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General questions and discussions on water warfare regarding tactics and strategies.
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isoaker
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Post by isoaker » Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:17 pm

For the past few days, my free moments have been taken up by my thoughts wander towards water warfare in its various forms. When thinking about soakers and their usage, I started to consider aspects of organized water warfare and found myself having mixed thoughts. After some further reflection, I realized that these thoughts weren't in opposition, but rather touched upon the various styles of water warfare that can be done by different groups.

When members think of organized water warfare, the images of OHK/OHL games come to mind. Perhaps, some like the idea of using a tag-based game system to objectify whether a player is soaked or not.

However, such games are not the sole forms of organized water warfare. I have participated in pseudo-organized soakfests that could have been altered into properly organized soakfests had some things been agreed upon at the start. When it comes to organized water warfare, I feel too much emphasis has been placed on the hit and not enough on the amount of hit. In essence, it would be great were there ways not only to record a hit, but also to reward points based on the amount of water transferred as well. Of course, no one would want to run around with measuring cups in an attempt to determine how much they got soaked. A subjective, but group-accepted means of measuring would be optimal. That way, should an XP215 user go toe to toe with a CPS1000 user, the CPS1000 could choose to be soaked a bit in return for unleashing a larger stream upon his/her opponent. In a OHK/OHL game, a dual soak would award points to both teams, but not take the amount soaked into consideration. In a soak-adjusted game, the CPS1000 user may receive 2-4 points for his/her soak while the XP215 user may only receive 1 point.

For soak-adjusted points, I'm considering the following point guide:
less-than-fist-sized splotch (not random mist/droplet): 1 point
approx.-fist-sized splotch (5-7" diameter): 2 points
twice-or-more-area than fist-sized splotch: 4 points

That said, for groups that prefer playing without the desire of recording points, typically such games could be played for a set-duration, then teams discussing at the end which side they felt did an overall better job at hosing down the opposing team. A third-party observer could be employed to resolve disputes or add in another impartial view of the flow of the game.

In the end, my main desire is to describe water warfare games that are truer to the aspects (both strengths and limitations) of water warfare. As such, the games and tactics I plan to upgrade on iSoaker.com will explore organized water warfare as a unique game play system. While some skills and tactics from other war games may be useful, there are skills and tactics that belong solely to the world of water wars. It is the uniqueness and fun of water warfare that I hope to better explain and build upon.

Soak on!

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Post by forestfighter7 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:21 pm

This is an interesting concept. I like the idea of the point system, however, I belive that it would take away emphasis on maneuvers and skill, and put extra emphasis on the output of a gun.
I definetly like the idea, and may try it in some future wars, but I like single fist-size kills as the only scoring system.
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Post by SilentGuy » Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:26 pm

Interesting. But that's fairly complex, and as you say, people who fight want to have fun and likely won't focus on this. But nevertheless, I should try it sometime...

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Post by isoaker » Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:45 pm

forestfighter7 wrote:This is an interesting concept. I like the idea of the point system, however, I belive that it would take away emphasis on maneuvers and skill, and put extra emphasis on the output of a gun.
I definetly like the idea, and may try it in some future wars, but I like single fist-size kills as the only scoring system.

The system is still in need of tweaking, of course. My first post was the first time I attempted at putting my thoughts into paragraphs! :goofy: That said, it's intent is not to detract from maneuvers and skill at all, but also incorporate the fact that soakage should count, too. In a pure FFA, getting hit by a 20x is a lot more humiliating and intense than getting hit by a 0.5x stream, thus in an organized game, shouldn't a similar distinction be made as well?

IMO, a water fight should not just be whether someone is hit or not, but also how soaked they get. Without soak level being accounted for either by points or some other method, it's not quite water warfare anymore and becomes, instead, a war-game using water guns.

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Post by forestfighter7 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:37 pm

(isoaker_com @ Jan. 14 2007,13:45)
. In a pure FFA, getting hit by a 20x is a lot more humiliating and intense than getting hit by a 0.5x stream, thus in an organized game, shouldn't a similar distinction be made as well?
IMO, a water fight should not just be whether someone is hit or not, but also how soaked they get.


