Winter is Coming … an interview with DW07 and DW01 of Canada’s Team Direwolves
A few months back I received a slew of messages from a great bunch of guys hailing from the chilly frozen tundra of Canada and even a few posts up on the pages wall.
This quickly broke out into a few mutual mini projects together and rapidly grew towards collaborating on this, new interview …
Team Direwolves it very quickly transpired captured the spirit of what we admire most about the game. A genuine passion and enthusiasm for participating not only on the skirmish field but at MilSim events too. To switch it up we’ve not only got one team member on board, but two – DW07 (Sidewaze) and DW01 (Bacon)
With this caveat in mind, I thought it only appropriate to get them on here and get an insight to how they do business …
GM75: So, whilst trawling through an extensive collection of photos and footage you seem to be a fairly established team. I really picked up on a sense enthusiasm, knowledge and experience – how did the team come about ?
DW07: Well first, I’d just like to say thank you to Golf Mike 75 for the kind words about us and for this opportunity. Being chosen for your blog is both very flattering and humbling. Now as for your question, I’ll leave that to our Direwolves Team Captain, Bacon DW01. He’s one of the original founding members while me, (laughs) I have only been in Direwolves for just over a year now.
DW01: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We really appreciate it and we are very excited about appearing on your blog.
The team started out as a small group of us who played private pick up games. About two years ago a few of us went to a MilSim game called Operation: Dragonfly at PRZ. PRZ is a major field here in Ontario, it’s an old Hospital/School complex. There was about 200 players at this event and it ran into the evening. This was my first experience with a real MilSim style game and I was hooked. After that we started looking at building a MilSim team and playing at events like that.
DW07: Very true, (laughs) there’s been a whole lot of amazing memories for me with my team (family) so hard to pick just one. But, since we only have time for one, I think it was my very first try out with Direwolves. It was Operation: Deliverance in November 2014. Bacon and I were the only two left holding a position in the woods. We dug in and faced wave after wave of incoming opposition forces and would you believe, between us we must have taken out 30-40 guys lol. We litterly were down to our last few rounds of ammo! I had one half full pistol mag, Bacon had a few shots in his M4 mag. He told me to run back to base to get reinforcements and he’d cover me! So, reluctantly I did, got about halfway back, took out 5 more Cartel members before finally being hit by a 6th player that got behind me. This firefight was almost 30 minutes long and both Bacon and I had an awesome time and the other side was quite surprised by how long we lasted … so were we for that matter (laughs). However, the best part of that day was earning my Direwolves patch based on Bacon feeling that I’d be a good fit for the team and my game play suited. So yeah, that really sticks out in my mind.
DW01: Well the first time Sidewaze and I played together comes to mind but as he’s already talked about that I’ll tell you about another moment.
A group of us went down to a game in Welland, Ontario that was being held in an old school. Our side was holding a hostage. Patches and I were in the room with him. There were three doors that went into three other rooms. The Wolves controlled two of those rooms and the opposition held the third.
I was leaning on the door to the third room. As I weigh a little over 300lbs they weren’t having any luck opening the door. I had Patches get up on this shelf and go prone facing the door. I did a 3 count with my fingers and tore the door open. He started shooting and got about 6 of the opposition, then I slammed the door shut to the sound of BBs hitting the other side and much swearing. (laughs)
We did that twice more before they caught on and managed to shoot Patches. It was a pretty funny moment.
GM75: What’s your take on the Canada’s Skirmish and MilSimscene, we’ve seen both grow exponentially over the last few years – whilst it has both its positive and negatives, for example is the term MilSim generously over used ?
DW07: While I have seen this sport grow a whole lot this year, and it continues to, here in Canada I feel more and larger games are needed. For the term “MilSim” to be accurate, games need to have that Military Simulation factor for the realism most love. So be it an Op based on true life events and sticking to what happened for the game or something made up, to be a true MilSim it has to be just that. Anything else for sure I think is more just skirmished based so there is a difference. I don’t feel the term is overused, more used incorrectly.
DW01: Within Canada the sport definitely seems to be growing. Here in Ontario, we are seeing new fields open on a regular basis and we are seeing a lot of new players showing up.
