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what is battle practicality

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:51 pm
by the oncoming storm
When people talk about Homemades, WBL's and guns like the Monster XL the words battle practicality are often tossed about but is never really explained. So what is battle practicality ? We need some sort of guideline to set it by, otherwise as a vague thing Homemades and stock water guns will be striving for some mistery goal

Here is my definition

Battle Practicalality is how easily and successfully a water gun may be used against other blasters of various classes

Monster XL's for instance are lower in battle practicality because of weak range, and high number of pumps allow smaller guns get close and "pour it" into them due to the low # of pumps

CPS 2000's while needing lots of pumps have high battle practicality because the range allows it to hold smaller guns at bay

XP 150's while lacking in range somewhat, are deadly simply because they have so little down time due to pumping allowing them to get so close and blast the socks off of heavy hitters.

Lightningstorms while they have zero down time for pumping are terrible because of horrid range and output that mean that you can't get in range to fire back or get anyone wet.

All these examples were meant to explain my definition of battle practicality. By these definitions most homemades are battle practical. And yes I forgot to mention mobility completely.

What is your definition of battle practicality and give so examples of high and low practicalty if you please.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:23 am
by DX
Battle practicality was originally intended to describe a soaker's usability relative to the conditions. It is difficult to quantify due to the amount of factors involved. It becomes more important in games where things are more intense - long or no time limits, tough competition, bad/sub-optimal weather, and rugged battlefields. A soaker's battle practicality is affected by its user's physical characteristics and experience. A strong user can utilize heavier guns and a user good with flipping ball valves can better-utilize homemades.

In general,

- A soaker is more practical when it is more versatile. Excelling at many roles and in many situations opens more doors, especially when forced into an unplanned/unknown situation.

- A soaker is more practical when it is highly mobile with minimal effort expended, again relative. Example: Trying to run through thick terrain with an MXL (St John's Woods, Moab) or trying to run up a mountain with a CPS 2700 (Saugatuck, LC-LBW) is far more difficult than running through thick terrain with an XP 310 or running up a mountain with a CPS 1200. Mobility over time matters as well - it would be easy to run 20 miles with an XP 310 and less so with a CPS 2500. Mileage in some rounds may exceed even that.

- A soaker is more practical when it is simple and durable. Something that is constantly breaking is more likely to break on you during battle. Simpler soakers are usually less likely to break than complex ones.

- A soaker is more practical when it has high field life. You can't always just go and refill, or even just run away to refill. This still doesn't make Nerf SS practical, as high field life is only useful when accompanied by acceptable range and output.

- A soaker is more practical when the ergonomics are good. The weight should be evenly distributed, the trigger should be fast and responsive, the grip(s) comfortable, etc.

- A soaker is more practical with high ROF at full power. See Duelfest, XP 150 vs others and Colossus vs Colossus 2 in both Duelfest and Moab.

Those are just general guidelines. For some more specific examples:

- G2 Douchenator, being about 6 feet long, was not battle practical at Waterbridge. It was too heavy to run high mileage with, and too long to maneuver through dense reeds and bushes with. ROF and accuracy were too low to use effectively against a hit and run enemy in the daylight. G1 Douchenator, being about 3.5 feet long, was much more practical in that it could go through vegetation that a longer launcher could not.

- SuperCAP, having a huge tank and lots of pipes sticking out, would not have been battle practical at St John's Woods, Moab. Despite high performance, it would have snagged on the briar bushes, vines, and privet trees.

- Water cannons as a class are not battle practical. They are one-shot wonders. If backpacked, they are still not practical due to the weight and long reload time. Oh, and one would have trouble jumping the Goffle dam culvert (Goffle Brook park) or scaling the Central Heights (Mamacoke Island) with a water cannon, regardless of physical conditioning.

Many battlefields place these extra demands upon users, forcing adaptations in soaker selection. The weather can also completely change how the park plays (consider running in 90 degree heat with 100% humidity and 65 dew point vs 50 degrees with 25% humidity and 30 dew point).

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:13 pm
Great topic, but Duxburian already covered most of it, haha. To keep it simple, a practical blaster is one that allows you to make hits most effectively. That's pretty much it. My ideal blaster would be like a CPS 2700, but with a tracked pump and more power, as well as possibly a bigger nozzle. It would also have to be extremely durable. The reason most homemades are impractical are because they're often heavy and bulky (and those that aren't don't often reach a higher power level than stock blasters), and for some reason or another, most people don't add conventional triggers. It's rather hard to aim while trying to turn a stiff ball valve. Also, pumps are rather hard to make, and most of them end up leaking.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:27 pm
A lot of practicality concerns are negated on small playing areas and in situations that put less emphasis on mobility than usual. For example, a backpack, high range CPS would've been practical in the assault/defend round at MOAB, but less practical to going through woods with when you can refill from the river between rounds.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:01 pm
by the oncoming storm
Ca99 has a point, and this is why M4 has only ever used his MXL in soakfest and never an elimination game. Also why CPS 3000-3200's have faded from use by completely. Right now Community wars have low attendance and short rounds causing lighter blasters of lesser feild life to be used, as wars get larger and/or longer, field life becomes more of A consern. Than raw power and mobility

DX used a 2500 in the ridgewood wars despite having a 2000 available all (or most of) the time, choosing field life over power due to longer battles.

