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Messages - Gimpalong

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Newbie Discussion / Re: Milsim kit?
« on: August 30, 2018, 04:26:23 PM »
MSW requires a semi-modern impression. NATO attendees must wear Multicam unless they can muster a squad of 9 or more guys. For example, a group of 9 guys could run a Norwegian, German, UK, etc impression and use the camo patterns in use by those units. I say semi-modern because a group of dudes ran 2010 75th Ranger Regiment loadouts and wore ACU. Obviously, not current modern impression, but close enough.

The vast majority of "milsim" or scenario type events require a green-based camo for one team and a tan-based camo for the other team. Some provide a list of acceptable green or tan based camos that can be used.

You're probably fine wearing USMC 1968 kit since the camo has a green base, but you might get some weird looks from the geardos.

$550 and I'll throw in a Polarstar JACK for free.

Seriously though, not interested in splitting.

WTS: HK416C with Polarstar JACK
- VFC HK416C with JACK installed
- Original accessories (sights, magazine)
- Original box/manual/advertising

This is a VFC HK416C purchased by me in the Spring of 2018. It has had a Polarstar JACK installed in the VFC gearbox shell. The shell has been slightly shaved down in order to sit lower and correct alignment issues. A Maple Leaf 80 Degree bucking has been installed.

The gun is wired so that the FCU is located in the pistol grip and the battery is located in the buffer tube extension. This makes swapping batteries really simple, but also allows access to the FCU without needing to bend wires or cram both batteries and FCU into the confined space of the pistol grip.

Please note that the pictured air-rig, HPA tank, EMAG, Eotech and sling are not included.

Price: $420 shipped via USPS with delivery confirmation.






Off Topic / Re: What do you do for a living?
« on: November 09, 2017, 12:51:15 PM »
I'm the property appraiser for a county government. I conduct sale, land value and appraisal studies to support township property assessors and make sure they are not over or under-assessing property values.

I used to make maps and do map analysis as a full time GIS analyst for the same county.

Airsoft Discussion / PCU L5 Alternatives
« on: October 20, 2017, 02:46:05 PM »
Hi guys,
I'm looking to pick up a Level 5 PCU soft shell.
The issue I'm having is that both the ORC and the Patagonia Level 5 PCUs are 1) expensive, 2) hard to find and 3) impossible to find in size "small."
I've been able to find Patagonia Level 5s in medium for around the $150-$190 mark. Which, to be honest, is fine, but if I'm going to spend that much on a jacket I'd like it to fit appropriately. I'm 5'6"...
So that leads me to another option which is to purchase something similar like a Condor Summit soft shell or a Helikon soft shell in the appropriate color. Both look fairly similar to the Patagonia L5 PCU.
Can anyone weigh in on these options or suggest alternatives? I should add that I'm a bit hesitant to pick up something like the Allwin or Emerson/TMC/Clone versions.


2) Event hosts need to work together and coordinate with each other.

There should really be some type of open communication chat that is constantly going on between the event host. I'm not sure if that is a FB messenger group, a text message group, an email chain, or whatever. The point is that all the host should be working together on a few different levels:
- They should work together to not schedule their events on the same weekend. Has anyone got a full tally on the events happening on October 21? I've counted like 4 in Michigan and that doesn't even include Milsim West. Of course the community is divided because players are split all across these events. Why isn't 1 or 2 of these events on October 14 or even October 28? Cause I haven't found anything for those dates. This allows players to attend more events and allow host to have more participation at each event.
- Hosts should plan events together, co-brand them / co-sponor them, or whatever, to help unite the community. Yes event host compete on some levels, but why not work together to benefit everyone? How about a host on the east side partners with a host on the west side and holds a big co-sponsored game a location in the middle? I would say that most players agree that more players with larger playing fields and more organization is more enjoyable experience than smaller games. (I'm speaking more towards the scenario / milsim events rather than weekly rec games)

There is a sort of gentleman's agreement on this where the various event hosts have agreed not to host on top of one another. That generally has held true only for "big" events. So if there's rec play scheduled at Bangor on the west side and rec play at No Limits on the east side, those events might be scheduled at the same time because they're not really drawing the same crowd. Guys who are going out to rec play probably aren't going to drive across the state to play when a rec event is scheduled close to them. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but generally that logic has seemed to hold true.

