Frozen Fury 2013

I haven’t maintained this in a while, as I’ve been occupied with other projects. One of them is a video from last year’s Frozen Fury, one of the water war events of WaterWar.net. Check it out.

Link.

Going down…

Downpour was a blast. Unfortunately, I never took the time to write up a full war report, just a quick review.

At this point, I’d rather just maintain forum posts, since those get read by a larger audience than HBWW. I will simply leave this place as is and try to push content elsewhere; where it may be more useful to more people.

I spend too much time working these days. When I’m not, I spend the remaining free time on video games. I just need a break, an escape, from the monotony of doing the same thing for 8 hours a day. I do love my job, but it wears me down.

Anyway, perhaps later, I’ll turn around and fill in any gaps left from my hiatus on here.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind – HBWW’s Story of Soakemore

I’ve always returned home from community wars as an ever slightly-so-different person than before, gaining strange insights that could only come about from being hundreds of miles from home in a mock-survival game situation. MOAB taught me the importance of physical development and ensuring I get out and about enough to appreciate nature, to appreciate all weathers and seasons, and to never fall to be a weak person again. It was a bit of a rite of passage for me, one where I learned a bit on how to fight water wars the proper way and how to make the struggle of victory my own.

Soakemore was quite different. Having a friend along makes things quite different, as does taking a car instead of a plane and having space to bring your own stuff. The weeks and days leading up to Soakemore were some of the best I’ve had; putting things together that work in such demanding situations just leaves a feeling of satisfaction I would never find elsewhere. I was literally building for war. I needed a working CPH, APH, and Douchenator before the weekend, and I accomplished precisely that. I took my own car, my own stuff, everything. It was a true taste of independence and growth, it was feeling that I had something to be proud of and that I have become someone more capable. A culmination of my last 7 years of effort, from asking a friend what CPS meant, to cementing the final PVC fittings of a homemade together.

And culmination it was. I would finally get to experience my first naval wars, the first time I’ve extensively used homemades in battle that I’ve built with my own hands, and take advantage of my improving skills and physical ability.

Friday was exciting and frantic. It didn’t even occur to me to pack swim trunks, so I ended up going back home to do so after picking up my friend. The 9 hour journey there was filled with more rest stops than I would’ve liked. Tolls weren’t nice but the convenience of simple roads/directions was worth it to me. Gas took about $70 to make the trip.

Upon arrival, I wanted to grab an empty 12k out of the trunk and breach the front door, but lacked the energy to do so. However, I did get an equivalent of a greeting by DX, SEAL bros, and Scott. (And the damn XP 20 that was fired at me still had enough water left in it for the mist shot to have equivalent output of an Electrostorm! How rude!) Anyway, I missed the night games, so I just paced around the place, figured out where to settle down, and had a look at the stuff everyone else brought. Big pile of 21k bladders and the parts for a metal Douchenator from DX, and CPS 2000 with a broken pump seal from SEAL. I briefly mentioned the SuperPiston pumps thread, but people don’t keep up with my posts anyway lol.

We had missed a game at Westland Middle School earlier, thanks to my friend being unable to get out of work sooner. It wasn’t a big deal, since we’d play there again Sunday evening.

Anyway, first thing to do in the day was to get to Sycamore Island. Unfortunately, I was not fully prepared since my loadout plan required a lot of things for that day.
– Primaries: CPS 2000, 2500
– Water bottles, balloons, balloon pouch
– Douchenator, sabots, bike pump, etc.
– Naval warfare primaries: CPH, APH

I didn’t switch out the APH nozzle nor prepare the boat dip tubes to the proper length. I assumed there would be no problem doing it there anyway, but was not quite aware that we would not be moving to the cars all day and had to bring in only what we could carry at once. This was the biggest issue, but eventually we moved everything there. The other problem was that I did not arrange everything in the backpacks properly, and needed time to ensure I had everything I was supposed to. Overall, it was an annoying mess: I even forgot the Douchenator’s pump on the first trip in, which I had to run back to get.

Day 1, Round 1: Sycamore Island 1HS

This game took place across the island, utilizing the whole place. Teams were me, Scott, and our friends vs. DX and the SEAL bros. On our first approach, we split up, with Scott’s fireteam and my friend and I taking on opposite sides of the island on our approach to the north end of it. My friend and I encountered messy terrain on our approach, and ended up at a dead end with lots of logs and fallen trees. We found an enemy group around the area and moved quickly inwards to engage. Chief, SEAL, and DX approached to attack, and lots of tap shots were exchanged in a fast-paced and frantic shootout. We got away shortly and waited for their group to approach us, without being aware of our exact positions. I hid behind a large tree, waiting for SEAL to get in easy kill range, but completely screwed it up by revealing my position way too early. Eventually, DX charged up and eliminated the both of us.

The plan didn’t quite go so well. We wanted to hit the easier targets, particularly the younger of the SEAL bros, knowing that trying to get kills off DX would not be a great idea.

After this game, we at lunch, explored the clubhouse, and then mixed up the teams and started a HTL game at the treehouse. (20 minutes time limit, defenders 3 lives, attackers infinite) Groups were split up quite oddly to produce the teams; I was with DX, Firebird, and one of Scott’s friends, while Scott, his other friend, my friend, and Chief joined the defending team.

Day 1, Round 2: Sycamore Island Treehouse HTL (Assault)

I finally got to take a WBL to a game for the first time. The first launch was by far the best, but still didn’t hit anyone in the treehouse. Overall, we fired 7-9 balloons that round, and only one or two shots failed completely (burst in barrel or stuck to sabot). Most of the shots worked fine, but were not accurate enough to hit anyone.

Sometime along, I ended up getting into a short shootout vs. Chief. Nothing of value was accomplished here, so I went back to the Douchenator to finish off a few more shots.

I eventually left the Douchenator and went to attack the left flank with the 2500. I was always stuck with the 2500 since my friend was using the 2000. I figured I’d play more supportively than make the kills, but we never really got to work as a team that often. (Plus he kept getting shuffled out of my team.)

