R/C Ship Combat at the NAMBA Nats 2015

Discussion in 'General' started by Union Scum, May 17, 2015.

  1. Union Scum

    Union Scum RIP

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    I have seen in the 1/96 scale posting that there was talk about R/C ship combat at the NAMBA Nats at Lake Minden in July here in Northern California. Rob Wood, since I see you are a NAMBA rep. will there be R/C warship combat at this event, and are you still looking for other clubs to participate?
    Pacific Model Warship Combat Club is available. Most of the members reside up in and around the Sacramento area. So let the group know and what we need to know to be at this event.
    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  2. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    Is this the post in question? Three Questions About 1/96 Battlestations | R/C Warship Combat
    I haven't seen or heard anything of the idea since and I don't see any combat event listed on the Namba Nationals website or in their entry form. I would hazard a guess that the idea didn't pan out for this year.
    Are members of PMWC NAMBA members? I don't recall seeing any references to the club on the roster. (Though I did see @Gary Powell signed up as an individual member)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  3. Gary Powell

    Gary Powell Well-Known Member

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    Some PMWC members, including myself are NAMBA members, but not all. The club did not want me to register them this year. Many members that are not currently in NAMBA had heard that the Nationals would include combat, but had not heard any further details. I got the entry forms, but had not taken the time to look it over. Since some of our members are gearing up to use their 1/144's (in addition to our primary 1/72 scale ships) and they thought the Nationals would be a good place to begin again, since it was in our own back yard. Probably my fault for not looking into this further for our members that were interested in pursuing this.
     
  4. Union Scum

    Union Scum RIP

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    The existing club that Rob is in has enough members to put on the event. This is the NAMBA NATS. for gas powered speed boats. Back in the late 80s/early 90s NAMBA had R/C combat at one of their Nats. Problem was it was more of a filler. If their was anytime for combat then go ahead. Otherwise wait. I was a member of Western at that time. Maybe Western ran into the same problem.
    What really is needed is a NAMBA NATS for R/C Ship Combat by itself. At Lake Minden it might be hard to schedule Combat event during the peak summer months. This is a is a camping/rv park. The lake is being used for swimming, paddle boats and other water recreation. Might not be able to schedule a separate event during those months. I do have an idea on how to stop ball bearings from going to one side or the pond to the other. However the cost is not cheap. What is these days.
    When Rob is finished with his Maker Fair hangover maybe he will enlighten us about the Namba Nats if their will be combat at them.
     
  5. Union Scum

    Union Scum RIP

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    Just an update from Rob from his Maker Fair post

    No R/C Combat at the NAMBA NATS AT LAKE MINDEN THIS YEAR.
     
  6. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Isnt there already a Namba Nats just for Combat... in NC .. in a few weeks. Its called IRCWCC and they are the largest Namba combat club I am aware of... so I think it would qualify.
     
  7. Buddy

    Buddy Active Member

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    IRCWCC is NAMBA members but are a separate body to themselves. It is called the IRCWCC Nats.
     
  8. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Seems the best way to have a Namba nats with the most people in attendance would be to attend the IRC Nats... what else would a Namba Nats be exactly? Any Namba member in Combat? How will that work?..

    You would have to have each group have a separate battle due to rules and ship types.. in other words.. 2 or 3 invidiual Nats at the same 'Namba Nats' event... which means a big gun Nats, a Tready Nats, A 1/96 Nats, a 1/72 Nats, a Steam-punk Nats, an Age of Sail Nats, and an IRC Nats.

    As the IRC has the most members it makes no sense to have the majority of the Namba members truck 1500 to 2800 miles to California, but rather the smaller groups to meet up with IRC, if there was even any interest.

    However in the end... it will all be segregated groups... so why try to have a 'Namba' Nats all together. We all have a individual events closer to home right now as it is.

    Right now the only way to attend a Nationals as a Namba member is as a member of the IRC... hence my previous comment.
     
