Hello guys, i'm writing this today due to relative boredom while going through a position shift at work. so i've got some time off. A bit about myself. My relevant non-airsoft experience includes copious amount of firearms experience and training mainly for CCW and combative shotgun. I've been an airsofter now for give or take 10 years. I've played in backyard skirmishes to organized sponsored competitive events. i'm part of a 4 man team based In west Virginia. We generally play competitive wood games and are part of a larger group based in the tri-state area. on this team i play the role of the "recon" if you will. Out main field that 70% of our games are played on is a wooded 40 acre lot. So my perspective in the post is based on that of a woodland environment and competitive small team play. I would like to discuss the importance of Stealth in Airsoft gameplay. First off id like to address that the majority of players i see usually stem from the gaming crowd. which is fine. its a great gateway into what we see now as the productive and valuable sport of Airsoft. However the gaming background gives a certain expectation when going into airsoft which consciously or sub-consciously people tend to gravitate towards. This, as i'm sure most of you are aware is the expectation of fast paced, break neck combat, power slides, dolphin dives, knife kills, and etc etc. What i see in alot of players is their insatiable need to run into combat head first, sprinting into the action basically mimicking the games in which they developed the actual interest from. Sometimes this tactic works. ive seen it work in CQB games and some indoor games. However its more or less great timing on a "would-be" planned rush. Sometimes people just have the impeccable timing to get a great back-rage on someone or make an amazing flank out of their impromptu rushing. However heavily outweighing these exceptions are the times in which people will push ahead and try to run a game at a higher tempo and end up either dying or raining hell on their team. once again id like to stress that most of my experience is based in a woodland environment. This post is to hopefully make some of you faster paced and "rushier" players take a knee and think. When playing in wooded games your general small team tactics should be based in a fluid-like movement system. In our games we almost always split up. which most would find a mistake in itself. however Two players on my team are very good at keeping attention and holding down areas, while me and my "partner" are more keen on movement and scouting. We tend to run tactics that involve distraction, holding and flanking or ambushes. These tactics are backed up in multiple accounts from old military handbooks from multiple countries. guerrilla warfare is a very potent tool to keep in your arsenal and when starting with or left with a small team as ours it becomes your life-line. To bring an example into this wall of text let me talk about our last game. it was our 4 man team vs a 5 man team. We set this game to be had in the western part of our field which was wooded but had a large straight trail that went vertically down the length of the field on the western edge. The enemy team started on the top of the trail in the west while we started on the bottom in the east. Immediately we split up. Our 2 man assault team went north on the outer tree line to move as quick as the could to parallel themselves with the enemys expected position while Me and my partner aka our "recon" or "scout" team went straight through the dense wooded area separating us from the trail. when we finally arrived near the trail we took a knee and listened. we were concealed about 2 meters away from the trail and waited 30 seconds to check for any signs if we've been heard or anyone has made contact. (The 30 second rule is the first id like to address. Its vital that after you do anything even slightly risky that you take that knee, weapons ready and wait. 30 seconds is roughly how long it should takefor you to decide whether you've been made or not. we use this in many cases and its a valuable trick to know.) After we decided we were clear we made comms with our assault team to confirm their position. We proceeded to move very slowly to push out enough to check the Trail for the enemy. the trail is about 5 meters across and completely straight, we have small plywood sections and brush piles littered about it for cover but generally you can see straight up and down it in one glance. i was the first to push out while my partner stayed back to watch my back and cover me. as soon as i positioned to look out i spotted 3 of the enemy team advancing down the trail presumably to flank us. This part is important to understand and note. I was sticking out just enough and they were just so close that if they were looking for me they would see me clear as day. let me emphasize that, IF they were looking for me. however as soon as i saw them i did what some might call the unthinkable. i froze still until they split off a bit to check a side path and then a slowly sank into a prone position. Whats important to note in this example is that when faced with the immediate threat of being seen and killed i didn't try to hide. The biggest mistake everyone will make is when they think someone can or will see them they will immediately hide, and i get that. the feeling to instantly duck down and hide is almost irresistible. however two points that are valuable remember is that human eyes are attracted to movement. the faster and more unexpected it is he more likely they will see it. another thing is that they weren't looking at me or expecting to see me there. their eyes were glazing the scene around them looking in more obvious areas than near a brush pile near that one log. Human eyes work best with peripheral vision. the fact that they weren't looking in my direction was more threatening than if they were. peripheral vision almost always picks up unexpected movement as a defense against our primal friends way back in the olden days. so i waited patiently until they checked the side path that i knew they were getting close to before i slunk back down into my spot. if they didn't i would have had to improvise a distraction either a rock throw or having one of my assault team buddies take a random shot or lob a random firecracker off (yes we use those), maybe i would have gotten away with slipping down slowly enough to not be seen. who knows? The camo i was wearing was basic to say the least. worn out old multicam pants, A foliage green long sleeve shirt, tan chest rig and a tan shemagh (for sweat reasons, not fashion reasons), however the simple action. or lack thereof. Of me freezing and not moving means they didn't even come close to seeing me. Its very important to understand that Alot of covert movement is a mind game. its all about overpowering your fear or suspicions and knowing how others minds work and determining who is thinking what. once your able to get past such things you will realize how absent minded alot of people are when they simply aren't expecting you to be there. Continued below.