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Countdown Gametype

Legit, Tested Alternative to 3-15 Deathmatch

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#1 DX-Robert

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

Countdown Gametype
Legit, Tested Alternative to 3-15 Deathmatch

This is a gametype developed by Zack the Mack and me, tested/refined at several BCNOs. I posted it at Project Nerf a while ago for possible inclusion at a future Apoc, but it wasn't noticed. It's too fun to let die, so I am reposting it for the general NIC to see and hopefully try out.

Countdown was developed to be a primary gametype like deathmatch, to have aggressive East Coast style elimination, and to naturally break up long range standoffs. It has few, simple rules, no equipment necessary, and can be adapted for faster/slower gameplay and more/less challenge. A typical round in a mid-size war with the standard rules takes about 20-30 minutes to play through.

Core Rules:

1. 2 teams, all players have 1 life

2. When hit, a player enters "limbo" and counts down out loud from 20 to 0 (you can yell "clear" instead of "0")

3. If a player is hit during the countdown, they are eliminated from the round

4. If they are not hit during the countdown, their status returns to normal

5. When only 1 player remains on a side, it becomes sudden death for the larger team and normal countdown rules for the single player. This ensures that their last player still has a legit chance to win.

Rule Options:

- The countdown period can be made longer or shorter. More time spent counting makes the game run faster and vice versa.

- Like in Gunslinger, a player in limbo can be hit immediately and by the same shooter. To make it more challenging, it can be required that a different shooter makes the 2nd hit.

- Players can still move and fire when in limbo. To make it more challenging, this can be altered to not being allowed to move, or not being allowed to fire, or both

Countdown devalues pot shots, lucky shots, and running away, while rewarding teamwork and offense. It breaks up standoffs by forcing players to go for the limbo hit, usually resulting in a lot of close or mid-range activity whenever someone starts counting. All types of guns have a place in this gametype, since it is not just about range or ROF, but how you use both.

This does not replace deathmatch, but it is a great way to mix things up while keeping elimination as the goal. So, I really hope you try it out at your next war. You might like it. It's a lot of fun!

Edit: Each hit must be separate and intentional. Shotgun blasts, double feeds, etc. only count as one hit.

Edited by DX, 17 October 2011 - 01:28 PM.

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#2 andtheherois

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 04:04 PM

Sounds like fun. We can try this at NJNO.
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#3 Langley

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:37 PM

What's to stop someone from counting as fast as humanly possible? Where did you get the idea that you can get hit twice in Gunslinger? Any time I've played it, we would count back in, or at least take long enough to get a headband on.
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#4 evilbunnyo

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:48 PM

Langleys right it would be come a who can count the fastest game.

Edited by evilbunnyo, 12 October 2011 - 05:49 PM.

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#5 DX-Robert

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:58 PM

What's to stop someone from counting as fast as humanly possible?


Sportsmanship, I'd hope. The same count spacing as if you were clearing for a deathmatch. Though, it would be up to the war host to determine what they'd allow. At BCNO we tried to space the count as fairly as possible, like counting approximate seconds. It works if no one tries to game the system, at which point the host should step in if people want to cheat.

I always thought that you had to at least wait for a player to get their tape on in Gunslinger, but evidently some treat it as a formality for those who witness the hit. I've played several rounds of it where no relief was granted.
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#6 Keo

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:56 PM

This sounds like a nice alternative, and i'd love to try it. This at a future DCNF anyone ?

Is a player that got shot immediatly in the countdown, even before counting ?
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#7 hoongfu

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:11 PM

What's to stop someone from counting as fast as humanly possible? Where did you get the idea that you can get hit twice in Gunslinger? Any time I've played it, we would count back in, or at least take long enough to get a headband on.



Langleys right it would be come a who can count the fastest game.


Playing devil's advocate: Technically in any counting type game people can skip it or count to 5 instead of 15. Its all about the honor system. Thats what holds nerf wars together. If we all claimed we didn't get hit or have instant respawn this hobby would be out the window.
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#8 Exo

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:17 PM

So, it takes two consecutive hits to die?

Edited by Exo, 12 October 2011 - 08:17 PM.

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#9 DX-Robert

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:27 PM

Is a player that got shot immediatly in the countdown, even before counting ?


