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To give some perspective with this review, I would like to point out my personal experience in the military. I spent four years with the 101st Airborne, went to Air Assault school, and switched over to the National Guard after my contract expired. In the Guard I volunteered for the recon platoon and went to the Airforce's Phoenix Raven course (Air Commando). I was then sent to Africa for a year where I secured landing zones in scary places.
Milsim West is a company that organizes and hosts military simulation (MILSIM) events in the United States. These events are designed to provide a realistic experience for participants by simulating real-life military scenarios, including mission objectives, tactical planning, and combat situations.
Milsim West events are known for their strict adherence to realism, with participants required to follow strict rules and guidelines. For example, participants are required to wear realistic military uniforms and gear, follow strict chain of command, and use simulated weapons that fire BBs.
Milsim West events typically last for several days, with participants camping out in the field and conducting missions and patrols around the clock. These events are physically demanding and require participants to be in good physical condition.
Overall, Milsim West events provide a unique and immersive experience for military enthusiasts and those interested in experiencing the challenges of military operations in a safe and controlled environment.
I mention Milsim West (MSW) in all my posts because they have the best reputation in the industry. You can not talk about Milsim without mentioning MSW. We all know what score I am going to give them, but lets go through the movements so I can explain why they deserve a perfect score.
In my opinion MSW does milsim better than any other production company. First off, they have all veteran staff. This keeps the events ultra realistic and maintains that military structure a lot of events are lacking. Its not to say that people who host events that are not veterans don't do a great job, its that they lack the understanding of military operations. The owner of MSW was a Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment and did several deployments to Afghanistan. He has in-depth understanding of how small unit tactics operate. The military is a subculture, within that subculture is another subculture - Infantry. Very few people understand that subculture and to replicate it without having done it, is difficult. At MSW events, I actually feel like I am apart of a frontline infantry platoon. I am cold, starving, and miserable. Not a lot of people understand that to not be miserable, you need to lean on your friends, you need to laugh about your current situation and keep your head up. Infantrymen are hard and strong, they don't get upset about awful conditions, they don't sleep-in on days when they got stuff to do. They get up and go to the gym, not because they want to, because they have to. Its discipline that keeps the traditional grunt hard. MSW reinforces that discipline; when it gets hard, just keep going. That is why everyone who makes it through an MSW events has such satisfaction upon finishing it. It reminds them that they still got it, they are hard enough to grind it out. For this, MSW gets a perfect score for Crowd. The kind of people they attract are higher quality than traditional milsim events.
For Crowd, Milsim West gets a 5.
Before arriving at MSW events, they will email you a copy of your "Orders", this is very realistic. Before any deployment becomes real, you will always get emailed a copy of your orders. No other organization does this. They also create Facebook groups, Discord channels, and email you about your upcoming "Deployment". It truly makes you feel like you're about to deploy.
How funny is this email? How realistic?
When arriving at the event, they separate NATO from RUSFOR, making it all the more mysterious. You talk about the enemy like they are the Enemy; you don't know them, you have never seen them, but you want to destroy them. This sometimes becomes too realistic on the field, people telling you to go "F*** yourself", "F*** you retard", etc. It has frustrated me multiple times, I do not like being called a F****** retard, nor being told to go F*** myself. In the real world, people get their assess beat for that kind of talk. However, it is more proof that separation between teams creates a fundamental change in attitude. Anyway, back to organization! Upon arrival to your designated team, you have over 6 hours to prepare your gear and process in. Yes, you heard me right, 6 hours to prepare. The staff at MSW understand that Airsofters take forever to put their equipment together and get setup. This is not too far off from the actual military. It takes hours, days, months to prepare for an operation. At any other venue, they give you maybe 2-3 hours. Other venues don't have you sleeping in the field for three days either. This timeline is never missed. Not one of the 12 MSW events I have been to have they ever missed a timeline. However, the most realistic part of these events is the processing stations. How realistic this is to the actual military; medical screening, OCIE Layout, formations, etc. Before you deploy in real life, you will go through a massive checklist of tasks you must complete. Medical screening is a big one, you must pass all the stations to get cleared to deploy. MSW took this philosophy and applied it to their events on a small scale. Getting signatures from cadre once you pass all the stations qualifies you to "deploy". No other venue does it this well.
For Organization, Milsim West gets a 5.
