The Milsim players wear full uniforms, carry maps, radios, use a compass, GPS, include planning and strategy, tactics, and rely on teamwork...
All in the effort to add to the realism!
Have you ever tuned to ESPN2 late at night and found a handful of guys in brightly colored shirts sprinting around inflatable obstacles, sliding on artificial turf, and shooting an insane rate of fire? Well, that is NOT Milsim paintball. The “Woodsball”that emerged in the forests of the United States in the early 80s, mainly with the aim of marking an opponent with paint in a simple game of sides, over the years has been refined, both in terms of rules and gameplay.
The “Speedball” game meanwhile is an open air tournament with professional leagues, broadcast by ESPN, consisting of lightweight uniforms, delineated fields, and markers in bright colors, inflatable obstacles, and large amounts of paintballs. Teams keep score and rotate players like a basketball match.
The Milsim Paintball modality or Military Simulation is normally played on fields with a more "natural" environment, or in an urban setting. The pace of the games can be fast sometimes, but usually operators (milsim players) try to play a more "realistic" speed of simulated combat. Players of military simulation focus on trying to operate with a sense of realism in their games, which represent an alleged particular situation that might have happened or be inspired by history. An event includes fictional characters, groups and situations which are simulated. Milsim differs from speedball and woodsballin that a “win” or marking a high number of opposing players is not what matters. In the Milsim paintball modality, it is aboutaccomplishing the mission successfully, with strategy and tactics, to move, fight and communicate as a team, and also maintaining a code of conduct and honorreal life. True Milsim players strive to, in the same way that military professionals do,maintain integrity, respect, honesty and camaraderie during all aspects of the experience. Milsim operators are helpful to new players, and mentor them with the same respect as they have for more senior and experienced players.
The Milsim players wear full uniforms, carry maps, radios, use a compass, GPS, include planning and strategy, tactics, and rely on teamwork, all in the effort to add to the realism. Equipment and communications systems used as well as hand signals to communicate during operations. And some members even go so far as to print satellite field images, marking the coordinates so they can give accurate “intel” for the rest of the team during missions.
Milsim players restrict themselves to a realistic experience, including the use of markers. Standard size magazines of 30 replace the extra capacity used by other modalities that can count into the 100’s. The idea is to recreate,in the most authentic way, the military experience. Like the military branches, that use various ranks, milsim teams focus on reflecting the different roles and ranks to increase and maintain reality. Additionally, the different roles such as infantry, scout, medic, and sniperallow “operators” or players to receive varied training to improve the experience as well as increase the players understanding and respect for the military experience.
The Milsim players shine during what is called "Scenery games” These large scale paintball games can last from a couples of hours all the way to a full weekend, and can have more than a few hundred players.
The teams who attend are assigned to different "rolls" for these games, each army has its own leader who is in command of the troops, and is following scripted missions that have been agreed with the organizer of the game.
The different teams on each side of the "war" are given different missions, running taking key objectives, such as destroying high value targets, or rescuing POWs. It's not about making points or “taking out” as many opponentsas they can; it is about accomplishing the mission. This is the fundamental difference between Milsim and other paintball modalities.
Since the paintball modality called Milsim comes directly from military simulation, some assume that the Milsim Paintball glorifies war and violence. They cite the use of military uniforms and markers designedas real weapons. However, the reality isthat Milsim is intended to eliminate the negative aspects of war,focusing on the mental challenge of strategy and competition, where vibrant multicolored paint blends with the monotony of camouflage, and the pain and suffering of war is replaced with friendship, connection and celebration at the end of the game. Maintaining the aspects that elicit the adrenaline of the battlefield without glorifying the cost of battle, increasing the feeling of fraternity and connection when the game ends, this is the goal. Laughterand exuberance permeate the air, mixed with the frustration of not achieving the goal.Stories are told of moments that are shared; the wish for the game to continue and the promise that next time, things will be done better. In response to critics, the same could be said about most games, chess, tag, hide and seek and even soccer, all games that seek to recreate battle. The only objective of Milsim is to recreate the theme of combat situations, something that many of usonce didas kids, playing cops and criminals, cowboys and Indians, invasion of Martians or GI Joe.