After my initial writeup for Conquest gameplay in airsoft there has been some concern over using knots tied in a rope to control the capturing of a point. The main concern being is that some players will be significantly faster at tying and untying knots than other players, and that some players may be able to tie knots so tight that it’s near impossible for other players to untie them. While in the original writeup it was expected that some players might be better at tying and untying knots (And it some ways that’s part of the fun.) it was never expected that players might might be able to tie simple overhand knots tight enough that it’s nigh impossible to untie them. Some testing of different types of rope to experiment to see which ones can’t be tied into incredibly tight knots may be in order. In any case to address that issue this article presents two alternate versions of the control points, a simple and complex one, that replace the knots with a stopwatch.
About the Stopwatch
Everyone should be familiar with what a stopwatch is. You press a button, it starts counting up time. It pauses if you hit the start/stop button, it resumes counting up time if you hit the start/stop button again, and if you hit the reset button the timer resets back to 0. There isn’t much too special to note here, but since the usage of these stopwatches will often account for the counter being stopped and then started again to plan for captures being interrupted. In these rules start or stop refers to pressing the start / stop button on the stop watch and pausing or resuming the timer. Reset refers to hitting the reset or lap reset button to reset the timer back to 0. Make sure you are familiar with the stopwatch you use before using it and make sure the stopwatch is able to easily pause and resume it’s timer and is able to easily reset it back to zero. The simpler the stopwatch, the better.
Simple Stopwatch Control Point
In this variant everything with the control point is driven by the stop watch. The stopwatch is suspended from a nail or peg from the control point board. When a player is capturing the control point they need to be touching the control point and may not fire their weapon, and medics capturing may not heal. The time it takes to capture the control point for each team is listed on the control point in minutes (This needs to be playtested as minutes might be too long of a time increment.) If the point is neutral then a player from one team only needs to spend the amount of time listed to raise their flag over the control point. If on the other hand the control point is owned by the enemy then they need to spend the amount of time listed for their team to turn the point neutral again and then do it again to capture the point for their team.
Using the example for Control Point #2 on the right, it would take the Red team 6 minutes to capture Control Point #2, 3 minutes to make Control Point #2 neutral, and then 3 more minutes to capture Control Point #2 for Red. If the capture time for the point had listed Blue: 3, Red: 2, then the Red player would have need to 4 minutes total to capture. 2 minutes to make the point neutral, 2 minutes to capture for Red. Conversely for a Blue player to capture such a point from Red they would need to wait 6 minutes, 3 to make it neutral, 3 to capture.
If at any point during the capture process a player is interrupted, such as they need to break body contact with the point, fire their weapon, heal another player, or are hit then they need to stop the timer on the stop watch and hang it back up on the control point. A player from the same team (Including the player that stopped the timer initially) may start the timer again to complete the capture. If a living player from the opposite team makes it to the control point however, then they must reset the timer to zero. Once capturing is complete a player must also reset the timer to zero.
Example of Capturing a Simple Stopwatch Control Point
Control Point #2 (As seen above) takes 3 minutes for the Red and Blue teams to capture. It starts play neutral. A Blue player reaches Control Point #2, touches the point and starts the timer. After 3 minutes go by they capture the point for Blue and raise the Blue flag, reset the timer, and place it back on it’s peg. Later on a Red player comes to Control Point #2. They touch the point and start the timer. After 3 minutes is reached on the timer they knock down the Blue flag, making the point neutral again. They do not stop the timer and continue to wait until the timer has reached 6 minutes, then they have captured this control point and raise the Red flag over Control Point #2, resetting the timer and placing it back on the peg.
Afterward a Blue player returns to Control Point #2 and begins to capture. They begin capturing the point and start the timer. After 1.5 minutes they see a Red player approaching the point. They stop the timer, place it back on the point, and fire upon the Red player, hitting and wounding him. The blue player returns to point and starts the timer again, resuming from the 1.5 minute mark. The timer passes 3 minutes so the Blue player knocks down the Red flag, making Control Point #2 neutral again. However once the timer reads 4.5 minutes the Blue player is hit and eliminated. The Blue player stops the timer and puts the stopwatch back on it’s peg. A Red player then comes to the now neutral point. The timer on the peg reads 4.5 minutes. However the Red player is on the opposite team so they must reset the timer to 0. The Red player may now start the timer again, and once the timer has reached 3 minutes they have captured Control Point #2 for Red again, they raise the Red flag, reset the timer, and place it back on the peg.
