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New Forms of War


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#1 Astech

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 02:01 AM

We all know capture the flag, carpe, deathmatch and all those original, entertaining game modes. Many of us know other, fancier games that are often more interesting, but take heaps of time to explain. I recall one game (not Nerf, but similar mechanics and could be easily adaptable) that took over 30 minutes to explain. It was a blast,but in the time taken to explain rule everyone (of the 60 people there) could have played 2-3 games of CTF. Come on.

The objective of this article is to propose some new game modes that create interesting mechanics while keeping explanation time low. Some of these have been extensively play tested, and others have yet to be. I'll mark them as they come. Enjoy.


1: Clips.

This has nothing to do with ammunition, but rather clothes pegs - cheap and accessible. At the start of each game every player (irrelevant of player numbers) is given 4 pegs, which are clipped onto any visible section of clothing. Whenever a player is hit they have 20 seconds of "respawn (no attacking, cannot be hit) in which to give one peg to the player that shot them ( who is invulnerable while actually attaching the token) and find a safe place to get back into it. Once a player reaches 0 pegs they're out of the game. After 15 minutes the winner is either the last player standing or whomever has the most pegs.

My experience with this mode is fantastic. We played in a very large house (5 bedrooms, 2 stories, 2 staircases) and played for about 30 minutes. Because of the very large indoor area and the relatively few players (5 or so) ambushes were a viable tactic. Because of my Stryfe primary, I lost drastically. Obviously, outdoor play would be very different. This game mode is a free for all with the benefit of both time pressure and quantifiable victory conditions. Unlike 3:15 deathmatch and all its variants Clips allows redemption of lagging players, producing a more forgiving, yet fast paced game. The highlight was a 5 player standoff between several rooms, where every plyer was conscious of the clock ticking down, yet nobody was willing to concede their strategic positions.

2: Trouble in Terrorist Town.

Airsoft fans may have heard of it. Its based of of a dice game where secrecy and betrayal combine with firepower. Google it for some well made videos (not by me, of course) with airsoft guns. At the beginning of each game (which normally lasts less than 5 minutes with 11 people) every player is dealt a card (see Appendix A for card distribution ratios) and depending on the card will be either a Detective, Innocent or Terrorist. Terrorists are face cards, detectives are aces, innocents are anything else. The objective of the detective(s) and innocents is to kill all terrorists, and conversely the objective of the terrorists is to kill all detectives and innocents. The game does not happen until one of those two conditions are met.

The catch is, all cards are dealt in secret, so there is no way for a Detective/Innocent to prove he/she really is a detective and not a Terrorist. However, before the start of each game, everyone closes their eyes, and the terrorists look up, so they know whose on their side. By playing in a small area (we used the above house with 11 people) everyone must continually watch their backs. Because the terrorists know who each other are, they can work together against a divided foe. The detective can ask the dead (who, once shot, lie on the ground unmoving, obviously) who shot them. The game boils down to a race as the terrorists slowly wipe out the innocents and detectives and the detectives work to expose the killers.

My experience of the game is that, if everyone avoids cheating during setup, this game is well balanced and very run. it is best played indoors where players can hide killings. If one has access to a large house then I would highly recommend this game mode.

My best experience was when we had (for some inexplicable reason) 2 terrorists against 9 others. Myself and another were the Terrorists, and we worked so effectively that by one minute into the match we had cleaned up almost all the innocents and Detectives. We had been split up, searching for the final Detective when suddenly, a figure lunges past a wall, firing at me as he went. I fired all I had at him, striking him several times as he hit me. Only after we both stood up did we realize; we were both Terrorists, and we'd just shot each other...

Appendix A; For an easy game for the innocents, have 1 Detective and 2 Innocents for every 2 Terrorists. This means that the Terrorists are outnumbered,but have the element of surprise on their side. For an easy game for the Terrorists,have 1 Detective and 1 Innocent for every 2 Terrorists. This means that the Terrorists have strength in numbers, but also that the detectives have less suspects to eliminate before exposing the terrorists.

