Monday, 27 July 2015

Game Report 19/7/15 - Rapidstrike Domination, Crossbolt/Longstrike Woes

I had a game with a few of my friends on the 19th, but we played less games than usual and it was more of a casual type, instead playing a lot of SSB4. I'll still make a few notes on the games and blasters, but this post will be more focused than most on the Rapidstrike, Crossbolt and Longstrike.
Siege the Fort - a large number of defenders would try to hold off a small group of attackers as long as possible. Attackers operate on one-shot-respawn, immediately spawning from a given point away from the defender's area. Defenders operate on a 3-shot-eliminate, turning into an attacker upon elimination, and are restricted to the defender's area. Typically played with the defenders on a defencible location such as a playground or well covered area.
Borrowed from BasicNerf.

Juggernaut/Killbox - a small number of players ("defenders", this time around we had just one defender) are constantly attacked by a large number of players ("attackers"), and try to hit as many attackers as possible. The defenders are restricted to a given area. The attackers operate on one-shot-respawn, respawning instantly outside of the defenders' area. The defenders take four shots to be eliminated.


Elite Alpha Trooper (spring replaced) - a solid all round blaster with good range, usable accuracy and a reasonable ROF.
Elite Retaliator (spring replaced) - again slightly more powerful than the EAT, but slower firing and also with an iffier catch and quite a hard prime (most of my friends couldn't use it effectively). An alternative prime (ie bolt action or shotgun grip) is highly recommended.
N-Strike Longstrike (spring replaced, AR removed) - another relic of a past era, the Longstrike is decently powerful, perhaps competitive with the Crossbolt for range, but was exclusively used by a person trained in the use of actual rifles, so performed perhaps better than expected. It sustained some damage through prolonged and modified use though, as I'll describe below.
Elite Crossbolt (no arm mod) - uncomfortable and slow firing, but has solid range and great accuracy. Encountered its first real jams, which again I'll describe below.
Elite Rapidstrike ("RapidPDW" - minimised, rewired, 2S LiPo) - a very effective blaster. While not as powerful as some of the blasters, its comparatively high ROF made it very easy to use effectively, even by the inexperienced.
Elite Rapidstrike (overhaul - Falcon motors, rewired, 3S LiPo) - once again star of the show, and was extremely effective even when used by inexperienced players, though naturally most devastatingly effective when used by a skilled player. More detailed descriptions of the Rapidstrike's incredible abilities can be found below.


We used the same playground that I use for most of the games with my friends. The playground itself has decent cover, but nearby cover consists of a single tree.

Siege the Fort is a gamemode I like using when there are exactly 5 or 7 players. Any more (or exactly 6) and you can play some proper team games, while any less and you can't really do much. Provided the initial attacker(s) has a decent blaster and is equipped with excess ammo, they can get the first elimination within about 2 minutes, and from there it just becomes easier and easier for the attackers. Since the defenders typically don't carry too much ammo (usually about 2 or 3 clips [mags] per defender), they are doomed to lose once the attackers gain any real numbers. The range of most of the blasters makes it quite unsafe to scavenge darts, unless they're at the furthest end of the playground where the defender will have cover from both the playground itself and fellow defenders. Because the attackers rarely fire that far out, preferring to threaten closer defenders, the defenders thus have very little opportunity to scavenge.
Ideally I would like to give the attackers a little more cover. As is, the playground we normally use has only one piece of cover usable by the attackers outside of the defender's area, that being a single tree. As such the attackers are excessively vulnerable and could very easily be taken out by a covered defender before become a threat or getting to the playground itself (where there is much more cover). My experience is that attackers are rarely hit when so far out due to the defender's ammo situation, the inaccuracy of Nerf blasters and the ease of dodging at those ranges, though it's not uncommon to have the attacker stuck behind the tree.
I have entertained the thought of giving the first attacker a shield though depending on the player that might reduce their combat effectiveness if not using a one-handable blaster. I have also considered setting up some cardboard or something to give the attackers a few walls of cover, though a careful balance (or rather imbalance) must be maintained to retain the element of Siege that differentiates it from regular TDM.
I've also entertained the thought of allowing attackers to respawn at multiple locations, so as to add a further element of surprise and danger for the defenders. Although the attackers have a much easier time once they start gaining numbers, since they all still currently spawn at the same place, it's very easy to set up a defensive line against the attackers.

