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Old 10-17-2016, 10:26 PM #1
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Dead Legends Postmortem, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Before anything else is said, I want to make it very clear that I really enjoyed Dead Legends overall. If this event is renewed for next year, I absolutely will go again and try to get some other friends to go out with me. That said, this is a recap of my experience this year with what went well, what didn't, and what could be improved.

Let me start out by saying that this is the first Living Legends scenario game I've been to. I've been to a few local big games, but no other scenarios, so some observations may be due to lack of experience.

The Buildup

When this event was announced, I was super pumped. I'd heard how great the Living Legends events were, but could never quite commit to the travel across the country. Now that there was one within driving distance, I was ready to go.

I think the event was promoted reasonably well and using APPA to handle signups made things pretty easy. However, there wasn't much information given out regarding specifics. Vendors and camping was promised, but not much elaborated on as time went on. This was pretty important to me as my friend and I were planning on camping out there that weekend.

The Weather
It just so happened that the weekend of the event fell on the one weekend where two major storms swept into the northern California area. Months of clear weekends before and clear skies afterwards, we just got extremely unlucky with the weather for the event. This was something out of the control of the organizers of course, so I tried to take this into account when discussing the experience.

Friday Night
My friend and I drove out to the field after work. It had been raining pretty steadily all day. We didn't arrive until around 8PM and it was dark and raining. The address provided for the field was for an intersection to the highway. We didn't know we had to turn into the road and drive about 3/4ths of a mile to get to the actual field entrance. There were no signs or anyone directing traffic so we did a bunch of backtracking to figure it out. The road to the field was pretty muddy and had a lot of standing water. Good thing my friend had a Subaru, the four wheel drive kept us from bottoming out in a big mud puddle. We entered the overflow lot and were told by some other people camping out that the main lot was up the hill. The path up the hill was all mud and steep. We tried getting up it a few times before giving up and pitching a tent below in the overflow lot. The bathrooms that were mentioned turned out to be port a potties, so my assumption that there would be some sort of sink or place to wash up was proven wrong. Pitched a tent and tried to stay dry.

Saturday
We woke up around 7. The rain had stopped and we made some breakfast. Hiked up the hill and checked in. The player cards didn't come with lanyards or anything, so I had a heck of a time trying to find a pocket to put mine in (I wear old pants that don't have zippered pockets). Had a player meeting and we started playing at 10. Overall, the play on Saturday was lots of fun. The rain held off, we had enough people who braved the elements to make it exciting, and I felt like I was in a WW2 or Vietnam War film on patrol. Great firefights and the varied terrain was a lot of fun to play in.

However, the two spawn points were pretty far away from each other. If you were in the middle of the field and were eliminated, it was a pretty far walk to respawn. With only the boundary bordering the staging area taped off, I almost walked in the wrong direction the first time I was eliminated before a kind soul on my team pointed me in the right direction. Also, the staging area was on top of the hill with the game below it, so it was a bit of a hike to get to your paint and air. It was a bit muddy, but not too terrible.

With regards to the gameplay, I had no idea when we had new missions. It was pretty difficult to know what the objective was unless you happened to be at base when the missions were posted there. Perhaps with more people, things would have been communicated better, but the great majority of the time, we just tried to keep control of our flags and push the other team back.

The concept of horses was a great idea, but they caused a lot of confusion and tempers flared. The initial rules did state that both teams would have horses, but what their exact regulations was never made clear. It seemed like both sides played with different rules according to the refs and this became a heated point of contention. Initially, both sides had 5 horse they could use over the entire course of the day. Each horse would last 30 minutes and once you were out of horses, you could not have any more the rest of the day. The red side (my side) was told that the person on the horse was invincible but could not shoot or otherwise eliminate other players. So we used them as scouts and spotting. The other team was apparently told they could use horses but only shoot with one hand. As long as one hand remained on the horse however, they were invincible. This was explained to us as a "helicopter" concept. What happened in reality is that the other team got a couple of horses, ran around shooting everyone, and then spawn camped our base for awhile. They then amended it down to only being able to barrel tag people to surrender them, but the end result was pretty much the same. Fortunately, they did away with horses after the morning session.

