Forgot your password?
Or sign in with one of these services
slab, September 7, 2016 in Operation: COPPERHEAD 2.5
Hello from the Pacific Northwest!
First off, I want to thank everyone who contributes to AMS, and everyone who made OP: Copperhead 2(.5?) possible.
A couple things to add; I have 8+ years of airsoft experience (all in Washington) from organizing our own events to participating in everything but MSW. This is the first time I have bothered to write an AAR as well. This was also my first AMS event and despite the negative I had an absolute blast and do plan on attending more.
The biggest thing to me was communication/chain of command. It's always an issue, but I don't feel this was really a technical problem, it was a personnel problem. The only time I was in my squad (Vegas 6-1 for PSA) was at the very start of the event when we received orders to patrol West. After that, we all got scattered. Nobody seemed to be able to tell me where they were or what we were supposed to be doing. I feel like my SQL made no effort to keep tabs on us. I mostly stuck with my PNW crew and we did our own thing. **SQL's, I was a SQL in a Search and Rescue unit. I understand what you have to deal with and I'm not going to cover it all, but at the very least provide a specific rally point, not "the FOB", for situations like this.
As far as radio comms go, I was around a lot of people whom I recognized when they were being called or calling others, it was either cut off by someone else, or nobody answered. **I would reccomend each squad be on a different channel and each SQL have an extra radio or somehow have direct comms with the PL or someone in charge of comms. It seemed like all of PSA was on one channel. And even then have one or two people monitor radio traffic and record it for the CO so he can make his plans and decisions. When I was in the FOB, there would be times when the CO was being called by multiple people while he was also doing a million other things. Just seemed like a cluster.
Another thing that bugged me was the lack of training. Most people I saw had no idea to stagger while on patrol, how to clear a whole house let alone pie a doorway, set a perimeter, cross fire-linesm etc. I understand this is airsoft and we're not all Seal Team 6, but if you're going for milsim, basics like that should be expected, borderline required. But that's more of an opinion I suppose.
Now, for the finale. The beginning of the night game. Absolute worst airsoft experience of my life. And I almost didn't bring it up because the player-admin involved was AMS staff and I expect nothing to happen about it. But I will anyway.
It's about 7 or 8pm, just dark enough that I can see the edges of the roof in bizarre that I'm standing on. There's only about 7 PSA that I'm aware of inside the FOB. The CO, SQL, literally everyone else was tucked in their cozy houses or something. 2 of my PNW guys are having gun/light issues and the 3rd is shining his light at them so they can see. They're sitting on a bench next to two other PSA guys that are also sitting just hanging out. Suddenly, multiple squads of UFS with NVG's just blast away at each of us. I'm not talking a few hits to know we're dead, I mean incredibly obnoxious overshooting. I understand, it happens, but this was just ridiculous in every sense of the word. So I'm hit, every other PSA I just described is hit. I turn and face the inside of the FOB and struggle to get my RED CHEMLIGHT out in the open so people can see. I turn on my PEQ light so I can see and suddenly I get lit up like crazy. I understand that a sudden 380+ lumens in NVG's can probably make someone jump. Luckily they were shooting at the light, which is on the right side of my gun so most of the wall got shredded. We're all yelling that we're dead and to stop shooting. Again, this was aggressive overshooting. So they stop, then I start getting shot in the back, again by another UFS with NVGs whom I shine my flashlight on so he'll knock it off. At this point we're all seriously agitated, so I shine my flashlight towards the ladder so I can get off the roof. Again, first group of UFS light me up. I finally get down off the ladder and hold up my chem light towards them and shine my light on it/at them so they can all see. Everyone is pissed and yelling obsceneties at eachother. Some of the UFS are claiming they can't see red chem lights with their NVG's. Some UFS guy yells something at me and starts intentionally shooting at my face. So I duck inside the room where all of our stuff is and the rest of my PNW guys grab all of our gear and start to leave. As we're in the FOB intersection headed out of the AO, I shine my light at the feet of a bunch of UFS so I can find out who was intentionally shooting at my face. A player rips off his headset, drops his gun and gets in my face yelling and repeating, "I'm AMS, turn off your light!" Obviously I'm irritated and yell back at him but then immediatly decide to ignore him and left the field. In the heat of the moment I forgot to ask for his name. I attempted to find him the next day. He wore a short sleeve Multicam combat and trousers with black and white patches on his left sleeve with some form of sealed shooting glasses. **My point to part of this is that if you're deemed a player admin and AMS staff, you should be attempting to de-escalate the situation, not look like you're about to throw a punch, which we all thought he was. **Also, a reccomendation for night games. I didn't care about not having NVG's, but the other guys I was with have sworn not participate in anymore night games after that fiasco. So out of fairness, I would say maybe add a time period to where NVG's can't be used, only for a short time though, that way it's an even playing field for those who don't have them and they can enjoy some evening combat. Again, I don't really mind, they just didn't want to bother saying anything.
