Overview
Budget
Equipment
Gear Descriptions:
Gear to avoid!

Scenario and Campaign Airsoft!

bunker defense

Overview

Scenario and campaign airsoft games are large events with participation ranging in the 60-200 range, played at large field, usually with pre-defined squads or a command structure. Scenario games feature a set of objectives that the teams attempt to accomplish throughout the day.

These games are long and it is not uncommon for a game to last for the whole day with no breaks. These games are marathons of endurance and have a lot slower pace. However, when engagements happen, expect epic asssaults, flanking maneuvers and "defense in depth". You may also be stuck defending some outpost for an hour while and nothing seems to happen, until you realize than an enemy squad was sneaking up on your position for the last half an hour : )

Due to a very large number of attendees, identifying your team becomes difficult, therefore uniform requirements are always in effect (usually green vs tan vs other)

Scenario games are one time events, while campaign scores feature persistent scoring. There are often raffles and prizes from airsoft retailers that sponsor the events.

Budget - How much will playing cost me? 

You may play scenario and campaign games with the same equipment as regular airsoft, but you may have to pick up a few extra items.
Loadout Budget AEG (CYMA/ Echo 1)  Average AEG Quality AEG (TM) + Extras
Initial Costs 633$ 933$ 1440$
Ongoing costs 40-70$ / game 40-70$ / game 40-70$ / game
As with regular airsoft, expect steep upfront costs associated with buying retail airsoft equipment. Additionally, you may need to drive long distances to get to these games, so factoring in gas, toll and food prices is a good idea. If you do not drive yourself, it is highly recommended to find a ride with someone from your local airsoft community. It will be problematic to get someone to drive you 50-200 miles on a short notice.

As with regular airsoft, purchasing used gear will save you 40-60%.

Equipment - What will I need to play?

Below the requirements to play scenario games are similar to regular games gear with the following exceptions:
Item Description Price low
 USD$
Price high
USD$
Regular airsoft gear Stuff you will buy for a regular game minus items below 334 763
Primary weapon AEG (professionally upgraded to 400 with 0.2g BBs FPS)  250 400
Primary weapon Magazines 2x highcap magazines (400- 600 BB capacity)
4x midcap magazines (100-130 BB capacity)
or 6-10x lowcap magazines (30-40 BB capacity)
or 6-10x realcap magazines (real capacity: 5-30)
30
40
40
40
70
60
80
80
Magazine dump pouch for lowcaps Used to hold empty low caps if you have a lot of them 20 30
Spare battery for primary 1-2 x  battery for your primary weapon (NiMh rechargeable ) 25 50
Camouflage Woodland BDU  (April – October) or Desert BDU (November – March). Shirt and pants. 50 60
Eye / Face Protection Always required full seal goggles or a paintball mask 20 150
Hydration Bottled water 20 bottles or a hydration pack with 1-2 gallons refill 8 35
Food Plan your food supply for multi day events 15 30
Sleeping bag If you need to camp overnight
Inclement weather gear Seasonal. Could be an olive drab poncho and rubber overshoes 15 30
Flashlight To find your way around at night 5 10
Field Fee Required for all games 1-2 days  35 70

Gear Description

Below is a detailed description of gear involved in most regular airsoft skirmishes.  
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Regular airsoft gear

This is the gear that you would obtain for a regular skirmish games. While some scenario games feature "civilian militia" kind of teams, they are still decently equipped. See the regular games gear 

Primary weapon:

See regular primary weapon for starter weapon recommendations to upgrade later. 
When playing scenario games you will pretty much be forced to upgrade because "frontlines" tend to form at these games - people can engage each other at maximum range for a long time..While it is possible to exploit cover, concealment and flanking maneuvers to make the most of your stock weapon, it is often difficult. Plus everyone else will have a gun at the limit of the field FPS.

In order to upgrade your weapon, you need to think through the upgrade strategy. Most upgraded weapons out there are full of aftermarket brand or no name airsoft upgrade parts.
You should be able to find a local airsoft mechanic, a local airsoft store or an online retailer to guide you through the upgrade process. It is important to avoid DYI internal upgrades, as they may end up in a disaster. 
Here are some of the things involved in the upgrade process:
  • Stiffer Spring (M120) provides around 400 FPS, spring guide
  • Piston, piston head, cylinder upgrade
  • Getting better quality bushings for gears
  • Possibly reshimming gears
  • Getting a better (High torque) motor
  • Potentially replacing crappy stock wiring and solder joints with thicker wire
  • Replacing factory lube
Most of these parts, except for the motor, wiring and the lube can be found as a decently priced kit (ex: Hurricane). Buying parts separately will make a major dent in your wallet and you are likely to forget something (like a tappet plate). Leave airsoft upgrade gurus to find the right upgrades for you.

Additional upgrades may involve a tightbore barrel and a higher quality hopup unit.

