Due to the geographical location of my hometown, some thought has dawned on me: „Are there large airsoft skirms, over the Czech Republic border distant of only 20 kilometres? But, not anywhere, because someone could say “Hello? Border War?”, I rather mean the local scale. Border War could be easily classified as a global event.
Picture 1. Border War Milsim 2018
Source: Gunfire – Facebook
My district is adjacent to Liberec Region in Czech. Searching for groups and events on the Internet, I took this region into account. The search was not long, I found a contact to Airsoft Team Eagle from Liberec and contacted with the leader named Libor. I asked for differences in the Czech and Polish airsoft, needed equipment and I received an invitation to one of the local shootings. A long time has passed since I decided to accept the invitation.
Happily, for me, Libor, who organizes events, plans several shootings in advance, forms an initial scenarios draft and specifies the terms e.g. FPS limits for our airsoft replicas. In my and my team’s case, the final choice was the beginning of October and the event called “Operace Iskander”, i.e. “Operation Iskander”.
Let me present you our impressions and things that surprised us the most after our arrival!
The organizer announced the necessity to pay a charge. 30 Czech Crowns from each registered and 80 from the unregistered participant. We were vastly surprised when during the registration, the organizers stated that the guests from Poland did not have to pay. We did not seek any special treating and it was slightly awkward. However, after some time it turned out, that the Czechs are simply like that. During the registration, each of us obtained a velcro-fastened armband made of red fabric. Each armband had its individual number. The highest I noticed was 70. It means that the organizer, in order to prevent sticking each participant with colorful tapes from a market, created their own labeling system. What is important, both sides had the armbands – the Russians – red ones, and the NATO – blue ones. This is a positive occurrence, because the system “armband/no armband” seemed a bit unjust, particularly for the latter, especially in forests, where camouflage is what counts.
The scenario details were presented. The training ground, where we were located, became for several hours the border between the Russian Federation and one of the NATO countries. The aim of the Russian side was to collect the elements of a ballistic missile Iskander-M, transferring the mounted head to the enemy’s area and launching it. In an hour from the activation of the button, they were supposed to be a detonated. In this time, the NATO still had a chance to deactivate counting down to the “big bang”. Despite the fact that the briefing was conducted in Czech which is quite similar to our native Polish, we did not manage to catch all the details. I asked one of the Czechs for help in translation, and he explained to me all the details in English. He immediately proposed us to operate in the framework of one fire team, what we accepted eagerly.
Picture 2. Operace Iskander – briefing
Both sides began the scenario at the respawn place at a specified hour. The places for both sides were designated in rather even distance from the made-up border. In Poland, I have often faced problems caused by the direct closeness of a respawn place to places crucial for a scenario. Here, this issue was easily eliminated. Moreover, that arrangement could balance the course of the game pretty well. In the event, when the Russian team was doing too well, the access to respawn place would be hindered (the distance). The rule of “recovering from afterlife” would seem at least controversial in Poland. The organizer placed a regular analog clock on a tree. With a piece of tape, he marked the moments in which leaving respawn place was possible: every 20 minutes. I’ve always considered such solutions more effective than individual counting down, which, in my opinion, leads to misuses. 20 minutes is enough to take a breath, reload, drink some water or eat a sandwich. In addition, the perspective of relatively long waiting for a “resurrection” makes participants respect their “lives” more and do not rush thoughtlessly to the target. This is a simple procedure, that, in a scale of the whole event, raises its quality.
Our fire team was designated to attack from the right side which wasn’t easy. It turned out that the enemy seized the hill in front of us, from where they had a good view of the offensive. At first, we were stopped but, despite loses, we seized, as it turned out later, the crucial hill. For the first time in my over 10-year-long airsoft adventure, I encountered an effective sniper, who showed us how “deadly” can be sniper rifle replica and eliminated a significant part of the troop with single shots. This, unfortunately for the opponent, was not enough to stop us from reaching far into their territory. Crouching among the leaves turning yellow with our airsoft replicas, we were waiting for the passing enemies, who moved from the respawn place to the position, where the activated “Iskander-M” missile was located. Eventually, we won.
Picture 3. Operace Iskander – the skirmish
What is striking in the skirmishes with our southwest brothers it the high level of so-called “battle culture”. The Czechs do not use a primary weapon in direct closeness – they draw their pistols for this occasion. I was a witness of at least several such situations. Therefore, the lack of protective masks (popular stalker masks which were worn by maybe 10% of the participants), was not surprising. For me, the Czechs successfully busted the myth of “The good soldier Shveyk”. They do not move in a thoughtless mass. They look for the shieldings, disperse Into lines, flank and come from the rear. Shooting with them is a real challenge. FPS limits for our airsoft replicas during the event were: 140 m/s (~460 fps) for AEG, and 170 m/s (~560 fps) for sniper replicas 0.20g. They accepted the tolerance of 5 m/s. What is interesting, there was no chronograph measurement, at least no one asked for checking their airsoft replica.
Picture 4. Operace Iskander – “Iskander missile system”
A total number of the participants of the event was approximately 80. What turned out, the Czechs are not show-offs. Expensive equipment was visible at some points,, tactical vests with the 100% use of molle for pockets, carabiners or glow sticks. But they were definitely the minority. The most of Czechs limited themselves to a modest outfit, rather to feel comfortable than to show off. It has some charm and in any aspect do not takes from them the efficiency of fighting. What is most important, they are simply nice people. Despite one incident when there was a misunderstanding during the composite exchange, caused mainly by the language gap, we did not encounter any quarrels. Just conversely – when we were leaving the location of the event, literally everyone came to say goodbye to us and ask if we would come again. I think that the answer is clear, even for the reader of this relation.