The United States of America:
GamePod Combat Zone - Welcome to Antioch:
Imagine yourself dozing off after a full day prepping your first ever event in the US, gathering what spare blankets, bed sheets, sofa cushions you could to make your window ledge, which is large enough to fit a full sized man (except that it wasn't), as comfortable as a window ledge could ever be, to then shutting your jet lagged eyes while your body jitters with excitement, only to be greeted by an earthquake early in the morning followed by laughter as Rob said, “Welcome to Antioch.”
Yeah, that happened.
Before we get into it, I should mention that this particular trip was where I was given the most ridiculous call-sign ever, 'Pornstache'.
So how did it all start? On the way to Antioch from San Francisco, both Rob and his bestie, Jay, also known as Woodcock by many, asked me a relatively strange question. "So Tim, what do they call you back in Hong Kong?" "What do you mean?" I replied. "Like, do you have a callsign? Do they call you anything else other than Tim?" "Well, Tim is my name so, not taking into account the usual YouTube comments that say I'm a fake British person, that's about it really." "That's not right! You're going to get a *propuh* callsign at some point during this trip."
I was hoping for something really cool, like Faux, since I always had a faux hawk hair style, or Uberdeath9000, but nooooo. They waited a little while longer before they finally came up with something completely and utterly magnificent.
Now, Jay has this peculiar habit while he's driving on long trips along highways where he looks left and right at the different drivers going about their business, and then starts counting off how many people are picking their nose. Not everyone's habit, sure, but I wasn't going to judge someone they call Woodcock. He eventually noticed a driver to his right and pointed him out immediately screaming, "Look at that amazing porn stash!" I immediately jump up from my seat and pressed my face against the window in hopes to find this 'stash of porn' Jay had pointed out. To my surprise, and maybe slight disappointment, there was no porn what-so-ever, so I said, "I don't see any porn..." Rob and Jay looked at each other immediately, completely disregarding the ROAD AHEAD, then burst into laughter, turned to me and said "That's it! That's your callsign. You're Pornstache!" To which I responded, "What the hell is a Pornstache...?"
There you have it folks. My origin story, so if anyone asks me how I got the name, I'm going to direct them to this page and force them to read an entire blog to find out. Alright, moving on.
Operation: Rising Sun, which you can see in this video here, was a very special moment for me as it marked the return of RedWolf Airsoft in the US after many years of absence, and was my first every US airsoft game. Yes, we've been distributing to the US for the longest time but it had been a while since we hosted a large scale event that consisted of 300 people.
This was also the moment the ARES Amoeba 'Not-So-Honey-Badger' AM-013 AEG revealed itself to the world. The same gun I ran with the entire event and eventually gave away at the very end, which was a good thing too since everyone was eyeing it the entire time. I felt like I was being catcalled every single time I walked passed a group of people staring at a rifle they thought they couldn't have. Patience is a virtue, my friends!
The indoor CQB site is an amazing 120,000 square feet, I repeat, INDOOR CQB SITE, pretty much dwarfing all outdoor Hong Kong airsoft sites making them feel like Coldplay at the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime show when Beyoncé and Bruno Mars turned up. To quote their website, "The facility was designed with the assistance of LE and Military personnel to provide Government agencies a single solution full feature training environment utilizing virtually every possible component needed to maintain the highest level of readiness in today's constantly changing world." For Airsoft? It was just a ton of fun and quite a mess as most team didn't know which way they were meant to go.
As you can probably imagine, there are quite a few game styles one can play at a field like this. We didn't feel it was necessary to make things too complicated so we opted for the basic capture the flag, defuse the bomb and the hugely popular deathmatch scenarios. Of course, we made things a little more interesting by allowing other teams to capture the leaders if they managed to get their hands on them which gives them more points towards the end.
I spent half the time wearing fabulously bright colours as I wanted to run around with my camera gathering as much awesome footage as possible, the same way Scoutthedoggie does, except that when I followed a certain player hoping to sneak around like a ninja, because bringing a sword to a gun fight is always interesting, my bright vest screamed 'HERE WE COME' giving away our position every single time. If someone is running around in anything that reflects light, they're inadvertently advertising themselves as a possible target. Like a massive 'Don't Press' button, people will want to press you.
Teams were evenly matched and were rather difficult to tell apart since everyone wore the same camouflage and the only way to tell them apart was a flimsy pink or green plastic band loosely tied to their limbs. The only game I remember well was the final game. It ran for the entire day, even if it was a two day event, and we had to drag a large bomb to a certain location, knowing that resistance was purposely placed there due to the oppositions 'intel' they gathered from the Refs. We then had to arm it, and defend it till the end of the day. There was no escaping that explosion.
One of the best aspects of the game was the buggy driving around with remote controlled Minigun on top. Now that thing was a beast. To capture it, you had to take out the driver and anyone occupying the vehicle with a fake C4, obviously. No one else could drive it apart from the assigned driver, lucky bugger.
GamePod was probably one of the best ever CQB sites I've ever had the pleasure of playing in and I would go again if I managed to make my way back to San Francisco. This was firs first time I've played alongside the American community and it did seem like everyone was enjoying themselves. If they hadn't then I wouldn't have said that these guys hold very high standards considering the games I played in HK were miniature in comparison. Of course there was a raffle towards the end and we gave away the 2 ARES AM-013 AEG to 2 lucky winners. What I found funny was that before the event even started. Someone noticed the 'Not-So-Honey-Badger' I was running around with and said, "If you're giving that thing away at the end of the event, I'm going to win it." He did.
And now it's time to talk about American Milsim... In part 3.