  9. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    I can see that an explanation is in order, re: NAMBA Nats.

    Let me first say, in response to Jadfer, that I don't see any reasonable way to hold the kind of competition that immediately comes to mind, with all forms of RC Warship Combat scheduled throughout the event, leading up to some sort of "finals" on the last day. It would make no difference where such an event might be attempted, because there simply aren't enough combat captains in the US to compete on that level. It would have to be a completely new kind of event, and require a great deal of thinking outside the box. But since we're taking about NAMBA Nationals that are held every year in different parts of the country, it's worth brainstorming. It just happens to be in California this year.

    Maybe it would look more like a conference, where every type of combat would be demonstrated, and where vendors would have booths, and we could all get to know each other and talk about ways to promote this widely diverse hobby. I don't know, but I would travel to attend such an event, just to see all of those vendors, types of demonstrations and ships in one place.

    NAMBA has, for most of its existence, been an RC boat racing organization. The insurance that covered its members and its sanctioned events was solid, and covered NAMBA members wherever they ran - even in an unsanctioned event or lake, and even simply for fun or testing. NAMBA insurance also covered its members if they hurt themselves, and needed medical attention. Insurance was not the primary "glue" that held the organization together, though: It was racing competition - on local, district and National levels. The pinnacle of NAMBA is the Nationals, at which racers from all over the U.S. (and even from Australia) come together to decide who is the baddest captain of all in each class of race boat. Nationals are held in a different location each year, hosted by a local club. This year, the NAMBA Nationals will be held in July in District IX, at Lake Minden RV Resort, in Nicolaus, California, 20 miles north of Sacramento.

    As NAMBA Combat rep, I was asked last year by the NAMBA District IX director to consider holding some kind of Combat competition at the July NAMBA Nats, so I began floating the idea here and in other forums. The response was less than encouraging, but I decided to work with my club to see if there was any interest in hosting the Combat piece of the NAMBA Nats, mainly to try and get a grip on what it might entail, and whether it would even be logistically possible at Lake Minden.

    Lake Minden has a lot going for it as a major Combat event site: 20 miles from a major city and airport, average of 3' depth, lots of RV and tent camping spots, a decent number of cabins that sleep up to 6 people each, an air conditioned lounge to relax in, with an OK WiFi service, a small store, and a cafe for breakfast and lunch. What it doesn't have is a beach suitable for combat. If you've seen NAMBA racing at Minden, you know that each race boat is launched, full throttle, by a helper who stands on a small floating dock, while the captains are high above the shore in a "driver's stand." There is no beach in that area (B Section). The only 2 beaches at the lake are wading/swimming beaches for kids. Everywhere else, the shore is composed of large chunks of broken concrete, with a treacherous and steep embankment.

    The solution was: build a beach at B Section, in a cove around the corner from the driver's stand/floating dock location. The prospect was a bit daunting, though. We figured we needed a minimum of 60' in length, 8 - 10' in width, with a set of stairs cut into the embankment. That's an expensive proposition for one club, even one the size of WWCC, which now numbers over 40 members. One load of crushed gravel (26 tons) costs around $500, delivered. It would take around 4 - 6 loads to build that ideal beach, and one day of hard labor per load to spread it all out. Nevertheless, we decided to get the beach started, at any rate, and paid for a load of gravel to be delivered in March. We spread it all out on a Saturday, then held our scheduled club combat event that afternoon, then on the next day.

    If the beach can be completed, we can hold a separate NAMBA Combat Nats there in the future. There's no way to do it, even if we could figure out how to hold an event with so many different kinds of combat "flavors," concurrently with NAMBA Nats - at least, not at Minden. The racers need the water for a full week leading up to the actual races, and then in between heats for testing and tweaking. As Dan (Union Scum) points out, acting as "fillers" during lunch, or in the crack of dawn, just isn't a viable solution. I can't ask people to come from all over to take part in such an unsatisfactory situation. However, we were originally given the weekend before the Nats for Combat, and that would have meant setting up on Friday, then two full days to have fun together. Then I found out that racers from all over the US and Australia were counting on having access to the water near where the combat beach is going in, at the same time we would be holding our combat event, but it was still doable by fencing off the combat area to prevent race boats from colliding with combat boats. So we decided to continue to move forward with our beach development, until I discovered that every cabin had been reserved since January by racers.

