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Two Arenas, One Long Night

It was a bit of a toss-up for me which arena to go to tonight. I am trying to play Zone on Saturdays, but find the practice at the Laserforce arena so much more worthwhile on the whole. However, I said I'd be back for Zone, so I went there first with the intention of seeing if there was a decent crowd, playing one game and then moving on. Well, the competition there was actually quite good this evening (although not the set I expected to see there) and I ended up playing against about ten high school guys...the semi-jocks as I call them. One of them (who incidentally was a very good player) recognized me from a previous night and seemed to have a score to I decided to go full out and give it right back. That first game was AMAZING...and odd. I say odd because I know I was on fire (as were several of these was a really good round of solid competition). At one point one of them shouted up to me on the bridge "hey, do you have a name?" and I replied "Tivia"...and when I pull out my player name it somehow feels like I'm playing for the honor of Greyskull, know what I mean? So I played it out incredibly hard and was certain I killed it. So it was quite a shocker to leave and see my score was third...and considerably lower than I thought it should have been. That's what I mean by odd. But it was a REALLY good game, so I accepted that sometimes that's how the cookie crumbles and I started to leave because I had only planned to play that one game...but my ego turned me right back around. I just couldn't leave Zone placing third, I had to go back.

So I went into a second game. As we were preparing in the briefing room the guy who recognized me asked if I remembered him. To be honest, I didn't. I asked if I had met him here or somewhere else and also wondered how those games had gone because he seemed friendly enough, but no doubt I was the target of the night. It was another round with me going in surrounded by these high school guys and this time I was in the head space to knock it out of the park and call it a night here. This was another VERY competitive round...which I appreciate. Although I do go in to win, it means nothing unless it's against worthy competition, which was absolutely the case here. Except for one thing...I didn't win it. I came in second to that guy by 100 points (meaning I lost by a single shot). Second place by that tiny margin? Good enough? I again started to leave...and then turned myself right around again. You know I can't go out like that!

So I went in for a third game. Now here's where I got sloppy and unfocused and wasted the time that probably cost me the top spot. That guy and his buddy were on the blue team (I was red) and I had gone straight for their base. They were not about to let me have it. So what began as a bit of a dog fight turned into the three of us shooting each other just to keep the other from going anywhere or gaining ground. Two of them standing there pointing their phasers right at me and taking turns so even when I took out one the other was right there waiting to take me out.

Waste. Of. Time.

But I dug my heels in for some reason. I eventually did get the base, but rather than extract myself from that scenario I stayed and kept shooting them out of principle. Reasonably enough, one of them asked me what principle that was...I had no idea. I just knew I was keeping them from acquiring points the same as they had done to me. I repeat...

Waste. Of. Time.

And then I decided that this was a pointless and stupid way to spend the game so I left the base and went off to actually play the game. At the end of it all I came in second place again...sheesh. I figure that if I hadn't wasted that time early on in the round and spent that time actually playing properly that I would have been able to take first. So, satisfied that it could have been and kicking myself for being goaded into playing any other way I decided this time I really was done and I headed over to the Laserforce center.

Honestly, I wasn't immediately certain I made the right choice. I had just left a place where the competition was very good this particular night and when I walked into the other center it seemed a little quiet with less intense competitors around. The swarm of girls from the night before had returned and one of them recognized me and said "I didn't think you'd be back"...ha, ha, ha little ladies. Just to make a point I didn't sign in that round and I went at it hard without the level six constraints...just once, just had something to prove I suppose.

The second game (with that all out of my system) I did sign in...and stupidly so as that triple shot is a killer and I did a little damage to my average as I was not using my practice membership. I know intellectually that I have to suck it up and play as a level six against level ones if I am to improve, but it really is such an ego, motivation and average killer! Third game I had enough of that and I didn't sign in. I simply wanted to win...and I did.

I so wish I was better at picking which games to sign in for (I was Twister here). I may need a third membership soon :) I think this was probably right around the point the first half of the night concluded and the young ones left, but I stayed on for a longer go around with a group of adult players who came for the late night. That was cool. When someone suggested playing men versus women I smiled to myself...I knew what was about to happen, but these guys did not. I played it out and earned some cred right off the bat before balancing things out by signing in with my practice membership. That seemed like the more fair thing to do. I enjoyed playing with this group for a little while longer and then the night ended with a free for all. One guy did quite well and it was clearly going to be between us for the top spot. Once I'm red I fight hard to keep it, but I enjoyed getting to play with this group and had to commend him on a game very well played. Fun night...long night...I left around 1:00 in the morning and had my long drive home, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday night.

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