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Tactics: Bases

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:36 pm
by Gold Hawk
I will begin this topic with a simple question: What is a base?

When I checked the nearest dictionary, it defined a base as; "something used as a foundation or starting point for further work".

With that said I will classify three of the most common forms of a base.

1. Outpost: An outpost usually is very lightly armored base placed (a fair distance away) around a main base. This is to provide early warning if attack on a base is imminent, and to stall the enemy for enough time that reinforcements can arrive. Depending on your terrain and climate, different materials may be appropriate. While scouting around Victory Park (a fairly wooded park near me) in preparation for the HydroHawks' upcoming VP War, I found two trees narrowly spaced apart, near where a base will be. The day before the war, I plan to place a large sheet of plywood against the trees creating a forward outpost.
But you can use cardboard, plywood, even fallen trees as an outpost.

2. Main Base: The base that is the root of all of your operations. It is where you want your flag in Capture The Flag and Soak The Flag. Your base can be constructed around a tent, or a shed, or a bunch of closely placed bushes.

Now I know we've all heard of this method for constructing a command center: "Take some posts, stick them in the ground, tie strings around them, put cardboard over the strings...", I don't want to continue on the subject. :|

Really, how you construct your base depends on the terrain.

Open area (open backyard, field, etc.): Use a tent if you're in a field, a shed or a garage if you're fighting in an open backyard. In there, store maps, plans, and anything that could get ruined if wet. Outside, use containers to store ammo, extra weapons, water balloons, etc. If you lucky enough to be fighting in a wide backyard (like my fellow soldier Eric [Panther] with his wide backyard) construct your base around a hose or other water source.
Now for defenses. Use cardboard. Yes you heard me: cardboard. Use the string and post method, except build fortifications, not an actual building. Or just pile up cardboard boxes or those big Rubbermaid containers.

Area with lots of trees: Find some sort of clearing, and use a tent or the post-string-cardboard technique for your command center. For the rest of the base, use most of the same ideas for the open area, except look more for natural defenses like fallen trees or tightly spaced trees which you can lay sheet of plywood against. :wink:

Urban enviroment: If you can't construct a base in this enviroment, you do not deserve your status as a soaker warrior. :( It's the easiest type of battleground to build a base in. Use defenses that are already there. Hedges, trees, walls, buildings, even cars (note: cars may not stay where they are for the entire battle).
This is the enviroment around my house. When protecting the hose (and a refilling teammate) from enemy attack, we use the large hedges in front of my house as natural walls. So be smart: look for defenses that are already there, and only construct extra defenses if it seems like they will desperatly be needed.

3. Filling station: If you have enough troops to defend it and your main base, construct defenses around the hose, water fountain, etc. If you have only a small handful of troops, just construct your entire main base around the filling station. :)

Summary: I hope you've enjoyed this insight on base construction, and that you will win every water battle using my techniques. Cause if you do, I'll be amazed, because...and this may be a bad time to mention it.......I haven't actually used most of the techniques mentioned. :D

Yeah... :|

-Gold Hawk

Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:01 am
by isoaker
Nice article! Have some good ideas and suggestions in it! Do you think it'd be possible to eventually get some pics of bases you and your team have set up? Also, may I repost this article on

Soak on!


Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:07 am
by WaterWolf
Just be aware that fortifications can often be turned into slaughter pens with the right tactics.

Water-Balloon-Launchers and Water-Cannons can blast away cardboard fortifications with ease and the outpost design mentioned above can be very easily flanked and overtaken, unless you have some-kind of bottleneck which ensures enemies can only attack from one direction.

But even if your opponents were forced to strike head-on, mortar bombardment could drop artillery shells down behind the outpost shield, or a combination of suppressive fire and lightning blitz could get a few troops up-close, where they could fire over or around the plywood.

I've done a lot of thinking on this topic and decided that only a really solid, well-placed and well thought-out fortress could hold out for very long against an enemy force armed with fluid-level tactical knowledge.

After some thinking about tactical defensive structures that might stand up against modern strategies, I came up with a pretty good design, which stood-up to everything I could throw at it in my mind's eye.
From artillery, to flanking, to snipers, to suppressive fire, even groups of enemy shield phalanxes couldn't get through.
It also had systems for driving back enemies far enough, to allow you're team room enough for launching effective counter-attacks.

But such a fortification would require a fair amount of recourses to build and I'd much rather put that effort and money into designing new homemades.

Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:08 am
by Gold Hawk
isoaker_com wrote:Nice article! Have some good ideas and suggestions in it! Do you think it'd be possible to eventually get some pics of bases you and your team have set up? Also, may I repost this article on

Soak on!

iSoaker: When my team and I have our war, I'll take pictures of the bases (and the battle of course!).

Sure you can put the article on!