It's never been an issue, but they would have to be counting already. You get hit, you accept the hit, start the countdown, and then any hit during that period would eliminate. It's the same kind of timing as if you'd been hit in a deathmatch. A cheater could get hit and then wait a while to start counting. A fair player says 20 right when they accept the fact that they got hit.

So, it takes two consecutive hits to die?


If you are in normal status, a hit takes you to limbo and the countdown. You have to be hit again during that countdown to die. Otherwise, you return to normal status and the next hit brings you back to limbo. So, in theory, you could be hit a dozen times and live, provided that you haven't been hit while counting.
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#10 Langley

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:16 PM

Playing devil's advocate: Technically in any counting type game people can skip it or count to 5 instead of 15. Its all about the honor system. Thats what holds nerf wars together. If we all claimed we didn't get hit or have instant respawn this hobby would be out the window.


When playing deathmatch, there are various benefits to counting very quickly or very slowly depending on how things are going for you and your team. Very often people will count as long as it takes to reload, or get back to their team, etc. So people 'cheat' at deathmatch all the time, and it doesn't really have a substantial effect on the game. However, in this game, even a slight difference in the counting speed would have an effect on how hard you are to eliminate. Not to mention how much of a nightmare it must be if you get into an argument over whether you were hit.
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#11 hoongfu

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:49 PM

When playing deathmatch, there are various benefits to counting very quickly or very slowly depending on how things are going for you and your team. Very often people will count as long as it takes to reload, or get back to their team, etc. So people 'cheat' at deathmatch all the time, and it doesn't really have a substantial effect on the game. However, in this game, even a slight difference in the counting speed would have an effect on how hard you are to eliminate. Not to mention how much of a nightmare it must be if you get into an argument over whether you were hit.


On those points I can see your reasoning. Perhaps this could be tested a few more wars.
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#12 Langley

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:32 AM

Hey, if you want to give it a try this weekend, go for it, I'm just not completely sold on it. I wouldn't want to be locked into playing it all day, but I was asked to bring some carpe stuff, so it doesn't look like that will be a problem.

Edit: More on topic: In my admittedly limited experience, you want to set up your game so that people have to make a conscious decision to try and get away with something if they're going to cheat. So if someone can unconsciously count faster without even thinking about it, you have a problem. It's the same reason why 'True Deathmatch' (earning points for eliminating members of the other team) doesn't work in Nerf - you can't expect people to keep an honest running tally of how many people they've hit in a round. Even the most honorable people can get carried away as far as whether they think they hit someone. But you can expect people to take a hit when someone is looking right at them, and they have to make a decision to ignore the hit to cheat.
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#13 evilbunnyo

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:10 AM

Why not make them say the numbers out loud so everyone can hear them? Also when you get out for good why not then be judges for everyone else. This way someone can keep track eventually?
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#14 VACC

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:45 AM

It's almost gunslinger heaven with east coast rules (east coast rules being the title used for no count-in multiple hit gamesonce upon a time). As someone who has created a couple of popular game types, and many more awful and unworkable ones, the solution is almost always to play it at a small war with people who like to exploit loopholes (Ted and the Horsemen debunk war types in their sleep) before rolling it out at a larger war.

On a side note, why would you post the game type on Project Nerf with the hopes that it would get played at Apoc? I created a thread SPECIFICALLY for discussing potential game types that I might run at Apoc. It'd be like putting a hamster shaped but plug in the toys for tots bin next to Brit Nerf Mogul's mail slot; you missed the obvious choice for vigorous use.

Anyway, good luck with the game type. I always liked double hit elminations.
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#15 Exo

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:25 PM

No way. A post by VACC in which he doesn't shut down the thread.

Why not add another twist: You can use time as a form of currency. For instance, if you wanted to use a gun with a higher range, your "limbo" time would be longer, or you could use a Tek 3 or an eliminator, and have a shorter "limbo" time.

Or maybe some other lame RPG sounding idea.
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#16 DX-Robert

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:32 PM

On a side note, why would you post the game type on Project Nerf with the hopes that it would get played at Apoc? I created a thread SPECIFICALLY for discussing potential game types that I might run at Apoc. It'd be like putting a hamster shaped but plug in the toys for tots bin next to Brit Nerf Mogul's mail slot; you missed the obvious choice for vigorous use.


