Downpour 2013

Not going to type up a whole full-length war story for this. Instead I’m going to go over it and mention what I liked and what I didn’t so we can use the information to make future wars better. I would like everyone who attended to pitch in, and anybody else who might have ideas. This is probably the last time I will host a war for a while, but others can utilize the knowledge gained for their own efforts.

What I learned from this:
-It’s better to simply have a “playlist” of games for each day instead of a super-precise schedule; we only ended up using my schedule to determine how long the rounds should be.
-Just because you can get something done fast, it doesn’t mean everyone else can.
-Trying to predict how rounds will turn out ahead of time is pointless; the reality is almost always vastly different.
-Apparently there is such thing as too much fighting for some.
-Games must be adjusted to suit the number of people; we were having battles over huge areas with only six people, and a lot of the time we couldn’t find each other.
-Fighting with the same people over and over starts to get a little dull; we need new members to shake things up.
-Fighting in the pouring rain sucks.
-Even if you think you’ve made something (like game rules) clear, you should double check.
-Unless a person tells you their exact plan and when they’re arriving, don’t count on them coming.
-Malfunctioning equipment can drain all the fun out of a battle.
-Never ever name a war “Downpour”.

I’ll go over the games now. Here’s the original schedule:

Friday, July 26th:

Arrival time-nightfall – Dinner, hangout, setup, etc.
Nightfall – OHK and Zombies @ campground (other rounds to be decided on spot)

Saturday, July 27th:

8:00-9:00 – Wake up, go to Dug Hill, eat breakfast
9:00-10:30 – OHK @ Main Forest
10:40-11:00 – OHS @ Thunder Gulch (if the OHK game ends at least 20 minutes early, we’ll have two rounds where the teams switch sides)
11:20-12:20 – CTF 10-flag (5 per team) @ Mirror Forest
12:25-12:55 – Lunch
13:00-13:30 – OHK @ Pines (light blasters only)
13:40-15:40 – OHS @ Mirror Forest (starts whenever the OHK round ends; end time doesn’t change)
16:00-17:00 – Domination @ Lost Chasm
17:15-17:35 – OHS @ Unclimbable Rocks (XP-only)
17:45-18:00 – Team soakfest @ Dumping area (weird guns only)
18:15-19:15 – Pack up, go to Wilson campground
19:15-20:15 – Dinner, setup, etc.
20:30-21:30 – OHS @ campground
21:30-whenever – OHS switches to OHK (@ campground), end time flexible
After “whenever” – Hangout, campfire, etc.

Sunday, July 28th:

8:00-9:00 – Wake up, go to Dug Hill, eat breakfast
9:15-9:45 – Chaos OHK FFA @ Expanse
9:50-10:20 – CTF @ Thunder Gulch (light blasters only)
10:25-10:40 – HTL @ Junkyard Mound (XP-only)
10:55-11:10 – HTL @ Junkyard Mound (XP-only)
11:25-11:55 – Soak ‘n’ Destroy @ Junkyard
12:00-12:30 – Lunch
12:45-13:45 – OHS @ Thunder Gulch (XP-only)
14:00-14:30 – VIP @ Main trail area
14:30-15:00 – Setup for next round
15:00-18:00 – Multi-stage objective game @ Entire park
18:15-19:15 – Pack up, go to Wilson campground
19:15-20:15 – Dinner, setup, etc.
20:30-21:00 – Sideswitch game @ campground (weird blasters only)
21:15-22:00 – Manhunt @ campground
After 22:00 – Hangout, campfire, etc.

Monday, July 29th:

Possible games after all awake, to be decided on spot
End of war

Night OHK, Friday:
This didn’t work well because of a miscommunication. I told the other team to start in the forest away from the campsites, but apparently I didn’t make it clear enough because the other team started in the woods on the other side of the campground and we never found them. Thankfully the forest was rather clear and devoid of anything to trip on because it was incredibly dark. The fact that I arrived at the campground way late didn’t help things; as I was unable to do much scouting.

Night Zombies, Friday:
This was fun. We did it around the shower building and in the fields nearby. It would’ve been better if it had been darker, but the lights on the building compromised it a little. Most of the hits happened around the building itself, with few in the field. Scott went into the bathroom to refill one time and that ambush at ’11 was replayed. DX was the last one to survive due to minimal risk-taking (the rest of us were kind of goofing around), and we ended up chasing him down and Scott suicide-rushed him to end it.

