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Water War / Water Warfare Water Warfare Games Classification System .:

By: iSoaker.com

Special Thanks to C-A_99 and SEAL for ideas and input

Overview of Game Details Terminology

This page covers the major terms used to characterize and describe different water warfare and other water blaster involving games listed at iSoaker.com. This system attempts to classify as many game types and variations as possible, but remains open for improvement if new games arise. The goal here is to assist game organizers when setting up a game to quickly determine whether they have all the requirements necessary to play a particular game.

The Terms/Sections:

  1. Overall Game Objective(s)
  2. Number of Players / Participants | Distribution
    1. Number of Players / Participants
    2. Distribution
  3. Hit / Scoring Mode | Recommended Hit / Scoring Method (Recommended / Required)
    1. Hit / Scoring Mode
    2. Recommended Hit / Scoring Method (Recommended / Required)
  4. Time Limit
  5. Battle / Playing Field (Recommended / Required) | Specific Environment (Recommended / Required)
    1. Battle / Playing Field Size (Recommended / Required)
    2. Specific Environment (Recommended / Required)
  6. End Game (optional)
  7. Special Requirements (optional)
  8. Specific Details and Rules

1. Overall Game Objective(s)

No matter what the game, all games always have some sort of objective or goal, otherwise it would not be a game. Objectives that are straight-forward, self defining would be simply listed (i.e. Soak your opponents). In other cases, particular objectives may involve special actions or situations to occur; in these cases, the overall objective would be noted (i.e. Capture the flag, Soak the V.I.P./Leader, Hold them off, etc.), while the specific requirements needed to complete the objective would be detailed in the Specific Details and Rules section.Terms under this heading may be used in combination, though some terms of mutually exclusive. The terms used along with their definitions include:

  • Soak your Opponents - no formal scoring used; rather the game is based on the relative wetness (or dryness) of the Players to determine who wins
  • Special Objective(s) - a particular action and/or accomplishment must be done by a Player or Team to win and/or gain a point
  • Score-Based - winning depends on particular Player or Team number-of-points at End Game; specific scoring rules may vary
  • Elimination - winning depends on being the last Player or Team remaining at End Game; specific elimination rules may vary. Elimination, the game objective, should not be confused with elimination/one-hit-kills, the hit/scoring mode since a game may require a certain number of hits or some special action to occur before a Player/Team can be eliminated from play.

This listing is not expected to be exhaustive and additional terms may be added as needed. Terms can also be used in combination.


2. Number of Players / Participants | Distribution

This section covers how many Players are required for a particular game and how Players should be grouped, if applicable.

2a. Number of Players / Participants

"Number of Players | Distribution" refers to how many Players are needed and/or recommended for a particular game and how participating Players should be subdivided. Many free-for-all type games have no theoretical limit (though some practical limits) while others are rather defined in terms of allowable number of Players. Numbers of allowed and/or recommended Players are denoted as follows:

  • Any - theoretically any number of Players can participate, but for practical purposes, most informal games need at least 2 Players (1 Player means you are training and 0 Players means no game at all). Maximum numbers should be capped around 50 Players unless there are definite Referees or security personelle around
  • #n (required) - "n" is the number of Players needed for this game; if you decide to change this number for a local game, you are changing some of the aspect of the game involved
  • #n (recommended) / #m (minimum needed) / #x (maximum recommended) - "n" is the number of Players recommeded for this game; different numbers of Players can be used, "m" is the minimum number of Player needed for the game to work at all, and "x" is the maximum number of Players recommended.
  • #r (Referee(s)) - "r" is the number of Referees needed and/or recommended for some specific games. In most cases, Referees are needed in formal organized water warfare games

2b. Distribution

There are some set terms of how to distribute Players in a game. For some games, every player must fend for themself while other games may call for formal Teams. There are also games which may involve small or individual Players versus a group or games that allow Players to switch Teams during gameplay. While there is an infinite variety of ways Players can be distributed, there are some common terms that can still be applied. However, this term listing is not exhaustive due to the nature of this category.

  • Free-for-All - no formal Teams; each Player fends for themself, though temporary alliances (as well as betrayals) may occur during gameplay
  • Strict Teams - Players must be assigned to specific Teams before the start of the game
  • Variable Teams - Players may be assigned to particular Teams at the beginning of the game, but may also end up switching Teams (based on the rules) during gameplay.
  • 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3, 2 vs.2 vs. 2, etc. - very specific Player distribution numbers as is needed for some game types; for these types of games, changing the number of Players to anything else would greatly affect game dynamics.

3. Hit / Scoring Mode | Hit / Scoring Method (Recommended / Required)

This section covers how hits / scoring is determined and what the consequence of a hit on a Player is.

3a. Hit / Scoring Mode

Actions a Player must do when hit (soaked) varies with some game types requiring more specific scoring needs than others. A game description should state whether a particular hit/scoring mode should be used or whether the game permits for flexible rules. Of course, one added complication is that hit / scoring mode does not cover what actually constitutes a hit. For that, one needs to reference the Hit / Scoring Method Rules section.

Sample hit / scoring modes (this listing is not exhaustive; more terms may be added as needed):

  • Soakfest - no "life point" lost when hit; the main penalty for being soaked is the soak, itself. Whether the attacking Player is award points per soaks depends on the game.
  • Hit-based, Finite Lives - when hit, a Player loses a "life point", but it not eliminated from the game until all "life points" are lost. Additional actions/re-spawning rules after being hit must apply. Whether the attacking Player is award points per soaks depends on the game.
  • Hit-based, Infinite Lives - since Players have infinite lives, there is no need to track loss of "life points". However, additional actions/re-spawning rules after being hit must apply. Whether the attacking Player is award points per soaks depends on the game.
  • Hit-based, Elimination - this is basically "Hit-based, Finite Lives", but a Player has only a single "life point". Key difference here is that when hit, a Player is automatically eliminated, thus removing the need for re-spawning areas. Whether the attacking Player is award points per soaks depends on the game.
  • Objective-Completion Scoring - a Player and/or Team is awarded a point upon the completion of a particular game objective. What occurs next upon completion of an objective depends on the game.
  • Objective-Based Elimination - a Player and/or Team is eliminated from play upon the completion of a particular game objective. What occurs next upon completion of an objective depends on the game.

