Battle of BritNerf 2018 AAR

old_man_nerf
Game Organiser
Joined: January 25th, 2013, 7:55 pm

July 9th, 2018, 10:53 pm #1

If no one objects i'm going to put the AAR in here so it's a bit more public - Mods if you wanna move it feel free.

I'll also sort of apologise now as i expect i (and others hopefully) will add to this over the next few days and weeks as there was too much going on for one post to do the whole event justice. And with that out of the way, onto the main event.

First up some more thanks - i really ought to write notes if i'm going to do speeches, but i was too busy editing the Warrington Guardian to get round to it - so in no particular order, but all appreciated on the same level of magnitude can i thank;

- Mr Crane (again) for sorting out the site, being an excellent mate to work with (it always helps when there is a shared vision) and for being so good at creating game play that fits the theme and keeps everyone involved. You deserved that Deploy of Destiny (but in a good way!).

- Jay for being Jay 😀 and also designing the rather excellent patches, running and reffing the Nerf Quasar, riding his bike too fast and opening the gate many, many times.

- Neil, aka FDT for the smokes. I think/hope everyone had a chance to use them, and they just upped the game to a level you don't usually get at a Nerf event.

- Lady Nerfer for stepping in and reffing her first event in Nerf Quasar - an excellent job and i think she even enjoyed it!

- Skuzzer for helping out at Quasar as well, for cluttering our registration desk with HPA stuff, and for making even my 10 year old car look positively healthy :)

- everyone who helped clean up and clear the site with us. The massive dart sweep means more community groups are now supplied with more darts to keep them going - enjoy a warm fuzzy glow for that one!

- the Battle of Britain flight for gracing us with two fly pasts. We couldn't have planned that better.

- the sunshine for proving that British summers can be rather special.

- And of course everyone who turned up and played so well together, who socialised together, and who left the event with beaming smiles on their faces. I know Ross was dealing out real hugs at the end of the last game, so if you didn't get one of those here's a virtual hug for you to say thanks!

And now onto the (semi-)serious business. I'll set up a thread in the Battle of BritNerf area for photos and media - please feel free to contribute any images you are happy to share to that so everyone can find their favourite memories of the weekend.

 Starting with Friday i'll just work through the weekend and try and remember what i can - feel free to add detail and anecdotes as we go.

Quasar seemed like it was a great way to bring everyone together in a space and get people who had never met talking and playing together. Despite the long journey times endured by all, everyone got stuck in and had fun in a different kind of environment. I'll let Jay, Lady Nerfer and Skuzzer elaborate on what happened in the arena as i spent most of the evening sorting out glow sticks and watching the action on the live monitors, but it all finished with a tense stand off being televised and watched by all the players in the social area - with Dabrad emerging victorious.

Then it was time for a convoy back to the campsite, via McDonalds for some much needed nutrition and a late(ish) night of tall tales round the campfire.

Saturday morning and we were up and raring to go. Sort of. We eventually kicked off games around 11 following a briefing covering the perils of giant hogweed and how to use a smoke grenade safely. All very important stuff.

Prior to the event we'd asked players to think about their play style (or how they would like to play at BoB) - would they favour a bit of structure, radio contact and trying to achieve the objective, or were they more of a spray from the hip, every player for themselves type of character.... and this developed into our theme for the weekend.

On one side we had the Centurion Intelligence Agency - a crack bunch of trained Nerfers. And on the other the Nerf Cartel - a slightly more rabble like group of desperado's. Who would emerge victorious in the jungle that awaited them.... Unintentionally this actually led to fairly evenly balanced teams who all seemed to gel, or not in the case of the cartel (but you'd probably expect that if they were playing in character!).

To keep things entertaining each game had a slightly cheesy CIA/Cartel twist to it - giving everyone the opportunity to groan at the bad puns, whether it be escorting Pablo Nerfscobar to an extraction point to face justice for his badly glued dart tips, to searching for bags of wheat based products in the jungle to complete Operation Self-Raising it was an entertaining afternoon for us, and hopefully as much fun for the players.

