I have never played Delta Strike before, so when I learned that this was the system being played at Merrimack Valley Pavilion in Tewksbury, MA I knew I wanted to play here. This was an interesting experience.
I watched the briefing video, paying more attention than normal because I wanted to learn the differences in this system. I found that there were quite a few details that weren't covered, so I asked questions while checking out the playing equipment. To me it felt like Delta Strike merged a few elements from several more familiar systems.
The phasers were a little larger than what I am accustomed to...not as big as Quest, but kind of like an oversized Infusion phaser. There were two buttons on the side that allow you to toggle between phaser (narrow beam) and blaster (wide spray beam).
The vest felt like a pod styled more like a Darklight vest.
As mentioned, there was quite a bit left unexplained, both by the video and by the staff. I asked if there were bases and I was told no...however, it was never mentioned that there were targets scattered throughout the arena. I discovered those in the middle of the game with no instruction as to what they would do. I took my shots and I experimented by shooting at the targets as well and saw my score go up, so I figured there was only benefit in doing so.
At the end of the first round I took first place, but was told that this was only half of the full game and that we would go back in. Each game was played in two rounds of eight minutes each. Before we went in again I asked about these previously unmentioned targets. The game master said "oh, is that what you meant by bases? We just call them extra bonus points". So I took that at face value and prepared for the second round and scored higher with this enhanced knowledge of what to look for in the arena...except that wasn't the full story and it wasn't fully representative of the game, even though I won again and came out with a better score this time.
The main issue I had was that the staff didn't explain the game formats thoroughly and, more to the point, didn't explain when they changed between formats. The first two rounds played were apparently "one shot" game, meaning one shot would deactivate an opponent. I played as Iceman.
However, when we played the next game as a free for all I realized that there was a change that really threw me a curveball because it was not explained in advance. During our free for all they reverted to what I suppose is considered a "normal" game format because everyone kept insisting that the games were played the same...but I can assure you they were not. Our packs were assigned a color from a wide variety spectrum since we were not playing as teams. In this format I discovered on the fly that one shot was no longer enough to deactivate an opponent. Instead the object was to shoot an opponent multiple time to wear down their energy reserves and once depleted you could deactivate them for points. That is a HUGE difference and I can't believe they didn't make note of the differences before we went in. After we finished round one of the free for all game I returned to the vesting room with rapid fire questions. It was not the game master, but rather another player that explained the targets were not just "extra points" but rather that if you shot one when it had turned the color of your vest that you could either get extra points...or it could be detrimental. It's a gamble. That also would have been vey useful to know BEFORE the game started. Sheesh! Upon learning the rules I did much better in the second half, but found myself a little frustrated at having to learn from experience rather than from advance instruction. However, the targets still were a little confusing because for the second round of that free for all game our vests all turned red instead of the multi-color variety they were for the first round. So, I just rolled with it. I had a good time, but I'm understanding much better what one of my fellow Armageddon players meant when he facetiously suggested to the group that "we should organize a Delta Strike tournament...just so we can invent some rules." I totally get it now! :)
And yet, I really enjoyed being able to try out a system that was brand new to me. I also thought they had a pretty cool jungle theme going on throughout a nicely designed, two level arena that was fun to explore.
Glad I had my first experience with Delta Strike on this journey while passing through Massachusetts. It was an education!
Comments or questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com