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.

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.

2v2’s of 2012

This is a combined report of two private events that went on earlier this summer. The first one took place up north on the weekend of June 2nd, and the second took place on July 1st. Both games were 2v2, with the first event consisting of soakfest and a single-sided assault game, while the second event consisted entirely of elimination.

Trip Up North

NEW! Super-HD SVG Version
Use ctrl-mousewheel to zoom into the HD goodness!

Objects on the map are colored according to actual appearance. Object borders’ thickness are based on object color and the object’s significance. Transparent green represents wooded area that leads to the edge of the playing area.

The games were quite short. Most of the gameplay took place in the backyard of the cottage, and partially to the lower part of the building all the way to the deck. Most of the time playing (not preparing) was spent to the soakfest. Everything was used, from stream machines to CPS’s and even water balloons. The lake made for a great, fast, clean, and reliable refilling source. A faucet was also present in the L-shaped inset of the house (at the lower-right corner of the building) near a tree (marked by the brown circle with green outline shown) Unfortunately, some vintage CPS’s were submerged in the lake to fill from it, which has probably accelerated the process of rusting on the metal parts inside. In any case, lots of good photos were captured during this game.

After that, we went with the assault game. The objective was for the attackers to grab a cup of water sitting on the dock and pour it out to the lake. (Originally, the cup was placed inland but was then moved from a later decision.) Lives were infinite, but since I didn’t want spawning to be too constricted, I made the mistake of making less strict spawning rules. (Specifically, attackers and defenders each had a valid spawn zone, where they could go back into play instantly as long as they were in the spawn zone and out of shooting range of any opponent. The rules were revised after the round ended, and we switched sides. However, we didn’t get to switch back and play again.

Overall, the playing area worked in its ways, albeit a lot of action was constrained into open area shootouts. The dock made for a dynamic, exciting, and slightly more dangerous playing area, and offered no way of dodging or retreat.

The Dinner Party

NEW! Super-HD SVG Version
Use ctrl-mousewheel to zoom into the HD goodness!

As with before, objects are colored by appearance. In addition, lightened and darkened areas indicate higher and lower elevation levels, respectively. This playing area had much more dynamic terrain than the previously shown map, which had considerable effects on gameplay. The shown map doesn’t do justice very well to the height dynamics, but give a rough idea of it. Heights varied to the point where large range advantage/disadvantage zones were created. For example, by standing on the deck in the backyard, one can fire streams that reach all the way to the left wall/edge of the house. The circular mulched area (to the upper-left corner of the house) contained some vegetation and made a great ambush spot.

The group for this game was quite different than before. At first, we did sidearms only, which involved two WW Hornets, a Max-D 2000, and two Max-D 3000’s. Later on however, one player of each team carried a CPS and optional sidearms. The CPS’s were too heavy for the other player of each team to use them since they were small kids.

Refilling was very restrictive during the games since the only option was to use a very leaky faucet with no proper nozzle. Eventually, one of the players went inside, got scissors, and cut up a .5L bottle to make a funnel for it, which greatly speeded up the refilling process. I also went inside to get screwdrivers in an attempt to fix a leaky 2500 nozzle selected, but never managed to make it work quite right.

We played many rounds of elimination throughout the day (probably at least 10 rounds), switching sides where one team would start at the left side of the house and the other at the right. I myself did not play very well until later on. A common scenario is where one team would stay at the lower-left corner of the house and the other team would take a high position on the deck, able to easily hit anyone who got too close to it. However, this didn’t happen all the time though, as a lot of action also took place at the front of the house. At one point, I got ambushed from the circular mulched area (upper-left hand corner of the house) after the game started becoming a matter of knowing where people were and making fast moves accordingly more than shooting and dodging in the open. I did manage to get an easy kill or two at the front of the house from using the cars as cover, but that didn’t last long due to how easy it was to see players through the cars.

It was not uncommon for me to camp for long periods of time later on, and then end up running halfway around the house to try to prepare a move, be it a surprise or ambush. It was the best chance everyone had to make hits, along with ensuring that their teammate knows what to do. At one point, the opposing team was on the deck, maintaining control of the area and holding back my teammate. I managed to be able to use this opportunity to sprint all the way around the house to the right side of the deck and eliminate both players before they could react, although I almost misssed due to the short range of the 4100’s drilled-out riot blast I used.

Overall, it was an interesting game that required adaptivity to the unique terrain as well as finding and taking advantages of weaknesses in opponents’ thinking.

War Report: Two-Day Event

This was quite probably the most unique event HBWW has hosted. The event spans two days and I even got a video of it which I never finished editing. (But will post immediately once it’s done.)


:: Map ::
Image

:: Report in a Nutshell ::
> Games Played <
Day 1: 2-Tier Assault, 1HK elimination
Day 2: 1HK elimination, 2-flag CTF
Water Weaponry: Everything except WBL’s

:: Intro ::
Every once in a while, HBWW will do something to shift the way our water wars are done, and this particular event represents quite a few differences from what we typically do. The main change here is my insistence on getting in war footage, so I got a webcam that I sat inside on a window and bagged up my $200+ digital camera to take footage on the field. No group pictures or anything were taken, but quite a few good skirmishes were captured. At an earlier event this year, I also hooked up a computer and monitor and displayed a map to the backyard door for convenience, which I did again for this event.

:: Day 1 ::
6/26/2011, 14:00-18:00 (official event time), 4 players, HBWW standard neighborhood area.

