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Planning an interesting war on March 14th

Need some advice

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#1 Naturalman7

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

Hello community (or whoever reads this). I have planned many wars in the past, but none close to similar to the one that I am planning right now. I'd call it strange because I usually host wars from 10-20 people, but now I have to plan for around 50-60. Also, almost everybody who will be participating are new to organized Nerf events and some may have never even used a Nerf gun before. All of the blasters that will be used are stock or lightly modified and only stock darts will be used. The two possible locations that we're thinking about using are A a single basketball court sized gym, and B a completely open field. I'm not sure which would be better because, as I've said before, wars of this type are completely new to me (but I have read a lot about previous wars such as Mass's and Apoc's). I was wondering what you would think is best to do in planning/hosting this war. To keep it simple and to make sure everyone gets engaged, we've considered a Deathmatch or a CTF game style. However, we're leaning towards the CTF at the moment except for the fact that some in the group believe that a jail-system would be best to keep everyone active. We choose CTF because you don't sit out after a number of hits. Doing CTF in the gym has been said to be too hard because of the small space and that if anyone were to try to get the flag, they would just be mowed down. With the jail-system, if you get hit once you must go behind the other team into the jail and a teammate can get you out of jail if they make it to the other side.

In summary:
  • 55 People
  • Either in smallish gym - less room, more close quarters, more cover
  • Or open field - field would have a lot of large cardboard boxes to use as cover
  • Almost all participants inexperienced
  • Only stock darts & mostly stock guns used
  • Jail system? Good or bad vs. the regular 3/15 for deathmatch or just counting system after each hit of CTF
  • 2 teams or 4 teams with 2 switching off every round?
  • Maximum of 1hr 30min time
  • Eye protection mandatory
  • Most players don't own their own guns
  • Knowing whether or not you're hit when wearing jackets and such with stock guns & darts?
  • One hit w/ jail system, does this actually sound fun?
  • Is March's weather usually an issue?
  • CTF too hard without jail system?
  • Too much cover (indoors gym)?


Please let me know what you think we should actually do.
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#2 Ambience 327

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:56 AM

With 10-20 people, a single basketball court sized gym could work. With 50-60, you WILL NOT have nearly enough room. You will simply have a crowd of people milling about shooting each other - especially if you put up any kind of cover. Go with the field (and provide lots of cover). I held a war in which over 40 people showed up, and we played on a large elementary school campus with lots of wooded area. It was great. That same number of people in a small gym would have been awful!

The jail system could work, but you will still have people "sitting out" as they wait in jail. Better to have designated respawn areas, and have them go and count themselves back in. (With that many people in play, I would up the count time significantly, so one team could actually make some headway toward reducing the other team's numbers - say something like a 30 count or more (we typically do 10 or 15 counts at our wars).

If you have two flags, make it two teams, unless you have something for the other half of the crowd to be doing. Who wants to sit around a watch others having fun when you could be having fun yourself? :)


Also, I suggest you look into other game types mentioned on this site. Look for things like "Defend the Core", "Humans vs. Zombies", and "Sieze the Balls" (aka "Carpe Testiculum" - this one is great for breaking down into multiple teams - you could even do five or more teams if you wanted) as great alternative objective games that are great fun and where nobody sits out.
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#3 Naturalman7

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:01 AM

Thank you so much for your advice. However, I am still not sure on which approach to use. To address what you've said in order:

1) The group involved has done other 50-60 people things in the gym before with plenty of room to spare. Though, I'm not sure how giving everyone a gun and some cover would detract from the amount of space. With stock guns and darts, the range would be significantly less to that which I think most people who have large regular wars are used to and could provide less milling around.
2) The Jail System was proposed in order to attempt to try to make it easier for the teams to get the flag. As mentioned earlier, if playing in the gym it might be to hard to get to the flags while darts are flying everywhere. I would agree with you though that with the jails people would have to sit out while they wait.
3) Again, the 2 teams or 4 teams was to try to make the gym slightly less crowded by having two teams wait. Or 4 teams outside would play 2 separate games.
4) Lastly, we choose either Deathmatch or CTF becuase almost everyone is new to Nerf and we wanted as much time to play as possible so we choose two styles in which the rules were not too heavy or complicated. I was thinking that DTC with stock guns could be a little difficult.

