With a surname like Thomas, you may have guessed that I have a connection with the ‘Land of the Dragon’, and it’s a connection that has been with me, and has grown in me ever since I can remember.
I still love to return to Wales, and I’m pleased that over the years airsoft has drawn me back yet again, with some great sites to visit and play at. Of course, that splendid Welsh hospitality is still there in abundance. There are some real premium sites and even MOD areas to play on, and once again it’s friendship that pulls me back…
As some of you regular readers have probably realised, I’ve been through a ‘spot of bother’ health-wise over the past year or so, but I’m eternally relieved and thankful that this appears to be behind me now. It has meant that I’ve had to curtail my forays further afield, and for 2019 I am most definitely looking forward to the annual ‘England v Wales’ game, although I’m not quite which side to play on!
Mid wales airsoft
Unit 3 Severnside Centre, 26
Shortbridge St, Newtown SY16 1AA
T: 01686 627 594
Best known for their Newtown-based shop that I’ve reported on before, Mid Wales Airsoft are going from strength to strength, building a great reputation as they do so! Their site is based in the heart of mid Wales, and the physical game site is situated nestled into the rolling hills of Radnorshire, Powys. The site boasts stunning views across the countryside, along with huge varying terrains for airsoft gaming. Onsite, they have all the facilities you need, including tuck shop, charging facilities, toilets, airsoft supplies shop, tea and coffee and somewhere to relax between games and to keep your kit.
The home site is based near Abbey Cwmhir, just outside Llandrindod Wells (LD1 6PG).
The varied terrain means that they offer a wide range of gaming areas and different paces of games. Players are put off at the size of Hamburger Hill (a mountain!) but Tim told me they had a few players run up there, but they complained afterwards that they had left half a lung behind! At different times of the year the site totally changes; during winter, the site proves a challenge with some muddy areas and lack of greenery for cover, so players have to rely on trenches, bunkers and tree trunks for hard cover.
During mid-summer, though, the ferns are all up and you can hide in a forest of greenery and because they cover such large areas, you can literally get from one gaming area to another without being seen, ideal cover for ‘sneaky snipers’. For the first half of the summer, the grass is very long, just as you get used to it being so long and rely on it for being one (as Tim puts it) sneaky mother-humper’ it all gets chopped down and you’re back to no grass. The biggest challenge for the team on site is how far the car park is from the safe zone. It’s a few minute’s walk, but if you have a lot of kit or you have anything heavy you will need a ride!
Their prices are a reasonable £20 walk on fee or £30 with hire, and I’m certain you’ll get a very warm welcome if you decide to go and check the site out!
DMR (locked to semi):
Nr Halkyn, Holywell, CH8 8DF
T: 07557 519 091
The guys at Alpha 55 aim to provide you with the best possible Airsoft experience. The woodland site in Halkyn, North Wales, has varied terrain including both inside and outside play. During play, you will come across minefields, various bases, abandoned vehicles, buildings and all manner of defences; which all add to the gaming experience.
It’s a varied woodland site, featuring vast pines, small bases and bridged choke points; in the mix, you’ll find CQB, where tight shipping containers form multiple open-roof compounds and tight spaces. There’s a SAM Site; a woodland clearing is the location of this vital surface to air missile defence site, expect furious crossfire from numerous direction when defending! The Shanty Town is a huge sprawling pine forest with plenty of cover and concealment, but difficult terrain for moving your forces undetected.
Basically, Alpha 55 is a well-developed site with great facilities. Alpha 55 has a reputation for its friendly community of players. Help, support and an ear full of war stories can be found from staff and players any time; they are always open, even if you just want a cup of tea and a chat. Alpha 55 is and always will be one of the most renowned airsoft sites in North Wales and there aren’t many who haven’t experienced an incredible day at Alpha 55 from what I hear!
DMR (locked to semi):
500fps MAX (Please note that Alpha 55 have very specific age-related safety limits which you can find on their website)
Dragon valley airsoft
Caerwent, Chepstow NP16 6LS
Dragon valley has been around for a while and has an absolutely excellent reputation both for their variety of games and their approach to player safety. RAF Caerwent (on the Gwent levels, several miles east of Newport), was a major conventional weapons store for the US Army, which was closed in 1993.
Dragon Valley Airsoft now have use of 20-acres of the site with the explicit permission of the MoD and, as you can imagine, the setting is pretty stunning, and quite unique! The main faces that you’ll see are Jeff (Kalon), Olly (Firkit) and Russ (Russ). They’re the core staff who help organise everyone, and generally devise and run the events. Their ethos is that gaming should be innovative and fun. To that extent, their gaming days are based around storylines that develop over the course of the day. They also run unique events, such as gaming based in unusual periods of history, role-play events and anything else that grabs their interest; I’m certain that if you pay them a visit you’re bound to have a great day of airsoft!
DMR (locked to semi):
500fps MAX (Snipers subject to minimum engagement distance)
I’ve picked these three specific sites in wales, as I’m sure you’ll agree that they offer a bit of everything when it comes to airsoft games, from regular skirmishes through to full-on ‘MilSim Immersion’, and that’s before you get near England v Wales!
Of course, there are other Welsh sites; so, if you’re over that way, or heading there, then do also check out Hard Target Airsoft (htairsoft.co.uk), Aber Airsoft (aberairsoft.co.uk), Airsoft Cardiff (http://airsoftcardiff.uk) and Bus Airsoft (http://busairsoft.com) who will also pander to your ‘airsoft fix’. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting together with Tim and Tish during 2019, and I am absolutely certain that will be one to remember!
All the sites listed offer a great airsoft experience, and if you’re a new player or someone that fancies having a go at airsoft then they all provide hire packages that include an eye protection, an AEG with magazines, and BBs. Some will provide protective clothing along with hot drinks and lunch too, but check their websites for details of what is included, along with game day costs. All the sites also have busy, regularly updated Facebook and other social media pages, which include photo galleries of both the site and past games, so these are well worth a look. If there are new sites that I’ve missed, then please do feel free to contact me and I’ll endeavour to add you in a site update at a later date!