Location: Island Mrcara, South Adriatic Sea, Croatia
Date: 22.9.-25.9. ’11
Words: Kreso Glavica, edited by Bill Thomas
Photos: Laszlo Kertesz
Earlier in 2011 we brought you pictures of Mrcara Island, and gave heads up on the game about to run there this September I’ve been following this story and working with Kreso Glavica, the CEO of Adriatic Adventures to bring you the lowdown on a truly international game!.
With players from all over the EU driving through the night to get to Split Harbor in personal cars, mini vans or in coach the Adriatic Adventures staff provided a secure parking garage for the vehicles and a parking place for the bus in Split. From this point, to get to the game involved a further 5 hour journey from Split to the island of Mrcara. The first part of the trip was by commercial ferry boat to the island of Korcula; this takes 3 hours on a comfortable ferry where soft drinks, beer, sandwiches or a full meal can be had.
Alternatively players were able to take a nap or just enjoy in the trip on the open deck in the sunshine! Next a private boat was hired and that took the guys with all equipment direct to Mrcara, since it is not connected with regular line. That part of the trip took 2 more hours of less comfortable travel, but it prepared the guys for the upcoming event; as Adriatic Adventures like to say: Hardcore airsoft; only for the bravest.
Mrcara is located in the southern part of the Adriatic Sea, near the island of Lastovo. It was the property of the army until 1979; when they left the island, military buildings, bunkers, underground tunnels and chambers, machine gun nests and trenches, submarine pens, remained making this little island ideal for the most realistic scenarios. Designed and constructed for real engagements all of the military facilities are very complex and extremely difficult to assault. All players need to put in max effort and have their A Game on to really enjoy one of the most authentic and unique experiences that airsoft can provide.
The Story Unfolds…
On the Islas de la Bahia, just offshore Honduran coast, the years old struggle between Salvador and Honduras continues….
More than 40 years ago a group of Salvadorian pirat..err..fishermen settled on the remote island of Utila and this rankled Honduran national pride and led to ongoing conflict. With intelligence services involved on both sides and strong support of the “Big Neighbor” to the North, Bahia islands soon became a testing ground for most modern small arms manufacturers.
As of 2011the major militia groups involved were:
• -The Utilas Privateers consist mostly of Salvadorian seamen and wanted criminals from all over the Caribbean. Their law is a simple copy/paste from Blackbeard’s creed!
• -The Guanajas Corsairs are mostly Honduran ex military and Cuban resistance who fled from Fidel’s long hand. They call themselves freedom fighters but they also discovered that piracy brings a bigger buck than fishing.
Bahia is of course loaded with spies and MARSOC blackside operators, whose main aim was to keep fighting going but to keep to everything compartmentalized.
In caves on the west coast of La Bahia, Guanajas Corsairs secretly prepared to launch a major maritime operation on Utila. Their goal was to destroy the Utilas Privateers for good.
However, in the years after the Army left the island, Utila had become an impenetrable fortress and the home of the Privateers. Their only option was to defend themselves or to die doing it, so a bloodbath was the only sure outcome for both sides…
Carnage and Chaos!
The game was created and marshaled by AK Salamander from Slovenia and there were 92 players from all over the EU: players travelled from Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary giving the game a truly international flavor. Operation Octopus was a full 2 day war-sim without night ops due to safety concerns in such a remote location, but with CQC in underground facilities.
On Day 1 the game started at 0900hrs and the plan was to include 2 smaller islands in front of Mrcara, including a bigger one with a submarine pen. The organizers decided that due to strong wind and big waves, and razor sharp cliffs they would use the submarine pen on the island Prezba, island Veli Rutvenjak & the main island of Mrcara for the main operation.
It was really fantastic to see one big catamaran under the pirate flag with a nasty Browning M2 on the bow followed by two smaller fast boats, cruising around the island, leading attacks from the sea while troops were landing on the island and trying to overcome the defenders. After a successful landing, there were smaller fast boat ops around Mrcara where the main action continued in the forest, on the cliffs, between the trenches, machine gun nests and CQC in the underground facilities on the top of the island. There was no pyro because of the great risk from the fire, but no one complained.
Day one finished at 1900hrs, but the fun continued by players refreshing themselves in crystal clear and a still warm sea. Just imagine, a bunch of guys floating around in the sea, enjoying it a kids after a hard day. Socializing continued but not so long into the night as players had another day of hardcore airsoft in front of them!
The game recommenced at 0900hrs on Day 2 with a continuation of the scenario but the weather was much better; no wind, no waves, so everything was more fluid and after the Maritime Ops you could see a big smile on the players faces. Battle continued on the island of Mrcara with closing fights in the afternoon utilizing every single inch of the underground bunkers. That was the most realistic and the most dynamic part of the game where the attackers needed to get through the labyrinth of the underground tunnels and chambers. An exhausting but exhilarating fight finished by the island defenders being narrowly beaten.
Upon conclusion of the action the party started with players taking photos together all over the island for a life-long memory! The Adriatic Adventures team prepared the most authentic Dalmatian cuisine (fish and meat grill ) with lots of beer and wine, and the party went on long into the night, with game stories, jokes, laughter and song. Morning came all too quickly and all players participated in cleaning the camp area, so there was no garbage left behind them. The private boat came arrived at the scheduled departure time and by the looks on their faces all the players were already looking forward to their next visit.
Mrcara was left behind and Operation Octopus was over, but the memories would remain with the players forever!
It’s just a Game, Right?
Kreso had this to tell me:
As a game producer we just can’t be objective but judging by the big smiles on the faces of the guys, and without a single complaint, we can say that the game was total success. We do our best to provide all necessary things to fulfill players’ expectations from organizing parking garage in Split, the transfer from Split to Mrcara and back, accommodation, game site with plenty of water, power, right through to the post-game party.
When we asked the players how they felt on the island, and their thoughts on the game all we could see was big smile all round. That was enough for us, but there were some really positive comments!
Experience like never before… really hardcore.. Simply amazing…. so exhausting but so refreshing… outstanding…. so fu….g realistic… unique… we’ll be back for sure… one of the greatest sites I’ve ever played!
It has been my great pleasure to work with Kreso on this report, and I am only sorry that events dictated I couldn’t attend even though the invitation was graciously given; next time Kreso, next time!
Kreso also expressed his thanks Paul Monaf and the Ai Team for the interest in Adriatic Adventures and Mrcara and rest assured we will keep you posted as to further games there! Kreso also asked that we thanked the game partners Shoreline from UK and AK Salamander from Slovenia on his, and Adriatic Adventures, behalf.