Cold Truth Interview with Lex (M02) from Team MLD
A few months back I received a slew of messages from a great bunch of guys hailing from the Netherlands and even a few posts up on the pages wall. Team MLD 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. 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 ?
M02: Hi there, thanks for having me. I’m truly honored to answer your questions while being the first Dutchman to do so. Let’s begin where it all started. M01 and me were brought up in the same town and went to the same highschool. Right after highschool I enlisted, after two years M01 enlisted as well. Because he had to wait a few months before he could conduct basic training, I suggested we could play a few rounds of Paintball to introduce ourselves to our new career. We’re not going to lie, Paintball wasn’t as fun as we thought and we’ve had zero realism from the experience. That’s when we saw an advert on the internet about Airsoft. Six years ago Airsoft wasn’t available in a legal form on Dutch soil. So in 2010 we made it our first ‘bro-out’ road trip together to Belgium. We’ve played our first Plastic Deth skirmish at the Fort of Koningshooikt, also known as Fort Knox. Ever since that day we’ve been hooked by the game.
Back then to play Airsoft we’ve had to travel several hours to Belgium where we used to rent a locker at the Antwerp’s local Shurgard storage to stash our weaponry because we couldn’t bring them home with us. It became a very expensive and time consuming hobby.
Looking back to the team’s past six years we’ve had a lot going on. Work really contributed to what we prefer in the game and finding out what is worth investing in. We’ve had several courses on the job, many exercises and several deployments. That’s what feeds our joint interests and knowledge.
Many players believe real-steel tactics are like the bible, but for us these tactics can’t be put to work how we are used to. We often use them just as guidelines and we won’t deny, sometimes it gives us a bit of an advantage.
GM75: I recently saw, and was sad to of missed this, but you recently came over to the UK and play UCAP’s ‘The Sandpit’ – do you travel abroad regularly to play, what did you think of ‘The Pit’ and I assume you have plans to return ?
M02: Playing over at your sites are a bit like a treat to us. The whole planning phase such as the Eurotunnel train, rental vans or ferry fares make it something non-mainstream. Everyone is living up to an event like that. When we join up at a meet location and throw everything in the trunk, it’s about to kick off. The journey itself is pure joy and you can really feel the bro level going up over 10000 %.
Last time we were at a walk-on game at “The Pit” we were delighted to feel the hospitality and kindness of the British public, players and organization. I guess that’s why we think it worth making a journey like this.
In 2013 M03 and me went to a game at Stirling Airsoft for the first time, over at Copehill Down. Although it was just a recon to see what we would need if we would go more often, we really had a blast. Ever since then we’ve crossed the channel multiple times.
Andy (UCAP) mentioned the weekender that would been held at The Pit but we were short on time. Didn’t have the time to go nor the time to arrange everything. As a result, only two of us will come over to Stirling Airsoft’s OP: SIREN at Catterick in March. Everyone is busy preparing for deployment, courses, studies so it’s either going now, or in 2017.
Would love to stop by for a weekender with one wish, some motorized transport. So Andy, guess we’ll have to come back somewhere late 2016 or beginning of 2017!
M01: You can really notice a difference. Airsoft became legal in Holland in 2013. Since then the community has started to grow. It’s still is tough. More sites have opened doors and people are trying to set up more challenging games and game modes. People here are still finding their way in the hobby. As for the UK we noticed people are more about the fun side of things with each other instead of having it ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. Furthermore, we’ve noticed UK players don’t mind getting their hands dirty, especially in CQB. Of course not everyone, but the people in the frontlines won’t moan when getting shot from up close. They’ll just shout; ‘nice shot bro’ where players in Holland still try to save themselves from pain and yell; “bang bang” from miles away. When I play in Holland, sure I get “finger banged”, (laughs), and I do it to others sometimes. But I really think people should learn when to use it. If I sneak up to someone and he got his bare back of his neck ready to get shot from 3 feet away, I think twice and just let him feel the cold end of my flashhider.
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 ?
M01: You’ve hit the nail on it’s head there. It all has been about trial and error.
Imagine you are on foot somewhere in the Alps. You’re packed to be good for at least one week, self sustaining in water, food, batteries and ammunition. I’ll tell you, no matter what gear, it’s f**ked up. It does make you realize, when you look back after exercises and deployments, what works best for you to function properly. Do I wear a plate carrier with the weight of this backpack? Do I want the edge of the ceramic plate cutting my spine for a full week or two? Or do I just put on a simple chestrig so I won’t get mutilated on my backside. Don’t forget the influence by other (special) units from our own military and from other countries. Besides our own experiences we always look at others if he/she has something we could use and make our own lives just a little better. For instance, last deployment I wore a Warrior Assault DCS. Really enjoyed the freedom of movement others had less with their RICAS version. Although I loved it, with the big magazine pouches up front it annoyed me when operating with motorized vehicles not to mention the cutting in my neck of the shoulder pads when at full weight. It will be around 20-25KG with two ceramic plates, soft-armor all around, 300 rounds, radio, IFAK and some extra medical equipment.
So when I got home I sold it and got myself an LBT 6094B in return. Really love the option to use the kangaroo style front and the much more comfortable shoulder pads.
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 ?