In the end, as I began with, despite all this I really enjoyed the event. I feel the 3 hour flight and 9 hour drive was worth it. Thanks you for reading and I hope to attend another ASAP!
Groot I feel you pain on night games. Literally! I was lit up pretty good by some PSA guys at the staged nighttime La Losa Bus takedown. It happens sometimes and sucks, but people need to remember if they're the ones who "accidentally" did it an apology goes a long way to smoothing things over. If it's done intentionally that person needs to be removed from the event.
Everything you stated, combined with the logistical command nightmare of 're-organization due to player drop out, forces me to dispise night play. Night game portions should be optional (imho) since they, let's be honest here, tend tocater to those with the expensive cool guy equipment or the inexperienced who do not know what a cluster night games truly are. Lol! And white light is not nearly as effective against NVGs as people state. One would have to have a constant 360 degree coverage of white light to make it effective, completely eliminating the advantage of NVGs.
On another note, I also had an encounter with a "staff" member earlier in the day that was, let's say less than favorable. In my situation, he wasn't truly not a staff member but an instructor who was brought in and was "unclear" on some aspects of the rule set while playing. I immediately ran it up the chain of command and it was sorted out. Go to find out he is actually a pretty cool guy. Mistakes were made and sending it up the chain of command got my issue addressed. One of the biggest issues I see plague Airsoft is that when a situation or confrontation occurs most people storm away mad, which is understandable; but walking away from a situation doesn't always resolve it.
That being said, I don't care what type of special snowflake a person may think they are, whether you're a YouTube celebrity, vendor, "real world important", regular player or staff. If you are not knowledgeable of all the rules and or don't follow them, you do not need to be on the AO. Period! If your equipment is detrimental to properly and honestly playing this game, such as not seeing red chemlights with nvgs, improper use of lasers, or my favorite, not feeling bb strikes because you're wearing body armor while playing toy guns; then you do not need to be on the AO. Period! At the end of the day, we as individuals are responsible for our own actions and should be held equally accountable. Ignorance is simply not an excuse.
Groot, I am sorry to hear that these things had a negative effect on your play but I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself enough to want to come out and play again. I have personally found the AMS events are the best ones in over 10 years participating in the awkward hobby of ours. In the time I've spent with AMS I can honestly say they truly care about their players and will always address the problems and concerns that are raised.
For me, regardless of a few bumps, I had an amazingly good time! I stated that AMS was going to come back strong at CH 2.5 after their Broken Home event. AMS not only did so, but from my overall perspective, AMS knocked this event out of the park! I will go into details with a more detailed AAR as soon as I find time to write it up.
Sorry, but this may have been a lack of coffee ramble. Lol
Edited for my tired-tardation
Great event, well planned, well executed.
However, logistically it was a nightmare. Bottom line is the troops need to be provided some sort of water. IOBC 2011, (the class before me), a 2LT died on a 5 mile run in the exact same conditions as Day 1 of Copperhead.
As you know (at Copperhead), the nearest town is 45 minutes away. We brought 7 gallons and were black on water within 4 hours.
Each side NEEDS a water buffalo at their FOB. While I do appreciate the ambulance standing by, AMS also need to look at heat mitigation.
