Protection and Shielding

For support, refilling, personal, strategic, and misc. equipment used during a water fight.
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isoaker
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Protection and Shielding

Postby isoaker » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:15 pm

Contents
[hide]

1 Basics
1.1 Tips
1.2 Looking for Cover
2 Shielding
2.1 Garbage Can Lid
2.2 Umbrella
2.3 Plastic Sheet / Sled
2.4 Fore-Arm Shield
2.5 Water Blaster-Mounted Shield
3 Additional Information
3.1 Defeating Shields By: Field Marshall Turumbar | Posted: 20030424

[edit] Basics

When in water fights, a Player's personal objective is to remain dry while soaking opponents down to their undergarments (the colder the water, the better). Of course, this is their intent as well so one has to prepare just in case one finds oneself in some heavy crossfire.
[edit] Tips

The following are some general tips for making one a little more resilient to an onslaught of water.

Wear sunglasses (assuming you're playing during the day). Sunglasses both make it easier to see despite the bright sunshine and potential glare from objects as well as protecting your eyes from streams of waterfire.
Wear a hat with a rim. This will also help minimize the amount of sun in one's eyes as well as providing a local shield if one's opponent is firing at one's head.
Wear swimtrunks/swimsuit underneath. It is not so bad if these types of materials are wet beside your skin, especially compared to wet cotton undergarments. Swimtrunks or swimsuits are made of the type of material that is meant to get wet, will not shrink, and dry quickly, perfect for any water engagement.
Make use of windbreakers. This minimizes the actual amount of water which will come into contact with one's skin if hit by a stream. Raincoats should be avoided as these not only take away from the game but also tend to be bulky and uncomfortable to wear in the day (not to mention making it hard to hide those bright colours if making a surprise attack.
Avoid wearing any form of constrictive clothing. Anything that reduces one's mobility increases one's chances of being hit by volleys of water.
Wear a good pair of running shoes. Runners tend to hold not too much water when wet and should be able to provide traction even on wet ground.

[edit] Looking for Cover

When engaging other Players, it is likely that armament on either side is mostly equivalent. Thus, the only way to out-soak the other is through better use of blasters and tactics. Remember, one cannot hit easily what one cannot see. Look for areas which give one a good view while obscuring one's own presence in the area. Trees, bushes, picnic tables, building corners, large stones, etc provide good cover during water fights allowing one to see and shoot while not being readily visible. Different forms of cover have various advantages and disadvantages. Of course, be sure you can readily get out of the spot you have hidden in. The last thing one wants to be is the fish when your opponent laughs out the phrase "like shooting fish in a barrel ".
[edit] Shielding

To take protection one step further, it is a good idea to make a lightweight, waterproof shield. Shields allow one to directly engage other Players while deflecting oncoming attacks away from oneself. Good materials to use when making a portable shield are stiff carboard (corrugated stuff gets soggy if wet), garbage bags, duct tape (masking tape does not stick well if wet) and perhaps even some rope or nylon fabric for where the shield meets the arm.

When designing one's shield, one must make a compromise between size and maneuverability. Larger shields can cover more but can restrict movement. If it is too small, there is no point in carrying it. One must also decide on which method of carrying one prefers to use. The two most common places to mount a shield are on an forearm (usually the right one) or on one's blaster (if it is one's own and one does not mind adding stuff to it).

The following are some short descriptions of shield types along with their benefits and disadvantages. Use at one's own discretion.
[edit] Garbage Can Lid

Garbage can lids on some garbage cans almost look like they were meant for use as a shield. The top handle makes it easy to carry and the size is nearly perfect. The material these lids are made of will resist even the blast from a hose. However, using a garbage can lid on its own does occupy one hand, making aiming and pumping up of a water blaster more difficult.
[edit] Umbrella

Umbrellas can be used as portable, collapsable shields. Umbrellas come in a variety of shapes and their size usually can be used to cover a good part of one's body. However, the material used to make umbrellas often allows some water to penetrate. Also, some of the smaller umbrellas can be easily damaged by the stream of water from some of the larger Super Soakers(tm). It also usually requires two hands to manipulate the umbrella into the proper position to protect, leaving no hands free to counter attack.
[edit] Plastic Sheet / Sled