That’s great for Airsoft because a larger community can support more and better events, fields and shops.
Even more importantly a larger community, could give us more political power to defend our sport against law makers who don’t understand, or dislike what we are doing, provided we organize correctly.
For us MilSim is largely about the tactics you train and use. We try to focus as much as possible on real tactics, at least to the degree that they can be applied while using the tools Airsoft provides.
From my perspective, as a community we have room for all of the various definitions and play styles within the sport and we should strive to respect them all.
GM75: Touching on our earlier question, you are a pretty established team, and from your load outs you seem pretty confident in self selection with regards to equipment. Is this something that’s grown organically or taken from years of trial and error ?
DW07: Camo selection is and continues to be a very important thing for us. While we try to, of course, be a little different to stand out and be distinctive, the camo we’ve selected for both our Green and Tan load out’s were decided based on many factors and of course, testing them out. Things like fields we play at, woods and buildings present, daytime/nightime lighting conditions are all taken into consideration. We’ve lucked out in that both load out’s have been really successful in letting us blend into our surroundings in all lighting conditions too.
DW01: Early on we looked at what guys who do this for real used and why. That was our starting point. Over time experience has driven the evolution of our gear. We focus on what we need to get the job done and the best set up to accomplish that. Individual Wolves have a lot of leeway in what they use, provided it actually works. If someone has a bad set up there is a lot of pressure from the rest of the Pack to fix it. Over time that has generally led to lighter and more minimalist set ups.
GM75: Over recent months the community has been beset by problems, be it divisive issues amongst the community, changes to legislation which legally threaten the industry and just plain infighting and rivalry. Do you think we could all do more to legacy build for the future and protect the hobby ?
DW07: I think it’s important for everyone to realise that we are a community! Not only just locally but a global one. Airsoft is a sport loved and played worldwide so each of us can do our part to try and make sure it continues to grow in the right direction. Laws may change (have changed) and if it can not or will not be reversed then it falls to the community as whole to abide by those laws like it or not. The sport and how we enjoy it hasn’t changed and that’s what matters. So we can protect what we love by simply doing and conducting ourselves accordingly. If you see someone who isn’t doing that, take the right approach and educate that person on why it’s so important we all do things the right way.
DW01: I really dislike divisiveness within the community. My starting point is that we are all playing Airsoft, regardless of which version of it we choose to play. We should have enough respect for each other to put the infighting and drama aside and look at what’s best for the sport. I can tell you that a united front is what’s best and it’s what will be needed to defend the sport from potentially damaging legislation.
My feeling is that members of the airsoft industry, community leaders and the personalities within the sport should be working together to unite the sport.
We should be looking to self regulate as a way to head off legislation and we should be reaching out to legislators to educate them about our sport in a positive way.
GM75: So, be it MilSim, Plastic Deth (Airsoft/Skirmish) or even training what it is that keeps you coming back for more, what really gets the team fired up and ready to go …
DW07: (laughs), it doesn’t take much to get us fired up for a game that’s f’sure. In practice, two words …”Meat Grinder”! This is our favorite drill we do at local indoor field here in Toronto. It’s basically two stacks of three vs two Op For in a large meat freezer approximately 40′ x 40′ squared with hallways, blind corners, tight spaces and low light! We train at 400 FPS, semi auto with a no mercy rule (no bang rule UK readers). The stacks enter and engage the Op For in fast, super high intense gun fights that last 30-45 seconds. It’s just awesome!
DW01: For me, a lot of what Airsoft is about is building the team. I spend a lot of my time looking at how we can improve as a team, how we can train better, how we can play better, how we can help the community, how can we improve our social media. All of that stuff is fun for me and I have a lot of passion for it.
In terms of playing, CQB, especially at really cool AOs is something that always gets the Wolves fired up. That is our bread and butter.
GM75: Now, like me I know you all love a great piece of gear. Any new acquisitions or anything you just can’t do without in the field?
DW07: My boonie hat (laughs). I don’t know how that came about but yeah it’s my “thing” and guess my lucky charm you could say. I have one for each of our three load out’s that I absolutely must have on the field.
