Ok, since I have figured out that I'm at the height of my power and influence, I better write these articles while I still have the opportunity!
Well, I coined this phrase, so I might as well explain it in an article of epic proportions. Tactical theory is the highest pinnacle of Duxburian intellectual thought in water wars. The highest level you can reach in battle-logic. Tactical Theory nearly wins wars without guns [not quite, but almost ]. The main strength of Tactical Theory is its powerful logic/reasoning base. You do not need any knowledge of math to understand it. People generally today have no logic skills, so it might behoove you to learn some:
Tactical Theory is the study of fighting water wars. It can be an art, a quasi-science, a casual hobby, whatever. Tactical Theory goes beyond tactics and strategy. Tactical Theory shapes all tactics and strategy. Concepts such as the initiative, tap/pump, elimination of capacity stats, etc. are all merely part of one big picture!
Tactical Theory also is relative. It changes with battle conditions. The debut of new weaponry alters the theory, as does new tech, as does new minds in new teams. Using this mega-concept, one can determine the outcome of a duel without ever having seen the guns being used. You can compare guns you've never shot, you can predict how any gun will do in any battle.
Determination of Duels:
First, which guns are being used? Let's use the CPS 2500 and CPS 1500 as examples. And let's say you've never used these guns.
What is the user skill? Player one is a hardened veteran, and so is player 2.
What is the type and caliber of game? Hardcore 1HK.
What is the setting? Small open area, after all, this is a duel.
What are the gun stats? Look these up, check multiple sources and either take the average, or ask on forums.
Now you are ready to decide...
This particular duel is a perfect stalemate. I have the advantage of years of experience plus having faced this scenario in real wars, but even without that background, you could have figured this out just from the given information. Run the scenario in your head. Think what you would do if you were each player. Read the other components of Tactical Theory as well, to get a bigger knowledge base.
It is important to understand the initiative, for the initiative decides your tactics for you:
You are a commander of a team. You have retreated to a fortified position and intend to wait for the enemy to attack it. You chose to move there on your own, the enemy did not force you back. Well, you just gave away the initiative and will pay for that loss!
The initiative in a water war is a somewhat abstract concept. Dictionary definitions include:
A term that describes an advantage held by player who has the ability to control the game. The player without the initiative is often left no choice but to play defensively.
If your opponent's first priority is responding to you, you have the initiative. It's the dynamic element of being the Agressor instead of the Defender and is not necessarily a factor of positional or material advantage! Getting the initiative is the trick - consider the point below: Attacking - Attacking is a sure way to seize the initiative, just make sure the attack makes sense!
Nothing is more important than the initiative in a water war: not range, not output, not troop strength, nothing. Taking the initiative wins water wars, wins chess matches, wins lots of things. Think about the impact of momentum and intelligent aggression in football games! The initiative has even decided the outcome of famous battles throughout history such as the likes of Gettysburg.
As the dictionary definitions say, the initiative is basically the ability to control the battle, often via a [smartly made] showing of offense. It also involves control of the momentum of the battle and causing the enemy to react to you.
Suppose you have scored kills, driving the enemy from a position. You attack again, and the same happens. The momentum is well in your favor, and you have the initiative. You are setting the battle's tempo and have all the momentum. Of course this can change, if the enemy rallies and stops your advance, then you will lose the initiative. If the enemy starts making a stiff defense, successful counter-attacks, etc. they can shift the momentum and take back the initiative. This will get them back into the war and increase their chances of winning.
Sitting in a fort when you don't have to is bad, "camping" in one spot when you don't have to is not great either. When you have the initiative/want to take it, you should actively seek out the enemy and force a fight. When you have firm control of the initiative, your enemy is more likely to run and/or retreat. If they see that control of the battle is contested/contestable, they will fight harder and more lively. The initiative is really an extension of the physical battle into the brain, you don't think about it too much, but it determines the battle more times than not. The way you react in a given situation can be traced right to the status of the initiative.
When two teams try to control the battle with equal might, you get one crazy war! It is filled with offense, fighting, kills, and chaos. Those are the most fun type of wars, and you post scores like 8-7 unlike battles where one team has the initiative much of the time and crushes the other. Such as some 5-0, 5-2 victories we've had.
As stated in the dictionary, attacking often helps get the initiative if you don't have it, and helps you to keep it if you do. If you can get the enemy to do nothing but defend and try to counter your actions again and again, you have succeeded to great effect. If they are just reacting to you, they will most likely lose. Of course, you need to attack wisely and execute your offensive tactics well. Keeping the initiative is easy as long as you don't trip up or let early success go to your head. Arrogant teams tend to lose the initiative quite a bit due to underestimation of the determination of a team desperately fighting momentum against them.
