Local Team Profile: Mystery Squad

Mystery Squad is a highly active team in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Recently, TMP had the opportunity to attend a training day with Mystery Squad and observe their preparations for Operation Rebel Yell at Camp Gruber, OK. We also had the opportunity to sit down with Mystery Squad leader, TMAC. Here is what he had to say:

TMAC, tell me a little about how your squad got started and what it means to you.

The Mystery Squad was started in 2008 mainly due to the fact our backyard games had grown and we wanted to be more organized. In 2008 we attended our first op, Operation Ball Drop 2 in Arkansas. After the game our C/O told us we were like the Mystery Squad, never knowing where we would pop up next. The name stuck and we have continued to grow in members and tactics since then.

Would you consider your team an airsoft team or a milsim team?

Definitely a Milsim team.

Do you attempt to emulate a certain type of military unit (i.e. light infantry, air cavalry, reconnaissance detachment, grunts, etc)?

We usually play the role of grunts but over the last year have slowly started moving to the QRF [Quick Reaction Force] role.

What do you see as the role of your squad within the milsim community?

We strive to grow the local community by hosting local Op’s to bring in new players. We train them and help them hone their skills to become the next generation of milsim players.

Do you have any current or former servicemen
on your team or as advisors?

We currently have 3 active duty Air Force, one active duty Army and one retired army.

Where do you see your team a year from now?

Over the next year we would like to fine-tune our CQB skills due to the fact we have primarily played outdoor events. We would also like to grow our Op’s that we host locally with a few new AO’s and realistic game play.

 As your team is currently recruiting, what does your team offer a new member?

We could say knowledge of gear, equipment etc. (and we do offer these items), but more importantly I would say we offer a brotherhood. 90% of our players have been with us 2-3 years and we are a very tight family and I believe that gives us an edge on the Milsim field.

What does your squad do to train? How often are training sessions and what do they generally entail?

We try to train 4-6 times a year and cover field maneuvers, formations, weapon tactics, CQB and physical training.

Roughly how many games is a member of your team expected to attend every year?

Well our team is divided into three levels. M3 consists of new members who are in a 3 month trial period. M2 contains players that want to play a local games and mini op’s (Approx. 2-3 a year maybe a few more). The highest level is E6 which is what we push all our members to. E6 is our elite 6-10 players that are required to attend 3 out of 4 quarterly meetings,  make a least 5 out of 6 practices, attend 9 out of 10 OP’s and meet physical requirements.

What do you feel the most important aspect of being a team is?

Playing as a team, staying together on the field moving as one unit (flowing together).

What do you feel the most important quality is for a squad (team) leader to have?

Don’t ask a team member to do something you wouldn’t do, lead from the front and when you make a decision Don’t second guess yourself or hesitate – just execute the plan.

What is the squad’s outlook on gear? Is the HSLD look suggested at all times? Does your team change looks depending on what role they play in a game or is gear selection simply up to the individual?

We run OD gear only – we do not force a member to purchase a certain rig but highly recommend the HSLD look.

 In your own opinion, what is more important: quality gear or training?

Training. I’ve seen groups that have the money and the gear but lack the training necessary to execute a mission properly.

I know that your team writes and hosts games in the Tulsa area. What do you feel is the most important aspect of a game?

We do our best to keep the game flow interesting and moving along. People don’t pay to sit; they pay to play and when they play they want to feel like they’re Seal Team Six. We help them do this with props, LARP’s and realism of the mission.

Do your games have a historical backing or are most of them from the mind of their creators?

90% of the game we run will be loosely based on historical events. By loosely I mean we cut the lag time out and go straight to the action.

During a game that you have written, how much control does the host team have over the outcome? For example do they give hints to players, move units around on the map, adjust the game clock or direct certain units to “change sides”?

We have very little control over game flow. In fact, in our last two Ops the history has been rewritten. We will never have groups change sides or adjust the clock but will sometimes give players hints to help them with their objective in order to keep game flow moving.

What sets apart the games that you host from those hosted by others?

We strive very hard to give every player the Special forces experience at a low cost so all players can afford to play. What I mean by that is that every squad should have the chance to deal with props or LARP’s (role players) rather than simply controlling a large area or guarding a certain location. I feel that the best way to explain is to give you a scenario: the Army moves in to take control of the town and cut a power line within it. In the town is a power plant with numerous electronics that function and can be destroyed. As the Army moves in, special forces troops flank the back of the town to take out an HVT (High Value Target) or negotiate with locals etc…  The bottom line is, we want every player to feel that they have an important role in the game.

I hear you have an upcoming game; Operation Night Owl. Can you give us a sneak peek into what this op will entail?

This will be the fourth night owl that we have
hosted and we are planning something a little different. Both forces will be camping in the field with a large area to secure and will not know when they will be attacked. We hope to add a new style of game play, and we have a few surprises, but don’t want to give all the secrets away.

Sounds fun! Thanks for your time TMAC.

At right is one of those little secrets that TMP was allowed to photograph. TMP had a great time learning more about Mystery Squad and I encourage you to check out Op Night Owl on the Okairsoft forums and look for more team profile articles in the future! I leave you with a few clips of the training session that TMP attended.