DISCLAIMER This is a long essay length AAR regarding my own thoughts. Some of the thoughts expressed here were formed over several events, not only Iron Clad or AMS events in general. I believe many will be able to apply what is said below to this weekend, though some may not. I hope If you decide to reply that you read it in itâ€™s fullness. Typing the disclaimer up last, this AAR is 3107 words. Enjoy. INTRODUCTION Hello everyone, My name is Dillon, but most of you probably know me by my (unfortunate) handle Mayo. Iâ€™ve played at most of the AMS events in the last three years and was the CO, XO, and 1SG for a few AMS events. I guess Iâ€™m relatively well known considering how often Iâ€™m stopped by strangers to greet me, which is always nice to see. I do apologize if I ever see people again who I donâ€™t remember. I have an absolutely horrible memory for names and faces. Operation: Iron Clad is probably the second furthest event Iâ€™ve ever traveled to; Operation Sovereign Fury being the furthest. I and two friends of mine traveled to Mississippi to meet up with a group of gentlemen who planned on attending. Iron Clad was the first AMS event I had been to where I was not a part of some command staff since the first Broken Home event, so I was looking forward to relaxing and just playing as a normal player. Having played CoST for so long, I decided to play UFS for a change. However, due to some late registrations from our group and UFS tickets being sold out, we eventually changed to CoST and remained so for the duration of the game. PRE-GAME After an almost 11 hour drive we found our hotel, showed, changed, and headed out to dinner to meet our group at a place called MugShots as suggested by one of the Mississippi players within our group. Service was pretty terrible. Three of us got there, asked for a table for 12, and then waited for the next 30 minutes before the rest of the group showed up. However, during the 30 minutes, we werenâ€™t even offered drinks, despite three or four waiters/waitresses serving the tables around us. When we finally did get drink, they were never refilled. When we finally got to order, it took forever. However, the burgers were absolutely delicious, so I suppose that was the silver lining. Actually, they were so good I would probably go again despite the substandard service. Probably one of the best burgers Iâ€™ve had personally. RULES Moving forward to actual airsoft related stuff, we arrived on the field around 0730 and got ready. We went through the registration line, which was small and quick, and got our registration bags. I would learn later we were missing kill cards, but that wasnâ€™t an issue until later in the day. Which Iâ€™ll comment on later. We then went to the safety briefing and listened to Alex about the rules. Everything was the same as the prior events and the rules had not been changes since their posting on the AMS forums. Where I am in this hobby though, I feel like anyone attending an event like this should already know the rules before attending. Iâ€™ve always been a big pusher of printing the rules out and carrying them with me as well as reading them over before the event. It also helps that I was Command Staff so knowing the rules is rather important. Regardless, at this level, you should know the rules before attending the event in my opinion. Those unable to follow them should be removed from the game and punished accordingly. For me, I believe that some of the simplest rules should be met with the harshest punishments. I understand it can be hard to remember some of the most abstract stuff but things like wearing the correct uniform is a fairly easy concept to grasp. Just because it gets hot doesnâ€™t mean that rules change either. I have not been to an AMS event yet where I have not seen someone in the wrong uniform out on the field. I know there were some OPFOR players on the AO, but I saw several players who I knew were specifically CoST players wearing black t-shirts. I feel like someone unable to follow such a simple rule as wearing the correct clothing is untrustworthy to remain on the field where weâ€™re playing a game with relatively complicated and honor bound rules. Will you lose some players? Sure. I think losing players is completely unavoidable in running anything airsoft related. I think the goal of any airsoft business shouldnâ€™t be to mitigate loses, but to have a hand in deciding which type of player stops coming to the event. HIT CALLING ISSUES Many always complain of hit calling issues, but I rarely have this problem for the most part. I think itâ€™s fairly common knowledge that everyone at some point as shrugged a hit unintentionally. Itâ€™s a part of the game you either accept or eventually sell your stuff. Anything labeled MilSim will ever work as a competitive game like paintball. However, the fact that this concept is continually forgotten during play has become frustrating. I feel like if you are unable to understand these things then I donâ€™t want to play with you honestly. Below are a list of factors I wish everyone would take into account before giving players attitude. SIZE MATTERS Firstly, BBs are 6mm in diameter. Theyâ€™re very, very, very small. Have you ever thrown a BB at someone to miss them? This same factor applies to when you shoot it. Being just slightly off will cause you to miss. Anyone who shoots real steel knows this as well, especially military (300m+ targets for example.) Some would state this is negated at CQB ranges, but thatâ€™s just incorrect. Police train a lot more than most of you and Iâ€™ve seen several reports of some twenty shots being fired with only three or so hits confirmed. People miss more