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Author Topic: Sidearms - As Requested  (Read 3517 times)
JPRoth1980


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« on: June 18, 2012, 11:41:52 am »

Since there has been some prompting, I'll go ahead and put down my thoughts on sidearms as pertaining to HvZ.

If you have to use a sidearm, you're most likely dead already.  Really, that's about it.  Sure, they can be useful, and there might even be a time when you reach for one instead of your primary, but if that's the case, it's a secondary, isn't it?  Wink

Sure, there are times when it's very nice to have a small weapon that you can access easily, but that was pretty much described under the secondary discussion.  I'm genuinely perplexed as to why you'd want a primary, secondary, and sidearm outside of just tacticoolness, and if that's the case, you're doing it wrong.  But hey, whatever works for you.  I'll go ahead and give more detailed thoughts, but keep in mind, I consider most of these to be for the lulz rather than a proper blaster.

When your bacon is pretty much crispy and blackened, a sidearm can help you take a few Zeds down for a handful of minutes before you join the shambling, supposedly mindless horde.  If you are truly using one as a tertiary weapon, then the Powers that Probably Aren't help you should you find yourself in a situation where you need one.  I'm not saying that pistol-sized blasters are useless, but rather that they are very rarely preferable to a full-sized blaster (and often are more prone to mechanical failure as well).  Still, they can be valuable tools at your disposal, provided you use them sparingly and with great thought.

As always, we're going to be looking at a series of criteria, with weight being given to some moreso over others.  So let's go into them!

Size/Ease of Draw:  Hey, this is starting off a lot like my secondary criterion.  That may be because, to me, a sidearm is a secondary.  Go figure.  Tongue

Rate of Fire:  This cannot possibly be overstated.  Also mentioned alongside this is handed-ness, or something.  The number of hands it takes to operate the blaster.  A sidearm that requires two hands is inferior to one that can be fired with a simple pull of the trigger.

Ammunition Capacity:  Somewhat less of a concern, but still, the more darts the better.

Range:  Even less of a concern, but it's still there.

Okay, this is looking very similar, isn't it?  Interestingly, the tiers are going to look rather similar as well.  Note that I am including "basic" mods here, since there's really no point in discussing the majority of the stock sidearms.

Best Tier consists of one and only one blaster.  It's just that good:

Swarmpistol

What more can I say about this thing?  It's a beast, plain and simple.  Of course, if you're carrying it in addition to a primary and secondary, I'm going to assume you're carrying around (a) Fenrir and super-Rayven and be more than a little jealous of you.  Wink

Highly Recommended...  Well, you can probably tell by my earlier position that I really wouldn't recommend anything as a stated sidearm, but if you must, these are the ones I'm going to suggest:

Snapfire - Unreleased as of this writeup, but previewed glowingly
Nite Finder
Jolt
Retaliator Pistol - Unreleased as of this writeup, but previewed glowingly
Spectre

The Snapfire just seems amazing--multi-fire, semi-auto, what more could you want?  A swarmpistol.  With the Nite Finder and Jolt, I am going against my own grain a little, but they both boast incredible range and in the case of the Jolt, a very compact size, meaning you can carry multiple primed ones and use them as needed.  The Retaliator is somewhat more frustrating, as it definitely requires two hands to wield, but being CS means you have instant access to 18 rounds of foamy anti-Zombie goodness.  Plus, I am a complete sucker for Recons.  In the case of the Spectre, it's basically everything the Maverick should have been--reliable, fast-firing, and simple to mod.  It's just a shame that stock sucks so bad.

I'm not going to really bother suggesting mods here.  Take out Air Resistors, replace the springs, get the OMW kit if you can.

Recommended blasters are okay, I guess, but you're already taking something that (in my mind) is a subpar choice, and you're compounding it by taking a less-than-great one as well.  Still, you could do a lot worse than these:

Recon Pistol
Proton
Vigilon

The Recon is just a less-good Retaliator soon, so gets bumped down a peg.  In the case of the Vortex blasters, they can be useful, but ammunition is again unreliable and expensive.  I guess you could combine a Proton with a Shadow Fury and pretend to be some sort of Aspect Warrior, though.

Blasters which are Not Recommended include anything not on this list, but I'm going to stop and make special mention of one particular one:

Maverick.

