Team Spotlight: Shadow Stalkers Airsoft Team -
Today I’m interviewing Jase from Shadow Stalkers Airsoft Team, one of the upcoming teams in the east midlands. Frequenting Skirmish Airsoft and MAW, the team are easily recognised by their use of vegetato camouflage (a relative rarity in the airsoft world) and coyote tan rigs.
AO: Afternoon Jase, thanks for taking the time to do this interview! First off, how did you get into airsoft?
Jase: Shadow Stalkers was originally a Cadet Training team designed to ready those cadets who were looking at joining HM Forces. Part of this package was importing airsoft guns pre-UKARA for training purposes. Before the cadet training team was shut-down by ‘politically correct’ senior Officers, it had a 100% success rate on cadets joining the forces.
AO: That’s certainly not how most teams get set up! What made you decide that you wanted to set up a team?
Jase: After the original role of the SSAS team was disbanded, a number of the instructors left the Reservists, yet being ex-regulars, still had the itch to run around like a loon with a gun. This is how the team started to take shape. The first members were ex-members of the cadet training team and their siblings, and family is still an important source of recruiting even today.
AO: Could you tell me a bit more about the team?
Jase: Sure. The team has three squads, two based in the English Midlands, and one in Scotland. Recruitment is via existing members, our selection process basically involves a potential team member skirmishing with us, and if we like them they can join the team. We’ve yet to turn someone down!
AO: What has been the team’s best game to date?
Jase: You’d find a lot of different answers on this from the members, however, from the team as a whole, Brit Tac’s Cope Hill weekenders shows our team spirit best of all. We trained a fair bit for the weekender at Copehill Down in April and it really paid off, with the team really getting stuck in and working together.
AO: What weapons do the team use?
Jase: That’s a personal choice – we don’t have weaponry requirements, however a lot of members use weapons based on the M4 platform, partially to ensure mag commonality. We currently have six members using KWA Defenders as they are just such good bits of kit!
AO: A lot of airsofters have the perception that if you turn up to a game day and one side consists of a team who play together then that can badly skew the balance of the day – do you feel that this is a valid point?
Jase: It is a valid point and we have unbalanced skirmish days before by accident. Which is why we try to split ourselves onto opposing sides when possible. However, when we are competing against other established teams, the competitive nature in us comes out and we play for the badge.
AO: How would you respond to claims that using military tactics for things like room clearance and CQB take the fun out of airsoft?
Jase: Totally the opposite! We have serving HM Forces in our team, and we keep the CQB skills topped up for Milsim style engagements. When we are purely skirmishing (zombie games etc), the rules go out the window and we just play for the fun aspect. Knowing you have respawn round the corner means you can take risks which would be deadly in the real military, and we have a number of members who like to just make people laugh in the relaxed games.
AO: I know what you mean about relaxing a bit more during a normal game. Do different individuals have rolls within the team (on and off the skirmish field)?
Jase: Yes to both, the team is run by committee, with individual roles, and in field, we have specialists who support other team members (gunners, marksmen etc). We also have a fully functioning training team, who have all worn the uniform for real (or are still wearing it!), so relevant skills are passed onto the members.
AO: Thanks once again Jase!
For more info on The Shadowstalkers head on over to www.shadowstalkers.org for more info on the team.