What happens when you get a couple of known Americans to visit Selby, in the UK for a weekend? 2 charities, 1 event and 200 players, across 2 days of fun… and Georaga and Kelly went to join in!!! 

Firstly, some congratulations are in order. Before I go into how this event ran and what was included, well done to the 1Legion Milsim team, who raised £2000 for ‘Pilgrim Bandits’, a charity here in the UK supporting our injured ex-forces and $2500 for ‘Veterans For Airsoft’ who provide all expenses paid airsoft experiences for ex-military over in the United States. Raising this amount of money for two excellent charities is a feat in itself and there should be a huge hat-tip to those that both organised the weekend, and to those that contributed to its success. Here at Airsoft Action, we’re big supporters of Pilgrim Bandits and are hugely thankful to the airsoft community for getting behind them as much as it has… so… additionally… a hat-tip to you too! 

Back to the start 

Right, so what prompted this weekend event? 1Legion Milsim are a team that span across the globe; what began in the US, 1Legion now have 2 factions in the US, 1 here in the UK and 1 in South Africa spanning about 41 players and around an additional 6 affiliate teams. 

Well last year, a couple of their team came over and played and this year, they wanted to come back, but with a difference. ‘INVASION 2’ saw two of the team’s leaders, Superfly and Sheep, come, train and spend time with some of the airsoft community here in the UK, while taking the opportunity to raise some money at the same time. 

The weekend consisted of some CQB training and an Open Day and tombola on the Saturday, followed by a full day battlesim style gameday on the Sunday. 

Picture the scene; it’s 5.30am on Saturday morning and I’m in London. I’m supposed to be attending some training that they’re running at the Halo Mill CQB site at 11am and it happens to be a 4.5 hour drive away. My car is packed with guns and gazebos and as I lug my sad, sluggish, sleepy backside to the driver’s seat, I shed a soft tear at the sight of the delays on route, knowing how slow this mammoth journey is about to be. I set off and… in fact, I’ll spare you the details of my inability to stop for a much-needed coffee… eventually I arrived on site at Patrol Base, with about an hour to spare and a very chirpy FierceFox to greet me and show me round. 

Saturday had two activities running across the two locations. Numero uno was an Open Day at Patrol Base, a very large, rustic feeling shop with some gorgeous timber floors (minus the occasional chipboard covered hole) supporting a huge array of guns on display around and in the middle of the room. It’s an odd thing to focus on but the shop was not what I’d imagined; it felt bright, warm and welcoming, with high ceilings and skylights flooding in the blazing sunlight. It was reminiscent of what you’d think a stereotypical Texas gun shop would look like back in the Wild West; wood everywhere, men with beards walking around in flannel shirts and cases of ‘shooters’ just waiting for that lone cowboy to walk in, collect a new rifle and head out hunting for deer in the wood by their ranch. 

As I came down the stairs from the shop, I wasn’t exactly met by a stallion waiting for me to ride it off into the sun but instead with the stand from HR4K, a badass apparel and coffee company (I didn’t get a chance to grab that god damn coffee I needed) which was run by Ben and Reg (his extremely friendly canine companion). He was joined in the car park by the ASG team Paul and Ben, who gave me a rundown of their latest releases and talked to me more about the 2018 updated EVO (for more info check out Tom and Gadge’s video on AirsoftActionTV’s YouTube); Gavin was on the Viper stand running a tombola with some very cool prizes and Trent from Nuprol was also in attendance showing off their impressive collection of goodies. 

PC: Georaga Airsoft

CQB Training 

After the 5minute drive to Halo Mill, I hoiked my jam-packed gun case up 2 flights of stairs… they chose not to warn me about this until I arrived… I could see why… and set up my kit to take part in their CQB training. Sheep, Superfly, Patriot and Fox, supported by Akey from their affiliate team JTF (several of the training group have served/are serving in the military/armed police); ran a series of drills designed to help less experienced players understand their own loadouts and how to transition from primary to secondary, to help more experienced players improve on their room clearing capabilities and show them how as individuals and teams, they’d be able to work alone and with others to increase their efficiency in airsoft for tight spaces. 

I hung around for both of the training sessions that day and saw two very different types of players come through. The first session in which I took part, consisted of many newer players and players that were experienced skirmishers but very few that were there in actual teams. That proved interesting due to the unfamiliarity of each other’s skills/experience/ habits and there were more than a few clunky moments. 

The afternoon session however, seemed to play host to a much more familiar line-up as Mutiny Airsoft joined the fray with their 9 players to learn some sharp breach and clear skills from Supe. It just went to show me that working with a regular group of people, practicing and trusting in each other can have a real benefit in your gameplay. 

PC: Georaga Airsoft

Sunday Funday 

Again, it was another early morning for me as I arrived at the Proving Grounds woodland site at 6.30am to set up the Airsoft Action stall. The plan was to be around chatting to people about the latest magazine releases, to represent the new logo and to sell and give out discount codes for our digital version… hoooowever, the printing company didn’t get the goodies to me on time before I was forced to leave London. Instead then, I took about 8 of my guns and displayed them as conversation starters. 