But the community that is MIA is really not a host, it's a group of players with an interest and knowledge of airsoft.

I guess this is where I struggle.
What are we trying to do with this conversation?

Is this conversation about getting people back to the forums and participating in the knowledge base?
Is this conversation about increasing the number of a "big game"/scenario/milsim events?
Is this conversation about addressing the fragmentation of the community and figuring out a way to bring people together?
Is this conversation about trying to foster a tighter, less antagonistic community?

Speaking for myself, "improving the community" means having more large, complex games and getting people to attend them. I am generally unconcerned about the forum because 1) the data is archived and searchable and 2) because people aren't going to come back to using forums. I don't think we can solve the community fragmentation problem other than by getting people out to more events and having them meet other players. I do think that we can have a less antagonistic, hyper-aggressive community by doing a better job of setting examples and by creating a particular ethos among players that promotes respect.

I think we're really good at identifying the issues that exist, but less good at setting goals or constructing a road map of how to get where we want to be after identifying where that is.

I think the MiA community has always been mis-understood by outsiders. Many people still think that MiA is a team or a select group rather than a community open to everyone in the State of Michigan. To be fair to that attitude, MiA insiders haven't always been willing to educate and guide; MiA has, in the past, been clique-ish and somewhat elitist. A lot of MiA regulars are also apt to attack field owners and hosts pretty harshly rather than engage and try to correct bad behavior. Take a look at Futureball, for example. That field has gotten a terrible reputation in recent years - part deservedly and part undeservedly. To the point where people say "yeah, don't go to that field" whenever it comes up. The same thing could be said of Hell Survivors but for different reasons - the owners always seem to screw over event hosts.

A big difference between today and past years is that there are WAY more venues operated for airsoft. In the past, event hosts (like Team RAGE, the Hellfish, TFI, BTR, etc) would basically rent out a field for use. So someone would approach the management at Futureball or at Hell Survivors and schedule a date for a big event, take pre-payments, pay the field and then host the big event. The host or the host's team would coordinate the game play, act as referees, etc. The field itself was basically getting paid to unlock the gates and provide access to the land - nothing more.

Today, that model does not necessarily hold true. Many fields, including both Futureball and Hell Survivors, have started to host their own weekly/monthly rec events. TC Paintball in my neck of the woods does the same thing - they publish a schedule of airsoft rec play events for the entire year and personnel from the field run everything. For major events, however, TC Paintball still turns to a local player to set up, promote and run the scenario event that they host a few times a year. So that's sort of a hybrid model.

The point here is that, in many places, there's been a shift away from an actual airsofter planning an event and coordinating with a field to a situation where a field is trying to capitalize on the availability of airsofters. So a paintball field, while their bread and butter will always be paintball, also wants to tap into the airsoft market for some extra cash. The result is a lot of little rec games, but no incentive to host anything bigger.

So, if a major goal is to have more "big games," scenario or milsim style events, then airsofters need to start picking up the mantle to host by engaging with field owners. This may be a opportunity for some of the new teams in the state (looking at you RR313) to get out and start to host events themselves.

My suggestion would be to get some buy in from three or four event hosts (for example, Mosin of the Bastards @Mosin , Pagan of the Suicide Kings @Pagan , Yutanti of RR313 @Yutani-313 , Canton of FAH @Canto , Deputy from Traverse City @deputy865 ) to put together an event series. This event series would host a spring event, a summer event and a fall event at three separate fields in different parts of the state. The members of these groups could then hype up these events, provide additional educational information to help newer players prepare, etc, etc. These events would serve to initiate newer players into the "big game"/scenario style of play and get them ready to participate in bigger national level events or more serious milsim events like Operation Ambient/Fading Light or MSW. As Yutanti pointed out above, a lot of players are simply unprepared for bigger events, but who can blame them? A lot of these players have never had the opportunity to do anything beyond rec play - so they're still learning. Since Blacksheep and LC are basically no longer active in MI (for various reasons we don't need to get into) a lot of these new players never get an opportunity to have a "big game" experience that could contribute to them learning the "big game" ropes.

