Challenge Series 2009: Challenge 08

4th November 2009

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Welcome to Challenge Number 08.

If you don’t know what the Challenge Series 2009 is all about, please read the Introduction.

Onto the Eighth challenge.

The Challenge

Don’t use your favourite weapon


These challenges are designed to make you think about how you play, why you do certain things and to introduce alternatives that may help you improve.

One of the common traits is that when we have the choice we tend to choose our favourite weapon if it is available. This might be the most powerful weapon, with the exception of the rocket launcher or it may be because you like the sound or way it works when you fire it. Irrespective of the reasons, I want you to avoid it.

Perhaps you first task is to list the weapons in order of preference. That way whatever weapons are available you can’t use the highest one on your list. For example. my list might be Crossbow, Magnum, AR2, Shotgun, Pistol and Submachine Gun. If I play a mod and the Magnum, Shotgun and Pistol are available I am not allowed to use the magnum.

Of course, sometimes you have no choice because of the ammo you have or some enemies require certain weapons, but just try to be sensible.

A variation

You could work backwards and with the exception of the crowbar, you must always use the weakest weapon in your possession.

Another challenge would be to only use the Pistol if it is available., I actually quite like the pistol – don’t you?

So, get playing and see how easy or hard this is.


  1. Joe

    WHAT no crossbow? I quit.

  2. landshark

    hm…what am I going to do without my trusty ar2?

  3. Grey Acumen

    Man, phil, you always come up with such ambiguous challenges. With a lot of them, the challenge is simply in remembering to stick to the challenge, which cuts your reaction time down drastically.
    I don’t even know if I HAVE a favorite weapon, except perhaps the gravity gun. I’ve actually had many times were I used the pistol constantly when other people would have switched to SMG or shotgun. The idea of using the pistol only unless you run out of ammo is interesting though. I’d still likely abuse it and empty out my pistol if I wanted to use a different weapon.

  4. Anonymous

    [This comment has been removed because I found it insulting – PlanetPhillip]

    To the commenter: If you can’t add anything interesting to a discussion please don’t comment. That type of behaviour may be acceptable on other sites but not this one. If you have a problem with that, please don’t visit my site again.

    1. clunkfish

      “Anonymous”: AKA doesn’t have the guts to put their name to their sneering.

      1. pants

        [The content of this post has been removed because it was inflammatory – PlanetPhillip]

        I don’t mind constructive criticism but what anonymous wrote wasn’t constructive.

  5. Ade

    Veeery nice challenge, I do that everyday, but in DM. I tried it in SP and it’s hard, those combine have aimbot!
    Truth is there is no greater weapon, it all depends on the circumstances and the player(s). Pistol is my favourite weapon, and I’m not sure if NOT using it will be a challenge to me, if I have bigger weapons 😛 Pistol is very accurate compared to other projectile weapons and does 2x damage than smg, so if you like to clickyty click fast, give it a try, you might just fall in love with it like I did.. Oooor (and this is related to another challenge), if you’re fast enough, you can make use of crowbar in tight spaces. And this time, also on a combine or two. HL is so much fun 😀

  6. clunkfish

    Would be lost without the shotgun – secondary fire especially!

  7. tungsten

    shot gun first followed by crossbow always aim for the head and dont forget the grenades for snipers last but not least the crowbar for those f—-g crabheads I hate them

  8. kico

    No shotgun? Noooooooo…

  9. I gave this a try last night with the second map of chapter 5 from Offshore; islandoverwhelmed2.
    This has a good mix of “in your face”, medium range and long range warfare.

    My over all favourite weapon is the shotgun (no surprise there, then).
    Least favourite, grenades. The Combine just do a runner but handy for wiping out a room full of zombies. Although, it is great fun throwing Combine grenades back at them – you usually get a kill – timing is everything.

    Weapon choice is about the combat game play. In order of preference
    Short range: Shotgun, SMG, Pulse Rifle. Gravity Gun if there is anything to throw.
    Medium range: SMG, Pulse Rifle, Pistol, Magnum.
    Long Range: Magnum, Crossbow, Pistol.

    Well, I finished the map OK and without my favourite shotgun
    Also played, when possible, with least favourite weapon – it takes forever to take down a Hunter down with the pistol and a ton of ammo.

    What is important to me is that HL2, episodes, good mods and maps give you the weapons and ammunition at the appropriate time. Weapon choice is often not in the player’s control.

    But I want my shotgun back, I want it back now! Gimme!

    1. You’ll get your shotgun back once you’ve done your homework and chores – not before. Now, go outside and play with your zombie friends.

  10. Pingback: Episode #56 » Podcast17

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