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. League Season Opener 2013 (MOAB) 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.

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 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:

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

An Exciting New Prospect

The League is starting a new war on the weekend of March 22nd in NC! I was presumed unable to attend due to my schedule, then suddenly I managed to be able to make it! Got the flight booked and put my own hard-earned dollars to a pretty pricey airline ticket, but it will be well worth it.

Expect an explosion of content from this war. There will be at least one video (additional videos unrelated to the war but to water warfare promo pending), a map, and a battle report. I’ll likely have to bring my laptop just to be able to keep up with all this so that I can write new battle reports everyday of the event. I return home on the following Monday; March 25th.

I have thought of migrating HBWW again to a free host running WordPress. The reason is so that I can have full control over the site without having to pay just to be able to run my own CSS files or page skins. However, that would take a lot of time just to get the files over, and I wouldn’t be able to enable comments due to spam ( has a filter). I decided I will stick to for the foreseeable future; the default skins and themes look nice enough anyways, even if I can’t personalize it to be my own design. (Hey, saves me time even though I’ve acquired the skills for it through work.)

I’ve also been extremely stagnant on HBWW workshop stuff. There’s virtually no content on the workshop and I haven’t touched it in months. Still got guns to repair, including some blasters I got from a garage sale a few months ago. If something happens on the workshop that’s noteworthy, I will post about it here.

The Dead-Beat of the Off-Season

Like I said, not much has gone on, but we’re reaching that time of the year again. Even without all the forums, online posts, events, etc. I still feel it in my blood; the emergence of a new season, that time you know where it’s time to get started again. I can’t help but wonder if I’ll put more effort into this season and bring the level of activity back to where it was before, but I wonder this same thing every year, and it always ends up with the same response: We’ll see how it goes.

Haven’t touched anything needing repairs yet. Haven’t bothered with Project Soaking Trident either. I have a lot of free time now, but a lot of it is getting wasted away. Other times, I’m just busy with my other hobby: building roller coasters. =p It’s interesting how little changes in the end.

I may fire up Project Soaking Trident sometime. I should; it’s been too long since I’ve worked on it.