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Treezy

Shields, sock grenades, and missiles at Bristol Blast

    Hey guys. I know Iím asking specifically about Bristol Blast, but I guess any and all feedback is welcome.

    With the growing number of new faces at BB, and the increase in ammo types and accessories people are turning up with, I wondered if we could start clarifying some definite rules regarding these items. Iíve got a number of comprehensive ideas, but feel it would be best if things were kept simple, as many of the BB attendees arenít hardened tacti-cool Nerfers!

    Missiles:
      1. Players (including zombies) tagged with a missile are killed outright and removed from the game.
      2. Missile hits to shield destroy the shield.
      3. Only players with a form of missile launcher/blaster can carry missiles (game team to consider limiting number of missiles a player can carry)
      4. Missiles must be launched from a blaster, not thrown by hand, and cannot be scavenged from the floor.
      5. Players carrying missiles or a missile launcher may not carry sock grenades or a shield.


    Shields:
      1. Shields must first be approved by game team before being used.
      2. Limited to 1 shield per team, unless agreed otherwise by organisers.
      3. Players carrying a shield may not carry socks or missiles
      4. Shields are destroyed by direct hits by missiles or socks. Player discards shield on floor.
      5. Discarded shields cannot be scavenged.
      6. Players who are killed while carrying shields must also remove the shield from play. If player turned into zombie, player may still carry shield as a zombie.


    Sock grenades:
      1. Socks must first be approved by game team before being used.
      2. Limit of 1 person carrying socks per team, and a carry limit of 2-4 socks for that player (organisers adjust as necessary).
      3. Hits to shield destroy the shield.
      4. Socks may not be scavenged from the floor.
      5. Players carrying socks may not carry missiles or have a missile launcher.


    Thatís my ideas, but what do you guys think? Is this overcomplicating things a bit much, or is it a good idea to implement some rules now before all the kids start turning up with shields and a dozen socks and throwing knives?
blindgeekuk

Not sure if this is the right forum for this, but heres my take:

Missiles:
1. I only really get these out for Terminator - the fins are too fragile for regular use. In terminator they count as a 30 second stun against the terminators, but in other games, then yeah, an instakill.
2. Yup
3. I disagree, one thing I get from the BB talk is that there is an attempt to create a more squad based rgame, and having squad mate carry a spare missile is useful.
4. Yup
5. Yup
might be worth considering 6. Only 1 missile launcher per team (would not apply at WP, we have 4+ launchers)

Shields:
1. Absolutely!
2. Yup
3. yup
4. Yup, though ideally taken back to safe zone by a marshall
5. Enforcing it is hard, hence above suggestion. I allow scavening of shields
6. At WP you ideally drop the shield and it can be scavenged.

Socks:
I don't allow them... but...
1. Yup
2. Depends... are sock carriers only allowed socks? or is it socks plus a bl;aster? Given their lack of accuracy and suggestion of a limited ammo, i'd want either 2 players, or the option to carry a hammershot
3. Yup
4. Yup
5. Yup
Treezy

blindgeekuk wrote:

Missiles:
3. I disagree, one thing I get from the BB talk is that there is an attempt to create a more squad based rgame, and having squad mate carry a spare missile is useful.

might be worth considering 6. Only 1 missile launcher per team (would not apply at WP, we have 4+ launchers)


Yeah, there's probably about an equal split at BB with folks who are "in it to win it" and will play tactically by forming squads etc. and the other half are there just for shits 'n' giggles (well, we're all there for that really, but you get what I mean). There's also a lot of younger kids there that only give half an ear during game briefings and rule discussions, and even with marshals and experienced players keeping an eye on them, some of them are a law unto themselves at times! Even with Tom giving them lectures on The Art of War before each round, invariably many of them run off and do their own thing: sometimes so do I!

Initially I did write that all players can carry 2 missiles, regardless of if they're carrying a missile launcher, so that they could resupply those with missile launchers. I think for the sake of simplicity though it'd be easier if only those with launchers can carry missiles.

One launcher per team could be a good option, but with the number of kids running tri-strikes, this could be tricky, as they all want to pop missiles off at every opportunity.

blindgeekuk wrote:

Shields:
6. At WP you ideally drop the shield and it can be scavenged.


For basic HvZ games there's no point in carrying a shield, because nobody is shooting at you. But after this weekend where we did some hybrid games involving zombies, it'd be cool to have teams thinking "do we want to risk carrying a shield to use against the enemy to better our chances of winning objectives, when it can be used against us if the player gets turned into an unstoppable zombie?"

