* Players Offense - Target Practice
To effectively use a water blaster, a Player must be familiar with its rate of fire, stream behaviour, rate of repressurization, etc. In the end, what matters is how quickly one can read the blaster and unleash a volley of water at an intended target. The more one uses a blaster, the more familiar one will be with the blaster's characteristics. Every blaster is a little different and takes some time to learn how to use well. During off-time (i.e. when a water fight is not occuring), practicing using one's blasters of choice is highly suggested for honing one's skills with it.
Unless one has a willing and available training partner, inanimate targets are the next best thing to practice one's aim on. Good objects to use as targets need to be water proof, yet easily knocked over if hit such that accuracy can be determined. However, the target should not be too easy to knock over to ensure a direct hit has been achieved. SoakerTags can also be used, but using SoakerTags for this purpose can end up getting expensive over time as these must be purchased. One good type of target is a round can or container lid mounted upright on a small block of wood or plastic. The materials are usually easy to find, not expensive and simple to put together. This is important since one needs many of these to make a good practice range. The smaller the lid used, the more challenging the target is to hit. As such, varying levels of difficulty can also be achieved and a group member's skills can be put to increasingly more difficult tests during non-combat times.
Target Practice Range
An area away from civilians should be chosen and set-up for a practice range. The above diagram is a sample of a hypothetical practice range. Targets of varying sizes should be set up alone a given trail at varying heights and positions. The total number of targets should be known. Then, the one who is up for practice should make their way through the firing range along a set path as quickly as possible while shooting down as many targets as seen. Skill is determined by looking at how many targets were found, successfully knocked over by water, amount of water used, and time it took to complete the course. As one improves, less water should be used, more targets should be found and knocked over all in a shorter period of time. This type of firing range will give one a good handle and understanding of the weapon one has chosen to use.
The main problem with the firing range is that it tests one's ability on stationary targets. Moving targets are harder to hit, but cannot be adequately mimicked using cheap materials. One's best hope here is to find a friend who is willing to "practice" at aiming and dodging streams of water.
Target Practice Continued...
As the old adage states, "Practice makes perfect." When it comes to water fights, the one who will be victorious is the one who can move quickly to dodge yet aim accurately to strike.
Target practice should be done prior to a water fight or in the safety of a well-guarded base (in the event one wants to sharpen one's skills mid-game). One of the best times to do target practice is by oneself or with a friend in a secluded area set up with various inanimate targets. My preffered practice targets are made of round can/container lids mounted upright onto a small piece of wood using a nail or putty. These targets tend to be round and their size depends on the size of the container the lid came from. Targets which are best to use are ones which can be knocked down easily when hit for easy determination of hit-or-miss. It can be difficult from a distance to tell if the target was hit if it merely gets wet but does not fall.
The better the warrior, the more targets can be knocked down in a given amount of time using the least amount of water. Set up many targets in a given area and see how long and how much water it takes to knock them all down. Set them up again and try to beat that time. To make it more difficult, try running through that same area while trying to hit as many targets as possible.
If one wishes to practice soaking a target, an old T-shirt hung from a plastic hangar makes a good target for determining water delivered. Towels can also be used for this purpose. However, it is better to practice hitting smaller targets since this will make hitting larger targets almost a joke.
In most cases, the enemy will not be standing still waiting to be soaked. Moving targets are more difficult to hit since one must adjust for the speed of water delivery versus the speed of the target.
The best and only realistic way to practice this is with a friend who also does not mind getting wet. One-to-one duels are doubly beneficial in that it teaches one how to attack a moving target as well as how to evade the counterfire. Though these duels do not quite prepare one for dealing with a group of opponents troops, it begins the training.
Often in a water fight, it is best not to engage the opponents alone. At the same time, when working in a group, one must co-ordinate ones attacks to maximize the number of opponents soaked while avoiding soaking each other.
The stationary target set-up is a good place to start from. The group should then enter the area where the targets are and attempt to knock them over as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working like this also allows the group to become familiar with its different member's techniques, firing style, positioning, etc. Communication during water fights is key and it can help if targets which are not being fired upon are called out such that another member who may have not seen it can be directed to attack.
It is also good to assign a specific area for each member of the Team to cover and attack. For example, one may be in charge of watching the front, while another is to watch the left flank and the third watches the right. If each member follows their assignment, the chances of shooting an ally are significantly minimized. It is also a good idea in groups to assign a group leader. The leader should be the most experienced and knowledgeable in the group. Orders given by the leader should be followed by the rest of the group allowing for the whole group to work as one. This also allows the group to be focused, if need be, on a particular target or to fall back together if the foes appears to have the momentary edge.
The best water fight Teams work together efficiently and effectively.