Now, since the treehouse was at the south end of the island, I would attempt to flank to the southeast and try to engage from behind the tree house, but this would never work. I played very defensively and did not want to risk getting hit, so I never made the run (which would’ve put me in easy kill range for several seconds), and I’d eventually get cornered if I made it anyways. (Although I’d also have distracted the defenders enough for the attackers to press the attack.) The treehouse itself is fairly low and accessible, but still allows any defenders in it to effectively cover and support the entire defending line.

Anyway, we apparently finished the round without making any kills. Lots of close calls (on both sides), but no hits. Some of us attackers got hit, but I can’t remember who. (i.e. Whether it was Scott’s friend or Firebird.)

Day 1, Round 3: Sycamore Island Beach Landing HTL (Defense)

Nobody except Scott and I wanted to finish HTL by swapping sides, since most people were bored by the game, son ext up was HTL beach defense. This was a particularly interesting round while we defended, but extremely frustrating when attacking. Teams were mixed up again, since Drenchenator had arrived: All of Scott’s friends + Drenchenator vs. my friend and I, DX, SEAL, and Chief.

The game was organized into two stages: Boats and ground. The rule was that any boat that didn’t land (but its occupants are all hit) had to return and try again. After landing, the boats were the spawn points. Attackers had infinite lives at all times and defenders had 3. Time limit was 30 minutes this time.

The first defense stage was lots of fun. Lots of water balloons were fired, but we had one problem: The wind and waves pushed them downstream, and it was left to the attackers to retrieve them. Some were lost, so we effectively littered this way. The good news is that the sabots float, but we decided to leave out WBL’s after swapping sides.

In the middle of the first stage, SEAL scored the first community war hit with a WBL. The balloon landed on the water surface but skipped like a skipping stone, and hit Drenchenator on its way up.

However, keeping two launchers working spread our defenses very thin. The other team eventually landed at the south end of the island and established a spawn there. We ended up using 1HS spawn rules, but without any time limit, so the attackers were already stuck on the island. Keeping them back meant having to get hit, and it was from this that I was eventually eliminated. We should’ve retreated inward instead, but it was unclear where the boundaries were. We eventually lost.

Day 1, Round 4: Sycamore Island Beach Landing HTL (Assault)

This got real nasty this round. The lack of WBL’s kept the beach landing process less exciting, particularly when neither boat could make a landing before getting hit. Being in a boat means being lower and having less range, and the lack of a spawn timer for either team proved to be a problem. We ended up going back and forth on the water for 30 minutes without getting anywhere.

The game ended, and my friend and I rowed our boat up to the ground. Things had degenerated into a de-facto impromptu soakfest. Random kids even threw rocks at us. Sometime along, we moved past a low branch which lifted my glasses right off and they flew into the water behind the boat. We were around CPS 2000 range from the shore, but the glasses sank immediately and we knew they would never be retrieved. In rage, I powered up the APH and frantically threw out every water balloon in the bucket.

Right there and then, I had lost a part of myself. Something so simple, yet so important. I took pride in being able to drive all the way from Michigan to Maryland, and now I was completely dependent on my friend to make further drives and to take us back home. This combined with the inability to land without getting soaked, as well as the injuries I sustained from using the equipment/APH, drove me into pure rage. I haven’t felt anything quite like it for a long time. I wanted to load the APH with lighter fluid and burn that tree down, but managed to resist getting pissed off at anyone in particular. (And never quite got a hold of that lighter fluid, fortunately.)

After that, I ended up making a run to the car to put away the homemades. I came back because we were supposedly going to start a new game, but by the time I arrived, they had finished without us. It was time for dinner, which took place countless hours later as we struggled to figure out how to order the pizza and waited for it.

Later on, my friend and I made some attempts to get glasses, contacts, anything. We went to the wrong places, but when we finally got to a Target Optical in Virginia, my prescription was not put out for contacts, only glasses, and it would take at least a week to get them. It was also slightly dated. We took a lot of time to do this, but we got to travel, see places, and spend time together, so I guess it wasn’t truly a waste of time and gas.

Today, I’d have to fight more on instinct and less on vision. We went out to Carderock and had a lot of time before we’d actually get started. The bathrooms to the north were closed, so we drove down south a bit to ones that were open (which stinked, and one of the stall walls had a glory hole in it), but then had to drive even further south again to get to a picnic area with a spigot.

Upon arrival, everyone else was already there having lunch. Firebird got a Splashzooka off DX and brought a QFD to attack to the spigot. Due to the way the spigot works (similar to the one at Legend Park), it builds up a LOT of air pressure before the water goes through, which, in turn, blew out the QFD and made it useless. Of course, I come to the rescue with the VHS and some pliers. I would have to reconfigure it to work with the spigot instead of the hoses at home since the faucet would get in the way of the whole thing while threading it on. It was not just to help him out though: I’d also need it to quickly fill up the homemade backpacks I brought for refills later.

We filled up maybe 16 or so gallons of water to use as refills in later games. We’d end up only needing about 4 or so since we only played two 1HS games after that before people were apparently tired already. SMH…

Day 2, Round 1: Carderock 1HS

Teams were switched back to that of the Island 1HS: Scott’s friends, my friend, and I, vs. DX and SEAL bros. We were going to try CTF originally, but decided not to at the last minute. We opted for 1HS instead.

Naturally, we had a bit of the same issue that we encountered at the 1HS AP-only game in MOAB: lots of nomadic wandering despite the 20 minute time limit. Carderock’s terrain was very rough, with lots of rocky areas and numerous hills. The opposing team was on the hill we started on when we got back after wandering around. Not wanting to sit in a stalemate, we attacked their defensive position, which I tried to do carefully. We were already doomed to be spotted due to the noisy n00bs on our team, but we already spotted them first thanks to Firebird’s bright blue sweater.

On our approach, we lost 3 hits and gained 2. Scott was able to get a hit on DX after my friend helped out but took a hit for. I attacked the other side of the hill almost alone, trying to probe slowly and find a way up. I nearly took a full hit from poor dodging and relying excessively on gun blocking, but according to a teammate, most of it landed on my 2500 or went too far.

Before I could probe further and try to press up the hill, the time limit already hit. Unfortunately, we did not provision the game rules and time limit for this; perhaps we need to move both teams’ starting points closer next time and give a longer time limit. That said, we likely would’ve lost anyway due to inferior positioning, tactics, and team coordination, the last of which was a particularly bad issue for us.