    Now faced with the prospect of asking people to travel to Minden from across the US, with no cabins available for them to sleep in, and no RV or tent camping spaces available in B Section, a lot of money and labor still in the offing on the beach construction, and with no one contacting me with a definite "yes" to my question of whether or not people wanted to actually attend a NAMBA combat Nats, WWCC decided to pass on hosting it this year. We're still going to be holding our regularly scheduled, two-day club combat event the weekend before the actual NAMBA races, and we're open to having people who are friendly toward us come hang out with us, but NAMBA Combat Nats are not happening this year.

    On holding combat events at Minden in the Summer: It can be done. There's a motorized net deployment device at Minden that we use to divide the lake between "civilians" and RC boating activities. This net prevents race boats from straying into the rest of the lake, while preventing fishermen, paddle boats and canoes from coming within range of the combat ships. Because the beach is so far below the flat area above it, a 6' screened fence installed prior to the event, running along the embankment, protects passersby from stray rounds.

    Sorry for the book-length essay, but it's a complex story, still being written. Any local clubs who might want to invest some money in continuing the work we started on creating a beach should contact me for details.

    Rob

    Phase One completed. We need to put in a retaining wall of some sort out in the lake to reduce the amount of gravel needed:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
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  10. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    Namba Nats is supposed to be a gathering and competition involving all/as many possible of the boating activities that Namba encompasses, so no, IRC Nats is not Namba Nats, its just a big event by some Namba members.

     
  11. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Those are racing rules ... not for combat.

    However, I understand that if you want to show combat at the Racing Nationals then yes it would have to follow their schedule and locations.

    Its not for me but I wish you the best with it.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  12. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Right. There are no rules in the NAMBA rulebook describing Combat competition; there are only general combat safety rules defined for insurance coverage purposes. I was part of the ad hoc group that wrote those rules, and that was hard enough. Can we take NAMBA Combat past those basic rules? I think we have to try, if we are ever to get this hobby to develop. In my opinion, we need to find all of the places we touch, and explore those. It's too easy to remain separated and inwardly focused.
     
  13. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    How do we take Namba combat past the basic rules? I am not sure I understand what you mean.
    As far as developing the hobby.... no Namba event is going to put a Houston recruit at our build sessions. I want to invest my time where it makes the biggest impact possible for my time invested.

    Bob H pointed out something I didn't realize was obvious a long time ago. I wanted to flood the hobby shops with flyers and a few other places that were hobby related (not r/c). He said that you cant try to get folks that ALREADY have a hobby to switch hobbies... it rarely happens. You end up wasting your time... its better to look for folks that don't have hobbies and recruit in those places. Bob recruited from college campuses and I cant remember all the other places.

    Many of the IRC/MWC guys joined the hobby because of an article or advertisement in a military magazine.

    Rob you should come out to the IRC Nationals... a sizable number of former MWC and IRC members will be in attendance. It would be the ideal time for you to pitch your ideas to the southern, central, and north-eastern battlers.
     
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  14. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    It might have been easier if you just copied the MWC/IRC safety rules and worked from there. I think we all have the same pressure requirements so between all the groups there shouldn't have been much divergence.
     
