Hi there! I wanted to post a "beta" review of Siege Airsoft's brand new airsoft field. To begin, I wanted to shout out to the team at Siege Airsoft, for hosting a great skirmish day for those wishing to try something new. It turned out quite well - in fact, I hope that I'll be able to attend again in the coming months.
To start, I'd like to describe the non-field part of the building. The main room links to the staging area (where you prepare your kit and gear), and two visitor viewing areas (which are safe to watch the game from without eyepro). And, unlike most fields, there is an actual washroom with working toilet and facilities, which is a big relief for those who hate porta-poties. The main room includes the desk, of which, behind it include Elite Force BB's for sale (5000 in .20 and .25 for $20.00), barrel bags ($5 to buy), paintball masks ($6.00 rental), and airsoft guns for rent. They also utilize two chronys when testing, which is useful to verify readings between the two, and to ensure that there's no unfairness when doing tests. At the time, they had no debit/credit, but they assured us that when the place officially opens, it will be available. There is also a pair of vending machines, for those who need something to eat and drink between games.
The viewing area is quite clever; two rooms, each with a large window that is unbreakable by BB's. It allows for guests to see how the sport actually works, without having to expose themselves to it. They give a decent view of the facility.
The staging area is also quite clever; to begin, there is a central room, with four adjoining rooms, which are labelled Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta. The main room has, if I recall, six to nine picnic-styled tables (I forget how many), as well as one or two inside each of the secondary rooms. All the rooms have a number of large wooden chests that are easily large enough to hold any gear you have (though gun cases likely won't fit). Afraid your things may get stolen? The chests each have a metal latch that can be easily fitted with a padlock of some kind that you can bring to the field. There's at least 36 of these chests, to my knowledge.
The field itself is quite expansive, though I'll admit straight up that the games will be best played with 40 players; any more than that, and it'll get chaotic, and neither side will have much luck in advancing. I actually found the first game to be the most dynamic, as most players were still kitting out when I started the first game, and the games didn't feel like two fully-secured front lines. However, there's plenty of cover to be had. There are four permanent structures in the field, of which each one has two-story access. One is like a large fort, the second has a bridge and other nooks and crannies, while the remaining two are smaller, but definitely still important. The rest of the field, loaded with sheds, walls, and other smaller objects, can actually be moved around by game staff, making adapting the field fairly straightforward for planned events. Temperatures in the building I'm not sure what they were set at, but I'd say they were at a cool 18 degrees, so warm enough to use GBB guns and to wear a t-shirt and pants, but cool enough that you'll never feel overheated. In other words, perfect.
Overall, I'm extremely impressed with Siege Airsoft, and I hope to come back in the coming months. I've already given them my concerns, but they were just nitpicks, and don't need to be brought up here as I'm sure they'll be resolved come the full opening. Staff was very professional, helpful, and listened well to feedback.
The only three things I will add, though, is two things: One, I feel there's a huge opportunity for both Siege and Toronto Airsoft with their close locations to one another; I think that Siege should make an arrangement for Toronto Airsoft to have TA set up a small kiosk or some other selling point for general gear. Or, perhaps even TA sponsored limited time rentals (try before you buy! ). I think if both companies worked together, you could see a mutually beneficial relationship, even though both companies are completely independent. The same could be said for a relationship with Airsoft Depot, but I mentioned Toronto Airsoft as it's within a 5 minute walk from there!
The second point I wanted to bring up is that I think it would be awesome if bridges that connected the two story structures together would be a neat addition; being able to attack from a second floor across the building would be a lot of fun. Of course, this is a significant expense, so I wouldn't expect it any time soon, but certainly would add to the already excellent design.
Finally, the third point is in regards to security; as this is in the middle of urban Toronto, I think adding a security door would be useful to make it more difficult for people to walk out with airsoft guns; of course theft prevention comes to mind, but what more comes to mind is the absent-minded person who goes outside for a smoke, and neglects to take off his sidearm when he does so - such situations could get the police called, even though I'm sure other nearby stores are aware of what kind of facility is located where you are. The only time the security door should be unlocked (and not being used to buzz people in) is when the fire alarm system is activated. If something like that could be set up, I think it would be in the best interests for all involved, to prevent any incidents - let it be accidental or intentional - from occurring.
Overall, I'm very happy with Siege Airsoft's new facility. They took the time to make a truly excellent facility, and even the small little additions - the little red spinning light that's used to signal that a game's in play; heavy translucent rubber curtains to protect the main area from harm; the fully adjustable interior lighting for day and night operations; the military-stenciled crates with fun little military-styled warning notices on them - makes this a template for what I hope is for many new airsoft-only facilities to become.
this review into the Reviews section.