Complex Stopwatch Control Point
The simple stopwatch control point works well enough, however it loses a bit of the back and forth the original knots system has because enemy players reset the timer to 0 rather than having to “undo” the capturing of the enemy player. In the Complex Stopwatch Control Point the stopwatch is still used, but the progress of capture is marked by stakes on pegs or hooks. Metal tent stakes are being used for this writeup since they should be cheap to buy and they’re already in a convenient shape, but any convenient object could be used: Wire hangers, plastic rings, loops of string with some kind of weight on the end. As long as it can be hung on a peg, nail, or hook it will work well for this method.
The control point will have three pegs for capturing the control point on it. A Neutral Peg, a Blue Peg, and a Red Peg. Capturing a control point is a process of moving the stakes from one peg to another. Players are allowed to move stakes from one peg to another for every minute they are involved capturing (or re-securing) the control point. Just like the Simple Stopwatch Control Point, when a player is capturing the control point they need to be touching the control point and may not fire their weapon, and medics capturing may not heal. Unlike the Simple Stopwatch Control Point, the stopwatch is always reset when capturing is interrupted. When capturing a player must always move stakes from the enemy team’s peg to the neutral peg first, and once all enemy stakes are on the neutral peg they are then allowed to move stakes from the neutral peg to their team’s peg. A point is captured for a team when the required number of stakes has been moved to their team’s peg on the control point. A point becomes neutral once the team owning it loses all the stakes from it’s peg.
A player is allowed to move a stake to an allowed peg as long as the required time on the stopwatch has passed. If a player’s stopwatch has hit the the minute mark and they are hit they are still allowed to move one stake to the next peg, but afterward they must reset the timer and may not move any more stakes.
Example of Capturing a Complex Stopwatch Point
Control Point #2 (As seen above) starts the game neutral. There are 3 stakes on the neutral peg, and both teams need 3 stakes on their peg to capture the point. A Blue player reaches the point and begins capturing it. They start the timer and for each minute that goes by they move 1 stake from the Neutral Peg to the Blue Peg. Once they have m0ved all 3 stakes to the Blue Peg they have captured Control Point #2 for the Blue team and raise their flag over the point. The Blue player resets the timer after capturing the point.
A little while later a Red player comes to the point and begins capturing it. They start the timer and for each minute that passes they move one stake from the Blue Peg to the Neutral Peg. Once they have moved all 3 stakes off of the Blue Peg and onto the Neutral Peg the point becomes neutral again and the Red player knocks down the Blue flag. The Red player continues capturing the point. 2 more minutes pass, allowing the Red player to move 2 stakes from the Neutral Peg to the Red Peg. However at 5.5 minutes (30 seconds short of capturing the point for the Red team.) the Red player is hit and wounded. The Red player resets the timer and places it back on it’s peg. There is currently 1 stake on the Neutral Peg and 2 stakes on the Red Peg. Control Point #2 is still neutral.
A Blue player returns to the point and begins to capture it. The Blue player is not allowed to move the stake on the Neutral Peg to the Blue Peg because there are stakes on the Red Peg. After 2 minutes pass the Blue Player moves the 2 stakes from the Red Peg to the Neutral Peg. Now that there are no longer any stakes on the Red Peg the Blue player is allowed to move stakes from the Neutral Peg to the Blue Peg. 3 more minutes pass and the Blue Player moves all 3 stakes from the Neutral Peg to the Blue Peg, capturing the point again for the Blue team. The Blue player resets the timer and raises the Blue Flag over Control Point #2.
Another Red player returns and begins capturing the point. 2 minutes pass and they move 2 stakes from the Blue Peg to the Neutral Peg. The Red player is then hit and eliminated. The timer is reset and replaced on it’s peg. Control Point #2 still belongs to the Blue Team. A Blue player spawns at Control Point #2, using up one Blue ticket, and begins the process of securing the point, spending 2 minutes to move 2 stakes from from the Neutral Peg back onto the Blue Peg.