Breaking down the 2011 Dart Tag Arena (Basic Nerf Article) (Part 2)

I don’t have much to work with at the moment. Theres concept art and a bad quality picture of the arena here, but for right now heres my thoughts, breakdown, and analysis on the Nerf Dart Tag 2011 Arena. I would have done a separate diagram for each paragraph, but I’m short on time at the moment.

Looking up to the monitor arena, you can see a score board. That should be handy for players during the game to get a quick glance at it. Those monitors also produce some video, but it’s not clear as to what in the photos. Perhaps the score or closer video of the players for the audience?

Toward the bottom of the image theres a little box. Thats the plenty box where tagged players go for a certain duration of time. According to the back of the Swarmfire manual the Capture the Flag rules state that players only serve a ten second plenty. Nerf officials may have adjusted this rule for this arena, but for analysis sake lets assume they haven’t.

You can’t get too good of a range of distance in the photo, but I would have to say in the middle area the cover looks to be about 20 feet apart, with a 30-35 foot distance between the middle and the flag at the end. 20 feet ranges allow for good close quarters combat while the spacing allows decent movement. I’m not sure if that black thing in the middle of the arena is connected to the yellow pillars or not. I assume it is, like in the concept art, or at the very least close together. This can give a great advantage. Controlling it will give players added visablity, and if controlled by two people, then the other two and get the sides and form an effective formations, depending on the situation. This also limits the the other team’s movement, since if the middle is controlled it forces the other team back, making them adjust. It’s the chokehold of the map. If I had a team I fast enough I would run right up and try to control the middle area asap.

I’m gonna take an educated guess and say the map is about 60-70 feet across. 30-35 feet from your flag to the center, and then 30-35 more feet to the opponents flag. Again this is all based on one picture. But speed if going to be a factor in this game. You’ll know that if you’ve ever played Capture the Flag before. If a fast person can cross the arena quickly, get the flag, and then outrun the other team and darts, then it’s going to be trouble for the other team. They’ll have to adjust, which can be hard on the fly, unless you use a timeout. This ties into individual play and abilities. Since it’s decent sized, communication is going to be key as well.

If this the ten second spawn times are still true, then players must truly be fast. Team’s spawn boxes are closer to their base. I would recommend moving with another person or some support. If a player is in enemy territory, then their really in there.

Angles and two on one engagements are also important I would say. Trying to take someone on face to face with possible factors such as enemy players interfering, inferior blasters, and cover make this much harder. Use teammates if possible and be aware of your surroundings.

Thats about it for the arena. If I go any deeper I’ll it’ll have to start to be on strategy, which is the next part of my article.


3 thoughts on “Breaking down the 2011 Dart Tag Arena (Basic Nerf Article) (Part 2)”

  1. NerfRNaut team player dad here – you have most of the info correct, including the size, I think. I don’t have specifics, but I think you’ve estimated very closely. The center pylon did indeed have the yellow pillars connected to it and the very center had gun holes on all four sides so a player could bounce up and into the center and shoot through the holes or from over the top, but most of the 8-12 yr olds didn’t do that, most were just too small. I didn’t see how the older bigger kids used the arena (they were playing on Saturday, we were done on Friday, leaving on Saturday). The penalty was indeed kept at 10 seconds, with the red light going on when the player entered the box and hit his button. 10 seconds later it turned green and they could exit the box. They were also able to reload from inside the penalty box. Play was NOT stopped at a flag score during pool play, so all pool matches were 5 minutes running clock time. During the single elimination quarter, semi and final matches, the clock WAS stopped at each flag score.
    Speed was definitely a huge factor – our team had two speedsters and they did the flag rushing and scoring, the best opportunities presenting themselves by going stealthily long the back wall or the front. The other two guarded or one would guard and the other cover. It worked fairly well for Team NerfRNaut.
    Oh, the monitors – There are identical monitors/score boards on all four sides of the field house. The large center monitor would show commercial type videos, 10-20 seconds long between matches. There were 3 smaller monitors (surrounded by a red frame) at the front top of the battle arena (left, right and center) that showed the “schedule” – the teams that were in the arena, on deck, and in the hole (it was just a powerpoint presentation they kept updating, but it was working well.. There was no place that the wins/losses was shown, though.


  2. The arena was pretty awesome for the guys to compete in! I agree with everything Lorence reports above. There’s a CG of the arena at the end of the Nerf Draft Day video that I believe is pretty accurate. The parents got to check out the playing field the night before and I was worried that the turf was long and a little slippery, but it didn’t appear to cause many wipe outs. My son’s 8-12 team (The Quicksters) had a hard time switching sides at the beginning of bracket play. Up until then they had been coming from the audience’s right to left, and it messed with their mojo at first to go the other way. Nerf and Vivid Marketing did a great job with both the arena and the whole event. I’m hoping they post some pics and videos of the 8-12 year-olds’ competition. It’s Nerf or Nothin’!


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