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Old November 18th, 2014, 17:04   #1
r.d.fretz
 
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Field Design

There has been some talk of Milsim fields in the older posts Iíve been reading. So Iím wondering what makes a field Milsim and not just a typical skirmish field? Is there really that much of a difference?

Being a relatively new player to the airsoft sport, Iím not sure what the differences might be, so please be patient with me as I know this will seem like a noob question to some.

I figure that if more fields are geared towards Milsim the players and teams will be happy, the field will have more players coming out, and everyone wins! Maybe Iím wrong, but it does seem like many players are looking for Milsim more often than they are looking for skirmish.

Iím not a field owner, but if I know what the Milsim field is supposed to look like, I can talk to the owners of the fields I go to and hopefully we will all see more fields that offer more of what the players actually want.
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Old November 18th, 2014, 18:08   #2
Brian McIlmoyle
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The field has little to do with the character of a game.. it is how the event is organized and executed that makes it a Milsim or a skirmish.
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Old November 18th, 2014, 19:36   #3
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Brian's correct. It's more of what a milsim can do with the field, than what a field can do to make a game more "milsim".
Milsims at a place like PRZ out in Picton are nice. It's got a big long building for CQB, and lots of field for outdoor work. It gives a lot of variety, and a little something for (almost) everybody.
On the other hand, Brian's new piece of land is just an undeveloped chunk of forest, with a powerline running through it to break up the forest a bit. He hosted this year's Deadfall there, and the game would be considered milsim. No bunkers, no trails (except for in a small corner of the field), no nothing.

But to address the spirit of your question, if you want a place that's good for squad-based milsims, you'll probably want to look to build specific areas, that are defendable, at a crossroads in a trail, or otherwise have some sort of value.
For example, take a look at the Niagara Quartermasters field, here: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/024...r_Map.pdf?4074
You'll notice there's paths through the forest, and they go along to different bases. These bases or objectives give team commanders something to have their squads fight over. "Send squad 1 out to Fire Base Alpha, and send squad 4 out to relieve squad 3 at the Satellite Relay, and have squad 2 patrol up the paths between the Slums and Firebase Alpha to make sure no one cuts through the forest and bypasses the firebase".

In other words, give your field distinct landmarks and/or defendable positions. It will allow the commanders to easily sort out the flow of their troops, and give game organizers things to work into their game. eg the NQ field has a SAM Site, and sometimes one team will need to hold it, while the other will need to blow it. Once it's blown, airstrikes can begin to be called in.

You should also try and set things up so that there's a direct way to approach a target, and an indirect way. For example, a squad could just roll up the path to the front gates and try to shoot their way in. Or they could put in the hard work of bushwhacking or bellycrawling through the forest to try get around the target.

Lastly on this list-from-the-top-of-my-head, is variety. Pretty self explanitory. Have some open fields, have some forest, have some kill houses/little village, have some large fort-like structures, etc.

Bounding (provide cover fire and movement) through fields and forests is fun. Clearing a kill house and/or a village is fun. Defending a fortress can be fun. But these are all things that require a team effort, and it encourages squad-based play.
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Old November 18th, 2014, 19:58   #4
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You can play paintball or speedball, or tag or CTF or whatever at a field like CFB rivers.
It's the game type and crowd that is "milsim", not the field

Mind you, some fields are just better for the "milsim" crowd, like CFB rivers.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 02:01   #5
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Woodland field with NO STRUCTURES is best for Milsim.. As soon as you add structures.. the fight will get focused on them.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 12:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
Woodland field with NO STRUCTURES is best for Milsim.. As soon as you add structures.. the fight will get focused on them.
This. Natural forts will always be present and can be used for objectives, OPs, CPs, etc. Structures outdoors in the woods or clearings are a black hole for game play.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 12:27   #7
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You want forts? Have your squad dig and assemble them out of dirt, mud, sandbags and branches.

Thats a fuckin' milsim fort.

I agree with Brian, while structures can be nice... as soon as you have a couple the fighting begins to center around them. I've been longing to attend another completely greenside op with just a forest as your AO. That would be 'rad.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 12:28   #8
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Interesting answers I would never have expected. No structures and by this I understand no bunkers as well as no buildings. That would make it at least more realistic, and milsim. I think anyhow… And the idea of not having any specific buildings to focus the fights on, it’s no longer about objectives? Or are the objectives something altogether different? I’m also guessing there is no CQB outdoors for the milsim fields. I wonder if that will make a big difference or if it will just cause the fights to be centered around it.

