The Conceptual Zone

General questions and discussions on water warfare regarding tactics and strategies.
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DX
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The Conceptual Zone

Post by DX » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:08 pm

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Note: This is a 2011 rewrite and replacement for the “Battle Zone and Relative Power” article. I have stripped away the suggestions for how advanced the presented material is or how advanced a person must be to utilize it. That is now up to the reader. The only thing I suggest now is which game types work best with the material.
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The Conceptual Zone

Date: 29 May 2007 (Revised: 6 September 2011)

Type: Elements Article

Recommended For: All organized gametypes
OHK (One Hit Kills)
OHS (One Hit Scores)
OSF (Organized Soakfest)

When fighting a water war, players exist in two zones – physical and conceptual. The physical zone is composed of all the things they can see and touch, while the conceptual zone is composed of abstract things that are intangible. Both are important to a water war captain seeking victory. If you are too focused on weaponry and stats, you may miss the human element of water warfare. But, if you get too wrapped up in theory and grand strategy, you could become detached from the practical reality on the field.

This article explains the conceptual side of water warfare. It is not just the aggregation of all things in the mind, but also the medium in which such things propagate. Thus, concepts may have shared effects among some or even all of the players in a war. Something that started in your own head may end up being unintentionally broadcast to all players, with positive or negative repercussions. So, it is imperative to understand what is going on in this zone, for water wars can be won or lost here.

The conceptual zone can be visualized in some competitive activities, such as a track meet. Not every runner is of equal ability and the better runners will often try to psyche out the competition prior to their event. Sprinters in particular will wear flashy spikes, show off their acceleration in warm-ups, or try to be the last into the blocks. They are looking to convey to other runners that they're the ones to beat at the line. If you are not cocky and self-confident, you stand a very good chance of losing even if you possess winning speed. These signals are very important in setting the pre-race tone and sizing up the competition. The allegory of a race is not perfect for water warfare, but demonstrates how the conceptual zone functions and how it may be used to your benefit or detriment.

Not every player in water warfare is equal. Disparities exist for a wide variety of attributes. Therefore, some players will exert a greater presence than others simply by standing on the battlefield doing nothing. Players with great skill and veteran experience often project an aura of toughness, reliability, even invincibility sometimes. Like sprinters ready to start a race, this can picked up by other players, affecting them relative to their own skills.

However, the conceptual zone is a two-way street. Therefore, it is advantageous for a weaker player to send fake signals in the zone. You want to maximize your perceived positive attributes and minimize your negatives, even if what people see doesn't match your actual assets. Opponents will look for your negatives by watching your body language and how you react to certain stresses, such as command in the heat of battle and ability to give chase. The conceptual zone is full of watching and observing. It is possible to learn a great deal about the opponent simply by watching them. If they pick up any sign of your weaknesses, they will feed upon it and you've started losing the war. If you make yourself out to be a tough target, they will have to respect your power and take the necessary precautions during battle.

Don't fake physical attributes like speed if you are really slow, for it's just a bluff waiting to be called. Fake psychological aspects that the opponent can't judge so easily. Is the other team stacked? Don't act intimidated, show them a player who is used to the short stack and knows a thing or two about how to handle it. Are you running low on water? Don't let opponents realize it, continue fighting as normal and even take skirmishing shots. Is your position a death trap? Don't panic and run, hold your ground and fight as normal, at least if there is no safe exit. You never know if your opponent might withdraw to refill, or if an opportunity to drive them back opens up. But, if they see your predicament through your body language, they will press in, stop you from leaving, and capitalize on the bad positioning.

Watch out – negative attributes and situations may be faked when the player or team actually possesses positives. They can fake running out of water, fake inexperience, fake lack of athleticism, or just about anything in the hope that you do read it and act upon it. Some of these fakes can be really, really good. If it's too good to be true, it's potentially fake. However, a very sharp player won't overdue it. They'll give you just enough of a cue, but not enough to suspect a trick.