Day 2, Round 2: Carderock Casual 1HS

After the game, some people were tired already. Must’ve been from the games we missed in the morning, which I’m not sure of how long they went on. Firebird and one of Scott’s friends sat out of the final 1HS round of the day, a quick and frantic unscored game in which I would die constantly from being surrounded and from lack of team coordination. (My friend and I, along with Scott, went up against DX, SEAL, and Chief.)

This game was a bit boring for me, but apparently was the most fun for my friend. I only recall scoring a double-hit (both players shoot at the same time) this round, although I might have made one or two additional hits on Chief that I forgot about. My deaths were from Chief and DX, as Scott and others were busy fighting SEAL/DX. The thick trees made navigation a pain due to the very fast-paced nature of the game, but they also provided some cover.

After this, SEAL lost his car keys. The group searched for hours, before Scott returned and tried to retrace their paths. He found it shortly after, and we were able to leave the area.

So, two lessons learned on loosing things so far: 1: Anything lost over water is gone forever if you so much as breathe on it wrong (I should’ve learned this from the GoPro), and 2: Always clip keys onto you, or button up pockets!

Dinner took place at American City Diner, a 50’s style restaurant in DC. We ordered no shortage of fries during our time there; more calories for the warrior to burn! And burn we did since we’d play a few games at Westland Middle School that night.

The new playing area was epic. We waited until after it got dark to arrive, and I prepared some flashlights. Turns out the school was completely lit the whole time, so they were of very limited use, but I wouldn’t turn down the option of having one anyway. Some of the area was wooded, and there were dark areas great for ambushing, but we didn’t put them to as much use as we could’ve. The playing area was awesome though; lots of cover, some small buildings/structures, and portable classrooms surrounded the main building. Teams were Scott, DX, Chief, and I, vs. my friend, the rest of the SEAL bros, and one of Scott’s friends (Bela). The flags were represented by Max-D 3000’s.

Day 2, Round 3: Westland Middle School Urban CTF

The bases were setup around the portable classrooms. On one side was a lone portable setup in otherwise a very open area. The other base had four portables lined up around a parking lot. The latter was easier to sneak up on, but also much easier to defend since the flag’s position made it difficult to retrieve.

In this round, Scott and I played close defense. We had a few easy encounters that we drove off without much trouble, which came from my friend and from SEAL. At first, they would try to setup an attack from the nearby woods, but when unable to, they took to close range. One of us ended up getting a hit on SEAL, and I was able to put my urban combat habits to good use here. My friend and SEAL didn’t end up working that well as a team until later on in the game, when my friend kept the both of us distracted. We basically tunnel-visioned on him, because SEAL was able to make a stealthy run for the flag. A few seconds later, my friend made note of that, which took me a few more seconds to actually believe.

Shortly after, I tried to make a stealthy run to the other base, wasting a lot of time on the way checking for opponents. I figured DX could prevent them from scoring, so I made this run. However, the other team had already scored just after I started making the run.

Day 2, Round 4: Westland Middle School Urban CTF (Swapped Sides)

We agreed to swap sides, since the other base was generally more defendable than ours. The 4 portables and their walkways were setup very well around the flag’s location (which wasn’t a very fair one to begin with, but I digress, and it doesn’t matter anyway since both teams played both sides), which would prevent a sneak attack as such from being easy to pull off. I will have to scratch up a map of it sometime or use Google’s.

Anyway, I setup a little gag for our flag when we started. The Max-D 3000 was filled up to add weight and make it less easy to grab very quickly. In addition, a water balloon was stuffed in the middle of the group. The best that could happen from all this was that anyone grabbing the flag would’ve fumbled it more easily if they’re clumsy and distracted by the pressure of the situation, expecting it to be lighter and to be able to grip it normally.

Turns out that the need for that never came though. Chief and I defended this time (since it didn’t work out w/ Scott), while DX and Scott took the front lines. My friend came around again from the back route to harass us until he could get support. Scott had to return a few times to respawn. Most of our time was spent pacing back and forth in a patrol kind of pattern. I checked unlikely areas for sneak attacks, such as spots under the portables’ walkways. Great areas for video games, but badly immobile for our game. (Yet still very stealthy.)

Patrolling with a leaky blaster is a bit annoying at best. I didn’t know where the problem was, but my hands were getting soaked. (Turns out the seal at the back of the pull valve failed. -__-) Anyway, it wasn’t bad enough that I wasn’t able to fight, so I continued playing.

Anyway, when my friend finally came to our base to bother us, he simply messed around and we had a few shootouts, though nothing serious happened. He simply held off where he was until one of his teammates would come around to make a run for the flag. The timing of everything was critical, but could’ve very easily worked out in anyone’s favor.

I got fed up with my friend and decided I wanted to make an attempt at eliminating him, so I went around back behind the portables. Again, I wasted time trying to be stealthy when he knew I was back there the whole time, but I made my go anyway and stayed quiet as he exchanged tap shots with Chief. I finally got to where my friend was and held the corner so he couldn’t escape and would get pushed in.

SEAL and DX were heading to our base, DX with the opponents’ flag in hand and SEAL approaching to attack. Things could’ve gone for much better or much worse very quickly. I happened to charge in at just the right time, quickly eliminating my friend. I may have also eliminated SEAL at this time too, but I can’t remember exactly what happened since so much happened so quickly. All I remember is that DX scored the flag at this time and that I might have stopped my friend from gaining in on him.

Day 2, Round 5: Westland Middle School Urban 1HS

We had a few ideas for our last game, including HTL around the 4 portables, but we eventually settled on 1HS around the whole area, using similar starting points as before. Teams were DX, me, my friend, and Chief vs. everyone else. (SEAL, Firebird, Scott, Bela.)

My friend was getting a bit restless and really did not want to take the quiet, tactical approach. DX and Chief setup an ambush position in the dark, while we were told to watch the back alley. Since we had already gone quiet, I didn’t have a chance to explain this to DX that we simply wanted to scout until we encountered the opposing team. (Otherwise my friend would’ve gotten hit by himself and cost our team some points.) Anyway, we went off and walked around the entire building, before returning to the ambush position that DX and Chief setup. I wasn’t 100% sure if they were still there, but after a few tap shots I quickly yelled “friendly fire!” after knowing it was them.

