Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year Under the Barrel, Nerf 2009-2010

Down to it, 2009 was a good year for Nerf blasters and a growing Nerf enthusiast community. I've had a Nerf blaster as far back as I could remember, probably my ballzooka or blastfire being the first blasters in the armory. In 2005, I joined a site called Nerfhaven which focused on discussion and resources to modify and improve the performance of Nerf blasters as well as organize wars. Since then the internet made the world smaller and there has just been a much larger open channel of communication.

First off, let's look at the blasters. While off-brand competitors have had their own share of new releases, Hasbro and Nerf haven't exactly been sitting on their laurels. The N-Strike line has been jamming along, with the Raider CS-35 being released September 09, 2009. It joined the ranks of the Longshot, Secret Strike Pocket Blaster, Buzzsaw, Nitefinder Ex-3, Maverick, Firefly, Recon, Eliminators (REFLEX IX-1), Element/Disk Shot and Switch Shot already released. The N-Strike line prides itself on the tactical rail system that allows attachments on its blasters. So far there's been a tactical light kit, a red-dot sight, scope set, and most recently a bandolier for all lines that holds blasters, ammo, and even melee weapons.

Yes, melee weapons! The N-Force line started this year with the release of the Thunder Fury and Shadow Fury swords, followed by the Marauder longsword and Warlock battle axe . It's safe to assume that the N-Force brand is Nerf's hand-to-hand weapon line which is a long way from the 90's-era Nerf fencing sets.

Then there's the Dart Tag line. It is the more sport-focused line of Nerf, using velcro-headed darts in order to assist in seeing hits. Where N-Strike's streamlines and sonic darts just hit and bounce, the Dart Tag line uses velcro vests to open up different game types based on points and adding one more level to knowing when a player is hit. The Furyfire isn't the only blaster in the Dart Tag line. There's the Hyperfire (a repainted Dart Tag Blaster), the Strikefire (originally released as the Crossfire), and the Stormfire. There's also the targeting set, which is an off-shoot of the Nerf Tech Target system, only this time packaged with an Eliminator.

Naturally, all these different brands means different ammo. In addition to normal micro suction darts, there are micro sonic, whistler, tagger, and streamline darts available, along with ammo boxes to hold everything.

Need a peek? Make sure to check out for a look at their online store to see what's up!

In the meantime:

In my opinion probably the largest-scale development was the birth of the Nerf Dart Tag League (NDTL). In June 2009 the Nerf Dart Tag League was an event that coincided with ever stop on the 2009 Mt. Dew Action Sport Tour as part of their Festival Village. Here, people were allowed a look at a new release for Fall 2009: the Nerf Fury Fire blaster and Capture the Flag systems. There was also a larger competition, where teams of four participated in rounds of capture the flag (using the new electronic flag sets) in two different age groups (8-12, 13-17) to become regional champs, travel to Orlando, Florida, and compete against the other regional champs to become the first-ever NDTL National Champions for $25,000 at the final Mt. Dew Action Sport Tour stop. Being outside of both age groups it was a shame I couldn't throw my own hat into the ring for $25,000. However, I was able to participate in a non-tournament scrimmage or two, and that was a lot of fun to get out there with normal, stock blasters. It was different to the usual Nerf cup of coffee I have with modified blasters and it was great. No technological advantages, just you, the dart, the same blaster as everyone else, and whatever skills you brought to the table.
Since then, Nerf's on twitter, facebook, and even youtube:

So much to pump and blast, so little time. While the blaster modification internet community continues to grow East, West, Midwest, and beyond the stock blasters from Nerf and the other brands are where we all start and where the fun begins.

Ready, Aim, FOAM!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Upcoming product review - preview!

Here's a quick peek at the Nerf bandolier and Warlock in this pic, a size comparison and all that good stuff.

Full review soon!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's Greetings!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

-VasTheStampede, FoamFromAbove 12/24/2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Have you done your training?

If I could just be serious for a minute here...


Clearly, I'm joking. Nerf's not milsim; it's tag.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Product Review: Nerf N-Strike: Elite!

Just in time for the holidays, I've been taking a look at Nerf N-Strike: Elite. This is a sequel to Nerf N-Strike, released back in 2008. It comes bundled with the Nerf Switchshot EX-3 blaster for approx. $59.99.

Well, before we take a look at the game let's look at the blaster. The first version was a yellow blaster, this time around the blaster is blue. It's still a pistol, and if you have a nitefinder it is roughly the same size. The plunger/barrel assembly is still removable to make space for the wii-mote in the shell, and yes that means if you feel like combining the parts to make a blue-yellow blaster, that's available too. There is also a new accessory, the Red Reveal, but that's more for the game than the actual performance of the blaster. Unmodded, I'd say it maybe gets about 20'. I haven't removed ARs or replaced the barrel on it yet, but it's pretty decent all the same.

Nerf Switchshot User Video from Video Ninjas on Vimeo.

Alright, the game. The first N-Strike game was kind of an on-the-rails-shooter and more a series of gallery shooting/puzzle games. It was alright, but lacking. The blasters were selected for you. The levels didn't really offer a lot of reason to go back, and unlocking stuff wasn't particularly earth shattering. No matter what blaster you did, all you had to do was point. Disregarding the outlandish story (we don't exactly expect Shakespeare in most rail shooters and House of the Dead I'm looking at you), the simplistic artwork, and the questionably-stereotypical ethnic characterizations of some of the characters, the havok-style physics of the puzzle levels, simple mechanics, and unlockable blasters (they were still unlockable!) made the game worth a go-through, even for me.

In the first game you assumed the role of Shane, a kid who beat an arcade game secretly designed to be an aptitude test for asskickery and earned a spot in the secret Nerf N-Strike force, a group of preadolescents who fight the good fight with a stash of top-secret Nerf blasters. He was recruited by B.O.B.(yes, 80s reference), a robot servant for the N-Strike program. Along the way, you competed against other kids: Raven, Komodo, Jackal, and Tango. Ultimately you took on B.O.B in a final showdown and stopped a Robot Uprising.

This new incarnation plays out a little differently. Gone is the static comic art, replaced with full 3D models of the characters. They're cartoonish, but the mouths move and thankfully they give the characters a bit more personality. Each character specializes in a special class of blaster; Shane has the rounded selection between shotgun-type blasters and a Nerf Recon, Tango specializes in heavy type blasters, including the Nerf Raider CS-35 and a huge RPG, Komodo is all about high ROF which includes a maverick, and Raven is the sniper with long-range blasters like the Longshot CS-6.

Each character with four blasters, each blaster is customizable in a variety of ways. ROF, Damage, color, ammo type, and magazine type are among the choices, so unlike the first game there is a vast number of ways to affect your gaming experience on multiple playthroughs. You have to shoot energy canisters during the course of each level in order to pay for the modifications (yes, internet community I mean YOU) so be warned, it will take some time to afford everything. And multiple playthroughs.

