1. The AO: Holy crap that place was insane. A massive AO complete with every single airsofters ideal playing style. Woodsball, Long Range, Multistory buildings, cqb, room to room fighting, rolling terrain offering varying lines of sight, and even point blank engagements. The top half alone was a separate AO and quite honestly, those buildings were so large and so different that each one was a separate AO as well. Its like the movie inceptions except its an AO withing and AO within an AO...mind blown. Pretty sure everyone will agree that the fighting at that one starship on day 2...and we all know which one i'm talking about...was stupid fun...that was a 4 hour firefight from hell with heavy fighting in court yards, stairwells, balconies, and hall ways. Now I haven't played the GTI AO before but I've seen lots of videos and it looks pretty similar but still completely different.
2. Play Style: I know that roles like Marksman, snipers and LMG's get pushed aside in certain AO's because the rules prevent them from using their weapons indoors or at close range, and most AO's that offer up that style of gameplay are not good enough because the range advantage those roles have are irrelevant b/c the AO isn't big enough and basic M4's can still get range lmg's, marksman, and snipers...but not at blacksite...in fact...i'd say that if your squad doesn't have HWS, LMG, and Marksman roles filled...you are at a disadvantage. We had a HWS guy with us running tag rounds...and he was raining fresh hate down on cost all weekend long. We also had a marksman and two lmg's and we all got put to work. Average engagement distance for me (LMG) was about 100-200 feet, with a couple right at my 60ft MED, i also had to draw my pistol a few times as well. The only other AO that really offers that much variety of role play is Copperhead...but copperhead doesn't have massive buildings that can hold 4 platoons worth of people, three stories high, with multiple stairs, balconies for snipers, rolling hills for cover, woods for sneaking around, or rolling hills for cover. This AO is a legit MilSim dream come true.
I've attached to scale images of Copperhead, Faded Giant, and Blacksite AO's just to give those that weren't there an idea of what you are dealing with here. Couple of things to note:
a. There are woods roughly 1/3 the size of all of faded giant that are perfect for fighting in.
b. The buildings at blacksite are comparable to the in size to the main building at GTI.
c. The lines of sight are as big or bigger than that of Copperhead, but the terrain also offers the ability to close distance and deal with snipers, marksman, SSW and HWS.
d. what you don't see is how elaborate some of those buildings are. The northern most building actually has an open air area in the middle with offices that go from the middle to the north and south sides. Those starship buildings have balconies, a few dozens rooms, long lines of sights, 3 stories tall, deadly courtyards, windows with great view points for spotting, machine rooms, long halls, etc. making the interiors comparable to GTI or Guardian Center.
This isn't really bad, just the stuff that I think needs to be improved on for future Blacksite events (and there better be future blacksites...place is too crazy to not do it).
1. The AO: While it's awesomeness can't be translated for those who weren't there, there was one major short coming for UFS...the two closest buildings to us were about a quarter mile away but CoST could just walk across the street to their nearest building...while I think the CoST spawn is fine, I think it would be nice if UFS had a couple trucks to help move troops a tad faster. I found we (UFS) often won those initial engagements against CoST, but b/c we had to travel so far to and from the FOB, reinforcements almost didn't happen. If a CoST player and UFS player started walking from the Starship closest to UFS FOB back to each of their bases...CoST would make it to theirs before the UFS did and subsequently got back into the fight faster.
2. Number of Players: While i think this was one of the largest number of tickets y'all have sold (roughly 250 vs 250+) that place is so dang big you could probably push those numbers to 300 vs 300 maybe even more if the interest is there.
3. While transports would be nice, each faction with one armed truck would also be helpful for both sides. Because of the terrain, parking lots, and roads in place...limiting all vehicles to paved surfaces i think would be very balanced. Adding in movable barricades to both sides to block enemy vehicle movement would also be a way to add more strategy to this AO, as well as a Mobile respawn.
4. While this was the first year and the mission was simple, this type of AO offers so many different types of missions from search and rescue, to defensive, to offensive, conquest, intel snatch, stealth, etc...this AO's possibilities seem limitless right now, and i think were under used for the first Op. Again, i know its a new AO and y'all are feeling it out.
Thank you AMS for bringing an OP to my home state of Alabama, and I look forward to playing at more blacksites in the future. This was my first AMS event and I can safely say it's the only MilSim where i got my moneys worth. Thank you.