The Birth of Tech Brigade
Tech Brigade owes it’s existence to one person. It was all started by Paul Thompson, a man known affectionately as “Mr T”. This almost legendary, and nowadays certainly totally retired, gentleman had a dream around the year 1993 to start up an airsoft war games site. Mr T had a passion for all things martial and military. A progression into airsoft seemed the only way to go. With realistic weaponry, realistic gear and realistic military styled objectives this was almost as good as the real thing (with the benefit of no risk of dying).
Over the next few years he built up a dedicated group of airsoft players who, by word of mouth and through friends and relatives, began to gather once every two weeks to shoot each other with “little plastic balls”.
Our first site became almost hallowed to the regulars. It had a mixture of urban (a totally built up environment, not sheds), woodland and open fields.
Did Tech Brigade invent the re-spawn?
Mr T ran the site without the need for marshals by using a system known as “The Dead Zone.” This was a timer of 30 seconds duration for both teams that, when you were hit, you returned to. When your time was up you re-entered the game. This system virtually wiped out the cheating found at so many other sites that operated the one hit and out method, as originally used in paintball. It also ensured that no matter your ability you were sure of getting a full days play (even the players who get shot in the first minute of a game.) This pre-dated the “Re-spawn” used these days.
The Boss gets involved..
In 1996 Rob Skinner joined the Tech Brigade club as a newbie and, over the next four years, played at virtually every game. The bug had definitely bitten Rob hard. After becoming a regular and seeing what was happening to the club during the early part of 1999 Rob suggested to Mr T that perhaps, as we were on our third site and some of the old hands had moved on, it was time for someone else to get involved and possibly stir up some new interest. Rob became partners with Mr T and a new era started for Tech Brigade.
Buy a gun get a free game…
Adverts were placed in Gun Mart in conjunction with Jennings Model Shop initially. Later ads were with other airsoft retailers including Wolf Armouries and Zero One. They offered people, who purchased AEG’s from the the retailers, a voucher to play for free at our site for one day. A deal which is still available from Zero One and now also from local, Stevenage based, airsoft retailer Combat UK.
Tech Brigade. A New Hope..
In 2001 we, unfortunately, lost our original playing site. Mr T also moved on from airsoft as he had become much more involved involved in the military vehicle scene.
Since then Rob, aka “The Boss” or “Admiral Ackbar”, has been running the Tech Brigade club with the help of some close friends and club members.
We have been based at our current site, Warren Wood, Newgate Street, Herts since 2002
Where does the name “Tech Brigade” come from?
The name “Tech Brigade” comes from the electric motors and gear boxes of the Automatic Electric Guns or AEGs being “Technology” and a “Brigade” as a term for a number of troops (although there aren’t the several thousand of us at TB that there would be in a real Brigade). So from Technology we got “Tech” and from a bunch of troops we got Brigade. Hence “Tech Brigade.”
The original club logo was a Skull and Cogwheel design which is now lost in the mists of the interwebs. Quite when the current “Bio Hazard style logo appeared no-one is sure.
We would like to welcome anyone who wishes to play airsoft games to come along to a day at Tech Brigade and see just what all the fuss is about.