Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Water warfare tactical scenarios, role-playing threads, and fictional stories.
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Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby TacticalTyphoon » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:56 am

As Summer is approaching, I've decided to pick up where I left off with "Hydrolysis V2" scenarios....this time, no Monster XLs! :goofy: I need to stop liking that weapon...

Image

"Run!" shouts your last remaining team-mate of your three man team as he is hit in the back by a CPS 2000 blast. You have no weapons; you dropped your CPS 2100 a while back to maximise your mobility. You need to run. Faster. Five enemies ran after you, the last obstacle in their way to victory. Your training kicks in, and ignoring muscular ache, you hit your maximum sprinting velocity, finally losing them in the woodlands.

You pant for a few seconds, careful not to be too loud. This was disastrous. The enemy had had twice the numbers you'd thought, and their weapons had been high end CPS class, not just medium XP class and Vindicators. You pull out the map from your pocket...hmm. It was hard to tell - the woodlands terrain was all similar looking - but having trained in these woods for years, you pinpoint yourself to M3. A cached CPS 1500 lies under some leaves; you thank yourself for hiding this here earlier. It has a full tank. The woods are deadly silent in the mid-day heat, save for crickets chirping and the sound of your own racing heart. Time to move out.

You have two ways to win. Either A) Eliminate all hostiles (One Hit Kill) or B) Go to the upper floor of the enemy barracks and wave the flag above it. On your map, you mark the last known locations of four of the six enemies; they are bound to have moved a little since those positions, however they may still cover an area close to those points in a wide defence around the barracks. Their armaments include a CPS 4100, a Monster X, a CPS 2700, and a WBL. The other two weapons? Unknown, but likely heavy CPS class weapons. They have radios, but are not allowed to use them once eliminated, nor are they allowed to yell if you hit them with water to reveal your/their location. You can bet that at least one guy will be guarding the barracks in a static position.

Hmm, strange. You find yourself devising a plan in your head whereas usually you'd be explaining it to a team...


Rules are as follows: One hit kills, one life for every combatant. You get hit, you're out. They get hit, they're out. The one advantage you have (as long as you use the CPS 1500 and don't pick up any other weapons) is that you are mar more mobile and faster. The woodlands will slow both you and them down a little bit when running due to tree roots, logs, etc. The enemies are unaware of your position at the start. Each block, whilst not scaled quite properly (the picture is a little poor, sorry), is 20m by 20m.

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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby marauder » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:24 pm

I sprint up the path to K1, sneak through the woods to I1 and peer out onto the path to see if I can spot the enemy. If they are there, they may be filling up at the clean water barrels and not paying attention to security. If I can sneak past them I continue through the woods to E1 and do the same. I will move to A1 and then move south to the base.

If I cannot sneak past them at K1 I move south east, depending on how many there are and where they are going.
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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby TacticalTyphoon » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:41 pm

marauder_4 wrote:I sprint up the path to K1, sneak through the woods to I1 and peer out onto the path to see if I can spot the enemy. If they are there, they may be filling up at the clean water barrels and not paying attention to security. If I can sneak past them I continue through the woods to E1 and do the same. I will move to A1 and then move south to the base.

If I cannot sneak past them at K1 I move south east, depending on how many there are and where they are going.

That plan is simple and fine, but the barracks is their main concern; they'll be defending it closely, likely. They know they outnumber you 6:1, and they'll be playing safely to that advantage. At minimum, one of them will be guarding the barracks with a heavy CPS weapon, maybe more.

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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby marauder » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:55 pm

There isn't really any other option except staying out in the woods until they get bored and send people after me. Which I'd be willing to do, but that doesn't make for a very exciting reply.

4 people were last spotted away from the fort. They are probably looking for me, leaving 2 guarding the base. If I can ambush them then I'm good. If there looks to be more than I can handle I will wait it out. Draw them out one by one if possible and go rambo!
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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby DX » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:35 pm

Super super long post coming. I have to go out for dinner, then I'll finish it later tonight. I put a ton of thought into this and have some ways to win it.