3: Classy War.

Admit it. At some point you've thought that it would be amazing to be able to select classes to play as, like the heavy, or spy etc. Of course, the problems inherent in such a game make it almost impossible. I believe I've worked out a simple and fun 3:15 team deathmatch version. Every player has the standard 3 lives, and must return to a spawn point to get back into a game The winning team is the last one alive, or the team with the most members alive after 15 minutes.

There are 3 classes: Heavy, Scout and Medic.

The Scout is the only class allowed to pick up ammo from the ground, and can then share it among his team mates. They pay for this by only being able to carry 2 weapons, and neither can have a maximum capacity above 6. They can carry as much ammunition as thy desire, however. Scouts wear a cap of their team colourto denote themselves on the battlefield.

The Heavy can withstand 2 hits before being sent back to spawn, greatly increasing his durability. They pay for this by only being able to walk at any time (This includes while walking back to spawn, and is defined as having one foot on the ground at all times). Heavies denote themselves on the battlefield by wearing a bandanna or their team colour.

The Medic acts as a mobile base for spawning, drastically reducing the time needed to do so. Any friendly player can simple touch them and be instantly revived. The medic pays for this by not being able to carry battery operated weapons. Medics denote themselves on the battlefield with an armband of their team colour.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with this game type, but if players already know 3:15, then these simple classes are an easy addition to the game. i would expect that teams of 5 or 4 are best, and between 2 and 4 teams, depending upon player numbers. I would recommend an outdoor playing field with high cover. Teams can vary roles to keep the gimmick entertaining. For example, a team of a Medic, 3 Heavies and a Scout moving together would be very hard to defeat.


That wraps it up for now. Obviously, these rules are different, and a "learning" game will definitely be required for Trouble in Terrorist Town, but the short games allow for this. A Classy war will obviously be better the more players one musters, while Clips maxes at around 10, or else risk players becoming extremely overpowered. If anyone could give feedback on Classy Wars, that would be much appreciated.

Edited by Astech, 08 July 2015 - 07:32 PM.

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#2 CaliforniaPants

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 02:16 AM

most wars balk at anything more complicated than CTF, explaining these things to a group of people would be A) a nightmare and B ) probably not work how you want it to. i know that your goal here was to make something take shorter to explain, but come on, nobody wants to play TTT while people spout youtube memes and bicker with each other until someone ends up just shooting everyone else. this could work very well at small attendance war but anything over say 12 would start to get rough

clips is interesting at first, but if you get someone with a rapid fire long range blaster they'll be stacked in clips in no time at all and virtually unbeatable. 20 seconds of respawn means you could very easily end up respawning and being shot immediately for a minute straight and then being knocked out entirely, and thats no fun.

Edited by CaliforniaPants, 04 July 2015 - 02:17 AM.

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#3 Astech

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 02:37 AM

This could work very well at small attendance war but anything over say 12 would start to get rough


Absolutely. Everything you say is correct, but slightly redundant in Australia. Toowoomba has a population of 116 000, give or take. That essentially means that my group is (for now) limited to 11. Being a moderator, I'll assume you have in depth knowledge of large scale wars and how the people there operate. My particular group is open to this sort of stuff, and the rules were explained in 2 minutes. I can understand that larger wars will have problems, but large wars simply don't exist in Australia; even SBNC has very few members.

Clips is intended to be an indoors game mode, so long range isn't really much of an issue, but the ROF certainly is (And outdoor Clips would definitely be a slaughter). Being knocked out is awful, but balanced by the time limit cap. I found that 20 seconds was enough to hand over pegs, do 10 seconds of scouting and then find a safe spot in the last 5. More players will counter this or course. CTF, 3:15 and Carpe will always be the staples of war, simply because everyone already knows them. My objective here is to get awareness out about other, fun game modes, not to replace the Classics.
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#4 Condorboy

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 08:30 AM

I think I will mention "Clips" to the host of The Mississauga Massacre! It strikes a great balance between simple and interesting.
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#5 Buffdaddy

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:22 AM

I think I will mention "Clips" to the host of The Mississauga Massacre! It strikes a great balance between simple and interesting.


