AAR OP: Bad Blood EAST 2016 NY June 25-26

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AAR OP: Bad Blood EAST 2016 NY June 25-26

Post by Brimstone »

Operation Bad Blood 2016
After Action Review
Comments and Suggestions

I have been attending Operation Bad Blood since 2014. Of the past three years, the game in 2014 was my favorite thus far (that could be a biased statement as that was my first), with this year (2016) a very close second. The game in 2015, well let’s just leave that one to history.

I make the following suggestions based upon my experiences and the background information included in the player packet. My points are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my team.

The scenario is set around an Ebola outbreak in the country of Congo. The CDC (this would actually be the World Health Organization, WHO; CDC is a U.S. agency) has set bounties (offered rewards) for blood samples from each of the affected regions in the Congo (list the regions, or even the specific villages, as it is unclear that you are talking about the three areas on the map). Armed factions are encroaching on these regions in an attempt to gather the samples and collect the bounty (reward). Tribal elements in each region are attempting to keep these factions at bay while factions fight among each other for access to the samples.

Positive Points

• Positive: Leadership roles and communications are getting better each event. Still hard to herd cats but they are improving.

• Positive: There were several changes this year from previous years. The reduction in factions was a definite plus.
o Suggestion: Perhaps take the opportunity to plus up the tribal force. We found them to be lacking in their defense of villages. In one case, we found only one tribal in a particular area who was easily run off as our force advanced.

• Positive: The reduction of players was also a plus, fewer people are easier to control (herd).
o Suggestion: It also means lower return on investment for the event. Here is where bumping up the tribal members would help. It would also give those who miss out on tickets for other factions an opportunity to participate.

• Positive: Fixed respawns were a bonus. One on each field is immensely helpful; especially when your mobile triage is nowhere to be found (this will be addressed in the concerns).
o Suggestion: Perhaps spread the respawn points out more within each region. It felt as though once we respawned (Deus X), we were running right into either Marxist or Greens. But definitely keep this for next year.

Points of Concern

• Concern: The mobile triage leaves something to be desired. Most of the time you cannot locate them and they are never where they are supposed to be or where anyone says they are.
o Suggestion: Provide medic arm bands (4–8) to each faction, let the faction leader hand them out and you will have another game play option. People can move to the medic as the current mobile triage or they can call for the medic. This will also allow you to use the Bo’s Wounded rule (more fun and realistic in my opinion).

• Concern: While the additional sample collectors were welcome, it doesn’t help if the samples cannot be found. These are blood samples, which should come from an infected villager.
o Suggestion: Place the stamp with a villager with the instructions that they stay in place once hit and as a village is cleared, give up the stamp when asked. If you insist on using the ammo box, place the boxes in the villages. Finding a random, green, plastic ammo box in the middle of the woods is nearly impossible. Also, chain it down. I am not accusing anyone but there were several rumors that the boxes were moved during this game. This is supposed to be fun, not impossible.

• Concern: While the extended game time is alright, it is a bit much, especially with the heat. This can become dangerous without a period to assess team members and ensure hydration is occurring.
o Suggestion: Push for an earlier start time. Most everyone was ready by 9:30-10:00 but the game did not start until 11:00. I believe with fewer players, forcing a start time of 9:00 is possible and then run until 12:00. Coordinate a one hour break for factions to regroup, eat, hydrate and discuss current game plan, then pick back up and run from 1:00 to 4:00. Still gives six hours of game time, lets faction leaders assess their team and situation, and allows for any possible game issues to be addressed.

• Concern: If possible, please add more referees. I think I saw one (1) when we started then no more and there were a number of issues on the field, mostly safety concerns such as people running around without lower face pro and a few not calling hits. I will say, overall, the hit calls were far more honorable this year then they have been.

Other suggestions:
I realize there is only a portion of the event proceeds donated to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation but what about challenging the teams to donate additional funds? I see no harm as long as no one is being called out or chastised for not donating.

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed myself for a third year in a row and thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Re: AAR OP: Bad Blood EAST 2016 NY June 25-26

Post by Moondog »

Thank you for the well thought out AAR and suggestions. I'd like to answer some of them for you because I appreciate the time you took to bring them up:

• We tried Medics before but this caused the games to big down to a slug fest rather than a more fluid style that makes this game different. Medics mean that a player stays in position in the front line (usually "strong" defense) position and then gets healed there returning causing a static skirmish line to develop and stay there for longer than strategically necessary.

This year each team had 3 respawn points scattered 1 in every field. Plus their mobile Triage. So even if you didn't know where your Triage moved to, players should have been able to go back to any of their 3 respawn points on the map.

