Strikeforce CQB, Gloucester Review

Now truth be told, Strikeforce CQB was a site I was hesitant to visit - my initial impression was that SF CQB was just a warehouse with plywood structures, now at first glance it is a warehouse with a substantial amount of plywood but under the surface it is so much more than that.

SF CQB is situated in the city of Gloucester, around 90 miles from my hometown in the East Midlands. For me the drive is relatively easy - taking the M42 and A46, it usually takes me around an hour and a half. The site is not openly signposted due to its central location but there are signs on the building that houses the site and the car park is directly outside the site, it is of a good size but does fill up quickly so getting to site early is a good shout to ensure you get a decent car park.

Booking on for Strikeforce is done via their website where a £10 deposit is payed with the remaining £20 paid on the day - a total of £30 which is in line with game day fees up and down the country. The SF safezone is easily one of the best I have been in - it has a players lounge with sofas and an area for making tea and coffees. The main body of the safe zone is a long room with a tables running the lengths of the wall with a long in the middle of the room spanning the length, with the good spinny desk chairs! Haha The site has a capacity of 90 players and although the safezone can easily accommodate that amount of players even if it is a little cosy. The only thing that is worth mentioning is that the toilets are not on site, but a short minute walk to the alleyway opposite the site.

My favourite aspect of Strikeforce bar the fast paced, close quarters games is easily the staff. I am always well received by team at Strikeforce - they are easy to talk to and have a laugh with. They are also incredibly supportive and encouraging of all their players. One of the site owners, Paul Bibby always delivers an engaging comprehensive safety brief before game on that always sets the tone for the day. Strikeforce also has their very own on site photographer - Snook Snaps to capture the days antics. The team are a blast to hang out with but it is worth mentioning that the level of professionalism they display is on point.

Let's chat about the site itself, Strikeforce is a 52,000 sq ft warehouse space in the centre of Gloucester that has been transformed into one of the UK's biggest purpose built CQB sites, with a U.S kill house style layout it is full of wooden/tarpalin structures - corridors, covers, killhouses and a toilet block at the very back of the site perfect for all those grenade kills. The site is split into two by steel columns and each side is completely different to the other opening up the game play options. The games Strikeforce put together use their site to the full extent that include objective games such as capture the flag and VIP games. The pushback game is easily my favourite game that is ran - both teams take it in turns to attack and defend both sides of the site and whoever clears the whole site of hostiles in the fastest time wins! The games are well ran and the marshals do not have to interfere too much - you can usually find them at the side of the site keeping a distant eye on things or at the respawns which means they aren't getting in the way of game play - a big thumbs up from me!

The other players I have encountered have been a mixed bunch and this is no fault of the site. Majority of the players however I have been chatty, full of banter, easy to get along with and fun to play alongside which is what I focus on.

Overall, Strikeforce CQB is one of my favourite CQB sites of those I have played. Although the site is quite a drive from my hometown, the games, staff and other players make the day so enjoyable that I always come back for more. The games are fast paced and hard hitting so if you don't enjoy tight CQB this may not be the site for you but for the adrenaline CQB junkies amongst us, this site will give you your fix for sure!

Strikeforce CQB
Clifton Road, Gloucester, GL1 5RZ.

Photos thanks to Snook Snaps!

Femme Fatale Airsoft Press Release 2016

 2015 was an amazing year for Femme Fatale Airsoft thanks to the support from all our followers and the Airsoft industry. 2016 has had an explosive start and just today FFA reached 60,000 views on the blog and 18,000 followers on Instagram - absolutely awesome!

There are so many amazing events, games and shows planned for this year including: Warzone Battle Simulation's Operation Crypt Kicker (25th-27th March 2016), the Viper Titanium launch at Land Warrior Airsoft (9th-10th April 2016), The Midlands Airsoft Fair (23rd April 2016), RedWolf Airsoft Showcase (18th June 2016) and not forgetting the NAE at Ground Zero ( 25th-28th August 2016) amongst others that I am seriously looking forward too! You can keep up to date with confirmed events on the FFA home page!

Femme Fatale Airsoft would like to thank the support of these amazing brands and retailers: Nuprol, Land Warrior Airsoft, G&G Armament, JD Airsoft, Concept Tactical, Tippmann Arms, Viper Tactical and Cloud 9 Combat, thank you for your support! 2016 is going to be a brilliant year!


IWA 2016 with Airsoft Action

So on the first weekend of March, I was invited by my editor at Airsoft Action to join the team in Nuremberg for IWA - needless to say I was beyond excited! Being relatively new to the industry, this was my first big industry event and I was thrilled to meet all of my international friends, getting some killer shots for Instagram and of course meeting with the big brands in Airsoft! 