  15. dietzer

    dietzer Admiral (Supporter)

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    Rob, I salute your efforts here, and those of the WWCC, to make this kind of investment in time, labor, and money for the hobby. I agree completely that anyone traveling for a 'NAMBA combat nationals event' to Lake Minden would need availability to the lake, RV spaces, etc, that just wouldn't be possible during the normal NAMBA nationals. I also agree that I'm not sure the hobby, with its various formats, has enough captains in any one format to make a satisfactory nationals on the scale of what has been suggested. But I think we can grow into that within a few years. Many thanks to you and those within the WWCC for having the foresight to invest in the future of R/C combat.

    Also, thank you for being willing to serve as the NAMBA combat rep. I'm sure that, for the most part, is a thankless position. So thank you.
     
  16. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Local NAMBA competitions take place all over the US. WWCC deliberately chooses to hold at least some of our ordinary combat events at the same lake, and at the same time, as local NAMBA races are taking place. We built 6 club cargo ships as loaners, and handed them out to the racers, and they had a blast. Now we're doing the same thing with 6 entry-level combat ships. These racers are already NAMBA members, already RC boating enthusiasts, and fiercely competitive out on the water: the perfect requirements for entry into our hobby, wouldn't you say?

    And frankly, they get bored incessantly going around in circles. Giving them an alternative game to play is a no-brainer recruitment tool. The level of cooperation between the local NAMBA racers and our club has grown by leaps and bounds, and in fact - it is that connection that got us permission to hold combat events at Lake Minden to begin with. It's worth exploring, don't you think?

    While I agree that there are numerous untapped avenues for recruitment (Maker Faires, schools, universities, robotics clubs, etc., to name a few), I have to generally disagree with this argument regarding marketing to other RC hobbiests. A significant number of combat skippers came to our club from the model airplane hobby. Many got tired of bringing home their bright, shiny and expensive model airplanes in tiny pieces in plastic garbage bags. I'm one of those.

    I'm betting if we were to run a poll here on this site, we would discover that combat skippers not only cross over from other RC hobbies, they actually continue to engage in them even after becoming active combat captains. Aren't RC drones ubiquitous in your club? How about RC tanks and cars? Speaking from personal experience, it was a flyer in a local hobby store that finally got me to a pond to check it out, right after seeing our giant scale, $10,000 race plane self-destruct a week before the race. I saw that same flyer for years before finally biting.

    I would say that marketing to any and all compatible demographics is the prescription for success.

    I've been considering doing just that this year, but changes on the home front are consuming an inordinate amount of my bandwidth and time for the next few months.

    Rob
     
  17. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Our ad hoc NAMBA rules committee looked at all published safety rules, from all formats. That's how we were able to come up with a set that worked for all.

    Rob
     
  18. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Thanks, dietzer! I think we have a lot of really smart folks on this site, and if we keep up the dialogue, we'll figure it out. Sometimes we have to do a lot of guessing about the future, in order to get to where we want to be, and not every hit is a home run. On serving as NAMBA combat rep: It's not a huge burden. It requires that I look at the entire combat community as a whole, without letting my personal preferences cloud my judgement. That's probably the toughest challenge, but it's been very rewarding.

    Rob
     
  19. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Sorry, jadfer - I neglected to address this question. The NAMBA rulebook covers not only safety, but details the competition rules for each racing class. The boats, motors, engines and equipment are all different, yet it all works somehow. It's not too much of a stretch to look at all of our various formats - Fast Gun, Big Gun, 1:72, 1:96, Ironclad, Age of Sail, Steampunk, etc. - as separate subclasses under one, overarching master class called Combat.

    In theory, each subclass could have its own construction, technology and game-play rules in the NAMBA rulebook. At NAMBA local, regional and national competitions, each subclass would have its own battles, just as the various racing classes have their own races. Racing works this way around the country because there are enough racers to make it work. Our combat community isn't there (yet). But there's nothing really stopping us from growing that large. We just need to work together to make it happen.

    Rob
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  20. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Sounds GREAT! I look forward to discussing it at an event soon. Check the IRC calendar and let us know which events you can make so we can discuss it.

    IRCWCC Events - 2015