Momentum and the Initiative are not interchangable ideas. Momentum is merely a piece of the Initiative, a big component however. Control of the battle requires all of the things that come with the Initiative. You can clearly tell if you don't have all of them: the battle will be even.
One last thing about Tempo. Another important component and one that anyone can control in the beginning of the battle. You can fight a slow, easy-going, lackadaiscal style war, or you can fight an intense, action-packed one, or a slow moving action-packed one. The choice should depend on the situation, like going easy if you are way ahead, or trying to slow the battle down if you lack momentum.
So, that is how you shape your tactics. The initiative will guide you, you use x tactic when you are in x situation and need to accomplish x task. What tactics are available? Tons....however, in Tactical Theory, you want to use unconventional tactics as well. For the unconventional has been a key to victory ever since the dawn of real war.
Some sample unconventional tactics:
..or you could look at it as conventional tactics with unconventional uses! Here are 7 useful tricks that your enemy probably will not expect.
False Gun Switcheroo: [Works only once]
Love the name? This is best used when defending. Before the battle starts, you should gather up some powerful guns and hide them at the position you wish to defend. You should then arm your team with some mid-caliber or weak weapons, under the pretext that you're going light this time. The enemy will therefore expect light arms tactics and maybe will taunt your team for using such weak stuff.
Early in the battle, head to your defensive position. Get the attention of the enemy there. Chances are, they will be arrogant and make a frontal assault due to your small guns. Let them get close, within 50ft. Suddenly pick up the hidden heavy guns and open fire. That should shock the crud out of them and throw them into full retreat if you execute the counter-attack swiftly.
The key is to drop your false gun, pick up your real primary, and fire it as quickly as possible, in one motion, and all in unison. For maximum shock value, have a loaded water balloon launcher included in those hidden guns!
False Battle Line: [Works many times]
This tactic is best used on defense. Say you are falling back, under lax pursuit. Come to a position such as a wall surrounded by bushes. You should have a few guys set up behind the wall, while the rest of the team hides off to the side. When the enemy approaches, the guys behind the wall should make it seem like your whole team is there, by throwing lots of water balloons, holding up different guns with just their hands visible, anything. If you do it right, the enemy, no matter how experienced, will attack the wall. That's when the rest of your team leaps out from the side bushes, hits their flank, and hits it hard.
The keys here are to make the deception convincing, and to be sure that the hidden team members will not be seen or heard.
Sprinters' Ambush: [works many times]
This tactic can be so totally devestating that I don't know why I am typing it here. In less than a second, you can eliminate a deficit in score or take a significant lead. Anyway, this is neither an offensive nor defensive tactic. This is a neutral tactic, and as I said before, can be devestating anywhere at any time. This tactic also is great for taking the initiative back and completely crushing enemy momentum.
You use this when you notice that some enemies sprint after you when you retreat and become separated from the rest of their team. Here's that you have to do. You plan a retreat on purpose. One guy with a good gun hides in the best ambush place you can possibly find. He MUST not be seen or heard there at all costs. This must also be out of sight distance of the enemy at the time. The rest of your team engages the enemy and retreats as planned, running past your ambusher. The sprinters come through like they always do, when suddenly BOOM! They won't know what the heck just hit them! That one guy will not only take them out, but take them out without any chance of, or time for, retaliation. With the sprinting enemies killed, that guy now runs away to rejoin your team.
The key here is to time the ambush shot
A Light in the Dark: [works only once]
This is for a night battle. One person holds a large flashlight and turns it on, giving away their position. The rest of your team hides nearby. The enemy will go for the guy with the light, and he should now run away. They will give chase, and when they run past you, you jump up and nail their flank.
They key here is to convince the enemy to go for it. If you suspect that the enemy won't fall for this, you should have a scout or possibly two accompany the guy with the light. This gives credibility as a scouting mission to find the enemy, and they will be more likely to draw an attack.
Beware, there are some nasty counter-attacks to this, so make sure your enemy does not read this forum! tongue.gif
Sudden Double Envelopment: [Works many times]
This is primarily for attacking a fortified position, but can be applied against any defensive position. Form up for a frontal assault. Your line charges, sprinting as fast as you can straight at the enemy fort. The guys at the end of your line should break away without warning and turn for the enemy left and right flanks. When well-executed, your enemy should be forced to hastily abandon that position and run. When poorly-executed, they may shift to counter one or both of the flankers.
