‘Far Beyond Driven an interview with Seraph from TF Green’
Sweden is home to two bands I’m a fan of, Witchcraft and Ghost – both of whom have meticulously forged successful careers in their respected genres, in part I believe due to their passion, drive, ambition and attention to detail and remarkable innovation …
So what’s the connection, well culturally this ethos stretches across to this particular regions Airsoft and MilSim community and is probably best exemplified by Seraph and his team, Task Force Green …
Airsoft for Seraph was originally discovered whilst living in Tokyo, but on returning to his homeland – he began getting involved in the more immersive MilSim community. Showing a deeply impassioned thirst for researching all things CAG/DELTA Task Force Green have become their own self styled ‘Cowboys From Hell‘ becoming a positive driving force globally recognized within the MilSim/Airsoft scene …
GM75: How long have you been playing Plastic Deth (Airsoft) – where are you based (no specifics – just region/country) and do you have a preference for regular Skirmishing or more MilSim style events …
SG: I started back in 2005. I lived in Tokyo for a few years around that time and though I had heard about the hobby before it wasn’t until I entered one of the Airsoft stores that I was sold. The games over there are pretty much all speedball though and I quickly grew tired of that style of play. Meanwhile I had been keeping track of what was going on in Sweden and saw the MilSim games there. There was never any question about it really, I just liked that style much better. I think it might be because I tend to take a lot of things very seriously; if I choose do something – anything – in life, I do it 110%. Settling for less just doesn’t offer any satisfaction for me. That’s where the immersive character of MilSim games really triggered my interest. I also like the role play aspect of it, and that is what elevates it from a “more realistic skirmish” to a different experience altogether. At its very edge I think it can teach us all very valuable lessons about what is going on in real life, given that all players take it equally serious. Besides, in MilSim everyones’ gear and play style isn’t so much for yourself as it is for everyone else. If I can give my opponent the experience of how it would feel like to be assaulted by a real life Delta unit I have succeeded. That goes for people on the same team as well. One has to ask oneself the question: How can I properly portray the unit which I am enacting? Through role play you don’t always have to be shooting plastic at each other – the experience can be equally as good or sometimes even better without a single shot fired.
That said we do attend regular weekend skirmishes and they are great opportunities for practice. I know some MilSim players despise regular skirmishes and only do killhouse excercises with paper targets and then expect to perform well against live targets. Obviously, they fail.
GM75: Now, you’ve built up not only individually, a huge following, but as a Team, Task Force Green have also garnered a huge amount of admiration, what can you tell us about how the Team came to be …
SG: Well, we started out as a fireteam which was part of a larger task force of other impressionists. Each fireteam focused on a certain SOCOM unit so we had Delta (us), SF, SEALs and MARSOC guys. However, many of them started acting arrogant to other, less experienced players with less expensive gear outside the TF. We hated that and couldn’t possibly associate ourselves with such behavior as we would rather want to help, encourage and inspire others. Besides they were the kind of MilSim players I described above. We, on the opposite, regularly went to skirmishes for fun and training and started to drift away from the rest. There was an attempt to form a new core of dedicated players but even that ended up excluding people and didn’t even want to let those who were interested from my original fireteam join. So, we decided to break away and form our own team. We were three active members back then plus one guy who joined us for bigger events as he lives far away from the rest of us.
GM75: Task Force Green, – is a pretty unique team, you all meticulously build not only visually stunning kits, but the attention to detail and that they often have an application to either your AO or OP – is this something you guys consciously do, by means of intensive research or has it become something more organic built from years of experience ?
SG: Well, in the beginning it was intensive research. I have personally studied the unit for roughly 7 years (give or take) so I would say I have developed a very good understanding about what they use and why. I also have a few friends, some of whom are and/or have been in that unit in the past. I’ve learned a lot from them, a lot of which I am not even at liberty to pass on to others (a vow which I would never break) but I guess one could deduce that from certain details in my kit.
We do choose equipment that the unit would use but how it is set up is always with maximum efficiency in mind. We test rigorously test everything in the field until it fails, if it does it will be improved or replaced. For example, the way my PC is set up now is the result of a long time of trial and error. It’s been a while since anything didn’t work, hence I haven’t really changed it. Sometimes one might need a different setup because a mission requires you to carry certain equipment though of course.
We naturally have different levels of ambition in the team as well. I’m probably the most zealous, but I wouldn’t force anyone else to be. Everyone is in the team for a reason though of course; we all share a great interest for the unit and we do have a common understanding of a sort of minimum level for gear. Gear is supposed to be highly personal – everyone works slightly different and their gear is set up to work as efficiently as possible for them. There is no standard recipe. When it comes to tactics though, everyone is expected to be equally engaged.
GM75: … your earlier reply, reminded me of something from one of my own favorite past times, music, specifically heavy music – in particular Pantera – like the band, you’re very inclusive and welcoming – yet you do things your own way, disregarding trends and staying true to your roots and beliefs – is that something you can identify with or relate to ?
SG: Absolutely. We couldn’t care less about trends. We know what we like to do and we do it all the way. And we love to encourage others as well, hopefully inspiring a few along the way.