Maybe look into these... (these are a lifesaver after long rucks, https://www.army.mil/article/84250)
During Copperhead, I had a seasoned studly Soldier in my squad. (I know because I served with him) and he almost passed out from heat exhaustion. He had orange diarrhea (in the field) which made us immediately stop playing the first day, drop what we were doing and rush to town to get him more water. Note: this guy is a stud, I have seen him carry the 240 without complaining / switching out on a 20 miler.
All in all, this event was some of the most fun I have ever had in an airsoft game however, service and support needs to be addressed before someone literally becomes dead dead.
Hey Guys, I want to apologize if I cause a ruckus but I wanted to give my two cents in terms of whatâ€™s been posted here already. I also want to point out that a lot of what Iâ€™ve been reading here was also said at the event and while I donâ€™t want to point any fingers, I may reference one or two people both here and on the field. Mind you this is not an attack on anybody, just my opinion based off of my experience. Lastly, this was my first Milsim event but this is my 15th year in airsoft.
First, I wanted to address what has been said about organization and communication for PSA (Iâ€™m sure it was different for UFS). Organization was quite different than what I was expecting. On paper it was perfect but in reality we were often cut-off, separated or simply not with our districts or units. In my opinion, that was awesome. I felt it perfectly fit with the amorphous nature of PSA. We were anywhere and everywhere denying UFS! I tried to roll with my district or unit leader when I could but more often than not it worked better when they could split us off to help other units in need.
As for Comms. According to our matrix, we all did have separate channels for our districts and units. Whether or not everyone used them correctly. . . Well, it worked fine in PSU2.
Secondly, I have to second Grootâ€™s comment about training to an extent. However, one of the main problemâ€™s I saw outside of minimal tactical knowledge was people who were too focused on maintaining â€œreal steelâ€ tactics rather than adapting them to the limitations of an airsoft replica. What would be really sweet is if AMS offered optional tactical classes Friday evening for people whoâ€™ve finished the check-in process. Even if it was simple stuff packed into a 15-30 minute lecture.
Thirdly, the night FOB ambush. I feel you Groot. I was there too. It sucked and I really didnâ€™t care for how that panned out. However, on my way out, several UFS guys stopped me and apologized for lighting me up and one even helped me with my FOB bag. You guys saved my opinion of you right there. Thank you.
As for the NODs, I was probably the only PSA guy caught in that ambush that had them on and were using them (for all the good it did!). I can echo the statement that the red lights could not be distinguished through my NODs. It was a crap situation but what helped me from being utterly torn to shreds after being overshot was sticking with old faithful: dropping my gun and putting my hands up. It can be hard to stand there getting shot while their mind processes it but that little gem gets the message across the quickest in my experience.
Fourthly, Water. I wholly second Tyrbell that it would be great to have water tanks at each of the FOBs, but to be completely honest, I feel that it is entirely unnecessary. Before anyone gets in a tiff hereâ€™s why: We were forewarned several times in emails and by staff that there would be no water available at this field. We personally brought 12 gallons for three people. Between hydrating, food preparation and cleaning we went through 8 gallons. We ourselves as well as at least 2 other groups brought extra food and water to the FOB for others in emergency. Itâ€™s not only water either but electrolytes. We brought a liter of pedialyte that we were cutting in to our water in addition to electrolyte gummies. I handed those gummies out like hot cakes to whomever I saw flagging on either team and had several people track me down and thank me later that day or the next. If everyone brought adequate water for their consumption needs and then some, there should have been no issues.
Lastly, my only real issues I had with the event was some of the attitudes of the other players when things didnâ€™t go their way and the tan team members who were wearing green helmets. Come on guys, it was right on the ticket you needed faction based head gear. . . Anyways, as Kaiju said: â€œThe only person that will prevent you from having a good time is youâ€. No truer words.
That was more like a nickel then it was two cents but hey, thanks for reading. This was one of, if not the best events Iâ€™ve ever been to. I will be back again! Thanks AMS!