I totally agree with both these statements, however, in an organized game getting hit with 0.5x will be unlikely to make a fist-sized blotch, wheras getting hit with a 20x stream will make a kill very easily. IMO it is just as intense and humiliating as in a FFA. Also, if one does make a kill with a 0.5 stream it will be very humilliating, if the killed person was using a 20x stream.
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Post by DX » Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:27 pm

IMO, a water fight should not just be whether someone is hit or not, but also how soaked they get. Without soak level being accounted for either by points or some other method, it's not quite water warfare anymore and becomes, instead, a war-game using water guns.
That said, it's intent is not to detract from maneuvers and skill at all, but also incorporate the fact that soakage should count, too.


Very true, *BUT*...if you take the amount of soaking into account, you eliminate those manuevers and skill by its very nature. Putting emphasis on the size of a stream puts emphasis on the gun, and putting emphasis on a gun is like throwing a dam on a river of tactical opportunities. The idea has good, logical intentions, but can have effects it never intended to unleash. More points for more water is converting OHK/OHL into OHS -"one hit soakfest". It is essentially a soakfest with OHK-style organization. The user of a big gun, a powerful gun, a gun with massive output, has the enemy hung like a housefly like in any normal soakfest. The only significant difference is that the user gets points for it.

That way, should an XP215 user go toe to toe with a CPS1000 user, the CPS1000 could choose to be soaked a bit in return for unleashing a larger stream upon his/her opponent.


Notice that totally kills the legendary stands made by outclassed users. No longer do you have a user with a lowly pistol ambushing a user with a cannon of doom and pulling it off. One point vs four? Forget the Outnumbered Defense, your best defense is the white towel. In relation to Evolution of Tactical Progression, that is going backwards [remember that TT can be applied to anything, even a gametype]. Guns grow less important when moving up and grow more important when moving down. This concept inserts itself into the Firepower Level, dragging down with it any players who start the battle from a higher level [and not necessarily bringing up players from a lower level]. For example, if I were to play a game in this mode, I'd have to re-adjust myself, which is a fancy phrase for drop out of the Fluid Level and pickup tactics I ditched 2-3 years ago. It would also mean tossing away my k-modded primary and picking up a gun with more output. What good is range when an enemy can outsoak you for more points? I'd also have so little tactical clout [unless I've got a big gun] that I'd probably get pwned by some random enemy very early. The threat to score a hit with a small gun would not stop an enemy from binging on my most hated tactic of all, which is suicide rushing. Taking water in order to deliver a greater payload to the shooter. That is the hallowed mark of a soakfest fighter. Seasoned OHK fighters are totally unable to counter it because it does not happen in a true OHK game. I personally would shoot and shoot and then get pwned anyway. I have a new streak going of 4 wars without being killed. In this gametype, I'd probably get pwned more times in a single hour than I've been killed in my whole career as a CO.

IMO it is just as intense and humiliating as in a FFA. Also, if one does make a kill with a 0.5 stream it will be very humilliating, if the killed person was using a 20x stream.


Amen to that. If anything, killing with a powerful gun user with a weak gun is the ultimate humiliation. Opening up a huge blast on someone is not humiliating, as there is nothing you can do about that. You are expected to be pwned. But if you have nothing and kill a player who has something, that's an upset worth bragging about.

While some skills and tactics from other war games may be useful, there are skills and tactics that belong solely to the world of water wars.


Merging elements of a soakfest with elements of OHK would in theory give you something amazing. But in reality, one side has to give, and it is the OHK side every time. The tactical opportunities created in the OHK family are unmatchable in any other gametype. There are dozens of tactics unique to OHK and with combos, there are hundreds of thousands that disappear in any other gametype. In fact, there are mathematically millions of tactical combinations that have yet to be used by anyone. Due to the nature of water warfare, the vast majority of those millions only work to their fullest potential in one family of gametypes, gametypes where the value of your mind supercedes the value of your gun. In true OHK, every player is equally mortal, no matter the experience or the gun. The ability of the mind to control and manipulate the Physical Reality and the Abstract Reality is what wins a OHK battle. Even if you are not aware of it, when you play OHK, you are a piece on a chessboard and your mind is calling the moves. Your physical being is only along for the ride, though if you have some physical skills, such as agility, you may be able to interfere with what mathematically would be a foregone conclusion. You can deny being taken by a pawn and you can block checkmate with a random stroke of genius. Not only are there tactics unique to water warfare, but there is also a theory behind them which connects them all to a higher purpose. Uniting both in your thoughts will give you wild power against un-enlightened oppponents. However, this Superman has its kryptonite, in the form of something which subverts the mind in favor of the physical. A system glorifying the power of the gun leaves all tactical potential and theory shattered in its wake.