Our base setup is pretty typical; I have homemades and WBL’s crowded in one place and stock blasters nearby. Following is a manifest of the equipment I brought out:

Blasters and Equipment:
CPS: (3) splashzooka, 10k, 12k yellow, 12k silver, 2000, 2100, 2500, 2700, 4100
WW: Orca, Tiger Shark, Vindicator
Max-D: 2000, (2) 3000, 6000 (+1 6000 brought by participant), XP 270, SC 400, Flash Flood, Oozinator, S750
CPH, P312, P323 (WBL’s)
(2) VHS
Blast Shield (sled), Large Bubble-Wrap, Large Blue Tarp (all legal shields but were not used on Day 1)
and lots of .5L bottles, water containers, water balloon holding canisters, etc.

Today, the VHS setup was slightly different than before. To fill the Splashzookas and SC 400, a small adapter is needed, but a QFD can also be attached directly. However, the QFD approach had problems later with sealing.

3 other participants showed up and we played 2v2 games for the most part as no one wanted to play FFA. I loaded up with my yellow 12k and MD2k, and grabbed a water bottle or two but rarely, if ever, used it. We started off with a 2-phase assault game. The objective of the first phase was to fill up two apple juice containers with water using any means necessary, with one container placed on the north side of Lone Pine and another placed to the west side (garage doors) of HQ. The assault team would loose if they ran out of water before achieving all objectives. Assault team spawns outside the base at Pines South, and defense spawns at the base. (Back area of HQ) The second phase was 1-flag CTF where the attacking team takes over the base defense was operating at first phase, and the defending team falls back to the front of the house. The flag was located at Island, and the attacking team would operate on a time limit to capture it.

Surely enough, the game did not go according to plan, mostly since the rules were not made all that clear, and that no one has actually tried playing it. Also, we were constantly having to restart the game to fine-tune the rules. In particular, I found that instant spawning does NOT work well for defense, only for attackers. There were issues with instant spawn points acting as invincible zones that were placed in range of the objectives. Needless to day, I was not thinking very carefully when positioning them.

The games themselves however, were still fun. Many intense fights occured, with shots being exchanged between trees. Most of the fights took place along the tree group containing the Fruit Trees as well as between 5-bush.

That said, a lot of confusion happened as to the state of the objectives and how filled they were, and in the end the flag was captured without even switching phases. There were also consistency issues with hit rules, which were too vaguely defined. The best example of this is when I ran by one of our objectives where both attackers were filling up. I shot both but both said it wasn’t a kill. However, we later resolved this issue and it was not present on the second day nor in later games on the first day.

The verdict: Keep the phases together, keep defense at the same spawn point set between phases, keep defense on a spawn-interval basis, and make clear the need to declare an objective as captured. Also look into allowing defense to steal/empty objectives before they are filled up. Also, leave hit rules to allow for lesser amounts of water to make a kill.

We continued trying this game out for a while. Sometime along, we fill up several water balloons, some for defense and some for offense. The whole process of everything combined: water balloon fillings, rule adjustments, confusion, etc. was so drawn out that we never switched sides for attack and defense.

One of the most memorable moments was when I was behind a pine tree while the two attackers were near their spawn. I took out a water balloon and was thinking about how to throw it, then I quickly tossed it and fired off the 12k immediately after. The target player tried to catch it but missed, and during that time was shot up. Point taken: water balloons are still useful and work excellently as a multi-tier distraction/attack. The engagements that took place along 5-bush were less successful for me.

Other engagements took place in the open, right at the back of HQ. One of them was where both teams attacked in the open, firing shots and tossing balloons, with neither side able to get a kill on the other.

We did eventually switch teams around and then played elimination, which used up much more space on the map resulting in many of the fights happening off-camera. Most of these rounds happened cleanly with little or no problems.

The weather varied slightly during the game, with ever changing wind patterns and going from cloudy to sunny. Nothing dramatic, like rain nor strong winds, happened though. Equipment worked well and was in good condition for the day as well.

Afterwards, we all agreed that we should run a Day 2 to try to get more people to attend.

:: Day 2 ::
6/27/2011, 14:00-18:00 (official event time), 9 players, HBWW standard neighborhood area.

At first, Day 2 was looking to be pretty bleak, being stuck with 2v2 and up to 3v3 again. Out of the 34 I invited, few RSVP’d as attending. 4 RSVP’d to the Facebook event and 2 others said (via chat) that they’d attend, with one of those chatters dropping out at the last minute. Another friend who attended yesterday also dropped out, and things were looking to be an absolute mess.

To my surprise, it was quite the opposite. A friend who attended yesterday brought along 3 of his friends over, and at least 2-3 unexpecteds showed up. We ended up with 9 players and eventually splitting off into 5v4.

Before we did that however, it was time for some shenanigsns with the water balloon launcher. The guy who brought his friends over insisted that we fired off some more balloons so we did. Some even volunteered to be human test targets, which had ridiculous and hilarious consequences. No one was seriously injured though.

Later on we made two attempts to start off a game with the 5 or so of us, but then the last participants started showing up just after the games began. We cancelled that and filled up, then finally got started.

We played several elimination rounds which again, took place all over the playing area. However, the starting points took place with one between Lone Pine and Bush Line, and the other on HQ’s driveway. Regardless, a lot of fights happened around the Church near Pines North, Tall Trees North, and even to the Front of the Church. I used a variety of different water blasters today. I started off with my CPH and then later decided to go super-light and switched to the 270. It was unfortunate that it still leaked from the cap, or I would’ve used the Tiger Shark or MD6k that time.

