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Nerf Wargames for Kids


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#1 sjoseph371

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:47 PM

OK I’m an FNG, so forgive me if this topic has been beat to death already. I’m looking for Nerf War games to play with a larger group in an area the size of a medium sized school cafeteria. While I am NOT planning on doing this in a school, I am trying to organize a Nerf activity for a school age youth group than I lead. The group consists of boys age 7 – 11 and possibly their parents. Obviously safety is a factor so we’ll be donning the appropriate safety gear, but I need something that’s “controllable” where I just don’t have a bunch of boys running around and potentially hurting each other, but I cannot have something that’s too complicated for kids to understand, either.

I’m also looking for some kind of games of skill other than just shooting at Solo cups.

Finally, this is a “bring your own” Nerf event, so do you have any ideas how to keep track of the darts? I can let everyone know to bring X darts and to expect a percentage of them to be lost, etc, but I don’t want scrubs to bring their worst darts in and leave with someone else’s cream of the crop darts, etc. Since funds are limited, I cannot buy darts for everyone, and I also cannot charge an “admission fee” to cover the cost of buying new ones either.
Thanks for any ideas!
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#2 thesaz123

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:14 PM

Just a simple team vs team deathmatch would work well. To tell teams apart, buy colored flagging tape (bright orange and green) and have the kids tie this to their blasters/arms. For the team deathmatch, just say that the kids have 3 lives, 3 hits and they have to stand on the sidelines

Edited by thesaz123, 25 January 2012 - 01:14 PM.

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#3 Langley

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:25 PM

Kids that age are usually content to just blast the everloving crap out of each other, and damn the rules. But the post above mine describes the simplest rules we use for most of the wars hosted by NerfHaven members. The flagging tape is a roll of thin disposable fluorescent non-adhesive tape that is usually found in Lowes and Home Depot near caution tape and those little wire flags you stick in your lawn. To make it easier for your kids and to help remove the temptation to cheat, you can have each player tie on three pieces of tape in their team's color. One on their head, and two across their shoulders (making an X). Each time they get hit, they remove a piece of tape, until they are out.

The way we play, you typically have to count out loud to 15 each time you are hit, before returning to play. You also have to stay out of the way when you are counting, and you have to shout "Clear!" when you come back in. You can only clear in with your team, out of range of the other team. Another typical rule is that anything that stops the dart on your person (shoes, hair, clothes, your blaster) counts as a hit.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your group.
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#4 Keo

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:15 PM

Personally, I think the best round for this scenario would be a two flag Capture the flag game type. Two flag meaning that one team has to have their own flag and the enemy team's, at their own flag starting point, to get the point of a flag capture. If you get hit by any ammo or melee or other legal methods of tagging you have, you have to walk back to a certain area designated by which team you're on to get back in. I think this is more optimal for the children as they don't have to sit out until there is a victor.
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#5 Blue

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:34 PM

Have the kids write their name in sharpie on the darts. I assume you are using stock blasters so you are limited by range for any skill type event, possibly you can make a dart tag target for the Velcro darts to stick to. Or some sort of time limit where you have to arc as many darts into a box or something like that. I'd say just let them run around though, they'll have fun just shooting each other no matter what.
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#6 Carbon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:17 PM

I'd recommend a game like Defend the Core. Basically, it's soccer: one team is defending a large box/bucket/goal. The other team is trying to shoot darts into it. If someone gets hit, they have to get off the play field for 15 or 20 seconds before they can return. Play is for a set period of time, and then switch (both teams take turns attacking or defending). The team that gets the most darts into the Core wins. It works best with a relatively large Core (we play with one that's about 4'x4'x4'), so it's pretty easy to score points. You can play variations where different ammo scores different points (missiles, balls, etc).
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#7 Jelly

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:31 AM

I'm interested in something like this in San Jose... Maybe deathmatch with colored flags sticking out of your pocket to designate teams?
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#8 Ambience 327

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:35 AM

If melee Nerf weapons are allowed, or you can come up with another safe alternative (hand-tag, etc), Humans VS Zombies works really well.

Most players start with their Nerf blasters, while a few (say one for every 5-10 other players) start as Zombies and have only melee weapons (or just their hands, etc). If a Zombie is hit with a dart, they sit down and count to 15, then get back up. If a human is tagged by a Zombie, they go put their Nerf blaster down (and pick up a melee weapons if applicable), then return to the fray as a Zombie.

If you are OK playing in the dark, I've found that cheap glowsticks (the kind that make bracelets and can be found at dollar stores in packs of 8 or 12 or so) make great "melee" weapons for the Zombies. We played that way with my church's youth group, and since we wanted to stay away from the "zombie" moniker, we we called them "radioactive lepers" instead. The glowsticks also made the "lepers" stand out like a sore thumb, while the humans were able to hide a bit better, due to the darkness.

Edited by Ambience 327, 26 January 2012 - 10:36 AM.

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#9 sjoseph371

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for the ideas so far - I like teh idea using 3 pieces of flagging tape to keep track of how many hits the person gets and the one where you have to score hits into a box.

Keeping track of the darts - I tried something like labelling the darts with everyone's name at a Nerf War sleepover for my son and it was a nightmare trying to separate out everyone's darts - multiply that by 10 for 60 kids. What do you guys do at teh "pro" Nerf War matches?

Any ideas for "skill" games? My idea since there were so many kids and only 1 large gaming area was to have 1/2 of the kids in the gaming area and hte other 1/2 doing something else . . . . some kind of skill game . . .

