Monday 7 October 2013

BAGW - Britnerf Annual General War

As the British Nerfing community grows through the Britnerf forum, I am happy to say that organised wars are becoming bigger and more common. The following is a report from the 1st Britnerf Annual General War (BAGW) which was held in Greenwich Park, London on 14th September 2013.

BAGW '13 Attendees

Now nearly a month on, with all the aches and bruises healed, I have finally had the chance to write a report on the day. I hope you enjoy reading.

As some of you may know, this year we saw the 2nd anniversary of the Britnerf forum. I am proud to say in these two years, some of our members are blazing a trail through the NIC with a new, scientific approach to modding that has not widely been seen before. We have challenged some of the spurious ideas that the NIC has stubbornly clung to for all of these years and for that reason, I am proud of our members and proud of our forum.

BAGW would be the biggest NIC war organised here in the UK and to my knowledge, it was also the first. (I'm excluding Decembwar #1 from this. It was epic but sadly, it doesn't count.)

I arrived at Greenwich Park in London on what was a slightly damp Saturday Morning. I had been watching the weather forecast all week fearing that the great British weather would thwart our plans. The previous weekend was glorious, sunny and with temperatures in the high 20s. Then, it was like someone had thrown a switch and turned autumn on. Monday through Friday was dark, cold, wet and miserable. Fortunately for us, Saturday looked like it would improve. As it turned out, the drizzle died away at about 11 and the rest of the day was overcast but dry.

View of the Clipper 'Cutty Sark' from St Mary's Gate, Greenwich Park

People started arriving from around 09.45. Some of the attendees were already friends of mine but there would be some new faces at BAGW as well. It is surprising how easy it is to spot an Nerfer, even without blasters on show. Not only would Britnerf forum members be attending but we had also invited some local LARP groups. They were also eager for a casual war and I was keen to welcome them into the British NIC. It is fair to say that a LARPer is much easier to spot than a Nerfer. I think it was the cloaks and the tactical gear that gave it away. I knew I could count on the Green Cloaks community to show up in force.

By 11 O' clock, most of the rabble has assembled and it was time to move on to a better spot. The place I had in mind provided a lot of good cover and was fairly secluded. Ideal for a war.

We started off with some introductions and an explanation of the rules for those that had not already read them on the forum. After that, we jumped straight into a warm up game. From then on we were away. playing many different game types with a lot of subtle rule changes to keep things fresh. The game types we played were:

Meat Grinder - Players have one life with no re spawn. Last man standing wins. Team Death Match - Death Match. In teams.
Carpe Testiculus - (Due to my inability to find my big bag of Tennis balls, the game was played with plastic fruit and was therefore re dubbed 'Carpe Fructus') Possibly my favourite game. Each team has a bucket. Balls are scattered around the field and players have to collect as many as they can before time runs out. Hunger Games - Another favourite of mine. Players form a circle around a pile of blasters. when the call is made players grab a blaster and start shooting. One life. No re spawn. This game is carnage. Free for All - Last man standing wins. Capture the Flag - Capture the flag. (The wonderful flags were generously provided by the Blastersmiths UK team.

Other games were planned, but sadly we ran out of time to play them.

After a brief lunch break, we were joined by a few more players and Boff kindly took the reigns and organised a few rounds of BUZAN style HvZ. This was the first time I had played HvZ with Nerf. I played it many years ago but all we had were socks and foam 'Boffers'. This would be very interesting.

It's funny how much Boff looks like Justin Beiber

After several more hours of Nerf, it was soon time for some of the players to leave, but not before we had a few interlopers. A guy was walking past with his two boys and watched our antics earlier in the day. It turns out that they proceeded straight to the shops to buy as much Nerf as they could get their hands on before returning to the park. By the time they arrived we were just winding down but a few of the players kindly stuck around for a couple of rounds with our new friends.

After a few laughs and some BAGW cake, it was time for us all to go our separate ways. I can honestly say that I hadn't had that much fun in a long time. For those that are interested, the BAGW cake was lovingly made by yours truly. Unfortunately it was torn apart and devoured before it could be photographed. It was a foot long long jam sponge in the shape of a Nerf dart.


As it turned out, the HvZ games were the highlight of the day for many as the fast pace of the game was completely different to what most of us were used to. I would like to take the time to thank Boff and the team for showing us the ropes and sharing this game with us. I had a lot of fun as both a Human and a Zombie and I will definitely be looking into more HvZ societies in the future.

I would like to thank members of the Green Cloaks LARP group for attending. I hope you had fun and learnt a thing or two. I see many of you have now joined the forum as well. It's good to have you with us.

I would also like to thank Boff and the Blastersmiths UK team. The Tactical Top Hat represents the pinnacle of Nerf tactical equipment. It is a shame that it will not be stocked in their range. I would also like to thank them for the beautifully made flags they brought with them for CTF and for running a few rounds of HvZ. All greatly appreciated.

Behold the One of a Kind BSUK Tactical Top Hat

Of course I would like to thank the members for the Britnerf community for your support at BAGW. Even if you couldn't make it, you were there in spirit and I hope you will be able to attend the next war. As we organise more wars, we will get to know each other better and then the community will become stronger and grow further.

Last but not least, I would like to say an extra special thanks to Blame_Stosh's dad. He came as a chaperone and spent the whole day doing dart sweeps for us. I shudder to think how many darts he picked up during the day but he did us a huge favour. Thank you 'Mr Stosh' for all of your help.

I hope that BAGW will be the first of many NIC type wars held in the UK. We may be loosing the weather for outdoor wars this year but planning for Decembwar 2 is underway and it is looking to be an indoor war. I hope that 2014 will be a better year for UK Nerfing. Planning for the next BAGW is already underway.

I learnt a lot from hosting this war. Most of all I learnt that no matter how much planning you do, you will always forget something. It was a good experience for me and I will definitely be hosting some more wars in the future. Most of all, I learnt a lot about the recent blasters I had modded. I learnt that my Elite Alpha Trooper needed a stronger catch spring and a new pump grip. I learnt that my stock Element EX-6 can still hold it's own. I learnt that my Sharked Rapidstrike is one of the most exciting things I have ever owned, even though it needs a tweak to stop the acceleration trigger jamming.

Most of all I learnt that there are people here in the UK who don't mind running around with blasters in public. I learnt that nerfing as a hobby is not only enjoyed by those that are already involved, but it can also reach out to bystanders and encourage them to join in.

I think the hobby will take off in the UK, just as much as it has elsewhere. There are some exciting times ahead for UK Nerfers and 2014 is going to be a great year.

I will leave you with a MEME created by Blame_Stosh. It's a bit of an 'in' joke but it had me in stitches for ages when I saw it. If you want me to explain, I would be happy to do so.


  1. Is there an age limit for the next war?

    1. Check out the Britnerf forum for more wars. The age limit varies depending on who has organised it. Either way, under 16s are encouraged to bring a chaperone with them.