In the future, please scale your images to a width of 800 px or less. At 1,023 wide, the forum is cutting off the right side of the map, including the starting point.

I love this scenario because the odds of winning appear to be so low. This brings out the best of water warfare as a strategy game rather than just a shooting game. If you want to win it, and this is winnable, you have to bring your A game both physically and mentally.

Ok, so I am expecting an intelligent enemy that knows a wide variety of strategies and tactics. The defense will be elite level and thus, my strategy will be for the long-haul. I've never written an article on the "order of operations" for decision-making, but there definitely is a hierarchy that matters. Sometimes there is a "critical" move that takes priority over all other moves and results in virtually guaranteed defeat if you don't execute it the moment you see it coming. This is a map where there is one right from the beginning. Assuming that the water barrels are the sole water source, I can see a move that I must make before even forming a strategy. This map is screaming "GET TO THE WATER BARRELS NOW AND FIRST". So, I am off at my max speed through the woods to the edge of the woods at I2. Up to 3 enemies in theory could get there faster, but they won't because of my two advantages in the early game - they do not know where I am and they do not know my intent at the tactical level. They have to see me, process my direction and speed, come up with my intended destination, communicate this to their teammates, react and determine a counter, then start running. All the while, I am sprinting all out. And of course, this is assuming that they are still in those positions from before, which almost certainly won't be the case.

So now I am at the water barrels, out of sight, probably unseen, with an already fully-loaded gun. Why bother doing that? Because of the defense…

The defense knows it's 6 on 1. Both conditions of victory require me to attack them, so they know I have to bring the outnumbered offense, which is not as effective in OHK as it is in OHS. They also know that the logic of offense says to probe the defense at its weakest point. M4's plan illustrates this, where he ignores the 4 scouts and scopes out the barracks to see if the proverbial "back door" has been left open for a moneyball shot.

However, what I expect is that they will actually leave the front door a bit too open. They will be so concerned about securing the back door (in this case the barracks) that their front door (the scouting line) will be too weak. I'm going to break the laws of offense and entirely ignore the back door at the beginning. They know I have to attack them. Thus, they are not going to scout for me in singles, or even in pairs. Why allow me to use the outnumbered defense? It would be stupid to let me set ambushes and walk right into them. So, they are going to pack and force me to use the outnumbered offense, to attack them when and where they are strong.

There are two types of packing strategies I'd expect here. Strategy A, I'll call the back game, where they set all 6 players defending the barracks. I have to come to them if I want to win, thus I will have to come against their full strength, supported by someone on the 2nd floor of the barracks, possibly even with the WBL up there.

Strategy B, I'll call the control game, seeks to deprive me of both the objective and the means of fighting. They will crack their force into 3 and 3, with 3 camping the barracks and 3 camping the water barrels. If I want to take a moneyball shot, I have to deal with superior numbers in defensive positions. If I need to refill, I have to deal with superior numbers in defensive positions.

They will have me really well in either set up. But, I don't need to take time to come up with this. I know it already. He who controls the resources controls the war. Meanwhile, they have to gather and communicate the plan to all their teammates. Thus, I must start my strategy from the water barrels and I will get there first.

Thus, for the moment, I control the water supply. Now, my strategy must diverge into two scenarios because the option that the defense chooses will affect how I must move from then on.

Scenario A:
If they go for the back game, they will not even see this move because I am too far away and veiled by trees. I will have control of the water without them knowing it. I can tell that it's a back game if nobody comes after several minutes. This is the best possible scenario for me.

