When I play first-person shooters, my emotional state fluctuates between wild jubilation and embarrassing child-like pouting. No matter how my soldier is faring on the battlefield, I find myself leaning on specific gameplay mechanics like stealthy knife stabs or full speed tank rundowns. The reasoning? I get a big kick out of annihilating foes in unintentionally comedic ways. If I’m having a horrible match, one repair tool strike to the back of a sniper’s skull lightens my mood, and usually ends up being the highlight of my day. Here are my all time favorite pleasures of war, listed in no particular order.

Stealing Dog Tags (Battlefield: Bad Company 1 & 2)
I’ve never been much of a melee expert, but the melee is my weapon of choice in Battlefield: Bad Company. Whenever you successfully down a foe with a knife strike, you take their dog tags. The dog tags are engraved with your victim’s gamertag. When I enter matches with players named “Mydogdoeslegs” or “Infallible_Taco”, I lick my lips in anticipation of getting their dog tags. I should note that the importance of the team and winning the game always come first. If I don’t have an uncontested risk-free knife attempt, I don’t go for the kill.

Chopper Gunner (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
Modern Warfare 2’s care package drop system is similar to capsule toy vending machines. For me, the game’s most intense moment is when the package lands at my feet, and the contents are revealed. I usually end up getting a disappointing UAV, but from time to time, I do score a chopper gunner. Maybe I’m just a hell of a shot, or maybe this vehicle is overpowered, but I always end up getting a dozen kills from its gunner seat.

Sticky Grenades (Any Halo)
Through hundreds of hours of practice, I’ve turned sticky grenade throwing into an art. Within 20 feet, I can land a grenade on a specific body part. I’ve even managed to find a high level of success from long range, like a Major League outfielder throwing a bullet to home plate. Some of the pleasure comes from watching players that don’t know the grenade is on them go about their business. The true allure, however, comes from a grenade placed in the opposing players’ vision. The panic and evasive maneuvers they try to conduct in the moments before death are priceless.

Penetration Kills (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 & 2)
Snipers who frequent windows are best killed when they retreat to hiding. I usually pepper their body with a shot or two, then when they duck to the left or right, fill their protective woodwork with bullets. Basically, I’m sending the message, “Nowhere is safe. I will kill you wherever you snipe, coward.” I wish I could leave that note on their corpse. As we all know, snipers always return to the same spot.

Last Stand Kills (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 & 2)
Yes, I know I am going to die when Last Stand is activated. Still, being able to drop an opposing player (usually your assailant) in your last breath is an intoxicating and hilarious experience. On top of this, it’s highly embarrassing for the opposing player.

Proximity Mines (GoldenEye 007)
If I ever abused a game’s weapons, it would be GoldenEye 007’s proximity mines. I would place them on weapons, on the side of doors, and around every corner. Most of my kills would come from me cowering in a corner, as opponents blow up like fireworks. No one enjoyed playing GoldenEye with me.

Vehicle Melee (Any Game With Vehicles)
When I’m piloting a vehicle (preferably a tank), I always freeze for a second when I see an enemy trooper on the road. I should shoot them, but I usually end up hitting the gas. Sometimes enemies fly through the air Looney Tunes-style. Other times, just knowing they are underneath my wheels or treads is reward enough.

Unleash the Hounds (Call of Duty: World at War)
That’s all I really need to say. Sending your four-legged killers off to tear apart the opposition is an act rewarded by distant barks and kills for several minutes in a match. More first-person shooters need animal servants. I’d love to see a new Turok include a “summon the T-Rex” kill streak reward.

Honorable Mentions:
Chainsaw Splattering (Gears of War 1 & 2)
Energy Swords (Any Halo)
A Shotgun Blast to the Face on Energy Sword Carriers (Any Halo)
Perfectly Cooking a Grenade (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 & 2)
Leveling a House Filled With Snipers (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)