Actually, we've played a similar gametype at Canadian wars before - we just used small flags instead of clips. And it worked out very well, even for a large war. Although instead of a time limit, you just yell at the person you hit, keep both your blasters in the air, and take a flag. Then clear back in, and the person who got hit can't go back after you for ten seconds (firing darts or following you).
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#6 Snoop Doggy doge

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:39 AM

I think the clothespin could be great for large wars for multiple hits or to keep place for lives,
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#7 Noobiest Noob

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 12:52 PM

I think the 'Classy War' is the Nerf version of a 'boffer LARP', and would probably work best when played in a similar fashion. Having a regular group, as opposed to just a random gathering, with an objective based structure, instead of a re-skinned deathmatch.

With the disclaimer that I have almost no experience with Nerf wars in any setting other than an impromptu game at birthday parties, I would suggest editing the classes slightly. Using the Scout as a baseline, I think limiting them to two weapons is fair. I would say nothing needing two hands, but if your players are smart, the should figure that out quickly. The ammo limits may scare off some players from trying the role, but the ability to collect ammo and restock teammates is powerful. To highlight that, I think adding some limits on carried ammo would be required. The unlimited capacity of the Scout has been mentioned, but what about the other classes?
The only issues I see with the Heavy are the potential for cheating by not calling or counting hits (and if you have players like that, find new players), and the ability for a squad of them to completely dominate the game, especially with high capacity, long range or high RoF blasters.
As for the Medic, I think limiting them to springers only is a little underwhelming. The focus of the class seems to be on tactical positioning rather than scoring kills (or whatever), so instead, I think limiting the class to pistols would be better. They can still mount a defense if attacked, but won't feel the need to rush out to go for the kill, which I believe fits the flavor of the class.

I'm not going to bother trying to list possible objectives. Stealing from a miniature war game rule book would probably be a decent start. Of course, if a group is forced to do more standard game types with the class-based structure, I would put heavy limits on how many of each class can be fielded, and perhaps add a fourth, generic Soldier class, with one hit point, probably using a primary and sidearm, and having the ability to run and nothing else. The limits would probably vary based on number of players and personal preference, but I would suggest no more than two Medics, and only if playing a large game. Any number of Scouts would probably be ok, and Heavies ...I think 25% or less of the team size should be allowed. The generic class would fill up the rest of the team.

Again, take my insights with a grain of salt. I'm commenting more as a member of the tabletop community rather than the Nerf community.
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#8 NineOfSpades

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 11:04 PM

The pin thing seems like a clever idea man! I might bring that up at the next nerf war I go to.
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#9 Astech

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 07:46 PM

...it worked out very well, even for a large war. Although instead of a time limit, you just yell at the person you hit, keep both your blasters in the air, and take a flag. Then clear back in, and the person who got hit can't go back after you for ten seconds (firing darts or following you).


Great! Since I haven't had much experience with larger wars this feedback is important to my future wars. Since we played Clips indoors there would be at least 3 people sitting in ambush positions, so the purpose of counting back in out loud is to prevent them from accidentally shooting you and revealing their position unintentionally.

In reply to other comments:

The downside of a soldier class is this; they will always lose a firefight with a heavy, run out of darts before a scout and have less backup than a medic (as people don't constantly run up to them for respawns that the medic enjoys). While a soldier class is definitely fun and balanced I have a feeling that its just too bread and butter for most people. After all, the idea of Classy Wars is to have a class, and the soldier negates that. Of course it offers greater variability in the team setup, so presenting it as an option can't hurt at all.

Naturally team limitations can be enforced, but I think its more of an issue with teams of 5 or less, where 3 heavies really make an impact. After all, 10+ player teams are going to balance themselves between dart collection, hit points and tactical respawns. So yes limitations are necessary, but its likely that after a few rounds the teams will balance themselves.