You can read the teams full report of the show in a monster 7 page spread in the next issue of the UK's number one Airsoft publication: Airsoft Action out on the 7th of April but here are some cheeky images from the show to wet your appetite!


'Krytac LMG Release'

On the first weekend of November I was invited by the team at Shield Airsoft to attend their Krytac LMG Release/Open Range Day to test the new Krytac LMG and experience some real steel shooting. The event took place over the 7th and 8th of November at the Tunnel Target Sports Centre in Charmouth, Dorset. The price for the day was £32 including all activities if pre-booked or £36 on the day. During the weekend there was chance to take part in a range of activities such as the 6 Stage Competition for Airsoft Pistol and Rifle on the 40m range, a 3 Stage Introduction to 22 real steel on the 25m range, LMG blast in the 100m range, a chance to play against the newly formed Shield Airsoft team in the Tunnels and a blast on the scenario simulator. There was also an FAC workshop and question time with firearms officer, Bob Parkhouse.

The Open Range day was held at The Tunnel Target Sports Centre in Charmouth, Dorset which is the home to a 25m, 40m and 100 metre indoor ranges - it has one of the only indoor full bore ranges in the UK rated up to .50 Calibre. They don’t just cater to seasoned shooters though, their ranges are open to beginners as well, as full supervision is provided by NRSA and NRA qualified Range Officers. The ranges are open to both members and non-members, with The Tunnel offering a fully supervised one hour shooting experience for non-members and beginners for the reasonable price of £24.50 which includes range hire, rifle hire, 50 rounds of 22LR and full supervision. The Tunnel also offers a Laser Judgemental Training Suite which enables realistic scenario training in G36 and Glock 19 for security training. The site was granted Section 7(3) status in 2014. Which means legislation allows the holders of Firearms Certificates to store and shoot pistols of historic interest at S7(3) sites. As The Tunnel is so far from my home in the Midlands I decided to stay overnight in the Tunnel Pods. The Tunnel Pods are hand crafted, insulted camping pods that either sleep 2 (standard pod) or up to 4 (family pods). The family pods have their own toilets and washbasins whilst the standards have access to the toilet and shower block. They all have their own decked seating areas and access to the sheltered BBQ/snug area. The pods are really cosy and provide all the amenities you could need (although bring your own bedding – that’s the only thing that caught me out!) My pod cost me £35 for one night, now I personally think this is a little pricey for what you get but it is still cheaper than any hotel in the surrounding area.

So now you know about the venue, who are Shield? Shield are a firearms and sights company that was established in 1982 by Jeremy White. They specialize in military proven red dot sights and are the UK distributors of Krytac (the new Airsoft venture of the Switzerland based firearms manufacturer, KRISS group). They sponsor a team of 6 players who wanted to take Airsoft to the next level by using real firearms techniques and tactics to reflect Shields end goals within the Airsoft industry. Shield are family run business and it was a pleasure to meet them during the event, they were friendly, welcoming and easy to have a laugh with.

Let’s get down to the event itself, I started my weekend by putting some rounds through the Trident LMG herself. My first impressions of the LMG are very good. Despite being a support weapon, she is very light without compromising on the quality of the internals, is aesthetically pleasing, accurate with a great ROF and the semi auto function is a nice addition meaning she can be used on semi only sites. You can either run the box mag provided or M4 mags which during ops would be extremely useful. During the ‘Attack Team Shield’ game we played in the tunnel, we came up against the LMG and it proved to be a worthy adversary. Combined with the Shield CQS sight it’s accuracy against us was quite something! We had a blast in the tunnel attacking and defending the flag against team Shield! The Tunnel was full of gunfire, smokes and bangs going off making the experience epic!

Although my favourite ‘Airsoft’ part of the weekend however was running the 6 stage rifle competition in the 40m range. The competition stages were lovingly built and put together by the Shield team especially for the weekend and they did a fantastic job. The stages were a variety of scenarios that were to be completed in the quickest time possible and ranged from room to room breach and clear, car scenarios, stair clearance and other stages to battle it out for a chance to win a Shield CQS sight! Now although I didn’t win the sight, it was awesome to put the Krytac PDW, SPR and CRB through their paces on the course!

