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* Player Defence - Protection and Shielding

By: iSoaker.com

Basics

When in water fights, a Player's personal objective is to remain dry while soaking opponents down to their undergarments (the colder the water, the better). Of course, this is their intent as well so one has to prepare just in case one finds oneself in some heavy crossfire.

The following are some general tips for making one a little more resilient to an onslaught of water.

  • wear sunglasses (assuming you're playing during the day). Sunglasses both make it easier to see despite the bright sunshine and potential glare from objects as well as protecting your eyes from streams of waterfire
  • wear a hat with a rim. This will also help minimize the amount of sun in one's eyes as well as providing a local shield if one's opponent is firing at one's head
  • wear swimtrunks/swimsuit underneath. It is not so bad if these types of materials are wet beside your skin, especially compared to wet cotton undergarments. Swimtrunks or swimsuits are made of the type of material that is meant to get wet, will not shrink, and dry quickly, perfect for any water engagement
  • make use of windbreakers. This minimizes the actual amount of water which will come into contact with one's skin if hit by a stream. Raincoats should be avoided as these not only take away from the game but also tend to be bulky and uncomfortable to wear in the day (not to mention making it hard to hide those bright colours if making a surprise attack)
  • avoid wearing any form on constrictive clothing. Anything that reduces one's mobility increases one's chances of being hit by volleys of water
  • wear a good pair of running shoes. Runners tend to hold not too much water when wet and should be able to provide traction even on wet ground

Looking for Cover

When engaging other Players, it is likely that armament on either side is mostly equivalent. Thus, the only way to out-soak the other is through better use of blasters and tactics. Remember, one cannot hit easily what one cannot see. Look for areas which give one a good view while obscuring one's own presence in the area. Trees, bushes, picnic tables, building corners, large stones, etc provide good cover during water fights allowing one to see and shoot while not being readily visible. Different forms of cover have various advantages and disadvantages. Of course, be sure you can readily get out of the spot you have hidden in. The last thing one wants to be is the fish when your opponent laughs out the phrase "like shooting fish in a barrel ".

Shielding

To take protection one step further, it is a good idea to make a lightweight, waterproof shield. Shields allow one to directly engage other Players while deflecting oncoming attacks away from oneself. Good materials to use when making a portable shield are stiff carboard (corrugated stuff gets soggy if wet), garbage bags, duct tape (masking tape does not stick well if wet) and perhaps even some rope or nylon fabric for where the shield meets the arm.

When designing one's shield, one must make a compromise between size and maneuverability. Larger shields can cover more but can restrict movement. If it is too small, there is no point in carrying it. One must also decide on which method of carrying one prefers to use. The two most common places to mount a shield are on an forearm (usually the right one) or on one's blaster (if it is one's own and one does not mind adding stuff to it).

The following are some short descriptions of shield types along with their benefits and disadvantages. Use at one's own discretion.

  • GARBAGE CAN LID
    Garbage can lids on some garbage cans almost look like they were meant for use as a shield. The top handle makes it easy to carry and the size is nearly perfect. The material these lids are made of will resist even the blast from a hose. However, using a garbage can lid on its own does occupy one hand, making aiming and pumping up of a water blaster more difficult.
  • UMBRELLA
    Umbrellas can be used as portable, collapsable shields. Umbrellas come in a variety of shapes and their size usually can be used to cover a good part of one's body. However, the material used to make umbrellas often allows some water to penetrate. Also, some of the smaller umbrellas can be easily damaged by the stream of water from some of the larger Super Soakers(tm). It also usually requires two hands to manipulate the umbrella into the proper position to protect, leaving no hands free to counter attack.
  • PLASTIC SHEET/SLED
    Once only useful during the winter, those crazy carpets/sheet sleds also make great protable shields. This type of shielding comes ready-made with handles for carrying and are usually light and easy to move with. The only potential drawback is that they are made of flimsy plastic and may be hard to position properly at times.
  • FORE-ARM SHIELD
    The fore-arm shield is a piece of water-proof material about 1.5'x1.5' in size attached to the fore-arm. Either arm can be used to hold the shield. The shield can be made of cardboard wrapped with a plastic bag, plastic, or plexiglass (if one has money to spend). The shield should not be made too large as this will inhibit movement. The shield is held to the arm by a series of straps sometimes made of duct-tape/foam, rope or cotton cloth. Since this shield will be on one's arm for the duration of the water fight, the straps holding it should be secure, but comfortable.
    This type of shield is easy to use when blocking or deflecting oncoming streams of water. The main difficulty is that its size does restrict movement a bit. Also, by being attached to the fore-arm, blocking and shooting back can be tricky.
  • WEAPON-MOUNTED SHIELD
    After some thought and experimentation, blaster-mounted shields, while potentially effective, tend to make blasters more cumbersome to use. As well, true blaster-mounted shields must be designed to fit the specific blaster and user. As such, designs for creating blaster-mounted shielding will not be posted. Besides, most would argue that any medium to large blaster already makes a decent shield if used in that manner.

Posted: 20040501

:: Submitted Information

Defeating Shields By: Field Marshall Turumbar | Posted: 20030424

Most people go for the simple task of shooting at someone’s feet, but that is not usually effective. What is most effective is to use an air pressure series gun and start a long shot over the person, gradually bringing it forward, then whipping down at their feet. The shield will have to move up to protect the head, exposing the body. Due to the fall time of water, the whip shot (if timed right) will hit the same time as the aerial one rendering all but the best shield users dead.

  • Defenses for the aforementioned tactic: Crouch and protect your whole body with your shield.
  • Counters for aforementioned counter tactic: If you have an extra man, flank him because the shield man is immobile. If you do not, don’t waste your shot time, simply wait and remember he’s vulnerable while standing up and can easily lose balance.

Counter for most shields: A high power waterballoon shot from a slingshot launcher can rip right through light shields. If a shield is too large and not properly reinforced, it will break under pressure in a few shots and will be bent to the point of uselessness after one to two. Smaller shields cannot easily be broken and large reinforced shields are difficult as well. A well shielded soldier is equal to two to three without. However, be careful. The defensive prowess of a shield is inversely proportional the amount of maneuverability that one has. Large, immobile guns like the Monster XL should have shields because it does not limit their maneuverability much more than their gun already does. However, a light gun, such as a Max-D, should have as small a shield as one finds to be effective. Each gun must be optimized. Do not make a heavy gun "mobile" by giving it a small shield and do not give a Max-D a "defensive edge" by giving it a tower shield. Maximize the potential of your guns by equipping them properly and minimize the problems by backing them up with one another. No gun can reign supreme.