In my opinion, I think it was a decent idea, but needed some balance tweaks. Shortening the amount of time or reducing the number of horses available would help. Making the horse not invincible or only partially invincible would also help. Perhaps bringing grenades or rockets into play as a way to eliminate them would be a good way to go (there weren't many bunkers on the field so the rockets were not very useful anyways). I like the idea, but definitely clarifying the rules would have helped. When they were on the field, it turned into a big game of hide and go seek which wasn't much fun.

By the time the afternoon session was over, the weather forecast indicated rain, so my friend and I didn't hang around for the player party. We briefly checked out the vendors. I had hoped there was going to be a PE, Virtue, or MacDev booth, but none were there.

We were planning on getting a hotel room as the rain and winds made us fear for the integrity of our tent. A kind friend of mine (shout out to Loner Norcal ) let us crash in his hotel room. Hot showers, a decent meal, and some beers do wonders for your spirits. Considering that most hotels were at least 30 minutes from the field, camping would have been our number one option, but the weather and lack of amenities made us decide against it. Some trash cans in the overflow lot would have helped considerably on Friday night as well as during the day on Saturday.

Sunday
It rained steadily all night and by the time we got to the field around 9 on Sunday, the parking lot and trail up the hill were much muddier and more slippy than Saturday. It was also raining steadily and the forecast indicated more rain. My friend and I decided to get the last of our paint and head out early. Hats off to everyone who stayed and played the morning session and the final battle.

In conclusion, I think it was a good effort for the first year. Certainly there are some organizational and informational things that could have done better. But at the end of the day, if you get a couple hundred paintballers together and let them fight it out, it's really hard to not have a good time. Hopefully the event will be back next year with some of the kinks worked out. With better weather, hopefully the turnout will be better. I know I'll be back rain or shine.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:54 AM #2
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I'll add just a couple of things but first I agree, the event was a success in spite of the weather. Game play was great. The field is one of the best woodsball fields I've played.

Hopefully the next time the air station performs better. It was fine on Saturday morning but by 11:30 the fills were 2500 psi or less and it did not improve after that. It's hard to complete missions if the players keep running out of air.

I have a different take on the "Horses". It slowed down play and totally disrupted epic battles due to referee and player confusion. I heard at least 5 different explanations and I went back to the original rules Honu had posted and found no info at all.

The Referees were GREAT! Friendly and helpful the entire event, infact all the staff was Great. Paint quality was good and was resonably priced if you bought in advance.

I was a little disappointed with the turnout for Sunday but it was understandable due to weather. I don't think I had a dry piece of equipment and that includes stuff I didn't even use.

Overall a great experience and as Safari stated with some improvements it can become an epic-can't-miss-event.
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:42 PM #3
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Great feedback from both of you. Very glad overall you had a good time and the weather was tough to deal with for sure. The air was something we chased all weekend as we hired in outside air vendor who flaked out on Thursday night. We had a small air system that broke down around lunch on Sat, brought in a rental air system that broke by end of Saturday. My staff made a Frankenstein compressor out of them both to make one good one Sunday morning. We will be correcting the air for next game and will have multi-back ups.
The horse thing looked good on paper but did not play out as hoped on the field. We took it out of the game and will work on a better, easier to understand rules for them before we reintroduce them.
Water destroyed all our signage on the road leading to the field and direction signs at the field. We tried to keep a staff member down at bottom of hill to help be at times had to pull them to deal with other weather related problems.
Again no excuses just little behind the scenes for you. We will listen and learn from your feedback and do everything we can to fine tune the game to provide an even better weekend for you
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:46 AM #4
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Appreciate the response honu.

I think the idea of horses is not a bad one. Just some clarity with regards to what the person on the horse can do. Being invincible is pretty powerful in and of itself. Allowing interaction with other players or even objectives might be too much.

The other thing I could think of had to do with the armbands and the score. I don't know if there was an easier way to distinguish between the two sides, but some people wearing red jerseys with blue armbands and vice versa were a bit confusing. Not really sure what could be done there. But again, if you let people on horses, I would hope I'd be able to identify if they're friendly or not reasonably quickly.

Besides that, I don't know if we're supposed to know what the score is after each session. I had a lot of fun Saturday but honestly had no idea what the score was at the end of the day. Maybe this is supposed to not bias the playstyle (I don't know) so I don't know if it's standard to not know who's ahead at the end of the day.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:46 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safariguy5 View Post
Appreciate the response honu.

