Hydrolysis is the result of a merging between Water War and Everything Water. My name is Tactician. Softrazor and I jointly manage this web site, but at the moment we're in the process of an overhaul, and Softrazor is out of town for about a week, so you won't see much of his for a while. Basically, my voice is represented in this red color, but Softrazor's appears as orange. Because there are some major changes, I thought it was time to re-write the introduction to talk about them, but it'll probably be rewritten again in a week or two when Softrazor gets back.
In addition to my red and Softrazor's orange, you'll see a few other colors on the site. Anything sent in by a reader, such as a solution to one of the problems of the week, will appear in violet. General announcements and titles will appear in white. Hyperlinks are blue to begin with, and turn green once you've visited them. If for some reason you ever have trouble reading some text, you can hilite it with the mouse and it should become easier to see, but keep in mind that the color will invert.
Well, now that we've got that out of the way, let's get on to what's actually on the site.
This is first and foremost a site about tactics. Always has been, always will be. If you're looking for an in-depth review on every Super Soaker ever made, or a complete links page, or news about Super Soakers, you'll have to go some place else. We specialize here.
We're going to try to make you into tactical experts, in the technical sense of the word: someone who, by long experience, has a knack for knowing the right thing to do. This is going to involve a lot of reading and some serious thinking, but if you think you're up to the challenge, I think you'll enjoy yourself here.
This page has, in times past, posted a tactical "Problem of the Week," that people could answer. The P.O.W.'s are now archived, and you can take a look at them if you want, but we've decided to try a more systematic approach now.
In the B.T.T. (Basic Tactical Training) and A.T.T. (Advanced Tactical Training) primers, you'll find a series of lessons describing some of the guidelines we use to come up with tactics here, followed by a list of exercises you can practice on. If you want, you can just think about possible answers to the exercises, but we definitely recommend you send them to us by email (following the hyperlink on the page). We'll post your idea up on the web page, along with a few comments, so that everyone can take a look. This is a lot like the previous POW, but more specialized.
Now, I've been accused to being a bit harsh in my critiques of answers, and perhaps not unjustly so. I'm going to do my best to point out strengths as well as weaknesses in anything you send in. However, a word of caution: don't send in your idea because you think it'll look good. I'm not here to make you look good. If you don't want to see any criticism of your solution, it had better be flawless (or close enough that I can't tell the difference). I might be surprised, but I don't think that'll happen. So send it in expecting to hear some bad stuff about it, and if you just tossed it together in five minutes and sent it in without realling thinking about it, expect to hear mostly or all bad stuff about it.
If you want, I'll just send my critique to you by email without posting it on the page. Or, if you like, you can post it anonymously. But be sure to tell me.
Oh, and Softrazor will add comments too, whenever he gets back.
BTT mainly covers writing a thorough solution. It's not about wresting victory from the jaws of certain doom, its about making sure you don't blow what advantages you already have through poor planning, and about making sure other people can understand your plans. You may think that you'll be able to skip BTT because you're an advanced tactician, but think again. If you're really so good, you can spare the time to at least skim the lessons, and that way, if you're not really so good, you won't embarass yourself in ATT until you are.
ATT is about developing insightful solutions. Now, it is commonly held that you cannot teach insight, but I'm going to try anyway. Maybe I'll at least manage the next best thing. ATT also puts into extensive use everything you learned (or should have learned) in BTT, so make sure to move in order.
Once I'm done working through the BTT and ATT lessons, I'll try to work up something challenging for the new "experts" to chew on. But that probably won't happen for several weeks.
One final note: don't hesitate to email me. If you need help, or you have a question, or you want to make a comment, or offer a suggestion, or you've got an honest complaint regarding the site, I want to hear from you. The only two qualifiers is that it must be related to this site, and I don't want to hear a general complaint. Be specific. If you just hate my site just because and because that's just the way it is, keep it to your