My most memorable moment amist our games happened at the east end of the Church. I ran up to the corner of the back wall and peeked around down the east wall and to the front. The same guy I got with the water balloon combo attack yesterday was stationed around the outer wall and dealing with targets at the front of the Church. I patiently stayed behind the wall, watching him closely and waited for the moment when he’d run out of there. At one point, I thought he saw me, but this was not the case, so I stayed where I was. Finally, he runs out to the front of the Church, and I dashed as quickly as I could across the east side of the Church and hid behind the corner of the way. When my nemesis finally required, I blasted him in the back with the 270 which was a huge surprise for him as well as for his teammate, who was just outside away from the wall to the north of Tall Trees North. Unfortunately, I did not expect him and was not able to make a kill. (He had a 12k or something, so there was no way I’d get in range to make a kill safely with a 270.) I continued hiding behind the wall, but another opponent closed in from just slightly to the south. They had me cornered and I had nowhere to run, so I eventually dashed out from behind the wall, across the front of the Church, and ran all the way to Pines North to regroup. We went out of the southwest side of the Church, and there was an opponent lying prone in the middle-west of the ditch just where the terrain started to level off. He had a 2000 but was a sitting duck, so our team moved around to engage. Unfortunately, I got too close and was shot with several large droplets to the face without getting a kill, but the rest of the team finished him off. The rest of the match was mostly a stalemate and very little occurred. I can’t even remember exactly how it ended.

Later, I switched back to the CPH, and we switch to CTF (1HK infinite lives, 30-second interval respawn; front side spawns at HQ’s front door and back side at HQ’s back door) with one base at the back of HQ and another at the front, setup where the VHS’s were. The flag for the backside was located at a tree stump just slightly to the west of Lone Pine. The flag for the frontside was located at the very center of the 2-tree Island. My team was stationed at the front and the opposing team at the back. Sometime along, the bladder on my CPH shot off while I was at the east end of HQ, which happened during the game so I had to make a run for the nearest blaster around; a 4100 sitting on the grass on the east side of Lone Pine. I got shot out after I grabbed it though, but it was worth having an extra blaster around. Overall, the game was fun but there were some messy issues. No one declared when they picked up the flag or dropped it, and eventually both flags disappeared. Supposedly, we scored in the end though, but I can’t remember it clearly. I do remember however, one of my teammates capturing the back hose and driving out the opposing team to their spawns.

The second round was more interesting, as the opposing team complained about balance; they had one less player and were getting absolutely creamed. They proposed that their flag be moved all the way to the back of the Church, which they placed on top of a plastic storage box which can be barely seen on the map. (It appears just to the west of the L-shaped concrete pathway with the two grills, as a small grey square placed directly with its back to the building’s south wall.)

We agreed to this proposal, and their defeat was just as humiliating as the first, though took a bit more effort. I used more different blasters this round than I did before, but used the 2500 for the most park. My teammate who captured the hose the first time did so again, but we lost control of it after we were shot out by the opposing team waiting to spawn. Spawn camping is not all that easy because it is not clear when the player is in which allows them to fire at you. However, we eventually regained control of the back side again. Our defending players (2 out of our team of 5) did not have any issues either but despite that, we left them with a hose and a CPS while we attacked.

There were two incidents when I attacked those who guarded the flag, both of which failed. One of the guards was carring a 2000 while I was using a 2500, making things tricky. However, eventually they were eliminated and I made a dash for the flag, carrying it all the way down to Fruit Trees, the driveway, and to our flag at Island. Another glorious flag scoring was made.

We were pretty much done at this point, and most people left except for two others, so we did several rounds of 3-player FFA elimination. The three Splashzookas were great for this, so we each grabbed one and declared no-refilling between the first few rounds. All other blasters and both hoses were off limits, and we strictly limited the playing area. The limits however, were too strict and we ended up expanding to allow the front of the house instead of just the backyard. The fights were fast and intense, and most rounds were finished in a few minutes, some in seconds. Spawn points were scattered around the playing area and were alternated between players.

At one point, I nearly went prone and crawled quietly near the foliage on the east side of HQ. I saw someone approach behind me through the foliage but was not sure if he saw me, and I was caught in a small area worried that someone would be ahead. I mis-judged the opponent’s distance, and as I was going to make a break for the backyard, he charged up and eliminated me.

Day 2 was a lot more lively and fun than Day 1, but unfortunately, we ran into several equipment issues during Day 2, some caused by bad luck and others caused by carelessness.

CPH: Bladder detatched, may need to trim LRT. On the plus side, the bladder seems to be fully intact.
2700: Trigger repair broke. Also needs a K-mod.
12k (silver): Pump handle broke off.
XP 270: Cap leak.
Vindicator: Stiff trigger. Seems to be fine now, but lubrication would be a good idea.

There’s also a red S750 and yellow/green MD2k that had problems from before, both of which went through numerous attempts to be fixed with epoxy, but such fixes never lasted. These blasters were brought out to the war, but were not listed above and were not used after Day 1.

Clean up was a real pain as well. In particular, the long hose at the front was improperly wrapped up after Day 1, so I had to spend 45 minutes untangling it. This also caused a problem for us during the CTF game, where the hose would not extend far enough for us to attack the back of HQ with it. After the hose was wrapped up, clean-up went more smoothly than before thanks to experience from previous wars.

Nonetheless, the two days were eventful, well run, well played, and a lot of fun for everyone. (Especially everyone else who doesn’t have to clean up nor repair all that equipment, haha.) Not sure what our plans are for next time, but it’ll be interesting. One of my neighbor-friends who lives at the house designated as Base-T returns from a trip soon, in just over a week, and we may organize our 2-base wars again sometime after he returns.

I collected video footage for both days, with a webcam setup indoors to record 3 hours of footage and with a digital camera I used to record during elimination games. Both days gathered up about 3 hours of footage to clean up and edit, and it will be available when I’m done with it.

:: Conclusion ::
Strongly encouraging friends to invite their friends helps a lot, and may help solve attendance issues. Games need to be much better thought out and need better ways to explain their rules. Most gametypes need to be setup on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the number of players and the location being played, as well as consider the range of water weaponry seriously before placing down objectives. Also, the faster and more seamless a multi-phase game can be played, the better. Switching spawn points, if necessary, needs to be done quickly and as seamlessly as possible. Most important is to be flexible and allow players to make decisions/amendments to rules when things don’t go as planned. This was a strong point for us on both days to avoid excessively rigid gameplay and to avoid frustrating players. However, we also need to require players to loudly declare when they make changes to the state of an objective.