GM75: Now, whilst doing a little research I stumbled across the ‘Motley Crüe‘ inspired video which led me onto the Breach Clear trailer – which looks stunning – how’d did that come about, surely a high point for you and the team ?
SG: One of the guys on the Breach & Clear team approached me earlier and asked if we would want to participate in an upcoming trailer. We thought it sounded interesting and we like the game although most of us have probably only tried it briefly (we prefer physical exercise over stationary gaming). There was hardly any time to do it so we filmed all the material in an intense day. The result was ok although I’ll have to be honest and say that it didn’t really pack the punch I had hoped for.
We then made the ‘Motley Crüe‘ video ourselves which was basically a collection of video material we had amassed over some time, including what we shot for Breach & Clear. Though I’m obviously biased I would say the higher pace and badass (can’t go wrong with MC) music gives a far better feeling of high speed door-kicking.
GM75: Totally, not discounting any other video footage, from any where else – but even bands or even Real Steel guys have tried to format their footage in the ‘Rock Video Format’ and to put it politely, some of the results have been mediocre – I noticed the small details, such as the sequencing, color grading and angles – really clever stuff, and it reflected you had gone the extra mile – it raised a few comments of admiration and people dug it even though they had not heard of Airsoft or MilSim …
… so, it appears in your home country, there’s a methodical and concerted effort to make MilSim very immersive – looks like everyone really buys into the ‘suspension of disbelief’ – is this perhaps, natively a cultural thing or just serendipity ?
SG: About the video, yeah I guess we approach it the same way we do everything else. It needs to reach a certain level of quality if we are to publish it officially. If we don’t dig it, we know others won’t so there is no reason to publish anything we are not satisfied with. Here is another one we did just before the official birth of TFG: (early Task Force Green footage)
I haven’t experienced MilSim anywhere else but from what I see in videos I would definitely say that it seems to be more immersive here. I’m not sure why, but I guess Swedes appreciate being serious about things. I sometimes see attempts of immersion in videos from elsewhere but for some reason people seem to enjoy ridiculing that. There seems to be a lot of bullies and wiseguys in this hobby who ruin it for anyone who attempts to up the standard and that’s too bad. We hope to counter that and inspire others to do the same. I think people will find that the greater the immersion, the better an experience you’ll have.
I concur as the industry and hobby has grown it has attracted it’s fair share of naysayers, bullies and ‘haters’ but invariably this is born from jealousy, avarice and greed – that said, one of the reasons I was personally intrigued to speak to you, was, despite the high end gears, the effort you put in – it never smacks of vanity, so much so I felt a lot of your teams out put, which is ‘PERSEC’d’ was quite altruistic and was to let the ‘Gears and Vistas’ speak for themselves …
SG: Actually the reason we blur our faces is that some of us hold positions in businesses which don’t work too well with the somewhat questionable ethics of enacting present day warfighter’s. We made that decision long ago and we’re sticking to it. But yes, it’s not about us as individuals, it is about what we do and that’s a message we are happy to convey.
As for words of encouragement for the hobby as a whole; Be nice and respect others. The rest will sort itself out.
If it were to be encouragement to anyone aspiring to impressions, I would say start by understanding the unit you wish to portray. Learn who they are, how they think and why they do what they do. Gear comes last and by the time you get there you’ll know what they use, how they use it and why they do.
GM75: great stuff, really appreciate you taking the time out to talk, obligatory last question I always like to ask (kind of a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ?
SG: No problem, the pleasures all mine.
It depends. In CQB, sometimes the distances are short enough to mitigate accuracy issues, and if you are indoors wind will not be an issue. In such scenarios 30 rounds is absolutely interesting. However, there are several difficulties as well. First of all, BBs don’t maim. In real life, one or two shots in your pelvis would cause you to drop. In Airsoft you might not notice it in the heat of action. It depends on honesty as well. In general we find that honest people call out after two – three consecutive hits. Dishonest people or people with a high adrenaline level can require 4 – 5. We always shoot single shots, generally double taps with one or two followup shots if we don’t get immediate feedback. That way we conserve ammunition at the same time as keeping a very low sound signature (If there is no feedback at all you can bet we will keep shooting and advancing until there is). Still, I would say that a more feasible amount would be 50-60, basically 2 to 1 ratio of the real firearm capacity. That way you still emulate the capacity issues of real firearms while overcoming the human error issues.
In woodland environments, 30 rounds would – contrary to the reason for using it – be unrealistic. There, the foliage, wind and distances decisively impact accuracy to a degree that completely mitigates the aspired realism motivating the use of 30 rounds. Even if you don’t shoot full auto or bursts (which we don’t), I would say 80-100 rounds, or a 3 to 1 ratio per magazine is more realistic.
So there you have it, an amazingly insightful peek inside a pretty unique team, boundary pushing and nonetheless very altruistic to boot too , humble, modest and compellingly enthusiastic about what he and his team set out to achieve, be sure to check them out at the links below …
Seraph Green and TF Green links:
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