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Back in Albany

I was back in Albany last night for some Infusion and found myself in a couple of interesting games. I was top three all evening, but the first place wins I got were a little more gratifying based on the competition at hand. The first couple of rounds were decent (although I got a bad pack off the bat and had to swap it out early on in the game), but one player in particular stood out among the rest as being "the one" to take on as my challenge. He was good and clearly accustomed to winning also. For right or for wrong I spent a lot of time on the bridge just facing off with this guy. The smack talk flew, the shots cancelled each other out and it barely registered that there were other players in the game. I don't usually spend that much time going head to head with a single player, but somehow it was on right away. I didn't think that was necessarily my best showing as I could have racked up more points going after the others, but sometimes a chick's gotta do what a chick's gotta do. When we left the vesting room that guy gave me props for being "a ridiculously good player". He said he never faces off like that either, but he gave me a lot of respect for my skills and I had clearly earned my cred with him.

The second game was a mirror image of the first. I took third and second place respectively....good, but not good enough. The challenge was good, but I'm here to win some games, so I decided not to let my focus stay in one spot any longer. By the third game I had a new focus altogether anyway.

A swarm of teenage girls showed up and they were playing as a vicious pack augmented by a handful of rowdy college age guys. I was blue and after capturing the red base (my first move every time in this arena just to get it out of the way) I made my way up to the bridge where it was just a sea of red lights. The girls were the swarm and one of these college guys in particular appeared to be their "leader" as much as anyone could be. Basically they were bridge bullies and no less than five of them had their phasers on me at any given time once my presence was known. I worked through the crowd from one end of the bridge to another (stepping over the people on the floor...I'll circle back to this later) and when I was at the midpoint (obviously zapped out) and with three girls simultaneously aiming their phasers at me as they tried to "push" me off the bridge one of the other college guys said to me "are you blue? Don't you know this is our bridge?" To which I thought to myself "don't you know those are the magic words?" I don't know why, but I absolutely HATE when players announce that a bridge is their "property". So I decided to take them out. And their cluster strategy made it ridiculously easy to do. I vacated to the base of the bridge and hid behind a barrier. Then systematically I shot them like fish in a barrel. From that angle it was easy to duck for cover, but their red lights were easy to target and the speakers in my pack kept registering with affirmations like "good shot", "awesome" and excellent" over and over again. Then the one guy who was their loud leader figured this out and came down after me. He and his buddies thought they had this...however, one of them ended up on my team and was excellent backup keeping the girls in check from one side as I faced off with this guy down below. And you know what...the bigger they are, the faster they run away from a girl who gets a couple good shots off. He basically admitted defeat and scurried away from that part of the arena after a couple of go-arounds. Smile...that felt good. But what felt better was coming out and seeing my name at the top with over 20,000 points. Decimated it!

Back to my one major issue, which I addressed with the manager because I've observed it a few times now...I really have a problem with people sitting on the floor during a game. One girl was chasing me on both knees. Several players were either sitting or lying down. Now, technically this is not addressed on their rule board, but I've never played in any arena where this was acceptable. Sometimes I feel like I want to take on a "mom" role in the arena (like the other night as I'm literally telling some kid not to run with a lollipop in his mouth in the arena), but in this case I'm less concerned with their safety and a bit more concerned with my own. Stepping over bodies during a game...not necessary.

The fourth game I was in third place with a score of over 16,000. My first thought was "dammit" (about being third) and my next thought was "that's a good score, adjust your attitude now and just enjoy the game". So I did and took first in the next round before the place cleared out. I took some time for a few photos (like I sometimes do if there's an empty vesting room).

Then a final one on one round where we played stealth (which I absolutely LOVE!). To protect the innocent (as well as the cranky) I'll avoid sharing the details other than to say my opponent was not a happy camper after being shot by me a good number of times and he forfeited mid-round. I was irritated with that, but my record holds for never having lost a one on one in this arena yet. So, chalk that up as a final win for the evening. Thank you and good night.

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