Basic battlefield courtesy in an airsoft game:
1. Introduce yourself
People often don’t like strangers coming and going from their sites. Introduce yourself! Whether you go as an individual (lone wolf) or as part of a team, meet people and make friends. Preferably without your face mask on—sometimes we forget we have them on when we introduce ourselves. It is good to know the people you might end up sharing the same foxhole with. It is better to know the people who you are exchanging BBs with.
If you forget the other person's name, don't get to embarrassed. In a sea of faces and names, it is sometimes difficult to put the right name to the right face. It happens to most of us. Even if you have forgotten the names of some comrades in arms, always greet them. If need be, take a guess at their names/callsigns. Don't worry, they will correct you:
2. Listen during the pre-game briefings
When the game organizer is explaining the rules for the next game, please listen. If your team leaders are planning out tactics for the game, please listen. (It is common courtesy to listen when other people are talking—something we should have learned way back in grade school.) In airsoft, most scenarios try to simulate military or police type operations. Military and police operations require some form of discipline. If you do not even have the discipline to just listen (you don’t have to follow orders if you don’t want to!), then you might as well not play airsoft.
3. Acknowledge hits properly and graciously
When hit, raise your hand (or better yet your hand holding the gun) to visually signal to the shooter that you have been hit. This is to go hand in hand with shouting “Hit” or “Dead”, so that all parties around (people other than your shooter) can both hear and see that you have been hit.
Take the hits in a dignified and gracious manner. Okay, so you did something stupid and someone shot you. Or, the other guy was just better skilled, better positioned, more clever or just plain lucky, and got a hit in. Neither situation gives you the right to cuss, scream at other people or pick a fight. There are other games. If you still want to complain or otherwise b*tch about things, do it in the neutral zone, not on the field.
Do not tip off to your team mates the location of the shooter, either verbally, rolling your eyes in the direction of the shooter, pointing with your tongue, or through any other means of body language. That’s cheating (it is in the rules). You are dead, and dead men don’t tell tales. And that includes non-verbal cues.
4. Be careful at what you shoot at, particularly if your gun is strong or your target is at close range
If you have a strong gun*, be careful at what you shoot at. As much as possible, avoid shooting people in the face or head. Better, shoot them in less “vital” areas, such as the lower extremities. If the target is wearing a vest, try to hit them on the vest, particularly at close ranges (when it is difficult to miss). If you can, offer the target the opportunity to surrender, rather than shoot them with your strong gun. Your target will appreciate it.
(*Note: What is considered a strong gun is relative to the game you’re playing. Anything over 350 FPS is strong in a CQB game. Anything over 450 FPS is strong under 20 feet. In fact, most sniper rifles (550-600 FPS) have mandatory 20 meter minimum engagement ranges.)
5. Avoid blind firing
While not in the rules, blind firing should be avoided as it increases the possibility of hitting people at close range. Blind firing is often described as firing at a certain area without seeing what you are shooting at. Thus, if a person is right around the corner, you may end up shooting (and hurting) the person needlessly. If you are being fired upon blindly by a person but have been fortunate enough not to be hit yet, seek cover immediately if available, else call yourself out (to save yourself the possibility of injury).
Oh, and don't just shoot anything that moves. It is almost equivalent to blind fire, in that you were not able to properly identify the target. It may be a non-player. (Like a marshal!)
6. Be ready to apologize
When you have hit someone rather badly say “sorry” to your victim. Bad hits include:
· Hits that cause “bleeders”
· Hits at close range
· Hits from behind or in sensitive parts of the body (hands, ears, and places where the sun never shines, included)
· Overly long bursts (Rat-rat)
· Fire on already “dead” players (whether they are hit again or not)
· Friendly fire
To play on as if nothing happened sends the message that your actions were done intentionally, or that you do not care who gets hurt. When you apologize, it shows a level of maturity in that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.