The key here is to have the guys at the end break off so suddenly and get to the enemy flanks so switfly that the enemy cannot respond in time to counter it and must therefore flee.
False Charge: [works many times, best the first time]
This is very effective in taking back the initiative, swinging momentum in your favor, or halting an enemy pursuit. Also works best at night or in a densely forested area where visibility is severely reduced.
You're on the run, you're being pursued. However, it will take the enemy a few minutes to catch up. You should hide men left and right of your current position, leaving one or two standing visible in the path/clearing. They should retreat slowly, luring the enemy in. It does not matter if they notice the potential ambushers. The commander should out of the blue yell "CHARGE!" at the top of his/her voice and everyone should lurch forward by a good ten steps. Stomp as loudly as possible. If it is dark or a heavily vegetated area, the enemy will turn and run.
Now you have two options, you can either do the real charge, or you can halt and run the opposite way. Going the opposite way will give you a lot of breathing room, since when the enemy realizes it is false, they will be timidly cautious upon passing through the former position.
The key here is to convince the enemy that you're about to sprint after them, and that you mean business. Get them on their feet, and then decide what you want to do from there.
Commander Roulette: [Works only once]
This has no purpose other than messing with the enemies' heads. Do this right in the middle of an engagement. You should practice this before the battle, because it is very complex and confusing. Designate an order of people who will fake being the commander and what actions you will really take. Practice this until you get it to go smoothly.
What you do for real is to have a non-commander start yelling out commands. The team starts following those commands. Then the next person starts giving orders, and the next. Your teammates should argue, half attack-half retreat, refuse to do either, basically go into organized chaos. The enemy should be standing there in "wtf mode." When they are thoroughly amused and confused, someone gives a discreet signal. The "conflicting commanders" suddenly stop arguing about orders, everyone screams in unison, and launches an all-out assault, all in one motion. This should catch the enemy way off guard and send them reeling backwards.
The key here is to have a well rehearsed plan. This requires a lot of team cohesion and thinking in unison. Your organized chaos should be top-notch, and everyone should know the signal and how to respond to it ASAP. The enemy may take it too well and attack, so you should have the signal made before this happens. This is a weird tactic and might not work against certain enemies.
You should be able to come up with your own unconventional tactie by this point. Adapt them to your situation.
But what if you are outnumbered? The ancient question has a new answer. Tactical Theory will show you how to win the unconventional way, flawless victory from the depths of defeat!
People always seem to complain about being outnumbered. In the minds of many, outnumbered means gloom and defeat. However, there are situations where being outnumbered can yield huge victory and massive lead margins. You could come out of a battle severely outnumbered, yet win with a lead, and without ever needing to control the Initiative! Here's how:
This is the most important part: You must be in the correct positions to accomplish victory. Meaning do not try to hold in the wrong types of places. Get out of the open and into any of the following:
A: Large, semi-dense woodsy area [best option]
B: Thick, dense grove of bushes, reeds, trees, etc.
C: Defensive Fortification [worst option]
Say you are a force of 2, with 6 enemies after your souls. Both teams are of great experience with similar weaponry, but the 6 enemies are getting arrogant due to their numbers advantage. I will explain what to do in each of the three option areas.
A: You have retreated to a semi-open forested area with large trees and small shrubs scattered about. Take up defensive positions and wait for the enemy. You don't need to hide or keep your location hidden. Those who give you that advice are outnumbered playing to lose. Here, we are outnumbered playing to win. Ths is not an ambush, this is a move in plain sight. The enemies will see you and rush up. Don't retreat. Let them come up, let them begin moving on a flank. Suddenly hit them, and hit them hard. Move around a lot, keep the enemies spread out. You are aiming to get at least 2 kills, and you are playing in a nothing-to-lose style. You are basically already dead. But if you get 2 kills, you are even, if you get 3, you are one up, etc. The enemy can only score 2 kills because there are only 2 of you! Say you do manage 3 in your bold, aggressive, all or nothing attack. You go off to respawn/come back in, then realize what you've just done. You are in the lead 3-2, severely outnumbered! Now, a few minutes go by, and you are back in. The enemy will come for you again. Repeat your past action. Attack, hit the enemy head on and go for those 2 or more kills. This is not a time for hiding, it is a time for aggressive attack. This is what really separates the boys from the men. Do you have the guts to attack in the face of a superior enemy? Do you have the guts to fight like you're already dead? If you do, you will start racking up kills, and each time, you cannot be more than 2 in the hole. So you see how you could build up a sizable lead? As long as you stay in the same kind of place, and refill during your grace period before coming back in, you should win a huge upset. Or you could move to either of the other 2 types of positions, as detailed below.
