Here’s a hard truth it’s time to accept: all-out Nerf warfare is inevitable. It’s coming, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. But you can be prepared for it. On the surface, Nerf war appears to be foam darts flying harmlessly around the office (or backyard, living room, etc. – Nerf occurs in all sorts of theaters of war), but at its heart it is a battle of wits – the ultimate chess match.
Our founding partner, Peter, has previously shown you how to organize a Nerf assault, but I’d like to prepare you for a higher level of Nerf war. The strategy, the tactics, the battlefield diplomacy. In this episode of Noodles & Doodles, I’d like to show you how to become a full-spectrum Nerf warrior.
The barbarian. Will not hesitate to fire upon anyone, friend or foe, at will. That might seem like a little bit of a wild card, but you’re going to learn how to use that lack of loyalty and honor to your advantage a little bit later.
Three, remember this, all Nerf warfare is based on deception. It’s been said that Nerf war doesn’t begin on a battlefield, it begins in the hearts and minds of men. To that end, it pays to understand where existing loyalties lie within your office, and to understand that you may not want to breed distrust between those armies, but you may want to strengthen those bonds and use them to build political tension.
Four, bolster clique mentality. You can visit teams during peace time and say things like, “I can see this department really gets along well.” You know, “You guys really have each others’ backs. You’re not like other departments, there’s a lot of trust here.” You want to reinforce the idea that whatever bonds they might feel are somehow special, and they really rely on each other in the face of some threat.
Agitate. Over time, look for ways to create friction between these teams. You can do things like have a boisterous conversation with one team while another is trying to have a quiet meeting nearby. You can take the phone charger off someone’s desk while they’re away and put it in their enemy’s cubicle. Shift blame. Subtlety is key here. You’re everyone’s friend. The troubles are elsewhere.
Six, supply. It’s critical that you ensure that all armies are equipped to the teeth when war breaks out. This is an easy task when you’re equipping your own team, but equipping the enemy, that requires a bit more nuance. This is where the barbarian comes into play. Most people, if you give them freely ammunition or artillery, they’ll feel guilty shooting it right back into the face of the benefactor, not the barbarian. You can freely funnel supplies through him to fuel the other enemy armies, and he has no loyalties to be compromised.
Lastly, strike with chaos so the tension is palpable. All that’s needed is a catalyst. And your final task is to create an act of Nerf violence that is materially harmless, but demands retribution. One of my favorite methods is to fire point blank into the face if an enemy supporter, but to forget to load the blaster. As you fire dead air, act surprised, confused, “What happened? My gun jammed,” and run away, but not too fast. You want to be caught. As you’re cowering behind a nearby ficus or laser printer, foam is raining down upon you. Cry out for aid from your team, “Help. Help.” Play the victim. Your team will retaliate. War has begun.
So if you enjoyed this video, thanks for watching. We hope you subscribe to more Noodles and Doodles on YouTube. Until next time.
Introduction: Improving Your NERF War Efficiency
Tired of losing? Read this. I’ve done NERF wars for several years now, and little tricks I’ve picked up along the way have saved me lots of losses.
Step 1: Tip #1; Ammo Storage
Especially in the case of rapid-fire guns, you want to be able to reload quickly. This means that you should NOT be struggling to pull a clip out of the zippered pocket at the bottom of your cargo pants while the enemy rushes you. clips should be stored within reach- in a tactical vest, a shirt or sweatshirt pocket.
Step 2: Tip #2; Intimidation
While attacking, you will run out of ammo eventually. when this happens, the least effective thing to do is turn and high-tail it back to your fort; if you do, whoever you were attacking will chase you and mow you down with whatever they have in hand. Instead, pretend like you still have ammo left. press forward. If you are lucky, the enemy will retreat as you advance, allowing you to eventually run into the darts you just fired. If you aren’t so lucky, they will hold their ground. as long as they think you’re armed, however, they wont rush you. you can use this to your advantage to get to a spot where you can escape or collect ammo relatively unnoticed.
Step 3: Tip #2.5; Anti-intimidation
other people may well try to pull the intimidation move on you, as I am definitely not the first to come up with it. to remedy this, simply count their shots. after a while i’ve found that this becomes almost subconscious.
Step 4: Tip #3; Reloading
you would think that everyone would know this because its just common sense, but everyone always seems to forget in the heat of war; THE CLIP?BARREL DOES NOT NEED TO BE FULL TO FIRE. countless times ive beaten people because i rushed them while they were trying to shove the last few darts in their clip. if you see someone coming, slap the clip in the gun and shoot them! it doesn’t matter if you completely filled the clip or not!
