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Author Topic: Let's Look at Secondaries - A Guide  (Read 1668 times)
JPRoth1980


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« on: June 09, 2012, 11:59:04 am »

Author's Note: This is likely to be a bit more contentious, I'd wager, because everyone seems to have a different vision of what a true secondary is.  Bear with me, and make sure to comment!

So you've picked out a primary blaster and are ready to bust some foam up in a G's grill.  Wow, you've suddenly become gangsta.  Maybe you should hold the blaster the right way?  Wink

In all seriousness, the reason for secondaries is simple:  primaries fail.  That lovingly-modified blaster you spent an inordinate amount of time working on will, eventually, chew up a dart, run out of battery juice, or just plain run out of ammo.  When that happens, you have two options.

A:  Go feed the zombies.
B:  Pull out a secondary blaster and resume filling the air with foam.

I am assuming, gentle reader, that you would rather maintain your higher-brain activity and as such would choose Door Number B.  If you're choosing A, why are you reading this, anyway?  Go read something by Chev.  Wink

When choosing a secondary, mind you, things get more complicated.  It is best to have a secondary that compliments your primary, but deciding on how to complicate things is the tricky bit.

Using a "Primary" as a Secondary
One of the first things that pops into a lot of people's minds when thinking about a secondary blaster is "hey, I can just grab my Alpha Trooper and use it if my Rayven craps out on me."  Personally, I would recommend you skip that line of thought altogether.  It's entirely possible to do, but the blasters that people tend to use as primaries are larger and bulkier than I would prefer to try to quick-draw and fire.

There are two exceptions to this rule, in my eyes.  Due to its small size (as a pistol), relative power, and ammo capacity, a Recon makes a wonderful secondary, and likewise a Raven can be used as a functional one as well.  That said, if you're using a Rayven as a secondary, I'm a bit curious as to what your choice is for primary.

Wacky Secondaries
Some people, perhaps calling themselves Grenadiers or Mad Scientists or whatnot, like using something silly as a secondary.  I'm talking about the Scatter Blasts, Spider-Man Wrist Blasters (or wrist-mounted Jolts), a Titan with a 19-round absolver attachment, and so on.  These are all lots of fun, but I'd recommend carrying them as a weapon of last lulz.  Take a serious secondary in addition to the "fun" blasters and chances are you'll have more of an opportunity to use the goofy ones.

Integrations

Oh, how I love these.  At the start, it's one easy way to use a primary as a secondary.  Just attach the two together, somehow!  Integration gives you a secondary (or tertiary, or quaternary) weapon ready-at-hand whenever it is needed, no slings required.  So long as your primary has a suitable shell, the sky is the limit.  However, there are certain blasters that make for easier integrations, so let's go over them at this time.

Night Finders, Jolts, and SSPBs make for the easiest integrations due to their small size and simple mechanisms.  However, you'll notice that they are all plunger-fire and muzzle-loading, meaning they are pretty much SHTF blasters.  For those of you who don't get the reference, I'm sorry.

The undisputed king of integrations, however, is the Swarmfire, particularly when combined with the Stampede to make what is perhaps unimaginatively called the Swarmpede.  Even on a non-electric blaster, having a Swarmfire integration can be a wonderful idea for when you really need a FA spray to get things done.

Blowguns also make very handy integrations (and can go into just about any primary).  It will give you a long-ranged potshot weapon that's handy for breaking up charges before they start.  If you want to be efficient, it's entirely possible to mount a blowgun to a tactical rail, allowing you to move it from blaster to blaster.

The Swarmpistol
A Swarmpistol is, effectively, the guts of a Swarmfire mounted on a pistol handle.  They are typically powered by a battery pack placed in a pocket and connected to the pistol through long wires.  If you have one of these or know someone who can make one for you, don't bother reading any further--you have your secondary.

Snapfire
The Snapfire is as of this writing unreleased, although SGNerf has obtained one and written up a review.  If the review holds true, this is the go-to secondary for most new players, straight out of the box (although I'd at least remove the ARs).  A true semi-auto blaster with 8 shots is just about perfect, in my eyes.

Okay, that was a bit of a mouthful.  Let's move on to the criteria I will be judging potential secondaries by.

Size/Ease of Draw:  Carrying around two bulky blasters isn't much fun.  It is important for your secondary tool to be small, lightweight, and easily-accessible.

