Potato Gun Battle (New game/sport)

An old shirt that finally had to be thrown away, ca. 1998 or 99

A potato gun involves a PVC pipe and a big can of butane for propellant, and potatos. Things that get stuck in your head and then coalesce into a whole idea in the shower. Drafts rules follow. Not sure of the ranges they have, so this may need to changed considerably.

The opposing sides (assumed in this draft to be 1 vs 1) assemble 3 (each) 50 ft circles of 3 concentric rings in an equilateral trinagle, the edges to be at least 30 ft apart. The opposing artillery men set up at dead center of their respective ‘bases’ (center of triangle, between circles). Bullseyes in each circle are to be worth 100 points, 2nd ring, 30, outer ring 10, and all misses, 3 (higher firing rate is also a skill). A direct hit on the opposing gunner will be 1000 points, and on the gun, 600, and either one ends the game, although if the guns is hit rather than the gunner, the person who scored it gets 5 more shots to run up the score. (helmets recommended unless a scaled down game with very small potatos). Though the incentives are not exactly to hit the gunner (gunner is small, mobile, and not in the 3 target areas), depending on accuracy, it could easily happen. 

How much time or rounds is up to you. High score wins.

Probably would work best with a bit of study of calculus as applied to mortars/artillery, though one could certainly try it with standard hand-held potato guns.

You’d need like six observers to count the impact location rather than bounce/roll, so maybe just use the final position, like bocce. Of course, for a party you might be able to line them up. Parking lots, sports fields, or other flat areas might do, depending on regulations. Geek alternative to corn hole?

On reflection this may owe something to the 18th century mortar/cannon duel outside the Tower of London (prison, arsenal, mint, army/navy fortress) in Neil Stephenson’s historical sci-fi (the science is real and historically correct, but the story uses it much more heavily than regular novels) The Baroque Cycle , I forget if in 2nd or 3rd book. When someone challenged you to a duel, the rule was, you got to pick the weapons (must be identical, of course); read the books if you want to know more.

I’ve created a shortlink to make it easy to remember & share any time: bit.ly/potatogunbattle

It is important for safe computing to look through unknown shortlinks with checkshorturl.com or similar before visiting/clicking. Especially on old or out-of-tune Windows systems or non-current browsers. Of course, NSA zero-day exploits may be undefendable! But you get to see the source URL first by using the check service, and decide if it looks squirelly or is already known or what yourself.


You may now download my ebook, Synaptic Syntactic: of unbounded phases and entangled echoes, for nothing for the time being, and I would very much appreciate it. It is here: http://books.noisetrade.com/cooperdozier/synaptic-syntactic-of-unbounded

Note on ‘Tips’: The suggested tip field was required. I didn’t want to set it to zero, as I have worked very hard on this, and I didn’t know what would be best to set it to. $6 was the default value, so I just left it. Not for greed, oh my no. In fact you can buy it for only $2.99 without giving me and email address (some store links at the page). So. Tipping is not demanded, though it would be appreciated. I would be delighted if a few more people would download it and give it a look today,  though… If you finish it & deign to leave a review review somewhere, that would be super awesome. But step one is just gathering some eyeballs.


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