Howdy folks. I’m just an old guy with very little applicable knowledge to HvZ (although if there was somewhere nearby that ran games and allowed those of us out of the college scene to play, me and the missus would definitely be game) and a minor amount of knowledge as to Nerf modding and the strengths/weaknesses of guns. That said, I’ve noticed through way too much lurking that there wasn’t a guide written for the Recon (or if there was, my search-fu is old, like me). Therefore, I figured I’d do my best to help out here.
No pics because I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world. If you’re on a site for HvZ and you don’t know what a Recon looks like, then you are a rare, rare person.
The Recon is a jack of all trades. Stock, it can shoot decently far (further than many comparable N-Strike blasters, in my experience), has decent accuracy, and has a decent rate of fire. If Nerf blasters were a Nintendo-made video game, the Recon would be Mario. As such, it’s often overlooked by players who prefer something with a little more specialization. Like the other N-Strike clip blasters, it can only shoot the much-hated Streamline darts unless you modify it to accept Stefans or similar (assuming that your campus/organization allows modified darts).
Not exactly a glowing review, is it?
Recons, being general-purpose blasters, have a lot of things going for them. Here’s a list!
Hit the jump for the rest of the tips.
1: Accessibility. Alpha Troopers are no more, as are Longshots.
2: Cost. This is important if you’re on a “eat ramen to afford more beer” budget.
3: Ease of modification. This one is key if you’re asking me.
4: Range. Believe it or not, when compared to the other N-Strike blasters currently on the market the Recon tends to shoot further and faster.
5: Size and “classication.” Without a stock, bigger clip, and barrel, a Recon is a pistol. Plus, it fits in almost anything.
6: Reliability. Used properly, a Recon will not jam. Used improperly, jams are still infrequent.
7: Looks. It just plain looks cool, doesn’t it?
As far as modifications go, air restrictor removal is easy and relatively painless, and the Recon accepts a powerstock incredibly well. The Orange Mod Works Massacre kit is highly recommended–with my OMW Recon, without powerstock, shooting unweighted Streamlines, I am averaging about 60′ flat and can hit with decent accuracy at about 40-45′. For a little rapid-fire pistol blaster, that’s not bad. NOTE: I do not recommend combining a powerstock with the OMW Massacre kit as the Recon becomes way too difficult to cock.
The Recon comes with one of the most useful little barrels in the history of Nerf detachable barrels. With about five minutes and a Dremel, you can attach the clip from, say, the completely useless Recon sight. Doing this allows for instant integration with other N-Strike blasters–I recommend the Scout or a cut-down Barrel Break (still working on that one) as an “Oh crap!” weapon. Others will no doubt have other suggestions, and the Swarmfire is always popular. The barrel addition will reduce your effective range by 5″ or so, but this is immaterial in an HvZ game compared to having an instant-fire weapon. It also makes a great place to mount a light if playing a night mission.
Read the Name on the Blaster
It says “Recon.” It doesn’t say “Raider.” It definitely doesn’t say “Charge into a pack of zombies and get your face chewed off.” Using a Recon means that you’re going to need to fight a running battle, taking shots when and where you can, and try to stay at range as much as possible. The Recon works well in a support role where you can take advantage of its range and nominal accuracy. You’re not a one-man sniper team, but you are the guy who can provide supporting fire to cover your teammate.
Stick and Move
While it’s capable of providing fairly impressive RoF, the Recon will never be a wall of foam weapon. It is vital that you maintain mobility while using this blaster. A stationary Recon player is a dead Recon player. The gun requires two hands to cock, so you’ll never be as mobile as, say, a dual Rayven player (but that’s a whole other story). Just lace up your running shoes and be prepared to play the long game. If you can outpace most of the zeds, you’ll do just fine.
Come to think of it, that holds true for most blasters.
Be your own Buddy
The Recon makes a pretty decent secondary blaster, particularly if you’re using it as a pistol, but I honestly prefer to use it as a primary and keep something else handy for close quarters. A blaster that requires two hands to fire isn’t going to be particularly effective up close–too much needed to get it to work. Therefore, I highly suggest complimenting the Recon with something like, say, a Barricade, even a stock one. The rev-up time is a potential killer, but typically when things are about to get ugly, you’re able to know it. Facing down a potential charge, you can take out a zed or two with the Recon, turn on the Barricade, and go to town on what’s left.
This is also why I like the Scout so much as an under-barrel integration. It’s fast, it’s friendly, it looks pretty darned neat, and it’s an instant-fire weapon for when you round a corner and face two big uglies about to nom you. In those circumstances, the ability to get foam flying fast matters more than anything else, and the Scout can get the job done. I just wish the Barrel Break wasn’t such a pain in the rear to mod.
Used as a pistol, the Recon offers superior range (to everything but a Night Finder), high RoF, especially for a non-electric blaster, and still maintains its range, reliability, and ease of modification. It’s a great sidearm or secondary blaster, as mentioned above, but you’ll want to pair it with something that can handle large numbers of zeds at closer ranges. In this case, it actually works pretty well with a Raider or a Stampede–although, with a well-modified ‘Pede, do you really need a secondary?
Bells and Whistles
We all know this–carry extra clips. Carry lots of extra clips. 18-dart clips are much better than 6-dart clips because, well, they hold three times as many darts, allowing for more shots and faster sustained RoF. That’s pretty obvious.
One nice little trick I’ve picked up is to use your Dremel and remove one of the “stripes” in the 18-dart clip (I do this to the one that already has the holes) to help you better gauge remaining ammunition. It’s easy to do, and looks pretty neat, to boot.
If you’re running a Recon as a rifle, a sling may be a decent idea, but I don’t like how they restrict mobility. If it’s a pistol, you’ll want something to put it in, whether that’s a holster or a great big pocket.
The Recon has something of a bad reputation, but it remains quite capable of handling itself in the rigors of HvZ. While it does not have the RoF of the Alpha Trooper or Raider or the extreme range of the Longshot, it is a very nice middle-of-the-road style blaster and one that is eminently suited to beginning players. It is exceptionally easy to modify for greater range and variable integration, making it even more of an all-rounder.