How to Promote Water Warfare

Water warfare game types, ideas, rules, organization, etc.
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isoaker
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How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:11 am

There's been plenty of talk over the past while that stock soaker quality and performance have fallen and how no manufacturer currently caters to the older water warfare audience. Thing is, presently, the older water warfare audience is a potentially large, untapped resource, but it's only a potential, not a definite.

What we need to do is really see if there is a way to get more interested and really understand why it would be good to have higher performance stock water blasters. Currently, average dude/dudette on the street may be able to see/feel the difference if comparing a low performance versus a high performance blaster side-by-side, but that, alone, is not enough to make him/her want to actively seek out the better performing blaster.

What can be done? I have some ideas, but I'd love to hear what others also have to say.

Certain things that need to be overcome:
- general view that water fights are primarily for little kids
- water fights for older participants are only soakfests
- a water blaster that squirts water, no matter how far or how much, is already good enough

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Jim likes SS's
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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby Jim likes SS's » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:31 am

What we could really do with is a way to get more, lots more, people into water fights. Maybe a weekday league or something? with fixed rules etc? In the spring and summer daylight fights could take place, and in the winter and autumn night fights would be in order. Just some ideas, anybody got any improvements?

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isoaker
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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:12 am

Any other ideas on this? The upcoming Rogue Report will include an article on my take on this, but having more ideas and views would be definitely useful.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby Evangel » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:36 am

Funny you should bring up this topic. Throughout this winter, my team and I have been formulating similar plans to launch a large-scale campaign this warring season to try and get the word out and increase awareness of our kind. Although, our approach will be a bit straightforward; we simply intend to play team battles between our core members and other acquaintances at various strategic locals that we used to play at as kids, as well as several parks and other play areas, starting with my laid-back condo complex as the most important battle site.

To achieve optimal professional impression, the core members will be in full uniform (ninja uniforms and patches and all) and, if possible, will display our entire combined arsenal (obviously consisting of every massive water gun a kid could ever DREAM of having... times 10 lol) prior to each battle. We've been training in various different arts and have obtained various useful resources, including Army physical fitness training, ninjutsu martial arts (and YES we do use it, or I do at least), satellite terrain mapping -- courtesy of GoogleEarth (lol) -- used for tactical action plans, even going so far as downloading various Army training manuals from the net, and come spring we intend to display the full extent of our abilities, including some of my Naruto-esque Kuji-In practices that I use to increase my combat performance at will. :cool:

somewhat-OT: On the subject of arsenal, here's what we now consist of. Think this'll make a good enough impression?

2x Monster XL
1x Monster X
1x CPS 3200
2x CPS 2500
1x CPS 2000
1x HydroBlitz
1x Orca
1x Flash Flood
1x Arctic Blast
1x Helix
1x Defender
1x Overload
2x Blastmaster XS-660
2x Gremlin
2x Tarantula
1x Shield Blaster 3000

4x 100oz Aqua Pack
3x 50oz Aqua Pack

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby WaterWolf » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:38 am

For the last year, I've been regularly attending a biweekly gathering of homeschoolers in Plainfield Vermont, with the main goal of advertising water-warfare.
Using the methods of recruiting that will be published in this upcoming Rogue Report, I have managed to gain plenty of interest and by now people have come to expecting the water-wars at each homeschool meeting.

That was a testing ground for my recruiting methods, and this year I will expand to attending as many other gatherings as I can, to continue boosting public awareness and gain recruits.
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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby HBWW » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:18 pm

Right now, I often describe our water warfare as "paintball with water guns." Yes, it sounds kind of stupid, but it works fairly well when the person assumes "water warfare" as kiddie, around-the-pool free-for-all's. If they ask why we don't actually play paintball (or airsoft for that matter), I give my usual reasons - cost and the fact that most of the people at our events don't have them, etc. The PVC homemades (impractical as they are right now) also help as well as, perhaps, the colorful graphics I use in invitations. The site I set up recently ought to be somewhat helpful too.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:43 pm

The things you guys are doing sound great! Do keep the group informed of your progress, if you will. Hearing about what works and what does not fare as well will undoubtedly help refine our approaches into getting more interested.