The interface is on-the rails shooter, point and shoot according to the crosshairs on the screen. You select the character you want to play, and you can cycle through your blasters using the d-pad on the wiimote. The A button activates a scope (if your blaster has it) and you reload by shaking the blaster. Don't let the presence of your comrades fool you though, the shooting is still all you. They won't cover your butt, but the voiceovers add a nice bit of humor through a level. The voice acting is decent, and I definitely laughed my fair share at the intentional jokes in the voice track.

A new addition from the first game is the red reveal. It's an attachment to the back of the blaster, and during certain parts of the game you flip up the little red screen to show against your tv. Certain colors come out against the red and you pick out the particular bits that show up, shooting them with your darts. The red reveal can also indicate weaknesses on the enemies you encounter, so kudos to EA for making it work and integrating it so well. I will admit, I tried a couple of times to see if I really needed the red reveal, and definitely did. Sometimes the shading is just too close to be sure. And if you don't get the puzzles right, be ready for a fresh volley of missiles to come after you.

Not gonna lie, I wish aiming was more like "Duck Hunt" and didn't require the crosshair to follow on the screen, but the blaster definitely doesn't lag and is appropriately responsive. And don't let the Nerf name fool you, there are three difficulty settings and on the highest one I am not afraid to admit I was yelling at the screen due to the difficult time I was having at certain points. Not because the blaster wasn't reading my shots, there were just so many dang enemies on the screen!

So is it worth it? I'm a fan of nerf blasters and a fan of shooters, so that's already a selling point for me there. As simple as this game is, it was still a lot of fun and between certain plot points the story's got a good "wtf" moment I didn't really see coming, mainly because I didn't expect that from a kid's game.

I had fun with it, and thankfully the game wasn't a rehash of the first, as sequels end up. There's a blasting range to test out other blasters, but no extensive puzzles like the last time. And if you get lonely bring along a friend or just use the 2nd player as an excuse to take on the robot horde with a blaster in each hand. And seriously, can you really go wrong with shooting hordes of robots? I don't think so.

I don't have a vidcap setup, but it looks like there's already plenty of video out there on the gameplay. Here's one from

Give it a go, and when you're done blasting stuff indoors don't forget to reinsert the barrel assembly and play outside! Clearly, when choosing a way to play in and outdoors, it's Nerf... or nothin'.

- Stampede

Special thanks to my extra eyes, ChicagoJo and Crystal Burke!

Nerf's gone webby!

Hahaha, if you thought "The Great Office War" was good, made some stuff too!

Nerf's got an official youtube channel, make sure to say hello, subscribe and show them stock blasters have fun, too :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Goodbye, outdoors!

Chicago Beatdown 4 was a couple of weeks ago. It was our last event outside before we move indoors for the winter for our games. This, is our CTF round or two. HAHAHAHA!

Chicago Beatdown 4 - 2009 from Video Ninjas on Vimeo.

(Music used is from "300" and Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now". All are owned and copyrighted by respective owners, so please don't sue or cease/desist)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Have a good weekend, everyone!

Nerf news, on twitter and facebook!

The NerfNation Facebook group:


Nerf on Twitter:


Products, news, and releases I'm sure.




Wednesday, November 04, 2009


What you're looking at is one of my new friends, the Spy Gear Signal Launcher by Wild Planet. I've modded it, but you can find stock pics HERE. I haven't done anything to the pump, but that's a seven shot 1'ish long clip on the back, complete with a 3/4" ball valve for loading. The barrel is 1/2" PVC, and it is awesome. I first grabbed one of these months ago, but I liked the stock look and signal features so much I never modded it. Then they became available for cheaper at Tuesday Morning, and I had to live the dream.

It is an air blaster, complete with pump handle on the front of the blaster. From the looks of the internals, the tank is HUGE. I'd put it close to or bigger than a Big Blast, and it shows.

Stock, the blaster shoots these specialized rounds for particular signals, hence "Signal Launcher". The yellow has a rubber band to hold a note, the red has streamers for added visibility, and the green one whistles through the air.

Like I said, I didn't even plug the overpressure release valve and even with the large RSCB and some dead space it fires like a charm with 1/2" stefans ammo. No official range tests with a measuring tape, but it certainly looks comparable to my +bow ranges. While I still have to flick the blaster to prime a dart due to the RSCB, I'm pretty happy with the ROF and range I can get outta this thing. If you can find one, definitely pick one up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Battening the hatches, Sir.

Simply put the group started regular meetups in May, and since then these are pretty much the group shots from our season thus far. You can see the various weaponry, the numbers, the faces. And you can see the regulars, the rookies, and some of the folks who make it to Chicagoland when they can. Some of us cross state borders, some of us have seen more of 294 in the past few months than they have the previous few years of life. We mod. We meet. We prime. We play.

Winter won't stop us. See you inside. Nerf on!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Results from Florida! NDTL


As it saddens me to hear the Chicago team (Nerfinators) didn't come out on top, big congratulations to the Utah regional champs, the "Determinators" in the 13-17 age group! First Nerf Dart Tag League champs EVER, and with $25,000 to split amongst the four of them.

That's right, what started way back in July in Chicago has finally reached the end. Keep nerfin', and if anything else gets shuttled my way I'll be sure to post!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Game Variant: Team Powerball!

So, at ChANO 2.5 this past weekend, we played a couple rounds of Team Powerball. Here's one of them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hahahaha! More news on Nerf in the UK

I found this looking through some news reports, friggin' hilarious!

- Stampede

Monday, October 12, 2009

Have you checked the calendar?

The Nerf Dart Tag League comes to a thrilling finish this weekend! The Chicago winners, the Nerfinators, are going to rep Chicago versus the winners from the other stops! One shot, one team, one final chance at a Nerf Championship title. More later this week!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Listen up, Rookie!

Just so there's no misunderstanding, we talk about using nerf toys. We use nerf toys. But, we also mod our blasters to shoot harder, faster, and stronger. Our ammo is altered using some kinda added weight covered in hot glue in order to compensate for the added push. Below, is an image of a welt on bare skin.

So if you find us at a location and want to join in, know what you're getting into. If we're not using stock ammo, be safe and play smart.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Make it happen!

Yes, I'm on Twitter! VasTheStampede

It all starts here, people! Bring foam flinging to the Olympics!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Up and Away! Chicago Beatdown 3: Third Strike!

Video from the DTC (Defend the Core) round at Chicago Beatdown in Oak Lawn, IL!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Heads up, folks! The Nerf Dart Tag League landed in Portland, OR last month on the Dew Tour. The video is/has been live! Check it!

Nerf Dart Tag League - Portland!