The CPH worked surprisingly well while it lasted. Needs a bit more power to the stream at times, particularly when windy, but it worked well overall and I got some kills with it. The new pump I made from last time still works fairly well, and the PC case holds up. This is the first time I’ve used a homemade extensively in a water war without problems, and the bladder shot-off was mostly the result of having never tightened the clamps in a long time.

War Report: Season Starter Skirmish (2011)

This is the first war of 2011; went quite well and new games were experimented with.


Location: Troy, MI

Attendance: 3-4 Players

Games played:
> 1-flag CTF
> 1-target Soakn’ Dunk
> 1HK elimination
> Soakfest
> Epic WBL target practice

I was in a real rush after I woke up again; had to setup the base and move all the water guns downstairs and out the backyard. This time I also hooked up a computer by a window to show the official 2011 HBWW game map and hooked up another computer to blast music, with a stereo system’s speakers pointed at an open window. However, I later decided against this and shut the windows to avoid accidents. The day before, I was scrambling to get water guns repaired and to make the new pump work. So far, no problems, but the CPH was not cooperating; the pump kept bouncing (air trapped between pump seal and water, happens all the time for backpack based blasters) which was incredibly annoying, and I stopped using it eventually.

Only one of my friends showed up first and it took about 1 and a half hours for #2 to show up. After that we did some FFA skirmishes; 1HK elimination and attempted a few single-sided games where one player takes turns defending, but nothing worked out so I didn’t bother anymore. We did another elimination round and broke off into a soakfest.

After that we moved to target practice. We shot about 10-20 balloons from the PWN323MB and PWN312BS. One of the shots was targeted for the playground (see map). I fired at 40 PSI but it went much farther than I expected and nearly hit Base-T. It landed on the patio of the house and was less than a foot from hitting the wall.

We did a next series of shots with targets spaced out after. Very difficult to hit and we didn’t get even close to many of them. The launchers generally performed surprisingly well today, and many shots tended to go too far instead of too short. We also only had one in 10 balloons or less burst before exiting the barrel. There were only one or two shots that failed today. Performance decreased as the sabots for the 312 wore out, and some shots curved pretty badly as a result. We also fired two shotgunned shots, w/ four balloons each stacked up. Amazing stuff, despite being very inaccurate. Sometime along, one of the shots I fired hit the back wall of the church flat on, and afterwards, someone else fired a shot that well directly over the church.

After that, I took a last shot at the driveway of HQ and fired a balloon to the park (way off-map) which was about 400-500ft away. I don’t know how far it went into the park, but I know there were people playing baseball there who would’ve seen the shot land, which we never found. After that, someone else arrived and we did some 2v2 games. We didn’t do 1HK elimination but we went directly to assault/defend games. We tried 1-flag CTF at first but switched to single-sided Soakn’ Dunk.

Soakn’ Dunk is really just a variant Soakn’ Destroy with a completely new type of objective we invented on the spot: the Ball and Container objective. Earlier, someone wanted to fire a tennis ball from the 323 so we did just that, and the ball was later used as part of the objective for the game we played.

Here’s how the Ball and Container worked: We had a medium-large sized cooler and to score, one has to open the cooler and get the ball inside. Once opened, the cooler may not be closed again by the defending team, and when hit, the person carrying the ball may choose to leave the ball in the area (which defense, again, cannot touch), or may choose to bring it back and try to toss it into the cooler. Time limit per round was 2:30 at first but was moved to 3:30 later. Since I only had two watches, we had one Wait Spawn Point for defense at the base near the cooler, with a spawning interval of 10 seconds. Assault got an Instant Spawn Point well outside the base slightly to the northwest of the fruit trees area. (No mines were placed so ignore those.)

This was a tricky game that needs some fine-tuning. We allowed defense to use one hose and consequentially, no one was able to score. Also, the pressure in the 10k got stuck yet again and I had to unscrew it and pull the valve manually afterwards. I will eventually make a better solution for that as several other water guns need it too. In addition, the trigger for the 2500 somehow broke again, which I’ll also have to take care of as it’s not even mine.

Didn’t do much after the war, just hung around. As usual, no pictures; I already have too much to worry about without having to get a camera out and about.

To do:
– Write-up on new pump solution, and perhaps see how long it’ll last.
– Add Ball and Cooler objective and specify games.
– Fix crap.
– Strange new idea: Basketball and Net objective; a merger of two sports!
– Fix more crap.
– Expand further on games that are friendly to 3, 4, and 5 players.
– Did I mention, fix crap?

Will repost this to other places later, depending how busy/lazy I am.

Edit: Dunk n’ Destroy renamed to Soakn’ Dunk.

Edit: More details:

Skirmish Elimination: First match we did, hoses were only allowed for refilling. Game was 3-player FFA. For the most part, I ran across the battlefield for a good portion of the game in trying to avoid being targeted so that the other 2 players would eliminate one or both of each other. This worked out initially, as I spawned to the north of Fruit Trees and just south of Pines. After a lot of running about, I met up with one of the players and exchanged a few far-ranged shots intended to keep distance. Later, I charged all the way to the Front of Base-T to loose him, before the other player took him out. After that, I lost the last engagement w/ the remaining player, which took place to the north of the Playground and close to the Tall Trees. Anyway, I used a CPS 2k with MD2k sidearm.