M4 used a 3200 in vermin wars 3 and 4 despite having a 1700 available choosing yet more field life in the face of more foes.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:43 pm
The reason I don't use a 3000/3200 is because I have no access to them. Don't want to shell out a decent amount of cash either.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:44 am
by marauder
This would make a great article for a website.

Practicality really depends on your situation. Of course, some practical traits are always important, as DX pointed out. You're right about me using my 3200. I was taking a lot of shots and hitting a lot of people. Right after I used a 3200 I used Armageddon my 2000. This was somewhat because I finally had a 2000 (opportunity) and somewhat because it fit the circumstances (practicality). We went from fighting 20 enemies over 3-4 acres to fighting 5-8 highly mobile enemies over 10+ acres.

Modding is a great way to enhance the battle practicality of your guns. Recently I've been doing a lot of work on my few remaining guns in order to make them more battle practical. I cut the intake tube on my Gorgon. This decreases the amount of pumps I need to make to charge the gun and it also greatly reduces the risk of pump lag. I put tactical rails on my Gorgon, 100, and 2000, which allow me to mount various accessories like flashlights, scopes, or laser pointers. I reinforced the pumps on all of my guns, which greatly decreases the risk of a snapped pump. I also lubed the pumps up. You don't want to be caught off guard and out of pressure. This made a great difference with my 100. I modded the nozzles on both my XP 70 and my 100 so that they can easily field fill waterballoons. I want to do this to my Gorgon and Blazer as well. Field filling is often much more practical than making a ton of balloons in advance. Our battles are often fought over large areas, or areas where you have to hike in, and it's not that easy to bring in a large number of balloons. Further more, we usually lack the time.

I've got a lot more to say on the subject, but this is what popped into my mind at the moment.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:17 pm
by isoaker
Traits/characteristics that increase battle practicality
- more range
- more output
- more capacity
- better stream speed
- less weight
- compact form
- comfortable to use and hold
- durability
- versatility
- longer field life
- multiple useful stream settings
- responsiveness
- reduced priming/charging time

Traits that decrease battle practicality
- the opposite of the above traits :goofy:

The limitation, of course, is that many traits that make a blaster more battle practical are mutually exclusive. If a blaster has high output, to get longer field life, that means it would also need greater capacity, but then this increases weight. At the same time, some things can be optimized that are not affected by other traits (e.g. ergonomics, durability, responsiveness, etc.) The game being played also determines what traits are more important to be maxed out. For soakfests, output and capacity rule while in longer OHS/OHK game in larger battle grounds, range becomes key.

Of course, the player and his/her playing style also determines which traits end up being most important.


Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:39 am
The most common traits that improve battle practicality:
- Carrying handle
- Balance
- High flow design
- Triggers
- Powerful pressure chambers
- Good pump design

The most common traits that decrease battle practicality:
- Flimsy design
- Motorized pump
- Lack of pressure chamber and manual trigger
- Lack of capacity
- Lack of internals flow

As far as mutual exclusivity goes, it's all a matter of what's worth what. For example, a Nerf SS requires no pumping time, at the expense of just about every single other trait that would make it battle practical. As for range and output decreasing field life, the loss is offset by nozzle selectors and increase combat effectiveness in 1HS/1HK. Capacity should always be maximized when possible within weight and size limitations, because there is no rule saying that reservoirs and PC's have to be filled to the max everytime.

The real tricky balance is when you're juggling many factors at once, particularly pump diameter and pressure. Higher pressure of course, equates to higher output and range (given other factors are adjusted accordingly such as flow), but also equates to requiring more pump force. Too much force and pumping results in fatigue (and funny looks from people when the left arm is noticeably more muscular) more easily. Higher diameter means less force, but faster charging of the PC. It may be a good idea on APH's for faster pre-pressurization, but may also decrease the amount of air that can be pre-pumped. (Which is vital to making an APH useful.)

I think this whole deal with practicality falls on a spectrum. There are some points and factors where everyone can agree is impractical, while beyond that, things become more of a matter of preference. For example, if given the choice, I'd always pick a CPS 1000 over a Vindicator since the 1000 has a lot more flow and pressure, resulting in better streams. The streams aren't as laminar, but they go about as far and have the velocity to hit those ranges. CPS's in general rely more on velocity, output, and power to hit certain ranges, while WW's rely on great stream lamination; both are important, but the added kick and output of the CPS's make it a more effective blaster for me.