After these upgrades, which will cost you a pretty penny, there will be only a few stock parts left in your gun! These are: the external gun shell, the trigger assembly, the gearbox shell and gears. This is why purchasing a clone for an upgrade may be a reasonable decision.
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Primary Magazines

If you are playing regular airsoft, chances are you will have a couple high capacity magazines available to you. If not, you can purchase a couple of cloned magazines online very affordably(30$), or go for the real deal (70$)

A lot of scenario games feature "midcap only" rules in an effort to curb fully automatic firing and improve realism. If you put 60 people with automatic weapons and high caps in one area, there's a lot of BBs flying all over the place, which may result in a long stalemate.
It is recommended to get 4 mid cap magazines (40-60$) and reload them in safety. These do not use winding system and are of consistent quality. The only issue I observed is some mags being too tight for the magazine well. You may invest in a mag clamp (g36 mags come with built in mag clamps). Using electric tape as a makeshift mag clamp is not recommended because it makes your gun taller by about an inch, makes dirt get in your magazine releasing BBs (if pointed upside down)

While low caps have attractive price, their usefulness is extremely limited. Buy them only if you know you will be playing in a long low cap only game. It is recommended to buy no more than 6-10 low caps, I get by with just 2. Your vest is likely to not have enough pouches for 10 magazines, especially if you use some pouches for water, a bottle of BBs or a camera, etc.

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Magazine dump pouch

If you play regular airsoft with highcaps, chances are you are not very used to reloading. Reloading low caps on the field, under fire is a hassle:
  •  eject a magazine
  •  put it on the ground
  •  pull a new magazine out of a pouch
  •  reload
  •  put the empty magazine away.
 Combine this with the fact that you are likely to have 2 magazines in a pouch, packed tightly, putting a magazine away is twice as hard.

A magazine dump pouch simplifies this operation by reducing the time you handle the empty magazine:
  • because you put an empty magazine in a separate easily accessible pouch
  • then pull a new magazine
  • reload
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Spare battery recommendations.


If you are playing regular airsoft, you are already familiar with See regular battery recommendations
Remember that 1mAh = 1 shot for airsoft purposes and cold weather decreases battery performance.

It is highly recommended to have about 4000 mAh available for multi day events. This can be a stock large battery + 3000mAh large battery or 1200mAh Stock mini + 2x 1600mAh minis, depending on your battery type.


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Camouflage

Scenario airsoft uses camouflage to identify teams. While the loadout requirements vary by team, it is very common to separate uniforms into "green" and "tan", if more teams are required, the "black" or "civilian" categories are created. Having one of these two patterns almost guarantees that you will be able to play in airsoft scenario and campaign games:
-    US Army Woodland BDUs  
-    US Army Desert BDUs (DCU)

Other camo patterns (tigerstripes, black, ACU,  usually fall into one of the above categories. The only special case is multicam, which is practically a blend of green and tan, making multi cam players team affiliation frustratingly difficult to identify.

Woodland and desert BDUs can be purchased very inexpensively new or used from army surplus stores for 20-60$ for both pants and long sleeved shirt. You can also try Ebay for used camouflage. Woodland camo is probably the most cliché camo out there and will definitely NOT make you stand out from your fellow airsofters. These camo patterns offer following advantages:
-    With a  little practice it is possible to use them to hide very effectively (don’t be fooled by static images of people standing in the middle of the woods when comparing camo). Also remember that cameras see things differently than the human eye.  At airsoft engagement distances (less than 300 feet) movement becomes the dominant factor of target detection, not camouflage.

If you want something to stand out, try digital woodland or  MarPat(woodland).

Avoid urban, subdued urban, snowflage, or any camo involving white, as they are incredibly ineffective in the woods at just about all times of the year except winter when snow is heavily present. Additionally, they will not be on the list of allowed uniforms for most scenario games. Pure black or blue also does not work too well, unless you are doing indoor CQB with poor lighting. Marpat is recommended over ACU because ACU is a bit too bright for the woodland setting.
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Eye/ Face protection

Scenario games go on for extended periods of time which increases the likelyhood that your goggles will fog at some point in time. Being prepared for this is the key to a fun day.

If I learned one lesson about airsoft it is that you cannot go cheap with the eye protection gear. There are 3 reasons for this:
  • You don’t grow more eyes as you age
  • Average dental surgery for front incisor teeth costs more than 2000$
  • Fog on lenses is the #1 killjoy of airsoft.
Good eye and face protection is essential to have fun in airsoft. The inside of the lens is where the magic happens – a thin film of a fog resistant compound is preventing the fog from forming under light use. In combat, fog may precipitate inside the lens due to all of the perspiration and adrenaline. Wiping dust/dirt/debris ont the inside of the lens with your hands/red rag may scratch the thin anti fog coating and eventually more fog will develop at these scratches, resulting in you having to buy a different pair of lenses (not a whole new set of goggles/ mask!) The good thing is that some goggles already come with a spare set of lens, reducing the need to reorder.