At this point, these are just the only things that we haven't been able to plan yet. Location, getting-out rules, and game type (however we're leaning towards CTF). The group that I am planning this with has a lot more experience with dodgeball (which uses a jail system) and CTF while camping (one reason why we were thinking CTF and not deathmatch). Seeing as how most people have more experience than me with larger wars, I love people's feedback and will definitely take everything you say into thought.

Edited by Naturalman7, 02 February 2012 - 08:03 AM.

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#4 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

For newer players, stock guns and darts are a good choice. In my own experience trying to kick-start Puerto Rican nerf, I've found that the only way to get people to play with modded guns and stefans is to provide all the equipment for the first few wars. That's not a reasonable solution when we're talking about 50+ in attendance. But it is reasonable to just tell people "hey, bring a Nerf gun, or go buy one from a store". They're cheap, after all. One thing I would suggest, if you have the money, is to buy a couple hundred packs of buzz-bee darts - that'll significantly increase the number of darts laying around on the ground for people to pick up.

Like Ambience said, a single indoor gym is far too small, so the field is your best bet. You'll also want as much cover as possible, otherwise it won't be as interesting. When I was helping koree was hosting indoor wars in Minnesota, we used a gym with three full basketball courts. It was comfortable with 20 people, but would probably be cramped with 50. We also eventually made some ghetto mobstacles out tarp and PVC; I would suggest you do the same, especially if you're playing CTF. I think your best bet would be to track down a park with some trees.

A jail system is not a traditional method used by the NIC, but it is familiar to most people. Try it if you think it's good. You just want to make sure you avoid player downtime - if you punish players too harshly for being aggressive, then they'll act like pussies. CTF is supposed to be a difficult game, so most people will treat it like a deathmatch.

Games like Carpe are awesome, but you don't want to confuse people too much with odd rules. Stick with something simple until you have a group of regulars.
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#5 Naturalman7

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:44 PM

I am definitely thinking about aiming for the field after hearing what you guys have had to say. However, there are certain things that I would most certainly have to consider. The biggest one being the cheap easy-to-set-up cover that I have for the field is cardboard boxes that can blow over in the wind which isnít the ideal situation to have to deal with. Also March's weather precipitation, temperature (I think dressing too warm would make it even harder to feel if you were hit), wind and also the darkness factor are all things to consider when talking about outside (war will end at around 21:00 so Iím imagining it being a bit dark). Also, neither the gym or the field are owned by the group so heavily modded guns, homemade, and modified darts would not be allowed for fear of denting the walls and for new playerís safety. Regarding darts, I have close to a thousand stock darts that everyone can use if you think thatís enough. About what my group has discussed about CTF and the difficulty, some have said that with the current setup it would be impossible to get to the flag without some sort of riot shield. Do you think that (if it were at all possible to do this in the gym for whatever reason we canít do it in the field) CTF in the gym would be very difficult to the point where it would be nearly impossible? Another thing regarding CTF, the rules that Iíve read have said that CTF is commonly played with unlimited lives and with our current setup it would include a one-hit-go-to-jail, I personally prefer something like a standard 3/15 or similar. I am, unfortunately, still undecided about exactly what will take place.
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#6 Ambience 327

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:43 PM

A suggestion for keeping cardboard steady in windy areas - just put a brick or some other heavy object in them.
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#7 VACC

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:21 PM

First of all, 50 - 60 players is a lot, especially if you are organizing this thing by yourself. There are venues that play well with this many players at once, but they usually are massive and composed of many smaller spaces (the interior a multi-floor building is an ideal example). A single open space, be it a gym or a field, makes a very cluttered and confusing stage for a single large battle. Artificial cover certainly helps in this reguard, but from the description of your gym, it seems too small for such a gathering. You might want to consider recruiting some coordinators that will allow you to, periodically, break up the participants into at least 2 smaller simultaneous games.