Injuries are part of the game, but that does not give you an excuse to hurt other people without consequence. Explanations to the victim will not soothe the pain (both physical and/or psychological/emotional). Reasons such as, “you are supposed to wear a face mask”, “I was aiming for your vest” or “my gun is not that strong any way/shoots only ___ fps” are self serving and are preludes to lengthy and heated arguments. It is funny that some people are willing to admit they are bad shots (“I was aiming for your vest” argument) but not admit they are at fault (“Sorry that I hurt you” or “Sorry you got hurt”).
7. Complain to the right forum
It is never good judgment to confront people who you believe zombied. Normally, you become hot under the collar and think emotionally rather than logically. Also, since the other party will find himself/herself being accused of something, the natural tendency is to become defensive. The game organizer or marshals will always be the best persons to complain to. If there is no designated game organizer or marshals, speak with your team leader and then have him/her speak with the team leader of the other side.
It is also not proper to keep quiet about an incident on the battlefield, and then complain about it later on the internet when it is too late for the marshals to check out the conditions/situation on the field.
8. Keep an open mind
This applies to rulings made by marshals or game organizers. Things on the battlefield happen very fast, and the problem is most of the participants try to keep hidden. Thus, marshals will NEVER be able to see everything. Some people take advantage of that fact and cheat. Others do not. In the end, you will have to keep an opened mind and give people the benefit of the doubt.
There will always be cases wherein the alleged zombie or “target” did not feel any hit. Whether that means these people are real cheaters or just “makunat” can not be readily determined. In such cases, the target should be willing to accept the possibility that he may have zombied (even if unintentional) and the shooter should be willing to accept that the target honestly did not feel the hit. Normally if the target would say “sorry, but I did not feel any hits” (see 6 above) he would get more mileage in resolving things. However, arguments that there was “no way you could have hit me” is the kind of mentality of a person that most probably a zombie.
Nevertheless, you give the benefit of the doubt. However, when you notice that the same people are “always” being given the benefit of the doubt, bring it to the attention of the game organizer. If the organizer does not do anything about it, time to change play sites.
9. Ask before looking at or handling someone else’s gun
If you see someone with a gun you have not seen before and would like to have a look/feel, introduce yourself first (see 1 above), then ask nicely if you could handle the gun. It is a way of making friends. Besides, you’d be surprised how many people would feel proud that you want to look at their gun. (The show offs!)
Should the owner put the gun on safety first, and then remove the magazine before handing it to you, please do not feel offended. It is a common practice among real steel gun enthusiasts to hand you the gun unloaded. (In fact, if you receive a real steel gun from someone, it is always good practice to check if the gun is loaded or not. Even if you saw the owner just remove the magazine and check the chamber is empty, check again. Better safe than sorry!)
Assuming the owner handed you the gun with the magazine in, do not take this as license to shoot the gun. Ask permission if you can fire a few shots before pulling the trigger.
If you’ve fired more than “just a few” rounds of BBs, offer to reload the gun.
When returning the gun, don’t forget to say thank you.
10. Be careful where you point your gun
Whether during the game in the battlefield or between games in the neutral area, please always be aware where your gun is pointed. Excuses that the gun is on safety or that there is no magazine in the gun are not valid reasons, as sometimes you can not discount that there may be a BB in the hop-up chamber.
Even after games, players just put their guns on tables or benches, not caring that the barrel is pointing at some other players sitting nearby. Why wait for an accident to happen? It should be a very normal reaction of people to feel afraid when looking down the barrel of gun. That includes looking down the barrel of a toy gun that looks like the real thing.
Besides, it is not polite to point.
11. Remember we are all airsofters here...
Whoever you are or whatever you are, on the battlefield it does not matter--we are all airsofters. Man or woman. Boy or Girl. Bakla or Tomboy. Good-looking or not. Rich or poor. Team leader, member or lone wolf. Politician, businessman, student, worker, soldier, etc. All that does not matter.
When you put on your goggles and pick up your airsoft gun, we are all equal--we are all TARGETS.
BBs do not discriminate, so why should you? Treat each other with respect and courtesy.
