Alas he eventually retreated instead of playing fair, turning and running, within 20m he faced straight into Milzy, who had continued low around the crest and just happened to be right where Mr God mode ran too. Milzy reported too have depleted a good 40 round dumping on Mr God modes torso before he took the hit. Oh well cheats don't prosper and he died along with his mates.. Without a medic in sight. They were raided for gels and left to bleed out, so we pushed on.
I then joined up with my boi Iggy and we continued to flank right around the top, off the back and around the other side as we could hear plenty of dack dack from right at Our harbour area. Unfortunately by the time we got there we were a little late to the party as Preacher and our friendly GREENFOR guys had already wiped the enemy forces out.
This 90 minutes worth of BLUFOR hunting was the absolute highlight of the weekend. As above it changed K5 from a negative to an overwhelming positive.
Jumping back in time about 12-14 hours. The Squirrels attacked up the very same hill toward the bunkers outlying the BLUFOR base twice in about 2 hours. Once Just before dusk and once after dark.
The first attack didn't bode well. Just myself, Iggy, C4 and Preacher took on the bunkers from the low Lying ground, needless to say we didn't make it. We all got pined down by enemy fire, all taking a single hit which meant we were still alive but bleeding out. I was. My captor took two mags to drain my gels but hilariously couldn’t work out how to open the Tavor mags, so they asked me for my bottle of spare gels. Sure, no worries I said, was within game rules. But he'd have to come get the bottle from the front of my plate carrier pouch... Which happened to be right next to my Rubber Cold Steel Tanto training knife. Oops. Big mistake. That's a knife kill!! As he leaned in for the bottle my hands dropped and the knife draw and straight into his heart.... Ish. Aarrgh he shouted, "Was that a knife kill" he asked. I said “Sure is Buddy”. "Phark" he shouted out to his mates, "he knifed me"!!! Snap, some one else shot me dead dead!!!! YES!!!!!! I got me a Milsim Knife kill!!!! Super stoked, did anyone else get one? Speaking of knife kills, right after this, my mate Preacher was on his last legs, single hit, gels taken and about to bleed out. Just for fun he challenged his enemy combatant to a knife fight.
A fight to the death, so I cut the tether on my rubber cold steel and handed it to the enemy to allow him to take up the challenge. Here they are in the dusk of night fall below K5, knives up and ready to dance. With BLUFOR prancing a little bar fight style dance, Preacher held fast, barely moving, as his opponent attacked Preacher struck one single slash across the enemies chest, slicing from armpit to belly button. That’s a solid kill!! The opponent taking the hit with a red dead flag across hi neck for the fun of it!!!..
Great fun guys thanks so much for all the heroics and fun. It really makes the day better!!
Now we had to hike back up to K5 to have a respite break and meet up with our team.
Two hours and a hike to the top of K5 later we were back down on the same hill below the BLUFOR bunkers again, now dark, we were moving in Stealth mode.
With 4 to 5 guys working lights and gats up the main trail, keeping the attention of our enemy pinned on them and to blind the enemy that were possibly using night vision. 4 to 5 us were creepy crawling up through the long grass to the right of the trail, around 25 minutes of to and fro, we were making ground and got to within just metres of the building window that housed the HPA powered machine gun that was keeping our other guys at bay.
At this point we were starting to wonder how the hell their allocated rations of a zip lock bag of gels can possibly last soo long. Definitely a point of contention. But... As we continued to apply the pressure and get ever closer a referee whistle blew.
The cease fire was called by game control. We were ordered to stand down and pull back, all the way back. Literilly out of the game to the camp and have a mandatory rest break... Kind of odd considering at this point we had an extremely high chance of capturing their base, and in theory win the game. But maybe that is why we had to stand down... We still had many hours of game play left.. So perhaps that is exactly why we had to stop so that the game wouldn’t end yet.
Regardless, the attack we coordinated and orchestrated was great. Earlier in the attack I did suffer one hit, medicated by Keith and I fought on.
My mistake at this point was a strategic failure by me. Doc Keith had used a bandage to save me. My role now should have been to pullback and get fully rebirthed allowing doc to keep hands on the precious bandage. But in my error, the red mist came over me and I bolted back to the fight...Taking docs precious bandage with me. Lessen learnt here was.. Listen to direction and not rush.
Bar the battles above the rest of my weekend was mostly recon, hunting and moving between areas of the map. Nearly 35000 steps logged and many many litres of water both consumed and perspired lead us into the final fire fight.