Copperhead 2.5 MMX AAR
This was my second MMX class and just like the first, it was worth the money and time. We started with a brief discussion about what would be covered (how to properly breach a house working as a unit), then we started walking through different ways to accomplish the mission. The instructors took the time to answer all our questions while at the same time encouraging us to think of our own solutions. We started at a snails pace, the instructors not just telling us what we were doing right or wrong but stopping so they could show us the proper technique. With each run through details were added and we swapped up who did what. This continued until we all had a firm grip on the process, then we had some fun while still learning. We stacked up and assaulted and cleared the building, taking out targets as we went. On the last run through we cleared the building we had used all afternoon, then without pause moved to the house next door and did it again. With just a few hours training and working together we all showed a huge improvement in technique and teamwork. A few hours of commitment made us more aware of our squad, our equipment and surroundings. We went from a groups of guys that for the most part had never worked together or even met to team with focus and purpose.
If you haven't thought about doing one of the classes or are on the fence, take my advice and do it!! We all invest time and money in our gear, travel and events, why not invest in some training to give yourself every advantage you can get and also have more fun.
A suggestion for the MMX instructors, hold a class that pertains directly to the event and training location. Have the students participate in a DAM mission or as a squad for the event. 12 to 16 guys with a whole day of training together under the tutelage of real operators would be a force to reckon with. Even if a class like that cost more it would be money well spent.
Lastly I want to thank Frosty and AMS for putting together the class at such a great price. As for the instructors, Shack and Pinky thank you for taking the time to pass on a little of what you know. You both did an amazing job!!
Just for the sake of clarification. Virus was not in an MMX course, or a DAM. That was part of the "AMS Guardian's". Its not a class that you can sign up for, or buy a ticket too.
I think that it was an MMX class that anyone can attend, that being said, I feel like that information didn't get put out in advance like it usually is. I do know that Frosty and his guys did a couple of MMX classes, but I don't know if he did a guardian class.
Operation CH2.5... was awesome. It was my second CH. Complete chaos due to confusion and having to go to respawn and being separated from your "guys" is part of the fun. My radio was not working well and I teamed up with whomever... Check in with Kaiju or whomever and figure out what was needed next or where the action was... I was friendly fired twice in a row after respond...yet it set up my "epic" event of CH ... 6 kills one grenade dropped at feet of UFS standing in circle... Botton line...you got to make your own fun out of the craziness. While former military way long ago... I do not know how to breech a house ect... part of fun to figure out. As Kaiju said.. it was not about the houses .. it's about getting to objective and get intel... we did not even really defend the FOB...
As a 60+ year old, Nurse Practitioner... I prepared physically by exercising regularly... used GU supplements... electrolyte replacement to my 3 liter water bad... yes we had at lest 12 liters per person for our squad... and bought more the second day. HEAT STOKE will kill you and I performed an medical assessment on 3 PSA members at the FOB... you and your buddies have to be responsible for your self and buddies... the squad I belong to get tired of me saying "drink up" constantly.. I am continually sucking on my water tube...
AMS can not be responsible for all the people participating... yes a pain to take all that water to the FOB... just get it done ... and you will be okay.
I am currently suffering from PCHWD... Post Copperhead Withdrawal Disorder.. geez can't wait till next year...
I would like to address the water situation. In the past we have used water buffalos at certain locations, but we use those because we have access to those on site. With the remoteness of this AO, we are limited to what we can bring in our trailer. The logistical burden of supplying water to 300+ people is quite taxing on the already limited resources we face with this AO being so far from civilization. There were people that we picked up, and supplied water to. In the future we will hopefully have a larger trailer, and the ability to provide more logistical assistance for things such as water, but for this past event we hoped that pushing down, and informing players of the almost complete absence of water available on the AO was sufficient. Perhaps we could have suggested some guidelines for the amount of water to bring, which we did not do. We have a couple of ideas for next year that might help mitigate this, but we will have to see if they work out. Keep it coming guys, I love to read the good and the bad.
Hey guys! Callsign Flash here from PSA Vegas 6 squad. Overall, I had a blast. The AO was amazing, and playing in those houses was exhilarating. I definitely plan on going again next year. However, there were some things that I feel could be improved upon.