With the heat of the day still frying us a little we wrapped up around half 5 and cracked open beers and BBQ's for an amazingly sociable evening. Wandering into the glade to see 50+ people all interacting, cooking, chatting and messing with Nerf made even an old cynic like me a happy Nerfer. A short but sweet visit by Justajolt and Tactical Tang rounded off the day nicely.

On Sunday we planned to try giving speedball a go, but before that happened there was time for one more involved game in the jungle. And what an epic it turned out to be. There were darts flying, snipers camping, pushes to seize, lose and retake the objective, smokes going left, right and centre, and every dart in every mag pretty much got fired over 45 minutes of intense jungle battles. From a marshals perspective it looked amazing - and with it coming down to the wire it generated a tension that provided the best finale possible. Everyone gave it their all and that was the best we could have wished for. Well played everyone!

With thousands and thousands of darts scattered across the field it was then time for the most epic dart sweep in the history of the Battle of BritNerf - thank you again to everyone who helped, and also to the groups who took the darts away to make use of them.

With that done and dusted it was time for some to head home, while the footloose (and foot/shoe free) mustered the enthusiasm for a couple of rounds of speedball type games, before the temptation of a cool, cleansing shower got the better of even them. Extra thanks again to Mr Crane for finishing off the site tear down as i had family duties to get back home for.

And that was (an abbreviated) Battle of BritNerf 2018. It turned out to be a weekend that i don't think i'll ever forget - funny, challenging, and social in equal measure, it all seemed to come together pretty well in the end......
Quote
Like
Share

HailFireYork
Junior Member
Joined: July 27th, 2015, 4:20 pm

July 10th, 2018, 11:31 pm #2

Hot damn thank you to everyone involved in setting up such a fantastic weekend! Made the un-airconditioned journey through the scorching summer heat well worth it! Just wish those back speakers worked to the benefit of our bus tactical nerfer ;D

First Quasar event for me, managed to friendly fire one of my team mates a few times. That overhead tunnel really is a lethal point to contest! Playing with a Turbo Advance was an interesting change of pace, but has only reinforced my Stryfe 4 Lyfe beliefs. (I don't know how much they paid Drac but it must have been a lot)

The idea of creating two groups of players with matching play styles was an excellent idea, we in the cartel enjoyed being silly, and I imagine the CIA did enjoy discussing tactics and strategies. (Resulting in a strong start by them, well played!)

The civilian game. It's great to see game makers trying to keep things fresh with new game modes, but when designing a game you want depth, not complexity. Any undisclosed mechanic needs to be both discoverable, and consistent.

Working out the civilian mechanics at the start was fun, we figured that they were a group that attacked both teams, with a 60 second stun timer. From what I could gather, it seems a moderator changed the stun rules for civilians near the end of the round, and this was very frustrating. The flavour text, while fun, needed a one line recap at the end to make sure a team was not confused about their OWN mechanics. (Lies by omission are both more interesting and lesser a violation of rule 0) TLDR, design all unknown mechanics to be discoverable, it's the puzzle solving that makes for a good game.

Last game of Saturday was fantastic! Our team had a questionable starting position with 4 teams surrounding us, but throwing 3 smokes around us simulated a huge confrontation that spooked everyone else away.

After about 10 minutes of sneaking Newson managed to get a nice spot behind Brad and the shield, followed by a beautifully performed push to finish off two squads on the speedball field and get the W. Would be interested to see what the score board for that was at the end.