Yes, I have been reading too much Horace and Catullus, therefore my prose contains illusions and metaphors in the Latin poetic style. I don't think that iSoaker's gametype is a bad idea, I just think it doesn't work for the purpose it was created for. It helps soakfest people experience organized war without giving up their tactics sets and style of battle. But it does not bring out the uniqueness of water war tactics; they are mercilessly [though not intentionally] suppressed as explained above.

Also, please know that I am not trying to be harsh. I always talk from experience. Yes, this is a concept and I've never actually battled under its rules, but I've got the experience [9 years] and the means [TT] to run it in scenarios. You no longer need to have played a gametype in order to know what it would feel like. You can now run any scenario of any gametype, tactic, or counter in any situation. iSoaker's concept connects best with the Firepower Level of Progression, connects well with the lower levels, and could not exist at the higher levels without major reconstruction of those levels. I can make realistic action-reaction battle reports for each level of what it would be like, though I'd rather not because they take soooo much time to type.




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Post by isoaker » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:02 am

Very true, *BUT*...if you take the amount of soaking into account, you eliminate those manuevers and skill by its very nature. Putting emphasis on the size of a stream puts emphasis on the gun, and putting emphasis on a gun is like throwing a dam on a river of tactical opportunities.

I must disagree that taking soaking into account would eliminate maneuvers and skills. If such maneuvers and skills allow one to avoid being hit in a OHK/OHL game, those same maneuvers would work even if soakage were taken into account. That said, in a water war, soaking someone is a very common goal most can relate to and it is one thing that differentiates water wars from paint ball or laser tag or Nerf. If one's tactics cannot cope with the power of the weapon one is up against, I'd have to state that such tactics are not very good.

I understand the concerns brought up and perhaps the point-spread is too much, but at the same time, I really don't like having equal points awarded for a large vs small soak. It most definitely would be more humiliating to be drenched by a small soaker than by a large soaker, but the power of tech should also be acknowledged in a water war. Tech power shouldn't be too relied upon, but to push it aside into a game of soaker ranges is taking away the soak aspect.

Perhaps the point spread should be the other way around in a sense. Give points only for a single-strike-made splotch that is fist-sized. If it's made by a low output soaker, the attacker is rewarded with 3 points. If it is made by a 20x-output soaker, the attacker is rewarded 1 point. This would eliminate the problem of a "suicide rusher" attack as that form of attack would not yield a significant point increase. It would also reward skill more than soakage. However, an unflipped-point game could prove to be just as tactically challenging as one would now really have to weigh options if up against an opponent with superior fire/water power. Some tactics that work only in OHK/OHL would obviously fail, but others wouldn't and new ones would need to be devised. I'd consider that just as much of a challenge and as rewarding to succeed. A lone soldier would likely not opt to go toe-to-toe with a tank unless he really had an understanding of the tank's weakness. Same could be said of a water pistol user facing off against someone with a high-powered water cannon.

What I do not like about the OHK/OHL games is simply the fact that soakage power is severely downplayed. Soakage still has some effect in OHK/OHL as more powerful soakers tend to have better ranges (in most, but obviously not all cases), and the range capabilities of a soaker would give a player an advantage.