To Waterwolf: I'm sure these tactics could be adapted for that type of water warfare. In this topic, I'm showing what my team would do. We don't usually fight in very open areas where WBLs come in handy. Also, who said anything about money?! All you need for fortifications are rubbermaid containers and/or cardboard and posts and string. Most people have those around the house.


Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:10 am
by isoaker
Article reposted

I'll happily add in pictures or make edits as they become available.


Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:21 pm
by Gold Hawk
Looks great!


Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:12 pm
by WaterWolf
Also, who said anything about money?! All you need for fortifications are rubbermaid containers and/or cardboard and posts and string. Most people have those around the house.
What I had been saying was that the fortification design I had in mind for countering more modern strategies and technologies requires much more solid construction to be effective.
Plywood for starters.
We don't usually fight in very open areas where WBLs come in handy.
Neither do we, but Water-Cannons or low-angle WBLs are both still options which could blast-away the materials you described.
And those are just the technical answers to attacking fortifications, tactical solutions such as suppressive fire and flanking could be even more devastating if you rely too much on your defensive structures.

Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:54 am
by mutuhaha
Like Waterwolf mentioned, WBLs and heavier weapons will easily blast away simple fortifications; actually, even a hand thrown water balloon can have some effect. Many times I've organized games with cardboard, rope and trees given to the players, and by game-end, they were mostly destroyed, and we didn't even field any WBLs or homemades. In addition, having an obvious strongpoint will only invite more people to take a pot-shot at it; after all, who wouldn't want to have the bragging rights for storming a "fortress"? Of course, that opens up possibilites of using minimal people to man a nice, juicy looking base, diverting your opponents' attention from say, another taskforce sneaking around the back to capture the flag, or a flanking. And urban battlegrounds aren't necessarily the best places to build bases in; since you can't hammer foundations into solid concrete. What is needed for base planning in urban areas is creativity and a good grasp of the advantages and disadvantages of each position. Walls meant for standing up to WBLs can easily be one less escape route for you in case of a rout, in other words, killzones. And again, like WaterWolf said, high angle bombardment by WBLs lets them shoot over walls and into your base, while you can't shoot out as effectively with water guns, unless you have your own WBL batteries (and even then he can run around more freely than WBL crews cooped up inside fortifications).

In all, the best defenses don't necessarily rely on fortifications. An interesting idea though, is a mobile base or something like that. The APC (or oversized trolley) that we've made could be used for that purpose; to store ammo and pressure magazines so one doesn't have to run all the way back to a hose or pump for a refill. It takes time to set up and stock though, and can be slow, but it moves around and can act as an armoured fighting vehicle as a last resort (which I stress, is only effective with mobile infantry support, without which your tank is a goner on wheels anyway). Don't expect the mobile HQ to be very stealthy though.

Re: Tactics: Bases

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:25 pm
by DX
I could write a book on bases, but I'll keep it short because nobody wants to read a post that's over 10 paragraphs long lol.

Personally, I'd never use man-made materials unless given no other alternative. Natural materials, when available, are free and stronger with a few exceptions like metal and concrete. It is very possible to throw together a defense out of natural stuff that resists damage.

My finest defensive fortification was the old Reed Hill. The main area was dug into a mulch hill, so that the main wall only had to be 3ft tall. The depth of the floor nearly doubled the height of the wall for the defenders. A series of logs were piled in the center of the wall, then covered with mulch. The mulch protected said wall from lax stick attacks, which is what we used for artillery at the time. This fort's only weakness was the rear, protected only by a thick reed bush thingy. However, the main wall could be used from either direction, so when Waterbridge gained the rear, we were still able to defend using the main wall from the outside.

However, true forts were a thing of the old RM and Waterbridge. Times changed quite rapidly when both teams designed themselves for speed and mobility. Reed Hill would not last very long against a modern team, despite it's quality. Even the RM's great fortresses of Stonewall and High Point became quite the death trap. The entire battlefield become fluid.

Mobile bases make the most sense now if you use them at all. Natural materials again enjoy an advantage, for you need not carry any from place to place. They can be ditched when you move. In 2005 and early 2006, the RM fortified on the spot using whatever was around. Often we just used sticks to throw up a barrier between trees and the such.

The late 2006 and all of 2007 RM and WB made no use of any fortifications. There was no point. By then we just used things that already existed for temporary cover. Some supplies were cached in strategic [and not strategic] areas so we could move rapidly. Even a few tactics, such as the Post Defense / Multiple Post Defense, were created specifically for baseless strategies. But then again, it really depends on personal preferences whether or not bases are useful. It also depends on what your enemy does. In extreme competition between teams, bases may quickly be phased out. When the level of warfare is calmer, bases may be used for quite some time. They also may recur, but that's a different article.