So, you think you’re a NERF warrior? Sure, you may have played a few games and gotten in a few tags, but do you really know the ins and the outs of the game? Do you really know why you’re executing certain manoeuvres? Just like baseball, in NERF, there is a second game being played behind the scenes. And in the end, winning comes down not to your physical fitness but your strategy.
Fortunately or unfortunately, effective strategy takes time to cultivate, which means you need quite a bit of experience. However, sometimes you don’t have the time to do it that way. So for those crunch times when you need inspiration and tips ASAP, here are a few ideas to help you get ahead in the game.
You can work on developing your own tactical tweaks later.
Establish a Base
One of the most crucial considerations during a NERF war is how and where you are going to establish your base. As a general rule, you want to choose a base where your back is protected by a wall or a barrier. That way you will only have to monitor three sides for attackers and you will be able to more safely store extra ammo and weapons that are not in use.
Fighting From the Base Line
When you’ve established a base, the next thing you need to do is set up some barriers for protective walls. Not only will these serve to provide you with cover, but you can set up your defensive guns behind these barriers so that you will be able to fend off an ambushing enemy without exposing yourself to their open fire.
Additionally, selecting which weapons you are going to use to defend your base takes critical consideration. If you are partaking in a war in an open field, you are going to require weapons with long ranges. However, if you are in some more covered territory or indoors, you will probably only require a gun with a normal range.
Furthermore, don’t assume that using a stampede is going to be your solution. Not only is its noisiness a dead giveaway for the location of your base, but inevitably it will run out of battery half way through a battle, and you will find yourself with no serviceable weaponry.
Instead, consider employing the following options for defending your base:
- Primary: Vulcan/Havoc
- Secondary: Night Finder/Firestrike
- Tertiary: Secret Strike/Jolt
Defend your base
To expertly hold down your fort there are two basic strategies:
This means using heavy artillery fire against an advancing enemy, regardless of accuracy. This will force them to retreat. The downside to this approach is that you will consume a large quantity of darts in a very short period. Therefore, it is best to use this strategy when there is a large oncoming enemy and your team has multiple base defenders with access to motorized weapons like a stampede, vulcan, rayven, stryfe, or the hail-fire.
The alternative is, don’t shoot at all. Doing so will lull your enemy into a false sense of security and persuade them to approach within close range. Once they do so, then you can open fire at the last moment which will increase your accuracy. If the enemy charges in a hoard formation, your best option when countering them is to use two pre-pumped magstrikes, or two vulcans. If you choose to utilize magstrikes, always make sure that your guns are pre-pumped.
Abandoning your base
If you are properly set up to defend your base, this should not occur, but if you find yourself attacked by surprise and you are not equipped to defend yourself against the enemy’s tactics, you will need to flee. Doing so will save yourself as well as important ammo stores and primary weapons. Just make sure that everything is neatly packed and easily accessible should you need to take off in a hurry.
One you reach safety, Walkie-Talkie the other team members to inform them that you have abandoned the home base. Then you must either retake it or construct a new base.
Eventually, if you are attacking at full force and gaining ground, you will run out of ammunition. This is almost inevitable. When it happens, don’t panic and turn on your heels to sprint back to your fort. If you do, your opponents will see the opportunity and chase you down. Instead, do exactly the contrary. Act as if you were still loaded down with ammo and press forward. If you do it confidently, the enemy will retreat in the wake of your advance allowing you to retrieve the darts you previously fired. If you’re unlucky, your opponents may be feeling brave and will hold their ground. However, as long as they think you are armed, they won’t rush you which will allow you to gain a better position from which you can escape or collect ammo relatively unnoticed.
If possible, build fear
Much in the same way it is effective to intimidate your enemy, you can go a step further and attempt to make them fear approaching you altogether. Increasing the rate of fire and the amount of ammunition volleyed at the enemy is a key tactic to make them wary of ambushing you or even approaching closely. One of the most important factors in winning a NERF war is to never let the enemy know how much ammo you have.