Now, I want to find all the things that can possibly hold water. Garbage, tires, dips in rocks, hollow logs, anything. I want to transfer as much water as possible as quickly as possible to these sources and hide them. Best is to sprint back, retrieve the CPS 2100 that I dropped earlier, and overload it. If my 1500 isn't already overloaded, it will be now as well. The 2100 especially will be hidden at the edge of the map somewhere from H to M. Why the edge of the map? Because the enemy is highly unlikely to physically inspect the edge. They are looking for me, not for caches. So, when they see that I'm not near the out of bounds, they will continue looking in another direction. When I've cached all the water I possibly can, everything left in the barrels gets poured out, but carefully and slowly so that you can't tell it was poured out. Now, only I know where the remaining water is and the enemy will have only what they currently possess in their guns.

After this step, I wait a while. If the enemy absolutely insists on playing a back game, it's time to go harass them. I can use my superior speed and mobility to elude their shots and force them to waste water. I can shoot every now and then as well to draw more fire, knowing where the refills are and with the speed to get out of dodge. When I hear people getting low, it's time to disappear. I'm going back toward the empty water barrels to ambush them.

The ambush is triggered before they actually get to the barrels. I want them to waste more water before they see that there is nothing left. If they see, they will be wise and conserve more. But, for the moment, they think that there is plenty and that they can use their numbers to get it safely. I can run the outnumbered defense now and fade back in a series of defenders' ambushes, where I run away and drop down out of sight. If I can actually get someone, then great, but the goal is to simply make them shoot water. Eliminations are just a side effect!

So, they finally get there and realize "oh shit there's no water". Bam, now I switch to the outnumbered offense and attack from the edge of the woods. This is the time to be aggressive, rushing individuals and dancing away from their support. If someone has to pump, he gets rushed. If someone starts shooting mist, he gets rushed. I can shoot freely and liberally because I know where the water is. Since water balloons were not included in the loadouts, I am going to assume there aren't any being randomly carried here and that only the launcher is using them. However, randomly carried water balloons can be very deadly in OHK at the right moment, and thus caution should be taken when rushing when you think they might have balloons. If someone reaches for a water balloon, they are getting rushed before they can get it out.

I will be winded after this battle, but it should end well. Assuming that they sent 3 to the barrels and 3 are now dead, either from this fight or from a defenders' ambush long the way, I have the remaining 3 caught in a negative capital choice triangle. They will have received word of the empty water barrels through the radio (the person communicating this gets rushed and is probably the first out). Even with heavy CPS, being at some intermediate stage of full is a problem. They also know that it's down to 3 vs 1 and that I'll be coming to attack them. The triangle is negative because -

Option 1: Attack/advance - cannot leave the objective open
Option 2: Retreat/Withdraw - cannot leave the objective open
Option 3: Hold - cannot stay put because the water will run out

Now, what separates the boys from the men is if they realize that I still have water. I will refill before attacking the barracks, but I can fake being low and see if I can draw anybody out. They might not take the bait, though. If they figure out that I have a full tank despite battling it out with half their team, they will know that there is still water to be had *somewhere*.

However, in order to send someone out to scout for it, they have to get past ME. In an interesting reversal of roles, their 3 man team has to help someone break out just to deal with one enemy. A lot can happen here and I can't possibly cover every scenario. They can achieve break-out if they take water balloons from the launcher and throw them. However, if they do send one out, I can just ignore them and get a big advantage on the defense which will be explained later when there is 2 vs 1. If he comes to flank me, I run away and set up ambushes or go 1 on 1 depending on how much water he has.

If they do not break out, it means they are breaking pre-filled balloons and pouring them into their guns. Depending on how many balloons are in there, this has the potential to end the game in their favor. They will also do it in rotation, always 2 players on me and one back refilling. I have to be aggressive and harass them to stall the refilling process. This is risky, rushing well within range in order to force them to shoot. If I can get just *one* of them in a straight fight here, the war shifts greatly in my favor, for they can only leave 1 out while refilling. They also can't break out to look for my caches, for that would leave 1 vs 1 for the moneyball shot and those are odds I will take for the win. I can hit them in transition when one has to fill and one comes back from filling. Many players are bad at transitions and I can conceivably enter the barracks during one such push. Whether I can get up the stairs depends on the layout of the interior, which has not been provided. Of course, this assumes that they think to refill from water balloons. If they throw the balloons instead, I can block them with my gun and press right after a balloon is released. Throwing a balloon and keeping a heavy CPS gun in ready to fire position is difficult and I can take advantage of that.