Step 5: Tip #4; Go Light
it doesn’t matter how many guns and clips you can fit in your pockets/ strap to your body. if you cant leap over a barricade or run at top speed, then not even all the NERF guns in the world will keep you alive. one main gun, two spare clips, one sidearm, and 5 darts for your sidearm is always a good choice.
Step 6: Tip #5; Keep It Simple
there is a circle of intelligence. starting at stupidity, intelligence grows higher and higher, until the point where it circles back to stupidity. its a nerf war, not a nuclear war. intense battle tactics are useless, because nothing in a nerf war functions like a real one. simple “you go this way, I’ll go that way” is fine, just dont get too fancy.
Step 7: Tip #6; You Are Not a Ninja.
unless you happen to be Chuck Norris, Jesus, or Albert Wesker, then you CANNOT badass your way out of tough situations. you CANNOT dodge all 18 darts in a stampede. you CANNOT perform headshots on a moving target at a distance of 30 feet. you CANNOT dodge the titan missile or the big bad bow arrow at close range. you CANNOT kill people without them making noise (unless you happen to be Ezio) you CANNOT take down a group of people with a nitefinder. attempting the above acts of stupidity or similar ones will most likely result in your death.
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Be a Nerf Medic
Have a Nerf War
Be a Nerf Sniper
Make a Nerf Grenade
Spray Paint a Nerf Gun
Choose a Nerf Gun for Your Play Style
Make a Nerf Gun out of Household Items
Win a Nerf War Using Strategy
Make a Homemade Nerf Sniper Scope
Make a Great Nerf Squad
Become an Elite Nerf Soldier
Shoot a Nerf Gun Accurately
Buy Nerf Gun Darts
Store Nerf Guns
Choose a Position in a Nerf War
Make a Nerf Holster
Upgrade Nerf Guns
Play Nerf Assassin
Become a Nerf Officer
Manage a Nerf Team
Play Nerf Zombie Apocalypse
Play Nerf Humans vs. Zombies
Win a Nerf 1 on 5 War with Only Two Night Finders
Special thanks to Toys“R”Us, Hasbro and Duracell for sponsoring today’s post and for helping provide hours of family Nerf war fun!
One of my family’s favorite activities is a Nerf war. Whether we break up into teams or play every person for his or herself, these “wars” are always tons of fun. It’s an awesome activity for kids (and adults).
Nerf wars are a fun way to get outside and be active as a family. They’re also an easy, non-screen way to keep kids occupied when you are trying to clean the house or get some work done.
After hundreds of these Nerf wars, we’ve figured out a lot about how to set them up so that they’re fun for everyone. So, if you want to have an epic Nerf war, here’s what you need to do:
Create Your Arsenal
You can’t have a Nerf war without Nerf blasters! Make sure you have AT LEAST one per person. And don’t forget lots and lots of foam dart ammunition!
For the biggest selection, visit your local Toys “R” Us. They have a wide variety of all the Nerf toys you’ll need for an epic Nerf war.
We add to our Nerf arsenal every year so that we have a variety of blasters to choose from. This keeps the games interesting as players develop strategies and new skills.
NERF N-Strike Elite Terrascout Remote Control Drone Blaster
My youngest daughter, who has a fascination with robotics, loved navigating the all-terrain N-Strike Elite TerraScout RC drone around. It only took her a minute to figure out the controls, then she was driving it all over the yard!
The controller has an LCD screen that displays whatever the drone sees so you can attack your opponents without being in range of their blasters.
Since all my kids wanted a turn driving the drone, they came up with a new game. Each person would take turns driving the drone while the others shot at it with other Nerf blasters from their positions on the front porch. The drone controller had to try to avoid getting hit.
NERF N-Strike MEGA Mastodon Blaster
The MEGA Mastodon Blaster is HUGE. But since it fires darts up to 100 feet, it was also in high demand among our players.
It fires even faster than the drone blaster. My son pointed out that this makes it perfect for providing cover fire. The whistler darts that it shoots add to its ability to keep the enemy at bay.
Stock Up on Power
Most of our favorite Nerf blasters are those that can launch multiple foam darts rapidly or long distances. In order to do this, these blasters are usually powered by batteries.
Check all of the blasters BEFORE the game to make sure they’re loaded with good batteries. Plus, have a ready stash of replacement batteries to refuel blasters that fade during battle.
