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Mobstacles

Modular Nerf War Obstacles

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#1 CaptainSlug

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 08:37 AM

The bane of Nerf Wars are big empty fields with no cover. They make for boring stand-offs and 90 foot charges that will wear you out really quickly. It took me a few weeks of tinkering and shopping around for parts to find the cheapest solution that's also fairly easy to setup. I spaced them about 50 feet apart.
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The parts are quite simple. For one obstacle you need.
(3) five-foot lengths of 1/2" PVC pipe
(6) S-hooks (smallest size available)
(6) Curtain Rings
(3) 5' x 7' tarps

The tarps I bought from eBay at $33 shipped for a case of 24.
The S-hooks I bought at Home Depot. They come in a package of 4 for $1.23, but in hindsight I probably could have used just curtain rings.
The curtain rings I bought at Target, they come in a package of 12 for $1
The pipe I bought from Mcmaster, but Home Depot has them at the same price ($2 ea)

That makes the total cost of each obstacle $12.45

1. To set one up you simply use a fence post driver or sledgehammer to sink the pipe 4 or 5 inches into the ground.
2. Then repeat with the two other lengths of pipe spaced 7' apart in an equilateral triangle, or in a row to make a fence.
3. Use S-hooks to hold the tap in the top of the pipe.
4. And two curtain rings total to hold the middle and bottom of both tarp that meet up with that pipe.

In the event that someone physically plows into an obstacle the s-hooks pop out of the top of the pipe and the tarp falls to the ground. The obstacles I've set up in my back yard withstood 20 mph winds but I have no estimate as to how high of a wind they can hold up to. You don't have to worry about them falling over under a light breeze or mild gusts.

To make taller obstacles all you have to do is use a cross coupler join two 5-foot lengths of pipe together after driving the lower pipes 6 or 7 inches into the ground. The lower tarp joints to the open end of the cross coupler using s-hooks and the upper tarp does the same in the upper pipe.
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Making other shapes is entirely up to the person setting up the obstacles. I simply went with the shapes that provided the highest stability against the wind and provided cover from multiple directions. The triangle also meant that if someone was hiding behind it the sunlight hitting from behind them wouldn't create a visible silhouette.
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If you want to discourage people from climbing inside of these you can simply use string to tie the center loops of the tarps together.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 17 June 2007 - 09:17 AM.

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#2 rebsol

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 08:45 AM

Good job. Maybe to reinforce it a little you could make an reinforcer, like the things that stick out of the ground that go up and form a triangle around it. Cardboard could also be a viable option for reinforcement, you could attach it via glue to the tarp, and nail it to the ground with the enforcers.

Edited by rebsol, 17 June 2007 - 08:45 AM.

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#3 CaptainSlug

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 08:49 AM

There's really no need to reinforce them. They worked great at DCNO. As long as the pipes are placed far enough away from each other the tarps will remain taught.
They provide a nice audible "thump" when shot by a dart that makes it obvious that you haven't hit anyone.

You could use cardboard instead of tarps. But the tarps were easy to take down, fold up, and throw in a box. The secondary goal was to make these easy to breakdown to the point that they will fit in the back of my car. I didn't want to transport big sheets of anything.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 17 June 2007 - 08:52 AM.

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#4 theschief

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 09:10 AM

Thats really clever. We've been discussing building bunkers of wood and dirt in our woods, but this design is clearly much easier to accomplish.

How many of these "mobsticals" (you also seem to have a flair for naming...) do you have Slug? Any of varying hights or lengths? And are you planning to lug these around with you to all wars or only upon request?

Glad to hear it worked at DCNO, great job!

Edited by theschief, 17 June 2007 - 09:11 AM.

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#5 CaptainSlug

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 09:14 AM

I setup 4 in the soccer field for DCNO. But once I buy some more s-hooks I'll have enough materials to make 5 triangles.
I can bring them when requested. Some fields need them, some don't.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 17 June 2007 - 09:16 AM.

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#6 Cmdrmack

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:52 PM

I've thought about doing something similar, but instead of tarps I thought about using this stuff. The advantage of this material is that some of the more powerful guns can shoot through it, which would make camping behind the obstacle a bad idea. A stock or Mongo Titan could probably rip down large chunks of this stuff, which would give it more usefulness on the Battlefield.

The downside is that one does eventually run out. Also, trash/littering could become an issue. Tarps can be reused infinitely. Paper could not.
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#7 LastManAlive

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 06:23 PM

These make for GREAT laughs at a war when someone hides behind them and another person runs into the obstacle towards them.

These were nice, but I would have liked them to not be triagular, but rather just straight or slightly angled.

It gives a better obstacle, and from what I saw at DCNO this year, people tended to take to the ends of the feild, not the sides.
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#8 SirTofu

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:34 PM

I have seen these on paintball forums. However, the makeshift bunkers are more boxy, the tarp is more taught but a little loose so holes are not created.

Edited by SirTofu, 20 June 2007 - 11:35 PM.

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#9 Prometheus

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 10:47 AM

I saw the video of the DCNO war, and they looked pretty sweet. I'm was like, "Yep. Another CS invention. Practicality and innovation rolled into one."

A slit in between the pipe and the tarps would be cool, as that adds a great strategic value to whoever is in possession of the mobstacle at the time, as they have a protected nest to fire from.


But yeah, as always CS, nice.
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#10 LastManAlive

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:09 PM

We should have had a custom round where you could get inside the tarps. Maybe an attack and deffend round.

Tarp fags get 2 lives, 15 seconds in between and the rushers get 5 lives, 15 seconds in between. Maybe have one flag that the attackers have to get. Maybe we can waste 2 rounds next DCNO that way.

The only thing we would need is a limit on how far out and around the tarp field you could go. The woods are already off limits, so a boundary towards the left is needed as well.
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#11 CaptainSlug

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:19 PM

We can try more shapes at future events. Like U shapes, single section fences, squares, or whatever will work best in a certain area. The triangles did provide cover that didn't give any visual indication (like shadows) that you were hiding behind them.
If you have more supplies it's fairly easy to make self-standing shapes and more elaborate structures. I limited myself to a budget of $70 for 5 obstacles.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 21 June 2007 - 02:19 PM.

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