There.  I said it.  Mavs suck.  We all know it, and there's nothing we can do about it.  They look really neat and I wish they were more reliable, but their inability to fire without jamming means you're better off sliding a sock over your forearm and screaming COBRA!  At least then you'll be able to freak the Zeds out a little bit.  Best mods:  buy something else.  Wink

So there you have it, my thoughts on sidearms.  Tear 'em up!

[Edit:  Added the Spectre.]
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 11:50:25 pm by JPRoth1980 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 01:54:43 pm »

Add the Spectre to the list.  It's practically jam-proof by design, accurate, and easy to holster because of its slim profile.  Either recommended or highly recommended in my book.

I wouldn't characterize Vortex ammo as unreliable.  At close range (less than 25 feet), Vortex not only shoots straighter than N-Strike, but it also hits much harder.  For a last-ditch weapon, these are good characteristics.  I find that the main downside to the Vigilon is its awkward weight distribution towards the front of the blaster.  In a rifle like the Praxis, this doesn't matter too much because the weight of the weapon is distributed between two hands.  With the Vigilon, the blaster is more difficult to keep aimed straight ahead.
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"Somebody call for an exterminator?"
Primary: Alpha Recon (AT+ Recon stock, sight);  Holdouts: Jolt, socks, foam stress toys;  Undergoing Evaluation: None
CountryCuz2011
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Formerly known as Spartan2011

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 02:12:19 pm »


When your bacon is pretty much crispy and blackened, a sidearm can help you take a few Zeds down for a handful of minutes before you join the shambling, supposedly mindless horde.  If you are truly using one as a tertiary weapon, then the Powers that Probably Aren't help you should you find yourself in a situation where you need one.  I'm not saying that pistol-sized blasters are useless, but rather that they are very rarely preferable to a full-sized blaster (and often are more prone to mechanical failure as well).  Still, they can be valuable tools at your disposal, provided you use them sparingly and with great thought.


This is what I basically use my maverick for, minus the dying and joining the horde. My philosophy of use for sidearms is that I only use it in the event that I can't reengage the horde with my alpha trooper quickly enough, whether that may be from a jam or a poorly executed reload. Because of this, I rather fond of my maverick because it's a small blaster that provides me with an enough shots in order to protect myself while I'm servicing my trooper in field. Unfortunately, a lot of people write off the Maverick as being a second-rate blaster that only newbies could possibly buy and use because of its poor track record. I don't know about yall's personal experiences with the Maverick, but all of mine have been pretty good; the only time my maverick has ever jamed was when I did something wrong as the user. I guess I got to be the one to uphold the intergrity of the Maverick in face of such opposition. Of course, there are better blasters out there such as the Spectre (which I'm surprised wasn't mentioned in this guide) and swarmpistols (which isn't really an actual blaster in the sense that you can just go to the store and buy one; a good blaster nonetheless though should only be recommended if the user has the modding capability to make such a configuration), but I don't feel that I really need to change my sidearm. As for the snapfire 8, I might consider it as a possible option in the future if the trigger pull isn't too bad.
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Spring 2014 Loadout:
Primary: Praxis w/RDS, Nerf Raider stock, Halo mounting system
Secondary: Socks
Day-to-Day: Roughcut w/pistol grip, raider stock
Ammo: 40-round drum, extended Vortex clips, extra discs
Equipment: Vortex LBE w/fanny pack, Mechanix gloves, shemagh, sock pouch, dump pouch, my
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 03:57:53 pm »

Add the Spectre to the list.  It's practically jam-proof by design, accurate, and easy to holster because of its slim profile.  Either recommended or highly recommended in my book.

Very valid point.  I always seem to forget at least one blaster.  Sorry!

I wouldn't characterize Vortex ammo as unreliable.  At close range (less than 25 feet), Vortex not only shoots straighter than N-Strike, but it also hits much harder.  For a last-ditch weapon, these are good characteristics.  I find that the main downside to the Vigilon is its awkward weight distribution towards the front of the blaster.  In a rifle like the Praxis, this doesn't matter too much because the weight of the weapon is distributed between two hands.  With the Vigilon, the blaster is more difficult to keep aimed straight ahead.