Juggernaut was a short, fast gamemode in which the Juggernaut would use the overhauled Rapidstrike and 5 18s, and try to take out as many attackers as possible. This gamemode really highlighted how powerful the Rapidstrike was. With the Juggernaut starting wherever he wanted (usually on the top of the playground) and the attackers spawning in the same place as in Siege, the Juggernaut was often able to eliminate the first two attackers with ease, before the attackers could even get in range. It took a little time for the Juggernaut to get used to the Battle Belt I gave them to hold clips (mags) (usually getting them taken out in 30 seconds in their first round), but once used to it they could usually switch clips (mags) sufficiently quickly, and most Juggernauts were able to eat through all most of their 18 clips (mags).
For the sake of balance, the attackers were restricted to manual blasters - this gave the Juggernaut still a solid chance to survive if an attacker got up close, as they could simply dump their clip (mag) into the attacker before the attacker could get off 4 shots. In a number of situations I was able to get within close range of the Juggernaut and was able to land maybe a hit or two, before getting pummeled by a Rapidstrike burst and having to go back and respawn. Even at range the Rapidstrike was able to put out highly effective bursts, as I saw a lot of attackers getting tagged from beyond 15m, well before they could get off a good single shot. I wouldn't be surprised if the Juggernauts averaged 6 or more hits on attackers per round, possibly upwards of 10 in a good round. This further reinforces my belief that in the superstock level of Nerfing (muzzle velocity cap around 130FPS), the Rapidstrike is the best overall primary blaster. Naturally not everyone is comfortable with a Rapidstrike, I've read a number of people say how they prefer the semi auto of a Stryfe or otherwise, but statistically speaking the Rapidstrike matches or just straight up beats any other blaster in superstock.

Let's talk about the Longstrike's woes.
As clearly seen here, the long end of the breech (which I'll call the breech finger, for lack of a better word) has snapped off. This is a problem I noticed several years ago, with some cracks forming around the head of the breech, but I was able to stave off breakage with some epoxy reinforcement. The years of modified use finally took their toll, the OMW spring most likely being the primary culprit.
As is, the Longstrike is still usable, however I believe that its chances of jamming and dart damage have greatly increased. The finger is a piece that extends over a loaded clip (mag), preventing the top dart from popping out, and allowing smooth loading of the dart into the breech. The loss of the finger means that only the tail of the dart is kept in place by the breech, with the rest of the dart being free to pop upwards and get in the way of the breech. The still-sharp edges of the breech also likely drastically increase the chance of the breech clipping away the back of the dart, though given that it wasn't used much after its breakage, I can't say for sure.
The forward stroke of the prime takes noticeably more effort than before, as the top dart is no longer kept parallel with the breech, however I haven't yet seen any cases of significant dart damage.
The Longstrike will likely be permanently retired from active use, being kept probably only for display purposes, or possibly an airblaster reshell.

Next up, the Crossbolt, which experienced its first dart-chomping jams.
 Here are the remains of a few of the darts that the Crossbolt nommed...
...and here's one shard of dart, lodged above the chamber in between the two jam doors. Removing this particular shard required opening of the Crossbolt, while the others could be fished out using sticks and a key.
I believe the Crossbolt ate up around 4 darts, most of them (as pictured) getting ripped straight in half. I'm not exactly sure why, as I'm not too familiar with the potential jam points of the Crossbolt, however a lot of other people have reported how badly the Crossbolt can tear through darts, especially when modded.
I'd be much less inclined to lend the Crossbolt to inexperienced players, because clearing Crossbolt jams is an absolute pain, and seem to occur primarily if the Crossbolt is misused. I personally haven't experienced any dart-eating Crossbolt jams, and I used it for a number of short rounds.
I think I will keep the Crossbolt in active use, primarily because it's very different to most of the blasters that get used, has better accuracy than most of them.

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