Skirmish Elimination (Hoses Allowed): Allowing hoses didn’t change too much, except for when I made an ill-timed charge to shut off one of them and got hit before it happened. A similar incident happened later in Soakn’ Dunk, but I successfully shut down the hose the moment I was hit. Before that, I also ran about the area and tried to stay hidden while observing the action, but later someone charged me so I ran out from the Bush Line (where I started that round) and ran from south between the two off-limits houses and my demise took place at HQ’s Front hose instead of near Base-T. For this round, I used a 12k and Flash Flood instead of the 2k. I dropped the FF at one point after firing off a shot and got it quite messy.

After this, we broke off into a soakfest. Nothing unusual, just people running around with hoses, and me running around with my 12k and a shield.

In the middle of all this, we attempted a different single-sided soakfest game. One player gets all the guns and both hoses, and the other two have 30 seconds to try to score a hit using water containers only. I said water bottles only, but I was hit quickly with a water balloon canister (large drink cup w/ hook for putting on a belt) shortly after the round started. The idea was to alternate defending players, but I quickly gave up on this game, and the 4th player joined us anyway while we were shooting water balloons.

1-flag CTF: Spawn rules needed adjustment and made this game extensively difficult for the attacking team. After the first round where neither team scored, I adjusted the rules and changed the objective to the Ball and Cooler.

Soakn’ Dunk: 2v2. Initially, we gave defense a 15-second spawning time. They lost miserably since they didn’t use the one hose they were allowed to until I made note of it later, and we reduced their spawn time to 10 seconds. The main difference however, is that they made use of their hose, which neither team could score against while attacking. At one point, I shut the hose off, but it got re-activated later. At another point, I was suppressed behind one of the tall bushes as the hose rained down, and to my dismay, I was stuck there as my 12k shots could not get a kill. The hose guy couldn’t and didn’t get me either, based on the rules we went with. However, when it was our turn to defend, I switched places with same guy I was dealing with in the previous round; I was at the hose and he was behind the bush. However, that time, I charged after him (he wasn’t carrying anything with decent range) and drove him out. I’d say we did a bit better attacking than the other team, as my teammate managed to get the Cooler open, but it fell shut again as he did the job in haste.

Overall, a fairly fun small event but as happens too often, I couldn’t get enough people to attend so we did what we could. General rule of thumb is to expect no more than 1/3 of those you invite to show up, but in this case 1/5 or less is a much more accurate figure. Also, if you schedule a war at 2:00pm, be prepared for most of those who would actually show up to show up after 3:00 or 4:00. Extremely annoying, but nothing unusual.

War Report: The Flack Attack

This is the second war report of 2010 as written in the forum thread:
http://forums.sscentral.org/showthread.php?t=6264


The war I had on July 19th, was considerably more interesting but also a lot shorter, only lasting for 2-3 hours. Of course, since I never did a report on the season opener, I remember much more from this particular war. This time, the war was for one of my friends who moved to Tennessee last year, but came back to visit Michigan for a week this summer. But as usual, people came late and with the first two who arrived, I demo’d some water guns, equipment, etc. and they assisted me as I tied a basketball hoop string into a sled to use as a handle. We had a somewhat decent riot shield working, but it was difficult to handle and still nearly impossible to pump a water gun while holding it.

No matter though, as we started with elimination FFA and later, infection after more people arrived, and no one used riot shields that time. The FFA was rather interesting and turned into a series of mind games; people daring each other to make the next move. Of course, the last survivor of such matches tends to be the one that hides the most, and such was the case here. After the match, was infection. The alpha zombie had never played before and was expected to charge through enourmous waterpower for the first time, but due to how badly the base was setup and the lack of more players, the survivors were overwhelmed quite quickly.

We skipped 1-flag CTF and assault for the time being as a lot more people arrived. We had enough for 5v5 and it was a perfect setup for none other than CTF. To my surprise, I was able to explain the spawn rules and people followed them relatively well without much trouble, so we went ahead and played several rounds. The first round we lost, but we scored on the next two rounds, with me making the last score. While other members of my team would act as runners and took very small, low ranged soakers, I made the capture while carrying my 12k, a .5L bottle, and a Max-D 2k. Using waterpower in a smart manner was necessary to assaulting their base, and eliminating key players defending the flag was also very important, especially the person who was using the hose.

We used a base to base setup around my house, with the front hose being the front base and the backyard + hose being the back base. Red team was in the front and blue team, my team, was in the back. The front’s hose could extend to great lengths so their flag was farther away. We, blue team, originally had out flag behind cover but it was too far away from our spawn/hose so we ended up moving it slightly closer. The front’s hose was long enough; I even told them they could conduct assaults on our flag with it, which caused us to loose (or almost loose) one round as I was eliminated when their hose user moved up with the riot shield. However, their hose was often vulnerable to be shut off, though when I made our last capture, I simply managed to eliminate the hose user without shutting off the hose. Of course, water balloons were also helpful to our scorings as some of our team members successfully made some eliminations with carefully thrown water balloons on unsuspecting enemy targets. We would simply fill up and tie one balloon a time and do that between rounds so there were never any caches around for the enemy to take and the time it took to fill and tie a balloon wouldn’t interrupt with gameplay.

The fourth round got messy. Our flags were placed on blue buckets and red team decided to hide their flag under the buckets. One of our runners ended up taking the bucket without knowing where the flag was, but the enemy team never managed to make a complete capture either. They considered their flag hiding fair after we threw water balloons on them, though they never even asked for balloons and they even had a 6th member on their team after another person arrived very late. The 4th match ended up in a stalemate; we ended it early before any caps were made, so blue team officially won anyways.

Next up, soakmatch, or deathmatch to put it in more elegant terms. The rules were the same as CTF without the flags except everytime a player spawned, he had to mark a tally on a nearby sheet. We also had a 10 minute time limit.

