'A Grand Day Out'

Posted by Yosser H On Wednesday, May 06, 2009

F&O Woodland Manchester (Bolton) a review by Yosser

Some of the Red Dragon Merc’s had a ‘Grand Day Out’ on account of TopCat’s birthday. Of course it was decided that we all go Woodland skirmishing. Its been a while since I’d been to woodland so I’d forgotten just how very much different it was to CQB and harder work on the old legs and muscles. So we have a brief ‘review’ of the site etc.



Images courtesy of F&O (click to enlarge)

Location
First & Only Manchester Woodland (Bolton)
The site is situated just off the A666 Blackburn Rd along Longworth Road, just after the Boat club on the right. It was reassuring that just past Egerton that the turn off from the A666 was well sign-posted for the day with a bright yellow A Board.
The woodland is set in an old plantation of mainly pine trees and has many natural features from small streams, ditches and boggy marsh with a varied terrain which lends for many airsofting scenarios on this site.


Facilities
Car parking, it has to be said, is extremely poor. Parking is along a single track road and should the event get busy (say more than 50 or 60 attendees) could prove difficult, unless you all turn up via bus. To be fair, the road area is open to the public and is not owned by F&O who run this site. There are NO toilet facilities on this site so either be prepared for the ‘natural’ approach or holding onto it! The entire road area is designated ‘safe-zone’ but signing-in etc is held under a large Ex-Army Canvas tent type affair. Hot drinks were available all day and at lunch as part of your ‘green fee’ Hot Dogs and a choice of drinks, which were gratefully received after a mornings hard skirmishing.

Game Play
Game play in the main consisted of attack/defend type scenarios which led to some great games it has to be said over this large and expansive site. The bases I felt could have been better setup and consisted of just piled up groups of fallen trees and other scraps of wood. Another side effect of not owning the site you skirmish on. Clearer defined bases and enemy complexes would have sealed the deal in this writer’s opinion. The last game of the day involved one team trying escape and evasion and attempting to reach ‘safety’ whilst a Hunter force tracked them down and killed them. All games used the well tried and tested method of medic and respawn. The site had a good mix of old and new players and the size of the place ensured the games moved well and kept up a good pace. I forgot just how hard on the old legs playing in woodland could be, so be prepared. Everyone including the marshals seemed to enjoy the day.

A couple of warnings!
It should be mentioned that the site recommends you wear boots, heed this good advice and wear them or you could end up leaving a trainer behind in some boggy bit of mud!
Make sure your kit is well marked and if you use BFG’s they have brightly coloured markers on them. It is so easy to loose kit in this woodlands so be warned.

Summary
When I arrived I wondered what I’d let myself in for when I was ‘welcomed’ by the boss with ‘Hmm, Chav Cam. You’ll be easy to spot in there’. Nice ‘friendly’ welcome then, but the day did improve.
The site is large and could accommodate plenty of players, however parking will prove its down fall if this becomes very popular. Car share if a group of you are going. You’ll have to live out of your car so take seats and brollies (just in case) should you want to do any work on your precious AEG’s. Marshalling for the site was spot on and people are well warned not to shout each other out and to take any issues to the marshals direct. Good advice no matter where you skirmish.

It’s a good site for woodland, and a great asset for Northwest Airsofting. The marshalling is good and they have a general invite to go down the local pub at the end of the day for a bit of après-airsoft! What more could you ask for.

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