Interview: Rich Norman

I was talking to Ola of Norway’s mighty HHK and TF Exo recently.

Well, I say I was talking to Ola, it was more like he was talking at me…which is most uncharacteristic of him.

Turns out he was smashed out of his face on morphine after a rather nasty accident involving snow, a sledge and booze.

Just let that image mature in your head; and from the The Reptile House, please get well soon, Ola – this blog is dedicated to you 🙂

Anyway, when I did get a word in edgeways we chatted about new bloods, ACE – a legit Norwegian CAG-impression team who have burst onto Instagram. They’d impressed Ola and that’s more than good enough for me. Suitably impressed myself, I thought I’d have a word.

Luckily the guys had heard of the blog, so I didn’t come across all creepy as usual…

Welcome to The Reptile House and thanks very much for the interview opportunity! Tell me about ACE…

ACE is a non-official CAG/Delta team, with three members. The official things like a logo and social media stuff are still in the development phase. We are also looking for more members.

We constantly strive to improve our loadouts as well as enjoying every minute of playtime.

The group consists today of BazookaJoe, LeeroyJenkins and Aznee. The nicknames fits our aggressive and ballsy play style, and the ACE name has a connection to the ace card in a deck, which you also can connect with the joker. The ace/joker card is like a game changer, like we say in Norway; Ă… ha et ess i ermet (Having an ace in the sleeve).

Leeroy and I (Bazooka) played with Sky One previously, since we are from the same place in Norway. After a while we wanted to build a kit based on a unit, and since Sky One was based on “The Unit” we thought that would be cool.

We think that CAG is one of the coolest SOF units in the world, and the kit they use looks fantastic as well as being great to use. The combination of comfortable gear – and the high speed low drag feeling you get from using the kit – really makes it good.

After a while we teamed up with Aznee, who also lives near us in Skien, Telemark, in Norway.

Within the ACE group I usually take point, but we are a pretty dynamic and train so that everyone can take point and make good decisions. We believe that when you train as a team leader, your personal skills also develop.

ACE looks impressively legit. How did your standards develop?

In the beginning, before the group developed, the standards were pretty low.

We used gear that barely worked and just stuff that we liked – no focus. But when we started to build the Delta kit, we quickly understood that the standards had to be higher.

That is something we now appreciate because it works so much better than everything else!

What’s your attitude to loadouts: is it all based on reference pics, or some interpretation?

It’s a hybrid. Reference pics are still relatively rare, but we are inspired by those pics and some guidelines from our friends in Sky One and HHK.

Every one of us interprets the kit differently, and each individual sets up the loadout the best way they can depending on the the mission.

What’s your attitude to real and replica in loadouts?

We always strive to maintain our kit with as much RS as we can get it. But in some cases replicas can work if they look good, work well and get the job done.

Which other teams do you particularly respect for legit impressions?

Of course all of the EXO guys, particularly the CAG OG’s in Norway HHK and our good buddies in Sky One.

To what extent has the flood of recent reference pics changed things?

We are a little bit conservative. We don’t know if we will update our kit to the absolutely latest seen. For now we prefer the Airframe and CPC years.

Are there any influential reference pics you’d like to share – or ones that mean something to the team?

These are some of the photos we use for inspiration, as well as when we play and meet other CAG-kit builders.

CAG in the wild:

HHK:

What kind of primaries are you guys shooting?

All of us run the Tokyo Marui HK416. We love the quality and the feel of the guns. The recoil-shock system also makes the whole experience more realistic.

We really like the look of the 416. The Geissele rail system makes the gun more sexy as well as more comfortable to use. We have experience with AR platforms, but the setup we run now is by far the best we have ever used.

What are ACE’s future plans?

Our plan is to get as much time in the field using our kits as possible. I’m also looking at a new gun project, and all of us have some small details we would like to add to our DA-kits.

Gradually we will also build a recon-friendly kit so we can assist Sky One on longer recon missions. We are talking to Sky One about that.

You can read original content regarding TF EXO right here on The Reptile House, by following the links below:

The Specialists Quadrilogy Part 1: Hermes Medical Team

The Specialists Quadrilogy Part 2: Trident EOD Group

The Specialists Quadrilogy Part 3: Sky One Recon

The Specialists Quadrilogy Part 4: Arquebus Control Team

The Specialists Quadrilogy – Reprise: Hestehovkompaniet (HHK)

TF EXO Inducts First Entry Unit

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