After Forever – an interview with CR01 from Task Force Crow
Plastic Deth, ten years after the fact, and even now I still geek out and get all fan boy over many of my favorite teams.
I’m surprised, to me anyway that this is still as exciting and fun as it was the day I started.
To see it become the global phenomenon that it has today, the positive and continually expanding community of enthusiasts that still build kits, blasters and collect gears to meticulously build load outs is truly a wondrous thing to behold.
So imagine my glee, when a longstanding firm favorite agrees to come on board for an interview, better yet – they are just as enthused about it as I am …
I’m very proud to introduce Italy’s Task Force Crow. Lorenzo, CR01 has kindly agreed to talk us through the team, gears, blasters, training and more …
S23: Welcome aboard, and a huge thank you for taking the time out to sit down with us. To bring everyone up to speed, tell us a little about how the team came to be ?
cr01: Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity to bring the spotlight directly on the Italian scene! We are honoured to finally join the s23 familia. In order to answer to this first question we have to go back in time at the very beginning of 2015 when a group of well experienced Airsoft players from Rome and surroundings came together as a group this bond was mostly based on the well shared sickness about the boring and overrated Italian Airsoft philosophy.
We started as a team composed of fifteen or so players, but time and the constant aim to ‘raise the bar’ of our playing method made some individuals bail. Leaving in our hands a group of ten active players.
S23: Now, whilst you often put a heavy presence out on the field regularly at events and training, something that’s always caught my eye is the very specific gears and for that matter units you’ve chosen as inspiration, rather proudly you reflect Italian Special Forces …
CR01: Since the very beginning of our team the experience that there was among us, a very strong sense of respect and admiration for our SF.
Everything started with some pictures of another Italian reenactment unit that we found lost in some forum’s archives. We felt almost as a duty to bring back under the spotlight those amazing setups and let in a breath of fresh air for the Italian MilSim/Reenactment scene wich was slowly shifting to more commonly seen setups such as American and Russian impressions. So the research began.
S23: What sort of process do you follow to accurately research these gears, internet, books, forums, magazines …
cr01: Answering this question is not easy as it seems. The process of research for Italian SF setups is hard and unforgiving. Italy’s military special forces counts a very limited number of members and the media material from them is limited to a very few reference photos available on the internet.
Our pursuit of the perfect gear is most of the time based on the mere ‘observe and compare’ technique. Luckily Italian Tier-1 units often choose for their kits the products from just a few number of elite Italian manufacturers as well as a large number of American surplus items. So, eventually understanding ‘what is what’ comes pretty easy, while for the first steps it’s all a matter of waiting and asking to the ‘right people’. I’m not going to go deep on details on this last sentence because as anybody knows: “a magician never tells his tricks … (laughs)
S23: Getting back to the roots of it all, what’s the Italian Plastic Deth scene like. Predominantly skirmishes or is it more event oriented objective based MilSim ?
cr01: Italian Airsoft scene finds its beginnings approximately some twenty years ago. Since then the development was very slow and it always followed it’s own fashion without going through the path of other european countries behavior concerning BB wars. This provided italy with a thriving and active Airsoft environment which slowly fell apart leaving today’s players with the ruins of the what it once was before. The vast majority of teams (often composed of more than 30 people) play skirmishes on their own fields without feeling the need of participate and behave as a community member.
In the last few years there were some very nice and active associations popping out wich are doing their best to organize and develop a new “golden age” of Italian Airsoft and MilSim, but they are currently going through tough times trying to eradicate the ‘skirmish like’ mentality that slowly took grip of the the wheel of Airsoft in Italy.
That being said there are still some very committed people and teams wich are providing us with some top notch events expecially in the north of Italy where the MilSim influence of Europe is more vivid and powerful
S23: Training is important part of team life, I know your as passionate about that as you are collecting gears. What does it bring to the table performance wise ?
cr01: Someone once said: ‘training is key to perfection‘ – and, as a team who is willing to constantly improve and evolve itself we can’t disagree on that. The fact that we decided to dive deep into the most legit reenactment possible obviously forced us to stay away from the ‘high speed’ swag that modern days gear can provide to players.
Our training routine includes both ‘full kit practice’ – where we push hard on ourselves and our gear to the point we are able to identify all the flaws and limits of our load outs, as well as a more technical and physical aspects of training, that allows us to develop new techinques and drills to be applied and included in our playing methodology.