Given the varied terrain of the BB venues, with lots of corridors, enclosed rooms, and then wide open spaces around a central building, even with several marshals it'd be tricky to police shields and ensure they get removed from play, or that only the right people are scavenging them. By having a dedicated shield player per team, everyone knows who this is, so there's no chance others will be able to pick it up once it's destroyed (well, I say no chance; no doubt some kid will try it but most players at BB are pretty good at policing their game).

blindgeekuk wrote:

2. Depends... are sock carriers only allowed socks? or is it socks plus a blaster? Given their lack of accuracy and suggestion of a limited ammo, i'd want either 2 players, or the option to carry a hammershot


Personally I'd allow sock carriers to carry other weapons, but maybe they could be limited to springers/smaller blasters/pistols only. I'm pretty accurate with my throws, and given I used to throw javelin competitively, I'd be pretty effective with sock grenades, so would expect a cap on what I can carry. But then some little kid who can barely throw across the room is less of a threat, so should be allowed to carry loads.
old_man_nerf

It all depends on who's attending as to how complicated the rules can get. Some of our younger (and older!) players would not manage to remember all those rules.

BGUK did set out to create a more LARP style game play at GuN into which that level of complication would fit, but unless you are willing to invest (and keep investing) time in explaining all the permutations they are easily forgotten in the heat of the moment. With games only lasting 10ish minutes you probably shouldn't be spending longer explaining the rules than playing the game Smile

We also shy away from permadeath in the games we play - the only time we had it recently was in kill confirmed for the over 13s - and ironically that was the simplest game we've played for a while.
Treezy

old_man_nerf wrote:
With games only lasting 10ish minutes you probably shouldn't be spending longer explaining the rules than playing the game Smile


Yeah, that's why I think it'd be a good idea to get some clarity for the folks that come to BB, as there are several of the younger players (the ones above the base level of "kid with a strongarm who wants to shoot everyone") who are starting to bring shields and socks to use. It's a bit frustrating when you then get people throwing sock grenades back, or who think shields give them total immunity from all hits to their body, because there's no agreed rules in place.

I think maybe it'd be best to drip feed these additions to the BB player group, so everyone gets familiar with them, rather than adding in lots of rules at once, and having to tweak and change every few games.

Seeing as there are already quite a few people with missile launchers at BB, maybe start there, with a basic ruleset given at the initial briefing:

"No shields, other than for tank zombies. No sock grenades or any other form of thrown object. No melee weapons. Direct hits from missiles mean you're dead and out of that game immediately, including zombies; please return to the safe room. If a tank zombie is hit with a missile, even on the shield, they are killed outright. You can only carry one missile per game and it has to be loaded into your blaster at the game start; no carrying spares. You cannot scavenge missiles from the floor."

(Mind you, we've yet to see tank zombies at BB!)

Maybe run that for two months and see how much missiles get used in games, and what impact they have. Given that they're less than accurate, and most kids can't propel them very far, I don't think they'll have much impact on most games.

As people get familiar with the concept of instadeath missiles and shield zombies, you can look to introduce shields for playing teams, and then eventually add socks. Or just never allow socks because they're a lot of hassle (and If I hit a kid with one, it'll probably hurt!).
old_man_nerf

At the end of the day just because someone has turned up with a shield or socks (or anything else for that matter - melee anyone?) it doesn't mean they can assume it's ok to use. Game organisers have the final say on these matters.

We use missiles for certain games and shields for others but they aren't part of the general armoury.

As for socks, given we always insist on our safety briefing that the only thing hitting another person being a foam dart it's probably just a ball (of sock) ache to police.
Shady-daze

For now I would say apply KISS principles and then tweak the rules from there rather than starting off with a more precise rule set. I say this for two reasons firstly it encourages more people to pick up the new play style to begin with and explore it's limits as there are less restrictions and rules to worry about that may possible put people off trying it. True people may find exploits at this time but that can be beneficial as it means you can tailor the rules better to the site that merely just assuming what will and won't work.

The group I used to run with at uni had rules closer to those below and there was little issue though the location used to play was a lot more open that what I've seen from BB so they might not be directly compatible. † †

Missiles:
1. Players (including zombies) tagged with a missile are hit.
2. Missile hits to shield destroy the shield.
3. Missiles must be launched from a blaster, not thrown by hand.