We regrouped and moved out of the area, exploring a short trail of woods to the north. The trail went uphill gradually, and we continued up until we were ambushed near the top by the opposing team just outside the woods on flat, high ground. We never quite managed to break through, and I’m not sure who, if anyone, got hit, but the time limit was already run down very low. I wanted to force my way through the thick woods and flank, but was unable to do this in time due to the risk of getting hit from the high ground and due to the lack of a visible, usable alternate route out of the woods. I was also unaware of an easier, but longer route, that I could’ve taken to the west in order to flank since it was dark and I was unfamiliar with the area.

The time limit eventually ran out. DX should have the scores to this round, but I’m not quite sure what happened since I never engaged the opposing team directly in this game.

The drive home on the next day took us to all sorts of places, since we deviated from the main route. We ended up in some small town in Pennsylvania and then through some pretty woods/park near or in the Appalachians. It was quite the scenic route. When we got back on the turnpike and through Ohio, it started pouring heavily. Looks like mother nature saved it for the road trip instead of the water wars.

Overall, this was by far the weariest water war I’ve ever been to. The road trip took a toll of its own after the toll booth payments, and there was always a feeling of possibly being stranded in Maryland, made bad by my loss of long-distance vision. I ended up having odd memory lapses, constantly forgetting where I’d place important things shortly after setting them down, and being unable to see them. In addition, I had some unresolved personal issues before going into this that I’d really, really rather not talk about. In any case, we made the trek and returned fine, with lots of great stories to boot. We got to see places and explore, and fight awesome water wars with awesome people. Thanks to Scott and his family for making this all possible, and thanks to everyone else who attended. I’ll definitely have to try to make it again next year if it happens again.

Lots of Events, Little Updating

It’s been about two months since the League Season Opener (MOAB), and a lot has happened then. I’ve hosted two water wars and worked on a few workshop projects, from things as minor as VHS reconfiguration, to the new APH that’s ready for action.

Soakemore is upcoming. You can read about it at WaterWar.net A lot of projects have shifted towards preparing for this. There will be naval wars as well as ground, and will be my first time in proper naval water warfare. (Boat on boat and beach landing.)

All my work/updates are most current on WWn, but I don’t have quite as much time to keep things as current here. I will update HBWW whenever I’m able to.

HydroBrawl Water Warfare 2013: Quick Skirmish

Formerly HBWW: Refill, Release, Reunion (R³) but I will schedule that event at another time.

It’s time to get started with 2013’s season!

Game: 1-Hit-Scores
– Players receive a point for hitting an opponent.
– Majority of the stream’s water must land on opponent to count as hit.
– Do not shoot back if you were hit first. If you do, let them know. Shots fired BEFORE you’re hit all count.
– You have unlimited lives. Respawn near a teammate and away from opponents/combat.
– Must wait at least 30 seconds (depending on game) to spawn. You may take longer than that time, but not less.

Etiquette:
– Be honest: Call your hits.
– Resolve hit conflicts/disputes when they happen.
– Unresolvable disputes will result either in both players being counted as hit, or nothing happening.
– Stay within bounds. Avoid non-participants.
– You are accountable for any equipment you borrow. Don’t litter.

Alternatively, we can play elimination where teams share the same pool of lives. Same spawning and other rules apply.

Invite your friends! Post all questions/comments here.

Scheduling is still in the works.

Beginners’ Water Blaster Buying Guide of 2013

Let’s get back to the basics: Blasters. Most of the information/recommendations from last year still applies, but many blasters mentioned are even more rare than before, and we always have new/fresh Water Warriors blasters coming out.

Nothing has really changed since 2012, so if you need 50% of everything you should know about buying blasters in a nutshell, it can be summed up in one statement:

Don’t buy Nerf Super Soaker products!*

*The HydroCannon is the only exception that might be worth buying if you even find one, and if it fits your needs.

The current crop of Nerf Super Soaker products feature fancy colors, looks, and ergonomics, but don’t let that fool you. Their new backpacks hold as much water as a Water Warriors Gorgon, and every single Nerf magazine-fed water blaster is underwhelmingly weak by several orders of magnitude compared to better blasters available. A Nerf Super Soaker Thunderstorm takes about 4 to 5 seconds to shoot as much water as can be achieved in a single pump of larger blasters. A CPS 1500’s pressure chamber (how much water it can shoot at one time with the pull of the trigger) holds as much water as an entire drum magazine that Nerf SS provides. Look at the numbers and performance, not at the fancy gimmicks.

Now, I will split up this guide into two sections: Stock/Store and Alternative Sources.

Stock/Store: Blasters you can find on shelves.
Water Warriors:

  • WW Gorgon: Rare and difficult to find in stores now (at least where I am), the Gorgon is the most powerful blaster currently available on the market. Features high range, but output is below that of CPS’s. However, some warriors have reported that it’s effective against even a CPS 4100, and it can easily dominate virtually any XP class blaster, including the XP 150. Definitely worth picking up if you get the chance. Air chambers separated from reservoir.
  • WW Colossus 2: Slightly less powerful than 2012’s WW Colossus, but is more ergonomic and well balanced. Has separate air chamber for pressurization.
  • WW Python 2: More powerful than 2012’s Python, and is considerably more ergonomic and well balanced. Pressurized reservoir, no separate air chamber.
  • WW Drench ‘n Blast: Features dual nozzles and triggers. Pressurized reservoir, no separate air chamber.
  • WW Cricket: Older blaster still released/available in 2013, this is a fairly well-regarded “pistol”-class blaster perfect as a small sidearm. Pressurized reservoir, no separate air chamber. Typically sold in 2-packs, and are easy to dual wield.
  • WW Outlaw: Re-release of older blaster, fairly basic large-capacity pressurized reservoir. Other blasters, such as the WW Python 2, may be recommendable over this one for this size range of blaster.

You may find other Water Warriors blasters not listed here. However, the only pressurized WW’s you’ll find in stores are going to be air pressure.

Most new Water Warriors blasters of 2013 feature what appears to be a pressure gauge, but is actually an angle meter. Useful for long distance shots and for measuring ranges, but doesn’t seem to be an essential feature.