Further, with any large number of nerfers, even more so with new nerfers, simpler game types will run much more smoothly. Deathmatch is the obvious starting point, but if you're goin to try an implement a game with infinite lifes, try to keep the rules as simple and few as possible. CTF, by the way, hardly, if ever, works with Nerf. I've experienced countless iterations of it run by a variety of hosts, and I've yet to see it really work in an enjoyable fashion. You need such a specific type of venue for it, that it's usually just better to play something else.

However, though my suggestsions are based on quite a bit of experience, every war is different. While you should certainly do your research, take and leave whatever advice you like. The only real way to learn this ridiculous hobby is by experiencing it.
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#8 Curly

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

Forsaken Angel has hosted indoor wars called "Massacre" that have been in a large highschool gym. I've been to the previous two (5&6) and I think there were 40-50 people in simultaneous play in a variety of modes. He uses extensive cover that consists of tarps hung from basketball hoops that touch the ground, and thick foam barriers a few feet wide. When mixed properly there is plenty of cover for everybody and very high-action battles. I would say the key to having so many people in a smaller space is how you arrange the cover. Lots of horizontal blockades results in standoffs, and lots of small cover makes for unbalanced play. It's easy to set the field up in a way to prevent both of these from happening, you just need to be mindful of choke points.

You can see how he has done it in the past on his youtube channel where he has recorded the majority of them from a first person perspective with some shots on the sidelines. To those that aren't terribly fond of me, I appear in the videos for Massacre 5 and 6, mostly getting shot.

Edited by Curly, 03 February 2012 - 04:11 PM.

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#9 Naturalman7

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 05:59 PM

Thanks you guys, for the advice. I'd love to just pick something to do and hope it works, but it's less likely to work if I did that.

A suggestion for keeping cardboard steady in windy areas - just put a brick or some other heavy object in them.
-I've considered doing this, but the boxes I currently have a lot of are relatively small and stacking two on top of each other would offer the best cover which would probably not work very well if it was stacked outdoors like I was thinking about doing.

First of all, 50 - 60 players is a lot, especially if you are organizing this thing by yourself
-I apologize if I forgot to mention it, but it's me and a few others that are organizing this. Out of the group of people planning, I am the one with the most experience planning Nerf things, but they have more experience planning large events in general.

There are venues...break up the participants into at least 2 smaller simultaneous games.
-If the weather is good (from my recent searches, March has the worst wind and precipitation and sunset time would only allow 1/5 of the war to have light) then I was definitely thinking of a game of CTF and a game of DM to be going at the same time.

Further...Deathmatch is the obvious starting point...CTF, by the way, hardly, if ever, works with Nerf...
-There seems to be so many pros and cons that a decision matrix may have to come into play...or for the first half of the time do DM and the remainder to CTF. With DM, it seems that after you're out, you'd just be boringly sitting there (especially if you're one of the first ones out) and CTF, as said, hardly works. CTF seems to offer more variety in what you do, i.e. just run and steal the flag instead of shooting at people. It's less about infinite lives and more about keeping everyone engaged.

...my suggestions are based on quite a bit of experience...The only real way to learn this ridiculous hobby is by experiencing it.
-I definitely like experienced people's suggestions and by offering both CTF and DM with both Jail and 3/15-type I hope to give experience to others as well.


Curly,
Yea, I've seen those videos. I, however, don't think it would be feasible to think about using our local HS gym for a Nerf war, but I've never asked. I've used FA's 'template' in setting up this war, too. One thing that we have available that is a pro of doing it in the gym is that all the cover neccessary we'd have (can't use the same type of cover both indoors and outside)

Edited by Naturalman7, 03 February 2012 - 06:11 PM.

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#10 HasreadCoC

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:20 PM

TI've considered doing this, but the boxes I currently have a lot of are relatively small and stacking two on top of each other would offer the best cover which would probably not work very well if it was stacked outdoors like I was thinking about doing.

Duct tape. It's a beautiful thing.
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#11 Ambience 327

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:19 AM

For larger boxes, check with grocery stores and "big box" electronics, furniture, appliance and department stores. Most of them just throw their boxes out, and would probably be happy to donate dozens of large boxes to your cause. Most Nerfers can hide behind a box meant for a washer or dryer after all... :lol:
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