You can stock up on Duracell batteries at Toys “R” Us when you are there getting your blasters. They’re on sale 6/11 through 6/17 at Toys“R”Us. Buy 1 pack of Duracell batteries, get the 2nd 40% off.
Set Up Boundaries
To make clean up easier, set up boundaries so you aren’t wandering the entire neighborhood looking for all of your foam darts after the war is over. Creating boundaries also makes the game safer since you can make dangerous areas (e.g. the garage where the power tools are stored, the pool or pond where water safety is a concern, etc.) off limits.
Don’t Forget Props
Props aren’t necessary, but they definitely add to the fun! This is one area where you can go low-tech though.
We use cardboard boxes to create bunkers. Since Nerf darts are soft, we allow players to hide behind cars and outdoor furniture too.
We sometimes like to play a Nerf version of “Capture the Flag” too. In lieu of a flag, we use a random item (e.g. soccer ball, water bottle, shoebox) that the other team tries to find and steal in order to win.
During our first several Nerf wars, the kids spent more time arguing over “unfair” actions than they did playing. To avoid this, set clear rules from the beginning. Here are ours:
- No direct physical contact with other players
- No throwing
- No taking weapons away from other players while they are holding them (it IS okay to take unattended items)
- No intentional damaging of blasters or darts
- No shots aimed at the face
- Must stay within boundaries
- No weapons other than those approved before game begins
- No arguing – If someone says you are hit, accept it without complaint
- Everyone must help clean up darts after the game
Enter to Win Supplies for Your Own Epic Nerf War!
Are you excited to stage your own Nerf war? If you’re planning your first one, you might not have a huge arsenal yet.
Don’t worry! My friends at Toys“R”Us, Hasbro and Duracell want to help one lucky reader jump start a Nerf collection. Enter below for your chance to win a $250 Toys “R” Us Gift Card (more than enough to snag a NERF N-Strike Elite Terrascout Remote Control Drone Blaster) plus 2 different packs of Duracell batteries to power up your Nerf toys!
More Fun Activities for Kids
Want to learn more about fun summer activities for you and your kiddos? Join us on Wednesday, 6/14 at 2pm EST to discuss favorite summer games, toys, plans and how to have the best summer ever. Watch for and use the party hashtag #TRUPowerUpFun.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Duracell/Hasbro/Toys’R’Us. The opinions and text are all mine.
It feels pretty great when your team wins a game of Capture the Flag. Not only did you defeat the enemy team in a fun game based on speed and agility, you outwitted them too! That’s why this game has been so popular over the years. Brains and muscles combine for hours of fun competition.
If you do not know how to play this great game, here is an article we wrote on how to play Capture the Flag .
There are many variations of Capture the Flag. It has been around for years as an outdoor game. And in recent years it has been incorporated into online video games like Overwatch and Call of Duty . An exciting glow in the dark version of Capture the Flag is also available by us here at Starlux Games .
We are going to lay out five strategies for winning at Capture the Flag in the real world outdoors. But for you online gamers, here are a few tips:
- Don’t overdose on Red Bull.
- Take a nap after 19 straight hours.
- Open some blinds so your body won’t reject sunlight when you finally venture outdoors.
- Drink pickle juice for thumb cramps.
Now, here are our top five strategies for winning when you play our versions of CTF in our original nighttime game or in our newest game, Glow Battle. We’ll also toss in some tactics that you should not attempt.
5. You probably won’t win very many Capture the Flag contests with an undisciplined team. Do you think the New England Patriots would win so much if their offense let any player be the quarterback? Ridiculous right? Every team needs to have its players know their role . A team needs some guards to protect their own flag. And some attackers are needed to go after the flag in possession of the enemy.
With defined roles, your team won’t risk leaving your flag unprotected. Faster players will make for better attackers and slower ones will make for better guards. Each role is just as crucial as the other though. A team wins the game, not a single player. Tom Brady is the right QB for the Patriots, but his team wins as a unit, not as individuals.
4. It sounds like a simple thing, placing the enemy flag on the best spot on your side of the field . Most of the time teams will put it as far away as possible at the edge of their territory. But your team should give thought as to whether there is a better spot. Maybe it would be easier to guard the flag if it were closer to the middle of your territory. It’s possible that your team could take fewer chances and keep an eye on the enemy better by placing the flag closer to the middle ground.
It’s crucial to pay attention to how your rival team is attacking if you play multiple games. If you’re losing consistently then why not change up the location of your flag? Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Some would say playing video games for 19 hours straight defines insanity pretty accurately too!
