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UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

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UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by Captain Crooks on Sat 19 May 2012, 5:13 pm

Hello Sydney Nerfers!

At the Carysfield war today, we tried out a new gametype based on various sources, including paintball scenarios, other Nerf game types, and whatever Crooksie could think up on the fly.

The nature of the game was one of 'Fortress Defence', and involved an attacking team trying to breach the defences of the defending team to blow up their 'armoury' and hence destroy the 'fortress'.

The 'fortress' was made mostly from cardboard, spare warden's shields and filthy, filthy hessian we found lying around. Also, Ungy's chair. It was a makeshift attempt that turned out fairly well, and generated a lot of positive feedback, but it had it's flaws also, and so I want to open up a discussion with the Sydney Nerfing community to see if we can hone this game type to a proper, workable and balanced scenario.

The provisional rules worked as so:

ATTACKERS:
1) must breach the walls of the fortress and deposit a grenade or rocket into the hidden 'armoury' of the defender's fortress in order to win the game.
2) may respawn as normal from their nominated base or by using medics or PDU's.
3) may only advance, or move sideways, they cannot fall back unless they are returning to respawn (NOTE: this rule was not followed or enforced particularly hard)

DEFENDERS:
1) must keep the armoury from being blown up for as long as possible.
2) have NO respawn point - they can rely ONLY on medics and PDU's to resurrect them.
3) may not advance further than their foremost barricade - in other words, they can NOT leave the fortress (NOTE: this rule was broken repeatedly Wink )

How did the game pan out? The defenders were given an extra player, and two medics, to offset the disadvantage of having no respawn point. In the first match, the armoury was destroyed within 3 minutes, due partly to clever usage of the new PDU rule, but mainly because d.k is a sneaky git who had scoped where the armoury was 'hidden' well in advance (it ought to be noted, it was in a pretty vulnerable spot).
After a quick restart, the attackers managed to destroy the base in 6 mins using a combination of rush and stealth attacks. When the sides were switched, one medic remained to bolster the new defenders, and they managed to hold the base for 15 mins until Crooksie called the match.

An initial analysis of the roles by yours truly revealed several things:
1) The combination of two medics proved very effective in maintaining the defence - possibly TOO well.
2) The lack of demo on the attacker's side in the second round was possibly a deciding factor, as without the insta-kill ability of his rocket in this scenario, the defenders were easily able to remain in play
3) Assault grenades would have also been an instant kill weapon in the attacker's arsenal if used against defenders, due to them not allowing medic or PDU resurrections - unfortunately, the grenades weren't utilised for this purpose.

There were other aspects of how this game was run that could do with addressing - specifically, how the fortress was constructed, and whether it could be done better. My initial instruction to the defenders was 'design your own defenses using the materials at hand', thinking it'd just be a question of moving some boxes and calling it a day. I was a little surprised when the defenders came up with a wide variety of materials, natural and man-made, to bolster their fort, including spear-walls and branches, and some minor defoliation to reduce defender's cover...

Essentially, the defenders came up with a design that was effective, but somewhat invalidated the design of the game by making a frontal assault suicidal, as opposed to just quite tricky. Additional areas of play had to be opened to make it fairer on the attackers, who already had the disadvantage of lower numbers. I think that a more regulated method of making a fort should be devised, perhaps using set pieces that dont change shape in different orientations, or as d.k. has already suggested, have several pre-designed layouts, to make set-up fast and efficient.

Please feel free to make ANY suggestions or give feedback of any kind in this thread - we had a lot of fun with this game today, and i'd like to see it develop into a fully fledged game type. If you disagree with any of the stated rules i've listed, let us know and explain your reasoning (it took me seconds to come up with them, they really aren't that special that they can't be changed in seconds too...).

Cheers!