Rate of Fire:  The higher the better.  If you're drawing your secondary, things have already gone south.

Ammunition Capacity:  Again, the higher the better.

Range:  A very minor consideration here, since in my view, your primary should be used for longer-ranged shooting and your secondary as a bit of a panic button.  Still, better to be able to tag earlier.

X Factor:  Anything special brought to the table by the blaster.

Note that, by this time, I am going to make a few assumptions:

1:  You have read through the Primary Guide and chosen one that has good range and RoF.  Something like an Alpha Trooper or Rayven, likely.

2:  You know how to perform at least simple modifications on your blaster.  I'm not going to discuss purely stock secondaries.  My reason for this is simple:  if you cannot perform those mods, chances are you're not going to have a situation where you can get a secondary out before you're nommed.

Best Tier secondaries aren't going to be particularly surprising, I don't think.  They consist of the following two:

Socks
Swarmpistol
Integrations
Melee

Hey, wait, socks were listed as a primary, too!  Frankly, yes.  Socks trump blasters everywhere but fun.  If you aren't carrying a few dozen in a pocket or two, you're doing it wrong (note:  I often do it wrong!).  The Swarmpistol and integrations have been discussed earlier.

Melee weapons are amazingly useful if they are allowed at your game.  If so, get one and learn how to use it properly so you aren't breaking Z noses.

Not going to suggest mods for these, since the Swarmpistol is completely modded and integrations are a whole area of modifications.  You can tie-dye your socks if you want.  The Zeds might appreciate it.

Highly Recommended secondaries provide a lot of versatility and can both get you out of trouble and help cover the weak points of a primary.  They are these guys:

Recon (Pistol Configuration)
Barricade
Snapfire Potentially

Both of these (not counting the Snapfire) can shoot relatively quickly and hold at least 10 darts, both of which are major advantages.  The Barricade is noisy and has a short wind-up before firing, and the Recon requires two hands to fire, so they are not without their own faults.

Suggested mods:

Recon:  OMW kit/AR removal and spring replacement.  The OMW kit really makes the Recon into a scary secondary.
Barricade:  Li-Po batteries, taped flywheel, dart holder (so the ammo doesn't fall out when the blaster is pointed down).
Snapfire:  Remove the ARs.

Recommended secondaries are still quite good but need a bit more work or have a few more faults.  Here they are:

Rayven
Magstrike
Firefly
Spectre
Absolved pump guns

The Rayven's compact shell really helps it as a secondary (but it makes such a great primary, as mentioned before).  With the Magstrike and Firefly, they're capable of rapid-fire but are just a little too big for my taste.  The Spectre gets good range and is a great size, but its low ammo count hurts, as does the required two-handed operation.

Absolvers get a special mention here.  You can carry them pumped and ready to go and then spray out multiple darts when needed. 

Suggest mods:

Rayven:  See the Primary discussion
Magstrike:  AR removal for a start.  Extra mags would be a good idea.
Firefly:  I genuinely have never messed with one, so I'm not certain.
Spectre:  Remove the ARs and replace the spring.

Not Recommended blasters just don't quite have what it takes to get things done.  Note:  they can be used as hold-outs or last resort weapons, but I wouldn't recommend them as a secondary.

Maverick
Nite Finder
Jolt
Scout
Reflex

With the exception of the Maverick, all of the blasters are single-shot muzzle-loaders.  That's just a recipe for disaster as a secondary.  A Nite Finder can actually be used pretty well as a potshot weapon (and is great for integrations on funky blasters like a BBB), but I just don't see it as something I'd want to have if I were in the thick of it.

So, that's my thoughts on secondaries now.  Anything I missed?  Wink
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Masturcief42

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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 12:32:19 pm »

Chose door A.
Go read something by Chev.  Wink
K bye.

My complaint is the magstrike. If you give that sucker an air compressor, you have one heluva blaster.
I suggest two places for the magstrike, one with, one without an air compressor. Also I have a problem with the snapfire. It's not out yet so why not put it's text in a different color? Sorry, it just irritates me.
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Briguy52

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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 12:57:08 pm »

Personally, I find that my primary's main goal is to focus on capacity/RoF and keep 'em from closing in on me (ie a Raider, Rayven, Stampede, etc.), which generally excel at Medium and even Close Range. However, unless using weighted streamlines, the accuracy of these blasters is not really the best at Medium Ranges as once modded, the stock streamlines I have (primarily K-code with some E ones mixed in) tend to swerve around with minds of their own. Though say a Barricade or any other compact, decent capacity/ROF secondary comes in handy if you're on a reload, I prefer a modded NiteFinder/Pistol Splat/etc. pistol that has great range/accuracy for its size to land shots at Medium ranges.
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JPRoth1980


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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 01:09:02 pm »

My complaint is the magstrike. If you give that sucker an air compressor, you have one heluva blaster.
I suggest two places for the magstrike, one with, one without an air compressor.