I think the idea of horses is not a bad one. Just some clarity with regards to what the person on the horse can do. Being invincible is pretty powerful in and of itself. Allowing interaction with other players or even objectives might be too much.

The other thing I could think of had to do with the armbands and the score. I don't know if there was an easier way to distinguish between the two sides, but some people wearing red jerseys with blue armbands and vice versa were a bit confusing. Not really sure what could be done there. But again, if you let people on horses, I would hope I'd be able to identify if they're friendly or not reasonably quickly.

Besides that, I don't know if we're supposed to know what the score is after each session. I had a lot of fun Saturday but honestly had no idea what the score was at the end of the day. Maybe this is supposed to not bias the playstyle (I don't know) so I don't know if it's standard to not know who's ahead at the end of the day.
We will really look into new rules for the horses. I'm not happy with how they played out but i want them in the game. I won't put them back until I feel they will work correctly. Armband tape and same color jerseys have always been a weird thing. The scores are available to commanders at the end of each section if they come and ask. I would tell players who is ahead but not by how much because as you say it may effect game play. Commanders know what everything is scored as as far as missions and what flag are worth. That is up to them to track it. My score books are open to review at the end of the game because as a player myself i hate " Magic math" at games. Glad you had fun and can not thank you enough along with other players who are helping us make a better game.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:08 PM #6
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I had a great time too!

Suggestions:

- wide arm bands on both arms so no matter a person's orientation you can tell what team they are on
- standout arm band colors like bright yellow and lime, bright orange ...
- clarity on the "horse" rules and other special "features" along with the intention - coverage during the player meeting
- in general at the player meeting, go over any scenario info that is not standard play info. i.e. no need to cover how you declare yourself out, cover horses, point system, reincarnation, etc
- refs at the player meeting would help make sure they know what is going on also
- air of course - that was my only major issue
- entrance to field at mid-point, i.e. not in red territory if possible (the road exit from the field would have been closer to mid-field than the one used)
- May, parts of June and September are months with reasonable temperatures and much less rain
- for the price lanyards would be nice

Bring it all back again!
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:53 PM #7
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What were the rules for the horses? We heard 3-4 different rules for them.
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:22 PM #8
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What were the rules for the horses? We heard 3-4 different rules for them.
they were posted but not everyone took the time to read them. happens at every game. makes it hard to add things.

Horses: Each side will have 5 “horses” which will be provided by event staff. Players can ride their horse for 30 mins before it will become exhausted and you must get off. You may dismount your horse by dropping your horse to the ground. You are a regular player when you dismount so all standard rules apply. If you have not used the full 30 mins you MAY remount your horse and continue under rider rules. When you get off your horse you become a regular player again. Before you begin your mission using a horse you must Sign off start time with base ref. While on a horse a player cannot be eliminated. There is no way to shoot a rider while on a horse so do not try. Anyone caught shooting at a rider on a horse can and will be judge punched at the discretion of the ref staff. You may not enter any buildings on a horse. If you return your horse to the stable at your hideout you can use again immediately. If your horse becomes exhausted out on the range a ref will take it back to producer and you will need to buy a new horse. Horses will be necessary for certain missions so use them wisely.
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:47 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honu View Post
they were posted but not everyone took the time to read them. happens at every game. makes it hard to add things.

Horses: Each side will have 5 “horses” which will be provided by event staff. Players can ride their horse for 30 mins before it will become exhausted and you must get off. You may dismount your horse by dropping your horse to the ground. You are a regular player when you dismount so all standard rules apply. If you have not used the full 30 mins you MAY remount your horse and continue under rider rules. When you get off your horse you become a regular player again. Before you begin your mission using a horse you must Sign off start time with base ref. While on a horse a player cannot be eliminated. There is no way to shoot a rider while on a horse so do not try. Anyone caught shooting at a rider on a horse can and will be judge punched at the discretion of the ref staff. You may not enter any buildings on a horse. If you return your horse to the stable at your hideout you can use again immediately. If your horse becomes exhausted out on the range a ref will take it back to producer and you will need to buy a new horse. Horses will be necessary for certain missions so use them wisely.
This sounds very similar to helicopter rules.