3. Have you ever noticed football teams with great offenses tend to win a lot of games but often lose in the championship game? It’s true more often than not. There’s something about a fast-paced offense that does well consistently but loses when confronted with a patient defense. So your team can choose to attack aggressively to win a Capture the Flag contest. And you’ll likely win many games if you have speedy players able to dodge the enemy team.
But if you’re in a tournament you may wind up defeated in the end by a team that focuses on defense . In tournament situations, it would be wise to mix in a patient defensive strategy with an opportunistic offense to keep the other team off balance.
2. Use your best player as a decoy . If you have the fastest player on the field, you have a big advantage. But use him or her wisely. Just sending the speedster straight after the flag at the start of the game will get them knocked out of the contest early since the other team still has all of their players defending.
Instead of risking your best player in a direct attack, send them near the flag, then let them lure the defenders away from the flag. Your one player could occupy 3-4 enemy players as they try to catch your version of “The Flash.” This should make it easier for your remaining attackers to make a run for the flag.
*One tactic that won’t work – sending a herd of players bunched up in a barbaric attack on the flag. You might get a rush of adrenaline for a few seconds, but your team will get picked off easily as they are too close to each other.
1. “ All warfare is based on deception .” – The Art of War . Pretty solid advice from the ancient Chinese war manual. To Capture the Flag and win bragging rights, you will need to outwit the opponents. Use trickery, distractions, and maybe allusions if you happen to have a magician on your team.
Telling “yo mama” jokes probably won’t be effective unless you use it on a hot-head. Not a good idea as you could end up captured in a headlock! Your team is better off using these deceptions to win the game:
- Have a player act like he has the enemy flag, yelling like crazy for a few seconds as he races back from their territory. Think of it as a flea-flicker.
- Your team could pretend one of the opponents has your flag when they are in attack mode. Just a few seconds of confusion could give you an opening to their flag.
- Who says you have to go after the enemy standing up. You can crawl, roll, hop, skip, (generally act crazy while in motion). Whatever it takes to throw them off their game.
- Send a line of blockers with an attacker behind them. This is a common attack mode. But instead of having them go all in, set up another runner to circle around the other side with a little delay. The blockers will draw the defenders out a bit so your circler has a shot at capturing the flag from behind.
All you need to do now is use these top five Capture the Flag strategies the next time you get a chance to play. Winning these games takes planning and creativity. You won’t win every time by using the same old tactics again and again. Mix it up in order for your team to dominate.
We all want to win in any competition. But Capture the Flag is one of those games that makes you smarter, more aware, and improves your endurance even when you don’t win. Experience is a powerful teacher, and in this case – a fun one.
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Preview: Get the Nerf war accessories you need to turn your backyard battle into the ultimate Nerf War!
Want to know how to prepare for a Nerf war? Get the right gear! You must have the right safety equipment and the coolest Nerf gun accessories if you want to transform an ordinary battle into the ultimate Nerf gun war!
Nerf wars sure have come a long way since I was a kid. (Do me a favor and don’t ask how long ago that was 😉 ). With battery powered guns, target practice, and even tactical gear, Nerf wars have turned into serious business.
It’s Nerf or Nothing!
Did you see the size of that Mastodon?!
Nerf wars are one of those childhood rights-of-passage. We will always remember that one epic Nerf gun match and the friends who battled it out with us. Any backyard game can be taken to the next level by adding some Nerf guns.
Whether you have a new player in your house or a seasoned warrior, you want your kids to have the right Nerf accessories for both fun and safety. There is much more to Nerf gun wars then just choosing your weapon.
What do you need for a Nerf war?
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This tool will definitely up your Nerf game. Keep in touch with your team, plan tactics, and overtake your opponents. With 1000 foot range and Morse Code button, these Walkie Talkies will take your Nerf war to the next level!
Wondering how to dress for a Nerf war? Get the right safety gear.
The Rival Face Mask comes in both blue and red to help identify team members but as I mom, I bet you love that it offers eye protection. It also has an adjustable band and a breathable front.
Let your kids shoot something besides each other… This one stands up or can be hung for target practice.
Because what else would you need in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse? Be safe from zombie’s or take out your Nerf war enemy with a 5-dart rotating drum and real crossbow action.
This one is my favorite! Wouldn’t you have just loved to have this as a kid?! This is how you gear up for a Nerf war!
This vest could be the difference between winning and losing. Maximize your firepower with extra ammo and quick reload clip while looking like a true competitor in the skull bandana and safety googles that show you are ready for battle!
