Whether you’re a group of two or of two hundred, Airsoft offers participants a way to enjoy a fast-paced, exciting combat simulation game. While any number of variations are available, there are a number of highly popular game scenarios.
In any Airsoft game, whether played individually or in teams, the basics remain the same. If you are shot, or tagged, you are out. Being shot usually results in a player leaving the field of play for the duration of the round, though some games may change this.
Because there is no paint-splatter similar to paintball, all players are expected to truthfully report if and when they are hit. This honor system is part of the game, and cheaters are not tolerated for long.
Beyond these basic elements, an Airsoft game can take almost any form. With varying numbers of people, shuffling of teams and individuals, and changing game objectives, there is an infinite flexibility to Airsoft, and no list of game variations can ever be comprehensive.
Many players and teams enjoy simulating military operations, called MilSim. With its emphasis on detailed gun replicas, Airsoft is perfectly suited to this practice, so any game variation might employ the use of military tactics, equipment and jargon. Any scenario that simulates military action can be considered MilSim.
The most common Airsoft games are team skirmishes. Airsoft games might be played in large or small groups, and the use of teams is common. Very often, two teams will engage in a skirmish that has no defined objectives other than defeating the other team. The simplicity of these scenarios makes for highly flexible game play and many groups will never adopt further game types.
Unlike team skirmishes, a Free-for-All match will usually be played without teams. Players are solo combatants, competing against everybody else. Game play is swift and chaotic as every player is out for himself. The last person still in the game wins.
Seek and Destroy
In the team-based game of Seek and Destroy, one team will hide or take a position far from the opposing team. After a designated amount of time, the second team will then begin searching for the first, taking out their players as they go. The hiding team will try to stay alive as long as possible. The last team with players on the field wins.
Capture the Flag
A popular game both in Airsoft and paintball, Capture the Flag is structured just like the childrens game, with two competing teams each trying to find and steal the opposing team‘s flag. In some variations of this game, when a player is tagged out, he can return to a designated base and re-enter play.
King of the Hill
A siege-based game, King of the Hill has one team defend a designated position, such as a hill or bunker, against the other team’s attack. If the attacking team takes control of the hill, roles switch and the first team goes on the offensive.
Another team-based game, Commando Raid pits two teams against each other, each with its own designated base. Between the two teams is a flag, which must be collected and deposited in the enemy base. This creates competition on two fronts, first to seize the flag, and then to attack or defend the base.
Hostage Rescue is a stylized attack-and-defend game. One team defends a base in which it holds an unarmed “hostage.” The opposing team‘s objective is to attack the base, retrieve the hostage, and exit the base successfully. In some variations the hostage is off limits as a target; in others, he is fair game.