For the sake of this article, I will be talking about uniforms among teams almost purely in an airsoft scenario / game / operation sense. Please note that the points I might try to make it here could have some practicality in the real world, but it is not meant to be used as a guide for those situations.
So I am at an Airsoft Extreme private game at Sedona West a few months ago. The team tends to usually wear the same clothing: atac pants, hiking shoes or boots, Oakley factory pilot gloves, and either the team shirt or a polo. However, we each have our own tastes and preferences in terms of : gear, rigs, facemasks/protection, knee pads that make us stand out from one another on the field. While there is some degree of uniformity, enough individuality exists to make each team mate unique.
Tim and I just happened to wear pretty much the same exact thing from head to toe: merrell shoes, atac pants, black polo, black hat, same mesh lower face mask, wiley x glasses, and oakley gloves. The only difference you could see, if we were standing side by side, was our height differential and the fact that we were using different guns. But in the heat of the moment? A glance of us while we ran to find cover or moved to a different point? You might have mistaken us for the same person.
Which coincidentally happened during one of the force on force games. Tim and I were behind the same rock defending an area. He gets hit before me. I decided to wait on top the of the rock and wait for the attacking force to push past me (hopefully not see me) and hit them from behind. Lo and behold after a few minutes of patiently waiting, a small team pushed up and I was able to tag them. One of the guys turned around and immediately accused me of cheating. He said that he shot me already. I tried to calm him down and let him know that I had a buddy who wore the exact same thing. He was convinced I was lying and went to go complain to a referee.
After the game ended, and we were all walking back to the staging area, the ref pointed out Tim and me to the complaining player. He later went off in astonishment about how great of an idea it was, citing references such as the movie, “The Prestige.”
So am I recommending that everyone go out and buy the exact same clothing and gear? No. I am just letting you know that it could be an effective force multiplier. Uniforms help identify friendly from foe. Things get heated on the battlefield, and you want every advantage you can get; assistance in a split second can mean life or death (or being hit or not hit if we are speaking in airsoft terms).
It also helps to play on a mind game on your opponent. If you had group of 10-15 people all wearing the exact same thing, it can create confusion and doubt. “Did I hit that guy” or “Didn’t I already take that guy out?” They’ll start to doubt themselves and become discouraged. This can give you and your team a great psychological advantage.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll go over some of the gear we use and why we use it. But the important thing is to make the game your own. Do what you think is fun and what you’ll enjoy, don’t conform to what other people tell you is the best or right way. Absolutely take the time to try different things out to discover your own habits, behaviors and preferences.