- Crooks







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NERF Event statistics:

Reflex Kills: 0 :s
Killed by Grenade: 1
Killed by Knife: 2
Killed by Friendly Fire: 1
Fell in a bush: 2
Clips emptied at Echoes for no effect: 6
BBQ's cooked: 2
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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by Echoes on Sat 19 May 2012, 6:06 pm

This gametype affects the dynamics of Foam Fortress in a way that can be potentially detrimental to some of the classes. One of the initial problems that I can see is that the abilities a couple of the classes in Foam Fortress are debilitated or completely eliminated:

  • Half of the Demolitionist's ability is to destroy bases. This ability is partially voided by the fact that the defenders have no base, and the defenders can't leave their base to strike at the attackers' base.
  • The Warden's ability is completely eliminated in this game type. Neither base can be destroyed.


Another problem I can see is that Grenades and Rockets have been brought back to par levels of damage (for the attacking team at least). They both instantly eliminate a defending player, which is what the changes between FF:Sv1 and FF:Sv2 were aimed at removing.

It's not to say this game type is bad though. It received large amounts of positive feedback. I think it comes down to the fact that the attacking team is forced to push at almost all times. It can create an intense scenario where both teams are constantly under some sort of pressure. I believe it's a great concept and definitely something we can build on.

To improve the situation for Wardens, I suggest instating a destroyed Base within the defensive Fortress. A Warden will have to retreat to the Base to activate it, thereby allowing players to respawn from it for the few moments that the Warden is standing by it. It will also allow players to refill Grenades and/or recharge PDU's if they need to.

As for games going for 15 minutes or more, I think it would be wise to have a time limit for the attacking team to compete with (This will also increase pressure on the attacking team to attack).

These are just a few analyses and suggestions off the top of my head. I can't quite comment on the Fortress building though, because I wasn't there for it. But having a structured plan will help with keeping things even.


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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by BFG on Sun 20 May 2012, 5:24 am

As The Fox informed me, to mount an effective frontal assault, you need three times as many attackers as defenders. My experience was that it was an awesome game-type regardless, however, to improve the FFS aspect of it, only the demo should be allowed to destroy the base, as with normal FFS. The demo should have been an ideal addition to both sides as they could have removed players from either side, like the medics. The medics of course were valuable assets to both sides. I think this is a great game-type as it gets people into the habit of using their medics more effectively.

This isn't to say that the 'relentless assault' didn't work well, it was a grand idea, however, more people attacking would make overrun tactics more viable (ie using team-mates for cover and just advancing relentlessly.)
As with all Nerf games, the issue arises where consolidated assaults just don't happen. This was the main issue with the second assault team, they had the warden on their side to provide cover, but were too busy mounting an assault from multiple angles. The interesting choice was their use of their medic in a more combat specific role, whereas we used ours (referring to my team now) as a support role, reviving team-mates at the front line so as to continue pushing forward and striking deeper.

As Matt said earlier, we need to give them a time limit to assault the base, otherwise they don't have as much motivation to consolidate their assault and launch a planned attack. The use of diversionary tactics on both sides is to be commended, having a large force assault the front of the base while having a smaller guerilla-style force strike from within works well, but only once. This was the issue for the original defenders; they used the same tactic that the new defenders had used on them previously.

Again, larger numbers would have made for a more interesting game as the defending team could have possibly sent out a strike-team to disable the attackers' base, if the rules were altered to allow this. It would mean the defenders could send out a medic with a demo to effectively cease the assault, the reward being far greater than the risk. This would also remedy the misuse of the warden's ability as identified previously.

In short, despite it's initial flaws, this game-type worked far better than expected and was a lot of fun for all involved. My only other suggestion would be to have such a game-type in an indoor area such as a carpark or to continue having a relatively high amount of cover.
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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by Echoes on Sun 20 May 2012, 7:23 am

For our purposes, I don't think teams need to be imbalanced for attackers to break a defensive line. I think the fact that the defenders lack a static respawn point is a real killer. Just a simple Grenade from a Demo/Assault on a Medic can be absolutely devastating.