And why yes, that is indeed Ryan McDonough, the Voice of the Tour.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicago Beatdown: Third Time's the Charm

I think I forgot to grab a nerf BLASTER.

Clearly, it had been long enough. A few weeks later, we were back in Oak Lawn. Third in the series of Snake hosted events and it was game time. Once more we reported out to Centennial Park for a day of foam, fun, and most importantly, the Fight.

It was a turnout of maybe 9-10 rotating people we had ourselves set for the day. Games included Team Deathmatch, wingman, CTF, Defend the Core, and Team Powerball. Come to think of it, spanning that out from 10-4 or 5 really explains why I pass out for 11 hours afterward. But more on that later.

What this day saw was the birth of a +bow vs. all round, the strength of the marauder, and awesome of dart blocks. Minimal injuries, give or take a nutshot or two, but no one bled and no one had to be carted off to an ER... this time. Some random people even joined in from watching us, and they knew what was up. Stefans, Captain Slug, they knew the talk. Walking was a whole 'nother matter, but we all start somewhere.

Learning my lesson from the freak accident at the last game, I had to pack a paintball mask. It protected the temple and considering I got hit in the face at one point during the day, it was worth it. It really is a bit extreme, but for my own peace of mind I'm ok with that. As for the rest of my equipment I was packing a magstrike, my bbb, a crossfire buckler, and the "Wicked MC" (see previous blog) to rotate in and out over the course of the day. The bbb was inconsequential though, because truth be told I had more fun running around with a high ROF blaster and melee weapon all day. Reports say I took out an entire team. Dare I say it, the first round where I ran straight at the other team and jumped in the middle of them swinging, tagging at least two of them before getting hit totally made the day for me....

...UNTIL I started getting dart blocks here and there. The wider surface area of the marauder definitely helps if you can guess near where the dart's going to fly, and on at least a couple of occasions I managed to block a wayward shot, to follow up with a charge. If not the Wicked MC, my buckler picked up the slack. It was almost as if there was nothing the marauder couldn't do. During Team Powerball someone tried to drop a point into the bucket and I swatted it out. If they tried to outrun me, the marauder had enough length to compensate and I still got a hit. It was a good day for the N-Force.

While defend the core with my "Decoy" play style was a lot of fun, Team Powerball was pretty much how we closed out the day. An epic struggle of sorts between two +bow'd and sprightly teams. Running and dodging, getting out of the way of melee weapons, being thankful the other team didn't know the "Flying V", and getting a "300" style sword hit was a nice capper.

For future reference, 15 mins. may be a bit too long for DTC rounds. Depending on the # of people maybe, but for our size events 5 minutes may be just as good.

Just some quick etiquette notes to anyone who sees us on location:

1) DO NOT start grabbing at stuff if you don't know whose it is. That's just being a douche. And you may be unlucky and not know where it's been. I'm talking to you, random passersby!

2) DO NOT shoot at other people between rounds. Be nice.

3) Might wanna recheck your strategy if you're yelling "FALL BACK!" all day long.

4) Why, oh why do you charge at me with swords when I have a pistol? Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that ever watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

That's it for now!


Monday, September 14, 2009


Sign up for the NERF Dart Tag World Championships in Salt Lake City!!

NERF is hosting a series of NERF Dart Tag World Championship tournament games where teams of 4 will compete in their age group.

What is at stake? How about regional supremacy and the chance to qualify to play in the NDTL World Championships at the final Dew Tour event in October in Orlando, FL!!! The winning team in each age group will receive a $25,000 cash prize!

When: September 17-20, 2009

Where: Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

Register here:

How to register for a chance to compete:
Step 1: Download Registration Forms at

Step 2: Read and understand the Official Tournament Rules of Play
Step 3: Fax completed forms to 1-866-383-NDTL (1-866-383-6385)

Step 4: Await email confirmation!

In case you want a look at what you'll see, here's a video I took back at the first event in Chicago:


Thursday, September 10, 2009

I bring forth Conan references to discuss...

Say hello to the Nerf N-Force "Marauder". Modeled after a two-handed European longsword, this is a follow-up to their smaller and thinner "Shadow Fury" and "Thunder Fury" swords which looked patterned after Chinese longswords. This one is bigger, thicker, tougher, and crazier. It measures at close to 3'5" from tip to the bottom of the pommel, while the blade is a little over 2". It's weighty, too. I can't attest if there is an internal plastic rod adding support to the blade, but it does feel plenty sturdy. It doesn't flop around like the original models would, for sure.

One inherent flaw with the original swords was they got beat up. Fast. The foam would scuff easily, the blades were a lot more spaghetti-like under vigorous usage and while awesome, there is a certain point where they just got destroyed. BUT, they were one-handed and it was easy to go double-swords. That and they looked cool. If you managed to even block darts shot at you, all the better.

The Marauder improves on some of these issues. The foam is dense and thick. The outside is a bit glossy, I think to assist with the scuffing the original swords suffered. But it's heavy and tough to wield one-handed, like a normal longsword. You swing slower, but you have reach over anyone armed with a Fury-series. Definitely do your research when trying to figure out how to use one of these. Like the warning says, DO NOT JAB OR POKE AT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS.

Had to throw that in, because it's written on the sword. Don't be dangerous with it. Or a douche.

Durability wise, I am concerned about the section where the hilt connects to the blade. It's the smallest portion of the blade, and probably where a lot of stress will focus during swings and blocks. Just an observation. The rest of the toy, from the handle, the blade, the foam, it's much denser foam this go around, and I look forward to using it. If your games allow swords to block darts, go nuts with the larger surface area. Just know the weaknesses of using a longsword as well, if you choose to go that way. I don't intend to carry a primary with this, maybe a pistol splat if anything. It's ungainly to carry and with the speed a nerf round can go, drawing it is very unlikely in time against anyone closing in on you worth their skills. You'd have better luck running around with it unsheathed if that's what you choose to do.

It's listed at $25-$30, and if hand to hand is turning into your cup of tea, join the N-Force and grab one! Questions? Comments? Lemme know.

P.S.- Big thanks to the "Wicked MC" for passing this my way!


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

40 years? Who knew?

The Nerf Brand Turns 40!

Nerf celebrates its origins and the release of the original orange nerf ball today. That's 40 years of footballs, nerf fencing, nerf hoops, blasters, darts, arrows, other sports equipment, the list goes on. The article is a good read, so check it out!

Nerf Raider releases (officially) today!

Alright, I know a lot of you out there actually got the Raider months ago, but keep your eyes open for the proper commercial! Because, it's Nerf... or Nothin'!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Interesting... Nerf in the UK

Apparently Hasbro a big deal with the Arsenal FC soccer team across the pond... they continue to push nerf as a sports brand!


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009


Footage from the Boston NDTL stop is NOW LIVE on at Hasbro's Home Page!


Another Nerf commercial, haven't seen this one yet.