B: You have retreated to a thick, dense grove of something. Reeds are ideal. Make your presence known. Most enemies will be cautious, but you should be aggressive. Again, you are playing as if your 2 lives are already on the enemy's scoreboard. You MUST extract at least 2 kills in the reeds fighting before you both get hit. That way, you will be either even or ahead when out. Go refill, then use the rest of your grace period to find another dense grove or one of the other 2 good positions listed earlier.
C: You have retreated to a defensive fortification. Not a great choice, but say you were running under heavy fire and had no real choice. This doesn't have to be a fort, it can be any kind of defensive position. Preferably, something small on a high hill in a corner of the battlefield. You want your rear flank against something like a huge boulder, an out of bounds line, a big fence, anything. That way, the enemy is forced to approach on 2 or 3 flanks. It is easier to defend this way, and the same philosophy applies. You and your companion are already dead and the enemy is already up 0-2. Make that 2-2 or better before getting swamped. Even if you manage only one kill, that is still progress. While you are out for however many minutes are in your rules, refill and then try one of the other good outnumbered positions instead of defensive ones such as this.
So you see how you could rack up scores of 5-4, 6-2, even something huge, like 17-6? This has been proven to work. The Ridgewood Militia has real examples such as a 2v3 battle that we won 5-2 and a 1v4 battle that I tied 3.5-3.5.
You can win easily outnumbered, it can even be a big advantage for you, as long as you are playing to win, and mean business!
Here's another way to go about being outnumbered. More for how to prepare and arm your self/team/companion:
Going Heavy: A new and interesting tactic when you are down in men.
One of the worst situations you can be in is being outnumbered. There is little to contradict your enemy in this situation. The only thing you can do is use better tactics. One of the best tactics you can use is called going heavy.
What exactly is going heavy? Being down in numbers means you are probably going to need as much water, water balloons, and guns as you can possibly get so that you can outlast your opponent. Obviously you cannot over power them, so you must be able to win battles by making them waste their supplies. In fact, having less people can benefit you in many ways. With a lower amount of people to worry about, you can worry about yourself more. You can also maneuver a little easier.
What you need to do in order for going heavy to work:
Bring as many guns (that wont weigh you down too much) filled and ready to go in your backpack. If one of your guns runs out, you can immediately switch.
Bring as many water balloons in your backpack as possible. Water Balloons have a great effect when down in numbers. Water balloons can out range your opponent if you can throw well, use some sort of WBL, or use lax sticks.
Have as much water in your backpack as possible. Refilling is very important. At anytime that there is a lull in a battle, you must refill to always be that one step up on your opponents.
You must take everything with you in backpacks!! Nothing should be carried by hand! This is a crucial part of going heavy. Only carrying your supply in backpacks is important. This allows 2 free hands at all time. You must always be on the move. If your enemy has stopped following you for a moment, take the time to run to a good location where you can make a stand.
A great example of going heavy was in a particular war in the summer of 05. When Dux and I went to a war against WaterBridg, we were down 2 guys to 4. We knew we would be outnumbered, so we made a plan. We decided to take as much stuff to defend ourselves with as we could. Each of us had about 6-8 water balloons and back up K-modded guns in our back packs. The load was heavy but it came in good use. We used everything to our advantage and won! Be smart, and choose your tactics wisely.
Remember that you should only use this tactic when you are down in men. Be sure to not over pack your backpack. You dont want to be weighed down so much that you cant maneuver. Hopefully you will never have to resort to this tactic, but if its necessary its the best way to go.
Now, when you go into battle, you are going to have to divide your team into some system. Tactical theory prefers ranks, not positions. But if you have to do it by positions, do those positions the smart way, according to theory.
