Combat South (Airsoft)
27th January 2002
The weekend began, as so many wonderful weekends do, by getting paralytic in the pub where Richard works as a doorman. Having started drinking at 5, waiting for the others to get there, we were well on our way to being drunk by the time the last person - the late Mr Lancaster-Henry - arrived. By then the plan of going for an Indian had been scuppered, so we had kebabs and burgers instead. Indeed, Curly Dave needed food desperately, so he was the most drunk of all of us, determined to have a least one good day in what had been a terrible month for him. Unfortunately, when we got back to the pub the doormen wouldn't let us in, so I nipped in a fetched Richard, who sorted everything out, and we set to drinking again.
Due to a mix-up, everyone presumed the pubs closed at 11 O'clock, so as 10.30 came the drinking began in earnest. At midnight, when the pub actually closed, everyone had had way too much to drink, and so we left to find more kebabs and taxis to Richard's house. Mel decided he was on to a good thing with Jo the barmaid, and so stayed behind to chat her up some more, so TAG wrote Richard's address down and we left him to it.
The next morning started way too early for a Sunday. There should only be one 8 O'clock on a Sunday, and it should come in the evening. It was only when we walked outside that we realised Mel's car had gone. After a brief panic (by me) the others decided it couldn't have been stolen if Mel had been sleeping in it - presuming he had got back from the pub - so Mel must have gone on a jaunt somewhere. A quick count of people showed that 2 cars were enough, then off to good old McDonalds for a healthy bacon roll and cup of tea. Curly Dave decided that the only reason he hadn't got a hangover was because he was still drunk. Which was probably true.
Arrived at Combat South too late to join in the first game, so we got ourselves armed to the teeth instead. Trish was Lara Croft in combats with a large hand cannon laughingly described as a revolver. It could shoot further than most AK47s, and was a lot more accurate. The out to the woods to crawl around in the mud and lose spectacularly all morning. Luckily, and aptly, we were part of the blue team, so TAG didn't have to think too hard to call us together and issue commands. The "stick together in teams of four" was technically a good idea, until Henry and Ed wandered off and got lost. Actually, that's inaccurate. They were surrounded by the red team, so they knew they were still on the battleground, and when the marshal replaced the reds' flag, Henry was delighted to find that he was only 15 feet away from success. That's when he got shot.
The last game before lunch was "defend the fort". Curly Dave and I hid behind a bunker and prepared ourselves for the onslaught. The whistle blew, someone shouted "There's the reds", Dave and I turned to look and both got showered with pellets. Game over, possibly quicker than you read this.
Lunch was good. Mel finally turned up. Apparently he had woken at 7am and gone down the M3 for breakfast. Goodness knows how he found the place, it was hard enough with the directions. Hangovers were setting in thick and fast, those suffering shall remain nameless, but you can guess who the hardest hit was. After lunch, with Mel in tow, we trundled back into the woods and played more games, this time winning spectacularly. Funny how the tide turns. One image which will stand out in my mind for a long time was Mel hiding in a slight indentation in the ground, firing at the enemy troops. Till his gun wouldn't work, anyway. I was hiding under a fir tree, which worked really well until I left it and ran across to where Trish was, then I got hit by a hundred bullets and left the field.
The last game saw me, Ed and Richard bunkered down behind a load of old wood. I ran out of pellets 3/4s of the way through the game, but stayed to "red spot" for the other two. There was a sniper about 20 metres in front of us, but we knew he couldn't get us so we weren't too worried, and Ed and Richard continued to pick people off one by one. We were full of confidence until the sniper suddenly popped up 10 feet away. You've never seen 3 people duck so fast! Talk about change of underpants time! Luckily the whistle blew quickly afterwards, and we had won again. Yippee!
It was a fantastic day. It was lovely to see so many of the regiment again, especially Gus, who's looking forward to his wedding this year, so won't make many of the musters. Many thanks go to TAG for organising the weekend, also Richard for somehow finding floor space for us all. I hope his housemates have recovered from being woken up firstly when we arrived and again when we left, and thanks for everyone turning up and making it such a resounding success.