I'm not sure yesterday's war was a perfect acid test for Under Siege, only because there was a lack of Demo play. I had a little bit more of a think about it yesterday, and I realised I was looking at it the wrong way entirely. A Demo shouldn't be viewed as debilitated in this game type. They're at a massive advantage. Why, you ask? Because half their job is done for them already. There is no Base for them to destroy. All they have to worry about it wiping the enemy team (which is glorious, being a Demo myself). It makes my life a whole lot easier knowing I only have one objective. And that's to eliminate the Medics.

On the note of Medics, I really do stress the need for a broken respawn. In this defence game, a HUGE reliance is placed on them (Maybe too much as you've somewhat pointed out). If a Demo were to get in close and land a couple of good nade hits, it's pretty much game over without even going for the objective at all. But I suppose we shall wait til this actually happens in the field before I rant on about it any more Razz. (That said, it's actually plausible for this sort of thing to happen in KotH and CTF as well, but it requires the Demolitionist to destroy the Base AND the Wardens AND the Medics. Much much more difficult, I believe.)

I had more of a think about the relentless attack rule. From a referee's perspective, this sort of thing is hard to enforce. I don't see anything wrong with letting people take a few steps back either to regroup and mount one big fat attack. What I suggest is relaxing the rule, and not letting players cross a certain line once they pass it (marked by a rope on the ground or something like that). This way, they have a zone in which they can move, but can't run back to respawn or anything like that to rearm. They also can't run out of the range of Ghosts either Wink. I feel this change might defeat the purpose of the relentless attacking rule, in that it stops people from continuously charging. But I think it'll increase the tactical-ness of the game.

Anyway, just a few more coins to add to the jar that is this discussion. I really hope this game takes off.

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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by d.k on Mon 21 May 2012, 4:20 am

I personally enjoyed this game, the only issues I see are;

The fort design - It needs to be simplified and universal. Using a few simple structures made out of PVC and tarps would be best.

The bomb site - needs to be easily identified.

Teams - numbers split 50/50 regardless, allowing class selection and strategy to have more of an impact be it negative or positive.

Time limit - we need one, 10-15 mins should be good.

I think that all defending players should be allowed to leave the fort and launch a counter offensive if they wish since they can't re-spawn, this allows for a possible sacrifice to eliminate a well placed ghost or even one last charge to secure a few seconds and victory.

The attacking side should also be allowed to fall back, re-group and generally move freely. If we restrict game play then things become to predictable. There is an objective, that should be enough. If teams choose to fall back, charge or sit at spawn then so be it. With the implementation of a time limit I'm sure it wont be an issue.

All the other rules worked well in my opinion, they leave room for many strategies.

As for FF:S, Assaults should have to sacrifice there grenade in order to carry a PDU. They are to powerful.
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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by Echoes on Mon 21 May 2012, 4:30 am

d.k wrote:As for FF:S, Assaults should have to sacrifice there grenades in order to carry a PDU. They are to powerful.

I agree with all your points except for this one... for now. Being the first time the ability was introduced, it's obviously going to be really powerful. Give it time and we'll see what happens. If it doesn't balance out, we have a rule to mitigate that. Hitting the Assault with a Grenade or Rocket while he's down and waiting to use his PDU will destroy the PDU. We'll let things pan out before we implement this rule though.

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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

Post by Captain Crooks on Mon 21 May 2012, 5:44 am

d.k wrote:The bomb site - needs to be easily identified.




Coming from the guy who personally oversaw the COMPLETE BURIAL of their bomb-site in a pile of grass, that's kinda rich, haha! Wink

Just kidding, that's some good input d.k, and the more I think about it, the more I feel that the movement restrictions might be too 'restrictive' - i admit that i took the concept from paintball, where games are very fast and they encourage people to attack rather than hang back to avoid the pain - it's not something that was guarunteed to translate to Nerf.

Keep the suggestions coming guys!

_________________
NERF Event statistics:

Reflex Kills: 0 :s
Killed by Grenade: 1
Killed by Knife: 2
Killed by Friendly Fire: 1
Fell in a bush: 2
Clips emptied at Echoes for no effect: 6
BBQ's cooked: 2
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Re: UNDER SIEGE - developing Sydney's Base defence game-type

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