Sniping is most effective when used as an auxillary action instead of a sperate position. In other words, do not appoint snipers, let those whom are armed appropriately snipe when/if the opportunity/need arises. Sniping invloves hitting an enemy at long range from a concealed location. Departing from common, conventional thinking, it is NOT necessary to run away after sniping, and that can even have adverse effects. The best thing to do after sniping is to switch positions; from sniper to HWO. Only uses tap shots when sniping, never dump your whole payload. You need to get your gun back up to full pressure immediately after the shot
Heavy-fast Troopers and medium-fast troopers bear the most repsonsibility for sniping. You will need to switch positions in order to snipe without losing your position afterwards. After sniping, repump your gun. The enemy might be coming for you, but that won't matter much. This is when you cease to be a sniper and become a HWO. Withdraw about 30ft. and then advance if the pursuing
enemy is near. Now you should be ready for open battle. See the subconscious change of role? With a powerful gun, you can easily snipe AND fight off the enemy when they discover you.
The other strategy here is to bring 2 guns. Load the extra and set it down next to you. After sniping, you'll have a fully loaded gun ready to soak the enemy who probably thinks you have 1 unpressurized gun. Deception here might score big.
You should have a long range medium-heavy class CPS weapon or higher. This is the time to use that 2100, 2700, 1500, APH, CPH, etc. Most snipers are Heavy-fast/medium fast troopers, so your gun has to be top notch. Weight should not hinder your ability to move. Modded and/or homemade guns will preform better for sniping. A 1000 may be able snipe someone at 40ft, but a 2100 could snipe someone at [up to] 65ft.
Choosing a place to snipe from:
It's gotta be concealed, duh. Do some scouting [another position change btw-bet you didn't even think about switching there, you just went and did it, that's all position changing is] and figure out where the enemy is and which way they are moving. Next, find a good locaction. Bushes, ditches, hills, boulders, etc. are very good spots. A steep hill covered in vegetation is optimal, as the
height advantage will boost your range and help you hold out against a counter-attack. camouflage helps greatly in this situation. Adjust your camo as needed. Don't use the common green camo while hiding in a dirt-colored area!
Hopefully, these suggestions, tips, etc. were useful and hopefully you can see the faults with some of the common and widely accepted guidelines for sniping. Common sense should be utilized, a tool that can potentially be more helpful than any guide. Like don't run after sniping if you can take on the pursuing enemy. Use modded guns for more range. Change positions. Trick your enemy. Do the unpredicted, unconventional, and unexpected when you can use it to your advantage.
Ok, now you have been told everything except shooting. Tactical Theory has a very smart way of shooting. You will never run out of pressure or water after reading this section. In fact you will never run to 1/2 pressure ever again. NEVER!
The most blatantly obvious 1HK strategy there is. This involves two concepts, one called tap shots and one the elimination of capacity stats.
Very obvious. By tapping the trigger very briefly, you produce a short burst of water. In 1HK, that is all you need. Why waste more? "Tap shot" generically applies to any kind of short shot, not necessarily the shortest possible. Well I am referring to the shortest tap possible. A skilled CPS 2000 user can pull off 6-7 tap shots per full shot. Likewise, a CPS 2500 user could get 10-15 from a single full shot. But in this tap/pump strategy, forget about full shots and forget about shots per tank. If you commit to this strategy, those stats no longer apply to you. Read on...
Elimination of Capacity stats:
The essence of this strategy is to take a tap shot, pump back to full pressure, take another shot, pump back, etc. Pumping back up only takes 1-5 pumps depending on the gun. This stretches out your time on the field before refilling, often to over an hour. My usual is 1 and a half hours without refilling, and my record is 3 hours! This negates "shots per tank" because you are not taking full shots. It also eliminates "shot time", because you are tap shooting. In addition, when you think about it, you should never run out of pressure. Pumping back up after every tap shot or two means you are nearly always at 3/4 to full pressure thoughout the entire battle. From this day onward, you must never run out of pressure again. Never! angry.gif Using this strategy, running out of pressure or even getting down to half becomes a rather n00bish and embaressing thing to do.
Note Well: This strategy does not work with extreme differences in shot time. Such as 5 minutes vs 5 seconds. For those who don't face 10 minute shooting CPH homemades, don't worry. I have yet to encounter a gun with long shot time myself. To me, long shot time is like 10 seconds.
Also realize that when you use tap/pump, you are making capacity in general a non-issue. That frees up your mind to worry about more important things. Unless you're not a commander, in which case you think about nothing except what you're told.
Don't forget that users are huge, especially for shooting and aiming. Users are, in fact, more important than the guns themselves:
Users, not guns, win wars:
Ok, this is a very simple concept. People all the time ask "which gun is better" or "which gun will win" or the such. However, it it not really correct to compare two guns and try to decide which one would "win" unless user skill is defined in that situation.