Thanks once again for all the feedback. I'm thinking of hosting a school based war with 20-40 people, so every comment counts.
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#10 Noobiest Noob

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 09:04 PM

The downside of a soldier class is this; they will always lose a firefight with a heavy, run out of darts before a scout and have less backup than a medic (as people don't constantly run up to them for respawns that the medic enjoys). While a soldier class is definitely fun and balanced I have a feeling that its just too bread and butter for most people. After all, the idea of Classy Wars is to have a class, and the soldier negates that. Of course it offers greater variability in the team setup, so presenting it as an option can't hurt at all.


If you need a 'special ability' for the proposed Soldier class, why not make them the only ones able to take and/or hold objectives (or flags, or what have you)? I'm more or less stealing this from 40k, or at least the older editions that I played.
I'm not too concerned with Soldiers 'always' losing to a Heavy, as that's seems to be the point of that class. I think that two or three taking on one Heavy is a roughly fair fight, depending on cover available. The same with running out of darts before a Scout.
You bring up a good point with the lack of support, though. Perhaps it takes a few losses for players to learn that giving each other support and back-up is a good idea? In any case, I agree with you that these issues are mostly important for smaller games. I'm sure it's possible to break the system with a larger group, but since everything is still being developed, it's going to help playtesting.

To be fully honest, I was working on something similar to this, but much more complicated (and not in a good way). I'm just glad I'm not the only person that thinks something like this is worth exploring.
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#11 Muffinbat

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 05:00 PM

FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED/CURIOUS ABOUT HOSTING A TTT GAME WITH NERF BLASTERS.

 

Hey folks, Last summer my friends and I played an outdoor game of TTT with a total of 17 people and we made it work (I am doing the same thing again tonight with roughly the same number of people), and I have found that having the right space is very important. We use a part of a college campus and we clear it with campus police beforehand, they are cool with us being there as long as we clean up.

 

Another important way to make the game work is to give the innocents a reason to split up and move around the area. We do this by encouraging players to preform what we call a "Three Two One", where two players find a secluded part of the map and point their weapons to each others heads. They count down together and on one, if one player is traitor, they shoot, and if they are both innocent, then obviously neither player shoots. This tactic is high-risk/high-reward, because if you are alone with that traitor and they kill you, it may be some time before anyone knows you have been killed. However if you neither player shoots and you are thusly both confirmed as innocents to each other, it means you have found another player you 100% trust.

 

Tonight we are planning to try some more things to split people up. Our lynch pin is introducing a new role we call the slasher, which is a player that can only walk, is armed with a nerf sword, and takes 6 nerf darts before being STUNNED for 30 seconds, not killed. The only way to KILL the slasher, who wanders around, lunging at any players it sees, is for players to collect 3 components (which have been scattered around the map by the slasher prior to the game) of a titan as-v1 and assemble them. Only a hit from this assembled rocket launcher can kill the slasher. If the slasher is the last alive before the timer runs out, the slasher wins. Thoughts?


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#12 Meaker VI

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 02:51 PM

FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED/CURIOUS ABOUT HOSTING A TTT GAME WITH NERF BLASTERS.

 

Tonight we are planning to try some more things to split people up. Our lynch pin is introducing a new role we call the slasher, which is a player that can only walk, is armed with a nerf sword, and takes 6 nerf darts before being STUNNED for 30 seconds, not killed. The only way to KILL the slasher, who wanders around, lunging at any players it sees, is for players to collect 3 components (which have been scattered around the map by the slasher prior to the game) of a titan as-v1 and assemble them. Only a hit from this assembled rocket launcher can kill the slasher. If the slasher is the last alive before the timer runs out, the slasher wins. Thoughts?

