Players Tactics: Intermediate
The following article goes over some intermediate water warfare tactics for individual Players. While some of these tactics may seem obvious, they draw upon Basic Tactics and server as a middle ground between basic and advanced Individual and Team tactics.
To some, the thought of hiding may seem rather basic. However, in the general water fight and soakfest, usually players are out in the open, blasting and dodging as necessary with little regard for using cover, let alone completely hiding oneself from view. Hiding well requires a little skill and patience as well as being able to select proper places in which to hide.
When hiding, one does not wish simply to remain unseen, though obviously that is the start of it. One also wants to use one's position as a means either to escape and avoid an attack or to plac oneself in an area where a target will come into striking range soon such that one need not remain hidden indefinitely. While successful hiding will prevent one from being soaked or eliminated too soon, solely hiding throughout much of a game is also rather boring and does not allow one to actively soak other players.
Optimal hiding locations when attacking will give one a means to see a good amount of one's surroundings without easily being seen in return. As well, prime hiding locations should also be areas that would be commonly traversed by opponents to allow one ample opportunities for making surprise attacks. The prime hiding locations take the first two attributes into account as well as being in a place others would not expect another player to be hiding, thus having their guard lowered. As well, optimal hiding locations will have at least a couple of escape routes just in case one is discovered. The last thing one wants is to unintentionally back oneself into a corner.
Optimal hiding locations when fleeing is a little trickier to find. Basically, to be able to evade pursuers, one must first get out of their direct line-of-sight followed by finding a hiding spot that would not be easily discovered by one's pursuers.
Using camoflage enhances one's ability to hide as well as perform covert maneuvers. Granted, while not everyone may have access to army fatigues or ghille suits, the whole idea of camoflage is to better match one's surroundings. As such, it is typically not too difficult to choose certain colours to better match the fighting environment. Of course, definitely avoid bright colours like vibrant reds, greens, and blues.
For urban environments, greys and khaki colours can help reduce one's visibility from distances. For forest environments, darker greens and browns are better suited. One should also remember that broken, non-solid colour patterns are more effective at camouflaging a person than solid colours. The idea behind camouflage is to break apart recognizable forms into non-standard forms which the human eye will tend to overlook.
Of course, to be properly camouflaged, not only does one need to be wearing the right attire but one's weaponry must also be disguised as well. At present, the colours offered in the water weapon world do not fare well for hiding in the brush. Of course, painting one's water weaponry takes time and effort. Also, it is not recommended to alter a water blaster's colour to match that of a real firearm just in case one ends up in the sights of a police officer or anyone else who may mistake your blaster for something life-threatening.
Using stealth is akin to hiding. The main idea behind using stealth is to minimize one's visible and audible profile such that one can move about virtually undetected by one's opponents. Good hiding places as well as good camoflage most definitely come in handy when attempting to perform stealthy maneuvers. However, there is definitely more to stealth than just remaining hidden.
Stealth manuevers are done to allow one to approach, observe, or evade opponents depending on one's current objective. As this is simply an overview article, only some general suggestions on helping one improve one's stealth will be covered.
- Minimize one's visible profile - to reduce the chance of being spotted when on the move, the less profile area an opponent can theoretically see means the less likely one's opponent will see. Crouching, moving sideways, or even crawling at times can all help minimize one's visual profile to another. The best method to choose really depends on situation and how quickly one would need to move in the event one is spotted. Minimizing one's profile should not come at the cost of leaving one mostly defenseless if discovered. In addition of angling one's body, one can make use of cover and known blind spots in the terrain as places in which one can move more covertly
- Minimize one's audible profile - control one's breathing to slower, gentle breaths. As well, avoid traversing terrain that is typically noise generating (i.e. loose gravel, dry leaves, lots of dry twigs, etc.) Well placed steps are key both in maintaining balance as well as preventing one from making loud footsteps, making others aware of one's presence even if one manages to remain unseen. If one is heard, one's ability to complete a successful stealth maneuver is often lost. Other things that often create noises are certain types of clothing, footwear, and equipment. Non-rubbing clothing is preferred as well as a good pair of soft-sole shoes. Some blasters have parts that may rattle during movement; these parts need to be silenced beforehand in order to avoid making unnecessary noises.
- Have a distraction plan - like in some movies, if one realizes one may have been heard or see that some opponents may be strangely aware of one's presence even if one remains unseen, being able to make some sort of subtle auditory diversion can throw one's opponents off one's trail. Throwing a small rock towards an area that one's opponents are not looking (so as not to be able to see what made the noise nor follow where it came from), but away from one's current position can send one's opponents on a wild goose chase. Better yet, throwing a small rock or object near to where some local animal like a squirrel or cat may be (but *NOT* at the animal) can help divert one's opponents' attention to the animal, thinking it as the source of unexpected noises, and away from oneself.
Keeping Escape Routes Open
No matter what the game one is playing, it is best to always be aware of one's surroundings and always keep one eye open to ensure one always has an escape route to fall back to in the event of overwhelming odds. Becoming cornered is something one should always avoid and, if one remains alert, this should never be a problem.
Optimally, one should keep at least two escape route options open, particularly in the event one of those escape routes ends up blocked by an opponent. Of course, having more escape routes is better, but terrain and situation are not always so giving.
Preferred escape routes should get one quickly both out of line-of-fire as well as line-of-sight. Such escape routes are not available if playing on primarily open terrain, but trees or bushes can often provide great, quick, momentary escape-route starting points.
When escaping out of line-of-sight is not realistically possible, avoiding from being cornered or flanked should remain a priority during any engagement. Keep one's eyes open, if one even begins to suspect one is being flanked, back-track a bit to reduce the potential angle of the flanking approach even if it means giving up on a possible attack momentarily. Unless an impeding end-of-game time limit is approaching, it is typically better to disengage and attack and re-group than to remain in a compromised position and end up getting the wetter end of the soaking exchange.