The Water Warriors line has remained where it has been in the past few years for the most part. The exception is that ergonomics have significantly improved in many new blasters. The Colossus 2 and Python 2 handle very comfortable and are well balanced. Older, less ergonomic blasters are still available such as the Outlaw.

Alternative Sources: Blasters that have to be obtained from friends, garage sales, eBay, Craigslist, thrift stores, etc.

This has not changed much. To sum it up, look for any CPS line blaster, or Monster. Some XP’s are also excellent as well as Super Chargers. Here are some favorites from the past that are still used in water wars today:

– CPS 1000*, 1200*, 1500/1700`, 2000^, 2100*, 2500^, 2700`, 3000, 3200, 4100
* Great for power mods! (Specifically the k-mod.)
^ Very powerful as stock, no power-mods needed.
` K-mods possible but typically not recommended.

– CPS 1-3-5: Gimmicky blaster, but very effective after some easy mods. (Plug all nozzles except main nozzle, drill main nozzle, K-mod.)

These classics have not changed, and are still the best of the best. Keep them working and they will be effective on the field.

– Monster, Monster X, Monster XL: Larger, higher capacity, a bit less powerful than the best CPS’s (2000, 2500) but still very heavy-hitting and effective. Monster is almost the same as CPS 4100.

– CPS Splashzooka, SC Power Pak, SC Big Trouble: Great fun to use for more casual water wars and are still considerably more powerful than most water blasters available today. Requires hose to use; you may also build a manual pump for these but that’s a hassle that I haven’t found to be worth it.

– SC 300: Most powerful air pressure blaster ever made, can take on most CPS’s. Not as powerful as the CPS 2000 but has much, much higher capacity and shot time. Large pump results in high pump volume. A bit fragile, use with care.

– XP’s: XP 150, 310, and XXP 275 are some notable blasters from these series.

So there you have it. Have fun shopping. Be sure to ask any questions you may have in the comments or on WaterWar.net.

It’s Time to Step Things Up

For too long have I sat around in Troy, having little water wars and not getting out there and doing something big. As you can probably tell from my last war report, I’ve opened eyes up to much larger-scale wars. Are they better? I don’t know yet because I think all playing environments and conditions have their own merits. But I should most certainly aim to explore more games that involve large areas of undeveloped woods where you can only refill from natural sources.

HBWW can expand in scope here by adopting the water warfare community’s games, tactics, and playing. From this, I have taken a new approach to finding places; seek the woods! Following is a list of places that look promising on Google Maps.

  • Jaycee/Farmstead Park + Clinton River Trail, Sterling Heights
  • Stoney Creek Park, Rochester
  • River Woods Park, Auburn Hills
  • Riverbend Park, Rochester Hills
  • Raintree Park, Troy
  • Firefighter’s Park, Troy
  • Boulan Park, Troy
  • Huber Park, Troy
  • Stone Haven neighborhood, Troy
  • Corn Maze and Haunted Maze, Bloomfield Hills
  • River Bends Park, Shelby Township
  • Holland Ponds, Shelby Township

League Season Opener videos/photos are still not sorted out yet, but you can find some on the Facebook Water Warfare Page.

If there’s anything that’s held me back, it’s that I haven’t been able to stir real, long-term interest in water warfare with anyone. Plus the thought of people borrowing all my best blasters and going on a large playing area isn’t exactly comfortable.

WaterWar.net League Season Opener 2013 (MOAB)

WaterWar.net League Season Opener 2013 (MOAB) – CA99 War Report – v1.0

Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3 – Day 4

First of all, it’s good to be back on my little mechanical keyboard, 3-monitor computer setup at home. =D

Day 1: Friday, March 22 – Greetings.

“Finally, people who speak the same language I do.”

After stopping at Marauder’s house to settle down, we agreed to start a 2v2 night war. Not only was it my first 1HS game, it was also my very first night war (of any kind except for indoor stock Nerf) with a bunch of people I never met in person.

Wandering in the Dark – ~23:00-01:00 – Marauder’s Backyard – Marauder (Gorgon) + Duxburian (Gorgon) vs. CA99 (Vindicator) + Scott (Vindicator)

After filling up our Vindicators, we move out to the woods to take positions. The idea was to use the cover of darkness to surprise and ambush the others, or something like that. Having never battled in a water war for half a year, much less in night time, I really needed time to adjust.

We waited in the woods for a long time, standing and sitting and waiting for the others to come out. I realized many things during this time:

  • I needed to get outside more and sit on my computer less.
  • The fresh night air was amazingly refreshing and I felt more alive than ever.
  • It’s been too long since I’ve actually gone prone (and I’ve never done it seriously in water warfare), much less with crunching leaves on the ground.
  • And I couldn’t get comfortable; always had to move around a bit. A bit means a lot of noise with so many dead, crunchy leaves dry from winter.
  • Lastly, I realized I should’ve camped and stalked around near the house; stay in my native fighting habitat of larger open spaces (with easy-to-walk grass) and solid cover.

After what seemed like an eternity, the opposing team moved out to find us.

No maps yet means it’s difficult to get a proper explanation of what happened. In short, the woods to the back of the house slopes down gently, and we were facing towards the back of the house. The opponents started by entering our right flank from here.

Marauder activates his laser pointer in an attempt to annoy us. For me, it conviniently revealed his position. Nonetheless, at some point along, I was still not comfortable and ended up revealing my position by sound. I also thought that the opponents already saw me in the bright moonlight, so I moved quickly to get into a good combat position.

When that happened, two water balloons landed near me as well as several droplets. (I got hit by a few, but too few for a kill.) I dashed out and ran back, using my flashlight to startle Marauder and slow the attack, but it was too late and I was taken out.

I go to refill while Scott waits around. When I finally make it in, we slowly move back to the woods to locate the opposing team. I was startled by Marauder’s dog, Watson, who was sleeping outside, since the flashlight picked up his eyes very clearly. Eventually, we moved in and I got behind a tree. Looking out, I saw a tree stump, then ducked and it was a tree stump no longer, but a sillouette of Marauder. Lacking a water balloon, I charged up towards him and fired, but I dashed too far and tripped into a creek. The creek was shallow, but the trench it was in was steep. I got trapped there and counted as being hit due to near-injury and the impossibility of being able to survive the attack anyway.