4. Us vs Them. The old guard versus the new.  Without calling out anyone, there is definitely tension between some field owners and the MIA community.

And, you know, field hosts are entitled to do whatever they want. MiA was never really intended to sanction fields or to stop hosts from setting their own rules. It's better to have dialogue with fields rather than tear them down. Again, speaking for my neck of the woods, the guy who runs TC Paintball doesn't know airsoft. He doesn't understand that paintball formats don't necessarily work. And the airsofters up here have tried to work with him to fix things, get him to chrono properly, to create game formats that work for airsoft, etc. But it's a constant back and forth. @deputy865.

5. The Old Guard, or what is left of it, has moved on to the next stages of life. Myself, I've got a career, wife, baby, mortgage, etc. Most of "us" have that now. Its okay, but it means we only get out once or twice a month (sometimes less). Its hard to lead the charge with so many things vying for attention, I don't think I need to explain any further.
(I must note however, I definitely have more money to allocate to hobbies now, but Time =/= Money.)

This is me exactly. I have time to play maybe 4 times a year... once or twice a month would result in my wife murdering me.

The Old Guard also needs to take off their rose colored glasses every now and again and actually look around. The community we had in the past existed at that time due to some unique circumstances that no longer hold true. We've got a new set of players and a new community to work with and our focus should be on shaping that community as it exists. All the crying and moaning about "things were better in ye olden days, get off my lawn!" doesn't endear us old folks to the younger crowd.

This is a great post and I think it really sums up a lot of the issues that the community is or has been experiencing.

It's not just one factor - it's many different factors.

Social media fragmentation, regionalism, competition between fields, player preferences, demographics, etc.

As such, there's no one size fits all solution. I think we've been really focused on providing a technological solution to the issue of having no central meeting place for the community - a focus on returning players to the forum or combating fragmentation in some way. But that only addresses one part of the issue.

It's great to have conversations identifying the issues that we face. And we've had a lot of these conversations. But at some point a set of goals, road map or general plan is probably going to be required which then begs the question - who is actually in a position to push the community in one direction or another?

I think it's important to provide some context about the MiA community of the past to better understand how we've gotten to where we are today.

First, back in the 2008-2012 time period, the community was smaller and tighter knit.
Second, the community had a central meeting place - the old Proboards forum.
Third, due to the size of the community, games were structured much differently than today with an emphasis on, at the very least, scenario style play.

So how did we arrive at the fragmented, rec-game focused community we have today?

The most significant contributing factor, in my opinion, was a fairly large collapse in the number of fields available for large games.

In 2017, Michigan community (i.e. not national level) scenario or milsim events were held at, as I recall, two fields. Operation Fading Light was held at Hole in the Wall Paintball in Bangor and The Throwdown was held at Traverse City Paintball in Copemish.

These were, again as I recall, the two largest events in Michigan in 2017 with a focus on a longer, more complex style of play.

In the past, large events were held at the following fields
Hell Survivors - Pinckney - NO LONGER ACTIVE due to field owner issues
Futureball - Whitmore Lake - NO LONGER ACTIVE due to field owner issues
Phoenix North/Haunted Hay Ride - Lenox - NO LONGER ACTIVE
Chaos Paintball - Charlotte - NO LONGER ACTIVE
Splatmandu - Three Rivers - NO LONGER ACTIVE
Matrix Airsoft - Ypsilanti/Other places - NO LONGER ACTIVE (?)
Area 51 Paintball - Mancelona - NO LONGER ACTIVE
The Swamp - West Branch - NO LONGER ACTIVE
Hole in the Wall Paintball - Bangor - ACTIVE
Action Paintball/No Limits - Taylor - ACTIVE
TCP - Copemish - ACTIVE

So, as demonstrated above, many large fields which were once used to host larger events are no longer available due to a variety of factors.