For water wars I engage in, the amount one gets another wet should factor into the victory equation at an equal level at least to how well one managed to strike another with a stream. The cap ends up in what would be an allowable soaker to use in a game as opposed to simply calling all hits equal. This would prevent the use of "unfair" massive soakers in a small game, but allow them in for larger battles. Team weaponry could also be assess prior to battle to see how balanced the game appears before starting. As for the tactics, I still fail to see how tactics are being cast aside or blocked; tactics would simply need to be adjusted for the different set of scoring rules. As I noted before, if one can avoid getting hit in a OHK/OHL, what difference does it make if a stream is small or large? If being hit by a larger soaker seems to award too many points, don't be hit by such a soaker or soak back with an equal powered soaker. A brief kill-time rule could be agreed upon that if a player is soaked, he/she cannot return fire for the count-of-ten or something similar and dual-kills could nullify points. I also find people who think they have the biggest soaker often squander their shots making them much easier targets. The "suicide rush" advantage can be eliminated by swapping around the point system. That said, for an unflipped point game, one just needs to come up with a good counter-tactic to a "suicide rusher".

In the end, it's really about what is the point of a water fight?

If it is to challenge one's tactical skill while downplaying soaker tech/power, OHK/OHL games would be the advised option. However, if it is to see who can outsoak the other in a more objective manner, points for the size of soak would be chosen. As soaking others has always been my own goal when using a water blaster, that would be the form of gameplay I'd personally prefer.

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Post by DX » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:30 pm

As for the tactics, I still fail to see how tactics are being cast aside or blocked; tactics would simply need to be adjusted for the different set of scoring rules.

However, an unflipped-point game could prove to be just as tactically challenging as one would now really have to weigh options if up against an opponent with superior fire/water power.


Almost every tactic is affected by the exchange. Ambushes, charges, flanks, sweeps, etc. usually result in a gun battle. That's where the user of a weaker gun gets screwed. Even with 1 point vs 3, that's still so stacked that they cannot physically come away with a lead. In a 3v3 exchange with 3 weak guns vs 3 big output ones, you come away with possible points of 3 vs 9. The only option left to the weaker guns would be some variant of retreat, leaving the stronger guns with the permanent initiative and the permanent offense. The weaker guns are denied the offensive simply because of the exchange inequality. An hour's worth of skilled ambushes could be wiped out by an exchange lasting a matter of seconds, via the point gap. Awarding multiple points for anything is decisive for those who can wield that avdantage. The hallmark of OHK is the amount of strategy and hard-fought effort it takes to score a single kill. Battles with 1-0 and 2-1 scores are often the most fiercely tactical wars you'll ever see. Since everyone is equally mortal, you might have an hour and a half of intense firefights and manuevers without any kills at all. When guns don't matter, everyone has an equal shot at taking the initiative, controling the battle tempo, pushing the enemy on the defensive, etc.

When one side has such an advantage as 3 points for a hit to 1, the enemy will refuse to give battle. They will run, hide, sometimes fire, but will never engage you head on. You have to chase them into the most hideous terrain imaginable, but if you don't, they will just sit there. With such stacked odds, they cannot do any attack except one which minimizes the risk of being fired back at. Only ambushes provide that. So you've got ambushes [and only certain ones], retreats, and certain defenses [the Outnumbered Defense is out]. They are denied nearly the entire War in the Abstract Reality. The big guns get exclusive control of the tempo, carry the initiative almost unchecked, carry momentum as the weaker guns keep running and hiding, apply all the pressure, etc.

The only way to restore balance would be to balance the teams. But if you are the team with really sweet guns, why would you do that? Firepower inequality is part of the game. If you are the underdog, you can achieve stunning victory when everyone is equally mortal. But if everyone is not equally mortal, you might as will give up before the battle even starts. Not every team has honor, and not every team would want to share guns. "Honor" or at least the kind that I'm used to doesn't show up until LATE in the Progression, and even here, it is not exactly foolproof.

That said, for an unflipped point game, one just needs to come up with a good counter-tactic to a "suicide rusher".


There is none, except a stream that size or larger. If you don't have that, you are screwed. Your only "counter" then would be some type of retreat. Suicide rushing isn't even a tactic in the Theory because OHK players never see it [I'll add it in for the Soakfest version though].

It most definitely would be more humiliating to be drenched by a small soaker than by a large soaker, but the power of tech should also be acknowledged in a water war. Tech power shouldn't be too relied upon, but to push it aside into a game of soaker ranges is taking away the soak aspect.


