Eastwind is by far the most organized and most effectively run event I have ever attended. I believe there are numerous factors that play into this but below are what I believe are the most important.
- Caliber of player – by design, Eastwind demands a level of dedication not required by most other events. While this cuts down on the number of players able to attend, it means that only those truly dedicated to see the Op through to the end attend. This makes for few if any of the petty problems seen at other games.
No suspension of belief – at East Wind everything is real or as close to real as possible. You wear period uniforms, sleep in period tents, eat period meals and drive period vehicles. The WARPAC guys aren’t wearing a different color of NATO uniform, the are actually wearing WARPAC uniforms, using WARPAC equipment and driving WARPAC vehicles. This makes it extremely easy to get immersed in the game world and have that true milsim experience. Additionally, there were no admins running around in bright colors to remind us we were actually playing a game. While the back of our minds knew our information came from a white cell, all communications were via fax and stated they were from our higher command so that was just another thing that kept our heads in the game world rather than pulling us out of it.
- Rules are enforced – From checking that all required equipment is brought to enforcing what your team leader told you to do (chain of command is in full effect at EW), all of the rules are enforced. I love this because if I know that the rules are enforced in my faction, they are also enforced in the other. If I know the WARPAC guys are playing within the rules why would I feel the need to cheat or game the game?
As is usually the case, I was more than prepared in some areas and unprepared in others.
- Equipment – I spent a year on the Eastwind forum deciding whether or not I wanted to attend. I poured over gear lists that others had put together and made my own based on what items they had found most useful. This actually worked very well and I had more than enough to get by. For an in depth equipment review, click here.
- Organization – it’s tough to keep a mountain of equipment organized in a very small space when you’re dead tired. I brought two bunkerboxes with me to EW7 and they did a great job of keeping everything organized. Hanging items in the tent was also a great way to keep clutter off the ground.
- Training – I felt I had done a good job of learning infantry tactics and strategies prior to EW7. By far the most used were hand signals, noise and light discipline and patrolling formations/actions. That said, I felt I did a bit of a poor job training my squad on battle drills and actions on contact. If given the chance, I plan on ramping this up quite a bit this coming year.
- Radio – stepping up to run the radio put me out of my comfort zone. I had to learn SOI and proper radio etiquette at the same time. My saving grace was that I already had a good handle on the principles behind how my radio worked from taking a comms class provided by the EW staff.
Attitude – I knew my attitude would be tested at EW and it was. If I’ve gone that long on that fast of an operational pace I can’t remember it. There were definately a couple days where I was wondering why I was paying money to go through this ordeal! In the end, there was no way I was going to leave my squad down a man so I hung in there and felt much better the remainder of the event as I adapted to the schedule.
Interested in learning more about Eastwind or attending? Hurry! Eastwind 8 (2015) is the last one. Additional information, photos and video can be found at the following links:
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Eastwind 7 experience. If you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks to Hoober, Mercy and Lopez for all of your photos!