This review is kind of premature due to the fact that although it’s opened it’s also undergoing many changes weekly. All my findings are based on the the first Bomb Up Airsoft operated game, the site is largely untouched from previous use.
A direct quote form Bomb Up Airsoft themselves
“Based in Warrington, Cheshire, Phoenix is a compact mixed terrain outdoor game site, from tight building CQB to open landscapes, our site features various game zones with sheltered areas, defence barriers, high and low ground and wooded spaces to name a few. Phoenix will satisfy the beginner right through to the experienced player”
Safety Brief 10/10
As to be expected now days with all things health and safety the daily brief was concise and well executed. I have to say there is something about military and Airsoft experience when it comes to a safety brief. It might be because i’m used to the Military side more than the civilian and at this site Adam gave both.
A bit of ex Marine humour with all of the site rules were covered, one things for sure it didn’t sound at all like it was day one of Phoenix Total Combat. Specifics were given on smoke, impact and timed grenades use with examples. Also the team understood that all over the site you can and poke a weapon through the fencing which was issues as a severe no no. Safety was indeed paramount and it was good to see in the corridor exchanges the safety staff were keeping an eagle eye as some tried to flaunt the rules.
The site is nestled between Birchwood and Hollins Green just outside Warrington, easy access found from M6 and M62. Parking onsite is off the road in a compound so no worries about trespassers.
The site is an old Air rifle and clay pigeon range, I never went to but for what I can gather it had 6 traps or lanes. The lanes were still very much in play and a pain in the arse to negotiate, they do make a unique obstacle that other sites don’t have.
The games on the day were well thought out with some simple objective taking scenarios, capture the medical box and retrieve it back to your own lines to a zombie infection game. As you will see from the game play below the area has dense woodland, CQB meat grinder range paths and open firing traps.
At the time of playing we had limited mouse holes in the fences that lined the paths and ranges. I feel a few well placed mouse holes would allow movement between different approaches of attack, creating some flanking when stale mates occur.
Additional mouse holes needed
I mentioned some players shot through the gaps in the fence, these gaps also allowed some awkward stalemates as you can clearly see who’s waiting behind the corners. Again although the site is new it will undoubtedly undergo a lot of changes in the coming months to improve it.
With improvements to site wide access it will be a great site with a real mix of environments which will challenge any site in the area. I assume as they cut and change the main routes around the site they will no doubt be left with a load of wood to build more cover of structures.
As the experienced retailer Bomb Up Airsoft runs the site you can understand they offer a wide range of products and all airsoft supplies. The site does have a porta loo and the usual soft drinks and chocolate etc. Along with their shop you might also get the expertise of Griff for any technical issues throughout the day, if he can’t fix it i’m not sure anyone else can.
If your HPA user, you are in luck as Adam brings along two dive tanks of air and does refills for £3 just in case you don’t come prepared. If the site opened up the use of the toilet block it would be much better as the porta loo experience isn’t enough for some users. Personally I don’t mind porta loo Jenga. Also the addition of hot food would be much appreciated but understand many sites don’t like this due to H&S and costs.
Game play 8/10
The games attracted many player abilities with all types of weaponry but if you’r a sniper it doesn’t much of an opportunity around the whole site. Snipers are limited to Northern range of the site if you require camouflage and concealment as the rest is almost too close range.
The woods and use of bails are very good encouraging fire and manoeuvre but I’m. not sure the site can or will cater for the younger early teens, it just felt a bit more grown up and not suitable for kids.
All in all I really enjoyed the games provided as the site is so different from others around, I hope as they change it and make it more immersive they don’t loose that character and charm.
Since I went a few weeks have passed and now I understand some of the range huts and buildings are in play offering more attack and defend style game plays.
Overall rating at the time of writing 8/10
Will be going back in the near future to hopefully update this review and add some meat on the bones.