It wasn't for this year's Apoc. It got put on the back burner and had no serious push, there were a lot of other things going on. Now that I reflect on it, it's not something I should have proposed for any Apoc, having only been tested at BCNOs. It's also possible that it might not work as well with a lot of people. It's been played in the 12-18 participant range, never with a large turnout. I'd assume that not much would change, but it might present more opportunities to cheat.

Why not make them say the numbers out loud so everyone can hear them? Also when you get out for good why not then be judges for everyone else. This way someone can keep track eventually?


Countdowns are said out loud, which in theory would make it very obvious if someone is rushing the numbers. And like I said earlier, it would be up the host to enforce no bullshit at their war. Maybe even also the players in general, peer pressure style, in order to ensure that all players are being honest and trying to count fairly. I mean if you're in a mid-size war at-range, you can hear most of the people on the field when they go to count. It wouldn't be difficult to exert a bit of peer pressure to make people cut the crap and play more seriously. It's one of those things that can work if people want it to work.

Dead players could help watch, but it would get boring to actually judge since the game can go as long as 4-20 takes when you make the game more challenging.

Hey, if you want to give it a try this weekend, go for it, I'm just not completely sold on it. I wouldn't want to be locked into playing it all day, but I was asked to bring some carpe stuff, so it doesn't look like that will be a problem.


I wouldn't be worried, Hero calls plenty of good old fashioned deathmatches at his wars. It's up to him. If he wants to try it, we'd play it maybe once or twice, only more if people enjoy it.

The feedback is helpful. You can tell that cheating is not really an issue at the wars I attend, so ways to game the system have not been threshed out all that well. I'm used to mature players who care more about making games work than winning (I mean after x amount of wars and years winning a round really doesn't matter compared to whether said round was "fun" or not). That's the goal here, to have something that can be a staple round, while still being about straight up elimination, that can add more fun and variety to wars. An alternative, not a replacement, to deathmatch.

Why not add another twist: You can use time as a form of currency.


It sounds cool, but I'd rather keep the game as simple as possible. It's already confusing enough if you try to change the length of the countdown, people tend to forget which number to start at. If people are starting at different numbers for different guns, there's a lot of opportunity for confusion. The length of time is really intended to affect the tempo of the game as opposed to rewarding different gun choices.

Edited by DX, 13 October 2011 - 04:40 PM.

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#17 Darksircam

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:38 PM

Sounds like a fun gametype. The games I generally play are with stock-ish range blasters, so this should make it a bit more balanced. The few of my friends who have ranged blasters would have less of an advantage. Then again, shotgunned blasts... whee. Long reloads, but instant kills.
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#18 DX-Robert

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:56 PM

So, we did end up playing this at NJNO 2. However, by the time we got to it, it was late in the day and a lot of people had already left. The result was 4v3 which wasn't the greatest test. However, it was fast-paced and fun. With so few people playing and this topic already in mind, the audible counts were pretty fair. People had a good idea about the speed at which to count, except that one unlucky soul who was eliminated at the very beginning :P
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#19 Langley

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:11 PM

This was a lot of fun with a small group of people. I could see it being a little unwieldy if we tried it earlier in the day, especially with the younger kids, but I guess we'll have to give it a try next time. Definitely want to get more of a team dynamic going with people making assists instead of double-tap or nothing, but I think we'd have to play more rounds to get used to it.

Another note about this game type is that I think we all agreed at the war that you should have to fire two individual shots to count as an elimination - shotgun loaded barrels, multiple barrels, or even unintentionally firing two darts at once from a hopper should probably not be counted because it introduces an element of luck, and sort of defeats the point of the game.
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#20 DX-Robert

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:26 PM

Definitely - 2 individual, intentional shots. Arrows, balls, and discs could still count, but with the same rule. Double barrel guns would still be able to get the 2nd hit as long as the player shoots one barrel, waits, then shoots the other.
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#21 Darksircam

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:53 PM

That sounds like a fair deal as well. I'll be trying it, shotgun shots allowed, in a stock-class war though. Shotgunned marshmallows have about 5-10 feet of range from an AR-removed nitefinder, meaning you have to essentially stealth kill your target.
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#22 shardbearer

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:18 PM

Looks decent. Except when you start getting semi auto air guns/double barreled guns/slamfire/HAMPS/anything else that fires fast. HAMPS would just dominate, the perfect combination between power and RoF.
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