Over the weekend I also got chance to have an introduction to real steel shooting – by giving the 3 stage introduction to 22 shooting on the 25m range a blast. We were given a safety brief by the instructors on the range as real steel is obviously a lot different to shooting an Airsoft gun. I absolutely loved every second of it – the sound and feel of the recoil of the rifle really got my adrenaline pumping and left me wanting more. I was lucky enough to get some pointers and tips on how to improve everything from my accuracy to range times, which has really encouraged me to try take up 22 practical shooting!

I had an amazing weekend at the Open Range Day and LMG release, the activities on offer were fun, engaging and exciting to take part in. The cost for the day was excellent value for money due to the unique nature of the activities – 22 rifle shooting isn’t something you get to experience every day! The event was even better value if you pre-booked! Although it was a fair way away from home, the experience was definitely worth it and I’m really looking forward to the next Shield event! Count me in!

Contact details:

Target Sports Centre LTD
The Tunnel, Axminster Road, Charmouth, Dorset, DT 6BY

Shield Firearms & Sights LTD
Bridport DT69DW
Photography: Peter Meade.

Hardwick, K. (2016). Krytac LMG Release. Airsoft Action. 57 (January), 46-47.

Player Spotlight: Dan Nixon Lines, SHIELD Airsoft Team

Hey everyone! So for this spotlight I speak to Dan Nixon Lines, SHIELD Airsoft manager and Krytac Specialist!

So Dan, how long have you been in Airsoft? What originally got you into the sport and what do you love about it?

My Airsoft background? I started in 2009 playing in Bristol Courthouse using a trusty G36. I started my career playing solo for over 2 years before I roped my friend into coming to a game using some of my spare kit. He was hooked so I finally had someone to regularly shoot with. My Airsoft career spiralled from there. We started playing at Swindon CQB (now closed down) and met more good friends along the way and formed my old team House of Wolves Airsoft. The team grew and we gained sponsorship from Stitch me up, Cloud 9 and SHIELD Airsoft, the distributors for Krytac in the UK. At the time our home site as such was Ironsight airsoft in Andover.

I followed in SHIELD PSD’s footsteps and with their guidance took on shooting real steel up to 7.62 on a 100m range. I then took on the SHIELD Airsoft team full time which consists of House of Wolves members and Key SHIELD PSD members. Through SHIELD we have been taught new tactics, had real steel training and are being taught real world tactics that we are trying to use in Airsoft.

What is the most memorable site you've played? 

The most memorable site I have played has to be Imber MOD training village. Awesome site perfect for MilSim and the perfect place for large scale combat.

How would you describe your playing style?

My play style is closer to MilSim than anything else. As SHIELD PSD and SHIELD Airsoft we are trying to use more real world tactics and team play and get teams playing to a more MilSim style. We also offer team training on our private land. Details can be found on SHIELD PSD website for this. The days include tactical theory and practical training by us and current serving forces members. Range training is giving by the UK’s top leading shooters.

What loadout do you run?
My weapons of choice are my Krytac SPR, KWA KRISS Vector and M&P compact as my side arm. My loadout is a Flyee 6094, I carry 7 low cap hex mags, 7 pistol mags, an Alpha Tec Hex grenade and an Oshi Boom impact grenade. My load out also has a radio, admin pouch, helmet set up, all the usual kit you would expect to find.

Do you have any advice for players?

If I was going to say anything I would say love the sport you play and play honestly. The game is a game of honour and too many times I witness players shouting at each other for no reason. Love the game and treat the game and players with respect.

Where can we keep up to date with SHIELD and the team?

For the SHIELD Airsoft Facebook page, follow the link below and you can also follow us on Instagram at @shieldairsoft.


'Operation Sledgehammer: The Fight for Plezrin'

The year is 1999. The Cold War has ended and Yugoslavia is a mere shadow of what it once was, the Government in power are unable to control their constituent provinces, making the puzzle that is the Balkans even more complicated. Slobodan Milosevic, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s new President is a known Serbian-nationalist and is regarded by many as the most dangerous leader in Europe. He has roused the Yugoslavian people to act against the Albanians who live in Serbia and Kosovo leading to nearly 1 million refugees and appalling war crimes committed on both sides. Not satisfied with cleaning house in Serbia, he now turns his gaze on Kosovo. After months of conflict with help from outside influences such as the Kosovo Task Force (KFOR) NATO bloody battles have taken place in Leshtaz, resulting in the deaths of civilians and troops. After being brought to a checkmate by the combined presence of KLA and KFOR in Leshtaz the SAF (Serbian Armed Forces’) have set their sight on a smaller village to the South West, Plezrin, in order to secure a foothold of territory and to plan future operations.

