Skip to main content

The Battle Zone and Relative Power

Written by DX
Last updated on 2007-05-29


  • Subject Type: Abstract Concept
  • Subject Level: 5 [Highly Advanced]
  • Recommended Progression Level Range: Progressive - Fluid
  • Recommended Caliber Range: Hardcore
  • Recommended Game Type Families: OHK, OHS, OSF

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that what you are about to read is one of the most scarily abstract concepts ever written in online water warfare. I really shouldn't have written this in the first place because now you'll think I've gone off my rocker. Oh well, here you go:

What is the Battle Zone and what is Relative Power? You're probably thinking of battlefields and firepower or numerical superiority or something. Well, neither the Battle Zone nor Relative Power physically exist. They are both abstract concepts which reside in your mind and require your active input in order to function. However, their effects not only leave the mind, but can be decisive in the outcome of water wars.

The Battle Zone

Picture a lightly forested park. You are in position with 4 other guys and the enemy, with the same numbers, is positioned about 100ft opposite you. Neither team is moving. Now, picture an invisible substance in the air, kind of like perfectly clear water. When players perform a battle move, their presence grows, shrinks, or ripples messages to anyone watching. Weird, eh? Welcome to the Battle Zone! This is the medium through which players send psychological signals across the battlefield to teammates and enemies, both voluntarily and involuntarily. You don't actually need to picture the stuff moving, but you should at least sense some kind of energy transfer when importance changes and when feelings change. Even the most sane person may admit that at this level of concentration, they have entered some special level of something in which their senses are heightened way beyond normal.

Relative Power

Not every player exerts the SAME amount of force in the Battle Zone. Certain players have a stronger presence naturally. A designated commander or whoever is commanding at the moment often influences the Battle Zone the most. Let's face it, not everyone on a team has equal importance. Command is extremely important, hence an acting commander sends a stronger force. When/if command is passed to others, their presence increases and decreases accordingly, in real time, and the change is sent through the Battle Zone to anyone who observes the change.

Players with veteran experience will also exert more of a presence. Novice players start off with a small and weak presence, but if they gain importance and experience, it will grow. One's influence may also grow if they meet success and it may shrink with repeated deaths and/or mistakes and/or if they don't do much. The Battle Zone measures the importance of each person at various moments in time. Your teammate on the left, who just made a pair of kills and is charging down the enemy line, is going to exert great influence in the Zone. Perhaps he/she cools off over the next hour and his/her weight in the Battle Zone shrinks accordingly. Physical skill is another factor which adds to or detracts from influence. A warrior with insane reflexes, lightning speed, marathon endurance, sharp vision, etc. is especially dangerous and makes this noticed involuntarily.

Players may also weigh more heavily when wielding better guns. Modded guns, homemades, etc. add influence and power to an individual. Battle Practicality does regulate this though and anyone with a gun that doesn't match their game type, Caliber, and Progression level will signal this to everyone. They may try to hide the impracticality, but a careful observer will notice distress/frustration leech from them. That brings me to my next point...

Feelings, both voluntary and not, ripple from player to player. Frustration, excitement, nervousness, doubt, anger, determinedness, tiredness, etc. all radiate out. You can see it in their body language, but when you picture it in the Battle Zone, it is especially vivid. If the whole enemy team is leaking tiredness, by all means, push and press them! If the enemy is sending nervousness, it should cause you to send confidence to the rest of your team and you should not waste any time in launching an attack. In that case, the enemies may ripple the initiative right out of themselves! You can do all of that and see all of that without this weird-ass Battle Zone thing, but it does send your observational skills through the roof. In order to "see feelings" you need to watch and interpret body language very carefully. You may need this ability later in life, such as when making a sales pitch, aiding a disaster victim, teaching a class, or just talking with friends. Like other Abstract Reality concepts, this one has uses beyond water wars.

The Battle Zone encourages great concentration. When you are at a loss for what to do next, don't panic, just hold the status quo and watch the enemy. They will "tell" you what to do next. If the enemy is determined, you should think about ambushes, trick defenses, anything with an unexpected twist to it. If the enemies' hearts are not in the battle, strike them with a spirited offensive maneuver. What better way to pick up an effective counter than from the enemy themselves? The higher presence caused by importance and influence also tells you who has got to be taken out and who you need to watch out for in key moments.

This Battle Zone stuff complements virtually all the other Abstract and Physical Reality concepts. It hints at when to change the tempo, how to shift momentum, when to shift momentum, it tells you who's got the initiative, when and how to boost/destroy morale, etc. It even tells you what tactical combos and counters are available at any given moment. Even if you don't get "into it" you can still reap benefits from the Zone. It is almost undeniable that there's more to reading the enemy than meets the eye. When you stare at an enemy and the enemy stares at you, there's some kind of special unconscious communication going on. The Battle Zone is an attempt to tap into this forbidden world and break the barrier between the real and the semi-real. It is really up to you, the reader, to decide how well it works. As stated before, you need not enter the Battle Zone in order to read the enemy. However, if you don't, you may miss valuable messages they are sending which they may not even want you to know. Upon entry into that higher level of concentration, you may well just find information which wins you the day.


< Discuss at the SSC forums - Print this page >

< http://www.sscentral.org/tactics/battle_zone.html >