Lets talk about the meat and potatoes: gameplay. First, lets look at other event hosts. They always have some laundry list of tasks for each team to accomplish; save the downed pilot (mannequin), find an ammo box, find and restrain the enemies commander, the list goes on and on. Its boring, its monotonous, its not creative. At a recent event I went to, they literally had you find the enemy commander and actually restrain him - literally tackle him. He could also put up a fight. Ridiculous. MSW's approach is much more realistic; seize key terrain and destroy the enemy. That sounds much better than a laundry list. It is executed like it is in the actual military; slow and methodical, deliberate and coordinated. Large scale maneuvers involve multiple layers of command coordinating the assault. There is no "capture the pilot", no "go find the ammo box", the mission is simple: find the enemy, uproot them from key terrain, destroy them. However, this does lead to a lot of sitting around, which is also very realistic!
For Gameplay, Milsim West gets a 5.
The same concept for gameplay can be applied to the ruleset. MSW events are a two hit system; you get hit once, you need a tourniquet from anybody, you get hit twice, you need a medic. What I like most about the rules is they actually issue you a damn tourniquet. Most event hosts just tell to "use whatever they have on them", what garbage is that? Most people don't have any tourniquet or bandage on them if they need it. MSW issues you a nice new tourniquet every event you go to, this is handed out at your medical lane. You can also get issued two tourniquets if you have a ballistic helmet and plates in your plate carrier. When hit at MSW events you're expected to scream in pain. There are no death rags, no putting your hand in the air and whispering to yourself "hit", you either roll on the ground in pain or keep getting shot. You think its silly until you hear the screaming of your comrades and all of a sudden, you have the urge to scream louder. If you're hit a second time, a medic must give you a full water bottle to drink. This will allow you to remove your tourniquet and making you alive again. A medic is someone who is able to hold up to four water bottles at a time and a platoon medic can hold up to as many as they can carry. Platoon Medics are essential on the real battlefield. They set up Causality Collection Points (CCP) and triage all incoming wounded. It is setup the same way at MSW; the wounded are brought back to the CCP and given a water to chug. It can get boring being the Platoon Medic because you typically have to stay to the rear and man the CCP, but it is a rewarding position if done right. You have a lot of responsibility as Platoon Medic, you need to keep people alive and maintain supplies. All MSW events revolve around your supply lines. Medical supplies and ammunition are essential for the team to stay alive. When it comes to ammo, everyone is issued a combat fighting load. For rifleman its usually 300-400 rounds, for light machine gunners its 1000, and for heavy machine gunners its 1500rds. Troops are typically only resupplied 3-4 times during the entire weekend. This makes it very difficult to hold structures, make big maneuvers, and defend positions. Anyone can go full auto as MSW events, but only machine gunners do because nobody else has ammo!
For Ruleset, Milsim West gets a 5.
Without even saying it, MSW has the highest immersion level of any milsim experience out there. Every event feels like real war; the blank fire, the chaos, the screaming, the explosions, its all too real. Not to mention, the formations, the standing around, the naps, the 0300 raids, getting shot in your sleeping bag. All of this creates a true milsim experience. No other event hosts does something like this. Its a one of a kind experience.
For Immersion, Milsim West gets a 5.
My personal notes:
After doing these events several times, I have figured out how to make the most of them.
Don't sleep: Don't go to sleep at night. Veteran players and literal veterans are watching you from the Woodline, waiting for you to crack. They want you to go to sleep so they can sneak up and kill you in your sleeping bag. MSW events function like real combat. No raid I ever did overseas was conducted in broad daylight. I did over 42 missions overseas and 38 of them were conducted at night. We got on the bird at 2230 every night and returned at 0500. Take the initiative with your cadre and do some night raids, all you have to do is ask. Before an MSW event, sleep in; take the day off and sleep in till 1200. This will ensure you're ready to fight all night.
Don't over pack: pack light. Pack light. Pack light! If you bring a George foreman grill, you're going to kill yourself.
Be relentless: take the fight to the enemy. Do not wait to be told what to do, ask your cadre to do some crazy shit. They are always up for it. When Saturday comes, sleep a few hours in the day and assault again at night. Don't stop until the event is over!
Total points: 25 (Perfect)
Attend or Skip: You Must Attend
In the "Shit" Factor (1-10): 10
BMA Rating (1-10): 10
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All information in these posts is strictly my opinion. These are not intended to make anyone upset or be outraged. Take it with a grain of salt and formulate your own opinions. I am the CEO of BlueMag Airsoft - not BlueMag Airsoft. BlueMag Airsoft has no personal opinions and is simply an entity that supports all facets of the sport.