After regrouping, I played a lot more conservatively to avoid getting hit. Eventually, neither team was willing to make a move, so we decided to quit there.

Scott, sorry you had to be paired with the n00b. =p

Afterwards, Scott was dropped off at the hotel and then we went to tour the main battlefield: a completely unmarked area. We had some large-scale team plans ruined here, but some of it was put to use and the game was fun anyways. I toured the area at night, which limited my ability to learn the area, but I got to get a glimpse what would be expected of me the next day.

Score: 0 – 2.


Day 2: Saturday, March 23 – If you’re not prepared, your soul will not be spared.

“No, seriously, I’m not cut for this.”

We had a new rivalry game that Marauder spent previous time setting up: Chaos 1HS. The idea is simple: All players start in the same area unarmed, and have to find water weaponry scattered on the battlefield. Items are hidden in boxes that must be opened, and items inside are a mystery. There was trouble fitting some items in some boxes, which warmly welcomed some jokes about the shelf space excuse for bad blasters.

Chaos Cut-Up – ~08:30-~13:00 – St. John’s Woods – Marauder (SS 100 Tactical in Woodland) + Duxburian (Unarmed) + CA99 (Unarmed) vs. Scott (Unarmed) + SEAL (Unarmed) + Chief (Unarmed) + Firebird (Unarmed)

I was nervous of the field for some time. Lots of muddy and uneven terrain and thick foliage to move through, including plenty of thorns that threatened to cut up careless players. Viable routes/passages were difficult to identify quickly by eye and had to be remembered; the only way I got through it was by following my team the whole time.

We made a dash for the boxes. I uncovered an XP 270, while my team was busy doing their own things. Marauder nailed Scott with a water balloon, and Duxburian climped a tree to grab one of the boxes. We ended up with the short end of the stick when it came to the weaponry.

Marauder stuck to the SS 100 since he setup the game, to keep things fair. The rest ended with the following water weapons:

  • Duxburian (XP 70, switched to XP 310 later)
  • CA99 (XP 270)
  • Scott (XP 240)
  • SEAL (Monster XL)
  • Chief (Blazer)
  • Firebird (Arctic Blast Custom Nozzle + Aquapak)

Outnumbered and outgunned, we moved out of the area to get back to a good defensive position and wait out our 1 point lead. After jumping over a creek and taking a walk through some trees and foliage (that covered maybe 1/4th a mile or so), we reached and settled down somewhere quite open. We chattered a bit, relaxed, and Marauder and I applied face paint. Marauder lost his phone by then, causing some additional trouble for us.

We eventually left the area and went out to somewhere slightly more open but with tall grass. Shortly after, I saw the opposing team just outside of combat range. I could not tell when they saw us, so I alerted my own team instead of immediately running away. It was a mistake; while our team was able to outrun then, I took the wrong route and got caught in thorns, unable to move forwards. I needed a few seconds to get the thorns out of my clothing and gloves, but by the time I did so, I was hit by the other team. (An immobile XP 270 is no match against a Monster XL uphill anyways.)

I remember being told to “wait at the car” after getting hit, and I kind of gave up afterwards anyway, so I dropped out of the match early to avoid being a burden to my team. The score was already tied, so it was better to let Duxburian and Marauder take care of the rest.

I walked back to our starting area, and coincidentally, Drenchenator had just showed up. Prepared and dressed more for urban or suburban combat instead of woods, I led him into the starting point where all the blasters were stockpiled. The SEALs packed everything there, while our team only had what we needed.

We sat and chatted, then Drench went to take a leak. Shortly after he returned, I heard some noise.

I assume it was either the SEALs or the rest of SSLF finishing the 1HS game, so I yelled out to ask and update them on what was going on.

An old woman in a dress appeared. I thought she was one of the parents and talked accordingly (“I’m waiting for the other team to get back!”), then quickly recognized that she had nothing to do with the whole thing. Trying my best to ignore the extreme awkwardness already created (and having been able to temporarily forget the fact that I was wearing face paint), I explained the concept of a water war. She got pissed and said she’d call the police in 15 minutes. Drench asked if she owned the land, and she said she did. Not quite sure knowing what to do nor exactly where the land ownership was, we decided to head back. I didn’t even bother carrying any equipment back except what was in my pockets.

We stayed at Marauder’s house, which was within easy walking distance. (Not as easy when you’re sore though.) I got a glimpse of the unfinished and unannounced DR-5 homemade. We later went inside and told Marauder’s parents what happened, and his dad went out to check on things.

By the time the others came back, I heard that mostly all of the equipment (except for Marauder’s phone) and that the police were intrigued by our water wars and asked about the blasters. Apparently, someone somewhere also fired gunshots as some warning and/or out of fear of plastic water blasters. I didn’t hear any of it though, only about it.

Time wasted, but it was my ticket out of the rough woods and into one more friendly for combatants. Marauder’s dad suggested Legend Park, a place not often populated. The place was setup for mountain biking.

http://www.townofclaytonnc.org/Residents/Recreation_LegendPark.aspx

The trails and what not also served as places we could walk over. It was also great for water wars, evidently, so we went there and geared up for the next round.

Hours to Hike, Minutes to Fight – ~13:00-~15:30 – Legend Park woods – Marauder (SS 300) + CA99 (SS 300) + Duxburian (Gorgon) + Drenchenator (Colossus) vs. Scott (XP 150) + SEAL (Max-D 6000) + Chief (XP 270) + Firebird (Colossus)

This was the air-pressure only round, which carried its own neat little surprises. The biggest was having to hike about 2 miles and wander around for hours before being able to do anything, but finally we decided to call out our position and agreed to start the game. The hike allowed us to familiarize ourselves with the area too, which would be very beneficial for some of the games on the next day.

After getting lots of fresh air and walking exercise (with at least a gallon of water on my back), we called out our positions so we could get started playing. Or tried to, before the SEALs retreated uphill and refused to fight us on level ground. This created another set of problems, but we eventually resolved it by slowly flanking our way up the hill and playing smart. The SEALs quickly retreated uphill and kept running, dragging us up and up on higher ground and eventually to grounds closer to where we came from. It seems that they learned some good routes from the hike, and the environment changed quite a bit along the way to different trees and terrain.