often than not in high speed situation. Target shooting is not the same as active shooting. So, taking into trajectory and size, the amount of dead space in a human body (under arms, between legs, over shoulders, etc) there is a good chance you just right out missed. This is especially true when youâ€™re shooting without your sights. Which I see a lot. You might have your rifle lazily shouldered, but youâ€™re not really aiming. Itâ€™s a bad habit that Iâ€™m sure we all find ourselves doing. This is why people train in real life; to establish muscle memory. VANISHING BBs Next is what I call the â€˜Vanishing BBâ€™. Because BBs are small, they are hard to see past a certain range, even with 20/20 vision. When you shoot your airsoft gun, the BB is pushed out the barrel by compressed air. During itâ€™s ejection it goes through the hop up which uses a rubber piece to put a backspin on the BB. The backspin allows the BB to travel straight for a longer distance. You can see this by coming shots from a gun with the hopup turned completely off and one with it turned on. Turning the hopup too high will cause the BB to go flying up. When people tune their guns, they are typically attempting to get the most range out of it possible while still maintaining a fairly straight trajectory. However, the BB loses energy as it travels. From what Iâ€™ve seen BBs tend to lose their energy and immediately drop in height right about where most people lose sight of their BB. What does this mean? It means youâ€™re seeing a BB flying straight, and then as soon as it â€˜vanishesâ€™ itâ€™s dropping straight into the dirt. You can see this by shooting with and without a magnified scope. EGO Next is just a matter of oneâ€™s ego, which everyone has. Some just allow it to speak more than others. Just because you are shooting more or there are more of you shooting at one person doesnâ€™t mean youâ€™re any more accurate. Multiple people can miss back to back. One of the friends I drove with, who is a honest good man whoâ€™s integrity I trust completely and have â€˜taughtâ€™ some things to personally was accused of cheating this weekend during a firefight. The people on the wall argued â€œThere are three of us shooting at you man, câ€™mon, we know we hit you multiple times in the arms! We saw them hit you!â€. Indeed, my friend was shot. But only once. After he shot all three of them. How do I know it was only once? He had one small black welt on his forearm. That was all. So yes, one person with superior cover, moving faster, or with better aiming abilities can in fact shoot multiple people before being hit himself. TIME Which brings me to the next point; time. It is completely possible to shoot someone and get shot by that person as the same time and/or after you hit them without that person cheating. We find this in situations a lot where people get mad at being shot after saying hit. When you pull the trigger, it can take anywhere from 1 to 6 seconds for the BB to impact where youâ€™re aiming. Taking into account that the other person is shooting at you, there is a nice window of opportunity for BBs to hit both parties after theyâ€™ve been hit themselves. To explain, I shoot at John Doe at 0:00. The BB strikes John Doe at 0:02. At the same time, John Doe shoots at me at 0:01. John Doe says â€œHit!â€ at 0:03.The BB that John Doe shot while alive though is still the air though and hits me at at 0:03. I say â€œHit atâ€ 0:04. Seconds are very long when you think about it. Say 1 Mississippi and then think about how many times you pull the trigger on semi-auto in that time frame. How far you are moving at a sprint in that time. Most of the interactions are happening in fractions of a second. Even when you are hit, it takes time for your brain to receive the message and send it back to you so you can yell â€˜Hitâ€™. Things take time. I bring these points up because of how people are constantly putting their own flawed logic over the simplest of rules; if you are hit, you are â€˜outâ€™. During breaches of several buildings I was told several times that they were not calling their hit because they shot me first. This game seems to have become more about arguing to each other about the rules than actually following them for many of the players. Every single excited adrenaline filled moment of this weekend was interrupted by players attempting to discuss rules, yell, or something. Not once was I able to enjoy my death without some player ruining the immersion. It makes me very upset. However, I donâ€™t bring it up during gameplay unless asked. Why? Because other people are still playing. Which is such a huge commentary on peopleâ€™s mindset in this game and brings me to my next point. PAIN & FAILURE You are playing airsoft. BBs hurt. It astounds me how much people complain about being hit, how close, where from, where at, etc. If you do not want to get shot in the face, where a mask. If you do not want your teeth to go missing, wear mouth protection. If you do not want to get hurt, go find another hobby. For me, I find it insulting when I hear so many playerâ€™s go on and on about how they respect the military and how the play as a way to show homage to soldiers but then complain every time something stings. How many of you seem to perceive pain also seems to be a contributing factor into why you are not nearly as good as other players. For these people, when they get hurt, they blame the other person. Those that blame themselves and use pain as a learning tool, they get better. They try to avoid it. For those of you unable to accept failure, you will always be a failure in everything you do in life. For those of you who accept their failures and strive to