I'm not against Medic rules. We use our own in our Tantalum series. https://www.facebook.com/events/1571086213186951

Let me say this: I HATE BO's WOUNDED RULE as it is executed. I started out playing airsoft using it, but every game I've seen it utilized, the players 'game the system' by waiting until 10 seconds before a player fully bleeds out to touch the wounded player to heal them. The entire time, the 'wounded' player regularly give intel on the positions of the enemy positions. In a realistic rule-set, you would not be encouraged to leave a bleeding team mate in harms way for 4.9 minutes. If can be properly done I'm not sure but practically impossible with the number of players at Bad Blood and the variety of experience levels they are who attend.

• Last year when we had all the samples on actual villagers, all I got was complaints that they were too hard to pin down and identify (though they were all carrying a standardized medic saddle bag).

The blood samples are meant to be test tubes collected by the UN/WHO doctors, left in coolers in the villages they treated but due to the outbreak the were forced to abandon them. For practical purposes, there are 6 areas on PSI that have standing structures and could be called "village'. If we left the samples in those locations only it would be a very short game. All the team CO's know where they are and it takes a little more than 10 minute so thoroughly search them. The game would be effectually over in 2hrs max.

We opted instead to hide them in the woods or just outside of the villages. While not ideal it was practical. Bear in mind, the Marxist team was able to locate all 4 of the stationary samples, so it wasn't impossible. Gen Green was able to get 3.

All the ammo boxes were "chained down". Rumors that they were moved were just that, rumors. I cable tied them to trees so they could not be relocated. The field staff inspected and unchained them all at the end of the game.

• Next year I will have more "yellow shirt" referees on the field. Each team had 2-3 Embed refs. If you have an issue with rule violations, please do not hesitate to call your Embed on the radio to get assistance. They will vector a field Ref to your location.

• I love the idea of encouraging factions to donate to the charities. One of our CO's also suggested that be we couldn't figure out a good/easy way to set that up? Would you have anybody willing to volunteer to coordinate that?

• While the players were "ready" after our morning briefing the teams weren't. 75% of the attendees never bothered to register for their faction's FB group or communicate with their COs prior to the game. So all of the CO's agreed to give each-other 1hr organization and briefing time after sent the teams to their start positions. If the majority of CO's can agree to shorten that next year, we can definitely start the game earlier than 1100.

Thank you again for your feedback. Will you be joining us for Tantalum 6 which I think is a game that will appeal more to experienced players? https://www.facebook.com/events/1571086213186951
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Re: AAR OP: Bad Blood EAST 2016 NY June 25-26

Post by cfield »

Thanks Moondog for all the effort that went into this event.

I'm looking forward to seeing the pics!

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Re: AAR OP: Bad Blood EAST 2016 NY June 25-26

Post by Brimstone »

Thank you Moondog. I hope that nothing I said offended in anyway. I realize putting an event like this together is quite an undertaking, one that my son and I appreciate, we had a great time. You addressed the biggest concern, not just for myself but for a number of people. I know the rumors were flying and it was agitating searching the woods and not finding anything, the fact people were suggesting things were moved was just adding to the frustration. I heard the complaint about the medic kits on the villagers as well, the problem is and I realize the game would be over quickly, the realism is somewhat lost. Perhaps mix it up, at the village, on a villager, dropped along on a path (WHO reps would NEVER run off through the woods, most won't even leave if the village were being shelled and the rest are, well no offense but primadonnas. Do you respect them for their bravery or disdain them for their arrogance? Either way, I hated those escort duties in the military). I digress.

I see where Bo's rules would get abused. It does work better with fewer people and a smaller event since it requires honor on the part of the wounded, sad that would be a problem as the entire sport of Airsoft is based on honor. As for referees, embeds are nice but perhaps they should be pointed out by the team, I never knew who ours were, I didn't even know what the "yellow shirt" was.

Where the additional donations are concerned, I have three thoughts on this. All include adding it to the event page;
1) you could simply set it as a goodwill gesture and encourage all players/teams/factions to donate then give them a shout out at the end of the event,
2) make it a faction challenge, an additional point or points (based on the percentage donated by each faction) to the faction who collects the most, this could be set up prior to the event so donations could be made online on behalf of the faction (this might encourage those other than participants to donate i.e. moms, dads, spouses, BF, GF, significant other, etc) or a cash collection at the beginning of the game, then taken to the controller so it could be counted and points allotted,
3) make it a team challenge (this may be difficult as it would exclude non-team individuals) or make it an individual challenge, the team or person who donates the most gets a little something extra, a grab bag or something at the end of the event.

I imagine the donation portion for the event is dispersed by someone, that person should be identified online and at the event. I say this since if I personally dropped a check for $1,000 or more, I would definitely want a receipt for tax purposes, tracking the funds might be your biggest challenge.

I will be at Tantalum on team A.S.S. (I must still be 5 yrs old because that still makes me laugh). A handful of the Headhunters from Albany, NY will be there as well. See you on the 27th.

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