After our section fought our way up and over k5 as described at the start of this story we were told to head to the other side of the creek bed and wait for further instruction. Once we got to the destination we were told to setup a small ambush for the enemy who were following us.
From here we were told to bait and draw the enemy through small fire fights, pull back and draw them again all the way to a point where the rest of our OPFOR side would meet us for the be all and end all of final battles.
So. Our first contact went to plan. A short squirt then bail. Second contact, a slightly longer firefight, then bail. But it didn't go to Plan. In short our 9 man fire team got ROLLED hard by the enemy. We got hit from nearly 3 sides not from the 1 expected direction, with enemy coming from my left, front and right, which was about 15m into out of bounds territory. Not fair at all! We should not have been having to watch there. So whilst our attention was broken due to calling out the cheaters we got overrun and hit from the front.
That was 6 of us dead. Iggy managed to pull back and leg it out of there but not with out picking off a few enemy as they passed by my position.
After the enemy had passed game controls sent us packing, told us to head to the lower village where we could be revived and wait for instruction.
Which was where we met up with up the rest of our guys just in time for the enemy to push on us once again.
We held strong in the small village buildings, shooting from windows and towers at guys commando crawling through the long grass. My 4.5-18 power scope did come in very handy while Iggy and I locked on to one particular crawler. We could see grass moving, then a head pop up. Then more movement reoccurring over and over. I did put plenty of gels his way. But I had no idea that I did actually put one right onto his forehead. The fella came and found me after the game to tell Me about the hit. Which was a good fun moment to enjoy between us both.
Whilst defending the village the whistle blew. The game was over. Time wasn't up it was still early but temperatures were soaring. At just 9.30am and it was already 39 degrees. Realistically guys were not gonna last much longer if the game carried on. Even tho many of us wanted to continue I think it was a mighty fine call to make and end it there and then. Jason the game control boss knows a thing or two about running skirmish, we are not trained or in our prime like military guys, so it wouldn’t have been healthy for us to continue.
Sure we only had a grand total of 11. 5 hours of game play. Not even half the 24 hours as advertised, but the heat was the limiting factor and sensibility had to provail.
Being my first Milsim bar OZ1 2019 in NZ, I learnt a lot, I had a wonderful time and made some great new friends. My first run with the Secret Squirels Squad and it definitely wont be my last.
In fact we are already planning our next get together. Whilst I do think Milsim games might be best played in the winter months where it’s a little cooler I am very excited to gear up and go again.
I found my load out worked absolutely fine, there is some areas I can improve… I just haven’t worked out how yet and Im looking forward to trying a different “weapon” platform for the next one. I will run my DMR build next time, why? Well why not!! Ive got it, why not use it. The Tavor was superb, its proven its self massively for a completely stock unit with just a spring change and a Muzzletek Hop up.
One thing I can say is the amount of shots taken over the weekend was barely as many gels fired at a single 30 minute game at a CQB or smaller map venue. Which certainly means the stress on the blaster is far reduced. The game play being gels limited “theoretically” stopped a lot of guys running full auto, the semi auto and small burst option definitely prevailed, as the need to conserve ammo was real. Of the 600ml of gels given at the start and just 2 half bottle refills for the hole game, I ended the game with at least 75% of the gels remaining. So I would say I don’t think I would have only just used all of my 600mls of gels that I started with. Considering the kills we dished out, I think that small amount of gels used was quite impressive, that largely comes down to how well my Ares Tavor was running with the Muzzletek Hop up. Bloody hell it was good. It absolutely amazes me that there was guys out there running without a hop up and stock blasters where their range limit has to have been 20-25m max. At time I wish I had a pocket full of Muzzleteks where I could just walk up and screw one on for them, giving them an immediate 15-20m improvement.
To wrap up K5, the battle of Withcottastain. Well if you haven’t worked it out by now, I absolutely loved it. Luke and the Rapid Vantage guys set up an awesome event. Jason from Skirmish at Toowoomba ran an awesome event. All the players (bar Mr God Mode) thank you for an awesome event. So many perfect hit callers, so many absolutely solid players. Id happily go back again tomorrow.
While there could have been improvements in coms and management by game control I wasn’t there for the LARP game theme and faux story line, I was there for the shoot em ups and running the gauntlet with my boys Iggy, Lucas and Phil – plus all the amazing fellas I met on the day at maccas for our secret squirrels meet up prior.
Again, thanks to all that attended, thanks to the guys and gals that ran it. I absolutely loved it and WILL be back again!!!
Apex Gunner Out!! Shoot fast Shoot straight!!!