I lagged behind on our charge uphill, but eventually made it to the front lines. The terrain slope became gentler, and we arrived in an area where most of the combat occurred.

I didn’t get any kills here, but made a lot of attempts at attacking and breaking up the opponents’ line. I’m fairly sure I was still in “CPS” mode, as I always stayed just outside of CPS range despite everyone having AP blasters. This kept me alive but also prevented me from getting kills as I was unwilling to take a lot of risks in this particular game. Perhaps it was the right way to go; I was able to help my team out in breaking up the enemy and getting kills. We all agreed on a time limit for the rest of the game, and from there, our team eventually broke up the opponents’ line. Scott got rushed and fired at by three of our team members from trying to run and retreat downhill.

The game ended 3 to 2 and we lost. Drenchenator got hit too many times, which is the same mistake I’d make in later games.

Rooftop Rampage – Early to Mid Afternoon – Legend Park – Marauder (CPS 2000) + CA99 (CPS 2000) + Duxburian (CPS 2000) + Drenchenator (CPS 2100) vs. Scott (CPS 2500) + SEAL (CPS 2500) + Chief (CPS 2500) + Firebird (CPS 21k)

Round 1

We walked back to the open area of the park, and settled on a 1HS assault game around a house-like structure used for holding bathrooms and for the baseball field’s equipment, concession stand, and whatever else. The bathroom roof was easily accessible from the stairs, and was durable enough for one person to use. The stairs went up to a balcony that connects to a door. Overall, a fairly generic building, but useful and great for combat. Most of the rest of the area was open, but there was a small amount of cover that would be vital to some of the attacks I made on the building.

The rules were simple. 1HS with 3 lives each. (I dispute calling this 3HK; a lot of water warfare game setup terminology we use is questionable, but that’s for another discussion.) Defenders were not allowed to go farther than 15 feet from the edge of the building. Attackers were only allowed to hit from the front, not from the sides or back, and were not allowed to go around. Our team was attacking on the first round, then defending on the second.

The game was great. The roof offered height advantage as well as being able to see most of what was going on. On our attack, I was able to use some cover (the baseball dugout, and a telephone pole + fence) to make approaches to the building. Some of them did not work, or got me killed by Scott, but I did break through twice during the game to get a hit on SEAL (the rooftop guy) and some others. When hit, I was able to retreat to our cache for more water balloons and bottles, but we ran out after some time. After this happened, I managed to approach the building on my last life. I hit SEAL again and got enough time to reload from the faucet near the stairs. I then peeked around the corner, ready to engage the opponent there, but the time limit ran out just before I could make a move.

Round 2

Duxburian ([2] CPS 2000, CPS 10k in Woodland) took the rooftop. I finished refilling and was ready well before everyone else was. Marauder’s friend, Latsevyert (CPS 1500), showed up, so we ended up outnumbering the opposing team for this round. While they were getting ready, I prepared water balloons for Duxburian and I to use, since I took position on the balcony.

The attack seemed slow, but was effective. I lost all 3 lives about 2/3rds through the game, but didn’t get so many hits. Some water balloons I threw were very close to hitting, but all were dodged or missed.

(Finished video goes here.)

I started filming from my phone after being eliminated, which was the best use of my time. Duxburian exhausted most of his balloons, and also finished the ammo in several blasters. I can’t recall the scores on this game, as both teams ran the time limit out. However, I’m fairly sure we got more hits if I remember correctly.

Flags in the Forest – Mid-Afternoon – Legend Park woods – CA99 (CPS 1500) + Duxburian (CPS 2000) + Marauder (CPS 2000) + Latsevyert (CPS 1500) vs. SEAL (CPS 2700) + Chief (CPS 2500) + Scott (CPS 2500) + Firebird (CPS 21k)

The game was simple: To collect as many flags scattered around the field as possible. Players were to spawn behind their team’s flag collection area.

Our team collected more flags, despite getting far more deaths. We were constantly getting pinned to our base and had to fight just to slow their approach. The area was small and did not allow for flanking, which kept the fighting quite challenging for us. I must’ve been hit quite a few times and never even got any flags.

Sunset Soakfest – Late Afternoon – Legend Park – Marauder (Arctic Blast Custom Nozzle + Aquapak) + CA99 (SS 50) + Duxburian (CPS 1500) + Drenchenator (CPS 2100) + Latsevyert (Monster XL) vs. Scott (Shield Blaster 3000) + SEAL (CPS 1200) + Chief (Discovery Water Balloon Filler) + Firebird (CPS 2100 in Woodland)

We needed a soakfest, because it would be the last battle I’d play in while sunny. Our team was mean. Scott said something about how he’d stay dry, so our team ganged up on him first. The plan was to yell “CLEAR” once he was drenched, then ignore him for the rest of the game. And so we did; much of the other team armed themselves with goofy weapons, while I took the SS 300 since the rules did not allow refills. (Once you’re out, you’re out.) In that case, I didn’t mind having 8L of water on my back for this.

After drenching Scott, I mostly ran around randomly but prioritized soakage against opponents who appeared dry. Chief managed to remain dry despite carrying the squirt bottle, so I had to fire up the SS 300 at him a few times. The pump lag (due to the kinked backpack tube) was troublesome here and slowed things down significantly (it was not as bad for 1HS earlier that day), but I managed to get some pretty good hits despite my slightly poor aim. (I blame my tendency to over-compensate for movement due to habits established from input-latent video games.)

Eventually, everyone called it quits while I had about 2-3L of water left. We walked back, but the game was far from over. I uncapped my SS 300 backpack and drenched Scott with it, then pumped and shot out the rest of the water. Right after that, Marauder socked me in the back with a water balloon. Second time of the weekend too…


Day 3: Sunday, March 24 – Calm before the storm…

“Mother nature scores a hit on everyone!”