A gun is only as good as its user. Never forget that. A n00b wielding a big gun like a CPS 1500 can be driven back by a seasoned veteran wielding a small gun like an XP 310. In the same way, two users to equal skill with guns such as a 1500 vs a 2500 will balance each other perfectly. These are not based off logic, these are based off actual observations. Little is more threatening than a user who knows how to use his/her gun effectively.
A good user maximizes his gun's strengths. That is obvious. If your gun has amazing capacity, go on the offensive and shoot often, get the pressure on the enemy, make things hot. If your gun has amazing range, get on the front lines and hammer the enemy from afar, but only take well placed shots and in the tap-pump style unless your gun also has the capacity to justify taking lots of shots. Not using your gun to its fullest ability is like going out on the track during a meet and jogging the 100m dash. If you want to win, you've got to use the strengths of your gun against the enemy but also against the enemy's counters. A competent enemy will try and negate your gun's strengths and you have to be ready for that. Don't get drawn into bad fighting places and don't assume the enemy will do things they obviously won't, like attacking a heavily fortified hill head-on.
A good user cancels out his gun's weaknesses. Like my "Elimination of Capacity Stats" article I will be writing. If you are using a gun that guzzles water, such as a CPS 2000, don't let the enemy play off that weakness! Eliminate it! Using the tap-pump method, you can eliminate any disadvantages in shot time and shots per tank. That way, you can stretch your tank out for over an hour and never get anywhere close to running out of pressure. Ever. You should never run out of pressure in a non-soakfest war ever again after reading that upcoming article. In a similar way, if you have a CPS 2100 and are facing longer range guns, don't let the enemy use that to their advantage. Fight in places where range advantage is negated. There are few places where range doesn't help, but there are places. And I won't say where to look, since my opponents read the iSoaker forums too. Also, don't forget to counter your enemy's counter against your counter! Water warfare is as much a psychological game as a physical showdown. Every move has an effective counter, and every counter has a counter! You will need to do a lot more in order to draw an enemy into an ambush spot, out of a fortification, or down from a hill. Have patience, always keep your disadvantages down, no matter how you have to lure the enemy into your grasp.
Lots of newbies with bad guns vs a handful of vets with good ones: This is an old debate, and in this situation, the battle could swing either way depending on the terrain and how severe the gap is. However, no matter how powerful your guns, or how many years of experience you have, there will be situations where inferior-armed enemies will overwhelm you purely by numbers. It happened to me as recently as the last war! I can take on 3 at once, but as that battle showed, 4 is too many. When the better armed soldiers have the numbers advantage there is no excuse for defeat! [Well there is, but that's the subject of yet another article]
Every user is different. Just because someone with a CPS 4100 fights badly doesn't mean every 4100 user fights badly. In the inverse, not every 2500 user will be like the guy who just kicked your ass today. So, you have to treat each user independently and form a strategy against that person as an individual. Each time the person behind the gun changes, you have to change too. One strategy will not work against every user of a certain soaker. Switch up your tactics and make them appropriate for the enemies you are fighting.
Here's some other user and gun related ideas:
Specialization of Sidearms:
Everyone seems to have the same idea of a what a sidearm is. However, in Tactical Theory, you pick a sidearm for a specific purpose.
The best example is the new water cannons/launchers. Say your main gun is a CPS 2500 and your sidearm is an APWL. You are driving the enemy back, but you come to a brook, they are able to ford, and stop you from fording. So you are stalemated. This is a great time to unleash some hydrolic terror via the APWL. So you take a good shot, getting one kill. Only one kill, but that enemy is drenched from head to toe. This causes the rest of the enemy team to run for it. Now you put the 2500 back in your dominant hand and continue the battle as usual.
A more common example is dual wielding. Dual Wielding is nothing more than choosing a sidearm that is the same as your primary gun. It is not its own concept, it is part of the specialization of sidearms. When dual wielding, do not shoot both guns at once unless the situation calls for it. Most members, experienced and not, make that mistake. They go Master Chief-ish when the situation does not call for it, and they waste a ton of water. By shooting one, then the other, there is no pumping gap for the enemy to exploit. When you pump the first gun, the second still has power to defend yourself while you pump the first back up. Definately use tap/pump here, and don't get trigger happy. There's few worse things than having two empty guns.
The third kind of sidearm is the small soaker. Commonly called a backup, small arms should not be though. A small arm is a sidearm, since they are often light enough to carry by two fingers, and only become useful when your primary starts running low on water.
