So although i’m no stranger to First & Only sites having played at the Armoury and the Mill, Anzio is a different site entirely.
Let’s start with the location which is in Leek near Stafford and is easily accessible not long of the M6 or A55. Although ample parking is provided inside the fence off the main road, It’s split between a covered barn and along a road to what was company or Squadron stores buildings. If you prefer a covered parking area in the barn it’s located near the shop, but I recommend getting there early in the queue before it opens to guarantee a spot.
The shop is well stocked with pretty much all types of pyro, ammo weights and emergency eye pro etc at reasonable prices. On the day I went the chrono was run well in advance of playing with good Covid precautions.
However during the chrono I didn’t see any weight / fps charts to assist users to either dial in or confirm their weapons. I keep a small laminated version similar to the one shown but I do expect all chrono areas to have one.
Despite that the admin areas are well laid out with porta loos sadly no HPA filling facilities are on site so come prepared.
Safety brief was controlled well with emphasis on spacing for the current Covid precautions
The brief itself was well versed given by Jamie and the team covering Covid and then the site safety rules. Limits were discussed and following Jamies safety walk earlier in the day an update on some of the conditions in certain areas on site. All together a good brief that took a good 20 min which is what I expect.
The only thing I noticed at the time of the safety brief and what made me think of other F&O sites I’ve been to non have a huge amount of young participants. Although all sites have a lower age limit of 13 years old and maybe one or two at a game, I have never seen many younger players. I only compare this to other sites like Phoenix in Mansfield and Outpost near Wrexham, they tend to have a lot of young players and some skirmishes at Outpost have had a 1/4 of the field 13-16 years old. Some players don’t like that or even young players playing on the same day but I think any site that encourages youth only make the sport stronger creating a more diverse field.
So the most important part of the blog, what was the game like. Well the first brief started straight after the safety brief where the opposing team were led off to occupy accommodation block D1 – D4 with a respawn at the 25m range. Our team were deploying from the medical building with the objective of taking the all D blocks.
After breaking out the size of the AO (Area of Operations) became apparent when you think even the D blocks are two stories each. For me I didn’t see much of the map above until we started and some one showed me one (my fault prior prep and all that). The battle took about an hour and after taking a few buildings and a re-spawning a few times no one had a clue what was happening, even the marshals didn’t know. We basically ended up clearing and re clearing buildings until end ex was called, but although that sounds bad it was a blast.
The buildings do offer a great CQB environment with short shoot / scoots between them. Most are in good condition but many of the D blocks have out of bounds taped off rooms, mainly due to the collapse of the roof. Later missions included either side defending and attaching objectives, a finale of escorting a VIP van from the bottom left corner of the map to the 25m range.
If your game play is sniping the site offers some good cover into and out of buildings and has in the past with the likes of Kicking Mustang shown great gameplays. CQB or attacking is great at the site, what will ruin it is the communication between teams and or marshals. I’ve been told by a friend that did a battle sim that was supposed to last all day was done in less than 2 hrs and that was it pack your bags fellas.
The site can and will offer some amazing games but I think with the backlash of the pandemic some scenarios were not feasible. So with the ‘make do with with what you’ve got’ ethos it was the best that could be available at the time. Personally I think other sites like Phoenix offer a more repeatable game day but please check it out for yourself.
Adventure Airsoft rating 7/10