Feelings, both voluntary and not, ripple from player to player. Frustration, excitement, nervousness, doubt, anger, determinedness, tiredness, etc. all radiate out. You can capitalize on this while in combat. If the opponent is giving signs that they are tired, press them. If they are looking confused, rush them. If they look bored, ambush them. Observing the opponent may provide you with great tactical ideas. They might not even realize that their body language is giving you tips about what to do next.

Watch out – body language can be faked. Faking it convincingly may be difficult, but it is readily possible. Disorder and confusion are particularly ripe for a faking, to lure you into an ambush or a counter-rush. Outmatched teams are capable of utilizing this to devastating effect in OHK ambushes.

Water wars come with controlling elements that anyone may try to take. Time, tempo, momentum, and initiative are examples of natural things that come with an organized war, but exist at the full war level. They affect all players and remain lurking in the background. Normal elements like pressure, morale, desperation, and instinct require interaction between players, but the controlling elements exist whether teams use them or not. Lack of concern with these is difficult to fake and they can exert serious influence on your behavior. Fighting the clock is not fun, especially in the final minutes of OHS, when down just one point. Tempo may be critical to gaining a breather or not allowing the opponent to rest. Momentum allows for stringing successful tactics together and gaining an invincible effect. This may also crush the morale of an opponent, along with other effects. The benefit of initiative is controversial, but at least control of it keeps you designing tactics, not counters.

States of battle are conceptual. Offense and defense themselves do not exist except as judgments. A tactic may become offensive or defensive based on how you feel. An ambush can be an offensive weapon to cut down the enemy if you are confident and in control, or an attempt to claw your way back from misfortune and even the score. Thus, many tactics are really omnifensive when modified by the humanity of the conceptual zone. A desperate opponent might even use rushes defensively, or a team could use their own base as an opportunity to attack the opponent with no intention of actually defending anything.

Events in the physical zone may have conceptual zone effects. Prolonged fighting can trigger warriors' high – psychologically significant beyond what is happening to your body physically. User imposed limits on play, such as set boundaries may cross over. Those OB lines really gain psychological weight when your back is pressed against one. The most obvious effect is from water guns – picture what a team equipped with XP 150s thinks when their opponent brings out all CPS 2000s in a OHK war. Actually, it is difficult to find something physical that doesn't provide conceptual feedback. Both zones are interconnected and rely on each other for input and modification.

Conceptual theories may change physical arrangements. One of the most striking examples is the Progressive Loop Theory, which states that all methods can be used in cycles of effectiveness and obscurity. This occurs because teams constantly look for an edge in battle. The constant advancement in strategy may lead to an opportunity to use something old that hasn't been tried in a while and thus may have no immediate counter prepared. Water balloons are a great example of a weapon that regularly cycles between periods of active use and laughable disdain. Several other theories exist which also help increase the diversity of the weapon and tactics pools. Is your huge homemade impractical or is your small gun too weak to stand against primaries? No problem, there are effective uses for any weapon if you are creative.

So that's it, a short little introduction to the world in which water warfare elements operate. Hopefully, this is much more simple and useable than the previous version in 2007.
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers

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isoaker
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Re: The Conceptual Zone

Post by isoaker » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:18 pm

This needs to go onto the wiki. Would you be willing to create a page/section or shall I?

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DX
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Re: The Conceptual Zone

Post by DX » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:51 pm

I still don't know how to use wikis, they have their own weird code going on.
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers

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isoaker
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Re: The Conceptual Zone

Post by isoaker » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:52 pm

DX wrote:I still don't know how to use wikis, they have their own weird code going on.
Dude, there's a WYSIWYG editor on the iSoaker.net Wiki. Try it out.

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atvan
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Re: The Conceptual Zone

Post by atvan » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:52 pm

Nice to see the tacticle theory crap back. :goofy:
DX wrote:In the neanderthal days of K-modding, people would lop off the whole PRV
Well, not that much soakage.
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