I was not at the game, but since you don't seem able to carry a payload, or other team members, what was the intended point of the horses?
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:09 PM #10
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This sounds very similar to helicopter rules.

I was not at the game, but since you don't seem able to carry a payload, or other team members, what was the intended point of the horses?
They were based on attack chopper rules we use in the midwest. They were to move the peoples around to certain areas without having to fight your way in and since they were invincible you could make players give up their spots to keep from getting shot. The few people who complained were very truthful about saying they didn't really read the rules. Big part of the confusion. We pulled them from the game since we didn't want the horse play to be a negative on the event.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:50 PM #11
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I had a great time too!

Suggestions:

- wide arm bands on both arms so no matter a person's orientation you can tell what team they are on
- standout arm band colors like bright yellow and lime, bright orange ...
- May, parts of June and September are months with reasonable temperatures and much less rain
:
I agree on the arm bands part. My local is field uses bands on one arm. One very faded red and a very faded blue. Not only this they allow them to be moved up to the shoulder and lower. Well guess when players are shooting it is hard to see because the marker is covering it. When they are the grass and wooded areas hard to see. I once got shot by a guy that was acting like he was on my team.
Living Legends, they made you wear night and bright blue or red tape on both arms. The 2nd day people took them off and they did not have enough tape. So other player had to donate one arm tape to them.

That brings me to the other part. They already have Living Legends at the end of may. It takes time to organize the events. You probable wont see Dead Legends moved much more ahead. Then they also have Dreaded Legends to plan for late Jan.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:32 AM #12
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Glad that you're receptive to the feedback Honu . I've got to say that this was a fun event and it was a shame that the weather wasn't as forgiving. I had a blast and i'll be definitely looking out for both CPX Sports Norcal events in 2017.

Not sure if it's possible, but it would be nice to have a clear tapeline that indicates where the play area ends. Due the ambiguity on where the borderline was, many of us found the maps to be near useless for those of us that haven't been to the field before. If possible, it would help to put landmarks and trails on the map to help orient. In this, I actually heard someone say, "Turn the map around, it's backwards." Not sure if this was true, but for those of us that were actually trying to accomplish the objectives, too much time was spent looking rather than playing.

Overall, definitely going to back next year. Hopefully with more friends and a better sense of the field.
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:50 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honu View Post
they were posted but not everyone took the time to read them. happens at every game. makes it hard to add things.

Horses: Each side will have 5 “horses” which will be provided by event staff. Players can ride their horse for 30 mins before it will become exhausted and you must get off. You may dismount your horse by dropping your horse to the ground. You are a regular player when you dismount so all standard rules apply. If you have not used the full 30 mins you MAY remount your horse and continue under rider rules. When you get off your horse you become a regular player again. Before you begin your mission using a horse you must Sign off start time with base ref. While on a horse a player cannot be eliminated. There is no way to shoot a rider while on a horse so do not try. Anyone caught shooting at a rider on a horse can and will be judge punched at the discretion of the ref staff. You may not enter any buildings on a horse. If you return your horse to the stable at your hideout you can use again immediately. If your horse becomes exhausted out on the range a ref will take it back to producer and you will need to buy a new horse. Horses will be necessary for certain missions so use them wisely.
The confusion at least from what I heard was what the rules were for the person on the horse. First, we heard that people on horses could not eliminate anyone. Then we heard that they could eliminate people with one hand on the horse and one using a marker. Then we heard that they couldn't shoot anyone, but could use a squeegee or something and barrel tag someone out. Which meant that basically a couple guys on horses could run around eliminating everyone then camping at the opposing spawn point while their teammates took the objectives.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:47 AM #14
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That brings me to the other part. They already have Living Legends at the end of may. It takes time to organize the events. You probable wont see Dead Legends moved much more ahead. Then they also have Dreaded Legends to plan for late Jan.
I totally agree that the date doesn't need to be moved, it was just unfortunate about the weather. Moving the date ahead could mean playing in 100+ degree weather and then have a new set of problems like heat exhaustion and de-hydration.

I can only see Dead Legends get better and better.
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:40 PM #15
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All the feedback is great. Im very happy to hear that you all had fun. We will for sure be looking to tweak the rules and the map to help them both add to the game and not take away from it. Thanks again all of you.
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