Actually, what I meant by unreliable is that, to shoot straight, you need to hold the blaster level so that the discs do not cut away to the left or right while firing.  Up close, I find that to be more of a problem than the instability inherent in Streamline rounds.  But that's me.
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Briguy52

Groovy!

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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 07:00:01 pm »

Since Mavericks were brought up, might as well give my 2 cents about 'em. My first one (Blue/yellow 1st gen ones) was pure awesome, but then the plastic nub that caught the metal priming bar eventually snapped off and I wasn't into modding yet at that point. I ended up buying 2 Yellow/black ones since then and both have been crap. However, my friend had gotten a Sonic series Maverick which exceeds all expectations. With Streamlines, it has some serious power; I would compare muzzle velocity to around that of my voltage modded Rayven (5 Ni-CD batteries).

To sum up, if you can somehow get a nicely functioning unit, you have a good shots you can fire off in addition to compatibility with nearly all types of Nerf darts (except some Taggers that stick out a tad bit too far) in a fairly comfortable blaster. But for the majority of Mavericks out there, the poor ranges and tendency to misfire when releasing the priming handle is a big letdown in terms of reliability.
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Rayven + Xploderz 200 = Main Loadout (mobile + all ranges covered)

Personal favorites: Maverick (don't hate), SM750, AT2k, TTG
SpookyLucaZ
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Graveyard Shift

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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 07:53:34 pm »

...you're better off sliding a sock over your forearm and screaming COBRA! 
This just made my day Cheesy
I think tech targets are better than NF's in a sense: Their stock sleeker design, same modability(if not more), and ability to hold darts and still be holstered is amazing. Without a spring replacement, the tech target takes the cake as well. Its only downfall is its exuberant prices on ebay(anywhere from the lucky 10$ to the Dbag 26$).
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irishknots


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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 08:25:38 pm »

In terms of side arms, I use mine quite often. Not as a O SH**T blaster, but rather as a smaller blaster when spaces require more maneuverability. This last year I was in the woods on a mission and the trees were in so close as to prevent the use of traditional sized blasters (stampede, AT + stock, Raider, etc.). I personally use a Spectre as it doesn't jam and it allowed me to shoot zeds reliably and rather quickly. Small spaces, tunnels, etc may not be able to allow a regular sized blaster and as such, side arms are great for that purpose. The prime on most sidearms are smaller and easier to use if you are physically constricted.

Again, great write up. It has a lot of information that will be useful to many newcomers. anyone can look through this and find a blaster that suits them.
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Primary: RapidStrike/Swarmy/RS mini
Secondary: 180 Blade Stryfe
Tertiary: Hammershot/Triad
Lots of ammo/socks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrW_0lfGSjg
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 11:52:42 pm »

This just made my day Cheesy

What can I say--we're all pretty much huge marks in our household, even if we think we're smarts.  I suddenly have visions of using Mr. Socko and the Cobra to stun Zeds.  Wink

In terms of side arms, I use mine quite often. Not as a O SH**T blaster, but rather as a smaller blaster when spaces require more maneuverability. This last year I was in the woods on a mission and the trees were in so close as to prevent the use of traditional sized blasters (stampede, AT + stock, Raider, etc.). I personally use a Spectre as it doesn't jam and it allowed me to shoot zeds reliably and rather quickly. Small spaces, tunnels, etc may not be able to allow a regular sized blaster and as such, side arms are great for that purpose. The prime on most sidearms are smaller and easier to use if you are physically constricted.

See, this is where we get into the murky area between Secondaries and Sidearms.  Where is the distinction made?  There's so much overlap between the two that it gets a little ridiculous sometimes.
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 10:24:21 am »

See, this is where we get into the murky area between Secondaries and Sidearms.  Where is the distinction made?  There's so much overlap between the two that it gets a little ridiculous sometimes.

This may clarify things:

I consider primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. to be terms that describe order of use in one's weapons loadout.  For example, I carry two blasters: an Alpha Trooper and a Jolt.  The Alpha is my primary, and the Jolt is my secondary.  In the unlikely event that my Alpha jams I can quickly pull a primed Jolt from my bandolier and fire it at an opponent.   

