Headshots in Wars - I don't understand the problem.

General questions and discussions on water warfare regarding tactics and strategies.
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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:42 am

While reading war stories and soaker reviews over the years, I've noticed a fair bit of negativity towards firing at people's faces in water wars. I never thought much of this before but after recently reading a battle report which described rules that penalised face shots, I began to wonder what the issue is.

Face shots have always been an integral part of the strategy used in our wars. Being hit in the face can temporarily throw off one's aim and allow for a quick escape when in a tight situation, or help to break a strategic formation of the opposing team. By restricting the use of face shots, a team is effectively removing a tactic which, while not used often, can be effective under certain conditions.

So why penalise headshots in wars? I just don't understand what the concern is. By the time a stream fired from even a large cps soaker reaches the opponent, the stream will have broken up enough to be like a heavy rain, which at worst will cause the opponent to shut his/her eyes for a moment.

It just seems completely unnecessary.

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Post by isoaker » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:18 am

I understand your point, but the downplay of headshots comes both from a safety standpoint and partially from liability. Though a large CPS-blast seems like hard rain from a distance, at closer ranges, a point-blank range, even a non-CPS-class stream can be painful in the eyes or even nose or mouth. As water quality in different areas also varies, it's been taken as a general rule to avoid promoting face shots (better than getting creek water up-the-nose). Back-of-the-head shots are ok, but the problem there is that sometimes people turn quickly, making it into a faceshot. The majority of Super Soakers sold have the good ol' warning about eyes and faceshots, showing even the companies are concerned over liability in the event of injury. Thus, in general, headshots are downplayed or recommended against.

That said, just because the articles say one thing doesn't make it an absolute rule. Local groups or wars can follow whatever rules they are most comfortable with. So long as all players agree to the rules before the start of the game and that care is taken to avoid injuries, all should be good. IMO, if faceshots are allowed, I'd strongly recommend use of some sort of eye protection, though.

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Post by HBWW » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:26 pm

For my wars (since we have yet to encounter a battlefield where access to dirty water is necessary), we're pretty loose about headshots, if it happens, it happens. Wipe your eyes and move on. However, we generally try to avoid close up face shots. So far it has been loosely defined by common sense, and things like "Weapons generally should never be shot directly at the face close up". We do carry both light and heavy soakers (a few squirt guns to CPS 2000's/2500's) I might get more strict next summer due to the predicted availability of homemade weapons, namely at least one CPH and WBL, but don't want to complicate things for recruits nor drive people away. I doubt we will be using K-modded weapons as I do not K-mod my soakers unless I have to open them for repair. (except last time I did that to the 2100, I had problems with the PRV, didn't want to take it out, yet it wouldn't cooperate with low numbers of balloons) I have done some nozzle drills recently though.
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Post by Adrian » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:05 pm

In the fight's we've had, we are (as we are in most things) fairly laizze faire. (sp?) Headshots happen. They're probably not going to cause damage, but there's not point in being malicious, especially when the target carries a gun equivalent to yours and is roughly your equal in all things physical. If you can make a headshot, take it - just be aware if you dump your full PC into someone's nostrils they're going to be a mite torqued off.

The point of that paragraph was just to say, as in all things, be responsible. And remember, it's just a game.

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Post by SSCBen » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:24 pm

Safety concerns in water guns are overblown by most people. Most people forget that water guns are offered as a safe alternative to other activities such as Nerf, or even Paintball or Airsoft.

Headshots aren't dangerous, just more dangerous than other places you could be shot. There might be a one in a million chance of doing any sort of damage, but with millions of people using water guns, liability exists for water gun manufacturers. That's why there are warnings on their guns because it is bound to happen statistically.

With that being said, I am not saying to go shoot each other in the face. I am saying that likely nothing bad will happen if you are shot in the face. Headshots happen and they're nothing to really overreact about. Someone should be penalized if they intended to harm someone, not if they shot someone in the face. That's where responsibility comes in.

C-A_99, I don't think you'll need to modify any rules for a CPH or modified water gun unless you somehow made it as powerful as a fire hose (and if you did, I'd be interested in knowing how). The simple fact is that devices that shoot streams of water are all relatively safe. Any water shot in the bad places is dangerous, not just from more powerful water guns.