Forever The Sickest Kids - Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)

See how they roll, international style!

Our comrades in Singapore had their own version of a Nerf Dart Tag League event recently, so bop on over to SGNERF and see how they do!

Right off the bat, the arena was set up indoors, and had a more "American Gladiators-esque" look to it, with oil drums for cover and targets. I didn't see the use of the nerf-brand electronic flag, but I will admit there's just something so tactilely (I hope that's a word) satisfying about having a flag billow behind you as you run to victory.

See you later this week!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


A quick teaser of an ad from Hasbro for the upcoming Raider. I don't have one yet, but as soon as I can get my hands on it I'll be sure to put my own spin on it. Yes, I know that some people have already got their resourceful hands on them so there is already plenty of info out there. Should you feel so inclined, go crazy to search it out!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chicago Showdown... DOS (Two)!

From Nerf-CS2

August 22nd was witness to a day of Showdowns. In Chicago. Hence, CHICAGO SHOWDOWN hath come! Seriously, some familiar faces and some new ones showed to once again take shots and kick ass in Oak Lawn, IL. Already, I knew the day was off to a good start when I was in the parking lot unloading my gear. I had my BBBB (featured in "Blaster of the Moment" slung over my shoulder, when a police car rode up. The officer inside was cool guy, and simply asked "So where are you paintballing?"

I showed him my blaster. "Foam! Nerf, definitely not painball, sir." He only wanted to know what was going on, and he went on his way. A sigh of relief later, I made my way to the field. I had already dropped off barricades and obstacles, so what was left was getting locked and loaded.

It was most of the usual suspects from the Nerf Internet Community but there were a whole bunch of fresh faces, too. Not to take anything away from any of them these kids brought their game. It's made me start to think though about ways to get people to be better informed about events so they know what to expect. In any event, the games of the day were Team Deathmatch, Team CTF, Defend the Core (IN A PLAYGROUND, terrain = ftw), and even a bit of Team Powerball. Team Powerball was new to me, but it essentially followed in the spirit of Powerball from American Gladiators, only with nerf blasters.

Defend the Core took place on a playground, which was a lot of fun to watch. I videotaped and the footage will follow, but I'm a big fan of terrain that changes levels. High ground, cover, it's all a factor and it was just cool to see. Eventually though a lot of younger kids with their parents came by so a good half hour later we were done and had to relocated back to the field.

Our events now have street cred too! A cop actually came by to watch. It was in fact, the same officer from earlier. He was just interested and according to some of the other nerfer parents there, said we could be doing worse things. Hear, hear.

Probably the coolest thing I can think of was the new people from NHQ and the people who just jumped in with us near the end of the day. This is what I dig, playing a pickup game of sorts, and drawing people in to play. I think we all had a decent time, even though there was an imbalance of modded vs. stock blasters. But running and gunning all day with random strangers brought together to have fun? I dig it. Big props to the Des Plaines kids and those new kids we played against for jumping in with us.

Now for the PSA portion of our presentation:

1) If you're going to test fire a blaster, by all rights MAKE SURE THE AREA YOU ARE FIRING INTO IS CLEAR. This avoids shooting someone in the face when they're not expecting it. It's one thing to pop someone in the heat of battle, it's another when you're standing around talking and get whapped out of nowhere.

2) Shooting someone from behind when they're clearly not paying attention to anything and watching the flag go is considered UNSPORTING. Especially when it's from 10' away with a modded 2k.

3) This goes without saying, but definitely take care of taking shots in a playground. On at least one occasion a parent came over a little concerned their kid was going to get pegged. We're good about taking our shots, but all it takes is one accident.

4) I hate to say it, but if you're playing out in the open you're going to lose ammo. That's why a lot of the NIC makes their own darts, it's cheaper that way in the long run than buying even BuzzBee stock ammo. Not to mention even removing an AR means you can load other ammo down the barrel of your blaster and it makes an easier time of reloading.

Video soon, gallery now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


(Image taken from

You're next on the Dew Tour stop this weekend, Portland! Bring the fury! Bring the foam! Most importantly, bring yourselves!

Enjoy the furyfires, tattoos, and wristbands :)

Holy crap! Scrimmages video hit over 1000.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Foamtalk #9!

Nerf podcast - Foamtalk #9 is up! May be some swearing, so listener is advised. May contain some insanity and rough language.

Playing Rock... BERSERKER!!!!

Hey hey folks! A bit early from my usually intended Thursday updates, so here you go. A vid on the Berserker from Buzz Bee. The only other one I've found was by TheNerfAngel on youtube, and honestly it was kind of difficult to see anything.

Any questions? Leave a comment!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Stepping off the NIC...

and into the real world. Decided to head out to Naperville today to go match blasters against a contingent from Naperville, a group I dub "Napervillains". A couple of their organizers showed up Chicago Showdown back in July, so it was only fair to return the favor and head out to see how their group rolls. Kane and Derek were the hosts, Snake from Nerfhaven and I were the NIC contingent.

The rules seemed basic enough for us: Gun hits counted, regular hits counted, could block melee weapons with your blasters, and respawns were at a predetermined respawn point. This group, in addition to including melee weapons during each round fashioned rules on "missile" projectiles (rockets, big blast rounds, even ballistic balls. They were considered a stronger hit and thus increased respawn time.

We only managed 2 game types, DeathMatch and Defend the Core. It was more than enough though as the Defend the Core round lasted more than hour, at least. However, that also meant we started to lose people like flies eventually.

My weapons of choice for the day started off with a vulcan, which did about as well as you could expect. Which means, not really. Honestly, the vulcan is not designed to run and gun. I would probably run as fast as the darts I was firing.

Truth be told, here was the hit I scored; I was being stalked by a member of the opposing team, and she was hiding behind a tree. I had to draw her out. I fiddled with my vulcan a bit and said loudly to no one in particular, "Is my button even on?!!?!"

She took the bait. Charged. I opened fire. I am wily like a fox!

That was about as epic as I got with the vulcan. After that, I ended up trading up for my RSCB'd BBBB. MOAR HITS.

Anyway, mostly stock ammo the rest of the day and good cover, really there wasn't much else to complain about. If anything, lightly modded blasters with modest range. It was a good time, with the added dimensions of melee and more damaging rounds tossed in it made for a new kinda experience as opposed to the sparse trees, mobstacles, and open fields I was used to. Additionally, say what you want about range, the trees rendered a 80' blaster useless. What really counted, was that we aimed correctly. Boy, did we.

In all, it was good to get to meet a new group of people and play by their rules. I'm here to experience the different games and see how people make nerf their own. The Napervillains certainly do that, and it's an independent group of the NIC, where Snake and I stepped off the reservation into the unknown even moreso than usual. And we're better fighters for it.

See you on the field!



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Results! Chicago Regional Champs!

