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* Environments

By: iSoaker.com

The following pages look at various water fight environments, discussing advantages and disadvantages of using them. Different skills are demanded of Players in different terrain. (For example, engaging a group on an open field requires speed and agility whereas engaging a group in a forest may be better done using stealth.) With this in mind, knowing what to do in the varying terrain will determine whether one can soak with impunity or end up drenched by a more knowledgeable opponent.

Environments featured:

Fields | Asphalt / Cement | Shrubs | Trees | Urban

:: Environment: Asphalt/Cement

This common environment is comprised of an area covered with asphalt or cement (obviously). The physical properties of asphalt and cement when it comes to traction when running are quite similar. As such, they are being treated in the same way for simplicity sake. Unlike fields, areas covered with asphalt or cement may also contain more hiding spots (e.g. small walls, small buildings, large garbage bins, etc.) within close proximity to one another, allowing for more stealthy attacks to be used.

Mind the turf

Though greater traction on these surfaces is provided, just remember that falling down on them is equally as grating. Being a harder surface, it is not wise to fall on or drop one's blaster for fear of breaking something. Though this may seem as an obvious point, wet asphalt or concrete can become quite slippery. As more water is allowed to collect on these surfaces, the chances of slipping greatly increases (mainly due to the likelihood of aquaplaning on them). One simple rule of thumb is: If the ground is wet, do not attempt sudden stops or changes in direction.

Cover oneself

As stated in other sections, one cannot hit accurately what one cannot see. If one remains unseen, one becomes a more difficult target than a visible one. The more numerous hiding spots will allow one to duck/crouch behind when under-attack or approach an opponent unnoticed if skillful enough.

Of course, one should always remain ready to move even when behind cover in case one gets spotted or one is being followed. Moving about the playing field also allows one to get a mental picture of where all possible hiding positions are and how to approach them from various angles in case one route is under too much enemy guard. Better knowledge of the playing field will give one and one's group an edge over the opposition.

:: Environment: Fields

Open fields are one of the more common environments used for water fights. The advantage is that open ground gives a lot of room to move about in while not worrying too much about running into things. Grass/dirt/small shrubs found in fields can take the water unleashed upon them and can provide limited amounts of cover (depending how tall the grass/shrubs are). Though one of the most common terrains used for water fights, not everyone knows how to make the most of what this terrain offers.

Out in the Open

The greatest benefit and disadvantage to open-field water fights is the fact that the field is open. Little or no hiding places are available making any sort of covert operations impossible. At the same time, the opposition cannot use covert tactics either. Open spaces allows one to see who is near, who is not, and gives ample ways to dodge or escape if under heavy blaster attack.

When engaging other Players in a field, make sure to always keep moving. Being stationary makes one a more easily soaked target. Depending on how fast one can run, one can out-flank other Players, running around to their sides and back during a skirmish, soaking them from any direction. Dodging in the open is not as difficult since one does not have to worry about running into anything (except perhaps another Player). If possible, it is a good idea to lead one's opponent into one's stream as opposed to chasing them. This allows one to maximize range while minimize their range. The ones who succeed in field water fights tend to be those who are able to run quickly while attacking or dodging.

...When Things Get Slippery

As the game progresses, do not forget that the ground below one's feet will be douced with more water than anything else. Grass tends to get slippery when wet while dirt can become muddy and messy. As the quality of the terrain deteriorates, one should minimize making sharp turns or changes of direction when running to minimize the likelihood of slipping or tripping. A fall could hurt and allow one's opponents to soak without fear. Even worse, one could fall and damage one's blaster.

Attack from the Grassy Knoll

Though little cover is offered in open field wars, one can make good use of any available hills or valleys. Controlling the top of a hill will allow one (or one's group) to see farther and shoot farther than those below.

Depending on the steepness of a particular hill or valley, they can be used as snipering locations. Of course, more likely than not, snipering in open fields is not an option so do not be too discouraged if no spots can be found.

Use Cover

Of course, not all fields are simply just nothing but grass. There can, at times, be bushes, shrubs, small clumps of trees, small buildings, etc. which lie within the battle ground's designated area. These areas of cover can provide the protection one needs when engaging a Player with a more powerful blaster or give one an opportunity to soak without fear of direct return blasts. Either way, some cover is better than no cover.

The main problem with field cover is that they tend to lie in isolated areas of the field open from all sides. As such, opponents can also approach the spot from all sides making these places more difficult to hold on to without getting soaked in the process. As much as one may like one's spot, if one is being approached by a large number of opponents, it is often a better idea to get out and moving than end up trapped in one's own hiding spot making for an easy target.

:: Environment: Shrubs

A type of environment one may find oneself is an area filled with small shrubs or bushes. Shrubs allow one to hide, act as a barrier when being blasted at, and allow for more covert operations since visibility through shrubs is reduced. However, all this vegetation also limits the directions one may travel as well as potentially giving away one's position due to noise cues. Tactics should be altered when dealing this this type of terrain as opposed to the open field or asphalt/cement.

In the Thick of Things

One thing to definitely take advantage of in shrubs is the shrubs themselves. Shrubs offer a great hiding place and can allow one to sneak up on enemy positions or set up ambush spots. Be forewarned, the enemy can do the same. When travelling near shrubs, one should be extra-cautious and keep an eye out for unusual motion. More importantly, one should keep an ear out since sound can give away an opponent's position even when the shrubs prevent one from seeing clearly.

When hiding or ambushing, blasting a stream of water from within a shrub is a fairly simple task. However, one should take care not to hit any nearby leaves or twigs to ensure the stream flows smoothly and one does not spray oneself with deflected water. When engaging another Player within a shrub, one can use this deflecting water to one's advantage by moving and spraying wildly into the shrub. It will turn the inside of the shrub into a small shower stall.