Shields:
1. Shields must first be approved by game team before being used.
2. Shields are destroyed by direct hits by missiles until respawn or removed altogether if only a single life. †
3. Discarded shields cannot be scavenged.
Dustybin

In KC, I could see missiles removing people from the game, but in domination, I'd think that something along the lines of causing a 30 second respawn would be better just to avoid people being missiled at the beginning and sitting out for the entire game.
OldNoob

I avoid anything that causes perma death for players. People cone to games to play, not sit in a hall waiting for the end of a game.
Balled socks are fine if you want something to throw, zip have a big bag of them that are used for spitter zombies. When I use rockets, I limit them to one shot, less than 3 per team or if there's a juggernaut Zombie in play I have 2 rockets per jugger. I use deliberately short ranged, innacurate pump rockets with a soft tip. You don't want un regulated demolisher rockets, fired from things like modified drain blasters, BBUMB's and air blasters, being shot at players in open games. Demolisher rockets are very hard, quite capable of splitting a lip, giving someone a bloody nose or potentially breaking a child's nose.
I would oppose widespread rocket use on safety grounds. Especially in games with kids in and confined spaces. Really the BBUMB I had at BB was way OP, I only used it because I knew Boff was carrying the shield.
I am already planning two fully foam/rubber shields for you guys to use, but would urge the BB organisational team to consider the potential for injury from rockets and NOT to allow non LARP safe shields either. This event has an excellent safety record and a solid reputation, neither is worth jeopardising for shields or alternative missiles, thrown crap or other things.
Treezy

I'm of the opinion that instakills should be allowed with missiles and/or socks, because they're going to encourage people to think a little more about their play style, rather than just running around shooting anything that moves (though I appreciate there are plenty of people who like this play style just fine). I think missiles could be great for breaking deadlocks in games like KC, where people team up to tag each other back in. Similarly, there are plenty of folk killed in the first 2 minutes of KC games who then have to sit out the rest of the game, so I'd postulate that the "people turn up to play, not sit out games" argument is void. Also, I know there will definitely be a few zombies in HvZ rounds who would be glad of a couple of minutes extra sit down!

Given the wild inaccuracy and poor range of demolisher missiles fired from Nerf blasters, I don't think there's a huge risk that you'd see dozens of people being killed off in each round. In fairness, it'll probably be the little kid with the tri-strike who innocently walks up behind you as you're tied down in a flywheel firefight that missiles you to death, rather than the hardcore players getting all tacti-cool and organising a rain of mortar strikes.

But that's just my opinion; I started this discussion to a) get other opinions on the table, and b) get some clarity for future BB games. Maybe the way forward is to try instakill missiles for a few rounds, and see what affect they have on people's day, and adjust as necessary (limit number of launchers/ammo per team; have longer respawns; make player discard all blasters and return to the field with only a loaner Strongarm, Jolt, or a "Deploy of Shame")

I'm definitely of the mindset that missiles need to only be fired from Nerf blaster HAMPs, rather than drain blasters and the like. Even with improved sealing, the HAMPs don't really produce enough pop to get the missiles going too far or fast (does anyone know of any chrono data for such things?).

I also think that it'd be wise for any game organisers to say in the safety briefing whether socks, shield, missiles, or other "extra curricular" stuff is allowed/not allowed, and for it to be inspected before use. It was a bit of a shock to have rubber/foam throwing knives being chucked about last month, as well as socks and shields added to the foray unannounced.
OldNoob

I am not a fan of KC, so would stand by the comment that players should be playing not sitting out. At my game it gets played very rarely, usually once per session if it gets voted on. Kids in particular resent sitting out and it permadeath adds nothing positive to their experience vs freeze tag/lockdown as an alternative.
Anyone who gets tired can sit out voluntarily, as Boff and I did for the last HvZ in April.
I have seen a split lip off a Hamp. If there was a better alternative for people who like the Nerf launchers  I would ban Demo missiles, they are not a well designed projectile.
Chrono testing a hamp is impossible as almost every shot fired is a different strength. The mass and hard tip of the missile are the problem. It's like a fat FVJ.
I use this type of launcher, with the softer tipped rockets, which is amusingly inaccurate and requires both the users hands to operate. You can't fire them hard enough to hurt anyone and the harder you try to pump them, the less accurate they are.
old_man_nerf

Like OldNoob says, lockdown/freeze tag is a better game for keeping people involved.

We've only played KC with the older age group players who we knew would cope with being sat out - but even then i was getting bored waiting for Mr Crane and Jay to finish each other off Smile

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