Once only useful during the winter, those crazy carpets/sheet sleds also make great protable shields. This type of shielding comes ready-made with handles for carrying and are usually light and easy to move with. The only potential drawback is that they are made of flimsy plastic and may be hard to position properly at times.
[edit] Fore-Arm Shield

The fore-arm shield is a piece of water-proof material about 1.5'x1.5' in size attached to the fore-arm. Either arm can be used to hold the shield. The shield can be made of cardboard wrapped with a plastic bag, plastic, or plexiglass (if one has money to spend). The shield should not be made too large as this will inhibit movement. The shield is held to the arm by a series of straps sometimes made of duct-tape/foam, rope or cotton cloth. Since this shield will be on one's arm for the duration of the water fight, the straps holding it should be secure, but comfortable.
This type of shield is easy to use when blocking or deflecting oncoming streams of water. The main difficulty is that its size does restrict movement a bit. Also, by being attached to the fore-arm, blocking and shooting back can be tricky.
[edit] Water Blaster-Mounted Shield

After some thought and experimentation, blaster-mounted shields, while potentially effective, tend to make blasters more cumbersome to use. As well, true blaster-mounted shields must be designed to fit the specific blaster and user. As such, designs for creating blaster-mounted shielding will not be posted. Besides, most would argue that any medium to large blaster already makes a decent shield if used in that manner.
[edit] Additional Information
[edit] Defeating Shields By: Field Marshall Turumbar | Posted: 20030424

Most people go for the simple task of shooting at someone’s feet, but that is not usually effective. What is most effective is to use an air pressure series gun and start a long shot over the person, gradually bringing it forward, then whipping down at their feet. The shield will have to move up to protect the head, exposing the body. Due to the fall time of water, the whip shot (if timed right) will hit the same time as the aerial one rendering all but the best shield users dead.

Defenses for the aforementioned tactic: Crouch and protect your whole body with your shield.
Counters for aforementioned counter tactic: If you have an extra man, flank him because the shield man is immobile. If you do not, don’t waste your shot time, simply wait and remember he’s vulnerable while standing up and can easily lose balance.

Counter for most shields: A high power waterballoon shot from a slingshot launcher can rip right through light shields. If a shield is too large and not properly reinforced, it will break under pressure in a few shots and will be bent to the point of uselessness after one to two. Smaller shields cannot easily be broken and large reinforced shields are difficult as well. A well shielded soldier is equal to two to three without. However, be careful. The defensive prowess of a shield is inversely proportional the amount of maneuverability that one has. Large, immobile guns like the Monster XL should have shields because it does not limit their maneuverability much more than their gun already does. However, a light gun, such as a Max-D, should have as small a shield as one finds to be effective. Each gun must be optimized. Do not make a heavy gun "mobile" by giving it a small shield and do not give a Max-D a "defensive edge" by giving it a tower shield. Maximize the potential of your guns by equipping them properly and minimize the problems by backing them up with one another. No gun can reign supreme.
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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SSCBen » Sat May 14, 2016 2:24 pm

Shields are somewhat interesting. How successful can these be in wars? While I have not been to too many community wars, from the photos and videos I've seen, no one uses shields. I think shields could be useful, especially if people take tap shots. Tap shots would be easier to block with shields because of their small size. I recall calculating that a tap shot is usually fairly little water, i.e., around 30 to 60 mL.

Engineering a better shield seems possible. Making the shield surface convex (i.e., bowing outward) from the user should help prevent water accidentally from hitting them. You might be able to suppress splatter formation in other ways. I imagine smoother surfaces are better. Surface patterns could be useful too. Imagine having upside down shaped Us patterned on the surface. Then, when a stream hits the shield, it's deflected down, hopefully preventing water flying up from hitting you. I doubt making a shield with that pattern is worth the effort, but it's interesting to think about.

Another idea is having an absorbent surface. This could prevent splatter. It even might be possible to collect some of the water shot at you and then recycle that water. While I doubt that would be practical, the idea that someone firing at you allows you to refill is amusing to me.