12. Don't forget to greet the host team and say goodbye
When visiting a site, remember to greet the game organizers--they are your hosts. They share some of the responsibilty for your airsoft experience while you are there. (The others who share in the burden of that responsibility are your fellow players and yourself.) By greeting your hosts, you acknowledge the sacrifices they have made for you to play. (Imagine, while they are hosting you they are not playing.)
Likewise, remember to say goodbye. It is only good manners. Besides, if you don't people might think you are trying to escape from paying the game fee...
13. Turnover all found items to the game organizers
This one is taken out of the AGL play book, but I think it is common sense and common courtesy.
NO FINDERS KEEPERS.
14. Cut the newbies some slack
We were all newbies once. As veterans, we have to remember the pains we went through as newbies, and guide the newbies through the same pains. (I am not saying that we make things too easy for them, just that we shouldn't make things too hard.) When the newbies screw up (and they will) please cut them some slack.
Newbies, listen to the veterans. Half the time what they are telling you may seem like non-sense and the other half of the time it may seems like total crap, but please bear with them. You may pick up one or two gem stones of advice.
15. When caught in a position of tactical disadvantage—surrender
When you find yourself in a situation with your proverbial “pants down”, meaning situations that you are obviously going to get shot, save yourself the trouble and pain of being shot—declare yourself out. It also saves your shooter the dilemma of shooting you (and risk hurting you) or not.
Examples of such “pants down” situations:
· You hear someone whispering from behind for you to “surrender”. Since you can hear him/her whispering, he/she is obviously close. Might as well give up and save yourself the pain.
· You’re walking along a long corridor—no corners on doorways to hide in, when at the far end of the corridor, someone pokes his/her gun around the corner and asks you for surrender.
· In the middle of a room with no furniture or corners to hide behind and a guy sticks his gun at you from the window (he has cover from the windows) and the doorway is a bit far to run, might as well give up.
· Walking across an open field, with no cover within running distance, you have multiple BBs zip by you. You go prone but do not know where to go because you cannot see the shooter. Your options: crawl somewhere (wherever “somewhere” is) for cover and risk getting hit or call yourself out. Personally, if you think the shooter has you cold, and/or has a strong gun, better give up.
16. Host team rules prevail
You will always find that there are battlefield “lawyers” who will quote to you the rules like it was the bible. Technically that is okay, except if he/she is quoting from the rules in another game site. When there is a question on the rules, the game organizer or the designated game marshals are the Supreme Court—their decision is final.
No request for reconsideration. No appeal.
If you don’t like the ruling, then your options are to shut-up and accept the ruling or to play in another game site.
17. Listen to the Marshals--their decisions are final
Marshals should be courteous when issuing their calls/rulings. Whenever possible, the erring players should be taken aside and informed of their inappropriate actions/behavior. (This is done so as not to needlessly embarass the erring players.) However, if the players are hardheaded or challenge the marshal's authority, the marshals should not be afraid to be firm with the erring players.
18. This isn’t the military. When in command, be judicious.
There are some teams with a rigid command structure, wherein all the members have ranks and the chain-of-command is followed without question. Good for them, if they keep to their ranks. In most games, different teams have to get together to form a larger team. Who commands?
19. Test fire your guns in the proper place--make sure no one is "down range"
Do not test fire your gun just anywhere. Most game sites have a "test range" for you to test your gun. Test it there. If no test range is available at the game site, find a place in the play area where there is no action going on and fire there (away from the neutral or safe zone). Or, fire into the ground or some place with a visible backstop. To make sure no one is down range when you dry fire or test your gun, always shout a warning. "Fire in the hole" is a common expression used to warn people around that you are firing a live (airsoft) gun.
When you are dry firing (to set the spring) at the end of the day, do not think the gun is unloaded, always assume it is--there might be a BB in the chamber. Fire downward, not upward, when dry firing.
20. After all that has been said and done, it’s just a game
No matter what happens on the field, at the end of the day when the BBs stop flying, we are not members of some special forces team. We go back to reality, back to our regular lives.
It’s just a game: That’s why we call them “game” sites and you are all referred to as “players”.[/size]