I know at the field I’ve been playing on most of the time, there is a maze structure and it’s rarely the focus for most newer players. Its so very small inside, not a lot besides hallways and most players seem to have shied away from anything so intense.

This is great information so far. I don’t know why there aren’t more fields that are left undeveloped for the milsim players, it seems almost too easy for a field owner! At the least, I think I need to get out to more of the bigger fields and bigger games to see how everyone else does their thing. Having a field that is undeveloped and no structures seems downright simple and easy! I don’t know why I haven’t seen more like this…
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Old November 19th, 2014, 12:35   #9
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Buildings don't have to necessarily constitute an objective themselves. For example:

1. You could have a bunch of crates stacked up to simulate a cache with a tarp slightly overhanging it, in a specific area of the forest. Boom, there's an objective. No actual buildings required.

2. Make a bunch of fake looking mortars and have a couple of fighting holes dug up around the place, and maybe some rudimentary pillboxes made of branches. No buildings, and it looks a hell of a lot more realistic.

3. Make the objective a PERSON. That's what was done at this year's Deadfall, one team's ultimate objective the entire game could be to hunt one individual as well as some other smaller tasks.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:47   #10
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I wouldn't necessarily go as far as saying "absolutely no strucutres". But Brian's point is valid. If the game is not organized correctly, a milsim turns into smaller games of Attack and Defend around the structures.

Certain structures, hard points, or similar, can add a lot to the milsim experience, though. Holding a hard point can be a huge tactical boost for whichever team holds it. At Brian's field, there's an open field with power lines running through it, that cuts the forest in half. If you can control that field, you can effectively cut off the other team to only half the field. The only way across the field is to crawl or smoke it.

People should have the option to take and hold a stategic point, but they should also be able to go around it (even though most people don't think to bother). Losing an important point will make the game more difficult for your team, and I feel like that's part of a milsim experience. If you can't take a hard point, then there will be consequences for your team.

If your command cannot work out a way around the hard point, then then he's going to have to throw a lot of resources at trying to push through the hard point, thus stretching his other forces thinner.

In many cases, a structure on a field does mean that fights will be concentrated around those structures. But that comes back to the players and game organizers. For those who were at this year's Deadfall: I don't think that Deadfall would have been played any differently if there were structures scattered all throughout the field.


However, if you go by what the common concept of a milsim is (basically just continuous game play and enforced squad cohession), you'll want to have hard points, trails, and the like, for people to fight over. Unless advertised as one of those niche milsims that the WWII guys put together (Brian's games for non-reinactors included), people expect to actually fire their weapon at a milsim. They'll bitch if they're told to sit on guard duty for 12 hours. They may be hesitant to slowly haul through the forest for an hour to get around an obstacle, instead of charging up the trail to eliminate the obstacle.

From reading your other posts, the field you're referring to is also used for scrims, and regular games like that. Those types of players would probably not take too well to "here's an undeveloped forest. Go play CTF". So while Brian's right that structures are just fight magnets at milsims, those are the types of games that most people would expect to play if you advertise a "milsim".


Edit: Lots of replies since I started writing my response here at work with all the interuptions. Desmodus answered the OP's questions as I would.

To add to "why no one else does fields with no buildings": it's because no one but milsim players would play in that field...And of the milsim players, only a subset of them would actually enjoy it enough to play again.

An undeveloped field isn't much fun for scrims (I've organized some on private land. It wasn't that great). It's really only fun for long term games, where there's lots of exploring, hunting, evading, and build-it-yourself type of stuff going on.

In other words, unless you have another use for the field (eg renting it out for camping, or offering private training on it like Brian does), you're going to sink a lot of money into a field that will be used for maybe 2 or 3 milsims, with a very small number of players. There's not much revenue in it.

Last edited by FirestormX; November 19th, 2014 at 13:57..
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:51   #11
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Old November 19th, 2014, 14:01   #12
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MilSim is a mindset.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 14:23   #13
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Most militaries wouldn't waste troops on an open field, it's cheaper to drop bombs.

