If Carlsberg did airsoft

During those idle moments stuck in traffic or trapped in a boring meeting, who hasn’t dreamed about the perfect airsoft game?

Well those crazy Russians (yes, it’s them again) don’t just dream it. They live it.

Stalin once said that ‘quantity has a quality of its very own’. And when you see the number of players who get involved in big Russian games, you realise that his enthusiasm for big numbers lives on.

Of course, Russia is a vast country, which helps when you’re organising a skirmish on a grand scale. It’s also dotted with ex-military installations which make for wonderful airsoft playgrounds.

It’s the attitude of Russian players that impresses me most. Nothing is impossible. It makes you wonder whether the whole Crimea thing was just a scenario game that got out of hand. Check out this video of a river assault, complete with improvised landing craft:

The Third Shock Army. They were tough, but me and my mates could have had 'em.

The Third Shock Army. They were tough, but me and my mates could have had ’em.

I love the way Russians abandon health and safety rules for the sake of a good scrap.

Back in the 80s when I was holding off the Russian Third Shock Army with my fellow school cadets and a bag of flour bombs, we were told about the way the Red Army ran force-on-force exercises.

Yes, they’d use blank ammo. But close in, vodka’ed-up squaddies were encouraged to go at each other with rifle butts, spades and bare hands.

All good clean fun. Just like Glasgow on a Saturday night, but with more dead bodies to pick up afterwards. A true case of ‘train hard, fight easy’, as the great Marshall Zhukov used to say.

It’s fitting, therefore, that a Russian company has finally found a way to make airsoft 40mm grenades explode just like the real thing. Boy, what I’d give for a crate of these bad boys. I can’t imagine them coming to the UK, though. We’d probably classify them as weapons of mass destruction.

'I danced with Nureyev once'.

‘I danced with Nureyev, you know’.

I went to Russia once, in 1986. Fun was a little thin on the ground then. It generally consisted of the odd Dynamo vs. Spartak ice hockey game and hanging around the cafes near the Kirov where the achingly gorgeous ballerinas used to congregate.

Those same ballerinas are probably all driving tractors in the Urals now. Or more likely, spending some plutocrat’s ill-gotten gains in the jewelery shops of Monaco. But I reckon Russian might be worth a repeat visit all the same.

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