Thanks for the great ideas - keep them coming!
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#10 Langley

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:49 PM

Because many of us use homemade darts with our modified blasters, we can typically identify our own stuff just because of small variations in construction. When we need to differentiate our stuff, we will usually mark the dart with an easy to identify pattern. You can use colored markers to mark the darts with different patterns. It can also help to have dart sweeps every few rounds where everyone has to throw what they pick up into a large shallow box. Then your players can pick out only their own ammo. If you do this periodically, it won't be as daunting a task at the end of the day to get everything sorted.

As far as skill games, we don't do much of that around here, and I doubt anyone will have much advise outside of what carbon mentioned. You may want to look into the Nerf Tech Target sets. They're electronic targets that have a few different game modes.
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#11 spencerak

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:20 PM

CTF is usually successful at my youth group where when you are hit you must touch the wall on your side of the "arena" then you can go back in, we usually use cones for flags in designated spots, usually behind cover in opposite corners of the field of play (our churches huge ass gym, 1.75 times the size of a standard basket ball court) and you have to be holding the other teams cone and tag your own cone to win, this game of CTF was quite successful using a half basket ball court sized field with like 14 people.
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#12 loganator10001

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

AS MYSELF HAVING A YOUNGER BROTHER OF THE AGE OF 9, HE IS FINE WITH A POWERFUL BLASTER AND DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE PAIN, NOW NOT ALL KIDS ARE THIS TOUGH OR MATURE, BUT WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO HANDLE MULTIPLE TYPES OF GAMEPLAY. TRY BASING THE GAMES OFF OF VIDEO GAMES, KIDS OF THAT AGE ARE OWNING ON VIDEO GAMES SO IF YOU TELL THEM A GAME MODE I AM SURE THEY WILL UNDERSTAND.
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#13 Langley

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:00 AM

AS MYSELF HAVING A YOUNGER BROTHER OF THE AGE OF 9, HE IS FINE WITH A POWERFUL BLASTER AND DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE PAIN, NOW NOT ALL KIDS ARE THIS TOUGH OR MATURE, BUT WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO HANDLE MULTIPLE TYPES OF GAMEPLAY. TRY BASING THE GAMES OFF OF VIDEO GAMES, KIDS OF THAT AGE ARE OWNING ON VIDEO GAMES SO IF YOU TELL THEM A GAME MODE I AM SURE THEY WILL UNDERSTAND.


OKAY YOU DON'T NEED TO SHOUT K THX BYE
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#14 Bbdude

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:11 AM

I've been to a few nerf wars that a local youth group hosts. The kids range from 7-14 for the most part, although most are 10-12.

We have a few game types we play.

Teamdeath Match- Rules have been mentioned before. We do a system when you get hit, you go to your base and count to 10. Works ok except we use poker chips for lives and when you get a hit you must collect the chip from the other player. The only reason we do it that was is becasue we do a time limit but the whole collecting of chips gets annoying. Also, kids like to lie about getting hit so thats always a problem

CTF- Again, rules are pretty explanitory (pretty much the same as any CTF game). We do unlimited lifes and the little kids love it. They run around, get hit, run back to base, and do it all over again.

Ambush- THis one is really fun. Usually have 4-5 Youth Group leaders attend the wars. With this game, the leaders all go into one of the rooms and set up baricades with tables and chairs (we play indoors). Rules are in place about block walkways and stuff. The 4-5 leaders try to defend a flag behind them. All other players try to retrieve the flag. If a leader if hit, they must count to 10 (they are allowed to reload during this) if a kid is hit, they go back to base.

As far as darts go, since only stock darts are allowed, we all mark our darts. People use initials, a number, a line in a specific place. usually works out fine just make sure you have extra markers to change marks if needed (ex. two people use the mark 33). After each round we do a dart sweep and reload. Since we all use the same darts, we dont sort them out till the end. After the last round, everybody does a last sweep and places darts in a pile. Usually 2 or 3 of the leaders will sort the darts by their marks and then players can claim their darts. Usually it only takes them like 30 min to organise them and while they do, the players pass time cleaning the church up and playing tag.
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#15 Ambience 327

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:39 PM

Just remembered another one: VIP

Two teams - one starts off in a designated area and has to make a circuit (we used to go through the whole church, upstairs then down and back up) from point A to point B (or back to point A depending on space available). One member of this team is the VIP - if he is taken out, the other team wins. If he makes it to the designated area alive, his team wins. The other team can start anywhere outside of the starting area, and at least a little ways away.
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#16 Greydon

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:36 PM

I just had a war with the kids I work with. They all prefer the free for all modes, Zombies or Capture the Flag. Well as I said these are the kids I work with. It could very from place to place. But as long as they get out of the house, and away from the TV and video games anything is good.

Also depending on the age group the simpler the style of game, the more fun they will have.
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#17 Cmdrmack

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:20 PM

I'm pleased to see folks in this community using kids toys to play with kids. It's nice to see references to youth groups on these forums.

I'd keep a few things in mind as you're organizing things:

1) The more complicated the rules, the more things can go wrong.
2) If people are sitting out, they're not having fun.
3) Stay flexible, change the rules to balance the game if you need to.

I'd recommend games that have infinite respawns by tagging a certain spot, or games like Humans vs Zombies, where you don't lose, you just change teams. Kids are almost certainly going to shoot one another with the blasters, so it's better to control that in some way rather than fight against it.

If you're having people mark their darts, I'd recommend that you put the mark as close to the front of the dart as you can, otherwise it'll rub off from constant use.
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