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Author Topic: Mousetrap landmines  (Read 9485 times)
Herbert West

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« on: December 23, 2013, 04:26:36 PM »

Over in the equipment and toys section, I've started a thread about building (and optimizing the performance of) mousetrap landmines. Here, I'd like to start a discussion on deployment strategy and countermeasures.

Several effective countermeasures for landmines are possible, and, in order for landmines to provide the human side with any benefit, all of these will have to be prevented or rendered inapplicable:
  • Zombies can find and disable landmines. Since the darts aren't flying through the air while in a mine, a zombie could sweep the darts off of a mine without being stunned.
  • Zombies can safely trigger landmines by throwing long sticks across the tripwires.
  • A single zombie could walk ahead of the horde, trigger any landmines that they encounter, and make the area safer for the rest of the horde at the cost of only one zombie per mine.
  • Actually, would the cost be one zombie per mine or just one zombie? Under most rulesets, stunned zombies are unable to interact with the game in any way, which would include triggering mines. However, if a mine is prematurely triggered illegitimately, and thus does not go off during a charge, the effect which the mine would and should have had would be very difficult to adjudicate and apply. (Compare this to: if a bite is obtained illegitimately, this is easy to reverse; the bite just doesn't count.) Zombies could use this to their advantage and create a headache for humans and moderators alike.

I think that landmines would be the most useful in a point-defense scenario. If a small number of zombies approach, the humans could stun them before they can interfere with the landmines. On the other hand, if too many zombies approach to stun them all before they reach the mines, then, well, that's what the mines are there for. The zombies will be forced to either suffer the mine's effect or spend time under fire to disable them, and either way, this helps the human side.

It would be very helpful if the moderators would agree that illegitimately disabling an landmine by triggering it while already stunned should carry an extra-harsh penalty for the zombie in question in order to ensure that this rule-breaking tactic is not worthwhile.
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Ross_Varn
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 06:13:04 PM »

It would be very helpful if the moderators agree at all. Most rulesets state that zombies can be stunned, sic. "by blasting them with a dart blaster or throwing a sock at them". Depending on how your moderator team has written and interprets their ruleset...

There are easy tactics that will deal with mines, to be sure, but those depend on all of the zombies being informed as to the presence of, well, nerf mines and tripwires.

The biggest concern I can see people having is that of the non-player entity launching darts, as I said. I can see restrictions being placed on their use to strictly missions, areas outside of regular play, and other things that would prevent non-players from stumbling across them and getting a fistful of darts. As such, the deploying player would have to be really good at setting up quickly, as they'll probably be doing it just ahead of the oncoming horde.
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 10:57:52 PM »

one problem I can find is that IF a zed was hit, in the very likely chance it will with that many darts, he may just notice no one is watching, and keep going. Another porblem would be if humans start tripping over your mines, screwing up the trap.
But on the other hand, this would be extremely useful in hold type missions. set up a bunch around the hold area, watch the zeds crumble around you. All you need is a ghost-type soldier to refill them secretely.
Another use is a human based ambush. Set up a bunch in a certain area, get some zeds to chase you, then BOOM! walk away laughing.
And yet another way to use them is set up a defense area, in case a mission goes sour, somewhere that the humans could regroup at, and get their act together for another assault.
And the last way I could think of use is set up a bunch of these mines around your play area, then watch as the zombies learn to watch their feet and not their heads, where you can make some more kills. I'm more tlaking about the implections of fear with these. You could make them begin to wonder when these will spring on them, and where. Ultimate ninja's weapon. Only problem would be is to set up some sort of system to reload them periodacally.
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 10:12:06 AM »

Main use of this would be indoors, I think; holding up doorways and choke points, sealing back doors during mission objectives. Or outdoors in narrow choke points.
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 12:50:58 PM »

Main use of this would be indoors, I think; holding up doorways and choke points, sealing back doors during mission objectives. Or outdoors in narrow choke points.

Indoors might make setting up tripwires difficult.  And while I don't much care for the use of tripwires and the potential for injury, these are largely useful for "WTF" purposes and point defense.  Setting up several of these at a choke point could help turn the tide for those desperate last stands, so why the heck not?
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Herbert West

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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 03:41:28 PM »

Most rulesets state that zombies can be stunned, sic. "by blasting them with a dart blaster or throwing a sock at them". Depending on how your moderator team has written and interprets their ruleset...