My own plans include organizing a few more soakfests where I work as the weather gets warmer, but then work on including some basic ground rules, then eventually more rules for those interested in trying out more organized water war games. The thing I hope to exploit the most is getting the timing better when trying to get local individuals interested. We have "happy hours" where I work every week where food and drink is provided for people to take a break and socialize with others who work in the department. I hope to turn one or a few of those into recruiting events if not even full blown water fights if the weather is right. We'll see how it ends up panning out!

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby WaterWolf » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:45 pm

I find that trying to discuss Water-Warfare with someone who has not experienced it, tends to be very ineffective.
As you said C-A, they consider it a kid's game
(BTW, I to have used the sports of paint-ball and air-soft for comparison. I guess great minds think alike :) )

Instead of talking, just start handing out the guns and let the situation turn itself into a soakfest. After-which, you can begin discussing your team, homemades and more tactical water-warfare with them, they will now tend to respond with interest, rather than scorn.
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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:04 pm

@WaterWolf: I should have better explained my experiences and future plans. I completely agree that handing out water blasters and letting "nature" take its course is a very effective way at getting a soakfest started. I've recommended and employed that tactic successfully many times.

As for the groups of individuals I've been approaching about having water fights, these are made up of individuals at least as old if not older than myself. While for many I've talked to, they usually begin to recall their earlier childhood for their last water fight, others start thinking back to experiences with water fights during college and university. It's rather interesting to hear some of the stories they have to tell. The hardest thing for me isn't finding interested people; it's co-ordinating time when those interested are not busy with work or other obligations. No one cares about being thought of as being too kiddy for the individuals I'm locally targeting. In fact, being "young" can be rather complimenting for some. :goofy:

Apart from co-ordinating time, the other main hurdle to overcome is how to successfully integrate some order to the fight as opposed to just having a huge soakfest. I figure every game should end with a soakfest, but it'd also be nice to have some objective competition going on for the first part.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby WaterWolf » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:46 am

I see.

Well, I too have run into the issue of coordinating when to meet and this winter I've installed a system for my team that will hopefully fix the problem.
I contacted everybody on the team and asked which times of the month tended to be clearest for them, then averaged out all the data to find a time which worked for everybody. Now I have informed them that we will be meeting on a regular day each month, so they can plan for it in advance. This also decreases the work for me, as trying to find a new meeting date every month could be difficult.

One issue with this system might be that when recruiting, we could encounter someone who is quite interested in water-warfare, but who's schedule just could not fit with ours.

My solution to this will be to either help them start their own team, or send to another team in Vermont who's calendar works better for the recruit.
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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby HBWW » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:06 pm

@WaterWolf: Handing someone a soaker a month before the snow melts doesn't work so great either. =p The standardized meetings are a good idea though, and is something me and my band finally caught on to doing. I'll apply it to water warfare if we need to meet frequently enough for whatever reason. (Whether to train, recruit, plan a war, fill balloons, design a homemade, etc.)

However, I do suppose most of the people I talk to have used a soaker sometime in their life, they're just not up with the idea of playing elimination with them I suppose. However, I've read lots about the handing a soaker method, and I can imagine cases when it works very well. (Though other times, people prefer to stay inside from the heat) For this year, we're expanding our field boundaries, which will give some opportunities to recruit on the field, or just let someone join if they walk by and are interested. This also happens to give all of our players another reason to carry sidearms.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby mr. dude » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:09 pm

Right now, I often describe our water warfare as "paintball with water guns."

