First off, Force Recon Canada and G.O.A. (another team from Canada and good friends of ours) would like to thank AMS for putting on Faded Giant 4. As we also put on large scale Milsim events we completely understand what is involved in putting on a great show. So big thanks from all of us. It’s a hell of a lot of work and dedication that few really understand.
This is Force Recon’s 3rd AMS event, my 2nd and G.O.A.’s 1st. As a team Force Recon Canada attended FG3, Copperhead this past April and now FG4. Since attending FG3, AMS has impressed upon us a professional, well organized machine with very approachable and responsive staff. This time around, that proved to still be the case. The other thing that we have found AMS games great for is the player base. As a team we are veterans of many large scale US Milsim events, and so far the player base that AMS has attracted has been amazing. I will re visit this in a bit….
Overall I would say that our experience at FG4 was definitely a positive one. We were pleasantly surprised that although not as long of a game as we are used to, we were still challenged to the point where we were glad for a rest by end-ex on the first day.
Observations – the good:
Great AO – This particular venue needs to be sustained. It is dynamic and challenging and is actually bigger than it seems.
Great Staff – At Copperhead I thought the AMS staff, from the top guys, down to the Admins on the field were some of the most approachable and responsive I have come across. I am glad to report that this remains unchanged. It may sound trivial and a given, but great staff that are friendly, courteous and responsive are, unfortunately, more the exception and not the rule. It is clear that AMS take pride in this particular aspect as they seem to excel at it. Please keep up the good work.
‘Some’ Great TTP for first time players, of which there were a lot. At formation the show of hands for first time AMS attendee’s looked to be well into the 50-60% range…however, unfortunately, this leads me into the bad….
Observations – the bad:
Player base – As mentioned above, there were a lot of new-to-AMS players on this one. As a result it seemed to us that there were a lot of guys out there that seemed to be unfamiliar with AMS rules (a good example of this would be Grenades indoors….in that both frags and bangers kill when indoors) which inevitably lead to some heated verbal exchanges and frustrations. This in particular is something I have found to be in stark minority at AMS events in the past which has been very refreshing. Take this as more of a memory jog than a straight critique though as we still had some great exchanges with the usual AMS standard of player….but perhaps some work needs to be done, both on AMS staff levels as well as veteran AMS attendee levels. Perhaps AMS needs to focus a bit more attention on getting the right in game leadership in place so that those values get emphasized and passed down from Command, to Platoon Leaders, all the way down to the Fireteams themselves, which brings me to my next point…
Improve integrity of Squads - It may be unreasonable for an expectation that cohesive squads are signed up for the game however a cohesive fire team (4 dudes) is reasonable. This may prevent the view of lone players roaming the field and ease command and control. For a game this intense, being proficient on a fireteam level (at a minimum) is a must. Further, it allows for better dissemination of information through the ranks, such as intel.
Improve the amount of in Game Admins – As I’ve stated before…great admins…but we need more of them. Lots of terrain to cover in this AO for the amount of game staff. This particular AO is a complicated one with both large outdoor areas as well as multiple and complicated indoor areas to cover. We saw very few admin staff inside.
Green lasers – I realize AMS does not have a rule set on this, and that is their prerogative. They are powerful and unsafe to the naked eye and are a risk. But ok…I’ll put on my big boy pants for a second and grant that given responsible use, the risk is minimal. HOWEVER, we came across an individual who insisted on lasing people through the window in a closed door. Now, I can only think of one reason and one reason only why you would use your laser on a 10 inch by 10 inch window on a closed door in airsoft and that reason is to discourage someone looking through that window…in other words you are using the laser to lase the eyes of the other person. We brought this up to Game admin, who, to his credit went and talked to the guy with the laser. The guy with the laser then complained he was being strobed by a flash light. So….Admin came back and said, if buddy didn’t use his flash light, then the other guy wouldn’t use his laser. Im sorry but they are quite simply apples and oranges. You cannot in good sense compare the effects of a strobing 500 lumen flash light to that of a Green laser that is in fact capable of irreparably damaging someone’s eyesight. If AMS wants to continue to allow the use of green lasers then their needs to be an understanding of responsible use. Lasers are used to assist in aiming and yes are used to mess with your enemy’s eyesight (in a real combat environment). This is airsoft, and frankly the use of lasers other than to aim with the intent of shooting is reckless and irresponsible.
Length and Format – I mentioned above that we are used to a longer format but that we were indeed ready for a rest after the 8 hours regardless. That said, our brothers in GOA that came down with us were not terribly impressed with this fact. Credit to them, they came anyways to experience AMS after much fanfare from our team members who have attended past events. Yes it was intense, and that is good, however (in our view at least) forcing the maximum experience into an 8 hour package makes it very difficult to employ Milsim like tactics and strategy, let alone proper command and control. Everyone was going balls out the whole time….and that is cool. But you then get dangerously close to skirmish territory. An 18hr op with properly scheduled down time/rotation of squads and or fireteams OR two 9hr evolutions with a break in the middle forces teams to work at a pace they can sustain, forces them to think before acting (Planning!) and gives teams enough time to come up with epic battle field plans, maneuvers and counter maneuvers.
Now, not all teams are from Canada, in fact very few. But a ton of dudes do indeed drive equal distances to attend AMS events. Maybe we’re just a bunch of whiny bitches…but it sure makes it a lot easier and worthwhile to drive 16+ hours to an event if it is longer than 8hrs regardless of how awesome it is.
As initially stated, overall we had a positive experience. That said, some players need to get up to speed on AMS’ level in terms of knowing and obeying the rules but more importantly the spirit of the game that AMS brings to the fold. With certain Milsim companies not putting out as many games as before, there seems to be an influx of new players into the AMS base. Either that or word is simply spreading. Either way, the high standard of player AMS is known for needs to continue. There is only so much Staff can do…Bo said as much to me when we had a brief conversation about this very topic at End Ex on the second day. And I agree with him to a point. We mostly came across good players who understood that in Milsim you’re gonna take some hits and that its all part of the game. But there were also a lot of fellas out there that were either not paying much attention in the brief, conflicted on the meaning of certain rule sets or were just simply not up to standard. Off the top of my head AMS staff, for their part already have a pretty good briefing, but when they choose their in-game command elements (CO, EO or 2IC and Platoon Commanders) they should (already do?) ensure that those folks are up to Standard. Don’t get me wrong here…We had some good guys out there…Yuk for one was bang on….even that turn coat T-Rex, regardless of the fact that he purposely avoided us the whole event wink emoticon But I think that there were some that perhaps were good players but not necessarily working well in a leadership capacity. Leaders lead…they guide their troops in what they do AND how they do it. Values are part of this.
Finally a word to the newer AMS players here: This particular AO, like Staff reiterated time and time again in the briefings, is dangerous. It is dangerous by nature of its physical make up as well as how it forces players to be up close and personal. There were lots of Teflon Dons out there this time as well as some who did not like to get hit. I personally took a round to the face and had to dig the bb out of my lower lip with my Leatherman (pitfalls of not wearing face pro…that may change in the future wink emoticon )….I did not yell after the player that shot me. I did not charge after him. It was a righteous kill and for that I commend the guy. Full Stop. CQB is a highly aggressive environment. Some teams are more aggressive than others….but you can be aggressive and not be a dick.
So that’s it. If this comes off overly negative, its not meant that way, but this one left room for improvement all round.
Oot and Aboot!...Sorry EH!