A full face mask is always required by insured fields for all players under the age of 18 (due to insurance terms). I highly recommend a full face (not full head) paintball mask for all CQB encounters. Chances are you will be using your pistol or a compact folding stock weapon, so aiming down the sights is not going to be an issue. Plenty of people may get startled in CQB if you sneak up on them and instinctively pull on a trigger, spraying you with BBs. A full face mask is very useful in such cases, as even 200 fps guns may chip your teeth at short range.

You can wear a full seal goggles (no safety/shooting glasses that come with many guns) to skirmishes if you are over 18. Here the primary concern shifts to protecting your teeth. I’ve seen only a couple incidents where people have had chipped teeth from airsoft and I’ve been to many games.These people threw the 2000$ number out there as the price of dental surgery. You dont want to verify if this number is accurate.  There are a few simple techniques you can use to minimize the risk of dental damage if you are using full seal goggles:
  • Dont keep your mouth open or shout a lot
  • Turn away from the attacker and yell "HIT!!!" when you get hit. This prevents generally causes people to stop shooting. 
  • Use your gun or hands as cover around your face when you are "dead"
  • Put a red rag on your head when killed.
  • Play very cautiously around buildings or in CQB
If you do get hit in the face with a BB, even a high powered one, it hurts, but the welt heals in around 3 weeks.

Save money by not buying mesh goggles – they are not allowed by most fields (probably due to insurance). Full face "slim" or "low profile" cutout masks often are not made for an average face and are incredibly uncomfortable to wear. Get a gun with a folding stock if you plan on using a full face mask.

Some high quality/price goggles (100-150$) come with an integrated fan that eliminates the fogging problem. If you have money, get that. The battery can last up to 3 hours. Cheap imitations (30$) are not recommended, as they can be incredibly uncomfortable and have low quality lenses
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Hydration 

U.S. Military Fluid Replacement Guidelines based on the outside temperature and the kind of game you are playing:

http://ftp.rta.nato.int/public/PubFullText/RTO/MP/RTO-MP-HFM-086/MP-HFM-086-06.pdf
CQB or short attack/defend games = high intensity activity
Campaign games = moderate intensity activity
Static Defense = low intensity activity, stay out of direct sunlight
Your gear (BDUs, vest, goggles or face mask) will add extra heat.

Be prepared to bring a case of water to a campaign game or at least a camelback hydration pack with a galon or 2 of refill water. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the game to prevent heat stroke and keep your energy level up. An energy drink before a game may help.

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Food

Campaign games may last for a while or even be a multi day event. It is important to get some food, because abandoning your team in the middle of the field to go to a local fast food place is generally frowned upon by your team. Your hands are likely to be dirty, so you need some high energy food that you can eat without touching it.

 In some instances a team or a squad decides to poll money and purchase a case of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) to enhance the scenario experience. See if you can get on this initiative, as ordering MREs through online retailers is costly and they may not be authentic. Expect to spend 20-30$ on food. Lighting fires on the fields, outside the staging area, is often prohibited - plan accordingly.
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Sleeping bag

Find a sleeping bag only if you are going to participate in a multi day event and plan on camping overnight. Some multi day events break up on the next day because participation drops by up to 60% - people go home to sleep and dont come back the next day due to fatigue. Sleeping on the field is not the most restful sleep you can get.
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Inclement weather gear

Airsoft, especially scenario/ campaign and milsim airsoft can be played at all, but the most harsh weather conditions(ice on the ground/ hurricane winds). There are a few things that you can buy to enhance your playing experience dramatically:

Winter gear:
  • Hand and foot warmers for yourself and for your gas weapon if you use one.
  • Layered clothes. It is possible to play in BDUs with several layers underneath without buying winter gear
  • A head wrap (shemagh) or a baclava, avoid skiing masks.
  • Reduced FPS weapon to prevent gearbox from cracking
  • Boots with thick socks and rubber overshoes (for wet snow)

Rain/mud gear
  • Cheap poncho (10$), olive drab, if you absolutely hate to get wet
  • Rubber overshoes (galoshes) for mud or wet grass
  • Electric tape to insulate most vulnerable parts of your weapon.
Summer gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
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Flashlight

You may need a flashlight (cheap, handheld) to navigate around the camping area if you are participating in a multi day game and decide to stay overnight. While owning a surefire G2 or G3 is cool, make sure you will have access to night games before you buy one, especially if you are on a budget.
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Field fee

Campaign and scenario games are organized by dedicated individuals and require a lot of time to set up and promote. Therefore the pricing for such games is reasonably high - 30-70$. Nationally known operations like operation Irene will definitely cost more.
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