Show Me the Way

Due to the nature of shrubs, one's available routes of travel are often more limited. A mental map of the area should be kept, especially if the shrubs are taller than eye-level. Also, one should always try to keep two escape routes available. Two is recommended in case one ends up unexpectedly cut off. Of course, while this is not always possible, but a good thing to try and attain.

Conversely, when searching for Players who have entrenched themselves in a patch of shrubs, the first thing to do is limit or eliminate any escape routes. Players which cannot move/escape are much easier to soak than moving ones.

Mind the Vegetation

Shrubs are living things, believe it or not. As such, try to be nice to them. Thankfully, the ammo used in water fights will do a great job in feeding these living creatures. However, avoid trying to force oneself through a shrub, breaking branches, etc. Not only will this make a lot of noise but one is more likely to scrape/injure oneself in the process.

:: Environment: Trees

This type of environment is comprised of many tall trees (>10m) within close proximity to another. Sparce trees (i.e. greater than 20m apart) do not fall into this battle ground category. In this type of environment, one's line-of-sight is minimized due to the amount of trees and vegetation around. Water games which occur in these forested areas involve a lot more strategy and use of the abundant hiding places.

In the Thick of Things

One thing to definitely take advantage of in trees are the trees themselves. Trees offer great hiding places and can allow one to sneak up on opponents' positions or set up ambush spots. Be forewarned, opponents can do this as well. The main difficulty is often getting one's bearings in a forest. A compass can come in handy if one's water game is being held in a large, forested area.

When traversing between trees, one must watch one's footing and listen to the sounds about. Tree roots and fallen branches are both a tripping hazard as well as a potential noise maker which can give away one's position. Dried leaves should also be avoided if one wants to minimize the noise one makes.

When hiding or ambushing, blasting a stream of water from behind a tree is a fairly simple task. A common technique is to glance, blast, then return to one's hiding position behind a large tree trunk for protection. However, if engaging multiple Players, be wary in case they attempt to circle the tree in both directions. In that case, one can find oneself surrounded very quickly.

Using the Vertical

If one is a confident, experienced climber, and the trees are large enough, one can often climb various trees to get a bird's eye view of the surroundings. Depending on the network of branches, one may even be able to cross from one tree to another but this is typically not a good idea. Blasting from atop a tree if the line of sight is clear will definitely give one a distance advantage. Take note, however, that one must climb down to escape. Thus, it is often not a good idea to attack unless the opponents are far enough away that one will have enough time to climb down and escape return-blasts afterwards.

I Though I Heard Something...

In the depths of a forest, one must rely as heavily on one's hearing as one does on vision. This fact can be used to one's advantage. Throwing a small stick or rock in another direction can send a nearby hostile investigating the source of the noise as opposed to where one may be hiding. Distracted opponents are more easily surprised and soaked than those who are on their guard.

Mind the Vegetation

Trees are living things, believe it or not. As such, try to be nice to them. Thankfully, the ammo used in water fights will do a great job in feeding them. However, avoid trying to force oneself through thick undergrowth, breaking branches, etc. Not only will this make a lot of noise but one is more likely to scrape/injure oneself in the process.

:: Environment: Urban Warfare

This type of environment is comprised of man-made structures with possibly some planted trees, shrubs, etc. However, due to the variety of possible situations found in the urban setting, it would be unrealistic to think that all can be covered within the scope of this site. However, the following section will look at some aspects in hopes to give a good basis for survival and dryness in these settings.

Between the Walls

One common structure found in urban settings are walls. The height, length and thickness of different walls may vary from place to place but their functions remain the same: to divide two areas from each other. Walls provide cover, protection as well as a route to use when trying to move unnoticed in a given area. At the same time, walls can restrict one's choices of movement, prevent easy access to certain areas, and provide the enemy a place to hide and wait one's approach. As such, walls should be looked at with suspicion when one does not know what lies on the otherside though used effectively when the time arises.

When travelling through the playing area, it is always a good ideas to keep one's head below the wall lines and travel close to a wall. This technique reduces one's general visibility as well as minimizing one getting hit by a sniper blast. Of course, the problem with this method of travel is that it reduces one's own ability to see. Quick glances over a wall is an unwise option unless one knows the coast is clear. Seeing over a wall or past a corner should be done with the assistance of a mirror. Use of a mirror will prevent one from exposing oneself to attack while giving a decent view of what may lay ahead.

Mind the Turf

The most common forms of ground found in urban settings are cement, asphalt, gravel, interlocking, wood, grass, dirt... actually, as can be seen, urban turf can be quite varied in type. This can make water fights quite interesting since one's traction and stealth abilities will vary between each type. However, it should be remembered that many of these surfaces can become quite slippery when wet. (If a car an aquaplane on a puddle, so can you!) As such, extra care should be taken when moving in areas which have suffered the ravages of an intense water fight. The last thing one wants to do is to come crashing down onto one's water blaster, damaging it.

Map It Out

One key to winning an urban water fights is knowing the layout. Unlike fields or other such open areas which rely move on speed of movement, urban areas require much more knowledge on where on can go, hide, escape through, etc. The more one knows about the game area, the more one will be able to predict where enemy movement may occur as well as being able to circumvent their plans and counter-strike. In unfamiliar areas, it can be a good idea to do a couple of scouting missions if time allows it before attempting any serious advance on the opponents' positions. Key areas can be mapped out using pen/pencil and paper or simply drawn roughly into some loose dirt. (Whichever means is available)

Knowledge of the area will also allow one to set up minor refill sites/base camps with additional bottles of water if the size of the water fight could benefit from it. The more water one has available, the more soaking one can do to the enemy.

Updated: 20040501 | Posted: 19990801