The CPS 3200 features the ultimate in field life and capacity, as we all know. However, many users would pick a 1500 or something instead, since the advantage of capacity/field life is, to them, not worth the encumbrance of movement caused by having a backpack and external tube present. (Regardless of whether the backpack is filled to lower amounts for less weight.)

Outside everything that's clearly a matter of preference, we have blasters that are obviously impractical, which I shouldn't need to go over. I would say that the CPS 1000 and Vindicator comparison falls somewhere in between.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:18 am
by mr. dude
My definition is less complicated but a lot more open-ended. It's simply: how well can you use this blaster in a given game? Because really, sometimes you perform better with something that shouldn't make sense. For example, my XP 110 compared to a mid-sized CPS rifle. About the same size and weight (CPS is a bit bigger but it's hardly noticeable when you're using it), they get through their water supply in a comparable amount of time, CPS is more user friendly in its design (strap plus handle), CPS has the better range and output, yet for some reason I tend to be better in OHK games with the XP. I have no explanation for it other than that the XP 110 is my first baby, but I've had my 1200 for a good 6 or so years so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with it, I'm just better with the 110.

Similarly, I'm sure there's someone on this planet of ours who would be more effective with a SuperCannon II than a CPS 1500, and this is why I don't get too technical in my definition of battle practicality, it's very subjective in my opinion.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:56 am
by marauder
The XP 110 is great for one-hand firing. It's a very agile blaster. But yes, it is more practical to use a gun you are more familiar with!
Nerf SS requires no pumping time, at the expense of just about every single other trait that would make it battle practical.
So true!

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 5:49 pm
by isoaker
mr. dude wrote:My definition is less complicated but a lot more open-ended. It's simply: how well can you use this blaster in a given game? Because really, sometimes you perform better with something that shouldn't make sense.
While more accurate in one sense, it is also much less helpful to someone trying to choose a blaster in another sense. When a new player is seeking out a blaster to buy for use and wants to find something more battle practical, they just don't know how it will really end up performing for them in a given game. As such, in my opinion, a more practical definition of what is battle practical is more preferred than a more accurate one. :goofy: Let's face it: if you only own one water blaster, it ends up being the most battle practical blaster you have! :goofy: Those looking to expand their armoury should try to get experience using various blasters before buying if possible, but as this is not always easy to do, using performance stats and doing some good guestimation on filled weight, ergonomics, and preferred palying style goes a long way at choosing the best, most battle practical blaster for oneself.


Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:42 am
by mr. dude
Yes, I agree, I'm not helping a less experienced user. I just wanted to go to the other extreme as even I was getting lost in the overly thorough breakdowns of soaker attributes (doesn't help that I tend to read these things well after midnight when I'm already half asleep :P).

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:52 am
by DX
I once wrote a theory that said, "Every soaker is effective in at least one situation, and no one soaker is effective in every situation." I may get highly into detail with battle practicality, but that's because I can acquire almost any model I desire and seek out every little advantage. For the general layperson, practicality is definitely more simple.

You'll never know the whole story with just the performance stats. Each playing area requires adjustments to your intended loadout. It sucks, but the only good way to figure out what is battle practical for an individual player in certain conditions and places, against certain opponents, is trial and error. It is very subjective and can change frequently and over time.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 7:44 am
by isoaker
Duxburian wrote:I once wrote a theory that said, "Every soaker is effective in at least one situation, and no one soaker is effective in every situation."
I have that theory as well, but some of the latest models by Hasbro Inc. really force me to have to come up with particularly unique situations for some of them to be effective. :goofy:

I suppose one question ends up being: how much should a user factor in performance stats versus personal usability factors when choosing what blaster would be most battle practical for them?


Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:11 am
by the oncoming storm
I would have to say, my 300 and Gorgon are near perfect fits for my fighting style. They have plenty of power with lots of field life,
they are the best guns in my Arsenal and in the neighborhood.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:18 pm
by the oncoming storm
This needs to be made into an artical, we have learned much about how different aspects of guns influences battle practicality, next we need to learn how the human element affects battle practicability.

By these standards there is no totally impractical water gun, just water guns with such low practicality that they will almost always lose.

Also I now know why the XP 150 is so highly regarded, It combines these desirable traits nearly perfectly, high field life, relatively high power, light weight, durable, low Number of pumps, and small form factor.

Human aspect is very important, Like how I can tap shoot my 300 as fast as DX can his 2000 and can move almost unaffected by it's weight. While others like DX and M4 find the 2000 a better fit for them because it doesn't restrict them as much and they don't fire half as much as me.

Re: what is battle practicality

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:47 pm
My upcoming APH will surely be put to the battle practicality test. I'm curious to see how it goes on the field, although my insistence on using threaded parts for disassembleability and ease of assembly may have been for the worse. Those McMaster Carr PVC check valves are nice and small though.