However, I do not consider air pressure water balloon launchers to be water guns. Some do, but they seem both dangerous and useless to me in water fights. A mostly solid projectile can cause serious damage. That and the reload time makes WBLs bad choices unless you guard their users, which would remove people from more important tasks. I don't see their important in water fights, but some others seem to.

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Post by isoaker » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:45 pm

C-A_99, Adrian, and Ben all make good points. I just wanted to add in that headshots tend to be recommended against in articles and on sites also from the fact that there is a difference between saying something and having it written in a place many can access and read again and again. Seeing a statement in writing just holds more psychological weight than it does if it is just spoken. Since a lot of meaning is lost in typed words, article writers and site creators will often prefer to err on the safer-side.

Again, for local users, it's really up to them how to engage in water warfare. As long as the participants are knowledgable of the risks, all is fair in love and water war!

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Post by HBWW » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:47 pm

I guess I'll just create some strict operation codes for the WBL(s). Since the battlefield is fairly small (length of 3 houses), I'll put some PSI limits, and the fact that I'm using a ball valve instead of a solenoid or pull valve might help. I have yet to see the rate of fire on the WBL's unfortunately, but to prevent problems, I'll probably prohibit attacking the WBL user and designate them in different areas, but that would be stupid and limiting the WBL's power would be more practical. (and should improve rate of fire hopefully) For now I suppose the WBL is an experiment, one I'll need some time with since I hardly know anything about them.
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Post by DX » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:28 pm

Locally, you can only score for chest and back shots. This naturally keeps people aiming in two places, especially when the fighting is close range. We consider headshots in the same category of cheapness as shields and the such. It's not as much a safety issue as an issue of simple honor. We use literally any water available and any kind of gun is legal, so we know where the limits are safety-wise. Head shots were first frowned upon for being cheap, then banned because we had problems with responsibility. The ban only applies to headshots on purpose at close ranges. At close ranges, you are supposed to shoot to score and there is absolutely no reason for shooting elsewhere. At long ranges, you can't really help it, so no one cares. Anything goes.

As for general safety, few here know what really is dangerous in water warfare. Water from a sandy stream isn't remotely dangerous. Modded guns and homemades are not remotely dangerous. Faceshots are getting there. Water cannons are getting there. Launchers are closer. The most dangerous aspect of water wars? Yourself and your choices. You are more likely to hurt yourself in a stupid action, not even involving water guns. Choosing to jump off a 20ft woodchip mound onto a paved lot, for example, is dangerous. Jumping into a semi-busy street backwards without looking is dangerous. Flipping/Rolling down a rocky hill with a thin metal pole in your path is dangerous.

As I've said before, Tech safety, at least for my team, is naturally imposed by our battlefield and fighting level. The most powerful cannons are usually the least battle practical, and therefore don't appear. Power and safety issues with guns simply don't exist because guns which come close to crossing the line don't exist either. For us, we don't even use the Douchenator anymore unless we've got a lot of people and can spare a man. Tech power and safety should only be an issue in the Firepower Level or earlier because that's where you see weaker limits. Safety is totally relative.

I guess I'll just create some strict operation codes for the WBL(s). Since the battlefield is fairly small (length of 3 houses), I'll put some PSI limits, and the fact that I'm using a ball valve instead of a solenoid or pull valve might help. I have yet to see the rate of fire on the WBL's unfortunately, but to prevent problems, I'll probably prohibit attacking the WBL user and designate them in different areas, but that would be stupid and limiting the WBL's power would be more practical. (and should improve rate of fire hopefully) For now I suppose the WBL is an experiment, one I'll need some time with since I hardly know anything about them.


Using a ball valve is not going to really limit anything. A launcher probably could still fire a balloon out of the dimensions of your battlefield at moderate pressure. You'd need to set such a low PSi limit [like 20 or 30] that it wouldn't be worth it to use a WBL. Then again, that would depend on how far 3 houses is in your neighborhood. ROF is terrible for most launchers. For a single shot launcher, you'd be looking at 1/2 shot a minute-2 shots a minute, depending on the type and the experience of the user. For a multiple-shot launcher [like the G3 Douchenator] you'd be looking at 1-4 shots a minute.