Wow.  I've actually never heard of that.  Are they commonly allowed at games?

Also I have a problem with the snapfire. It's not out yet so why not put it's text in a different color? Sorry, it just irritates me.

I don't like using different colors.  That's my only justification at all, but otherwise, very good point.  Smiley

Personally, I find that my primary's main goal is to focus on capacity/RoF and keep 'em from closing in on me (ie a Raider, Rayven, Stampede, etc.), which generally excel at Medium and even Close Range. However, unless using weighted streamlines, the accuracy of these blasters is not really the best at Medium Ranges as once modded, the stock streamlines I have (primarily K-code with some E ones mixed in) tend to swerve around with minds of their own. Though say a Barricade or any other compact, decent capacity/ROF secondary comes in handy if you're on a reload, I prefer a modded NiteFinder/Pistol Splat/etc. pistol that has great range/accuracy for its size to land shots at Medium ranges.

That is an entirely valid point (although, man, get some W or T codes stat!).  I would consider a Nite Finder/Splat to be a different beast altogether from a typical secondary, more akin to a single-purpose tool than anything else.
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skullface1818

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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 02:15:13 pm »

I like the jolt as a secondary mostly due to its insanely small size, great power potential, and relibility.

Its good when paired up with a flywheel blaster for clearing corners so you don't have to have it turned on all the time.
I chose it over socks because Im a much better shot with a jolt than I am with socks.

however, I feel the Snapfire will ultimately replace it me thinks. Its compactness and repeat-ability make it the ultimate secodnary (as far as I can tell, I need to use it first to see if the harsh trigger pull is a deal-breaker for me)
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SpookyLucaZ
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 03:36:12 pm »

Integrations as a secondary are fine and dandy, but can you truly wield them like a normal secondary? In sense, holstering/slinging it to reduce the weight in your arms and hands. Or can you dual wield them to fire in dual directions?
I love dual wielding(like a boss) and scaring the shit out of zombies by doing so. I rarely if ever use my sidearm when I'm dual wielding, so I just use a bit of velcro to attack socks to my rayven instead of relying on just my pockets...
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torukmakto4

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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 04:23:59 pm »

My complaint is the magstrike. If you give that sucker an air compressor, you have one heluva blaster.
I suggest two places for the magstrike, one with, one without an air compressor. Also I have a problem with the snapfire. It's not out yet so why not put it's text in a different color? Sorry, it just irritates me.

Magstrike or RF20 plus compressor and power rig = a bigger, heavier, more expensive, less reliable swarmpistol. The only exception to that is if you have a good stockpile of clips for the MS, or a drop cylinder RF20. Swarmfire's Achilles heel is the inability to make the cylinder reliably dismountable, which I may have a solution for (speedloader). Also note that both of the pneumatic SMGs above are out of production and that is a consideration for a guide targeted at new players who don't already own this gear.

Snapfire, is well documented by SGnerf. It is reliable, range numbers look good, responds VERY well to AR delete (50' ranges, stock spring!) and trigger pull is probably no worse than any real steel DA revolver. I would say the longstanding dominance of single action (Maverick, Spectre, Tek) in HVZ has conclusively ended, except for those who have trouble hitting things with a snapfire due to the trigger weight.
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Bobololo
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 07:03:38 pm »

Magstrike or RF20 plus compressor and power rig = a bigger, heavier, more expensive, less reliable swarmpistol.
The one I made is only a little heavier but a lot louder. It's great for bursting your way through a group of zombies if you have the same amount of clips that I do. I love my compressored magstrike and would choose it over my swarmfire pistols anyday
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 09:35:44 pm »


Snapfire, is well documented by SGnerf. It is reliable, range numbers look good, responds VERY well to AR delete (50' ranges, stock spring!) and trigger pull is probably no worse than any real steel DA revolver. I would say the longstanding dominance of single action (Maverick, Spectre, Tek) in HVZ has conclusively ended, except for those who have trouble hitting things with a snapfire due to the trigger weight.

