An Exciting New Prospect

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

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

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

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

The Dead-Beat of the Off-Season

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

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

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

Disappointment

Turns out my GoPro got lost in a lake, and we never found it. No footage of anything, and we didn’t even have a water war, so no war reports. Nothing to show.

HBWW is de-facto shutdown for the season. I’ll post if there are updates on stuff like Project Soaking Trident, or Workshop repairs/updates. It hasn’t been a particularly eventful season; I never even got to host any full events this time. However, that doesn’t mean we’re dead, it just means things have winded down, but in time, when life has settled, I’ll be able to push back. I’ll find time to repair blasters, make new equipment, and host new wars. Next year, I plan to attend the Community War and that will gather a lot of good footage.

That said, I got the GoPro replaced as needed. This time it will not get lost, now that I know how not to loose it. (i.e. Don’t use the head strap.)

Moving Along…

Most activity from me regarding water warfare has been on the WaterWar.net forums. Not a whole lot is going on as usual, but perhaps this will make things a bit more interesting.

Yes, my new GoPro HERO2. Great for you know what! Expect video footage in maybe a month or something lol.

Anyway, I will be up north for the next almost-week. I’ll likely be too busy afterwards to develop anything waterwarfare-wise though. We’ll see.

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.

What’s next for HBWW?

Summer has passed halfway and several things have changed and gone by. I’ll put it shortly.

– Community war Hydropocalypse went quite well. I didn’t get to go, but everything on it is online. Just check out Facebook or WaterWar.net for more on it.

– Community war Downpour is being scheduled. See here for more info.

– I attempted a water war a long time ago back in May. No luck, and no one showed up. This does not encourage me to spend more time and effort trying to host wars that no one will show up to, especially given how busy I’m starting to get.

– I went up north with friends a few weeks ago, had a short 2v2 game. Didn’t get to post a whole lot on it though.

No progress on mods and other work. I did however, get a job with web design, which means I may eventually make use of my newfound web skills for HBWW. But that’ll be for later.

I’m caught up in a bad time right now. I’m going to be super-busy in the upcoming weeks with work combined with a summer class and don’t know where I’ll go from there nor know how much free time I have. That’s why I haven’t updated HBWW much.

We’ll see how it all goes from here. Don’t expect a whole lot for now.

Updates

It’s been a while. Very well over a month. There’s a few things to update on though.

First is Hydropocalypse, an upcoming community event taking place on May 19th to 20th. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it. Check the WaterWar.net forum postings and/or the Facebook event page for details. To put it shortly, the majority of the water warfare online community will meet in a 2-3 day event involving a huge variety of games. Games in the woods, over varied terrain, and even naval wars with boats and water balloon launcher cannons in a d-day style landing defense game will be played.

Next, I am working on two projects. The workshop hasn’t been touched in a long time, but I have things to tend to on the computer, such as 7 hours of water warfare footage that was taken last summer which I never finished editing. Or a water warfare FPS game. More details on that to come.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming video.

Lastly, while I can’t make it to the community water war, I can at least make it to a Free-For-All event hosted by Lone Wolf East. It’s a day of free play and rental; just have to pay for ammo.

Edit: Video is finished. Watch it here.

Just another day…

Today, I did a lot of random experimentation and finally got the dimensions of the Super Charger SC O-rings written down for good. 9/16″ ID and 3/4″ OD. I will need to get several of them again including one to put on the Monster XL.

I also did some spherical PC balloon stacking work today. Layered 10 balloons over the 2700 and hoping it works out without the PRV or pull valve spazzing out. It should give a good-enough power boost given just how thin the stock bladder is, even if it won’t revolutionize anything.

I also worked with one of my homemade experiments, a 2″ piston pump. It used to be like a syringe before I added check valves so that it’s able to intake and release water from two different sources. Unfortunately, the bulky damn thing leaks now and made a mess when I tested it in the bathroom, again.

I did manage to get it to fill up a water balloon and used it to put enough water into a Splashzooka to get a short shot. After that, I put some air into all three Splashzookas to blast out extra water in there. The water that came out was dark, nasty, and even smelled a bit. Lesson of the day: air-cycle ALL of your blasters, no matter the hell what!

Also, my socks are soaked.

The New Workshop

So, several updates today, including new pictures.

In the past few weeks, I have…

  • Obtained the Tie Not water balloon tying system.
  • Obtained a Monster XL.
  • Moved to the new workshop and started repairs/mods.
  • Full-cycle tested almost all water blasters.
No pictures of the new Monster XL unfortunately, but I’ll probably just get an entire armory picture up once I have everything repaired.
First, the Tie-Not:

Back in the summer of 2007, I couldn’t tie water balloons at all, and needed a paper clip to do it which took minutes per balloon. Later on, I learned to tie pretty well, but I still got this for people who can’t tie, or for its possibly increased speed and reliability of tying. I say possibly because I haven’t used it enough yet to decide, though if it speeds up tying, I may use it during games to fill balloons after filling them up with the blaster.

