When I was looking at Nerf in LARP last year I got some excellent advice from Ram Ramadam who was putting together his Bug Hunt Game (That’s as bug hunt as in ‘Is this a stand-up fight sir or another Bughunt?’).

Well that game has now happened and reports from the players was that it was excellent. Ram has not sat on his laurels and has been asking the players for feedback so that he can make future games even better, and work out better Nerf gun mods so that things feel more realistic.  This is great as it shows real attention to taking the idea of cinematic Larp and making it both safe and exciting.

What follows are some pictures from the event.

First though a review from Dan Barlow who attended the game.

“Bug Hunt is a sci-fi event based upon the ideas borrowed from nearly any sci-fi/horror film you can think of. Image a universe where Umbrella Corporation owns a planet, and there’s an outbreak of T-Virus. Cyberdyne systems have planets full of prototype T-700’s that have gone rogue. Weyland Yutani Technologies has planet sized research facilities filled with all kinds of xenomorph organisms used as bio weapons. Someone has to make a call to groups of Marines or mercenary companies to clean up when things go wrong. That’s where we came in, a mercenary company paid to come in and clean up an ‘incident’.

The organisers brought together all the iconic movie bad-guys for us to stand off against. From shambling T-Virus zombies to ‘evolved’ T-Virus mutants, rogue T-800 terminators, face huggers, chest bursters, and fully grown xenomorphs. We were also given in-game intelligence about other possible threats that really added a sense of danger to each encounter, with all of expecting the tri-dot red laser sight of a predator to appear at any moment. Ref planted players coming to horrible sticky ends gave us the idea that they were taking no prisoners at this event. I come from a LRP background where danger is present, but players have to do something quite silly to end up dead. The guys at Bug-Hunt did not subscribe to this….and players began to fall quite early on.

The game started on Saturday and was essentially one long linear; this meant if you wanted to have something, you had to carry it with you. Player kit was amazing, from full Colonial Marine uniforms, makeshift armour, a full size, working, SMART gun from the Alien films, and extra magazines. This leant a huge amount to encounters, players shouting for mags as their guns went dry, each squad shouting orders and instructions, and very quickly it felt as we were in our own personal action film.

The linear through the woods was spilt up with room clearance mission at buildings at the site. These were often frantic and bloody affairs with the floor ending up carpeted in rounds. Alongside the creatures came a raft of props, specimens, intelligence reports and biological samples for us to examine, use and keep.

Night began to draw in and most of the players were sporting bandages, this is when they really turned it up to 11. Zombies running in from the darkness, badly lit buildings and the ever present feeling that something bad was just around the corner gave us all something to worry about.

The event ended with a spectacular last stand at the last building whilst awaiting a drop craft to come and get us. Having spoken to all of the players after time-out was called, we each had a death worthy of a Hollywood film, and whilst I was a bit..miffed to have died, after I’d slept on it and chatted with everyone we came to the conclusion that the event ended in the best way it could. Heroes against the horde until the last man standing, with everyone having stories worthy of a spin-off film. Bug Hunt really showed what a LRP game can be without having to spend a small fortune, having large amount of players, or expensive ticket prices. We all thanked the refs and organisers for providing us with a truly Hollywood experience, every single one of us had hero moments, and all of us are planning for next year.”

And now the pictures

If you’d like to know more take a look at the Facebook group for this game at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/104981539567868/

All photos are courtesy of the group; thank you very much.

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