While it makes water warfare sound bad, I describe it as "paintball for pansies", it gets the point across, but it defeats the purpose of promoting water warfare.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby WaterWolf » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:26 pm

Pansies?
Have you ever taken a direct hit from a Duxenator? That can leave a bruise.
I should know, I've felt it :goofy:.
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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby mr. dude » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:44 pm

Well when you explain it to people that believe it's a childish thing, that's the best way i know of to describe it.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby SSCBen » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:48 pm

The best way to have water wars as far as I'm concerned is to go out there and have them as you see them. Invite people, show them what they're about, make it a good time, and expect them to return. They invite people, and the cycle continues. That's the basic theory at least. I plan to organize at least one event this summer.

We can get a lot of people from the internet, but given the lack of reach here and the lack of geographical proximity, this hasn't worked too well.

Some sort of discussion of the advantages of water guns with others would be helpful. Water wars are NOT paintball, airsoft, laser tag, Nerf, or whatever you want to compare them to. Water wars are completely different. What I said in my introduction to water guns sums my thoughts up well.

And while I know there are some who are bound to disagree with me, homemade water guns are our best chance for acceptance overall. Like it or not, current manufactured water guns ARE childish. They reinforce the message that water guns are for kids. If manufactured guns were more serious like they were in the late 90s, this would not be a problem, but trying to explain to someone that water guns aren't for children is hard when children are pictured on the boxes. We need to promote what our best is, not what the manufacturer's best is, which is unlikely to interest many people. If water guns started to leave the toy aisles and go into sporting goods shops, this trend might reverse. Showing off my homemade water guns at some Boy Scout events has interested a lot of people, especially older people. This I see as our best chance for increased acceptance.

A lot of people go river rafting or in assassins games and don't consider water guns childish. It's also about context I suppose. Those games seem different than random soakfest blasting each other in your backyard, which is what most people assume water guns are about.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:12 am

Holding event and getting as many people out and participating in a water war is definitely a good means to build interest. Showing the beauty and power of homemade and modded water blasters are also great means to garner interest. That said, for those who feel that homemades are the "best" chance for acceptance, that's fine to have such a belief, but I cannot subscribe to that view. :goofy:

As Ben alluded to above, those river rafting or playing Assassin-type games don't consider water guns / water blasters childish. Members of this community also do not consider water guns childish.

But why? What makes us different and how do we get others to see things the way we do?

I've got some ideas which many others have already alluded to in their statements above. These ideas will be pushed harder here after the release of the upcoming Rogue Report issue (heck, I've been working on this article for awhile so I don't want to give it all away just yet :goofy: )

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby SSCBen » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:28 am

Well, I said two things are our best chance actually since I wrote that in two sittings. Weird stuff like that happens. :oo:

My experiences with homemade water guns have only promoted water wars. I can't say the same about current manufactured water guns, sadly. The number of older people potentially interested by manufactured water guns is small, while the number of people potentially interested by homemade water guns is significantly larger judging by the number of blog/social bookmarking links I've seen to SSC. After doing some demonstrations I can only feel stronger about this. If we invited some people to a water war with manufactured water guns, they'd probably take a look at them and say "Hey, this is kids' stuff" and want to leave. That's because today's water guns are kids' stuff. They're made for kids and if we want to defeat the notion that water guns are for kids, the only option we have are homemade water guns.

You're welcome to disagree, but I think that's a mistake.

I think it's context more than anything else as to why water guns aren't considered childish to us and some others. Those games aren't between children, and they're different than water wars as we know them (well, less in the case of river rafting which resembles a soakfest but in boats). Larger piston guns are sold in sporting goods stores and do not feature pictures of children on the boxes. People might have memories of playing with water guns as children, so they associate them with children.