In the heat of battle, people can do crazy things like trying to reload a clip that still has ammo. Remember, you clip does not need to be full for you to fire. In fact, trying to reload in the midst of a melee is just going to get you tagged out. Forget about it. Instead, if you see someone headed your way, just slap in your half-full clip and shoot.
Better yet, make sure you keep several full clips available to you in your battle belt. That way you can slap a full one in and worry about reloading once you’re safely back at base.
Do not use damaged darts
Even if you’re low on ammo, resist the temptation. Damaged darts do more harm than good as they will jam your gun. Instead, put them in a damaged dart bin at your base and let someone repair them for future use.
Preserve your shots
Unless you have an automatic weapon and are defending the base, or you have a large quantity of loaded magazines on your person, try and make each shot count. Should you run out of darts and are far from safety, you can be easily picked out and rushed.
Always have a secondary weapon at hand
Don’t ever leave yourself defenseless out in the open. Having a small secondary weapon is a good solution if you are not adept at carefully rationing your darts. That way, if you run out of ammo for your primary weapon, you will always have a secondary defense at the ready.
Even when there is no enemy in sight, if you are not hot on someone’s trail, take cover. Though it may seem obvious, this is a leading cause of finding yourself unexpectedly tagged out.
Use a little reverse psychology
Running out of ammo is extremely common. So use this to your advantage. Yell out to a comrade that you are out of ammunition and need a reload to trick your enemy into rushing you. When they approach, thinking you’re easy to pick off, prove them wrong.
Use code language
Come up with a few key code words before entering a battle. That way you can yell signals at each other without being “overheard”. Just make sure that you only use a few that are memorable. Otherwise you will risk confusing your teammates.
Think about it for a second, how are you planning on running at full tilt if you’re weighed down by your own personal arsenal of weapons? While having multiple defense options can be tantalizing, if you can’t leap over a barricade or run at top speed, then you’re not going to get very far very fast. Which means you’re likely to get tagged out sooner rather than later.
Usually, one main gun, two spare clips, one sidearm, and 5 darts for your sidearm is a good all-around choice and will be sufficient in most situations.
Don’t waste time reloading half-full magazines or learning how to use a new weapon on the spot. If you aren’t familiar with a gun, don’t use it. The most common targets are people who don’t know their equipment well.
Keep the Strategy Simple
Sure, having a plan of attack and a general approach to your tactics is going to make you significantly more effective as a NERF soldier. However, it is easy to go too far. Often something as basic as “you go this way, I’ll go that way” will suffice.
Remember, you are fighting a NERF war not a nuclear war. Intense battle tactics are often useless because you’re playing with people to have fun, not actually win a battle.
The crux of an ambush can be summed up thus: devise an attack where you can swiftly destroy the enemy and loot their ammo or dropped weapons before they are able to regroup and counterattack.
When you decide that it is an opportune moment to ambush, go out with only a couple soldiers. Stay silent and make sure that at least one of you is loaded down with extra ammo. When you approach enemy lines, make sure that you stay as hidden as possible, creeping up behind walls or hiding in the brush. When your enemies walk past, jump out suddenly and shoot. It is only when you take them by surprise that you will have the upper hand.
Alternatively, you can take a good number of soldiers and charge the opponent’s base head on. Just make sure that you use a good gun and are a fast runner. If you aren’t able to shoot first, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re instantly be tagged out.
Specific NERF Fighting Strategies
Provide cover fire
As you cross along barriers or obstacles, make sure that each soldier has cover. That way, when your fellows fire at the enemy to keep them pinned down, you can move closer or get into a better position to eliminate any hidden threats.
Provide cross fire
This tactic allows teammates to double up and increase their efficacy. To execute this tactic, you and a fellow soldier will need to position yourselves at opposing angles from a target. Then, when you fire, your darts will be coming from two different directions increasing the likelihood that your opponent will be tagged out without any damage to your team.