If there's nothing to take or hold, why put boots on the ground?

A field needs a solid objective to be milsim, imo. But yes, it's more of a mindset than a field type.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 15:22   #14
r.d.fretz
 
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This has been by FAR the best answers I could have hoped for! I was under the impression it was the field that made things more milsim. Or at least thats the impression I took away. Phrases like "this is a great Milsim Field", made me wonder, hence the questions.

I like the idea of a simple plain lot of trees. Want bunkers? Build them! I also like the idea that milsim is more about the mind than the field. Now I will be off doing a serious amount of research into what makes milsim, milsim! although I do like the ww2 guys for what they do as milsim. Complete kit, structured ranks, THAT is milsim! I'd be much more into it if I had money enough to buy myself a kit and the correct weapons.

Thanks you guys so much for not only answering my question, but for being actually helpful. I appreciate it.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 16:04   #15
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What constitutes military simulation (milsim)? How realistic does it have to be? What dynamics must be included for it to count as milsim? Vehicles, structures, objectives, amount of players, etc? End to end skirmish, flag tag and speed ball style games aren't really that type of event, so what is? Realistically it's how everything related to the event that makes it a true simulation.

It starts with the players. What military or period are you simulating? Usually modern military is common, then decide on kit; tan versus green, Multicam versus woodland, etc. How many players and quality of players will determine how big, how much time, and how complicated the sim can be. Having a large complex sim full of newbs, you'll likely end up with a goat rodeo. Strong an organized leadership is a must, and usually that comes with strong organized teams. People will only follow those that know what they are doing, and the more people you have, the stronger the leadership needs to be. The alternative is a bunch of players off doing their own thing and not working together. That's how you end with players thinking "I'm going to hold this building for no reason". The more players you have, the bigger the field you'll need, the bigger the field, the more complex you can make the sim, the more complex it can be, and the more complex the more time you may need to complete it. Also, if you're doing a Cold War, WWII, or modern military style thing, that dude with the broadsword or dressed like Lara Croft, can kind of ruin it for the others trying to get into it.

You field should be the type of place geared towards the event and vice versa. If you have three acres with a few plywood structures, then you can't hold a twenty-four hour simulation with a hundred people. So what's available to you? Diverse play areas, big buildings, forested area, roads, etc, make the simulation more engrossing. Small makeshift cover is weekend skirmish type stuff, people want floors and rooms to clear, long competitive firefights and something to fight for. So you have to be clever at how you use your environment. A bunch of plywood buildings can be a town or village or whatever, but people's brains won't accept that it's an nuclear industrial complex. If you're playing in the forest then think of clever reasons and objectives why they are there. In short, if it's just a bigger version of standard weekend play, then people won't be into it as much.

Time is a huge factor. Do you have enough, do you have too much? That is basically decided by how long and complex the game is versus what your player base is like. Sometimes short sims are best, like 6-8 hours. Planning them to be about 3-4 hours of daylight and 3-4 hours of night time can make some of the best small scale sim dynamics. If dusk is at seven, then start at four and play till eleven. People need substance and intrigue, if the sim goes from noon until four then you could've pulled that off during a normal weekend airsofting session, so what are they paying more money for? If wishing to hold an endurance game, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-four, thirty-six, forty-eight hours, etc, then all of your ducks need to be in a row. Is there enough players, areas and thing for them to do? What's the weather going to be like? Consider everything and be ready. Players attending must be geared towards that type of play as well. Many games I've attended a large chunk of players left early, for one reason or another, and it threw the whole game off.

Objectives and goals are the main focus. How many players, how much time, and the field available will all hinge on the games complexities. Once again, don't do a normal weekend airsoft type thing and then just slap another name on it. Something like Delta is in this building here, which is a weapons manufacturing facility, and Spetznas has to try and take it. What I hear in my head is; team A against team B fight over this plywood box, and didn't we do this last Sunday at the paintball field? Objectives need to be ongoing and tie into each other. If you want the players to stay in the game then give them a reason to. A smart game coordinator can keep dropping intel and pushing the game in intelligent directions.

That's a fraction of it at any rate. Considering how and where people respawn, that people need to eat, that weather can change things quickly, etc, etc, etc, all play a part in planning.

Stay in the game, have fun, and work as a team.
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