Unless we actively go out and promote water wars with real water wars and real water guns, I can't see these views disappearing in anyone. That's pretty much how I see it.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:54 am

Dear Ben, I have already agreed with you that homemade water guns are a great way to promote water warfare. However, suggesting that current manufactured water guns do not count as "real water guns" and just "kids' stuff" since they have pictures of kids on them is rather insulting and defeating the goal to promote water warfare as a whole. Besides, in even Assassin-type games, many players can be quite successful using merely good ol' dimestore water guns, forget about even small water blasters.

You have found success and showing off your homemades and that's great. That said, I have also found success showing off nothing but stock soakers with no problems, either. If you can draw in loads of people into water warfare by pushing homemades, by all means please do so! However, please don't insult (intentionally or not) those who prefer or use stock blasters as this just divides an already small community further.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby SSCBen » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:46 am

Dear Ben, I have already agreed with you that homemade water guns are a great way to promote water warfare. However, suggesting that current manufactured water guns do not count as "real water guns" and just "kids' stuff" since they have pictures of kids on them is rather insulting and defeating the goal to promote water warfare as a whole. Besides, in even Assassin-type games, many players can be quite successful using merely good ol' dimestore water guns, forget about even small water blasters.

You have found success and showing off your homemades and that's great. That said, I have also found success showing off nothing but stock soakers with no problems, either. If you can draw in loads of people into water warfare by pushing homemades, by all means please do so! However, please don't insult (intentionally or not) those who prefer or use stock blasters as this just divides an already small community further.


If you want to interest very little people by verifying what they already thought (that water guns are for kids), you're welcome to. Current manufactured water guns are not up to the challenge, sadly. I'm not insulting anything. I say that because I love water guns and water wars, not to "insult" or "defeat the purpose" of water wars. Water guns from the past few years do defeat the goal of promoting water wars as I see them. Like it or not, today's water guns ARE meant for children (as you have said many times) and that DOES defeat the goal of water wars as we see them. If we want to beat the assumption that water guns are for children, either manufacturers have to step up and sell water guns for adults or we have to take the DIY route.

Besides, I meant when I said "real water guns" I meant more powerful ones, which include manufactured ones, just not manufactured today. I understand your confusion on this part, but I didn't mean to imply that only homemade water guns are real water guns. Most recent manufactured water guns I do not consider interesting, and thus are not "real water guns."

Get over it. You seem to think any suggestion of homemade water guns is somehow forgoing manufactured ones, which wasn't the point of what I was saying. When it comes down to it, I do not see eBay and other second-hand options for powerful water guns as reliable or cheap, and manufacturers are not selling to adults, so I can only see the way to water guns adults will enjoy in the DIY route.

If you don't want me or my comments in this discussion I will leave. I'm just offering my take and my experience. I didn't mean to insult anything, but it's awfully hard when suggesting homemade water guns on a biased board.

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Re: How to Promote Water Warfare

Postby isoaker » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:29 am

Uh, which part of "homemade water guns are a great way to promote water warfare" did you find biased? Where in my above statements have I suggested to dismiss or disregard homemade building? :oo: I have happily accepted your suggestion already.

My point of disagreement was first around use of the the words "best chance". The "best" option presently is subjective and can only be determined after the fact, if ever. There are many routes through which water warfare can be promoted and those who can and are willing to promote things in the way they think will be most effective. It would be truly great should increased interest in homemade building translate into increased acceptance of water warfare.

While I have stated and do agree that current stock water blasters are aimed more primarily at young teens, this, too, does not mean that those older cannot enjoy them for what they are. I do not share the view that even current water guns "defeat the purpose" of water warfare as a whole, but then perhaps our definitions of what is a good water war differ. While current stock soakers may lack performance of some of the classic blasters, even then, they can still offer great game play as is. Now I don't recommend buying a soaker one feels one can make a better version of, but for those who don't have the time to build, I'll happily make stock blaster recommendations.

Homemade building offer another great facet of water blasters and water warfare as well. Those interested in it should wholeheartedly pursue it.

As for the rest of this discussion, I'm leaving it alone as it's getting much too close to the article coming out soon.

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