I don't know, maybe I would favor my maverick over the snapfire 8. If we're talking about DA revolvers, the reason why SA or single action revolvers are stil around is because of their lighter trigger pull since you don't have to worry about cocking the hammer as well. Of course, I'm still going to buy the snapfire 8 just because it looks cool as hell, but the trigger pull is going to be the deciding factor. Also, reliability may also be an important factor to consider since a secondary isn't worth it's weight if it jams after every shot; I know what you all think of the maverick, but I have no problems with my particular blaster so for now I'm sticking to my guns Wink
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 09:56:38 pm »

Personally, I love my Maverick to death. I seem to have a good one; it never jams, gets 35-40ft ranges after just a penny mod, and is incredibly comfortable to use. It's never failed me as an HvZ backup; hell, when I'm doing close-quarters training exercises with my human squad, I simply use it as a primary. No way will the Snapfire ever replace it.

That said, I think you're right for putting the Maverick in the 'not recommended' slot. For every brilliant Maverick like mine, there are a hundred which will jam every second shot.

Also, finally, some appreciation for the Recon as a secondary. True, it's bulky as hell, but the Recon is, all-around, my favourite blaster of all time. It was the second one I ever got, the first one I actually used, and has served me brilliantly as both a primary and a secondary for years. Even now, it still serves as my primary for my lightweight loadout. It also happens to be completely indestructable (I've dropped it off the back of a moving ute and it still fires perfectly).
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 02:25:48 am »

I find the Praxis to be an ideal secondary due to excellent rate of fire and most importantly - lowest jamming rate ever in a mag-fed blaster. It is like falling back to your trusty shotgun when the enemy gets close within its effective range. Hopefully the Pyragon will also be just as reliable...
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thebestcookie


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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 12:33:39 pm »

a.) It's $25. A bit much for a secondary when you could just use socks...
b.) Ammo for it is also expensive.
c.) It's a bit big for a secondary...
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skullface1818

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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2012, 01:05:20 pm »

Personally, I love my Maverick to death. I seem to have a good one; it never jams, gets 35-40ft ranges after just a penny mod, and is incredibly comfortable to use. It's never failed me as an HvZ backup; hell, when I'm doing close-quarters training exercises with my human squad, I simply use it as a primary. No way will the Snapfire ever replace it.

That said, I think you're right for putting the Maverick in the 'not recommended' slot. For every brilliant Maverick like mine, there are a hundred which will jam every second shot.

Also, finally, some appreciation for the Recon as a secondary. True, it's bulky as hell, but the Recon is, all-around, my favourite blaster of all time. It was the second one I ever got, the first one I actually used, and has served me brilliantly as both a primary and a secondary for years. Even now, it still serves as my primary for my lightweight loadout. It also happens to be completely indestructable (I've dropped it off the back of a moving ute and it still fires perfectly).

Im guessing your excited for the snap-fire, the better version of the Mavrick that is semi-automatic?

I am pretty much calling the snap-fire the future ultimate secondary (or pirmairy if you want to duel wield).
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« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2012, 04:17:54 pm »

a.) It's $25. A bit much for a secondary when you could just use socks...
b.) Ammo for it is also expensive.
c.) It's a bit big for a secondary...

Don't confuse secondaries and sidearms. A secondary can be any size, and is intended to provide other options for a player. As the praxis has the benefits of being both accurate with a fairly long range it's pretty good for a skirmish type role, especially as you can really depend upon it at close ranges as well. As a secondary you'll need much less ammo than your primary has as well, so the cost isn't too bad. I wouldn't call socks a primary, secondary or sidearm, they're a unique case, and there's no need to replace any of those roles with socks.
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SpookyLucaZ
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2012, 07:40:55 pm »

I don't see why magstrike isn't on top tier besides the fact that it needs extra mags. It is out of production(but still are on ebay all the time) and have the fastest firing rate of any blaster. Its compact, and requires no modification to be used like a B0SS. Vulcans require new motors, swarms require all those batteries. The magstrike also has an incredibly low jamming ratio, and can be reloaded on the spot if you are the proud owner of extra clips(which are just a tad rarer than stampede clips).
I love mine(obviously) as its the workhorse of my arsenal. When zombies hear it go off they just back off like nobodies business...
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