New Workshop Photos

Most of the working area is shown above. There’s a lot more space than where I used to work; the family room!

VHS’s are out. XP 270 and CPS 2700 under repair. I have to fix the 2700’s trigger and plan to k-mod it lightly.

CPH. Last summer, the inner LRT tube busted open. Instead of just replacing it and moving along, I decided to switch to balloons as an experiment with more power, but the different casing needs may end up becoming a problem.

Intake tube mod for CPS 2700 reservoir. Will eventually try this to other blasters if it works out and allows me to use more water without getting in air. Will explain and document this modification more as time goes on, especially to those who are looking at it and thinking “WTF” right now. (Some explanation is present in a WaterWar.net post here: http://www.waterwar.net/site_wwn/board/topic5188.html#p42395.)

You can slightly see the results of the intake tube mod from the outside here.

Beginners’ Water Blaster Buying Guide of 2012

The blaster buying guides are being created to assist newcomers to know what to look for and what to avoid. They are short and get straight to the point with few details.

The basic, introductory bullet points are as follows:

  • There are two major brands of pressure based blasters: Water Warriors and Super Soaker. You will rarely, if ever, look outside of these two brands.
  • Availability varies heavily by store.
  • Blaster shopping on eBay is an entirely different matter and is barely covered in this guide. Please contact me or refer to the WaterWar.net forums for additional information.

It’s important to remember that the Super Soaker brand is a far, far cry from what it used to be. It is no longer anywhere near state of the art.

Buying Super Soaker branded blasters:

  • Anything labeled under the “Nerf” brand is mostly junk except for the Hydro Cannon. NEVER buy any blaster advertising the “swappable clips” gimmick. Avoid the Arctic Shock.
  • You might see blasters labeled “Max-D” or “XP”; these are older, fairly good blaster designs.
  • The Max-D 2000/3000 make good sidearms if you are looking for a small, low capacity, medium performance blaster. XP 270 might be around, and if it is, it’s a good option for fast players who need to stay light on their feet. The XP is more rare.
  • Max-D 6000: You may also find this blaster around; it’s a very good option as a lightweight blaster.
  • Super Soaker Availability: You are unlikely to see anything worth buying other than the Max-D 3000 or Hydro Cannon.
  • Hydro Cannon: Its use is limited, but it is still fairly effective. Has huge modding potential for those interested. You can add nozzles, modify/enlarge the pressure chamber, etc.
  • There’s a small chance of seeing the Iron Man 2 blaster, which is almost the same (slightly better) as the Arctic Blast.

Buying Water Warriors branded blasters:

  • Best of the WW brand: WW Gorgon, WW Colossus: These two offer large capacity (especially the Gorgon, carrying over 3L of water total) and very good small/medium stream performance. The Gorgon is becoming rare, while the Colossus is new and available for 2012. The Sphynx is no longer produced but is a good option if you find it.
  • You will see other air pressure based blasters, such as those from the Ultimate line. The Renegade or Explorer are probably the best options from here.
  • Sidearms: You may see the Goblin, Hydra, Python, Titan, or Viper.
  • Other WW blasters: Most WW products are fairly good quality, though their smaller blasters don’t always perform as well as their Super Soaker counterparts. Check reviews and see what’s what first.

Lastly, you’ll notice piston pumper based blasters; they do not have a trigger and can only be fired via pumping. These have limited use in most games (except single-sided games that involve one team being armed better than the other) and take very high levels of skill to use to be competitive with higher end blasters. They are generally not recommended at all unless you don’t have the money for anything better. (Rare exceptions exist; large syringe type pumpers can shoot fairly far with sufficient user strength and skill, and are also light to carry.)

The eBay/Craigslist/old friends option has not changed much over time. Your best bet is to find blasters from friends, but if you resort to eBay, you may end up paying heavy premiums for used items. That said, these blasters are by far the best of the best, and their performance in water wars will take you much farther than anything previously listed here. eBay bidding tips are out of the scope of this guide.

Keep your eyes and ears out for the following Super Soakers from the past:

  • Super Charger SC Power Pak/Big Trouble
  • Anything with “CPS” in the name (The CPS 1-3-5 needs to be modded to achieve performance the rest of the series is known for.)
  • Anything with “Monster” in the name

Look to none other than iSoaker and the WaterWar.net forums for more information. You may encounter broken items; refer them to someone experienced with them, or learn how to fix them yourself. (HBWW will provide introductions to this in the Workshop section later on.)

Good luck with your searches, and remember that your options are very open. As you can with desktop computers, you can modify or build water guns if you are interested in these options.