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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mega and the men who knew nothing.

So we're all excited about the mega line.  I'll admit it me too.  I'll probably be sticking to my stampede, but the options that new tools provide opponents thrills me.  Both Damian and I were absolutely thrilled with the Rayven and the Stryfe, because the provided other players with cheap access to the kind of firepower that Stampede users had had for over a year.

A few years ago when i got back into Nerf for the first time in many years (the last time i cared about Nerf before that, the Eagle Eye was new), I was absolutely thrilled with my Recon.  It was many things my previous experience with Nerf was not.  It was compact, it was magazine fed, and as someone who had enjoyed target shooting it felt familiar to my hands.  It was light and easy to move with in ways that Damian's Longshot wasn't.  It traded range for the ability to move, something that I desperately needed to offset ackwardness of movement that resulted from back injuries.

A year later, the Raider dropped.  It was amazing, like its predecessor it brought new options to the table, and thanks to the interchangeability of parts it  brought options to Recon.  With the advent of the Raider we suddenly had to worry about another player having quite a lot of darts that they could send your way at an alarming rate.  Other blasters dropped over the course of the year, but Raider was the hallmark that year.  For the purpose of this article I'd like to acknowledge those blasters, if not call them out by name.  Each is a tool that does different things, but for the purpose of storytelling they won't be mentioned.

Another year and another blaster, the Stampede dropped.  This year was the year my troupe of friends actually got to play with a group, allowing us to have a very objective view of the Nerf Foam Arms Race.  With our two stampedes (and one over-volted Vulcan) our group were routinely put up against opponents with different generations of gear.  So many different facets affected game play: experience, knowledge, tech, teamwork, tactics.  While a fully automatic Stampede with large magazines was a great easy to use blaster that made a great suppression tool, and made a great many eliminations, I was not guaranteed a victory against players that thoughtfully used the features of the building in which we played.

And now we are here, a year after Vortex and now we have N-strike elite.  And now that we have leaked images, we have reason to believe that we will be getting N-strike Elite Mega in the near future.  But what do we know about it, like really?

Well, Ash from MyLastDart has given us no reason to believe that his visit to the development labs didn't happen.  However his written article not only apparently violated his NDA (not judging bro), but also was such a jumble of excited information that it's not quite coherent.  What was coherent was that Mega is a new dart and line, aimed at providing a larger more accurate projectile to take advantage of longer ranges.  How much longer?  100 feet is the number that has been bounced around, and after the performance of Elite, I don't find this to be suspect.  Electronic plunger (what the stampede is classed as) and underbarrel weapon designs were mentioned, but not coherently enough to gleen anything from.

We have now seen box art and a side view image of the Centurion, and from this we can gleen a few facts.
*This thing is going to be quite large.  Like Longshot with barrel extension obnoxious large.  We can assume from experience that it will break down somewhere so as to not have ridiculously large packaging.

*It's a plunger blaster.  It's got priming handles on it and the handles ride on what appears to be a ver y very long track.  The long track could be due to either a very long plunger stroke, or a multi part action.  We however know that it's not a flywheel blaster, and it's unlikely that the stroke would be that long for an air blaster.

*It's probably not electronic.  previous experience with CS system blasters tells us everything above the bolt handle is plunger tube and firing components, and space below the priming slide appears to be at a premium, additionally there isn't enough space for a sprocket large enough to drive the action the full length of that priming slide.

Ash threw around the term electronic plunger, and found a page where a Mega Javelin can be ordered(?), without an image.  I find it a bit more likely that the Javelin is this electronic plunger design than the conjecture that it's a new missile launcher.

But at this time i'll say simply that we don't know enough to make any final conclusions, but that I'm personally excited to see what comes of it.

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