Saturday, 30 October 2010
Contact!: Kit & Stuff
This is a repost from my other blog done to start creating a body of posts that are all on one site.
So, when we go through the gate on a mission we all have to be wearing full-face safety masks. These function as respirators in game terms. Everybody wears some kind of military BDU. The command team generally use American camo, while the UN Marines tend to use British camo. NPC characters wear whatever they want, in whatever combination that they want, so as to represent their rag-tag catch-as-catch-can nature. Mostly, that is, but I'm jumping ahead to the Plot!
The rules mandate the minimum amount of equipment that players have to carry to meet the safety rules and what you'll need, which adds up to is that a player must go out with a mask, water canteen, whistle, appropriate clothing, footwear and in-game med–kit consisting of three crepe bandages, each one of 4.5 meter in length. The reasoning behind this is that field dressing should be laborious and offer a modicum of challenge to complete. Having to wrap a 4.5 meter crepe bandage around someone, while being fired upon, is certainly that.
In addition, the bandages act as a marker of your wound status and this makes you keep your head down. In the Contact! game hits are defined by location. Shots to the limbs count as one hit. Lower torso, all shots that hit below the waist, but not the legs count as two hits. Upper torso and head shots count as three hits. In most airsoft games a hit takes you out of the game acting as one-shot-one kill. There again is most airsoft games when you die it's a time out.
In Contact! when you die you are just mostly dead. I say mostly dead, because if your buddies can get to you and apply first aid, then medivac you back through the gate, then good old Dr. Stokes can patch you up using some dodgy recovered alien technology. This again is another good reason to always stay with your buddy and watch out for each other.
On one night mission, one of our more gung-ho players went forward into the dark never to return, even though I have it on good authority that his buddy was told to get help and go to retrieve him. Something to do with not wanting to wander around in the dark woods where there were a number of unaccounted for hostiles in wait.
So, given that most people also want to go out and fire guns, though we have a few players who go just for the role-playing aspect and have characters that don't carry guns, you need some more kit.
Webbing is the preferred choice for the Contact! game, as it doesn't interfere with feeling the hits. Though truth be told, when you have an adrenaline rush on it has to be said if you can't see it or hear a hit, then you are unlikely to feel one, unless it's somewhere tender. Tender spots include inner thighs and hands. If a player isn't taking their shots and falling over, while screaming, then tracking the rounds onto the face mask usually works. Again, it's a rule that when hit players should scream out when hit. It's an acknowledgment that you've taken a shot and it save you from excessive incoming fire. Not usually an issue in most airsoft games, where high-capacity magazines are used, but in Contact! we use real capacity magazines with a number of limited rounds. This restriction means that you have to carry a whole load of them around with you. This may not sound like much, they only weigh a few ounces each, but they also need to be carried in pouches and it all adds up.
I for instance take up to seven magazines (six in the webbing and one spare in my hand) for my main weapons and a couple for my back-up pistol.
Picture this as a typical UNSGC grunt on an offworld reconnaissance mission. He or she will be wearing BDUs and boots, with webbing and pouches to hold their main weapons magazines. Add a holster and pistol with a spare magazine or two. Canteen, in-game med–kit, mask, headgear, gloves, torches and whistle. Not to forget to mention essentials like the odd length of para-cord or two and walkie-talkie. Those of us who are paranoid about being killed often wear helmets and flak-jackets, there being some dispensations on the severity of the hits taken under the rules when wearing this stuff. Of course this all rather weighs you down a bit.
However, the result is that we do look like "real" soldiers out on a mission humping the equivalent of a combat load. This certainly adds to the whole verisimilitude of the game experience. It also gives one an understanding of what it is like to "grunt" your way through the countryside, while trying to kill enemy, before they kill you.
Oh yeah, next time guns...