Airsoft is game similar to paintball, but with increased reward for smart gameplay and a reduction in cost. Although the game is played similarly to paintball in that teams of players run around shooting at each other, there is significant difference in the game mechanics, mostly stemming from the different equipment used. Airsoft players use RIFs (replica imitation firearms) typically firing 6mm plastic BBs, these RIFs vary in power, but the UK limit is set at around 1/18th the power of paintball guns, so it hurts a lot less than paintball.
Although firing at decreased power, airsoft RIFs beat paintball guns in terms of rate of fire, range and accuracy, most being able to reliably hit a person at 50m.
There is significant variety in the RIFs available for use in airsoft, with each type bringing a different element to the field. Players can utilise pistols, shotguns, grenades, grenade launchers and SMGs for close-quarters manouverability or assault rifles, support weapons and sniper rifles for long-range suppressive fire. Such variety accommodates all manner of play styles and leads to a fast-paced, exciting game drawing parallels with the best of first person shooter games, but with a healthy dose of exercise!
Airsoft players often wear military-style equipment, but if you'd rather not then jeans and a t-shirt work just fine! You'll need protection for your ankles and, most importantly, eyes if you want to play, though. AirSoc can provide mesh goggles, but you'll have to provide your own boots.
Where do we play?
Warwick Airsoft Society plays most of its games at two local sites run by the staff at The Grange (http://www.suspensionofdisbelief.co.uk/home), an utterly lovely group of people who have grown as a company as we have grown as a society.
Their main site, "The Grange", is a large outdoors/woodland site located 20 minutes drive from campus. The Grange is filled with bunkers, compounds of wooden buildings, open fields and dense foliage. It is our home site and never ceases to entertain, even after years of us playing there!
Our local sites aside, there are many professionally run airsoft sites throughout the UK, with substantial variety between each site. Throughout the year our society goes on trips to other sites, recently we have started going to Bravo 1 (Birmingham City Centre) ,which is the Grange's sister site, offering intense CQB based combat. More locally we have visted both fireball squadron and the Jungle, both sites offering a woodland based experience.
Can I buy an Airsoft gun?
You cannot purchase an airsoft RIF legally unless you have the legal defence of which UKARA registration (http://www.ukara.org.uk/) is the most common. UKARA registration can be sorted out by the folks at The Grange. You can qualify by attending the site at least three times over a period greater than two months.