If I run low before they do, I have to book it out of there to fill. If they send a person to follow, I will lose them easily and fill in peace. That person may try to set up some kind of ambush, so I have to take more care on the way back. At any moment where 2 out of 3 are out of the barracks or 1 out 2 are, I will rush the barracks all out and try to set up a 1 vs 1 for the win. But, as mentioned above, the layout of the barracks is indeterminate and thus the end game is indeterminate.

Scenario B:
If they go for the control game, I will still reach the water barrels first, but won't have nearly as much time alone. If they're coming, I need to fake emptying the barrels (leaving them on their sides is convincing, which will lose most, but not all the water) when they can see me do it, and either get to an ambush position, or if there's not even enough time for that, engage them in hit and run. They will see their own moneyball shot opportunity to end the game right now and will be distracted. Thus, I can lead them down the path and set up defenders' ambushes. The difference between these and those of scenario A is that I'm going for eliminations here and conserving water. They will also be conserving, since they think the barrels are empty. Wary of such ambushes, they may come in a spread formation. This can be a double-edged sword, but I still must be careful and pick just the right places to set up shop.

The great part about this is that there is likely still enough water left to provide me with several rounds of refills, while they think the barrels are empty and may radio this back. If they think to send one player back to actually double check, I have to kill both of the remainders before the truth comes out. But, human nature should keep them from checking, simply because their objective is tantalizingly close. I am right in their face and they can end the game right there. The 3 back in the barracks, also thinking the game could end at any moment now, are highly likely to stay put.

However, superior speed and mobility are decisive if you know how to use them, and I intend to keep dancing, sprinting, and ambushing until all 3 are out. The 1500 gets tons of tap shots, so time is not a problem. Once they are hit, I rush back to the barrels, refill, and proceed like in the back game.

Now, if the enemy is dumb enough to come scout for me, I will pick them off with a variety of ambushes, using my speed to draw them out and setting up defenders' ambushes for more opportunities at easy kills. Both scenarios should end in a back game and be ultimately decided inside the barracks itself.

If the enemy comes out scouting from the beginning, I treat it like Scenario B, the control game, but cache water whenever possible, like in Scenario A, the back game. If they show intentions to concentrate at the water barrels for any reason, including in pursuit of me, it immediately becomes Scenario B and I tip the barrels.

Either scenario carries a high risk of achieving a stalemate at the barracks when it gets down to 1-2 vs 1. Depending on how the interior of the barracks is set up, the 2nd floor might be impossible to force with just one person. If I can run the defender(s) out of water, it's possible to force the stairs, but there's high risk of a random last water balloon or uncapped reservoir splash. You never know what dirty little tricks people have up their sleeves in close quarters combat.

So, yes I think this is winnable, but it's far from guaranteed, given all the things that have to be done along the way and in the end game.
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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby TacticalTyphoon » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:05 am

A very extensive plan! Yes, I should have clarified - the barracks is a picnic shelter akin to this: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/parks/images/hovandershelter.JPG except with more walls for defending. I didn't want to have a barracks with one door to the inside...bottleneck doorways are not fun to fight through, especially attacking.

The plan is incredibly sound and I can't see any flaws, apart from one thing that bugs me in Scenario A: will the tires/logs etc. hold water well? I can imagine at best they might collectively hold enough for one refill, but the water seems likely to leak out and absorb into materials; potentially, this could screw with the rest of the plan if one considers that your cached water was a major advantage, pivotal to their defat.

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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby HBWW » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:28 pm

Agreed with DX on the scaling, but only as a courtesy to those in windowed mode or on 1280-wide screens.

