CQB or Close Quarter Battle is probably one of the most intense battles you can have in airsoft. There is always that fear of the unknown of what’s lurking behind a wall or are there enemies around the next corner waiting to pounce on you. It is also probably the game that is most painful when it comes to getting hit with BBs at close ranges.
The company that built Unit 13 Outdoor Adventures started years ago by setting up airsoft games in Belgium when airsoft was not yet legal during those years. When the law changed, they began building Unit 13 which not only offers airsoft games but also Laser Tag events.
CQB sites are not the easiest to set up and maintain. Unlike outdoor sites, these sites need to be built from the ground up. Careful and clever planning of the site lay out is very important as any mistake in the building process can either make the site unplayable or too easy to play in. Building an airsoft CQB site also needs quite a bit of financial back up. On the other hand, if the site is built right, it can give the players the ultimate battle that they are craving for.
I have played in a few CQB sites. Some are purpose built and some are abandoned or unused buildings. Either way I enjoy close quarter battles as they get my adrenaline pumping more.
During our recent trip to the Netherlands, we were invited by Janek of Valken Tactical Europe to play at a CQB site and to try out some of their airsoft products.
Janek came to pick us up at Maastricht and we headed to Sittard where UNIT 13 Airsoft is located.
We arrived at an industrial area in Sittard just before 4 pm. The place is located in what looks like a massive warehouse. As you enter the building, the first place you will go into is the Unit 13 café and gear shop. This is not your typical airsoft site eating area, this is a proper cafe with a purpose built kitchen. At the far end of the massive room is a shop which sells tactical gears and other airsoft essentials. The shop is fully stocked with some of the well known airsoft brands such as Valken, ASG and G&G. On the first floor (second floor for others) is a viewing deck for friends and family to watch the action safely and at the far end of the hallway is the Unit 13 gun shop where on display are various brands of airsoft replicas, air guns and real steel firearms.
The entrance to the game area is located in the downstairs shop. The entrance doors are controlled and will open at a press of the button. As we went through we were taken straight into the safe zone where we prepared all our gears. There is a shooting range which also serves as a chrono area for players who bring their own airsoft replicas.
We were split into two teams and each team was taken into separate briefing rooms where the safety speech and game scenarios were explained. This was all done through a video projected onto a giant screen.
When the safety brief was done we were told to enter the main game area where another short safety talk was done by a marshal. Then we were told to wait for the start of the game within our respawn rooms and with the countdown was started, the light in the room turned green it was game on.
Next Level Airsoft Gaming
The main game area is massive. Probably the biggest purpose built indoor game site that I have seen in Europe. The layout of the place makes you feel like you’re at street level with cars and shops all around. The streets have markings and streetlights. The shops are purpose built room but unlike your typical CQB site, the rooms are fully furnished like a gun shop with guns hanging on the walls and a Nerf shop with Nerf guns; McDonalds with all the decors; a Hospital and a chapel; and there was a bank with a functioning vault and many more.
The game started with the place quite bright so we could clearly see where we were going. The objective was to raise the flags into your team’s colour and the team with the most flags at the end wins.
When I was talking to the one of the marshals of the place, he said that Unit 13 is different as it provides the next level in airsoft CQB gaming and he was right. Everything is controlled by a main control system. The special effects were great and the ambient background music makes you feel like you’re in a video game. As the game went on I noticed that the place was becoming darker and the street lights started turning on. This also made the game a bit more tense as visibility became slightly more difficult. I also realised that the game scene was being simulated as going from daylight to nighttime which i would say is pretty awesome. In the last few minutes of the game, all the lights went out and only a search light was lighting up the place with a more intense background music making the scene more intense.
The game ended with my team winning.
There was never a dull moment during the game. This was helped by all the special effects that were in put into play, from the lighting effects to the smoke and the background music. They all change to help with increasing the tempo of the game and get the adrenaline pumping.
So what I really think about the place?
All l can say about this place is WOW!
Unit 13 is not one of your typical run down derelict abandoned building or a CQB site made out of old tyres and wooden walls. This is the next level of airsoft gaming. This place is your one stop shop when it comes to airsoft CQB. It has its own cafe, two shops (gear and airsoft and firearms shop) and a massive airsoft and laser tag game area.
This is the best CQB game site that I have seen in Europe and probably one of the best in the world. The guys of Unit 13 left no stone unturned and made sure they had everything covered and well thought of. But being the best didn’t happen over night. Unit 13 is the result of years of planning, building and spending a lot of money to make sure they give the one of the best CQB airsoft experiences ever.
This place is the perfect example of what an airsoft site can be. This is airsoft game site planning at its finest.
Our trip here was well worth it and now I can understand why our friend Janek has been so eager for us to see this place. It is simply amazing.
So if by any chance you are anywhere in the Netherlands, especially near border with Belgium and Germany, I would say go and visit Unit 13 and I guarantee that you will have a blast.
Many thanks to all the staff of Unit 13 for the warm welcome and to Janek and Valken Tactical Europe for taking us to the place and for kitting us up complete from our camo clothing, tactical vests, eye and face protection and most important the airsoft guns that we used.