Hello and welcome to my latest blog episode, in today’s episode I will be reviewing my time at the Gaol. As part of Lincolnshire Airsoft Club I was able to take part in a very special airsoft match. LAC arranged a special match where we as a club took over an old jail. This jail was the famous Gaol events in Leicestershire, the premiere airsoft cqb site in the UK.
An introduction to the jail
The Gaol is an old prison with a multitude of buildings including actual jail wings, canteens, office blocks and a what seems like never ending long corridors. Most buildings are lit up very well by either lighting or sun light is allowed through the thick jail cell windows, how ever some parts of the buildings are in pitch black and make you feel very confined. Along with the buildings there is all the grounds surrounding the wings and other buildings. There also is a car park with actual cars and vans dotted around them. All in all the site is an absolute blast to fight around, something very very different form the big open woodland sites that I am normally playing in and around.
There also is a large indoor safe zone with many rooms to put your kit in. Each room is full of chairs and tables so you can relax before or after a match. They also have toilets and a room for checking the fps of your chosen weapon or weapons. I have to admit one of the best parts of the safe zone apart from the comfy seats is the canteen which sells excellent food and drinks. I always make straight for the canteen to get a bacon roll before I get down to the finer parts of airsoft war.
Lincolnshire Airsoft Club at the jail
This event was to be a bit different as the normal Gaol staff would not be running the day, this would be done by a mixture of LAC, Gaol and Airsoft Commando staff. This was advertised many months ago on all the pages as an LAC run jail match. To say that I was excited would be an understatement, I have been to the jail a few times before and I have always had a brilliant time. Now LAC my home club was taking over the jail I was sure that I was onto a winner.
This event was a prepay through PayPal event so there was no need to pay on the door, it was just turn up and rock out in one of the if not the best cqb sites in the country, this time run by LAC.
My chosen weapon
I had a long time to think about which weapon to run at the jail and knowing that this is a up and very close kind of site with only some outdoor areas I decided to bring my TM Scar H recoil rifle. The only change I made to the rifle was to take off the rather long suppressor and flash hider and put the much smaller flash hider form my GHK G5. I know that this would only remove a few inches fro the over all length of the rifle but ever little helps.
For my secondary I had mt TM MK23 suppressed pistol. I picked this pistol over my other secondaries as it would be a great silent choice in the dark corridors and would not give my position away.
How did the day go?
Speaking form a players point of view it went well, I had no issues with my chosen weapons and I witnessed no player related issues. The matches if a little on the confusing side regarding the match rules played out well. To be honest it would have been better playing some attack and defend single buildings, this would of shown the 80% of first timers to the jail just what is expected out of a cqb site. The ranges are a lot closer and those bb’s carry a lot of the momentum right into there chosen targets, as such there also is no full auto in this site. This is not a problem to me as most of the time I am shooting in semi auto only. But to some players it was a shock that they could be attacked from all around them, you can be shooting through the office blocks and the enemy can suddenly be right at your side shooting you at less then 5m. Protective clothing is a must at this site.
The weather was very hot through out the day and with a lot of players me included carrying a lot of kit and wearing lots of clothing the temps soon started to rise. Unfortunately this soon got to a small group of players. There is choke points on this site and these become cluster points with lots of up close and very personal fighting. It was it this point that I heard my first temper o’clocks as I like to call it. At no point did this ruin the event for me or the payers around me, in fact it was maybe only 1% of players who had an issue. The downside is that when tempers start to rise then the marshal team have to step in. We had payer marshals who was looking forward to this event just like me who then had to step out of the fight and marshal the players.
But by the end of the day most issues were sorted out and the rest of the players came back in with smiles on there faces. It seemed like LAC had done it again, they had run another excellent match.
What was the best part Crafty?
There was for me only one point that was the absolute best. Through out the site and in the buildings there was brown envelopes, if you found one you could ignore it and carry on playing or open it. Most had a card and some spare arm bands inside them. You then made sure no body else was near you, you then swapped your colors and you was shooting for the enemy team, in short you had the chance to shoot your friends that was on your team.
I found one of these such envelopes and as I was on my own and in the office block I decided to open it. With a smile I swapped my bands and went on a rampage which ended up with the deaths of a good few of my friends (haha). Eventually I was hunted by my own friends in the office block, I actually was hiding in the dark besides an old toilet as they searched for me. A few grenades later and I was dead. When I came out of my toilet we was all laughing at the whole firefight.
Will there be another event like that?
I honestly do no know, I have since spoke to the club boss and he has said there was lots of issues that need to be resolved before another event at the Gaol. All the marshals had a hard time at the event and I would like to say thank you for putting up with all the issues.
I do think that if there is another match like that it will be limited to 40/50 players max, it may also be a pistol & shotgun only match. This would still be a good match to me and if it happens next year then I will be putting my name down very quickly so I can once again go to jail with the guys and girls from Lincolnshire Airsoft Club.
Photo credit goes to Chris Lee (great pics bud)