Some games may use various combinations of the above assuming, of course, that the rules are not in conflict.

3b. Hit / Scoring Method (Recommended / Required)

For some games, a particular type of Hit / Scoring Method Rules may be needed for the game to work optimally. In such cases, the recommended (or not recommended) Hit / Scoring method should be noted in the game description. See the Hit / Scoring Method Rules section for descriptions of various common Hit / Scoring systems.

Scoring Methods (this listing is not exhaustive; more terms may be added as needed):

  • Honor-Based - Any Notable/Visible Hit (based on sight)
  • Honor-Based - Any Notable Hit (based on feel)
  • Honor-Based - Palm-sized / Fist-sized Mark
  • Honor-Based - Semi-Quantitative Hit / Substantialization Method System
  • Honor-Based - Complete Saturation / Drenched / Soaked System
  • Honor-Based - Vital Hit / Critical Point / Weak Spot System
  • Tag Device - Pinned Target(s) / Tag(s) (i.e. toilet paper/napkins / folded paper towel)
  • Tag Device - Gridded Shirt
  • Tag Device - Electronic Target(s)
  • Tag Device - Fill Device

Some games may use various combinations of the above methods assuming, of course, that the rules are not in conflict.


4. Time Limit

While some games are more flexible in length than others, a final time limit should always be set for practical purposes. While it is possible that some games may run for days, there should always be a defined time point at which a draw, sudden death, or alternate winning-decision game mode should be employed if the original game fails to reach a conclusion. In general, games should state time limits as clearly as possible: 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour, to multiple days. As well, some games may be broken up into several rounds of play. In those cases, the length of each round should be stated together with the total number of rounds to be played (i.e. 15 mins./round; 3 rounds total).



5. Battle / Playing Field Size (Recommended / Required) | Specific Environment (Recommended / Required)

5a. Battle / Playing Field Size (Recommended / Required)

Many games can be played in a variety of settings that can afford to get wet. However, some games may require more specific characteristics in terms of size and type of playing field upon which the game takes place. The following terms are provided as a guide to help those composing new games; at iSoaker.com, we try to keep terminology consistent, though others are welcome to describe playing areas in as much or as little detail as they feel is necessary. As well, while most games can be played on a variety of playing field sizes, there may be some games wherein a specific set size is required; if so, that should be noted here.

Sample playing field terms and reference sizes (this listing is not exhaustive; more terms may be added as needed):

  • Small (baseball diamond/in-field area - ~8100 sqft = ~0.18 acres)
  • Medium (soccer field size - roughly 2 acres)
  • Large (multi-acre park)
  • Specific Location(s) (i.e. name of a particular public or private area where games will take place; variable sizes; maps of allowed area-of-play should be given to Players)
  • Limitless (no fixed area of play; requires more specific rules of allowable engagement areas)

5b. Specific Environment (Recommended / Required)

Though most games can be played on a wide variety of terrains, there may be some games that call for a particular type of environment. If that is the case, this is the section for that purpose.

Sample Specific Environments (this listing is not exhaustive; more terms may be added as needed):

  • Sand / Beach - ground is primarily made up of sand, though the odd patch of thicker vegetation or small structures may be present
  • Grassy Field - ground is primarily grass, though the odd patch of thicker vegetation or small structures may be present
  • Forest / Trees - playing field has plenty of trees with perhaps some grassy openings and paths
  • Mixed Vegetation - playing field has both clear fields as well as either tree groves or forested regions
  • Asphalt / Concrete - ground is made up primarily of asphalt / concrete (i.e. think of a parking lot)
  • Suburban - ground is a mix of grass, asphalt, and concrete with houses, fences, individual trees, etc.
  • Urban - ground is mostly asphalt and concrete with buildings and alleyways defining accessible areas

Of course, it is exceedingly difficult to capture all the potential possibilities where a water war can take place. Various venues have a vast array of sizes, shapes, and terrain. Some smaller-size battle areas/arenas may be easier to standardize, but in many cases, one uses whatever space is available. Most games can be adapted even if a large enough area or specific type of terrain is unavailable for game play.



6. End Game (optional)

"End Game" refers to special actions to perform near to or just before the end of allowed game time. For some games, there may be some final target made available, a stoppage of refilling, or even the reduction of allowed playing area to increase the frequency of final engagements.

This section can also be used to briefly describe how to decide a winner should there be a tie/no-clear-winner (i.e. Sudden Death, Shoot Out, aiming contest, etc.)


7. Special Requirements (optional)

There are some game parameters that are not commonly used, but necessary to describe a particular game for it to work as designed. This section should be used to cover these unique game requirements as well as some implied requirements as needed (i.e. standard Capture-the-Flag games require flags - explanation of allowable flags can be added into this section). Other things some games may specify include Time of Day (i.e. day time or night time), Weather (i.e. fair weather, light rain, snow?!), Special Equipment needed, Water Blaster Type/Class/Size restrictions, etc. Of course, if a game does not have any parameter that is not covered by the other sections, this section can be noted as N/A (i.e. Not Applicable).



8. Specific Details and Rules

This section should contain a full description of how a game should be played, defining Player roles, requirements to win, scoring rules (if any), etc. as well as a complete expalanation of any "End Game" rules if desired.


| Posted: 2010