Anyways, to the scenario. The primary advantage is not just that you're faster, but also the fact that they do not know where you are. I'd play this game purely by speed and stealth without even thinking about trying to eliminate the entire enemy team, but I can't let them know of that. Instead, I'd resort to rather cookie-cutter guerrilla tactics (the tried and true) of making hit and run attacks to create an illusion to the enemy of where I am. Make some of their forces chase after me, loose them in the woods, and find the best path to the barracks. With the picture that you just posted, I know that the barracks will not be difficult to scout quickly as long as I'm attentive, stay hidden, and don't bring any enemies over there. With the right position and timing, I can then sneak out of the foliage and eliminate as many players stealthily as possible, but that may not be an option if there are too many enemies, if they're in bad positions (bad for me), or if the area is too open. In that case, I make a run for it to grab the flag.

The trick here is quite dependent on being able to fool opponents on your position, moving quickly, and using that to your advantage. If you can make them hesitant, that will be a big advantage. With this approach, carrying a lot of water also becomes unnecessary, which is advantageous. If I was fully camoed, the woods have sufficient cover, and the enemy oblivious enough, I might even forget the 1500 and go with nothing but a water bottle.

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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby DX » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:18 pm

but only as a courtesy to those in windowed mode or on 1280-wide screens.


Which is like, everyone on a modern laptop. You'd be surprised how far desktops have fallen out of favor in my internet generation. Very few of my friends still use a desktop as their primary computer. Also, almost a third of the world is still on Win XP and that usually entails 1024x768. We can agree that 800x600 is obsolete, but screens from <1280 are still widely in use and I resent when the superpixel people, which is still a really small and often wealthy/snobby segment of the online population, think the world should exist in their image. That's never going to be the reality of the internet. I hate how most sites look on super wide screens anyway, it looks like someone tried to run them through a black hole, including the ones that are fully fluid. They either look extremely skinny or extremely wide.
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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby marauder » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:08 am

Well I'll be...

DX brings up some very valid things to consider if one should ever fall into this situation. I remember when we were scouting out Dug Hill, he was always pointing out tires and logs and stuff. I have actually done this before, when I was outnumbered 2 to 4. However, I didn't hide water in logs or tires, I had some containers in my old tree fort that I grabbed while on the go, filled them up, and hid them.

This would actually be a rather fun game to play. We did a variation of this at Laser Quest where some of the more experienced people (1-3) were given more lives and faced off against opponents usually 5-7 times their number. Maybe we can do something similar at Downpour sometime.
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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby HBWW » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:04 pm

DX wrote:
but only as a courtesy to those in windowed mode or on 1280-wide screens.


Which is like, everyone on a modern laptop. You'd be surprised how far desktops have fallen out of favor in my internet generation. Very few of my friends still use a desktop as their primary computer. Also, almost a third of the world is still on Win XP and that usually entails 1024x768. We can agree that 800x600 is obsolete, but screens from <1280 are still widely in use and I resent when the superpixel people, which is still a really small and often wealthy/snobby segment of the online population, think the world should exist in their image. That's never going to be the reality of the internet. I hate how most sites look on super wide screens anyway, it looks like someone tried to run them through a black hole, including the ones that are fully fluid. They either look extremely skinny or extremely wide.


I think all we really need though, is for the board software to scale the pictures down automatically and then full-size in a new tab or something when you click them. I guess I can't speak for the majority of the population given that I have four screens: two 1280x1024 monitors, a 1680x1050, and a 1920x1080. (Thanks to AMD's 4 simultaneous outputs.) But I do recognize the need for width adaptability since I keep my browser windows in narrow windows fairly often.

Anyway, this is indeed an interesting scenario if there's sufficient foliage and cover to sneak about. I might look into updating HBWW with something like this, but we'd have to play it at nighttime given just how open the playing area is.

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Re: Hydrolysis V2 - "Last Man Standing"

Postby the oncoming storm » Fri May 11, 2012 10:14 am

I would head to the base doing gurila warfare hiting any one in sight if the WBL is on staitce defence you head to the lower right corner waiting till you think they are all looking for you before sneeking back to the base to victory.
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