Path clearing this year was outstanding, I forgot to bring my (hard rubber) sword to do a bit of cleaving through the jungle, but I would have had little need to use it. Thanks for the hard work everyone! It's been an unforgettable weekend. <3
Quote
Like
Share

old_man_nerf
Game Organiser
Joined: January 25th, 2013, 7:55 pm

July 11th, 2018, 8:29 am #3

From what I could gather, it seems a moderator changed the stun rules for civilians near the end of the round, and this was very frustrating. The flavour text, while fun, needed a one line recap at the end to make sure a team was not confused about their OWN mechanics. (Lies by omission are both more interesting and lesser a violation of rule 0) TLDR, design all unknown mechanics to be discoverable, it's the puzzle solving that makes for a good game.
Good feedback - i wasn't aware of a change of game mechanics during the game, but i did get a sense of dis-satisfaction from some players who perhaps were not used to the idea of having to interpret how a game unfolded (the 'fog of war' as one player succinctly put it) and called it early on that one to avoid issues arising further. 

Lessons learnt have been taken on board - next time i'll make sure it's clearer what the unknown game mechanics are - but i will still not tell everyone everything up front. 😀
Quote
Like
Share

Boff
The Dealer
Joined: December 8th, 2012, 12:31 pm

July 11th, 2018, 8:57 am #4

Absolutely blinding weekend, thank you to all the folks who made it possible. I've put together a video AAR that will go live tomorrow and my constructive feed back is in the constructive feedback thread.

It was a very mixed weekend of Nerfing with Quasar, Speedball and the main event all thrown together. Each type of game required a different set of skills and I'm happy to say, my equipment was adaptable enough to cope with both Quasar and the main event. I didn't get around to playing speedball (again!) because the Battle Bus had to head back down south which is a shame. I really need to try speedball...

Saying that, I learned something about myself this weekend: the large strategy based control of territory type games are really my bag. I didn't really gel with Quasar because the low light and weirdly balanced arena layout threw me off. The games on Saturday and Sunday, however... Thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.

I missed the first game Saturday because I was faffing with radios and pyro. The long story short there is that the 888s are being annoyingly inconsistent in terms of flashing so I'd suggest that people fork out for the UV5R or the UV82 for now, get the extra functionality and reliability that comes with them. The different production models have different chip sets in the them and it's making it difficult to get a stable image file that works. Some will retain the image and work fine, others will retain the image but yell at you in Chinese and others will just revert to factory when CHIRP and miklor try to write to them. Behaviour is inconsistent across the blank CMIT version and the 2017 CMIT version. I'm trying to get access to as many radios as I can to start systematising and digging deeper into the problem.

Across the remainder of the games, there was a great deal of tactical play on the Centurion Intelligence Agency team. The theme for the weekend was a great way to bring the event together and offer some flavour to the game types. Whether escorting Nerfscobar so he could stand trial for his terribly glued dart tips or recovering condensed supply caches in the form of IRNBRU bottles, the theme worked.

The foray into LARP-lite was a new twist and one that came very close to working. I've put my constructive feedback in the thread but the fog of war is a very nice concept to play with adding layers to game play that go beyond just shoot and respawn. The idea of BoB is a higher degree of tactical play and so having discoverable mechanics and problem solving on top of just pushing teams around a field has a great of potential. A couple of tweaks and it would have been the best game of the weekend.

The Sunday game was brilliant. In having to slow the advance of a team with infinite respawns, we managed to keep the Cartel from getting their supplies to the helicopter by mere feet. It was a thrilling climax for a weekend of amazing tactical play. I have so much amazing footage from that game, including a lot of us wreathed in smoke as each side tries to blind the other while moving. The Cartel played spectacularly, grinding us back inch by inch while the CIA stubbornly held. A particular highlight came when we popped a crap load of smoke and melted back along the path to draw the Cartel forward and expose them to a cross fire from our flanks. I don't think I've ever had an orderly withdrawal under smoke before but it worked, putting us back out of range of their SA and FA stuff thus burning ammo and time.

The weekend also proved that I can do sneaky sneaky and I'm not always out in the open and yelling at people. There is a lot of footage of me crawling my way through the undergrowth and popping up to drop people. I didn't feel too under powered with 130FPS on my Stryfe but could have used something SA/FA HPA for punching through some of the cover.