Tech power does matter, but everything I've talked about tactically has been tech-blind in order to be all-inclusive. There's a future wing of the Theory which highlights how tech can be incorporated into a war to one's advantage. The power of tech is actually checked by ONLY one factor, Battle Practicality. However, Battle Practicality fails to work when you get more points for those larger outputs. That strips away the limits that are normally naturally imposed on tech. You are less mortal with those bigger guns with more range and output. With firepower looming so large, you've suddenly changed the Progression level. The tactics do have to shift, for what works in the Firepower Level works great for this. But what works in the Firepower level is very limited. A good 30x stream would make a Distraction Double Envelopment or a Staggered Left Oblique Rush worthless.

In the end, it's really about what is the point of a water fight?

If it is to challenge one's tactical skill while downplaying soaker tech/power, OHK/OHL games would be the advised option. However, if it is to see who can outsoak the other in a more objective manner, points for the size of soak would be chosen. As soaking others has always been my own goal when using a water blaster, that would be the form of gameplay I'd personally prefer.


That is true. We come from different parts of the soaking spectrum and prefer totally different styles. Although do know that one does not play OHK games to challenge skill and downplay soaking power. The game does the downplaying of soaker power on its own. The higher you go, the stronger the natural effect is. Good OHK games have their own "natural selection" where if a gun is ill-suited for the level of battle, the user will feel the effects. Hence why tech can only take you as far as the battle will allow.
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Post by isoaker » Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:41 pm

I sort of see the differences in scoring akin to how point spreads are rather different between hockey and basketball games. In hockey games, goals are typically much harder to come by, thus rarely do either team get more than a handful of points. Basketball has points soaring often above 80 to 100. Though in the game type I've described will make it easier to score points, which team would end up with the most points is still open to debate. If one team has significantly more water power than another, it would most likely be a rout, but not necessarily. When factoring terrain and cover elements, the effectiveness of larger output soakers can be whittled down.
The power of tech is actually checked by ONLY one factor, Battle Practicality. However, Battle Practicality fails to work when you get more points for those larger outputs. That strips away the limits that are normally naturally imposed on tech.

In a soak-level based game, as opposed to confronting someone with a much larger soaker on one's own, it'd be better to attack as a pair or more. Typically, a person can only target a single opponent well. While the player with the larger soaker can get more points per single hit due to output, the group counter attacking can match points since each player can be getting lower points per shot, but more shots in due to having more players. Additionally, unless fighting a soaker capable of really long shot times at high outputs, point exchange should end up balancing in favour of the group attacking the higher powered soaker user. Those with larger soakers are at an initial advantage, but the advantage is not absolute. Of course, if teams are severely imbalanced in terms of firepower, the result would likely be a rout, but then that would be almost expected at the start. To avoid such situations, teams should be more evenly matched at the start perhaps by setting limits on the size or number of a particular output-level of soaker a team can have in total.

The exact points rewarded for what level of soaking needs real life game testing. The game dynamics of a soak-level based game would have some similarities and differences with that of a OHK/OHL game. I'm looking for a game type that brings organization to the soakfest realm in order to tempt more into trying out more organized water battles (or at least have another means to hold competitions between teams of water fighters).

The reference of skills and downplaying tech with respect of OHK/OHL was made to suit the discussion, but was not meant to reflect the real reason people opt for that game type. IMO, OHK/OHL rules are, in general, better developed having been used in a number of sports and even video games. Better tactics are rewarded, scoring is simpler, and the imbalance of aspect of waterpower are lessened through the nature of the game. In a soak-level-based game, those with larger output soakers have a tech advantage, but that in itself is not tantamount to victory. Even in pure soakfests, I find myself on the average drier than my less experienced opponents even if I hand them the larger cannons and stick to lighter soakers.

The main problem I can foresee with a soak-level-based game is the issue of score-keeping. When numbers are low, keeping track of score is easier. However, if points can rack up more quickly, this results in a point tracking problem. For actual game functionality, details on scoring need to be better worked out.

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