Yeah, these things are pretty much weekly/twice weekly now. And as always with Tag Recon.
Today's turnout was again quite good, we had a maximum of about 12 people playing, a lot of whom I haven't seen before. Which of course is a good thing.
Today we used a play area near our usual one, but it's not quite the same. [Play Area 2] has similar terrain, but the tree cover is very dense in a small area and lacking everywhere else, while the old play area (Play Area 1) is less dense with trees, but has more trees spread out.
It is still a fairly small area and 12 people is probably the very limit of reasonable number of players.
Mini HvZ - same as always, 5 second stun for zombies. Ever popular and usually works if you choose the right number of original zombies (OZs) (and alter stun times or add human victory conditions if necessary).
Capture the Bomb - Oddball stolen from Halo. Your team would try to hold
the Lanard Scatter Blast for some amount of time (20/30 seconds)
uninterrupted, while fending off the other team(s). Tagging rules are
one-shot respawn as usual, and drop the bomb (not throw) when tagged.
You can throw the bomb to your teammates and continue the countdown (as
well as ninja-saving the bomb if the carrier is tagged and drops it),
but if the bomb touches the ground then the timer resets.
Tag Teams - this is a variant of regular Team Deathmatch. Instead of respawning when tagged, you would wait for a teammate to come and high-five you to revive you. If your whole team got tagged, then you guys would be out of the game. Works better with several smaller teams, rather than a few large teams.
Capture the Flag - steal the enemy's flag and return it to your flag, and be in possession of both flags to win. One-shot-respawn at some arbitrary location (which is always changing) with some respawn timer (which is also always changing).
Bombing Run - stolen straight from UT. Basically one flag reverse CTF. You would try to take a bomb (a Lanard Scatter Blast) to the opponent's goal/flag/target thing. All other rules from CTF apply.
Strongarms - the usual comparison blaster. Confirmed this round, any jams and misfires that I witnessed were due to bad darts or use of Streamlines.
Sweet Revenges - my usual dual wield pistols. Worked great as
always, much better than Strongarms for effective dual wielding.
Roughcuts - performed as per usual. They're getting more popular now possibly because they're harder to dodge and easier to rapid fire. Also shooting 2 darts at once is just plain cool, a lot of people enjoy that.
Single Shots (e.g. NF, Firestrike) - rarely used, and really weren't that effective.
Elite Rayven (Barricade motors, 2 IMR 14500s) - the capacity, rate of fire and range are still ridiculously overpowered compared to everything else there. Not quite as overpowered as the EAT though so I'll keep bringing it.
DT Swarmfire (blue trigger) - an interesting new blaster. Because our stock blasters are grey trigger, the blue trigger Swarmfire had better range to just about everything else there. Its capacity advantage of 20 darts was also very significant, even with both of my Sweet Revenges I only have half of that capacity. The rate of fire isn't that fantastic at 1-2dps, and this was shown when the Swarmfire user used up basically all 20 darts on one constantly dodging opponent. The fire delay between pulling the trigger and actually firing didn't seem to be a huge issue. Most noticeably in HvZ, the user would pull the trigger when the zombie was about 7-8 metres out, and the user was moving away. This would usually give the user enough time for the shot to fire and nail the zombie at around 3-5 metres. In the other team oriented games, the Swarmfire would be used as a suppressive fire blaster, as the user would often just pull and hold the trigger until they run out of ammo, or their target got hit.
All things considered, I think that while the Swarmfire is rather overpowered compared to the Strongarms and Roughcuts we normally use, it's not as gamebreaking as my Elite Rayven. While it does have similar range and capacity, its rate of fire isn't the best and its reload is horrendously slow, and primarily the slow reload prevents it from being ban-worthy overpowered in my opinion.
It would certainly make some great team support blasters if we could get a couple, though they are very large and heavy to carry around compared to Strongarms and Roughcuts.
Unlike the past games we've had, this time around we had HvZ games where the zombies eventually gave up chasing the humans, and so the humans effectively won. I was that human once, and we had one player who could outrun everyone else so noone could catch him. As we run with the rules that the previous last survivors become the new OZs, said excellent runner made a great zombie. The only way I was able to survive long enough for the zombies to give up was because I used my tac vest to hold a large amount of spare ammo. This meant that when I was far enough away from zombies, I could quickly reload my dual Sweet Revenges back up to full capacity and fend off the zombies. If I didn't have this spare ammo, I wouldn't have survived nearly as long.
That one person who outran everyone else ran with dual Nitefinders, and I saw one person fend off two zombies for a short time with a single Nitefinder.
As with what's happened in past events, the CTF games didn't work that well, and neither did Bombing Run (as it is an alteration of CTF). The respawning system seemed to not work at all, probably because of miscommunication. The problem of moderating whether the carrier was tagged before or after winning also popped up again, though moreso in BR than CTF.
In one of the games of CTF, I was able to circle around most of the opponents, tag one or two of them, steal the flag and then dump it at my team's flag, at the feet of all my teammates who were desparately defending. I feel that you shouldn't be able to just run around all the action to get an easy score, because that's not much of a challenge compared to pushing through all remaning opposing players, though this is more of an issue with the play area and lack of cover rather than the gamemode itself.
Bombing Run in particular was very unpolished and didn't work well, though I suspect bad communication was part of the problem. We had awkward respawning, misunderstanding of rules, basically everything went wrong somehow.
We also played without solid spawn points, as we had nothing else to indicate spawn points. This resulted in some pretty bad spawning locations and decisions.
Long story short, CTF still needs some polishing, and BR needs some serious reworking.
We played one round of Capture the Bomb, and I'm not sure it worked out that well. My team won that (I captured the bomb), however we only won so easily because everyone else was seemingly out of ammo, and had to stop to reload. The stopping-to-reload problem is something that I feel would be easily solved with the placement of a few strategic ammo dumps, so we'll probably start doing that.
Besides that I'm personally just not that much of a fan of CtB, it doesn't feel as fun or exciting as any of the other gamemodes.
We played a few rounds of Tag Teams, and it worked fairly well. We usually used teams of 2 or 3 players each, because having lots of small team makes things really hectic and intense. I personally think that teamwork wise it's far superior to regular Team Deathmatch, as you rely on your teammates to get back in the game. However, one issue we did come across was that if a team stayed clumped together, it would be near impossible to take them out. This would be because as soon as one got hit, the other(s) would run behind them to use them as a human shield, and then revive them to get the downed member back into the game. I would usually tag one of them, causing the other to go for the revive, then tag the reviver after they revived the first teammate, and this would go on and on until I ran out of darts. The only way to eliminate a clumped together team was to coordinate an attack or use multishot/rapid fire blasters, which aren't common. Now Roughcuts are multishot blasters, but they're not accurate enough to tag two opponents at the same time consistently.
This meant that basically your only hope for taking out a team was to split them up and take them out separately, which is much easier.
I think that implementing a revive timer of some kind would help to reduce this issue, as you can't just instantly bring your downed teammate back in.
This round was probably the most running-intensive of all the games I've attended. It ran for about two hours, and of those two hours probably 45 minutes were spent on HvZ, of which I spent basically the entire time running.
We got to try some new rules and a new gamemode, so hopefully next game we can run with a new set of rules that makes all the objective based games a little better. I'm personally thinking that restricting the area you can be in when carrying the bomb/flag/whatever would help to balance the games.
I'm hoping to bring in a few new/different blasters for people to try, so we can get some blaster diversity going. At the moment I'm seeing just the Strongarms and Roughcuts getting major use, and I'd like to see the single shots get a bit more usage.