Sidearms are a weapon type in my book, defined as a pistol or other weapon that can be holstered.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_arm.  A sidearm could be a primary, a secondary, or anything else.  For example, if I decide to use only a Maverick, it would be my primary, but it is still a sidearm.
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"Somebody call for an exterminator?"
Primary: Alpha Recon (AT+ Recon stock, sight);  Holdouts: Jolt, socks, foam stress toys;  Undergoing Evaluation: None
Briguy52

Groovy!

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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 12:01:23 pm »

^^ Good point. And about Tech Targets, they have really nice and comfortable shells/grips in addition to being able to hold an internal coupler so you won't need to worry about dropping barrels and such. For some reason, after giving my TTG a great seal via Teflon Tape and an extra O-ring, its performance has actually dropped. Since I'm already using a Brass Barrel and adding in a Nite Finder spring, maybe I should tone down the seal a tad bit similar to what people do by making "speed holes" in their homemades (like SG Nerf's PAR55M blaster)..
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Rayven + Xploderz 200 = Main Loadout (mobile + all ranges covered)

Personal favorites: Maverick (don't hate), SM750, AT2k, TTG
d4rk354b3r


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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 03:37:43 pm »

I'm pretty sure the Barricade should be on this list. It's an excellent sidearm and, unmodded, was responsible for more than a quarter of my kills in the past few games. Highly recommended. For all intents and purposes, the Barricade performs better than what we've seen from the Snapfire and is only slightly bulkier and needs batteries.

The Speedswarm is an okayish sidearm. It's a bit too bulky to be ideal but still performs well.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 03:43:27 pm by d4rk354b3r » Logged

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Primary:  Modified Elite Rayven, dubbed "Vindicator"
Primary:   Modified Stampede, dubbed "Eviscerator"
Sidearm:   Ass-Saver (Elite Stockade)
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 03:43:04 pm »

I'm pretty sure the Barricade should be on this list. It's an excellent sidearm and was responsible for more than a quarter of my kills in the past few games. Highly recommended. For all intents and purposes, the Barricade in its current form performs better than what we've seen from the Snapfire and is only slightly bulkier and needs batteries.

This may be my bias, but I cannot whole-heartedly recommend a Barricade.  The rev up, combined with the awkward switch, means that it requires extensive electrical modification to be useful, which is a level of skill that I would assume goes above and beyond people who would be looking at this sort of guide.  Additionally, I have a deep, seething hatred for any blaster which drops darts as easily as the 'Cade.  Perhaps the Stockade will fix these issues, but until then, I cannot recommend it.

The Speedswarm is an okayish sidearm. It's a bit too bulky to be ideal but still perofrms well.

It's a combination of bulk and my general infamiliarity with Dart Tag blasters that kept this off the list (and the Quick 16 off the primary list, mind you).  While I'm sure there are serviceable blasters in that line, it's never been my focus with the exception of the possibilities inherent in the Swarmfire.
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d4rk354b3r


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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2012, 03:58:06 pm »

I've never seen a dropped dart from a Cade, other than streamlines on a e-taped Cade.

I was once hesitant about the Barricade's switch (and have done the trigger switch mod on my clip modded Cade), but I have found the Barricade's stock switch to not be awkward at all in the actual games. To the point where I prefer it over the standard trigger switch mod, though I guess a Rayven style acceleration trigger would be ideal.
Rev up time was not a big problem on the stock Barricade I was using either.
* d4rk354b3r shrugs

Maybe I just got lucky with the stock Barricade I happened to be using.
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'Grenadier Hornets' Team Member
Location:   West Valley College
Primary:  Modified Elite Rayven, dubbed "Vindicator"
Primary:   Modified Stampede, dubbed "Eviscerator"
Sidearm:   Ass-Saver (Elite Stockade)
frankenstein


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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 11:24:59 pm »

My favorite side arm is a hands free wrist mounted speedswarm. It is always ready and you almost forget you're wearing it.  I usually play with a swarmfire integration too.


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Sixth Kira

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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2012, 06:10:24 am »

Loved the 40K shout-out. I have a friend who's doing that Smiley

As always, I'm going to point out that Mavericks aren't universally terrible. There are some good ones out there, and those ones have a minor tendency to be freaking amazing; never jamming, brilliant range, and the Maverick's excellent form factor. But, plain and simple, for each of those, there are two dozen which will jam every second shot. So, as a newbie list, I think that this works well.
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"Sir, how many darts does this blaster fire per second?"

"all of them"
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