Tactics changed considerably on this round. Without the use of having runners, I had to ensure my team was armed properly despite the relative lack of good CPS’s around. I stuck to my trusty 12k and went along. Supposedly we made quite a few kills, at least 10 or so total, but it was hard to count. We got around 6-9 deaths most of which were from me. When the time limit expired, I gathered up the enemy’s tally sheet and showed it to our team. Instead of tallying, they drew a Pikachu on it, captioned with “pika pika pikachu” and so I proceeded to count how many lines it was drawn with. I think that resulted in an official count of at least 30 deaths for them. Also, their spawn point was at the front door, where I placed a sign telling people not to go inside. The things that red team drew on that sign were far more questionable than what they drew on the tally sheet.

After that, we degenerate into a soakfest again, as tradition demands. I got hosed down again and the riot shield didn’t help a lot either. I also went with a heavy loadout; 2700 + FF. I dropped the MD2k and went with two water bottles. After that Cedar Point trip where I had to carry 4 bottles of drinking water, I decided to slim down the bottle loadout on water wars and I think it helped considerably. Nonetheless, the 2700 + FF was disappointing to use against the hose users. I seldom got a good Flood shot at them and the volume outputted was nothing compared to the hose. I got a few semi-decent 2700 full-shots in though, but it was still not quite that much. Later, while some friends stop soaking and just hang around, I filled up a water balloon with my FF, grabbed the riot shield again, and proceeded to imitate the Mauler from Gears of War 2. It was pretty hilarious but would’ve been better if the water balloon I had had a long neck that would allow it to be swung around more easily.

At the end, my friend from TN left his shoes at blue base, so his friend drove him back. He grabs the shoes and then we proceeded to use my last can of Bio-Ooze on the other guy’s car. Here’s a picture after the Oozinator went in action, and I’ll leave you guys with that.


Congratulations, Hasbro!

War Report: Season Opener of 2010

The war report was written almost a month after it happened, so not surprisingly, it is quite short.

Full forum post here:
http://forums.sscentral.org/showthread.php?t=6264


Our season opener this year was on May 30th. Since my parents weren’t home, I put up quite some big plans but a lot of them didn’t quite follow through. Nonetheless, we did end up having quite a number of games despite relatively poor turnout. On average, there were almost always 5 players at a time since people kept leaving and coming, but the average seldom changed from 5 players.

So with that, we played a good mix of defense/assault games. Infection and 1-flag CTF were the main games. Infection went fairly interestingly; one time I was infected and charged into the base with the sled as a riot shield, scoring a kill along the way. On the team based defense games, I, being on the smaller team, nerfed a lot of factors for the larger team, such as giving them more strict time limits, etc. It didn’t work out that nicely, but we still played and it was quite fun. Later, we degenerate things into a soakfest and I ended up drenched after getting hosed down. People were carrying dual VHS’s and leaving the valves open for a double torrential downpour of high pressured tap water. Even with a shield and large plastic tarp, I didn’t stand much of a chance. Later, I manage to shut down the hoses and get some good shots at those who wielded them. I used my 12k for most of that day.

Later, we go inside and take a break, eat, etc. Parent’s weren’t home so we goofed around quite a bit. I got a video of it too but it’s not around right now. (Only of the goofing around, not the water wars.) After some more people came over, we waited until it got dark enough for nighttime wars.

We played two rounds of elimination. It was, again, 2v3 and I was on the team of two. However, we had the advantage of my friend’s base which has plenty of vegetation. It wasn’t pitch black dark yet, but it was definitely dark enough to help with concealment considerably which you can never get enough of on a battlefield like mine. We lost the first round but won the second by waiting; camping for the enemy team to come. When they did, I was able to make a few kills by charging out and attacking those who were persuing my teammate, and we won with me as the last one alive.

Unfortunately, it had to end there. Misquitos were getting very bad and I didn’t pull out the bugspray, so people didn’t want to play anymore. We ended up going back inside and everyone left shortly after. (Except a friend who stayed around for a bit.)

War Report: Operation Soaking Thunder

The report resides in a post on iSoaker yet again, telling of another story of what happens when wars aren’t organized properly; when the wrong people are invited and when the game rules are not set intuitively. After some games in 2010 and 2011, I’ve come to realize that the problem also partially had to with how I tried to run the games, not just with the one person I invited.

http://www.isoaker.net/isnet/topic3918.html#p34040

War Report: 2009 Season Opener

This was a fairly typical war from 2009. It went quite well.


Quick Ratings:

Attendance: ***
6 of 12 of those who said they’d come came.

Gameplay Quality: *****
Many new games worked out well in a small group. Particuarly notable is zombies. Games ran well and were fun to play

Variety of Games: *****
Zombies, assault, team and FFA elimination games.

Player Behavior: *****
Players were very helpful and cooperative. (wow, I sound like a teacher now)

Pre-Planning: ****
Planning was not perfect; lots of stuff was taken out in anticipation of more players, making for very tedious cleanup.

Weather: ****
Sunny, occasional clouds, 86°-93° F
One person got sunburned. The only relief from the sun was to get blasted.

Armory/available blasters + Equipment:
CPS 1000, (2) 1200, 2000, 2100 (whose trigger broke again pretty soon), 2500, 2700, 4100
Max-D 2000, (2) 3000, 5000, 6000
XP 70 (new)
SC 400
WW Tiger Shark, WW Orca
(1, then 3) Flash Flood, Oozinator
CPH (Constant Pressure Homemade)
Douchenator WBL (Water Balloon Launcher, never used in war due to lack of players)
Assortment of off-brand piston pump and squirt guns
Assortment of water bottles – .5L and 2L
Water balloons (which were never used except to shoot from the launcher for fun)

Personal Notes: Flexibility is king; gametypes must adapt if fewer than expected number of players show up, spawn points are hardly ever as planned, etc. Don’t be afraid to think of new gametypes while playing, but don’t expect them to be terribly well-refined. And get a freaking case on that CPH’s pressure tubes!