A true backup gun should be of equal or greater caliber than your primary gun. I've said this since early 2004, and it still holds true. It has to be powerful enough to "backup" your primary. If it is weaker, the enemy will exploit this 99% of the time. This is a great way to lose the initiative and lose an offensive as well. But with a greater or equal backup, you're right back in the battle as if nothing happened.
Now, I'm randomly switching topic to bases, since I don't feel like scrolling through dozens of thousands of characters of text to find a better insertion place.
This is an important part of Tactical Theory. To maintain the highest level of fluidity, you should not use a central base. Instead, you should move from position to position and treat each like a quasi-mobile-ish base. Use the whole battlefield to your advantage. If the enemy has one base and uses it, this will give you the initiative without having to do anything other than attack that base or drive the enemy back to it. An enemy forced to defend a base for the majority of a battle will lose. Mobile teams without using bases are more fluid and win battles. You don't need bases at all, yet most everyone still does it. A completely mobile team will defeat a completely stationary one 9 times out of 10, regardless of experience. Sun Tzu himself didn't think highly of falling back to a fortified position, as you don't win decisive victory that way.
Randomly switching topics again, for the same reason as before.
Counters and Countering Enemy Counters:
Very important for the initiative and tactics. Water warfare is a game of the mind, and this brings it out better than anything else, except perhaps the initiative. A counter is a response to an enemy tactic or move which shuts down that move or negates its effectiveness. Every move that exists has a counter. And every counter has a counter. And so the chain goes on forever. But, most people will only think to the first counter, if that. So you should at the very least know how to counter a move and counter its counter. Here's an example:
Anti-Artillery Move: You spread out and sprint at the piece from as many directions as possible. Get in close ASAP, but stay close to cover.
Pro-Artillery Counter: Send defenders to spread out and mirror the incoming attackers.
Anti-Counter: Shift your direction of attack and cross positions within your squad. The strange moves will confuse the enemy to your next intentions. Then, attack the defenders, but you have to hit them hard and rive them back. Using that momentum, charge into the open and force the artilleryman to take the launcher and run.
Pro-Counter: Don't fall for it. Don't get drawn out and keep mirroring the attackers' positions. Stave off the attack and hold firm. However, in the face of a really determined enemy, you are probably going to be forced back. Give your artillery warning so they can move and set up again further back.
Etc. When skill is equal, these battles are determined by which counter is better or which team shows more backbone in their objectives. Or simply how well they are led and coordinated.
*New additions are inserted above here*
Ok, by now you should feel like your IQ just rose 50 points. It probably did. Armed with Tactical Theory, which can be applied in real time, I don't see how you could ever lose another water fight. Ever again! Hopefully you enjoyed these 3 hours of my time. I leave you with this, some food for thought:
I've been holding this rant back for the past 8 or so months, hoping things would improve. Well no, they only got worse:
Ok, it has gotten kind of ridiculous over the past few years how much the "war" part of "water wars" has been declining. Belisaurius used to complain about how all those mighty teams of the past were dying out, but now I really see wars as a whole fading into oblivion. You wonder why Belisaurius stopped posting? Not for lack of interest. He's still into water wars, I talk about them with him on a daily basis. He stopped posting due to lack of interest in wars on the part of other people. A few reasons for this shift:
Slump in site-building: The amazing level of activity in 2004 stimulated a huge wave of new sites. However, things started to slide in 2005 and continuing to the present day. I used to post on 8-12 active water war-related forums. Now I post on like only 3-4. The number of active websites has fallen to a dangerous low, while an unusually high amount of veterans have vanished. This is just how trends work, but this also means that organized war has taken a major hit. Great sites such as GnG and Hydrowar are fading away, with nothing other than SM left to continue the tradition of highly-organized military-style wars with the integration of tech and tactics. The vacuum is serious.
More Talk, Less Fight:
I've observed how things go for since late 2003, and have concluded that people generally like talking about stock guns up to 6 times more than about wars. AKA, stock gun discussion takes precedence over actually going out and soaking. That is certainly disheartening, how much companies have managed to enslave an entire hobby to their every announcement and new line, to the point where people would rather talk about new guns than new battles. Water guns were made for doing something with. Collecting is different, since not everyone wants to fight with their guns/wants to fight with high-value guns. But seriously, praising the Flash Flood, or complaining about how a certain gun doesn't have a backpack connection, or debating the best retail gun in x category doesn't do much. It entertains and gives users something to talk about. But it doesn't do too much for the community, which depends on actually fighting to keep things going.
