Introduction to Water Warfare

Water Warfare is, in it’s most simple form, a for-fun type of game revolved around the simple idea of blasting opponents with water, just as one would blast paintballs at others in paintball or blast foam at others in Nerf. It may be an organized game of capture the flag in the woods with demanding teamwork, or it may be a free for all soakfest in the backyard. It can be played in rain or shine, and players permitting, in the cold. It can be casual or competitive, from street soakfests to intense team competitions. Hits may be counted in a variety of ways, or not counted at all. In short, it is a versatile outdoor (and sometimes even indoor if you have the right place, such as a shelter or house under construction) activity that can be enjoyed by anyone who can pick up, pump, and shoot a water blaster.

Why water warfare?

  • Most convinient and accessible wargame.
  • Least expensive (compared to laser tag, Airsoft, or even Nerf which requires darts).
  • Low range of blasters demands closer range action, fast reflexes, and faster game pacing.
  • Presents a different kind of game with different tactics and combat style.
  • Can be played nearly anywhere outdoors.
  • Can be played by nearly anyone.
  • Varied equipment options to make things interesting. (Just as you have different motor vehicles in racing, so you have different water dispensing equipment in water warfare.)

Disadvantages of water warfare

  • Least appreciated and recognized activity, relative to comparable games.
  • Low range prohibits various long range tactics and makes combat more difficult.
  • Cannot be played in most indoor areas.
  • Water is heavy, making the setup of temporary supplying stations difficult.
  • Defining hits in organized games can be tricky and/or subjective.

Most Common Equipment Used in Water Warfare

  • Water blasters
  • Water balloons
  • Hoses/faucets
  • Water bottles
  • Buckets & large coolers or containers (for water and water balloon storage)
  • Improvised belts and clips for smaller blasters
  • Stock & improvised straps/slings for larger blasters
  • Improvised traps such as water bottle “mines” (concealed bottle with 2 holes where water shoots out when stepped on)
  • Backpacks (for equipment and/or water)
  • Homemades such as water blasters, cannons, and balloon launchers

Not all equipment is used in every situation. For example, sometimes hoses and faucets are not available in some playing areas. Improvised traps usually do not work effectively and are just for fun.

For more, see History of Water Warfare and Super Soaker Central: Introduction to Water Warfare

Blaster and Water Warfare Basics

Water blasters are typically classified into three categories.

  • Piston: Distinguished by the lack of a manual trigger; simplest
  • Air: The classic method of pressurization comes in two variations
  • CPS/Elastic: Other methods of holding pressure

For more details, see the Workshop section.

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