I had just enough time before the end of the night to make my way over to Escape, a bowling alley with bar/grille and a nice little two level laser tag arena in Troy, MI. I called ahead and Anna assured me there would be a game to join when I arrived, so I made my way to the site and got there in time to join a group that included a few patrons and a couple of employees.
Not pictured in the photo (because he was taking the picture for us) was one employee (and I apologize for not catching his name) who decided to go rogue. While three of the ladies teamed up on blue and I went on red with Anna and Nikki, with seven players we had an odd number of players. I suggested that this guy might do well to play on the blue team, figuring that since one of them showed up wearing high heels that it would help to even things out if he teamed up with them. But instead this guy chose to play as a team of one. Well, in my mind that meant the dynamic suddenly changed from a team game to a cat and mouse chase...which I must admit I enjoyed far more! You see, I was far less interested in tagging the ladies than I was in keeping this guy from farming points on everyone. Mathematically that's what happens when one player is able to shoot at all the targets while the team players have far less targets from which to pull their points. So I made a far more deliberate effort to even the score here.
I began by taking the base.
Then we meandered through the double level maze and I appreciated that we actually had a pretty good game in spite of the inherent imbalance. I had a very good time playing with this group. And I held the lead against the solo player, acknowledging afterwards why he had to be the primary target in there...which of course he knew.
Although the arena here is not very large they used the space quite well. The bases had enough cover that they a player could not easily be tagged from the top level.
The map layout had enough places to take cover while being open and playable.
I enjoyed the game and even more enjoyed chatting afterwards with manager Nikki (different person from the Nikki who played in the game) who has a background in Laserforce...even though we were playing Zone here. We compared notes and realized that we know many of the same people in the laser tag community. I have really grown to appreciate the fact that everywhere I go I find that laser tag is such a small world and I'm only ever a few degrees from knowing someone who knows someone I've played tag with before. It's really nice to have a sense of connection with tag players all over the country! Before I left I decided to stop over to the bar area and order some food for the road. I had been up since 2:00 am and had not eaten on a sensible schedule. So I took the food (which included quesadillas and a REALLY good banana bourbon cake) with me to my hotel, checking in at about 1:30 in the morning. 23 hours after I started the day my head hit the pillow hard, but I slept well knowing I had already had some wonderful experiences this day and looking forward to all the places I had left to visit. What a great way to start the weekend!
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Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com