Veterans’ Vendetta – Late Morning and Noon – Legend Park woods – CA99 (CPS 10k in Woodland) + Chief (CPS 2500) + Firebird (CPS 1200 in Woodland Fabric) + Latsvyert (CPS 2000) vs. Marauder (XXP 275) + Duxburian (XP 150) + SEAL (XP 270) + Scott (XP 150)

We lost, bad. We had the better guns and the inferior skills, team coordination, etc. I must’ve been pincer-attacked at least once this game, though I was able to mitigate some of the effects of the opponents’ moves by ending in double kills (i.e. Two players soak each other; no point advantage gained for either team.) They say that the player, not the blaster, makes victory, an old cliche that was proven again here.

Nonetheless, I’d definitely try a round like this again. I learned quite a bit from it, though not enough to improve my scores for the BBT round that would take place tomorrow.

This is also my first game to be fully filmed on GoPro footage, which will be edited and uploaded in time.

Buzzing Bees and Rained-Out Trees – Afternoon – Legend Park woods

Round 1 – CA99 (Vindicator) + Scott (Vindicator) + Marauder (Blazer) + Firebird (Colossus) vs. Duxburian (Gorgon) + Latsvyert (Colossus + SEAL (Gorgon) + Chief (Vanquisher 2010)

Air pressure only had its run, and that was that. Now however, it was time to put the Buzz Bee Toys brand Water Warriors to the test. The gameplay ended up being quite different, with shorter combat ranges, much longer shot times, and far less water usage.

This round didn’t quite work out. There was lots of walking again but no action. My team split up into 2; Scott and I would take the front while Marauder and Firebird would try to flank.

After splitting up, we could not find the other group again, so we went on our own. We got the attention of the opposing team pretty well however, after taking position on a hill. Even all four of them did not want to attack the two of us due to the cover and slope advantage we had.

Scott went off to look for the other group a few times, but we still could not find them. Rather than staying on the hill and waiting to get rushed from a vulnerable (but difficult to notice) spot, we moved back up to higher ground, to a point that couldn’t be flanked since it went to private property. We stayed there the rest of the game, more or less. The other team sent two players to scout us out, and they stayed hidden. I tried to get both of us to act like we didn’t know they were there, in hopes that they would attack, but this didn’t work out. We went after then to mess around (but not engage), and they retreated fast.

The time limit expired and the game ended 0-0. Apparently, Marauder and Firebird were ready to attack at any time and were waiting for us to take the initiative, but having no clue where they were, we did not want to risk engagement. We setup our next game back in the level part of the woods.

Round 2 – CA99 + Scott + Marauder + Latsvyert vs. Duxburian + SEAL + Firebird + Chief (All same armament as round 1.)

This round was quite frantic. I took some risks that may have contributed to us tying the score instead of winning.

I did however, make an epic shot at the beginning of the round at Latsvyert. I moved up and caught him in a bad spot turned around, then charged and made my signature war cry. (High-pitched laughing.) Over the course of a second (from the GoPro video), I fired a continuous stream while charging at him while he was turned around. Just as I released the trigger, and well after the stream hit him, he turned around and attacked. Since no one else actually saw the hit, I ended up counting it anyways. (The scores can be revised later anyway.)

After the first play, many other players got eliminated. Things changed quickly as we shifted to a different part of the battlefield, but my plays were mostly the same. I managed to get my first hit on Duxburian from farther out. Around that time, I was hit by SEAL, but could not feel nor see it, so we ended up being one extra point behind.

The rest of the game was less eventful, except for a few charges and war cries here and there. The score was tied at 8 points.

Round 3 – Same teams and armament as Round 2

Not much happened towards the beginning of the game. I tried to play more carefully but still made a few moves that weren’t ideal.

In the middle of the round, I managed to flank around and eliminate an opponent who was on to me. I noticed the opposing team grouping up and going the other way with their backs turned to me, so I followed. I eventually charged up against Chief, but it ended up counting as a double hit. (Video footage suggests I hit him first before he fired back, although most likely only with minor droplets.)

We had to end the game before the time limit ran out, since the score sheets were getting drenched and unusable. I recorded my last hit on my phone instead, which is shown in the video footage.


Day 4: Monday, March 25 – All good things must come to an end.

We continued the day with two more BBT Water Warriors only games, but I wasn’t there. I was focused on packing and getting to the airport for the flight home. There’s something awesome about being 34,000 feet into the air in a case of steel designed to bring you home at high speeds.

Upon arrival, I knew that a lot of things had to change. Yet I realize I’m starting to slip into old habits again… Maybe it’s the release of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, or being able to use my computer again. I guess we’ll see how it all goes as time carries on.

Several days later, I get my shipment from Marauder. Amongst the blasters I bought off of Duxburian, I was also sent an XP 150 and Colossus, and some nice extra items as a trade for the laptop. Lots of these blasters need to be tuned up or fixed. The Max-D 4000 was probably the best purchase I made, though I have other things to finish testing or taking care of.

So about those updates…

The League Season Opener’s been going great. Completely different than any kind of water warfare I’ve hosted or played in, it has been a very exhausting last few days, but I’ve also learned a ton and have a lot to integrate to HBWW.

Not as much video footage as expected was collected, but there’s a lot. And in addition to others’ footage collected, potentially enough to edit into a promo video.

Of course, it’ll all take time; all the war reports (of which we even have scores), pictures, etc. will take time to get online. As always, HBWW and WaterWar.net will get it all first!

Packing Up

My new GoPro is ready, and I’m gathering all electronics I intend to use on the trip. I intend to be more or less fully connected; 4G LTE coverage is good in the area, I saved up data, and can tether easily since I have my phone rooted properly. I aim to make day-by-day updates here when each day is finished and as I wind down, writing war reports and getting photos/videos together as I go. Expect much.

Today, I tested the repair on a broken XP 270 I got from a garage sale. Still leaks, got to see if it’s something I messed up or if the epoxy simply isn’t holding up. I won’t bother anymore with it however, until this weekend is over. (Though I may be too busy playing Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS at the time, which comes out this Sunday. Seriously, it’s been at least 11 years since the first one.)

Lastly, I am exploring ways for other members of the community who are not attending to be able to tune into a live stream during the water war. I opened a uStream account, but may not be able to do much live due to the data cap. I will investigate this further as I go, and may go more for text/photo updates of the event.

Here is my channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hydrobrawl-water-warfare

I will post later if/when I schedule a live stream. All streams will be saved and will be taken from my phone.