Spoiler: This story from Friday ends with me loving tactical laser tag...
I was a little unsure of where this night was going to go as I had planned a trip to Rochester and Buffalo that was centered around playing a late night event at Rochester Laser Quest...that as of 5:00 looked questionable as to whether or not it was even going to happen. Now, I'll drive anywhere, anytime, especially for a laser tag adventure, but with the event up in the air I was hesitant about setting out knowing that if I went I was into this trip for my time, my mileage and the cost of a hotel room because of the distance. But I'm an optimist...and knew I could make the night worthwhile either way by checking out the new Lasertron that opened over the summer in the Rochester area. So, while waiting to see what developed with Quest, I decided to try out this new Lasertron location.
When I walked up to the counter I had to decide whether it was worth it to hedge my bets on staying here all night or going to Quest with enough time to arrive by 10:00. I prefer buying the best package, which was the four attraction deal, and was very happy to learn that if I didn't use them all tonight I could save them for another day. Sold! :)
While chatting with the guy at the counter I mentioned that I'd be going to Amherst the next day. The manager on site overheard and gave me a free game pass...very cool and many thanks! He said he remembered seeing me there before. I told him I'd only been there once, but he insisted he remembered seeing my Photon hat...ha! I guess that's my statement piece...even if only the die hards know the statement I am making with it. He said to tell them Steve sent me and I thanked him and said to tell Bill I said hello and that I had played on his Armageddon team. Laser tag land really is a small world.
I took my new card and registered. I also took the electronic alert that would signal when my game was going to start. Makes good sense...
I hoped it wouldn't go off when I took my t-shirt out to my car before the game. Incidentally, the Rochester shirts are much cooler than the ones at the Buffalo location. I really like the style much better.
Ok, time to play. I opted for a game of sport laser tag, knowing if the Quest event ended up falling through that I could return and try out the tactical arena too. But because this is one of the Snowmageddon sites I figured it would behoove me to get into this arena at least once.
I went into the briefing/vesting room with close to 40 players and watched the video.
Our team immediately divided up into offense and defense. I opted for offense because getting bases in this game feels not only like I'm helping my team, but also like I'm validating something from before...you know what I mean? However, tonight I fully recognized where my mathematical folly was five months ago. Here are the numbers to illustrate it...
8-24 people = base points are 100-200
25-40 people = base points are 150-300
You gain 40 points when you tag someone, you lose 5 points when you are tagged. So, partial logic dictates that if you are tagging a base and someone is tagging you the minimal value of the points you lose would be outweighed by the greater value of scoring higher base points. BUT...if a swarm of opposing team players are gaining 40 points per person, per tag by tagging you out while you are in the process of getting those base points the value of the points you've allowed the other team to score may be greater than the amount you bring back to your own team for the base itself. I had processed the first part, but not adequately examined the second until tonight. Then it all clicked.
I didn't score the highest, but I felt I played respectably. I was red 11.
And a chat with the ref afterwards solidified my understanding of the game. Still not my fav, but I enjoyed playing four back to back rounds (I forgot how long it takes to get through a complete session...exhausted already!) and then I called to see what the situation was at Laser Quest. I was told the late nighter was a go, so I hopped into the car and took off for the Quest arena 20 minutes away.
When I got there I knew immediately that this was not going to happen. I went intending to play until 2:30 AM at this scheduled event...
But when I got there I was the only one standing there. Apparently there was a group in an iron man round in progress. If they stayed we'd be good to go. However when they came out of the arena it was clear they were a bachelor party with other plans for the remainder of the night. The few people who were candidates to stay quickly deemed it not worth the time with so few players around. Then it was just me again.
It was apparent that this wasn't going to happen tonight. The girl on duty felt badly that I had travelled so far for nothing, so she gave me several free game passes. That was nice. I asked if I could at least walk the arena with the lights on to take some photos and get my bearings. I figure that was at least worth hanging out for. And depending on my schedule I might try to get back there tomorrow before I head home. But for tonight, no Quest was played. I decided to head back to Lasertron to make something out of what was left of the night.
When I arrived I asked to get in on the next tactical game. Unfortunately that wouldn't be available until 1:00 AM (and this was at midnight). Sigh...well, I had arcade dollars on my card and I won myself a shot glass. That's something I suppose.
Meanwhile, let me give additional props to the staff, especially "Markie Mark" who made a point of asking me how I enjoyed myself here since he heard me say I had played in Buffalo before. It felt like a personal and genuinely interested inquiry and I appreciate that as a customer...it made up for paying $3.50 for a bottle of water (seriously?)...so, thanks.
Once 1:00 rolled around I had my first experience with playing tactical in an arena setting.
Three words I never thought I'd say...I LOVE TACTICAL!!!
Either I have had an incorrect idea of what tactical tag actually is based on my one experience with it outdoors in a wet, muddy field OR it's possible I've just given it a misnomer by assuming all tactical laser tag was like that. Playing tactical at Lasertron was very similar in a lot of ways to playing Zone. I called upon my Zone experience, particularly my sniping skills and our team never lost a game. And we were with some aggressive players for sure...on both sides.
My favorite moment of the night was when one of the most aggressive and intimidating players on the other team came out after the session and said to the room "She was the man on your team. She ate her yogurt today, that girl Tivia!" Smile...I get a giggle when people think my name has anything to do with Activia yogurt, but nonetheless. The feeling of victory and that comment at the end made it well worth playing until 2:00 in the morning. I had an unusual, but very rewarding night.
Comments or questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com