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At-Night Firefights .:



Identical to the day-time water wars, but held at night. Darkness adds many twists to an otherwise simple game.

No Light, Right?

The first obvious problem with night time water fights is the lack of light. Darkness makes it easier to hide but harder to see one's opponents. Of course, this problem is partly overcome through the use of flashlights. However, even those sources of light do not provide as much view as full sunlight. The advantage of this is that flashlights can be used to momentarily blind an opponent, allowing one to drench them before they can return fire. Unfortunately, they can do this as well.

Under Cover of Darkness

Keeping flashlights off and letting one's eyes adjust to the ambient light really lets one approach an opponent more effectively. At night, without light, one's only other real giveaway is sound. Avoid stepping on leaves, twigs or other objects that tend to rattle or crackle. Of course, it is easier if one can see where one is stepping. The other option is to step slowly and lightly in order to minimize noise. The main problem with approaching under cover of darkness is that a well pointed flashlight will not only point out one's position but also result in temporary blindness, potentially giving the other Player first shot.

Things to be Cautious of...

No sunlight means getting sprayed by cold water hurts a little more. That price is also what makes winning in night games much more satisfying. The lack of light also makes it simpler for one to accidently trip over objects on the ground, etc. One should always try to watch one's step while looking for one's opponents.

Keeping Track of Time

A time limit should really be set with a common meeting point for all players involved. This is important just in case someone does get hurt or lost in the dark. Anyone not showing up at the designated time and place should be looked for by the group.

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The following sections discuss more of the psychology tactics one can use during night time water fights. In the dark, one's senses are heightened making one able to hear what is usually left unnoticed, see shadows move where once was stillness, and feel the breeze or breathing where once was nothing. One must be wary when using such tactics since these can turn even the most experienced day-time (but inexperienced at night) soaker into a quivering mound of pulp.

Things that Go Bump in the Night

As stated earlier, minimal lighting often means that tripping hazzards and such are harder to avoid. At the same time, however, most people end up relying heavily on their hearing as opposed to their vision (for obvious reasons). With this in mind, there are many ways to take advantage of this unique set of circumstances.

  • silence - if one can travel quietly, one will not likely be noticed. Movement in the darkness goes almost completely unseen unless there is artificial light or the moon happens to be particularly bright. If one is not heard, one will not likely be seen either.
  • noise distractions - what is heard is what is seen. As sound is more heavily relied on in the night than vision, by throwing sticks or rocks to make rustling noises away from one's position, one can make other Players chase after ghosts or at least not be chasing oneself. This tactic at night can often frustrate the other Players. "I know I heard something over here...."
    Of course, if they are talking, one can simply follow their voices and go in for the soak while they muck about looking in vain for something that was not there.
  • yelling - given the terrain, a yell or cry during an attack can make it appear that there are more people attacking than there really are. Not only that but the sheer loudness of a yell in contrast to the silence usually associated with the night can make any untrained or inexperienced person panic and become disoriented for awhile, allowing for an unresisted attack to succeed.

I See the Light

Flashlights are often used by those who do not wish to travel in complete darkness. The main drawbacks to flashlights are that while they show what lies ahead, they do not light up the entire surroundings and they give away one's location quite readily. One advantage to using flashlights is that the light can be used to temporarily blind those whose eyes had already adjusted to darker lighting conditions.

One of the most effective ways of temporarily blinding a hostile is not to simply point a flashlight in their face but to flick the light on and off at irregular intervals. It takes about one second or so for one's eyes to adjust to either light or dark conditions. By pulsing the light source, one will prolong the duration which the opponent will have difficulty seeing. This pulsing does not affect the user of the flashlight as much since one is typically mentally prepared for a change in lighting conditions since one is in control of the light.

Stationary, bright field lights can be used to slow an opponent's approach into a base or across a path. While pulsing light tends to blind, constant lighting tends to make those who enjoy the shadow avoid an area for fear of being seen. Areas suggested for being well lit are filling stations. This gives two advantages. Friendly or opponents can be readily identified as they approach. Also, refilling one's blasters with light is much simpler than trying to do the same in the dark.

Enjoy the Silence

There are times during a night-time water fight where one may find oneself either alone or with only a couple of teammates. In order to help establish one's bearings, it is often a good idea to just stop, lay low or crouch (whichever is more comfortable) and listen. With enough training and experience, one will soon be able to discern general noise from movement or noise distractions. By listening to one's surroundings, one can often determine where opponents may be, especially if they are more inexperienced and may be talking or moving about making a lot of noise. As stated earlier, what cannot be heard is very difficult to see. If one is quiet enough, one can wait for opponents to be basically at point blank range before unleashing a chilling volley of water their way.

The After-Party

As stated on the earlier, it is a good idea to set a time when the game is scheduled to end. A common meeting ground should be designated and all Players should meet and greet, blasters down, at the meeting point to make sure no one got lost or injured in the field. Anyone not returning to the common meeting point at the designated time should be looked for. A good idea as well is to have the group do something relaxing after the water fight game. Night time water fights can really grate one's nerves and all participants will be glad when they can just relax and not worry so much about what may lie ahead.

Updated: 20100205

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