Thank you to all the organisers who made the weekend possible. You put on a great event that went very smoothly from the player side of things. If anyone is thinking that these sorts of games isn't their bag, I'd suggest you try it. The breadth of the event is such that everyone and their different play styles can be accommodated and you won't find yourself lacking if you just turn up with something lightly modified: cover makes us all equals.

Here's to 2019!
Boff: Nerf Armourer & Forum Moderator
| Blog: nerfarmourer.tumblr.com | Store: www.bofftac.co.uk | YouTube: https://bit.ly/2IDBH59 |
Quote
Like
Share

UKNerfWar
Site Owner
Joined: February 8th, 2012, 7:09 pm

July 11th, 2018, 10:36 pm #5

HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AWESOME.

Quasar was bloody good fun.I don't think I've ever played such a tight CQB game anywhere and it was pretty frantic. The regulars had the obvious advantage from the outset since they knew the layout but things soon evened out after the first game. Game types were lots of fun and kept the pace up which was cool. Gutted I had to duck out early but the driving on the way up left me beat.

All of the games were very well thought out and lots of fun. I loved the theme. I groaned at first thinking it a little cliche but it totally wasn't. The liberal addition of puns was very welcome. My favourite game on Saturday was the one with the villagers. The unknown mechanics at play made it more of a challenge than the games that we're used to and I thought that was fantastic. I worked out fairly early on that the villagers were neutral but I thought perhaps they were our key to victory. When I saw that aggressive action only made them retaliate, I tried diplomacy and eventually even bribery to discover their purpose, offering some of the white powder we had collected in return for their help... I got shot. Loved this game. More please but perhaps with that discoverable mechanic everyone else mentioned.

By far my favourite aspect of BoB was the social side. I got to speak to NERFers I'd never met before and some I hadn't seen in ages. Gutted I didn't manage to get around everyone but I think I said "Hi" to most people.

Sunday I sat out of most games in order to get ready for the return trip. Turned out to be 10 hours for me and even more for Chris and Nicholas who made their own way from my house. We have a plan to make the journey easier for everyone next year.

So yes, cracking event. More please.

Many, many thanks to everyone involved in organizing the event and to everyone who came and made it awesome. I am so proud of our little community.
Check out my YouTube Channel.
Visit the UK Nerf blog.
I also have a Website

"Remember if a mod guide has no performance test figures to back it up, look for a better one!" - OldNoob
Quote
Like
Share

Lady Nerfer
Junior Member
Joined: July 10th, 2017, 3:27 pm

July 12th, 2018, 4:59 pm #6

Well about time I got around to writing something! I think I have just about recovered from my favourite weekend of the year.

It was truly an epic weekend, thankyou to Old Man Nerf, Skuzzer, Jay and Mr Crane. The thought and planning that goes into an event like this is truly appreciated and I think I can speak for everyone when I say it was awesome.

Your correct I absolutely loved being a ref at quasar. I struggle with this game type due to being blind as a bat and not great with small dark spaces, but being a referee really let me enjoy the games more. I got to see how people play and as Dazzle would agree with I do like telling people what to do. It was good to get live feedback from the event and be able to change things up quickly if needed. Thanks to Skuzzer, Jay and OMN for showing me the ropes. I hope to be able to help out again.

The final death match was great! Need to find a better ending solution as it just got to the point where we had to finish due to time restrictions otherwise I think they would both still be in the maze. Re-Match?

I also enjoyed the Game play on Saturday, although maybe next time try to get a few more speedball matches in for Saturday evening for who wants too as we ran out of time on Sunday. With finishing game play at 5, we had a few people just sat around waiting for the evening festivities to be in full swing, so ideal time for speedball.

The last game on Sunday was truly Epic and still the talk of this household! I’ve never had so much fun as I did in that 45 minutes. Even if I think we used every last smoke we had! I know at one point neither team could see! The thrill, the passion, the tactics, I can’t fault it! The ending was great and such a lovely way to end BoB2018. Hugs all around!