Now, when you are really ready to take over the neighborhood- you need this:
“Carries up to 4 Nerf Blasters; Holders for loads of Nerf darts; Sturdy steel frame; tool-free adjustable seat. Forward and reverse gears; Free-wheel function; Easy chain drive adjustment” . What else could you possibly need to win your Nerf war.
Whether you are planing a Nerf gun war birthday party or just bonding as family, now you have the coolest gear on the block.
I hope you have a blast (pun intended!) making Nerf war memories with your kids!
Introduction: How to Make a Strategy Game – Practical Tactical Warfare
I really enjoy playing strategy/war board games, such as Risk and Axis and Allies. I thought it would be cool to try to make one, so I did, and now I made a guide on how to make your own!
The guide is going to be showing the parts of how to make a game and how to get it to be fun to play. It will also show a simple game “framework” that you can build on, adding Navies and Airplanes as you make it your own.
Step 1: Parts of a Game
If you look at a strategy game, or really any game, you will notice some common patterns and things each game have. These are what are generally needed to make a compelling game, and then you can make it your own. I will list them all here, and then go more in detail on the following steps.
These components are:
Step 2: Objective
This one is pretty obvious. Each game needs something you are trying to achieve.
Some examples for strategy games are:
- Capture a Enemy Base
- Dominate the World
- Control a Area
- Complete some Missions
- Destroy this many Enemy Tokens
The objective should be something that relates to the game, and is not too hard or too easy to complete.
Step 3: Strategy
A strategy game needs some form of strategy, not just random chance and dice rolling. However, you probably will want some chance, and once one person gets a edge, it will be easier for them to get more of a edge.
In war strategy games, this is mainly where the players places and how the player moves their tokens. In almost all war board games there will be a component of the player getting more money or better tokens the more land they control. This makes it so that it will not just be a endless battlefront, with waves of tanks defeating the other and vice versa, and nothing really happens that makes you want to keep playing. When you add small amounts of chance, the person who wins still is based a lot on how they play, but two people with similar gameplay methods won’t get caught in a stalemate. However, this doesn’t fix it all. The lead will just be pushed back and forth. To stop this, you should make it so that when you get land you get stronger, and this will make so someone can actually win.
Step 4: Reward
Games need to be rewarding, otherwise there would be no reason to play.
Rewards can be many things, and they tie into the other aspects talked about here. Some examples are:
- Bragging rights
- Sense of Accomplishment
All of these base on one idea: you’re game is compelling. You should make it original and have a couple of gameplay mechanics to add fun to the game. A lot of fun comes when the game is intense and you really don’t want to lose. This also ties into aesthetics.
Step 5: Aesthetics
Aesthetics means the looks of the game. A good game should have detailed boards and tokens, and art should not be sloppy. A great way to make boards is Canva, a completely online drag an drop image based editor. I used it to make the Cover and Parts images in about five minutes. Following with the online theme, for making tokens to 3D print, you can use Tinkercad.
Step 6: Practical Tactical Warfare (PTW)
Practical Tactical Warfare (PTW), is a turn based competitive war strategy game, in which you try to destroy the other person’s base (See images of board and control tokens above). I have made it just as a simple, fun framework that you can build on. I have included all aspects talked about, and most games are based on something like this, then made much more complex. You can add anything, from planes and bombers to destroyers and hunter-killer submarines. Try adding a better board and more types of tokens! The following steps will show you how to make your own board and tokens.
Important: The instructions to the game are above in the Word document.
Step 7: PTW – Board
To make a board, you will need the following supplies:
- Large Grid Graph Paper
First, you should draw the bases with two different colors of markers. Then, draw in front of the bases as the Build Line, the place where you can’t place tokens beyond of when you buy them. After that, create obstacles by drawing bodies of water and some forests. Finally, add locations and the value of each location at it’s center.
Now cut out little squares of paper and draw little flags of each color as the flags to show control of the locations.
Now you are finished with you’re board!
Step 8: PTW – New Tokens
To add new tokens, just decide what it’s Cost, Range, Damage Modifier, Size, Movement, and Health are. Then draw or 3D print out a token. Don’t have a 3D printer? There are a lot of companies online where you can send files and they will print them and send it too you, like this and this.
Step 9: Done!
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, good luck on making your game!
To quote Star Wars “May the force be with you.”
