By Wil Story
A gun lies on the table. Bullets are scattered everywhere, and some fall onto the floor. A tub of weapons lies in the corner of the small room, waiting to be used on their participating victims.
This may sound like a scene straight from a Bruce Willis movie, but it is something that happens every Friday night at Union. Once night falls and people are heading to bed, Jennings Hall becomes the site of a vicious war zone. But this is not any war — it is a war involving Nerf guns and foam bullets. Although the weapons might not seem deadly,they are instruments of pain inflicted on anyone who crosses their paths.
The warriors of Nerf have chosen their site of battle for a few reasons. The first being Jennings is a historical site for these battles.
“Jennings has always been the site of Nerf wars since before we began,” said Ben Haws, sophomore media communications major.
Jennings is also the site for the war because of practical landscape reasons.
“Jennings has a good floor layout,” said Christian Wallen, junior chemistry major. “(It has) multiple levels, multiple entrances to each floor, relatively few breakable objects and mostly carpet floors.”
Two different types of wars are fought throughout the night. The first type of battle fought is called “Slayer.” This game has one simple rule: Kill the other team. Players take whatever route they need to eliminate the opposing team’s members. The winning team is the one that has the most survivors at the end of the match.
The second type of battle fought is “Zombies.” This game begins when two or three people are “infected” with a terrible virus and become powerful alpha zombies. Their mission is to then attempt to tag and infect other people, resulting in beta zombies. The alpha and beta zombies then run through Jennings to try and find the last remaining humans. The winner of “Zombies” is the last human who outruns the zombies and avoids the terrible infection.
“’Zombies’ is a great game to watch unfold,” said Cale Little, sophomore history major. “Theatrics are encouraged, and that is why ‘Zombies’ is so fun.”
The two battles are vastly different and each one requires a different type of strategy.
“In ‘Slayer,’ the strategy varies with each team captain,” Wallen said. “In ‘Zombies,’ the trick is to pick a small group to stick with, carry a lot of ammo, and always watch your back.”
On one of these evenings, overturned tables fill the halls and ropes are tied to different parts of staircases. Nerf Wars require a lot of furniture-moving and a lot of disorganization. There are enough bullets on the ground to give a box of Lincoln Logs a run for their money. The mess in Jennings is like one found at any war zone.
However, come Saturday morning it is like the war was only a figment of the imagination. Bullets are gone. Fallen comrades have been taken off the battlefield, their guns also taken to avoid leaving any weapon behind. The warriors of Nerf Wars do a good job at picking up after themselves when the battle is finished. The furniture is put back where it belongs and nothing is broken.
It is like the war never happened.