OHK Round 1, Saturday:
We shortened the round to 45 minutes because of time constraints, which certainly didn’t help things. My team hunted all over the forest, while the enemy stayed hidden in the exact same spot for the entire round, so we never found them. There really wasn’t much to do about it, though a smaller battlefield would’ve probably helped.

OHS Round 1, Saturday:
This was our classic Thunder Gulch round. It worked a little bit better than last year, but it still wasn’t as fun as the first time. The enemy team attacked this time, and actually made it up onto our side before the round ended. This was the first battle where I got to use my 2000, but the results just made the round annoying for me. For some reason, almost every time I fired, the f***ing valve would only open a little ways, resulting in a weak stream lobbing out to maybe 30 feet. Occasionally the valve would work properly and the glorious 2000 blast would finally come forth, which was when I actually made kills. If it weren’t for that I would’ve enjoyed the round a lot more.

CTF, Saturday:
I had to shorten this round a bit as well, which probably just made things worse. The battle took place in between Thunder Gulch and Lost Chasm, which was a pretty large section for 3vs3. I went on attack most of the time and I never saw a soul until I got to the enemy base. The flags were in a pretty tough location guarded by Firebird with a (working) 2000, so none of us could get any. chief tried to go for our flags once, but I hid by the cliff wall right under his feet and blasted him from below (that was before my 2500 trigger started sticking), although I got myself hit in the process. I actually liked the round, but it would’ve been better exponentially with more people. Some people had a problem with having to climb in and out of Lost Chasm (picture a supersized Thunder Gulch), but we’re supposed to be, you know, hardcore…

OHK Round 2, Saturday:
This round was great at first. It was held in an area filled with small pine trees which offered more than enough concealment, similar to Sycamore Island but without thorns/nettles. Stalking the enemy through the pines was awesome, but once we found them the excitement sputtered to a stop. The enemy team had taken up a position outside the pine forest on a small hill, and were pulling a Hold the Line scenario. We couldn’t hit any of them before the round ended. I also smashed my shin on a log while dodging a shot from DX. I think the round would’ve gone better if we had stayed in the pine area. I wanted the round to be a stealth-based hunt with ambushing, but it only started out that way.

OHS Round 2, Saturday:
This was supposed to be a long range 2-hour battle, but due to our numbers we shortened it and started closer (we basically walked in opposite directions for a few minutes). I was still hoping it would have the same characteristics as a longer round, but once we found each other we stayed in the same place for the entire time; an old concern I had about long rounds that DX brushed off because his wars were of the hit-and-run type. It wasn’t quite the case here. On the plus side there was so much action that some of us emptied our reservoirs before the round was done.

Domination, Saturday:
Once again, our numbers made it necessary to modify the original plan. Only 3 capture points were used instead of 5, and the time limit was about half of the original. And wouldn’t you know it, this was the best round of the whole weekend. It started out a little slow, with the enemy getting to the middle point first and defending it, but my team got our act together and came at them with enough offensive force to take over the point. We held it for a little while, but right before the end I got blindsided by Drenchenator because someone wasn’t covering him… I myself was busy with DX. Once that happened everyone else on my team got hit and the enemy recaptured the point and held it in the minute or so remaining. It was still one hell of a round, though all of the action took place at the center capture point; neither team attacked any of the starting points. I would definitely like to see more of these rounds in future wars.

OHS Round 3, Saturday:
The end of the day was nearing and people were getting tired, so this round was a good way to end things. It was close-range and a short walk from the pavilion. I hoped it would be as action-packed as the last round of ’12, but it wasn’t quite so. For some weird reason, it was very hard to hit anyone in that place on top of the rocks. Maybe it was because of the light blasters (we didn’t have enough XPs for XP-only, so we changed it to light guns only), because it is harder to hit people with 2X streams, though that wasn’t a problem last year. At least this time nobody tried to cheat by claiming that “you didn’t feel it because the stream is small, but it totally hit you”.

We didn’t do the soakfest because we were running out of time and nobody really cared anyway. Unfortunately my parents were late delivering pizza to the campground so we didn’t have time for night wars. Drenchenator left early Sunday morning and chief wasn’t feeling well so we were down to 5 people then. Almost all of the rounds that I planned were designed for at least 8 heads, so that coupled with the obnoxious weather forced me to compromise and fall back to small-scale OHS/OHK. This was the most disappointing for me, and I decided that I simply didn’t want to do this anymore.

