Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The drones are coming!

One of the things that I'd determined early on about the Ruin Raiders setting was the fact that there were various androids and drones inhabiting the various ruins. These electronic obstacles are a shadow of their former selves, mostly caught in minor subroutines of their original complex artificial personalities.

I'd originally envisaged building a "flying" drone that we could dangle from the end of a pole and target the player with Stryfe Nerf guns triggered from the pole. I still think it's a viable plan, and one I'll work on for future foes I think.

The problem was that it's another R&D project in a game full of R&D projects. Any risk that I could eliminate by using tried and true technology has to be considered.

So when I ran across a review for the Combat Creatures Attacknid I knew that I had to look into it a bit further. My main concern was that they would be too fragile, and looking at a lot of the other attack capable toy reviews, it seems to be a common problem. Not with the Attacknid, though. It seems to be very durable and there were no real specific complaints about them.

The looked good. And they were half price in the January sales.

I bought two. One is the new Stryder with the Snypa barrel fed dart gun and the other is the older Attacknid Drone armed with the Dissector disc blaster. Of the two it's clear that the Stryder is the newer model, it has a clearer system to show how damaged it is in battle mode and has added sound effects, it also has many more channels on the remote. But, I doubt that will be an issue for me. If you can, go for the Stryder or Doom Razor, they are a a little better.

Initial testing in the flat was good. They are damned creepy when they are moving about and if you are not controlling one you very quickly start to ascribe them a malevolent intelligence. They are a little tricky to control, but a little practice will go a long way.

Phase two was some a drunken three way battle between the Attacknids in Battle Mode and who-ever managed to get their hands one the Nerf Gun. You've got to be a pretty good shot to hit the very small target, but it proved do-able if you were careful. The Attacknids really creeped people out and the suggestion was made that we warn people about a potential arachnid style threat as it may be a bit much for arachnophobes. The batteries lasted a good while as well, which I was pretty pleased about.

They are prone to weapon jams if you don't know how to use them. But, they became less frequent as people got used to the controllers.

I think they will be a perfect fit for the Nerf based combat that I'll be using for Ruin Raiders. But, I wouldn't want to risk them getting battered with standard LARP weapons. I think one of the biggest issues might be the weapon and head just getting knocked clean off as there's only friction holding them in their sockets.

I'll let you know how they get on in testing and may reveal a few picks of another little plan involving the Attacknids when it's underway.