M01: Here in Holland we’ve had, as I described earlier, our own issues with Airsoft regarding the legalization. A collective of people have tried to get it approved by the government for an extended period of time. When it came available, it brought a big smile to our faces. We could finally have our boom sticks in our own homes, not having to travel for hours just to give it some maintenance. Although Airsoft is legal, it has it restrictions. For instance, you’d have to have a subscription to our national Airsoft organization, which screens its members according to the profile of a firearms-license. That means not everyone can join this hobby. Also there are more guidelines to ensure that this its going the wrong way. Replica weapons are frequently used by criminals to commit various crimes and it gets in the news often. Our national organization, “The NABV”, has come a long way to get it available within the laws we abide and still is fighting for us when the sh**s about to hit the fan.
Airsoft has been in our media a few times.
Team3D even took a reporter and a camera crew who made a report about guys who play Airsoft in their weekends. Good thing they visited Tier1 at STANTA in 2014, really gave a good impression. It blew our OPSEC by the way, some of us got caught on tape while we didn’t want it. We still occasionally get mentioned about the hobby at work.
The other few times, I think people lost what Airsoft is about. All of the sudden it was as if it was to be, a weekend of trying to be in the military instead of shooting plastic pellets in each other’s faces. That was a big miss and people had the feeling they got portrayed in a way they didn’t want to.
I personally would suggest certain people should stop promoting themselves as something they are not. The normal civilian will believe stories about deployments and shooting kids, people make up and tell out loud when they sit at the local McDonalds after a skirmish day. Not forgetting to mention the half camouflage, the NABV has allowed its members to wear while in transit to and from an event. I think people forget the signal they might give to people who are oblivious. Normal people wandering about just see camouflage clothing and cars loaded with platecarriers and peli-like cases. But, no matter what you say … they just want to wear camouflage and act tough.
If we just stick to the hobby and not portrait ourselves as blood thirsty killing machines that have an extensive career in the military, that would be great.
Just my 2 cents.
Link to dutch report on tv show:
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 …
M01:What really gets the dicks hard is when we come to a place, all the lads present and rock and roll all over the enemy team. Like they never knew it was coming. Especially CQB gets the testosterone flowing. You don’t have people hiding behind trees and if they choose to camp you just the option to run over them. Just because you know they are within a range of let’s say 50 meters?
To keep the level of bro-power over 1000% we don’t have to play every weekend. While 6 years back we didn’t really have much of a social life other than our job, to day people are busy with studying, the wives, household, kids and so on. Guess we started to grow up.
The job makes it hard to plan ahead on the long term. It looks like a big part of the team will be a lot away from home this year. That has effect on our loved ones and they deserve our attention when we are available. This is main reason we don’t have the time to play every weekend, hence its more like every month. We’ll see when we have some spare time. If one of the bro’s would call late night with a cry for help, we all just know help will be on its way. It’s not just a team, it’s a connection. We all have the same sort of jobs which makes it normal to understand if things are the way they are.
Cant thank the wives enough. After all we’ve put them through they still let us play our silly hobby.
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 ?
M02: Ahem, I couldn’t do without my Systema at the moment. Everbody in our team has one. Not because it’s expensive but because the build feels like it’s more real than an AEG.
I must say I’m in doubt at the moment. I scored bargain recently; a TM 416 Recoil with the Spectre mosfet. Haven’t tested it in battle but I’m very keen to know what I will think about it. That wasn’t the only new addition. We also got ourselfs a Umarex G28 limited for the team. A Marksman type of rifle. After testing it out on UCAP’s Sandpit, we came to the conclusion that the AEG gearbox is s**t. We’ve had our sponsor build it to an HPA setup. It currently still is in his possession and we aim to take it with us to Catterick. Hopefully that will give us the opportunity to make some awesome scope cam videos!
Really looking forward to these two replica’s. Might sell my PTW although I swore I would never go back to an AEG.
GM75: So after a great 2015 and as we step off into 2016 what plans have you all got for the new year ?
M02: Unfortunately I can’t be a big spoiler about it. We tried to go to Combat Airsoft Group at STANTA as OPFOR in April but we all can’t make it. Big bummer, I already head the invites for tea out to the boys from Diablo and our friends Mark & Mikey. Looks like we’ll have to postpone it fellas!
After the blow of 2015, what resulted in 7 people being evicted from their membership of Team MLD, it might be time to expand again. How we’re going to achieve this is still within the team and won’t come out until we have the first contestants.
Furthermore we’ll try to come abroad more than just once in March. When is still a question due to different deployment dates throughout 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 ?
M02: The guns we use are all PTW’s, MK18 inspired. It’s what comes very close to what we are used to but with a slight twist of what we prefer which may vary per person. We haven’t used the G28 and Recoil 416 yet so we’ll just have to see and wait what feelings those will give us.
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 ?
M02: I don’t think it will add something to the fun factor for the average player on the average site. Sure some have tried it but nobody is going wow about it. I think it would be something when having a private event with likeminded players in an indoor location. That way you minimize the factors such as wind and distance and because you’re with people you know and trust you won’t have to doubt therehonesty if you miss a shot. If you was to do that you’ll create a complete new game of airsoft. I’m really convinced by that because it will make you think about your actions.
For instance, what I’ve noticed about myself is that in airsoft I have to do much lesser effort to fire a round than in real-life. I almost don’t have to take all the aspects ofvarious shooting techniques in account because it isn’t real. Translated to real-steel almost everything has influence on your shot, from head to toe to even your thoughts. In airsoft it’s just point and annihilate. If I was to do that with just 30 rounds while everyone has highcapsit wouldn’t be as fun as it is now. Do love the cut-off on the Systema and TM when the magazine is empty but to be honest I almost never emptied a complete mag due to pre-changing my mags after taking out an enemy or two.
So there you have it MLD’s unique Dutch brand of plastic deth, and all that goes on behind the scenes too to make the magic happen – S23
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