solve those problems, you will succeed. RESPECT & OTHER PLAYERS Most of you donâ€™t seem to respect or care about your fellow players. This includes admins as well. Respect needs to be shown to all individuals on the field at all times. What started as a community hobby that pushed core values of community and respect has become a showcase of selfishness and hot headedness. Instead of simply shutting up and allowing others to continue playing, you want to stop the whole game and get onto someone or discuss it with them. No one wants to argue with you in the middle of the game. Especially when everyone else is trying to kill them. Youâ€™re letting your ego take control of you. Sit down and let them play it out. Did they make a mistake? Maybe. Is it your place to correct them? Absolutely not. For most of you it seems like once youâ€™re dead, you no longer care about the flow of the game or whether others are having fun. When I die pushing towards a building, sure I curse to myself in my head, but I also enjoy the fact that I was able to provide that experience for someone else to enjoy. I curse at myself because of the decision I made that led me there, not because what the other person did was wrong. It just seems like more and more people do not have the mindset required for this hobby to thrive. For it to work we have to trust those weâ€™re shooting against. How can we ever trust those we do not respect and do not respect us though? Most of you donâ€™t seem to care anything about the people youâ€™re playing with or against and how you affect their experience. This weekend I watched a gentleman stick their gun around corners and shoot several dead players. Why? He found it more important not to die than to provide his opponent with a clear shot. I watched a very well known player sit and shoot in bursts from his rifle. Why? Maybe single fire wasnâ€™t enough volume to kill the enemy. Maybe his gun malfunctioned. Doesnâ€™t matter. I watched people refuse to drag other and reload their magazines out on the field. For all of these people, it was more important that they shot someone than to provide everyone with an authentic experience. Which brings me to the next part. THE EXPERIENCE VS COMPETITION Oddly enough, this will likely be the shortest segment of my essay length AAR. Simply put, it seems like more and more games have become solely about the competition rather than the experience. It seems like constant fire fights and winning is now more important than the experience. I feel like the player base coming to American MilSim events are becoming more and more focused on shooting and winning than actually enjoying the experience itself, watching it unfold, people work together, and coming together. RESPONSIBILITY VS PROFITS Every business wants to maximize profits. I would even go far enough to say that a lot of businesses judge their success based on the profits they make. However, I do believe that those of us that profit from this hobby have a responsibility to shape the communities how we see fit. I really want to see more emphasis on content provided from hosts about tactics, communication, mindset, rules, and how to be a better player for the community than more brand advertising. I was absolutely astonished by the fact that there was an Elite Force banner strung across the mosque. Maybe Iâ€™ve just never noticed it before, but this weekend really hit me hard on how more and more like paintball this is beginning to feel to me. There is nothing wrong with paintball or general airsoft fun, but that isnâ€™t why I attend these events. I enjoy that kind of fun on the off weekend. I want hosts to be excited about airsoft and milsim. I want them to put their hearts into it, not just their attention. I think there is a responsibility there to mold these communities to be what we want them to be. Respectful, honest, and inviting. I donâ€™t mean to hold hosts 100% accountable for the actions of their players, but I do hold them accountable for trying. Which brings me to the next point. ENFORCEMENT & EXCUSES Rules need to be more strictly enforced. There is a player base that follows the rules and does everything according to the plan set out for them. I completely understand that you canâ€™t just kick people off of the field because someone accused them of not calling their hit. Opinion is one thing. However, Iâ€™m constantly seeing people showing up in the wrong uniform. If these people could not even read the uniform requirements for the event, I highly doubt they will know any of the important rules during gameplay. Not everyone has to like you for you to enjoy your product. If anything, I feel like if everyone likes you youâ€™re doing something wrong. Please stop giving us excuses. We know why things are the way they are. We look towards you, whoever that may be, as a pillar of the community, to find a solution. Also, please do not tell us to follow a rule you are not willing to follow yourself. ENDING STATEMENT In the end Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™ll be attending many more AMS events in the future, and instead begin focusing on running my own events. There is nothing wrong with the product that AMS is selling, but I yearn for something different, something more fitting towards the mold I envision things to be. Not that my envision is the only right one, but that I wish to create it. I look forward to seeing everyone in the future and will still be actively attending other events. Despite all the negativity this post brings to mind, I enjoy getting out there and meeting people from different communities. I hope some of you will join me in the future and wish all of you the best of luck.