The KLA are emboldened by their success at Leshtaz and have been forewarned about the attack. They know that the SAF are not far from their current location. They are confident that their success can be repeated in Plezrin, they have dug in and will sacrifice their lives for their cause. However, this time there is no KFOR armour or support. They must fight alone.

The SAF will not let the failure at Leshtaz stand. They are determined to smash the KLA and totally annihilate any opposition in the area as a warning that they are not to be trifled with. Anything that isn’t SAF is a target and they are ready to send a message to the world as to how to deal with rebels. On the last weekend of October I was invited by the team at Warzone Battle Simulation to attend the second Operation in their MilSim series – Operation Sledgehammer: The Fight for Plezrin which was held at Sennybridge FIBUA Village. Sennybridge FIBUA Village is a Ministry of Defence Training Area close to the village of Sennybridge in Powys, Wales – it’s the 3rd largest M.O.D Training Area in the UK and covers around 12 miles. Before the Op, Warzone painstakingly put together a 12 page document for all participants to read before attending the event – it included directions, game rules etc! This Op was by far the longest drive I’ve undertook to a site – it was only 150 miles but took me around 3.5 hours from my home in the East Midlands due to the route through Brecon, I know a few participants had issues finding the site when speaking to them after the event but I entered the longitude and latitude coordinates Warzone had supplied in the SOP into my Satnav and it took me straight to the site – I took the roads through the Brecon mountains but it is easily accessible through the A40. The team at Warzone did mark the path to Sennybridge camp with some markers and signs however as most people were arriving after sunset, it wasn’t the easiest to locate.

Warzone Battle Simulation is headed by 3 avid MilSimmers – David Pullen, Kevin Field and Mark Owen who also doubled up as the force leaders over the weekend. I personally feel like the staff at the event really played a part in how much I enjoyed the weekend – they were friendly, helpful and encouraging of their troops, but delivered tough love and harsh reality when we needed it. Although I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Dave, the KLA force leader, our SAF ICs Mark and Kev made me feel like a valued member of the squad, were easy to chat to and have a laugh with. They ran a tight ship and kept us focused during the Op.

The site itself is pretty impressive, I was told before I arrived to imagine that someone had given me a budget to build a 1940’s soviet village but only gave you enough to buy bricks and concrete, and that was Sennybridge. It is a camp that comprises of 26 buildings and a Church (which is out of bounds to everyone) with a network of roads and surrounded by a wooded area and plenty of fields. The village even has buildings that are connected by subterranean tunnels – which were pretty cool. After I arrived at Senny, I took a stroll to meet and greet and get stuck in helping the team set up whilst we discussed the upcoming weekend. HQ was set up in the large building overlooking the town square and it contained the base for the teams operations, an out of game top floor (for those who drove to the site to get a good nights kip) and the store. The store had everything you could need for the weekend – beebs, RIFS, pyro including flares and various kit bits and bobs! One thing I was impressed with regarding the weekend was the booking in and admin system the team had in place – booking was made online via the Warzone website and a deposit of £35 was paid with the remainder to be paid on the day. The total price for the weekend was £85, which I feel for a two day event was extremely reasonable. On arrival at the site, you entered HQ, were made to watch a safety brief video and only when that was completed could you sign yourself in - upon signing in you received a site map and a tourniquet.

My squad – Wolf 1 of the Serbian Armed Forces set up camp around 8pm in the top floor of 20, with our battle brothers the Delta Renegades taking up residence in the floor below and the rest of our side spread out within a couple of surrounding buildings. Briefing for the start of the weekend took place at 0200 hours in the barn, our mission was simple, we had 34 hours to drive the KLA out of Plezrin, and if possible capture their High Value Targets. With the briefing out of the way we were loaded into our ‘Helo drop’ vans and transported to our location. Our SAF force leader organised our squads and we walked in formation cloaked in the darkness along the road in the cold morning air. We made our way to the village of Plezrin to initiate our attack, the KLA had set themselves up in buildings around the village and it was our job to push them out. As we approached the buildings, we could hear folk music being played and drums which emboldened us. Our troops flooded the west side of the village and started our assault on the buildings, we took ground quickly with our small fireteams storming buildings and our LMG support laying down suppressing fire as we took their ground from underneath them, we were met with fierce resistance from the KLA forces and the fight continued during the early hours and through first light. There was the sound of sporadic gunfire throughout the night and we managed to hold the ground that we had took from the KLA. My squad, returned to our camp around 7am to refuel, get some kip and mag up ready for round two.

