MilSim West is one of the newer, but largest providers of quality MILSIM events. From their humble beginnings in the middle of Orting, Washington has come probably the best modern-day live action role playing event out there. As MSW continues finding new ways to shock, awe, and immerse their audience the number of attendees keeps growing. While Milsim West events are increasingly popular the RUSFOR group still has a much smaller player base than Nato Forces usually do.
The Number difference is primarily caused by the gear requirements. The gear is scarce, obscure, and often expensive(especially considering MSW may be the only Russian themed event you get to attend). There are very few retailers who stock Russian gear at all in the states, and if they do the supply and selection is often limited. This leaves players new to MSW and RUSFOR searching overseas stores for repro or authentic Russian gear and that can be daunting, because lets face it, there is a lot of Russian gear to choose from.
If you are considering joining Mother Russia for a long weekend of HATO bashing, the Militia forces are a great way to get your feet wet. With a set of OD or Woodland BDU’s and some basic web gear you can join the motherland in its fight against the capitalistic industrial machine. For those more interested in beginning a Russian impression there are affordable alternatives to quite a few pieces of Russian kit that will do in a pinch. If you are just looking to try it before you buy in, you may even have some of this gear laying around already.
Real-deal kit is indeed expensive. As a person who does both Australian and Russian impressions, I can say for sure that I’ve spent enough to pick myself up a nice AR-15, or maybe even an old 1990’s Toyota Corolla and have money left over.
If you take a look at some of the new-gen SSO Smershes avaiable online you will spend a little over a hundred bucks from Russia with a 2-6 week wait time. If you need some gear in a pinch for the game coming up or aren’t ready to jump in full on yet there are cheaper alternatives out there, like the Condor Belt harnesses system. They look fairly similar to the SMERSH system when set up, and it retains the modularity for any other BB battles you may partake in. We’ve got the base down to a total of $56 bucks for the H-Harness set up, with the Condor Gen2 Battle Belt and Inner Duty Belt, leaving spare room to customize your load bearing needs. We’ve set up something that could work for the average person who just wants to run Condor gear with the Russians or as a Militia member.
You’ve got your LBE loaded with magazine pouches, a side arm, first aid kit, and a pouch for random bits and snacks. That’s pretty much an SSO Molle SMERSH, It may not be an authentic SMERSH but it’s close enough for now. It passes the 100 foot test, and if you are a good little BBwarrior willing to follow orders and be part of a team, people will care less about what your kit looks like.
For those who want to just stick to a basic chest rig, there are also the Condor 7-Pocket Chest Rigs, which look similar to the Lazutchik chest rigs minus the various grenade pouches. Again, hundred-foot rule.
A majority of the RUSFOR side really enjoy doing their spot-on impressions, from legions of “Polite People” kit to Regional FSB kits, or 45th VDV. A majority, if not all of the RUSFOR side at most MilSim West events are encompassed by the self-proclaimed international-street-gang-culture-club known as the “Rushing Russians”, but you don’t need to affiliate with them to be accepted onto the Russian or Militia side. In fact, many dudes usually roll with them and end up joining and building kits to match their buddies.
So, with that in mind, don’t let the horde of Russian kit enthusiasts scare you away from rolling RUSFOR at MilSim West or with any Rushing Russian chapters you run into. They’re all more or less willing to let a guy run with them in kit that at least looks the part.