You may say that the community would function just fine without too much of an emphasis on wars. I mean, they are not as important is you think and aren't linked to the general health of the community. Ok, fine, let's test that with this scenario:
Suppose we let organized war go totally extinct. Ridgewood fades from the map, M4 fades from the map, Wetmonkey is gone, the future SM never happens. All of the old wars sites' hosting expires and they all disappear completely. Others with organized teams disappear forever. Future wars sites never get made. [All of the below assumes little intervention by individuals]
Some time goes by. Tactics start slowly dying out, all but the most basic 1HK gametype die out completely due to lack of players. The fallout hits fortification, supply, then ideas about team organization.
More time goes by. Soon ranks revert back to positions, mobile manuvering reverts back to bases, tap/pump reverts back to full shots.
More time goes by. The lack of organized war then will create a lack of the need for tech in battle. Mobile water balloon launchers disappear, followed by water cannon/launchers, followed by certain mods. Integrations are history, forget about cheap, battle practical homemades. We are left with only homemades designed for sheer performance. The homemade image reverts back to something dangerous, expensive, and hard to build. Homemade enthusiasm therefore drops sharply. Modding reverts to the plain-old, 50ft shooting k-mod due to the lack of the need for more. When people complain about bad stock guns, now there are less DIY options to answer with.
More time goes by. Now the fallout consumes the rest of the team-related items. Regional war ideas are history, team armories drop in caliber, teams drop in caliber. The destruction of all but the most basic tactics is complete. Water warfare ceases to be a psychological game and new users don't learn about fun unconventional tactics.
All this just because of the lack of organized war. Something you thought affected nothing. Without it, advances we've made in the past few years revert back/are lost. We are back in early 2004, folks, the same level of tech and war philosophy that existed when I first came to the community. We are back to the plain k-mod, the expensive homemades, the lack of variety in mod and homemade choices, the lack of advanced tactics from veteran commanders.
The only difference is back then there were still plenty of hardcore teams working to move soaking forward. Then, we were working toward what we have now. Without wars, there would be fewer tech advances, no tactics advances, a dimished push for more power. If this scenario were to play out, we would be back in the past, but without those vital teams and the individuals they bring to soaking. But also, the loss of war would mean the loss of the people who love it. Belisaurius left because of the loss of teams he used to keep in touch with. More like him would leave, if they haven't already. Wars even impact Soakerdom's membership levels! We would continue sliding backwards, destroying the fabric of the community itself from the inside. And as you know, internal bleeding kills. Again, all this is assuming that no new teams or new hardcore enthusiasts intervene to stop the slide. This is the worst case scenario, a total loss of what has been accomplished in areas whose health is not always thought of as to be linked in any way to fighting organized wars. The end of the community as we know it today.
You take for granted all the choices in modding, all the different homemade designs, those tactics I post now and then. You take for granted the simple k-mod and the simple flank. You take for granted the input and advice of those who could not go on without organized war. You take for granted the $30 homemade and the mods that allow you to nail an enemy from double their range. What you guys don't realize is how easily all of this information, philosphy, innovation, and will to keep grinding on could be lost forever.
If you bothered to read all the way up to here, I applaud your effort. I know I scare people away with long posts, especially on topics like this. But I had to get these feelings out. We're down to 3 hardcore teams, folks, 3. And it will be 1 come 2007. And if M4's team goes, that's it for hardcore war. We're done. What we have accomplished will be lost forever or gradually fade into the past. Those better guns you always talk about may be too late to save this wing of soaking.
I'm out to save the last pieces of organized war and put new vitality into fighting them. Kind of like a revolution in the way water wars are fought tactics-wise, and the way we think about mods and homemades. Imagine new advanced teams with homemades in their arsenals, water launchers, water balloon launchers, all the new ways to fight. Teams which know how to fight and use counters. Hopefully, others will help carry the torch onward. If so, we will continue to advance rapidly in Tech and create new tactics as we create improved "water weapons of mass destruction." If not, well then just hope that soaking armageddon is swift and painless.
Yes, the future of Tactical Theory and organized warfare itself is threatened. Only you and other members of Soakerdom can save them. I would hate to see all this information lost, gone forever. However, if no one steps up to bat, there's a real chance that everything I have worked so hard to create, change, and revolutionize, will indeed disappear from the face of the Earth. Think about all the future warriors who wouldn't have this information. Two + years worth of advanced theory gone. Please keep the tradition alive! Get out and fight!
Soak On and Join the Revolution!