HTL, Sunday:
This was the only round on the schedule that we ended up doing, and it was probably my least favorite. The round would take place at a large mound in the Junkyard area, which was capped by large bushes and thick underbrush. I was hoping for a unique, almost stealth-based twist on HTL, but as with most of the things I hoped for, it didn’t work out right. Instead of hiding in the bushes, the defense stayed standing out on the only open part of the mound. I tried to sneak through the bushes several times, but for some odd reason it didn’t work. The rain poured the hardest of the weekend during this round (before and after it slowed down), which made for a very miserable time. We stopped keeping track of hits because we were getting hit by water every second. Unless you saw the stream hit you, there was no way to tell the difference between water from the sky and water from a blaster nozzle. I’m still curious as to how it would’ve turned out if the conditions were perfect with more people and more use of the concealment.

OHS Round 4, Sunday:
We did this in the same place as the third OHS round the day before, but with heavier weapons. There wasn’t much to the round, but it was fun. I could be wrong, but I think it was my best round of the war statistically (though I’ve stopped caring or keeping track). We fought so much that my 2700 ran out of water, and then the trigger cracked even with my reinforcement, and caused it to stick. That was the last primary I had that worked, and now that it too had failed me, I developed a strong hatred for water guns. That is probably the last thing you’d expect to read on this website, but it’s true. I love to fight, but none of the manufacturers are willing to produce blasters that will compete in a serious war, forcing us to spend money on 15-20 year old hunks of plastic that are constantly breaking down when you need them. Imagine trying to play baseball with bats that constantly break and gloves that get the webbing ripped out if they catch a hard-thrown ball. You love the game but the equipment necessary to play it ruins the experience. I think that once I get my mechanical engineering degree, I’m going to just make myself the ultimate blaster. People have said this before, but homemades are the future. It took this war to make me realize that it couldn’t be more true. We just have to move on from these ancient, impractical designs. I saw Drenchenator’s Riptide at this war, which I believe is a step in the right direction. Once we can improve the reliability of such designs, homemades may finally make appearances in serious battles.

OHS Round 5, Sunday:
We did this one in the dumping area where we played HTL in the past. This round was set up similar to HTL with one team starting on the hill, and the other (mine) starting on the ground. I was forced to use chief’s 2500 thanks to all the issues with the rest of my arsenal. I flanked the enemy by running up the hill to the side, but we couldn’t do much. For some reason I just could not hit Scott at all. I don’t know what it was, but for the whole war I seemed to have an easier time hitting everyone else (not counting DX who’s just good at dodging) except him. So that round was meh. I think we shouldn’t do HTL-type games unless we have more people. It just doesn’t work with small numbers.

Single-sided CTF-type round, Sunday:
This round was a little embarrassing, but if I look at it as kind of a soakfest, I guess it doesn’t matter. Basically we had to defend that stupid wooden train from the other team, with water guns placed on each car for them to take. We used light-CPS, which was kind of refreshing. They don’t seem to be as problematic as the bigger guns, though my 12K’s pump still leaks a bit for reasons unknown to me (it looked perfectly fine when I looked at it, and I even added an O-ring to help things). The round was actually pretty exciting, but I wasn’t to thrilled with how I couldn’t dodge very well because I had to stay within certain boundaries. In fact one time I slammed my elbow into the caboose while trying to evade a shot from Firebird’s 1021 (which is actually quite brutal in small-CPS rounds; it could easily hold its own in anything-goes); I didn’t get hit but I couldn’t lift my arm for a few seconds. The offense eventually won, with Firebird taking 3 of the 4 guns. Aside from the stupid pump, the 12K is definitely a lot of fun to use; with a 2100 nozzle, it gets much more output than a stock 1200.

We didn’t have time to fight anymore. Now that I look at things, I guess the war wasn’t that bad. The reason I got so dejected was mostly because I had really high expectations, the fact that it rains at every single one of these, and that all my primaries are malfunctioning.

List of problems:
SS 300: Leaks out of what appears to be the valve area, which also appears to be the absolute hardest spot to get to.
CPS 2000: The valve has a 75% chance of not opening all the way; no idea why.
CPS 1500: The pump handle snapped off again.
CPS 2500: The trigger gets stuck because I guess I didn’t file down the casing enough when I reinforced the trigger.
CPS 2700: The trigger defied my reinforcement and cracked again, causing it to stick.

The whole group. Like MOAB, every participant was a member on here.


One thought on “Downpour 2013

  1. Pingback: test1 | Hydrowar

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