Yet another even crazier idea I have is using some sort of electrical charge effect to deflect droplets, acting basically like a sci-fi force field. Droplets become electrically charged (negatively) due to the Lenard effect. According to this you'd need about 500 V to deflect a very small droplet 45 degrees. The amount of charge they assume the droplet has seems consistent with the page on the Lenard effect. But the length of the charged area they have is pretty small. I don't know how someone might do this, but presumably if you have a larger charged area around yourself, you might be able to deflect droplets appreciably (but not streams before they break up). I'd have to do the math to check this, but I assume it wouldn't work. Maybe this idea will get someone else to think of a better way to make a droplet force field. Edit: I'm not the first one to think of something like this.

You could also carry fans on yourself to blow streams around, but that also does not seem practical. Edit: See this for an "air umbrella" that basically works like this. It also might be reasonable to have a extra nozzle on a water gun to release a blast of air to break up or deflect oncoming shots, but I think that's less practical than a shield. Though it could give you some nice abilities, like deflecting one of your opponents' streams into another one of your opponents. But it's questionable why you would do that instead of blasting them in the first place.

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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SEAL » Sun May 15, 2016 1:39 pm

When I first saw this I thought that isoaker was making an appearance. This place just ain't the same without him, although he's technically still around.

Haha, those are some wild ideas. I'd probably just stick with something simple like a piece of wood or plastic to strap on my pumping arm. However I'm pretty sure it's an unspoken rule that shields are banned in WWn wars. They're probably better for more casual fights and soakfests.

Though with that said, I've never been in a battle where shields have been used, so I couldn't really tell you what would happen if they were legal. People have blocked with their blasters before, but wasn't that made illegal too? I think it was mentioned somewhere that blaster hits now count. One problem I've seen is people claiming that they block the entire shot, when in fact a good amount of it got on them. I've occasionally seen people do this with blasters and even skinny trees. I remember other members mentioning this happening with Shield Blasters, although nobody uses those at community wars. I'd imagine allowing shields would encourage that kind of behavior, which is annoying.
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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SSCBen » Sun May 15, 2016 7:16 pm

I can see why shields would cause confusion. That might be reason enough to disallow them.

That makes me think more about making something to break up or deflect your opponent's streams. I think it might be possible to make a relatively long range way to do this, either with something that shoots a large vortex or something that shoots a shock wave. A shock wave would be really loud, but it can turn droplets into a fine mist rather easily. If this could work at longer range than streams can get, then it might be useful at wars. You could stop someone well before they have a chance to hit you, or break up multiple streams coming your way if dodging isn't a good option. Long range might be possible with a large vortex, but I think a shock wave would dissipate too quickly to be useful. Seems like a large vortex is the most promising option.

Edit: I can find some scientific papers about droplet breakup from ultrasound, though this would probably require electronics and thus not be practical.

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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SEAL » Sun May 15, 2016 9:25 pm

The Chrysler Air Raid Siren, which as far as I know is the loudest (continuous) sound-producing device ever built, could reportedly turn rain into mist. It was also said that if you held a piece of paper in front of the horns, the paper would catch fire. Obviously you can't use that in a water war because rupturing people's vital organs isn't very nice, but your post made me think of it. Outdoor warning sirens are one of my weird interests.

Maybe just get like a huge fan and put it in your base. Mount it on a swiveling platform and point it at your foes. The enemy streams won't go anywhere and your streams will fly like 100 feet, haha. I guess if you have your own battlefield you could set something like that up. There are no rules that say you can't. :p

You can also just shoot the incoming stream with your own blaster if you're accurate enough. Don't think I've ever seen anyone intentionally do this though. I did read a war story once where the guy said that he blasted a water balloon out of the air with his 2000.
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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SSCBen » Sun May 15, 2016 9:46 pm

I looked up that siren and it certainly seems possible, even likely, that it could turn rain into mist. It looks extremely powerful.

I'll think more about this. It seems like something where eventually a reasonable way to do it will just pop in my head if I keep it in mind.

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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby marauder » Mon May 16, 2016 9:37 am

I wasn't aware that blaster blocks are illegal. There is some confusion or disagreement on what counts as a hit. I have been counting anything from the shins up. I think some people may count knees up and don't count hits on the hands either.

