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Mortal and Natural Influence

Written by DX
Last updated on 2007-05-29


  • Subject Type: Abstract Concept
  • Subject Level: 4 [Advanced]
  • Recommended Progression Level Range: Progressive - Fluid
  • Recommended Caliber Range: Normal - Hardcore
  • Recommended Game Type Families: OHK, OHS, OSF

Although influence is covered in the "Battle Zone and Relative Power" article, I do not think that does it justice. There is a LOT more to the idea of influence, even going beyond human players. Humans are not the only beings capable of exerting influence in a water war. Welcome to one of the most enlightening and fun articles in the Theory. This is where your battlefield itself may become an enemy, one to be fought and conquered like your human opponents!

Mortal Influence

This is the influence exerted by players on water war teams. Powerful guns, experience, hot streaks, luck, reverses, successful counters, changes in command, kills/points/soakings, and personal contribution all sway influence. Any given player at any given time will "tell" you their level of influence and power in their body language, though you need to use the Battle Zone in order to put all the pieces together when reading many enemies. Influence makes certain individuals dangerous when they have lots of it, and vice versa. The more influence someone has, the more likely they will score/kill/soak without taking the full effects of attempted retaliation.

Natural Influence

This is influence exerted by your battlefield. Anything in your battlefield is capable of gaining, holding, and losing influence, not to mention using it against you. The obvious examples are natural positions and barriers, such as bottlenecks, high ground, bodies of water, roads, houses, bush lines, fences, stone walls, open fields, reed groves, etc. When contested, such places grow in influence, as well as when they block a maneuver, are used to someone's advantage, etc. This influence is usually neutral to people. It can help you, hurt you, or not physically affect you.

Malicious Natural Influence

Some aspects of a battlefield may gain enough influence to be used against you. These can range from annoying to deadly, depending on the area. A battlefield will often wage war against its warriors, tricking, confusing, and annoying you.

  • In large battlefields, you never want to think about how far away or how high the position you need to get to is. Thinking about that makes that influence grow. You will suffer when those things have high influence. Ignore the distance and height and watch it take less time and effort to get to where you need to go! Likewise, do not spend time thinking about/talking about how a stream is deep or a how a road is busy! The stream will be deeper than you expect and cars will appear on that road. This is like Murphy's Laws, only here, the glass is half empty as soon as you think about it. It can be half full if you don't consider the glass at all!
  • NEVER think that there are a lot of mosquitoes and that they are annoying! NEVER EVER DO THAT! For example, there was a war where my Co-Commander Nibordude complained that the mosquitoes were annoying. I honestly didn't notice any and didn't give it much thought. I came home without a single bite. Mosquitoes absolutely love me, especially when I forget about repellent like at that battle, so go figure?
  • Never talk about bees, poison ivy, complain about thorn bushes, any of that. Ever been walking along and spot poison ivy? If you can get it [I personally am immune] you probably started to worry about it and then noticed just how much there was as you continued! Exact same deal for bees. The more you brood on bad things, the more they appear, or at least the more you notice them. There was a war where in order to set up a particular ambush, we needed to hide among thorn bushes. They were omni-present in our minds and threw us a curveball when one of them "ate" Logan. You could say he fell, but it takes real effort to fall into a big thornbush of that type, especially given the care we were taking not to.
  • Never think about rain, and when you see clouds, never think about lightning/thunder. This is particularly important when you are in a vulnerable area, such as a high hill or wide open field. Observe the clouds and move on. Keep them in mind, but never project on what they might do in the future, or it will happen.
  • If your battlefield is drenched in burning sunlight, never think about how hot it is, for suddenly you will feel much hotter. Don't think about thirst either, for that will magnify your thirst.
  • Another big no-no is worrying that someone you don't want to see you playing with water guns will see you playing with water guns.
  • Don't worry about the possibility of civilians giving away your position! Even in the middle of nowhere, a random jogger will come through and tip off the enemy that you've got an ambush set up.
  • Don't worry about the wind blowing your cover. OMG the wind! Just when you don't want it to, the wind can cut 30ft off your range or extend the enemies' to 80. The wind make leaves and bushes move and rustle, distracting you and making you paranoid in bottlenecks.
  • The battlefield still has more tricks it can play on you. You never know when a pair of deer will run from where your enemy just was, in such a way that you think it is the enemy and go after them instead! Chasing the false enemy in a thick grove [where you can hardly see 10ft in any direction] and leaving the real enemy in your rear is quite a dangerous position to be in... For those of you who battle in backyards, automatic sprinklers may go off just at the wrong moment or dog poo may "randomly" position itself right where you are about to step.

You may call all this "bad luck" but do remember that "luck" works differently in the Tactical Theory than in normal life. Genuine luck is rare, good or bad. Most likely an incident has been triggered by something else that you aren't aware of.

When the battlefield presses you, press it back

Natural Influence works because you give things attention. You can avoid a lot of problems by simply taking the attention back. For instance, the sun has come out and it is really getting hot. You notice, then harden your mind. You couldn't care less if it gets to 212 F. This act sometimes can generate "Warriors' High". When you reject the battlefield's challenge, you often get a burst of energy and adrenaline that is unique to water warfare. It can be especially strong when performing certain actions, such as fording a brook. Ok, you are now up to your knees and still not even half way across. The water is freezing cold and "could be cleaner". The enemy is retreating ahead of you and getting away on the other bank. Are you going to let them get away and suffer this sucky crossing for no reason? No way in hell! You get the Warriors' High, harden your mind, concentrate on the goal, and speed up significantly. Before you know it, you are across, engaging the enemy, and feeling great. This is also a principle of Iron Will, which is another article in itself. Ignore whatever is thrown at you and throw it back when possible!


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