One thing I’ve never truly experienced is living without creature comforts so the living aspect of MilSim was tough but I enjoyed the challenge. No running water, no heating and sleeping in a sleeping bag on a roll mat on concrete was definitely an experience for me. Eating rat packs and sleeping rough does nothing for the morale and in the cold October weather, any sleeping bag less than a 3 season would have left you feeling chilly and at risk, in hindsight I think a camp bed (and maybe a jet boiler) would have done wonders for my level of comfort! The Warzone SOP was really detailed and gave all participants advice on how to make the living aspect a little more comfortable which I heeded and more, so I was (thankfully) a little over prepared! I’m not particularly outdoorsy and camping isn’t my forte so their information definitely helped me last the event.

After a few hours kip and some food, all Wolf sections were ordered to retake as many buildings in the town that we could and that we did, SAF flooded into the town with a new found drive and cleared a path into the heart of KLA territory. Whilst our SAF brothers continued the fight in the town, Wolf 1 decided to attack them from the west, for this we had to covertly move through the tree line into their territory and assault a strong hold in the centre of their territory – building 8. Our team made it to the building practically undetected and attacked it fiercely, being met with strong resistance from the KLA. During the assault on building 8, I was unable to pull myself in through a window which left me vulnerable to crossfire and I was slotted by their designated machine gunner and this led to my capture. I had a few narrow escapes with players attempting to capture me throughout the op but this time they had well and truly caught me. I was dragged into a wet, cold basement, had a black cloth placed over my head and forced into a stress position whilst their footmen attempted to intimidate me by executing some of my team mates around me. I was searched and all my weapons were taken from me. After what seemed like hours, I was lead to a room upstairs, placed against a wall and had my feet kicked apart with my fingertips on the wall – the cloth was removed from my head and I was confronted by the leader of the KLA. I was interrogated and searched, with them confirming my identity by the tattoo on my forearm. Upon their search they discovered the intel I was carrying. After the KLA had taken all they needed from me, I was executed with a single shot to the head. Getting captured/interrogated was a completely new experience for me which was equally terrifying but exciting at the same time!

The rest of Saturday passed in a blur of gunfire, smoke, pyro and mortar rounds. Missions to steal warheads and RPGs from their grasp and assaults on enemy territory. We fought through the day until 7pm when exhaustion claimed us and we hit the hay whilst taking it in turn to stag, the night was cold and quiet with only the sound of gunfire sounding through the valley sporadically. After a decent night’s sleep and a good breakfast, our morale was boosted significantly and we were renewed in our mission so on Sunday morning we decided to give them hell. All of the Wolf sections were assembled in the lower floor of building 20 and given our orders – to assault their territory from the west and push them out through the eastern road. A 0530 hours we made our way along the road adjacent to the village ready to make our push into Plezrin, with only 6 hours left to complete our objective we lay down our covering smoke and started to assault the KLA stronghold that was their medic building. We steamrolled through the village taking building after building with ease. Within 4 hours we had pushed behind the church, we fought backwards and forwards with the KLA until endex at 11am. The battle was drawn and the war is still raging.

Overall, I had an amazing experience at Operation Sledgehammer, from the gameplay to the living aspect of the event, I really enjoyed every second of it and would have been happy to continue past endex buzzing on my MilSim high. The story the Warzone team had created was fully immersive and even included role-players with props acting as villagers walking the streets and going about their daily lives in the pub and barn. There are very few criticisms that I have of the Warzone Battle Simulation Operation Sledgehammer and they are as follows: although we had overall objectives I would have liked more ‘missions’ and orders during the Op – we were left to our own devices a lot and it did have a skirmish feel at times, vehicles would have been a nice touch and would’ve added an extra element to game play. There were a couple of issues that cropped up that weren’t the Warzone teams fault but did affect the event - due to an issue with the M.O.D, the top floors of the buildings we were sleeping in were not in play so buildings could never really be ‘taken’ and some participants (despite advice from the organisers) failed to look after themselves during the event and tempers flared which led to some leaving during the weekend and caused a ceasefire on Saturday afternoon – for those of us who did take care of ourselves, the ceasefire was an annoyance. The praises however far outweigh the criticisms, I felt the event was good value for money and a character building experience – I know I personally took a lot from it. I got to experience a lot of new experiences such as using flares, being interrogated, the whole living aspect of MilSim. For anyone looking to get into MilSim, Warzone Battle Simulation events are definitely where to start!

Hardwick, K. (2016). Operation Sledgehammer: The Fight For Plezrin. Airsoft Action. 57 (January), 30-33.

Photos thanks to John Wright!
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