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Post by Falcon » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:45 pm

I can see how a point blank shot to the face could potentially cause some damage or at least make the target uncomfortable. That said, it's a rare occasion (at least in our wars) to come across an opportunity to shoot someone at that close a range as the people involved generally won't let themselves get into such a vulnerable position.

Water balloon launchers could be very dangerous at close ranges, but my team usually only uses a WBL from long ranges and as Duxburian said, at that kind of range you can't really help where you hit. I suppose it just comes down to common sense.

It just seemed that some people are a little too concerned with safety, suggesting that any sort of shot to the face will cause damage. I guess it depends on the weapon used and the responsibility of the user.




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Post by forestfighter7 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:21 pm

In my wars, head shots won't get you any points, so they don't happen intentionaly, especially at short range, because if you WERE at a close range, then there would be no point in shooting anyone in the face.

Head shots will and do happen. You will likely be able to keep on liveng.
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Post by WaterWolf » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:34 am

At my teams meetings, I try to discourage head-shots by simply making them useless. As Dux said, kills can be scored only by hits to the chest or back, though they (Head-Shots) still happen occasionally.

Why bother aiming for a more difficult target (the head) to stun, them when you could just hit them in the chest to eliminate them?
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Post by Exodus » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:46 pm

In our wars headshots have never been a problem. I don't believe anyone has ever been injured by a soaker's stream [correct me if I'm wrong, Falcon] nor have they complained/been worried about recieving a full blast to the head.

Yes - I can understand the point of not shooting people in the face in 1HK skirmishes. That said, the high majority of our wars are Soakfests, so getting he occaisonal headshot is a fine tactical decision. Blasting someone in the head can give us a split-second advantage, which we can use to get into a better position, move back, signal to teammates etc...

Although, these headshots do come rarely - and from a distance. I would never get close enough that a headshot would hurt, simply because that would be close enough for myself to get soaked easily in the process. And even in Soakfests, why go for a headshot when you could soak someone's shirt/pants, leaving them drenched. That is much more satisfying than a headshot, as it won't dry of nearly as quickly.

So, as stated earlier, we have never had problems with headshots nor do I think we will. It is still something to be aware of, for I can imagine some damage could possibly be done.

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Post by mutuhaha » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:45 am

As reiterated by many of the opinions here, headshots will happen.

Fortunately, with streams of water, they aren't too dangerous. Still, despite this, we discourage it locally. At the least the guy who hit the victim in the face should make sure he's ok; in the spirit of sportsmanship. Many other people have expressed their views on water streams and I mostly concur.

Water balloons and WBLs are a different matter. WBLs are arguably less dangerous than hand thrown water balloons due to the artillery rule, unless of course you look up and a water balloon crashes straight into your face, where gravity inflicts much pain.

Locally we use a lot of water balloons and I have been hit many times in the face. It is uncomfortable and I sit out awhile to recover my vision. I've even gotten a pair of solid goggles to shield my eyes in the more chaotic battles. It may be able to withstand even WBL hits, but I haven't and don't plan on finding out while the goggles is still on my head. But that's just our situation locally. It's prudent to exercise caution during all water wars, and hence I discourage faceshots without having too much issue with accidental ones.
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Post by XP20Warrior » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:37 am

In my wars, it was a big no-no to hit someone in the face. We always had soakfests, and headshots did not particularly matter. But we did have people cry if they got hit there. Therefore, soakerman and I had the "everyone shoot a person if they shot someone in the face" rule for safety. Your eyes are a very fragile organ. A simple thing as miniscule debris in a stream of water can damage it. If its on the sticker, its there for a reason.

However, that didn't mean we couldn't hose someone behind their neck or head. :soaked:
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Post by soakerman » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:09 am

Maily it's the younger people you have to watch out for.

To an 8 year old, being shot in the face with an XP-220 might seem like a big thing.

But someone older might not even flinch when being shot in the face with a 2100 :oo: .

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