Simultaneously, as bigger fields were closing down or becoming unavailable, smaller, more rec-focused fields were popping up. I'm not much of a CQB/Indoor player, so any list of these fields I could put out would be incomplete, but suffice to say that there have been a LOT of these little fields. Generally, they would pop up for a year or two and then change names, move locations or close. MCA Indoor is just one in a long line of smaller, rec focused CQB type places that included others like Farmington CQB, Phoenix Tactical, Eastside and Tango Down. In addition, places like Matrix, MCA Outdoor, Toxic and Action Paintball provided players with rec games on a fairly regular basis.

Back when I started playing in 2006 all the way through to around the 2010 period, the community was so small that people had to travel to games in order to play. There really were no rec game facilities providing weekly games as there are now. Big games were hosted monthly or every other month at big fields across the state. One month a big game might be at Hell Survivors and the next month it could be at Bangor. In the winter months, Chaos Paintball in Charlotte regularly hosted a big scenario event.

The point here is that there were no weekly rec game opportunities for players to get their airsoft "fix." You either drove to several big fields throughout the season or you had to wait until a big game came to your area.

Today we have tons of opportunities for people to play rec type games and, in my opinion, all of the energy and hype gets blown on those events rather than people focusing on attending big events - which are not even available anymore due to the lack of big fields we've been experiencing.

Bigger places like Dirty Paintball/MCA Outdoor or 82nd Airborne have a hard time competing in an environment where games are being offered every weekend at several sites within an hours drive.

I know this is a long post, so I'll just wrap up here.

Bottomline: if you want to encourage bigger games, scenario games, milsim games, you've got to encourage people to get away from the weekly rec game addiction and educate them to appreciate a more complex, higher level of play. In addition, you've also got to create partnerships with the existing fields and maintain those relationships. Hell Survivors and Futureball have solid facilities, but no one wants to play there due to staff issues that could probably be corrected with some dialogue. Lastly, we've got to encourage an ethos of educating and taking new players under the wings of veteran players - not driving new players away with elitism, vitriol or "my team shits on your team" nonsense.

Airsoft Discussion / Re: Old Timers, chime in!!
« on: September 21, 2017, 04:14:45 PM »
Been playing since '06 or '07. Had a lot of fun at SFOD back in the day.

I honestly think we're headed to a new "golden age" of airsoft in Michigan. We're starting to see more and more guys putting a lot of effort into the hobby. I'm thinking specifically of the RUSFOR guys. Like 'em or hate 'em, you've got to give credit where credit is due for their commitment to MVD/SOBR loadouts and such. There also seem to be a lot of new fields popping up along with a renewed commitment to hosting bigger, "scenario" or "milsim" style events.

I would love it if the forum came back to life, but I understand the lure of Facebook. I can check 20 groups in a couple of minutes via FB, I can advertise equipment for sale with a couple of clicks (no hot-linking over to the Imgur or Photobucket). There's a lot to like about FB. Unfortunately, there's also no collective memory on FB, no ability to really search back for topics of interest and no way to easily segregate information into different categories (tech questions, general discussion, etc).

Recruitment / Re: looking for players in the northern michigan area
« on: August 02, 2017, 09:13:13 AM »
Hey Zack,
I hope you don't mind but I'm going to dump this information here. I still get a lot of requests from new players in the Northern Michigan area looking for groups and these are generally who I point them too:

Thanks a lot for that info. I live in TC and had never seen either of those two groups.

Check out the Traverse City Airsoft Association facebook page and PM Shane Venus @deputy865 . He is the organizer and would be happy to answer your questions.

Airsoft Events / Re: SCEN: Operation Jackal's Spirit 7/9/2017
« on: May 11, 2017, 03:02:52 PM »
I'm pretty sure this is cancelled.


Clothing & Load Bearing Gear / Re: Plate carriers
« on: May 06, 2017, 09:30:59 AM »
Almost all new plate carriers are sold in sizes that are based off of the plate size. So a "small" plate carrier is one designed to hold a small SAPI plate, a "medium" is designed to hold a medium sized SAPI plate, etc. You can look up the different sizes of SAPI plates online to get an idea of the size.

Now if you're buying a reproduction plate carrier, like the Emerson JPC for example, it's pretty likely that the carrier will be sized for a medium plate.

The key to picking a PC is to know exactly what you need to carry and then select the carrier based on that. You shouldn't look to fill every piece of PALS webbing; just carry what you need.

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