I wanted to make a return visit to Arena 51 in Middleburg Heights before checking into my hotel for the night as I started my Cleveland trip last weekend. Arena 51 was a lot of fun when I last played there in a tournament, but more important at the moment was the fact that I had played there previously, so playing tonight would not screw up my count on my way to playing my 200th arena the next day.
By a perfect stroke of luck this happened to be their AYCP unlimited night, so there was a really good group of members and public players already there when I arrived. This also meant I got to play some special format games with Cyber Blast that I would not typically get the opportunity to play at other times. So let's talk about how some game formats are a little different depending on which system you are playing, Cyber Blast being the system du jour this night.
The first game we played was Rabbit. A little bit like Juggernaut, one person's pack turns white and your goal is to tag them so that you become rabbit. The ultimate goal is to be the rabbit for as long as possible. This presents a little bit of a challenge if you don't know what you are looking for because EVERY vest goes briefly white when tagged in this game. So you have to really keep your eyes open. :)
I hopped (like a rabbit) into this game immediately upon arrival, but had left my Cyber Blast card at home (my bad, I should just keep a Rolodex of my member cards in my car) so the manager was kind enough to replace my card with a new one... I can now play Cyber Blast as either Tivia or Tiviachick.
Then I went in for the second game, Capture The Flag. I usually dislike CTF, but I did want to experience the difference playing it here. As you would expect, it follows basic CTF rules. You get the flag by tagging the base and your goal is to return it to your own base. We played with three teams of six. This game is unusual in this particular arena because of the unbalanced placement of bases. The green base is in one "tower" (for lack of a better way to describe the separated upper level) while the red and blue bases are located in the other. So the path between red and blue is quicker, although much more activity and defense was played in that tower as well. I never even tried for the green flag. As a blue team player I opted to go for the red multiple times and when not carrying the flag I held the red base and prevented them from delivering their flag back.
The third game we played was Domination. This game was VERY different in CB. Unlike in Force or iCOMBAT where you try to hold three points (beacons or tubes) in this game ALL the targets were potential Domination points to be held one at a time or as with many as possible for points to accrue in :30 second intervals. You could earn 50 points for every one you hold for :30 seconds. So pretty much you just want to tag every target, base and element that you can and turn them from white to your team color.
While the game master commented that most people forget the bases, I found the opposite to be true this time. It seemed EVERYONE was focused on bases and I maintained several elements that seemed to go unnoticed by the other players. The top levels seem to be the "hot spots" in this game, however I remembered from my last time here that there are quite a few targets on the bottom level that seem to go unguarded quite a bit while people are shifting their attention to conquering bases. :)
The final game of the night was VIP. This is an elimination based game where a secretly designated player is the VIP and has 10 lives, meanwhile soldiers have 15 lives and when you lose all lives you are out. The objective is to try to eliminate the other team's VIP. In an ideal scenario nobody would know which player on your team is the VIP. However, in a group of mostly teens and adult players our team ended up with the one young player (roughly 9 or 10 I'd guess) who let the whole world know he wanted to be the VIP! He even rushed ahead and went into the strategy session with one of the other teams, so I have no doubt that everyone in that game knew our team's VIP was this kid (and plus he was so excited about it that there was no way we could NOT let him be VIP this game). So we had a clearly evident young VIP to protect and here was the next interesting challenge...he would NOT stay hidden! We had a corner hideaway all picked out where he could tuck in and be protected by teammates from all sides, but he was so excited that we could not get him to stay put. He's loudly leading a charge and running off ahead of us. One of our other teammates shouted to me to "make him stay here!" To which I had to reply "tell me how!" as I had zero power to make the kid listen. So off he went and off we followed just trying to pick off the other team's players and try to stay in between this kid and the other teams. Well, we actually held on longer than I would have expected considering. But protecting this VIP was MUCH more challenging than my past experiences playing this game format. Ah, well.
Overall this was a really great night of tag and I thoroughly enjoy playing at Arena 51.
They have a great group of members (I remembered Tom from the tournament) and it was really lucky timing for me to catch the tail end of the unlimited night before continuing on with my Cleveland adventures.
Comments or Questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com