S23: Detail, such an eye for the finishing touches really, really has over the last few years made your kits stand out. It adds an incredible amount of realism to all of your load outs. Is this an important passion for the team, due you think it adds and brings a new level of realism to events too ?
cr01: Details are what transforms a pile of Cordura fabric into a kit that resembles and appears as a well thought out and elaborated piece of work. To fully explain what rumbles in our minds concerning details I can only limit myself to humbly ‘steel’ a quote the words of a guy who slowly became one of our reenactment inspirations : ‘it’s like building towns and landscapes for model trains. Some details might not be as important or different from what i’m trying to replicate, but the more I study it, the more important it gets to me‘ (@berserkir79)
This is in our opinion the one and only key to bring the thing on a whole new level and quality.
S23: So, already a few weeks into the new year, what have you got planned ?
cr01: … and when the crowd yells ‘new year new me’ we all say ‘new year new kits’ leaving humor aside we are setting a lot of goals for the upcoming year. New patches will be soon released (we are going IR this time) and we are planning a whole new and different training schedule to get us ready for next summer’s events.
But the thing we are most excited about is that we are working hard on a more modern and contemporary setup inspired by Italian Navy Special Forces. We will cover the entire realisation process throughout our social media accounts.
S23: You often endure either inclement weather, or operate in some incredibly rough terrain. What’s an essential in your kit bag to keep you warm, dry and in the fight ?
cr01: Even though central Italy’s weather is overall fairly clement all year long there are still some winter essentials than you can’t deny the importance of. On our opinion the first layer you wear on your body is the most important one (such as breakfast concerning meals) during this time of years all of us have found the thing that worked right based on the individuals necessities and body type.
Most of the times the choice fell towards Under Armor thermal gear and Nike. That being said never understimate the importance of some good quality boots and comfortable padded socks!
S23: Talk us through your blaster set up, you’ve gone for a very realistic authentically ‘real steel’ set up, how does this translate to Airsoft ?
cr01: As all the readers surely know today’s Airsoft market is offering plenty of options for customizing and making the blasters as accurate and as ergonomic as possible.
Reenactment wise we are ‘forced’ to choose a more realistic and ‘legit’ configuration for our ‘weapons’ systems. This affects speed and target acquisition a bit, but, on the other hand, if a rifle setup works fine for a real steel operator’s cqb classes and training it must translate into a good option for us to use too.
We generally have two different configurations one for close quarters (no magnification sights and vert grips) and a long range outdoors ‘recce-ish’ one. The Italian SF standard setup also includes a fairly good number of weapon mounted lights and laser/IR devices which requires a good amount of practice and familiarity of weapon’s form to improve and master the ‘handling’ experience. (muscle memory)
My personal choice of AEG is an old G&P M4A1 all pimped up and equipped with an electronic trigger unit to make my semi auto drills run smooth and flawlessly. With time our team is slowly converting to shock recoil Marui rifles (EBBR/NGRS) to enhance the realism and overall reliability of the blaster.
cr01: Talking about the Italian scene MilSim is still surrounded by a mysterious cloud, a shroud which induces a lot of people to misunderstand it’s meaning and applications. Our community still struggles to separate the two concepts of Skirmishes and MilSim Ops. Often coming out with some sort of mixture in-between the two. this makes very difficult for both skirmish lovers and and RealSim fanatics to find events matching their expectations.
However Italy came out in the last few years with a one in a kind type of game which is called FTH, its a way more realistic approach to the game which is slowly taking it’s first steps attracting and collecting an ever larger number of individuals and teams. MilSim is unfortunately still seen as something too far from the expectations of the average Italian weekend warrior. And the way Italy’s Airsoft community is shaped and structured will hardly allow people and associations to open their minds on new possible scenarios. That being said, as a unit, we are making huge efforts alongside with other valid and passionate teams to help people change their point of view focusing, expecially, on the newest generations of players trying to introduce them to the satisfations and self improvement capabilities that nothing but a realistic game approach could give them.
S23: … before we let you go, 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?
cr01: Once again I have to refer, to best example of what Italian Airsoft is about.
Most of the teams we play with on a daily basis are still anchored to the “good old fashioned” high ROF and High Caps trend. Seeing a team using ‘mad caps‘ (120-140 Rnd’s), as we do, is still very rare and uncommon. My personal opinion is that nothing could make the thing more realistic than to find yourself in a force on force scenario and being aware that you need to make every shot count. 30 Rnd’s midcaps are for sure an amazing option, able to push the ‘fire fight’ to the next level, changing the way we set up our load outs and enhancing the often underrated role of Squad Automatic Weapon infantry. Unfortunately as said earlier you have to model and shape your playing habits onto the scene you are playing with in order to deliver some of the more effective tactics and being able to not feel underpowered when confronted with others in a direct combat situation.
Huge thanks to Lorenzo (CR01) for the incredible interview, you can keep up to date with our friends here, be sure to check out their videos on YouTube, great viewing f’sure – S23
Task Force Crow