I’ve already marked around this date in 2019 for BoB take 3 as I personally can’t bloody wait!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Quote
Like
Share

Dazzle740
Veteran Member
Joined: May 14th, 2016, 8:41 pm

July 13th, 2018, 10:05 am #7

Well firstly WOW what a awesome weekend !!!!!
Mark, Louis and Jay have excelled once again and organized an epic nerfing weekend. Its always good to get as many Britnerfer's all together enjoying good weather (although it was bloody hot for running around in lol).

Firstly Quasar.
Well I've never seen Quasar so busy lol, so much so that we had to be divided into 4 teams and rotated so everyone got plenty of action. Now although this meant that for periods of time you were sat or stood outside in the waiting area chatting/resting etc. but it never felt like you had been out of play for ages and the Ref's did a great job in my opinion in keeping everything flowing very smoothly.
Yes Old Man Nerf Suzy did indeed enjoy reffing and was smiling from ear to ear when we left.
Every game was fast paced pretty evenly matched through out.
The 30 v 30 death match was excellent and great fun and as we got down to the last few players myself and Ross (TBR) had an epic battle and although with the numerous exchanges we had still don't know how we didn't hit each other, but eventually we were down to 3 and Ross got tagged by Brad (dabrad89) in the maze i believe, that just left him (Brad) and me. Now at this point the refs decided to put timer on to get the game to a conclusion as we were running short on time. I entered the maze and found my usual stacking spot in there which allows me to see most converging paths but still remain hidden until too late. But then the ref's shouted first to tag Jay wins and with that a flash of blue went past and claimed the victory lol.

Then on the Sat we started the actual BoB games, and so the war between the CIA and the Cartel started. I feel all games went and flowed really well, the only one which people issues was when we had to find the bags of 'powder' and had to content with the villagers lol.
That evening once play had concluded the BBQ's were fired up and the food and drink began to flow.
There was plenty that went on during the evening but too much for me to mention now, all i will say is if you unfortunately weren't at BoB then you missed a fun evening.

Sunday brought yet more glorious weather and most people started packing up their tents etc ready for the journey home. But we did have time for one last battle !!!!! Oh and my word was it a battle lol.
The Cartel basically started at the top at the carpark and had to push their way through to get the runway where their getaway plane was waiting in the very bottom field. The CIA mission was to hold and stop the Cartel getting to their rendezvous. Now the Cartel had 45 minutes to achieve their objective. after a very intense and what felt like a very long battle the timer ran down with the Cartel literally a couple of feet away from reaching their objective, we couldn't of made the end result any closer if we tried. So many of the CIA me included were down to literally single figures of darts and HIR's left.

This years BoB has proven to be just as successful as last years and a true testament to Mark's,  Louis's and Jays efforts.
Once again gentlemen thank you for a truly awesome of Nerf which personally for me ticked so many boxes. Now yeah there were maybe one or two niggles (but there's a specific thread for those) and with a little work these could be ironed out and i truly believe BoB 3 2019 could be the best one yet.
I look forward to the next one, BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!
Quote
Like
Share

BlueIcarianWings
Junior Member
Joined: November 9th, 2017, 9:29 pm

July 13th, 2018, 4:42 pm #8

Not much to add beyond whats been already said.

Quasar is my normal (and only conveniently accessible) game and I've found having too many people around makes it feel too cramped, however I think they got the team sizes right even with all the extra people present. :)

BoB itself was the first time I'd ever actually Nerf'd in the light so clearly seeing who you were shoot at was a novelty!
I liked the structured approach and it was fun to try new game types enabled by having the larger play area, definitely enjoyed forging new paths through the undergrowth and trying to flank creep around people.

The whole event was a entirely new, and enjoyable experience for me, I look forward to next year!
Quote
Like
Share