Finally found info on who took the first Regional Championship here in good ol' Chicago...


Full video found at Hasbro's Nerf Dart Tag League section!

Congratulations to the CHICAGO REGIONAL CHAMPION Nerfinators, now I wish I had stayed around to see it!

Many thanks to Ryan McDonough, aka McShowoff for posting up the news!

Next month: Boston Results! But the next stop: PORTLAND, OREGON. They're coming!

Onward ever onward, people!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What are we doing here, people? On melee.

What you see is the N-Force sword, Thunderfury. Decent, got it on price-break for $10. Handles nicely, scuffs easily though so it's limited use for sure. But that's not what I'm writing about. I'd like to address the growing prevalency for melee weapons during NERF wars. Ok, ok, I know, I know we're here already running around with children's plastic toys but there is something I see a bit off here.

It's one thing to want to use a melee weapon of some sort as a gag, but when I think of nerf fights, it involves blasters. Barrel taps, sure. Being smacked at with a pool noodle or having a sword thrown at me? It just makes me wonder why I even bothered to mod anything in the first place. It adds a dimension to battle, fine. It makes you want to compensate with a higher ROF and Range, ok.

But with someone who opts to NOT carry a melee weapon WITH their blaster, half the time gun hits count or they don't want to have to resort to blocking with their blaster. Running the risk of possibly getting charged at by some douchebag who doesn't know their own strength and swings for the fences on a blaster that, made of plastic, may not stand up well to a downward swing from a piece of PVC or balsa wood wrapped in pool noodle and duct tape. I know, crazy. Maybe we should all run around with scabbards and the like? But again, why did we even bother with our blasters if we're going to be in CQC all day?

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of melee weapons, especially now with the inclusion of the N-force swords. BUT there's the focus of the blasters we came out to use to tag people with, and not show off our sword-fighting skills. Or end up getting shot at by someone after you've already engaged another person with a melee weapon. Great way to spend a round... not really.

Bottom line: If I wanted to start swinging a sword in a mob of people, I'd just go LARP or something. But I'm not. I'm there to shoot and be shot at. Dare I say it, we know what to expect getting shot at with a high-powered nerf blaster. We don't really know how everyone's going to use a sword in the heat of battle.

This might sound like sour grapes, but it really isn't. I'm not upset about being hit with a sword in a gunfight. It feels like the melee weapons take away from the blaster side of a nerf fight, especially since unless we carry melee weapons there's very little to do against someone hard-charging close quarters with a sword. We could go for the barrel tap or a block, but again our blasters then become at risk. Breaking my +bow because I went for a roll or a jumping shot are okay offenses. Having my +bow broken because Johnny Moron decided to swing hard is UNDESIRABLE.

They're your fights, do what you wanna do. You want melee, allow melee. Personally, I'm not a fan and will not allow them in rounds I host nor will I participate in melee-only rounds. If I wanted to sword fight, I'd go to a sword-fight focused group, not here. Ah well, take care and keep your breeches clean. Oh wait, swords don't have breeches.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

A couple of things...

So Boston, how was the NDTL?

I wish I could have been there, hope you guys had fun!


Wendy's Invitational Portland, OR Thursday, 8/13 2:00pm - 7:00pm Scrimmage

Friday, 8/14 3:00pm - 7:00pm Scrimmage

Saturday, 8/15 12:30pm - 3:30pm Ages 8-12 Tournament

4:00pm - 7:00pm Ages 13-17 Tournament

Sunday, 8/16 12:00pm - 3:30pm Scrimmage

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicago Showdown - Finale!

A bit more video from the Chicago Showdown Nerf fight out in Oak Lawn, IL. Ch-ch-checkitout!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Done! Preview!


Wow, one of my earlier videos finally hit the 1,000 mark recently. My take on the Halo Laser Assault set!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

And then there was.... Chicago Showdown!

Teaser/some highlight vid for the recent Chicago Showdown Nerf War in Oak Lawn, IL. Hosted by "Snake"

Writeup this weekend, and a full vid to follow later!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chicago Showdown - Teaser photos!

This past weekend Chicago Showdown took place in Oak Lawn, IL. We came, we saw, we done shot each other in the jaw (in the jaw). Snake from Nerfhaven was the host, and we had reps from Naperville, Chicago, Tinley Park, Niles, and even Wisconsin. Videos to follow!

Lock n' load, chummers!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

NDTL - Rules and Regs

So here are the official rules, ripped straight from the Nerf website. I have highlighted some particularly interesting tidbits.

a) Each match will run (5) minutes plus any injury or stoppage time. Teams will play 02 x 5 minutes games. Teams will switch sides after completion of the first 05 minute game. The schedule will be strictly adhered to. There will be a master clock at the scoring table and enforcing officials will attempt to announce times and schedules, however it is the responsibility of the teams to be aware of the time during a match.
b) The signal to start or stop a match or the game-on signals (following a stoppage) will be issued by enforcing officials to both teams simultaneously.
c) Official score will be kept by enforcing officials and displayed on the official Tournament score board for both teams to see.
d) The combined scores of the 2 games will be taken as your final score (unless otherwise stated by the Tournament producers)
4. FULL TIME SCORING OPPORTUNITIES: Each team will have multiple scoring options during a match that result in points scored. Each of the following game play option will take place simultaneously during the match.
(a). Tagging of Opposing Players: Each team will fire NERF Darts at opposing players. Scoring hits are worth 1 point and are defined as direct hits to the opposing player’s jersey; the Dart must stick to the jersey in order for points to be awarded. Each player who is tagged with a scoring hit must immediately (with both arms raised) go to their home base where they will serve a (10) second penalty before re-entering the match.
It is each player’s responsibility to check his jersey and call out immediately when he/she has been tagged with a scoring hit. If a player is unaware of a scoring hit and is called out by the enforcing officials he must stop playing and immediately return to home base. A player may seek reasonable cover in the immediate area if he is unable to visually verify a scoring hit. Blatantly shooting a player after he has signified a scoring hit is an infraction and will result in points being deducted. A player who continuously fails to call himself out after a scoring hit will result in elimination of the player from the game. A player who receives an obvious scoring hit and continues aggressive play (shooting, advancing, communicating with teammates, handing off supplies, etc.) commits an infraction and will result in elimination of the player from the game. Any player who receives a scoring hit and deliberately hides, removes, or conceals the Dart which is stuck to their jersey has committed an infraction and will result in elimination from the game.
(b). Mission before capturing the Flag: Each team will be required to successfully hit 2 targets located at the opposing team’s half before they can proceed to capture the flag. (A hit is deemed successful only if the Dart sticks to the target) No points will be awarded for hitting these 2 targets. Teams are to communicate amongst themselves whether the 2 targets have been hit. Officials will only alert you in the event you attempt to capture the flag without having hit the 2 targets successfully.
(c). Capture the Flag: Each team will have a flag set up at their home base. The objective is to capture the opposing team’s flag and return it to your home base. When individual players are tagged while in possession of the flag, it must be dropped and the player will return to their home base to serve their (10) second penalty. Failure to drop the flag, continued advancement after being tagged or passing the flag to a teammate after being tagged will result in assessment of penalty points. The flag is always played where it lies. If a team successfully captures the opposing team’s flag and returns it to their home base, 10 points will be awarded and game play will be paused by referees in order to reset the flags.
(d). Target board scoring: There will be 6 (3 per team) coloured target boards located within the play area for additional scoring opportunities. Each target board is allocated different points (total score for 3 target boards is 25 points). To score points, the Dart must be stuck to the target board at the end of the game (to allow for officials to verify that target has been hit). In the event that you have shot a target board belonging to the opposing team, the points will go to the opposing team. Regardless of the number of Darts stuck on the board, only 1 set of the allocated points (for that particular board) will be awarded.
(a). Tagging Opposing Players: 1 point (for each successful hit)
(b). Capture the Flag: 10 points
(c). Target Boards 25 points (depending on number of targets hit)

6. PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR: The following behavior is prohibited during Tournament matches and will result in the assessment of penalty points, elimination of players from matches or the disqualification of a team from the tournament.
(a). Any arguments, abusive, or obscene language with players, referees, or judges on or off the area of play will result in assessment of penalty points or possible elimination from the game.
(b). Aggressive physical contact with an opponent as determined by the enforcing officials will result in assessment of penalty points or possible elimination from the game.
(c). Deliberate deception of any kind regarding scoring hits will result in assessment of penalty points or possible elimination from the game.
7. PENALTY VALUES: Assessment of penalties and the value placed upon the offense is at the discretion of the enforcing officials, but shall not be less than (1) point and not to exceed (10) points.
8. TIE-BREAKER CALCULATIONS: In the event of a scoring tie, participants will compete in a Dart Tag Target Competition. Teams will alternate shots, cycling through their line-up twice. The highest score after 2 rounds will decide the winner. In the event of another tie after 2 rounds, teams will go to sudden death with each player taking one shot at the target. The game will repeat in this fashion until one team has a higher score at the end of a round.

Interesting, discuss!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

New blaster, and Nerf 2: N-Strike Elite (tentative)"%3BN-Strike"%3B+Elite+in+Celebration+of+40th+Anniversary+of+Hasbros+NERF+Brand/4781062.html

New version of the Switch Shot EX-3, this time with a red lens to read messages in-game from the tv.

Give a check!

Once more, into the breach...

That's not me in the above pic, but rather some excited participant!

I did indeed go inside and play a scrimmage. I feel the only way to truly represent something and write about it is through experience. You won't see me writing about how to bake a cake unless I do it. In the same thinking, I could not bring this news about the NDTL and the Furyfire without putting myself in someone else's line of sight. Once more, unto the breach, dear friends - literally. The NDTL Arena had a netted portal to enter, I would be lying if I didn't say getting inside had a touch of intensity to it.

The videos and shots I've provided already show what I was looking at: a sea of orange/red/yellow inflatable objects littered around me. In the center, a large inflatable pyramid. A penalty box to the left, and the flag station to my right. Netting served as ventilation and spots where onlookers could observe the nerf hopefuls in their quest for supremacy. Goggled and jersey'd I was run through a quick briefing of the rules and how to operate the new Furyfire blaster.

Pumping rotates the barrel and primes the blaster. Pull trigger. Reloading means putting darts straight back into the cylinder assembly, nothing pops out. Got it. Return to the box when hit, wait for the light, etc. etc. etc. It got increasingly apparent to me that here I was, and I wanted to rock. At that moment, the flag was my objective, and the other four people on the other side were in the way.

Quickly introducing myself to my teammates, we called our assignments. 1 to defend, 1 up the middle, 1 down the right, and I would be heading down the left wall.

Locked, loaded, and crouched behind cover... the siren couldn't come fast enough.

The first round was pretty fast. In a few seconds I had hurdled over a couple of barricades and ran the flag back in a few seconds. The other team had been preoccupied with my teammates on the other end of the arena.

Round 2 saw more of the same, only this time I ran smack dab into the entire team and ended up cooling my heels as they tied things up. We were getting our own points off of dart hits, but it wouldn't be nearly enough to make a good show of it.

Successive rounds involved a lot of scrambling, jumping over darts, ducking others, and more flipping/hurdling over obstacles. It was up close and personal, down and dirty to make sure you got your hits and that they stuck. It was fast, manic, and awesome. The score? Unimportant. The fun? Best part of the entire thing and IMMENSE.

It was only five minutes, but in those five minutes we were heroes, fighters, and competitors. Bring on more Nerf Dart Tag League! We lived the dream, and I wouldn't mind not waking up for a bit.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

You never know what you'll find

So guess what I found on the internet today: the company that designed the Nerf Dart Tag League arena! Well, I found their facebook page at least - Wedu Give them a look-see, let'em know how you liked the arena!

Monday, July 06, 2009

And just to bring it back....

Speaking of Singapore, look at what SGNerf has been up to-

Toy Carnival in Singapore

Seriously, way to get the sport moving over there, guys!

On a more serious note...

I wanted to bring to light these articles out of Singapore:

Don't get trigger-happy with toy guns


Toy guns that might get you into trouble

They discuss modifications and the ramifications of modding your guns to look more realistic or for added firepower. Everything's fun and games, but let's remember to be safe, responsible, and working in accordance with the laws and regulations of where you live. Don't kill the hobby by being a moron, people.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Finale - Scrimmage footage!

I was allowed to film INSIDE the arena during scrimmage-play... here's what I saw!

From my eyes, to yours-

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A face on the tour!

Say hi to Ryan McDonough, who was nice enough to stop and say a few words:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It started with Chicago.

On June 26th and 27th, Chicago was the first stop to a new experience... the Nerf Dart Tag League (NDTL). Videos to follow, but let's get the skinny.

Starting this weekend, the NDTL is an attraction inside the Mt. Dew Action Sport Tour's Festival Village. This means at each of the following events:

Nike 6.0 Open Chicago, IL - June 26-27 (COMPLETE)
Skate Open Boston, MA - July 24-25 (NEXT)
Wendy's Invitational Portland, OR - Sept. 17-20
Toyota Challenge Salt Lake City, UT - Oct. 15-18

There are two divisions, 8-12 and 13-17. Each division has a regional champ selected from the competitions at each Dew Tour event, and the regional champs from each division then square off at the Dew Tour's final stop. Let's do some quick math:

Each regional - 8 teams x 5 cities for each regional champ = 40 teams in the total field, @ 4 members a team = a possible 160 people total, in EACH DIVISION ALONE.