In the morning: Pre-war

I woke up at 09:0, which is earlier than usual. I immediately got down to eat, then went to setup at around 10:00. The directions were posted to direct all guests to the backyard and avoid the new grass growing, and hoses were dragged out to the backyard on the pavement. The 3 B’s of our water wars: Blasters, Balloons, and Bottles, were dragged downstairs from my room and outside. The pavement provided relief from excessive dirt that comes up when guns are sitting around. Things were going smoothly until I had a little issue.

For those who don’t know, I built a specialized hose attachment for filling super chargers, regular blasters, and shooting. All 3 functions are able to be switched around just by flipping valves. Specifically, this.
The nipple that goes from the main valve to the nozzle was metal. Recently, I switched out some parts so that the whole system was T-shaped instead of being a single line, so the flow from the hose to the nozzle is direct, and so it’s easier to fill SC’s. I replaced the metal nipples with PVC ones, but their manufacturing was not of the highest quality, meaning my nozzles couldn’t tighten onto their threads properly. (the nozzles had no problems with other male NPT threads) So I go to shoot it and the pressure release was very sudden and blew off the nozzle. It landed on top of a pine tree and I couldn’t reach it so I wanted to blast it off. I took the other hose, with which I was sure that the nozzle was securely fastened, and again, the nozzle blows off into the tree. Pissed off, I go inside and retrieve a 2-3ft piece of CPVC, and back out. I recover the first nozzle and spent 30 minutes in the burning sun searching for the other one. (I haven’t found it yet) Finally, I put the nozzle I found back inside and replace the hoses’ nozzles with drilled endcaps. (which stayed on pretty well) I was planning on switching the connection back to the metal nipples, but won’t do it until I find the missing nozzle.

Pissed, tired, and sweating, I moved on and prepared everything else I needed to. The back door became the way to access stuff like drinking water, a pair of pliers, and even my cell phone. The step under the door was my seat. Later, I spent maybe 10 or 20 minutes setting up mines: the classic water bottle mines with 2 drilled holes and concealed with grass ripped out of the ground. They’re not terribly useful, but sure are amusing to surprise people with.

Afternoon: 13:00

The first 3 people arrive rather quickly and fairly on time. Jerry, Matt, and Frank came and hung around in the back while we waited for other people. Perhaps 10 minutes later, I start calling them. Perhaps 3 or 4 don’t answer or say they’re not coming, while 3 or 4 others said they’d show up later. (only 2 of them did) Faisal came and we started a light weapons only FFA elimination game consisting of 2 rounds with all of us 5. At first, I moved slowing from tree to tree, dual wielding a pair of Max-D 3000’s and with a Max-D 2000 in my pocket. Most of the shots I fired were to keep people away, but the elimination process was going through quickly. I was almost eliminated one time, hit with a few droplets. I managed to retreat while the others eliminated each other. Then Faisal comes out, firing a long shot from his Max-D 6000 that completely missed as I pulse-fired my 3000’s at him. On the second round, I ran all the way along a long (but stealthy) route to the other base to attack from there. It was useless, only giving people time to eliminate each other, and wasted a lot of energy. I got back to the base and got to the pine tree before anyone knew I was there. Only Faisal was alive, and was looking for me. He notices me behind the tree and I end up guarding both sides of the tree w/ each gun. end up in the same position as before; me and Faisal ready to attack each other. This time, the reverse happens: I miss most of my pulses and he unloads a full shot at me. The light weapons only rule put an interesting twist on the fight, allowing for faster action, dual wielding antics, and all sorts of fun. (and no hose whoring)

After these 2 rounds, we went into teams. Me and Faisal vs. Jerry, Frank, and Matt. Base to base. Our new kill rules were almost implied without actually saying them. If you’re hit with just a few droplets the first time, you can get away. The next few droplets and you’re out. (which will now become our standard kill rule since our combat always creates a clear distinction between a few droplets and a good shot. This time, me and Faisal take the initiative rather than the funny camp n’ ambush plan I was thinking of. We move up along the line of trees while the other team does the same. Unfortunately, some people spotted me as I moved up ahead while they were still far away. It ended up in a few cat-mouse chases – someone always had to focus on one player but be wary of another one who may charge in. Here, I got some kills off 2 people who came too close. On one of them, Matt was close to the line of bushes, in range to attack. We fired at each other at roughly the same time, then I dodge into the tree. (dodging into cover works very well in Nerf) Matt did not dodge the other one. Later, I went back and apparently Faisal was eliminated by Jerry. We exchanged tap shots while I hid through the trees and Jerry was in the open. Eventually, I got a good shot in and won. On the next round, it was the same process of attacking through the trees but went much faster. Faisal eliminated the majority of the team this time, then ran out from behind a bush. I fired at someone at the other team who was already eliminated, then accidently shot at Faisal, but the round already ended.

Next up was CTF soakfest. I could not answer the question of how to wrestle over the flag, which was asked about a dozen times (we should’ve done respawn instead since there weren’t a lot of people, just 2v3 like before), but we go ahead and play. The rule here is simple: if you’re hit, drop the flag if you’re carrying it. I stated no rules on any other actions with the flag. Starting off, I told Faisal to go for it while I held off Jerry. I tease him with a few shots but he doesn’t fire back, just waits patiently for something to get my attention. He wouldn’t even try to run around and go for it. Later, Faisal comes back from having trouble getting the flag. I told him to watch Jerry (which he does for long enough) as I went in to get the flag. Matt and Frank were defending it, but I managed to grab it and get it a few feet before getting shot. I fired back to keep them out a bit, then, while they weren’t shooting, I kicked the flag forewards again and again. It took some time, but I eventually managed to grab it and run halfway across the field before getting hit by Jerry. I kicked it some more, passed it to Faisal, then drove Jerry off. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well since Faisal wasn’t sure where to score, then I stated that he’d need both flags. However, it was too late, Jerry already took the flag out as we return to the base to capture, so we ended up with a simple flag switch. Rather than finishing the game, we ended it there, and won since we got the flag sooner.