– Image from XKCD
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It’s not just a myth: No two snowflakes are alike. Ken Libbrecht, a physics professor at Caltech, became obsessed with the physics of the snow crystals that constantly covered the ground during winters in his native North Dakota. He tells PM that snow is a lot more complicated than you might think–humidity, temperature, pressure and particulates all affect crystal formation. The crystals forming the fluffy powder that experts skiers crave are thin plates only a few microns thick. According to Libbrecht, they form leafy branches that don’t want to stick together, which is why snowballs made of powder disintegrate before you can throw them.
The ground temperature has the most to do with making a good snowball fight. You may know that wet snow packs better than dry snow, but the scientific reason is that melting snow can help to form “ice bridges” that join two crystals together, while snow at very cold temperatures remain separate. So the best temperature for a snowball war is just below freezing–you can’t make snowballs out of slush, and you can’t make them when it’s 20 below either.
However, you’re not totally beholden to nature’s whims–there are ways you can still engage in some friendly snowball-throwing competition even with less-than-perfect packing snow outside. First off, use your head: figure out places where the temperature might be a few degrees warmer, and you might find better packing snow than your competitors.
Then, use your hands: If your snowballs aren’t forming particularly well because it’s particularly frigid, you can use your own body heat to help the formation process. That’s not to say you should go bare-handed and exchange freezing fingers for better snowballs. Simply choosing gloves over mittens can make you a deadlier snowball-flinger. Not only do gloves allow you to grip your projectile much better, they also don’t keep your hands quite as warm as mittens do, and that little extra escaping heat can help snow crystals form those ice bridges they require to pack together, Libbrecht says.
Weapons of Mass Domination
Even with good packing snow, stockpiling a horde of snowballs takes time. But new toys can speed up the process. Flexible Flyer sells a snowball maker that can form nicely rounded snowballs with one fell scoop–it’s basically two long spoons, crossed like a pair of salad tongs. Of course, a nice ladle and a hand for packing will probably get the job done just as well.
If you need tools not only to make snowballs but also to throw them, there’s the Snofling. This long plastic implement has a round hole in the end in which you can scoop snow–you then throw it at your friends as though you were playing lacrosse. However, the snow fighter who needs a little bit more power can get the Snowball Blaster, a gun that packs and shoots snowballs. This blue plastic monstrosity features a press on the top that instantly forms three perfect spherical snowballs from the snow you pile on. Anyone hoping for automatic firing will be a little disappointed, though–you can only load one snowball at a time into the slingshot cannon, and in our tests it was a feat of strength to pull back and fire the Snowball Blaster, severely limiting how far it can shoot. If that doesn’t quench your thirst for power, you could always go the potato-gun route and just substitute snow.
If you’re old-fashioned, or if suffering through midwinter brings out your inner medieval warrior, there are other ways to enlist technology in your wintry warfare. For Halloween, PM covered pumpkin-launching catapults, so why not build one to launch snow assaults on your enemies? And then there’s the ultimate weapon–a homemade trebuchet. Just make sure you have enough space to fire your snow-flinger, and that you use snow and only snow–bombardment by ice balls or snow packed with gravel is no fun for anyone.
Build an Impenetrable Fort
Slightly wet snow is best for an old-fashioned front-yard snowball fight. But if you’re going to get serious this season and take winter warfare to the next level, the obvious choice is to build a fort and organize your forces. Anybody can pile the snow in his yard into a makeshift wall or barrier, but serious building with snow requires a little forethought, says Bert Yankielun, author of How to Build an Igloo and Other Snow Shelters.
Yankielun is a veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, and according to him, you can make a killer snow fort even without the tightly packed and homogenous snow that’s best for buildings. To help nature along, pile up all the snow that you want to use–the weight will help it pack closer together. Stamping on the show can congeal it even more, but doing that with regular boots can give the snow an uneven density, Yankielun says, sort of like stone with weak veins in it. To get the homogenous snow that’s best for building, he recommends trampling it with snowshoes, which spread out the force over a greater area.
Once you’ve compacted the snow on your own, let it sit. If you’re constructing a simple wall to shield you as you fire snowballs, building it the day before the snowball war can help sintering, the process in which the crystals bond together. For a bigger structure like the igloo, Yankielun builds a “sheet cake” about 10 x 10 ft and 18 in. deep. After letting it sit and solidify, he cuts the snow into bricks. He says he often uses a snow saw, which is widely available, but you don’t need a fancy saw for a one-time build–you can use a cheap old carpentry hand saw. Just make sure to grab one from a garage sale or flea market rather than using the nice one from your shop. According to Yankielun, “one pass through the snow and ice, and it’s no longer good for specialized carpentry.”