The final showdown at the NDTL World Championship:

Playstation Pro Orlando, FL - 10/15-10/18!

Each regional champ squares off against each other in their respective divisions, going to having one final World Champ in each age group.

Grand prize: Prestige, and $25,000 split four ways.

I participated in the free-round scrimmages, and this is what I can tell you about the rules:

- Furyfire per player, fully loaded
- NDTL Jersey, covered with velcro strips for the darts to stick to
- Eye protection

1) Timed round of continuous play. Siren starts/stops the action.
2) Players start each round in a "penalty box". More on this in a minute.
3) A team's flag is kept NEXT to the penalty box.
4) 3 refs in the arena with the players, whistles signal a hit.
5) When a player is hit, they return to the penalty box for a 10 second penalty. They hit a button and a red light inside the penalty box flashes. When the green light flashes, a player is allowed to reenter play. Inside the penalty box, there are ammo stations with darts attached, allowing the player to reload their blaster and remove all darts for a clean start while they wait for the penalty to end.
6) If a player is hit carrying the flag, the flag must be DROPPED right at the point of contact. Obviously, the refs are there to determine when and where a hit occurs to place the flag.
7) HITS ONLY COUNT IF THE DART STICKS TO YOUR JERSEY. If it bounces off your hand, blaster, whatever, the hit is not counted.
8) The only hits that count are darts to jerseys. Melee is not allowed. If you run out of ammo in blaster players HAVE to return to their base to reload.

These rules are what I figure after going through some scrimmages. The official ones from the Hasbro website may say otherwise.

- Hits on opposing players = 1 pt.
- Flag captures = 10 pts.

Whoever has the higher score at the end of the round is the winner.


Full gallery available soon!


Teaser - NDTL full coverage and video

Some footage to share while I go over the scrimmages and other shots I took! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fresh from the inbox!

Word from a nice PR lady at Hasbro!

· The 5 stops for DTWC are as follows:

o June 26-27 Nike 6.0 BMX Open Chicago - Grant Park

o July 24-25 Skate Open Boston -TD Banknorth Garden

o Aug. 13-14 Wendy’s Invitational Portland, Ore. - Rose Quarter

o Sept. 17-20 Toyota Challenge Salt Lake City - EnergySolutions Arena

o Oct. 15-18 PlayStation Pro Orlando - Amway Arena

EDIT: The event is tomorrow! Here is the schedule I pulled off

The 2009 Dew Tour features more than 150 of the worlds best action sports athletes, competing in Skateboarding, BMX, and Freestyle Motocross! This year NERF has signed on as an official sponsor of the tour and the biggest new addition to Dew Tour's award-winning Festival Village.

The 2009 Dew Tour will visit the following cities:

* Chicago, Illinois (June 26-27)
* Boston, Massachusetts (July 24-25)
* Portland, Oregon (Aug. 13-16)
* Salt Lake City, Utah (Sept. 17-20)
* Orlando, Florida (Oct. 15-18)

Nike 6.0 Open Chicago, IL

Friday 6/26 1:00pm - 5:00pm Scrimmage
4:00pm - 7:00pm Ages 13-17 Tournament

Saturday 6/27 11:00am - 12:00pm Scrimmage
12:00pm - 3:00pm Ages 8-12 Tournament
03:00pm - 7:00pm Scrimmage

So as the months roll on, keep an eye out when these stops happen in/near your area! More this week after I hit Festival Village at the BMX Open.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MOAR NEWS - NDTL - (Nerf Dart Tag League)

So there is this:

Yup. Hasbro's gone and started a league of competitive nerf events, the Nerf Dart Tag League. It kicks off with the Mt. Dew Action Sport Tour in Chicago, IL the weekend of June 26th and 27th. That's right, the Nike BMX 6.0 event.

There'll be a winning team from the cities on the tour, culminating in a Championship Finale in Florida. The games will be decided using dart tag and capture the flag rules, meaning competitors wear the vests and will have scores determined by where they hit the vests on opposing players in addition to flag captures. The link contains the full rules, but it does sound like something. There's even prize money!

Anyway, so what do I think about this? I actually really enjoy the idea. I even hope to get a glimpse of everything at Festival Village next week. I just hope my expectations of seeing the new CTF Dart Tag set are founded. I think taking stock ammo and darts is a good thing, and trying to garner attention to nerf fights with something like a league is brilliant. People will form teams, they will gather, and they will see. Not quite what the NIC is used to, but to even get the idea out there is plenty reason. I don't care what anyone says about goobers or other elitist thinking. We run around with children's toys, some more modified than others. Bring people in, let them figure out what more they can do. And that's what introductory things like this mean. I look forward to checking it out and seeing what's what, and getting out there. I invite other nerfers in/around Chicago to check it out. Hasbro needs to know that we're in support, even if we do make such a small population of the market. Nerfers... come out to play-ayyyy.... NERFERS.... COME-OUT-TO-PLAY-AYYYYYYY.

New podcast from the Foamtalk guys!

Foamtalk podcast

I haven't listened to it in its entirety yet, but there is some swearing and other talk some folks might find offensive. Listener be advised.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Well hello there... Action Splat?

From Foam From Above

Say hello to the Blizzard "Paintblaster". I got this from Tuesday Morning in Arlington Heights for around $12... totally worth it. It looks like the company Blizzard made something like a pistol splat by splatmatic, rendering this the "Lanard" or "Buzzbee" of paintball splat thingies in my book. I can't say anything for comparing the quality of construction, but from what I see on NH and my own experience, there's the same ridiculous spring inside the same ridiculous plunger tube. Ridiculous success.

Informal testing tells me the range is decent... not sure if I'm getting the 100' some folks do but it seems pretty good. It fires clear across the width of my street, for what that's worth.

I've replaced the stock barrel with CPVC and that's about it. In order to open'er up to do so, there was a ring around the barrel I had to remove and unfortunately that means the new barrel needs some sort of stabilizer, but I don't really care enough to make it so. Hah! The new barrel has been superglued and electrical taped into oblivion, it's not moving anywhere. It's been said that if you don't glue it properly the barrel will fire out, dart and all. Thankfully, that's just hearsay on my end.

Right now I'm using stock darts, some weighted but at stock length. I think... I think I'm going to have to start cutting shorter darts in order to improve distance. I have noticed a difference from shorter stock darts right away. Between this and the ranges I've been getting from my XXL bazooka, I think that's the only thing left to do to improve my ranges. I also might want to work on balancing my weights, so far the thing's been powerful enough to make my darts flop about after being fired.

The grip is pretty ergonomic, It fits my hand pretty well, even moreso than a TTG. I found the nub near the handle is not as problematic as some others have said so I've left it alone.