I suspect that most rulesets don't explicitly define the term "blaster", and this word is generally taken to refer to anything which flings a dart, which includes homemade contraptions. Nobody said that a "blaster" has to be in someone's hands when it fires...

Such rules-lawyering is ultimately moot IMHO. Any competent mod squad will decide whether to allow mines depending on the perceived level of risk, the potential to create conflicts, and how much they add to a game. I think that these mines can be made very safely, won't create conflicts so long as zombies aren't cheating spoilsports (and if they are then mines are the least of your problems), and they can add an interesting dimension to gameplay in some situations, such as point-defense missions. This is the argument that you might need to present to your moderators.

There are easy tactics that will deal with mines, to be sure, but those depend on all of the zombies being informed as to the presence of, well, nerf mines and tripwires.

. . . or on noticing the mines and tripwires, or knowing that there are mines around because they already tripped one. Given that the horde will quickly find out about the presence of mines, we need to make sure that they will hinder the horde even if the horde knows about them, such as:

. . . set[ing] up a bunch of these mines around your play area, then watch as the zombies learn to watch their feet and not their heads.

This is a really good idea, assuming that the zombies are good sports.

The low launch angle of my current designs makes placing them under trees feasible, and they could be painted black and loaded with darkly coloured darts. If thin darkly coloured thread were to be used, and especially if the mines were to be deployed at night, they could be very hard to find. So long as the horde does not know where each and every mine is, they will need to move with caution, which reduces both their attentiveness and responsiveness to human actions.

On the other hand, if zombies aren't good sports, then this is where their ability to ignore stuns when there are no humans to call them out on it will be especially problematic.

But on the other hand, this would be extremely useful in hold type missions. [...] All you need is a ghost-type soldier to refill them secretly.

In a hold, there tends to be a lull after a charge with a duration equal to the zombie's stun timers - and a charge is when the mines are the most likely to be triggered. Given that the zombies will know where each mine is after it is triggered once, I see the primary value of mines as lying not in surprise but in nuisance. The zombies won't be able to leisurely disable or avoid the mines even if they already know where they all are because, when they reach the mines, they will be in range and under fire. Overall, I don't see the need for a ghost-type here. If someone does want to be sneaky, they would do better to reload and reposition the hidden mines which are distributed throughout the campus.
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2014, 04:43:25 PM »

In addition to the problem of non players, I'm worried about someone stepping too close to one and getting raked across the leg. The foam darts might cushion the wood, but I'm not certain. Do you know whether it hurts to get hit by the firing mechanism?
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KreeWest1313

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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 05:52:28 PM »

after the first detonation they basically become barricades that sometimes stun people. Zeds soon learn to look out for them and it only slows them down.
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Ross_Varn
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 10:24:54 PM »

after the first detonation they basically become barricades that sometimes stun people. Zeds soon learn to look out for them and it only slows them down.

Exactly- assuming that they realize they got tagged by a landmine...
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KreeWest1313

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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 11:29:10 PM »

Ross Varn: I don't know. It will be a burst of darts coming from the side. Also, once stunned I would think the zed (while stunned) would look to see what attacked them.
Herbert West: When fired what is the dart grouping like? If it's too small it might miss. Also, if it is large enough it might stun multiple zeds.
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Herbert West

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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 11:54:45 AM »

As I said in the mousetrap landmines thread in the equipment and toys section, the spread is about 50 to 60 cm. A wider spread can be achieved by having several landmines side by side, pointing in slightly different directions, and chained such that firing one fires the remainder.
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 05:43:09 PM »

I have made 8 of them.  I figured out that if you attach the tripwire to the wall or whatever (the side opposite the mine itself) with duct tape it works best.  Stick half the strip of tape to the wall, and stick the fishing line to the other half of the strip.  I find that the fishing line will trigger the trap, then be pulled off the tape and released so people don't end up with a trap tied to their ankle.  I can't wait to use these in combat!
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