DW01: I don’t have any one specific piece of gear like that, however what I’ll tell you about is the gear that I upgraded this past year that I feel has really improved my load out and that’s my belt kit.
Early in 2015 we were doing CQB practice at Ultimate Airsoft and I was wearing a regular belt with a bunch of stuff hanging off it. I was in the process of engaging someone and the belt broke. Being loaded up with mags, my handgun and dump pouch the weight of it immediately dragged my pants to the floor.
So there I was, standing there in the middle of a gunfight in my underwear, with my pants around my ankles being immensely grateful that no one had a Go Pro or camera to capture that. It was at that moment that I knew I need to get a better set up for my first line gear.
So now I have a 5.11 Instructor belt that holds my pants up. I have a Condor Tactical belt with a Cobra style buckle on it and HSGI suspenders that Patches gave me that I mount all my first line gear too. It seems like an innocuous piece of gear, but I no longer have to worry about my pants falling down during a game and that’s more important than most people realize.
GM75: So after a great 2015 and as we step off into 2016 what plans have you all got for the new year ?
DW07: We have a whole lot planned for 2016 and we’re super excited! I think the biggest thing on tap for DIrewolves is our very first US appearance for Operation: Conflict 2 being put on by our sponsor Valken and it is taking place at Blast Camp in Hobart, Indiana this coming May. It’s a two day game at an abandoned missle base with the entire Valken Pathfinder staff going to be there. It will be epic!
DW01: We are going to be attending our first game in the US, Conflicts 2 at Blast Camp which is being put on by our sponsor Valken. I’m really looking forward to that. We are going to be looking to attend other big games in the US as well.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the game is played at those evens. I’m sure we will learn lots and come back with new things to work on.
On top of all that though will be the opportunity to meet a lot of the players we talk to via social media in person. I expect that will really be the highlight of the year.
GM75: You’ve got some pretty unique blasters, how’ve you chosen to set the up, is this purely to suit personal playing style or are they adaptable to each variation of AO ?
DW07: Well the team standard rifle is an M4 AEG. It can be an M4 variant or any rifle that will accept stanag M4 AEG mag’s. That’s for compatibility reasons on the field in that anyone can use anyone’s mags if they need ammo! (laughs) it’s come in handy more then a few times. The same goes for our pistols, we all use Glock’s usually either TM or WE based again for mag compatibilty. Members are of course free to customise them anyway they want according to their own personal tastes. Usually we all tend to build one rifle for outdoor games and then an indoor/cqb version.
DW01: Other than the need to be team compliant in terms of magazine compatibility our guns are set up to each Wolves personal preference.
Some of us have different guns for outdoors than we use in CQB.
I personally use the same gun 90% of the time. I believe that’s the best way to really get to know how your gun shoots.
GM75: Last but not least, this is a trademark question, real steel ammo counts – something I’m a fan of but has really struggled to take off due to Airsoft’s limited range and accuracy – is there a place for this or do you think it’s not feasible ?
DW07: Real Cap play is also something I enjoy and have loaded my mags that way at practices where we work on other techniques or drills besides Meat Grinder. I’d like to see this take off more, populairity wise, and hope it will. I’m not a fan of highcap mags and don’t feel it takes any skill to sit in one spot, spraying out 450 bb’s from a standard rifle. I know everyone loves a good, long gun fight and that’s great but I’d really like to see a Real Cap Op be put on as I’d go for sure and while it won’t be for everyone, I think there’s a place for it in our sport, and I think eventually it’ll catch on more and more.
DW01: I played my first real cap game last summer. I thought it was really cool. I neither like it more or less than using Mid Caps. It was different though and it certainly changed some of the tactics people used. I’m definitely going to play more games like that.
So there you have it, not one but two of the Direwolves representing Canada’s Airsoft scene, check em’ out here for more great photos, videos and updates – S23
Team Direwolves can be found here:
S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier
S23 FAMILIA SHIRTS AVAILABLE HERE
… in light of the overwhelming demand for patches (which have now gone) what was originally a limited crew served shirt has been made available online – printed on heavy weight Gildan shirts in charcoal gray (available S,M,L,XL worldwide here) – S23