It's definitely too powerful for a regular pistol round, but as far as a primary goes this is something I look forward to taking with me on the field. I am a little curious as to the comparison between this near-stock and my TTG though, for sure. I have a rebarrel and extra spring in the TTG, so if it's on par with the splatmatic I might have to reconsider using it during pistol rounds.

One thing... a ram rod is kind of a must for maximum efficacy. DO IT.

Keep reloadin'!

Friday, June 05, 2009

"Oh shoot" moment #1....

Realizing that to be able to effectively somewhat use your vulcan during a battle, you have to AT LEAST remove the pegs. Yes, from ALL THE LINKS.


So, some guys from Nerfhaven do a podcast!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gotta get this down...

Future projects-

BBB/RSCB Inline (w/cpvc barrel?)
Titan w/"special ammo"
Shotgun barrel attachment for heavy weapons

Leave it at that for now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Know your nerfer! - Ice Nine

From ChANO 1

Well we've hashed it out here, what about you?

This is a pretty age old question... the necessity for a sidearm during a nerf round. There's the camp that says you don't need it and there's the camp that carries one. For some voices on the subject (from the ChANO 2 thread at

"Concerning sidearms - Even after the discussion I was thinking about it. With my hand fuched, I wasn't able to use my magstrike. I enjoy having something as a backup in case I get rushed. While not a sidearm per se, to me the Shock and Awe of having sprayed that many darts quickly usually gets the kill or gives me time get the reload in to get the kill. Without it I was getting rushed more often. I caught Ryan reloading and he had to ninja sprint away. I chased him down but my NF was empty (he didn't realize it). Becuase he had nothing to shoot back with he had to keep running. Due to my hand injury, I was not able to get my legs to match his speed. cool.gif Everyone plays their own way and to each his own, but I'm always going to have my NF at my side. It gives me piece of mind, and that's what matters."

"I can understand their usefulness if you are using a single-shot primary. You need that extra short-ranged shot to dissuade rushing. Turrets, RSCB clips, or just running away negate that need. All of my primaries are capable of firing several shots in a row, and so a sidearm is superfluous. I can, however, see the usefulness of carrying an automatic, as it provides you with impressive short-ranged firepower."

"Time to lend myself to the sidearm debate. I remembered from the SoCal wars that I attended that I never really used a sidearm; I don't think I even had a springer pistol, as I borrowed someone's G1NF for the pistols round at 'Geddon. Chano I was no different, I knew I had no need for my NF when it wasn't pistols round. This time it was even better, since the RSCB on my +bow provided a much higher rate of fire than the Uruk-Hai Crossbow normally does. I know for a fact that there was at least one instance where something fucked up on my RSCB (I failed to glue a piece and it was giving me trouble) and instead of dicking around for a sidearm, I straight-up ran. I might not have gotten the hit, but it's at least as effective to keep you alive. I also know there was at least one instance of Zorn running out of shots on his BBB, pulling out his NF to shoot me, and realizing that it wasn't primed. He said himself that he could count the instances where he needed it on one hand. I would prefer to just have a primary I knew I could hit with, rather than a primary I felt needed backing up. And if you get the better of me while I'm fucking with my RSCB? Congrats, sir, that was well done. Like when Beaver got me with the fucking SSPB." - Ice Nine

"That's my sidearm. My legs. Run like hell." - Ryan#s

More on this later.

Monday, May 25, 2009

ChANO 2... THE RETURN (or Electric Boogaloo)


And there we were. 14 guys taking pot shots at each other with foam projectiles on the University of Chicago campus. This was nerf war, this was ChANO... 2 (Chicago Area Nerf Out... 2)!

Once again hosted by Ice Nine and Zorn's Lemma, this would mark the final ChANO on the U of C grounds, as classes were finishing up and Ice Nine'd be making his way to the west coast. Starting at 10 AM, the foam was primed and we were ready to continue this madness with a bang. From a +bow.

The day's events included a few things... like running.

Game types included Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Wingman, Defend the Core, Capture the Flag, and pistols-only rounds. Luckily, the chill from the previous ChANO had gone, and the wind was pretty still.

Highlights included one gent, Daniel Beaver taking the free-for-all round armed only with 2 nitefinders. Later in the day he would use only an Arrowstorm during a round. Ryan#s and Ice9 cemented the mythology surrounding +bows, especially Ryan seeing as how he tagged me seeking cover behind a barricade from a good distance away. Cripes.

- Snake managed to get a few blocks with a crossfire shield, demonstrating that yes, Virginia there is something besides a Manta you can use. To be fair, Crossfire shields are only allowed depending on the war. Maybe in Chicago, we can start the trend.

- Living the "It's away!" dream when I used my longshot/rocket storm integration to bust the core wide open when Team Caution was on assault during Defend the Core.

- The Vulcan? Still not building a case that it's proper for the battlefield.

- The wildfire's "Loud as hell" and pretty good for keeping people away from the core.

- "Indiana Jones" moment reaching for my sidearm and finding it fell out of my holster.


- I even spent a round wearing a clone trooper helmet, defending the honor of the Republic.

Alright, let's look at some things that I learned over the course of the day-

* Zig-zag running, very important if you're not speedy. Probably would have helped in the aforementioned shot I took from Ryan.

* I knew this was a bad idea, but for one round I was packin' a spider-man wrist blaster, the XXL Bazooka, and my blastfire. Too many cooks in the broth, and it was hard to keep everything loaded not misfire the spider-man blaster when reaching for my blastfire and vice versa. 2 at most when going into a fight, unless you're packing pocket blasters.

* I think I need to weight my darts more, my accuracy will thank me.

* Beaver and Snake I think got into a pretty decent discussion about the necessity of sidearms. If you're good with your primary, you really don't need it. Even Zorn admitted his NF was only there to take up space. After my 3 gun round experiment, I agree.

* OBSTACLES ARE NICE. I need to rework the legs on mine, but I've got pieces to make some more, and this definitely needs looking into.

Anyway, that's a good bit of what she wrote. 'Til next time... keep your barrels loaded, Space Cowboy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The time cometh...

In a few days, ChANO 2 takes place. A few weeks after the first Chicago blaster battle, we're all geared up for round 2. This time, I intend to make things a bit more interesting than just going in with my single-shot pistol/crossfire shield combo. Being so limited in battle experience lately, I'm not entirely sure how my playing style's going to evolve. Some things to keep in mind, for sure-

1) Dealing with range, counter rushing after a PAS or the like takes a shot. If they've got a magstrike, good luck.
2) Roadie run is your friend, but don't get tagged in the head.
3) EVASIVE MANEUVERS. I refer to how to avoid gunfire by moving in a zig-zag formation.
4) I'm tempted to test the vulcan out myself, but after the testimonies before I'm not so sure. Maybe from a mounted position?

Either way, some stuff to consider. Until then, I'm just going to let the itch in my trigger finger stay unscratched.