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Author:  Teej [ Sun May 12, 2013 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Geocaching

I posed the idea that we recruit via Geocaching down in Florida. We're not recruiting for any one org, we're sending them to the Florida Foam-Fighting website which presents the state's 5 organizations in a neutral manner (we all work together anyway ~75% of our events are cross-gamers).

It basically has stuff like this to explain the difference and encourages them to try it all out:


Anyway, we have business cards, t-shirts, and we're waiting on the website to be completed to release it all.

The business cards along with a finder's list will be going into caches around Florida.

I figured it was be a good demographic for us to raise awareness with... the "Geocaching type" being adventurous and I assume the outdoorsy types. And we're exposing them to the full picture instead of biased parks.

Author:  Thurat [ Sun May 12, 2013 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Geocaching

Nice chart, Teej. There's some folks working on something similar here in Illinois, and I think they'd be interested in doing a similar breakdown for our region. It's always cool to see stuff coming out of Florida; someday I may even get to fight some of you guys.

On a recruiting level, I've heard two sides to the inter-organization effort argument:

One side claims that by turning members on to other organizations, we weaken our own organization, and that we should be more focused on getting them to do (your organization here).

On the other hand, some say that by working in this way we can evaluate new comers, and try and hook them up with the organization we think would work best for them, and thus strengthen foam fighting as a whole.

Given that you guys have such a wide variety of organizations, and are so tightly packed, how have you found that argument has panned out?

Author:  Tails [ Sun May 12, 2013 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Geocaching

I do like that chart . . .

What's that roleplaying by rank mean?

Author:  Teej [ Mon May 13, 2013 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Geocaching

Tails, RP by rank is basically my way of rating which of the orgs has more roleplay LOCALLY. 1 being the highest, 5 being the lowest.

Thurat, I've actually seen both manifest in this cross-gamer state; however, the positive benefits outweigh the rest.

Belegarth has declined in the state, mostly due to external factors. The flip of the Southern Marches left us 12 hours to the nearest national event and other realms 12 hours from us. At the same time, the Lowlands Realm that was once the only major foam-combat in the state, kind of faded as Dag Chapters were popping up EVERYWHERE. I actually have a little study I did that showed that Florida (which had ~4 years of development at that time) doubled in number in 2009 after Rolemodels released (Nov 2008). These were ALL Dag Chapters. At the current moment there is 1 unofficial Belegarth field in the state; the majority of the Lowlands realm (the remainder of OG FL Belegarth) now practice at Dag fields. We started hosting Dag battles because we'd get more national fighters from Dag. We still do the occasional Bel as well.

Overall... foam-fighting has improved vastly. Our flagship event in the state Summer Slaughter went from 70 to 180 in a single year. Way of the Sword Campouts went from ~300 to 450 in a single year. Both of these growths come from cross-gaming and some out-of-state marketing efforts.

The FFA (our neutral cross-gaming organization) pretty much ushered in a new era down here. We've gone from 2-3 events a YEAR, plus maybe 2 "local" out of state events in GA. To months where there are ~3-5 events. I have to choose between events some weekends -- there is a minimum of 2 events a month down here. Dag and Tsuki host monthly day battles.

It brought Bel/Dag together; you can't really tell the difference in the fighters... but of my 51 events, I'd say at least 30 are Dag.

Amtgard pretty much keeps to themselves down here. We've been trying to play nice for a while now. Our games and cultures are just vastly different. The local Amtgard fighters are an older and more "cultured?" group. Because... when WotS formed, a lot of their younger fighters left. So it ended up being 2-3 major fighting companies down here and a LOT of A&S.

Florida was unique in that the largest and most successful organization in the state was a 3rd party org called Way of the Sword (WotS). It's basically to Amtgard what Belegarth is to WotS. They split off. Except over time, WotS shifted to being more like Bel/Dag except... no garb requirements, super lax safety standards in weapons and other equipment, and legal headshots with melee weapons.

When we arrived at WotS, it looked like this:

(Atlantis' first WotS event)

That was our first event cross-gaming into WotS. Despite their size, they were very isolationist. The old leader preaching that they were better than every other org and more successful (which the success was true by local means) but "better" is subjective. Anyway, treating like a cult, he literally pressured their membership into fighting only WotS.

When it came under new ownership, the new leader of the org (who is now an Atlantean) opened it up to cross-gamers and encouraged WotS fighters to cross-game as well. Bel/Dag's presence initially created a lot of issues in WotS.

Originally, fighting in WotS was compared to playing Dynasty Warriors... their isolationism really limited their development as fighters. I will admit my fighting is rather average by Bel/Dag terms. And at our first event with WotS... I was going 5 on 1 and winning without taking a scratch. It went to some people's heads, Bel/Dag fighters came in with a sense of superiority.

In addition, two groups of people coming together with years of different experiences between the two tends to create a mass "my way is better" mentality, needless to say... the stubbornness of both groups created a lot of tension.

A lot of WotS fighters saw cross-gaming as the end of their organization because people were finding out they were NOT the best, and they were NOT the only foam-combat in the state. Entire groups left WotS.

So, an even longer story short...

We all get along now, the most tension coming from people who still refuse to cross-game and people who refuse to leave the isolationists alone and let them live in their own little world.

Despite entire groups leaving WotS, their events haven't really shrunk because of cross-gaming.

Acculturation took place... as a result:

1. WotS has safer weapons, garb is starting to show up, and their skill is growing. WotS is also shifting to the separation of units and realms. The number of dedicated WotS groups has significantly dropped though.

2. Bel/Dag haven't really hurt for numbers ever since cross-gaming, we've even adopted some of WotS' event types.

3. Tsuki formed because people wanted to see what would happen IF WotS became Dag. As a result it's a pan-asian org. It features no shields, which isn't historically accurate, but it's a different game mechanic than a carbon copy of the same ruleset. It has 3 damage types: bladed, piercing, and blunt (which is dealt by omniblades and acts like piercing). "Red weapons" break polearms with sufficient force to the courtesy padding (polearms being the NEW shield). Weight has to be realistically supported for injured fighters. Healing is done by wound dressings. And well... it features a more developed thrown class (that does no damage to armor, but otherwise pierces).

TL;DR... I think we're much better off, but there have been SOME negative effects.

Sorry, I tend to rant.

Author:  Teej [ Mon May 13, 2013 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Geocaching

PS. There's a WotS campout at the end of this month. I'll post pictures to show how much it's progressed since that video.

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Tue May 14, 2013 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Geocaching

"Originally, fighting in WotS was compared to playing Dynasty Warriors... their isolationism really limited their development as fighters." true! This even happens to me at times with our local LARPs and I really suck!

I just wanted to say that I really admire everything that you have done for the sport in your region. If we ever get to meet, I'd love to get you a drink. I really like everything here, and I think this might be the best way to do it. Don't create false differences, explain everything truthfully, and get people to the organization that suits them all while encouraging cross-gaming to have large events. We do this in our area with California Foam Fighters and have also seen success and attendance increases that mimic your findings. Thank you again for the great work, for reaching out to organizations that need help, and for giving them unbiased information.

The sport does well because of people like you and this mentality is what will keep us growing in the future.

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