I was set up next to Terry and the Pilgrim Bandits stall, who gave a truly heartfelt thanks to the airsoft community for the sheer level of support they’ve seen, following an emotional few words from Supe and Sheep. It was a great reminder for me, that airsoft is more than “just a game”. Beyond the gameplay, beyond the bravado, there’s a real sense of kinship. Just look at the prizes that Fox and Patriot were donated for the raffle: ASG donated a Bren and a few other guns, Viper donated a whole loadout in titanium grey, Nuprol donated several guns including a Nomad Alpha, shotgun and pistols, HR4K donated a Crye Precision plate carrier, the Operator Box donated a month subscription, TheChairsofterShow donated a Raven pistol, LBX donated a bunch of their gear, Vortex donated a Sparc AR, Weapon762 donated a helmet setup, Enola Gaye and HopUp donated t-shirts. 

Sunday Gameplay - Kelly 

On Sunday 12th August 2018, I was invited up North to attend the 1Legion Milsim: Operation Invasion II at Halo Mill: The Proving Grounds, a woodland site in Selby, Yorkshire to once again play and this time it was for a charity game featuring some special guests from across the pond! 

The day started with players eagerly arriving on-site at around 8am, I arrived a little later but just in time for the safety brief and charity announcements. The safety brief was comprehensive and covered all the rules of the day from the FPS limits of the site, pyro rules to emergency procedures should one occur - the safety brief at Halo Mill: The Proving Grounds is always easy to follow so players know what is expected of them. During the charity announcements, players were reminded of why we had all gathered together for the day: to not only play an awesome game of airsoft but to welcome our friends 1 Legion members Superfly and Sheep and raise some cash for two charities that are close to the heart of the airsoft community - The Pilgrim Bandits, a charity that helps injured servicemen and women live their best life after life changing injuries and Veterans for Airsoft, a charity that provides all expenses paid airsoft experiences for veterans. 

PC: Stacey Deanne Photography

Let’s first chat about the site itself, The Proving Grounds is a large woodland site that features a number of structures centred around a large bridge structure in a dense fern forest. The facilities onsite include a covered safe zone that has room for almost 300 players, a food counter that serves hot food and snacks all day and a couple of portaloos (which is the only thing I dislike about the Proving Grounds). The game dubbed ‘Operation Invasion II’ had a battlesim structure to it - it was a constant game with rolling objectives which only stopped at lunch so everyone could get some grub. As someone who dabbles in MilSims and battlesims this was a game that was right up my alley, however I was in for a challenge - as someone who plays exclusively CQB for 9 months of the year, although it was fun to crawl through the brush and through trenches for a day, woodland does require an entirely different skill set to CQB making it a challenging day especially when snipers are king. 

PC: Stacey Deanne Photography

I jumped onto the banded team with the 1 Legion boys to start off my day and started to make my way to the first objective, and this is when I remembered why it’s so much harder to move through a woodland site than a CQB site - the snipers! As myself and my team mates sneakily moved from structure to structure rounds flew in from all directions but no one was to be seen. We used smoke to conceal our movement and gain more ground. Whichever part of the field you were on you faced strong resistance from the other side so it was an awesome tug of war all day to see who to take and control the different areas of the site. From crawling through the brush, to moving through the trenches and the villages it was an intense battle from both sides. 

PC: Stacey Deanne Photography

PC: Stacey Deanne Photography

The final battle of the day was definitely the highlight of the day for me. The final objective of the day was for the unbanded team to bring the VIPs - 2 players in fancy dress to the bridge (halfway through the day I had swapped sides to experience both sides of the gameplay). The bridge is by far my favourite part of the Proving Grounds site - it is enormous and offers an intense level of gameplay especially when all attention is focused on it. As our comrades approached the bridge with the VIPs, all hell broke loose. It was an intense firefight between both sides with players exploding into action from the brush to stop the VIPs entering the bridge and rounds ricocheting off every surface on the bridge. As myself and some teammates were taking out players from the first level of the bridge we heard a whizzing sound, as we looked down to where the noise had come to a thud we saw an explosion - a mortar which killed a bucket load of us. As we moved off the bridge to our respawn, our team mates flooded the bridge and alongside them? The VIPs, we ran back to our respawn and started to fight our way back to the bridge whilst our teammates defended the cargo on the bridge. It was intense, and an epic end to the day. 

Overall, it was a really enjoyable day full of great gameplay/sportsmanship from players and camaraderie. It was wonderful to catch up with friends, put faces to names that I’ve only seen on the internet and of course meet players from across the pond - it really was a pleasure to finally meet 1 Legion Superfly and Sheep. The amount raised by the community was fantastic and just shows how much of a difference we can make when we band together. A huge well done and thank you is in order to the lovely guys and gals who worked super hard on making this event happen. Hopefully it won’t be long until the next invasion.

PC: Stacey Deanne Photography

Shankster, G. & Hardwick, K. (2018). OPERATION: INVASION II. Airsoft Action. 80 (November), 70-73.

No comments

Back to Top