Use a “Blitzkrieg”
Think of this tactic like launching a human grenade. To employ this method, organize yourself into a densely-packed group and arm yourselves with powerful blasters like Rhino-Fires, Vulcans, or Hail-Fires. As you advance, use this heavy firepower to confuse the enemy. Once you are in an advantageous position, you will be able to engage in a melee battle if necessary.
Do a Hit-N-Run
This tactic can be brave or it can be reckless. So use it wisely. This risky manoeuvre involves you running up to an enemy bunker, firing once or twice, and then sprinting back to cover. Doing this repeatedly is disorienting and effective against the opposition.
Rush the opponent’s bunkers
This approach is similar to a Hit-N-Run. However, instead of rushing and retreating, you will keep pushing past the enemy bunker until you are deep into enemy territory where you can find cover. That is, unless you are shot by a dart first.
“Funnel” your team
This tactic requires you to divide your team into 2 parts offense and 3 parts defense.
· The defense will hold a line on the largest major routes while the offense attempts to secure the minor routes.
· Should the offense prove successful, the opposing team should try to overwhelm the central defense.
· When this happens, the defense surrounds the enemy from the front.
· The offense will then emerge behind the enemy team to take defensive positions and combat the enemy from the rear.
· If done correctly, this leaves the enemy team surrounded and without cover. If the plan fails, your entire team can recover quickly by rushing the enemy and engaging in a melee manoeuvre.
This strategy is similar to funnelling but works best on a smaller field. Unlike funnelling, this approach makes it easier to recover from a failed mission and requires less communication.
· Have your team cut on diagonal routes across the field. This leaves the enemy no choice but to attack the line, often focusing on the middle. Therefore, you should strategically place the most powerful members of the team on the edges, while the weaker soldiers will make up the middle ranks.
· When your advancing lines of military have encompassed the enemy, collapse your team on top of them and redistribute your players so your enemy is surrounded on all but one side.
· This leaves the enemy one way out and makes them easy to pick off.
“Spread Out” tactic
If you know that the enemy is weighed down with grenades and planning to use them, don’t advance in a tightly knit group. Instead, spread out so that your squadron will not be destroyed simultaneously by one lobbed weapon from the opposing side.
Draw the enemy’s fire to you
When you need to divert attention, this is the ultimate tactic. Advance toward the enemy and while you draw their attention with noise or random disengagement of darts, your allies will have the opportunity to advance unnoticed and pick off easy targets.
Strategies for Commanders
Being a commander is a high honor and a heavy burden. Once you’ve been offered the designation, you’ve graduated from being a soldier and you are now in charge of a company and responsible for their strategy. Even for the seasoned NERFer, this can be quite intimidating.
Before you even begin strategizing, you need to ensure that your team is all working toward an objective and not just haphazardly running around shooting the enemy. Doing so will get them nowhere fast. The best way to make sure that everyone is organized and working toward a goal is to assign positions.
There are a few primary classes into which you can split your team: sniper, ammo collector, spy, and defender.
Snipers are expert marksmen and are able to shoot accurately from small spaces. They will be your hidden eyes who can see without being seen. A great place to place snipers is in the trees. Being above the mayhem alleviates some of the tension as well as provides a better view to increase accuracy. Generally, snipers do well using a double shot.
As the name suggests, this person’s sole mission is to collect ammo. Although it is not a glamorous job, it is nevertheless important. However, it is also an optimal position to double as a spy since ammo collectors must stealthily roam the battlefield. In general, these members should carry a gun with 5-10 shots like a spectre, maverick, tek 6, or a tek 10.
Spies, like their weapons, should be small and sneaky. It is their job to warn the team of oncoming ambushes as well as keep them informed of the enemy’s whereabouts. In addition to carrying a weapon such as a single shot pistol, spies should be in possession of binoculars.
Defenders should be ruthless and trigger happy. These soldiers will stay on base and are almost always in possession of multi-shot or automatic weapons. They are the last line of defense and should be able to flee with the team’s extra ammo and weapons in the event of a siege.
Commanders should also remember to switch around the roles of their soldiers. It will help keep your teammates engaged as well as teach everyone techniques that will help round out their NERFing skillset.