The isolation in our homes due to COVID-19 is slowly coming to an end (if everything of course goes smoothly) and already, many of us are making plans for excursions and various activities.
An alternative activity, which will bring our friends together again after a while, is competitive team games. Team activities such as Airsoft, Paintball and Lasertag can offer unique experiences, action, suspense and laughter, as the purpose of all three games is to “neutralize” the opposing team as well as “survival” in the “battlefield”. They are also physical activities which raise adrenaline, especially when both teams are familiar with the genre and the game is a “derby”.
We asked three experts about these activities and we present you all the information about these three types of “war games” in Cyprus as well as the places where you can play with your friends.
Paintball | Chris
It is probably the most widespread and well-known game in Cyprus compared to Airsoft and Lasertag since it has been one of the preferences of Cypriots since 1998. It is a team sport played on fields by two teams, who try to achieve either the “neutralization” of the members of the opposing team or victory in a different way using special “armament” which fires balls of biodegradable material containing water-soluble paint (watercolor). The shell of the ball is made of soft gelatin which breaks when the paint bullet strikes at the required speed on a hard surface (e.g. on a player) by painting the impact surface (marking).
In Paintball, there is Team Deathmatch, in which the goal is to knock out the whole opposing team, and the game “capture the flag”, where in this case the goal is to steal the flag of the opposing team. Another scenario is “Protect the President / VIP” where the group aims to protect a person while the other group must either kidnap or exterminate the latter.
In a Paintball game, 5 to 10 people per group can take part. It costs around € 20 / person including, uniform (protective uniform, helmet), armor and paint bullets.
People over 16 or 14 years old (when accompanied by an adult) can take part, as there are suitable “weapons” that do not have the same power as those for adults. To take part in the action, it is necessary to wear a protective helmet, which covers the face to protect the eyes and the nasopharyngeal area. Many players also choose to wear knee and elbow pads. The uniform protects against the bruises that bullets can cause, but in any case there are also moral rules that do not allow you to “shoot” a player from a very close distance.
Lasertag | Andreas
This is a game very close to a real battle. It follows the same logic as Paintball, that is, two opposing teams trying to dominate each other.
Lasertag has been in the life of Cypriots since 2010 and offers pleasant experiences and fun. In this game, there are no beads but the “weapons”, which can simulate real armament, launch a harmless infrared beam. Opponents bring special equipment to the body so that in case of a successful “shot” an electronic indication informs the players about it, thus excluding the occurrence of dizziness or any doubt as to the result.
The scripts in Lasertag are just as interesting as those in Paintball. There is the “Defence / Attack” scenario, where each team either attacks or defends, there is the scenario in which you have to protect a VIP person and “pass” them to the opposite side of the track, while there is also the scenario “Domination” where each group must occupy a space and keep it for a certain period of time.
Finally, there is the screenplay scenario in which a particular player must raise his team’s flag on the web. Lasertag is offered to all ages over 10 and is attended by 10 people or more. It costs around € 20, including the “armament” and an electronic ribbon.
Players can wear their own equipment, however the “weapons” of the game do not fire bullets and do not cause any impact.
Airsoft | Andreas
This game simulates real battle conditions. The experts of the subject do not simply compete in an artificial field, but even make plans to defeat the opposing team.
In Cyprus, the legislation so far does not allow businesses to offer this game to the public, however Airsoft fans, with their own equipment enjoy their favorite game.
First of all, buying a simple Airsoft weapon is almost € 100, while 3,000 rounds of about 6 millimeters are at € 10. The weapons are replicas of real weapons, designed to launch small bullets in a useful range of 50-60 meters, with the exception of the sniper rifle, which reaches 100 meters. The weapons operate either electronically, or with Co2, or with Green Gas, and can be modified and added.
The rules at Airsoft and the game scripts follow the same logic as the above, however the experience is completely realistic as they simulate real battle data. In fact, professional players even recruit intercom to fulfill their missions.
Of course, in this game as well, both teams can apply the “Deathmatch” scenario, but this is the simplest one. Another is the “occupation” of a home or a building, where one group attacks while the other has to defend its territory. Here, even strategies such as distraction to achieve the goal are applied. Another scenario is the protection of a VIP person, and many times the players include “Medic” who can bring a player back to life with one touch. There is also the rescue scenario, in which a team must be able to reach a point and “rescue” a player, always having the other team as an obstacle.
The rules are mainly based on ethics and fair play, since unlike Lasertag or Paintball, in Airsoft there is no indication that a player has been hit and so he raises his hand and leaves the game on his own. Sometimes he can go back to the base of the team or return to the race.
Safety is very important in Airsoft, as small beads can damage the eyes and sensitive areas. Players must be equipped with safety goggles or masks, as well as durable clothing such as camouflage, knee and elbow pads.
Airsoft is different from the other two games since, as mentioned above, it creates realistic combat conditions. It can be used for training and tactics by the Armed Forces and Security Forces with many benefits. It can familiarize a team with accepting fire but also retaliating, something that cannot be done in a military exercise. Intercom, equipment and even the use of a map for navigation in various locations are something that Airsoft players are recruiting. The only difference between Airsoft and a real battle is the bullets that are felt in the body when they hit you, as well as in Paintball.
Lovers of this type of activity love all three games equally as each has its own grace. These games help us understand the meaning of teamwork and individual performance within a team as everyone needs to participate. They also teach the development of anti-war consciousness, as they show in the most effective way how vulnerable a person is at war.
Places that offer these activities per province:
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