After this, we take a small break and shoot off some water balloons from the Douchenator. We tried to shoot one to Boulan Park but I couldn’t get it to happen; at 60 PSI, 1 balloon, and 45°, it only went out about 200ft or so. After this, Frank leaves.

Later on, Eddie arrives, bringing his little brother, Kenny. They brought a pair of Flash Floods along. We filled and got ready, then started 2 rounds of the most epic game of the war: Zombies. On the first round, Faisal was the alpha (first) zombie. The humans were to gather in the base, armed as much as possible with 2 hoses and CPS’s, while the alpha zombie merely gets the ooze function of the Oozinator and has to move out of the area. It was rather funny watching people trying to fill up the Oozinator, only to find that they couldn’t pump because I removed the cap. (some of those cap stoppers can be slipped out, so I did that and left the cap inside. We started and not too long after, Matt becomes infected. Me, Eddie, and others start backing out of the base, going more mobile and running around. Eventually, I manage to get away and run to the front of the church. (which is behind the church from the base) Later, I saw Eddie there, startled a bit that it was another zombie. He was hiding there and waited for the others to pursue. The others had already been infected and only Eddie and I were still human. He waits in the area too long as I cowardly run away. I ran all the way to Frank’s house, ignoring the fact that my new sandals were rubbing the skin on my foot right off and hurting it like hell. I finally make it and hide there for a long time. Eventually, I hear people calling out for me, stating that I won and that the round was over. I stay there anyway, hoping they’d pursue and try to attack. They don’t, so I return to the base.

The next round was longer and more difficult. As the survivor of the last round, I was the alpha for this one. I made little effort to avoid getting shot at, since it was 92° out anyways. However, everyone stayed put in the base and seldom strayed from the safety of the 2 hoses. I was constantly getting hit with the house this round, from the few droplets while in cover, to full face shots while charging through. I could’ve tripped over all the equipment all over the place as well but safely made it through. My glasses really saved my eyes from the wrath of the hoses, but didn’t stop the blinding effect when water fills them up. This threw off my shots somewhat, and I belive the hose users were also dodging them. Finally, I charge at Matt and turn him into a zombie. Later, we got Jerry, but had trouble getting Eddie and Faisal. We must’ve made at least 5 or 6 charges into the base only to get hosed in the face again and again, and then I tried to organize the charges. I tried to have Matt and Jerry divert fire from Faisal, then I’d charge in and attack. Even this did not work, since Eddie would take care of the 2 and Faisal would hose me down. On one charge, I grabbed a barricade as a shield to protect from the hose, and still couldn’t hit Eddie. I fired so many shots that I ran out and had to pick up a 2L on one of the charges. (which I favored over the piston guns at the moment, plus it was easier to grab) There was one problem though; I needed to fill up the bottle. This was the turning point, where I moved to the front of the house. The 2 hoses in the backyard were connected with one to the back and one to the front, so I turn off and disconnect the front and filled up my 2L. Eddie comes by, disappointed that I’d do such a dishonorable thing, and I prepare to attack with the 2L. He grabs the 2700 and holds me back as I charge in, then Matt and Jerry took care of him. Next was Faisal. With only one hose, the breakout could not be contained and I end up getting the shot that turned him to zombie. Nex t, I go to the back to fill up the 2L again, while working with the hose. I reconnected it and dragged the nozzle back to where it was. By the time I was done, every other zombie had already gotten Kenny, who apparently ran away to the front of the church as we attacked the base.

The last game we played was assault. After a somewhat long break, when Jerry had to leave, I finally come up with a game idea for it. We would start the game as part of the typical assault plant-the-bomb game. When the round starts, the bomb is already in place with a 2-minute timer going off. The offense has to diffuse it while the defense has to protect it for the time limit. While the time limit was a bit too long (3 minutes, then 2), it was a fairly interesting game. The bomb was the Oozinator’s canister, placed next to the Douchenator and CPS 2000. To diffuse, one has to touch the bomb and count 1 super soaker… to 5 super soaker. When diffused, the attacking team wins. In every game, the bomb was diffused, though I almost stopped one by 2 seconds. The spawn points were one about 60 ft from the bomb for the defense and about 200ft for assault. Respawning made for an interesting element in here.

Cleanup was a pain. I had to make at least 3 trips in and out of the house for each set of items: guns, tons of bottles, buckets, etc. I also had to wrap up the hoses, put the barricades away, the launcher and equipment, etc. The 2100 also broke, but was already pumped up so I had to open it up to shoot it out. Everything took at least 3 hours but was well worth it.

Map

Battlefield Pictures:

War Report: Attempted Game at Boulan Park

Most of the information on this event is yet again contained on the iSoaker forums. Here is the link:
http://www.isoaker.net/isnet/topic3474.html

The postings tell of some of HBWW’s darker times, where lack of awareness of the surrounding community’s lack of intelligence and the sheer impulse to simply get a game going caused some drama. The people in the park called the police over brightly colored plastic toys, and the event had some negative impact on the organizer of Mizukage Tactical Unit (who faced far worse problems from the public there than my group did). While I am unsure on whether or not the times have changed at all, we are not likely to hold games in the same area again.

MTU is currently no longer active in the water warfare community, though I may try to get in contact with him again sometime.

In the end, we all learned from the event, and were able to explore how water warfare fits into everything else of our lives, an aspect that’s not often looked at.