 

 

Setting aside that you revived a ~3 year old topic to post this, I do like that you're forcing the players to spread out. Normally when I played Mafia/Werewolf (card-game TTT is probably based off of), the game really depended on how fun the group was and how well they knew each other's tells. Forcing the players to split up and/or panic outright is a good way to make those issues less important. I'm not sure your solution is quite right- the slasher will be blatantly obvious, could get gang-mobbed at the start, and will be annoying to elminate - but the idea seems like a good one. Maybe make it so players need to get slasher-protection badges/tokens/etc. instead of building something so they don't need to work together and the various sub-groups have a method of eliminating players indirectly (What? Give you one of my three badges? But I need them for people who definitely are not the terrorists...).

 

In the card game, I've seen added an 'angel' who could revive dead players. The detective was also the only player who could look at cards, but that was with the help of a mod, and killings were controlled one-per-round. Two terrorists feel like enough for a 7-11 player game indoors, maybe not outdoors though.

 

It still sounds like an indoor gametype though. You couldn't play that at a war with much more than a small group.

 

I also see you're in Olympia, are you in PaNNC? They just had a war this weekend I missed because I was busy tiling (story of my life though, I've missed every PaNNC war <_< ).


Edited by Meaker VI, 23 July 2018 - 02:56 PM.

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#13 Muffinbat

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:13 PM

 

 

Setting aside that you revived a ~3 year old topic to post this, I do like that you're forcing the players to spread out. Normally when I played Mafia/Werewolf (card-game TTT is probably based off of), the game really depended on how fun the group was and how well they knew each other's tells. Forcing the players to split up and/or panic outright is a good way to make those issues less important. I'm not sure your solution is quite right- the slasher will be blatantly obvious, could get gang-mobbed at the start, and will be annoying to elminate - but the idea seems like a good one. Maybe make it so players need to get slasher-protection badges/tokens/etc. instead of building something so they don't need to work together and the various sub-groups have a method of eliminating players indirectly (What? Give you one of my three badges? But I need them for people who definitely are not the terrorists...).

 

In the card game, I've seen added an 'angel' who could revive dead players. The detective was also the only player who could look at cards, but that was with the help of a mod, and killings were controlled one-per-round. Two terrorists feel like enough for a 7-11 player game indoors, maybe not outdoors though.

 

It still sounds like an indoor gametype though. You couldn't play that at a war with much more than a small group.

 

I also see you're in Olympia, are you in PaNNC? They just had a war this weekend I missed because I was busy tiling (story of my life though, I've missed every PaNNC war <_< ).

 

In summary, the addition of the slasher to our game ended up being a great idea. There was no effective way we were ever going to be able to keep the identity of the slasher hidden the way the identity of the traitors would be, so for each round the slasher was identified prior to the start. While the rest of the players stood in a circle for the traitors-identifying-who-their-traitor-pals-were-routine, the slasher would take that time to hide the Titan ASV-1 parts around the playing area.

 

As for the gameplay itself, the slasher almost always made players run away (in a kind of herding action) which was good for the traitors because it made innocents easier to pick off in the confusion. Innocents never stayed in one group and would often run off alone in different directions, or at most in pairs. Players were also very happy to play the role of a seemingly invincible machete wielding monster. If memory serves, the slasher was killed at least once out of 6 rounds, in a dramatic episode in which a group of 5 players with the assembled launcher stood ready behind an elevator door while the slasher was on the other side, unaware that the players had found all the pieces. Once the elevator doors opened and the slasher went down, the traitor in the group of 5 mowed down the other 4.

 

Generally speaking, the introduction of the slasher was effective in keeping players distracted and keeping foot traffic moving around the playing area. For this reason the slasher gave the traitors an advantage, even if they weren't strictly working together. The odds of a slasher finding and killing a player who turned out to be a traitor were low enough that it was a non-issue.

 

To answer your question, I only recently came into the PaNNC community and have not attended any of their wars (yet?). This has come after several years of tirelessly hosting and organizing Nerf related events for folks who are students, and so right now you could say I am on vacation. If I ever go to one I can PM you about it if you like.


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#14 meow121325

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:24 PM

i think there should be a way to do city wide nerf wars that take place in small towns or cities i know in iowa there are plenty of both but not the people so i just wanted to throw that idea out there


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