MilSim is an abbreviation of Military Simulation, and it refers to the simulation of a combat environment for training or recreational purposes. Milsim games range from strict reenactments of specific battles in history to made up scenarios complete with fictitious nations, factions and noncombatants. Milsim games are most often fought in real life with airsoft, paintball, or a similar non lethal weapon system. Alternately, MILES gear, various simulated munitions and even video games can be used to play Milsim.
As airsoft is by far the most popular method by which Milsim games are played, it bears explaining what airsoft is to better understand the topic at hand:
Airsoft is a sport or recreational activity in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms.
Game play varies in style and composition but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, C.Q.B., field, military simulations, or historical reenactments. Combat situations on the battlefield often involve the use of common military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Participants typically emulate the tactical equipment and accessories used by modern military and police organizations.
As indicated, there are many styles and sects of airsoft, each suited for a different type of player. Milsim is arguably the largest sect of the airsoft community and for good reason. Servicemen and women are looked up to and naturally people want to emulate them. Because of the large number of people involved in Milsim, there are in fact several different types of Milsim players ranging from those who have no tactical knowledge and just like to look like a soldier, to those dedicated to learning the ins and outs of warfare in order to dominate the battlefield.
Personally, I enjoy Milsim because it requires players to work together as cohesive units to complete an objective which may or may not include any actual combat. Some of my favorite memories center on missions that we completed without firing a single shot! While no one can deny the fun the results from a good firefight, milsim missions focus on accomplishing objectives similar to those given to real military units.
The sheer size and complexity of the milsim community can be a bit intimidating for the new player but fear not, it is full of experienced players that can help! Before you go out and buy a bunch of gear, I recommend that the new player attend some local games and just watch. See what the game is all about and if it stacks up to your expectations. If it seems to be something you’re interested in, I recommend you do as much research as you can online and talking with experienced players as you can before you dive in.
This website is dedicated to helping players of all skill levels learn more about Milsim and increase their skill level. As a new player, I would recommend you check out the Milsim 101 category of articles. This along with the rest of the articles in the “Resources” tab will arm you with a solid information set that you can then move forward with. Particularly interesting to new players is generally the gear related articles. While your’e reading articles here, it will also behoove you to get involved in the online community nearest you.
By community I mean an online discussion forum. There are several large (national) forums, and hundreds of regional ones. Get registered on at least one of each to give you a good perspective of how milsim players think nationally and regionally. If you find yourself interested in a certain kind of milsim, such as Vietnam War reenacting, simply join a forum of others that do the same and delve into their collective knowledge.
We’ll see you on the field.
Definitions courtesy of Wikipedia. Special thanks to Kdog Action Photography for the use of their photographs.