With that said, I still really enjoyed my time. I plan on going back out there next year and taking my experiences from this year to improve my performance next year. I hope that game staff takes these criticisms and improves upon them. For myself, if these things are addressed, the event would be very close to perfection. Thanks AMS for a kickass event!
Just for reference, if it is inside of the boundaries of the play area on the map, then eye pro is required. I will clarify this on the safety briefing slides. The point of the offset respawns was so that if the FOB is attacked, you are not shooting a bunch of dead players, and players will still have somewhere to respawn, I do see the issue of the respawn location being walled off, and Ill lookmat this closer for next year if we keep the same format.
I agree on the aid/ammo stations Flash. For future reference, I would reccomend cruising the forums in your off time, camping/area access time was addressed about a month or so prior to the event. However I suppose it could've been relayed to the FB page or something.
As for the grenade rules, it was very explicitly stated (several times during the Friday night brief) that if you have hard cover between yourself and a grenade detonation, you are alive. Kitchen counters, dinner tables, or any other barrier that you can't punch a hole through with your hand count as hard cover, according to AMS rules.
I always keep my eye protection on while on the field, and never take them off until I'm back in staging. In that occurrence, I was asking for someone else just for clarification. My issue with that interaction was with the professionalism of staff (Kaiju), at least I THINK he's staff since he was our CO. He really just perpetuated a long-standing stereotype of the condescending "elitist" airsofter.
The UFS player in question hid behind an upright dinner table, standing up (not crouched at all), while the grenade detonated about 10 feet from him. I was dead by the doorway and questioned him. He claimed he wasn't hit because he was being the table lol. I told him that it would make more sense if the dinner table was laid on its side and used as a barricade, but you just stood behind it and watched the grenade explode. He just ignored me and kept playing. Behind a kitchen counter and out of sight of the grenade as it detonates is understandable, but simply standing behind an upright dinner table and watching the grenade explode is ridiculous.
Ah, gotcha. Good on calling him out on that, I do the same to guys on my own team when I catch them rule/hit shrugging.
The only way we get better is by policing our own.
NVGs and chemlights
Vis chemlights are v bright under NVGs. No excuse.
I agree, but when you factor in shooting, adrenaline, and flashlights, they can get washed out sometimes. Especially if your running dual tube NVGs. This is why I prefer strobe lights such as these:
I feel like the strobe stands out better under NVG's. You can wear them on your gear, and just hit a button to turn them on, you don't have to hunt for them. Is it full proof, no but sometimes you get shot when you're playing airsoft.
I'm going order some of those Alex, thank you for the link.
I agree, but when you factor in shooting, adrenaline, and flashlights, they can get washed out sometimes. Especially if your running dual tube NVGs. This is why I prefer strobe lights such as these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0194H5IFG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I feel like the strobe stands out better under NVG's. You can wear them on your gear, and just hit a button to turn them on, you don't have to hunt for them. Is it full proof, no but sometimes you get shot when you're playing airsoft.
Are the chemlights being used as dead rags or just markers?
Strobes are a better option, for sure.
Are the chemlights being used as dead rags or just markers? Strobes are a better option, for sure.
Both, but more often as dead rags at night. I feel like its more often then not an electronic option, but not always something that flashes. We often use both chem lights, and orange or green strobes to mark things at night as well.
Alex,I always keep my eye protection on while on the field, and never take them off until I'm back in staging. In that occurrence, I was asking for someone else just for clarification. My issue with that interaction was with the professionalism of staff (Kaiju), at least I THINK he's staff since he was our CO. He really just perpetuated a long-standing stereotype of the condescending "elitist" airsofter.
Sorry I came across as snappy. I am not AMS staff rather just a player like yourself who was placed in a position of command.
With that command comes the responsibility of overseeing 130-140 individuals as well as coordinating with multiple AMS staff, often simultaneously dealing with 5 or 6 radio channels.
Things get very crazy at times and the game was about to start. You unfortunately caught me at a time when my plate was full and I was a bit stressed.
Sorry for the curt reply it wasn't meant as a brush off or "elitist" attitude, there was simply a lot going going on and I'm only human after all. I hope you will not let this situation taint your opinion of me and AMS.