I know some people used shields back when they were younger and fought in a lot of soakfests. If it's a casual battle shields can be pretty funny - and somewhat effective - but I think when there are any hits based rules shields need to go. It's not just that they make it difficult to hit someone, but more than that it's difficult to tell when you have hit the person with the shield. It obscures field of view, so the person with the shield can just say it hit the shield and unless you ambushed them from behind you really have no way of knowing if you made the hit or not.
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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby HBWW » Mon May 16, 2016 10:08 am

Blaster blocking was never banned and is still a thing. Shields in general haven't been discussed much, but it's pretty universally agreed that full size shields are banned for the vast majority of games. With that said, I'd be okay with something smaller like the shield blaster, but it doesn't come up often.

Shields would definitely make certain asymmetric games more interesting, so we should definitely keep that option open. It's not like they make hit detection any more difficult than trees or walls do, and everything is already completely based off the honor system anyway.

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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SSCBen » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:33 pm

After some more research and thought, I think some sort of "sci-fi shield" for water droplets might actually be possible. Basically, water shot at the shield would be deflected or stopped in some fashion. I'm considering doing more research into this.

Before I dedicate more time to the idea, what do you all think about the war legality of this? Let's say I make a technology which prevents blocks a fraction of shots from a certain distance (say 30 feet or more) from hitting you. So if someone is a dead-eye and they'd hit you 100% of the time from 30 feet, now only some percentage of their shots will hit you.

If 100% of the shots are blocked, should that be legal? If 50% of the shots are blocked, should that be legal? Is there a cutoff in your mind?

What if there's a disadvantage to using the shield? It could be heavy, or be loud. And it might be impossible to have shields for long, due to energy storage limitations (batteries or compressed air). I think it would something which you'd only turn on in a firefight, so I don't think it could make you immune to ambushes.

Personally, I'd say let the idea be legal, simply for the sake of curiosity. If it makes the game irritating or boring in practice, ban it. Otherwise, keep it.

I also think sci-fi shields could bring some people into the hobby. The idea seems so strange, even impossible. That alone could bring people into the hobby. It also could be pretty funny. Imagine saying "shields up!" or "I need to adjust my shield frequency!" in a war. If technology works well, the technology stands a good chance of going viral, I think. Perhaps the chance is around 25%.

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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby Tim » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:15 pm

Hi Ben,

Perhaps the lack of response stems from a lack of confidence that this would ever come to life? If you are able to make something rudamentary, I beleive this would generate much interest. You are a legend because of what you've done rather than what you've merely proposed. I guess my point is that you shouldn't allow a lack of interest at the feasibility stage to demotivate you.

VR,

Tim

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Re: Protection and Shielding

Postby SSCBen » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:43 pm

I appreciate your encouragement, Tim.

My concern is more than I spend some time making something that works and then it gets banned. This stems from my experience with Nerf, where pneumatics are basically banned for "safety" reasons. I spent a lot of time trying to demonstrate to people that my pneumatics are perfectly safe, and likely safer than anything else out there. But no matter what I did, few people seemed to buy my arguments. Thankfully there now seems to be some sort of "underground movement" making semi-auto pneumatic Nerf guns, not dissimilar from what I tried to make. Perhaps in a few years they'll really take off. (I don't participate much in the online Nerf community now, and this is one reason. I do, however, have many friend there and I hope any reading this does not take it personally. It's just that the hobby doesn't exactly intersect with my interests, and my time is very limited. You can read more about this on some of my reddit posts, like this one.)

This discussion about additives in water over the past 15 years has been somewhat similar. People seem against the idea in the abstract, and they make excuses which don't make much sense. If toxicity is a concern, that's not much of an issue given that glycerin seems to work pretty well. The laxative "Miralax" is also basically a medical quality version of a common fire hose stream additive, and I doubt anyone would be exposed to enough to see any laxative effects. You can apparently get big effects in terms of jet coherence with only a small amount of that additive.

Making a demonstration unit for my planned approach would be rather simple, actually. I am going to talk with someone in Austin about some of the details, as they are beyond my current knowledge. But I do think there are multiple plausible ways to make an invisible shield, and it could really be a game changer.


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