Armageddon Day 3 took us to Ultrazone in Bensalem, PA and it was a little nostalgic, reminding me of the last time I was here with my AATB/Ascendance team. Sigh...good memories. Now I would hope to make more memories with a new team.
This time when it came time to play it felt considerably different. As the only "Zone player" on our team this was the system I was to take more of a lead with, but for as many Zone sites as I have played I realized it has been quite a while since I've actually played the tournament format. So this was both a rare treat and a chance to rack my brain for something beyond "Elmo, Elmo, Elmo!" (shout out to RivalBlue, Diz, Razz, Threl and Bubblez with that one...miss you guys!) It also makes me stop and consider why I identify as a Zone player when I don't have any access to playing the tournament format locally (even though I do have a home Zone site in Albany). Unquestionably, I play in our local Force site more frequently than any other location and yet I don't call myself a Force player because I don't regularly play the SM5 tournament format. In fact, I have deliberately made that distinction, so why do I think of Zone any differently? I think it comes down to having played Zone first before experiencing anything (and almost everything) else. But I digress...back to Armageddon.
We started the day with breakfast quite literally calling my name...
And then the bus took us to this familiar destination to start a full morning of tag.
They use Helios Pro and have briefing room art to reflect that (which I'm reasonably certain was updated since my last visit here in 2015).
Then of course it's on to the vesting room.
And then on into the uniquely shaped arena with bases in three corners.
Because these are three-team games we had longer windows of continuous time in the arena. If your team isn't playing then you're in there reffing. Once again, I'm going to just gloss over the challenges and focus on some positives and a few moments of personal accomplishment. I was pleased to learn that I pulled the top Zone average for our team, even though it was by a lesser margin than I hoped and was not enough to counter the wallop we took for much of this system. And yet, I still love it and if given the choice I still would have played more of this over any other system we played. But every tournament gives you a chance to grow, so I count that as one of the benefits of playing with people at this level. Especially bearing in mind that most of them have been tagging for a considerably longer time than I have with systems they are able to practice regularly. A few even work for laser tag companies or own/manage laser tag businesses. So considering all that I think my team played with heart on a system that some were playing for the very first time ever, so I congratulate them for working together and making some strides and adjusting the tactics throughout the events that resulted in us taking second out of three teams in a third of these games. Not as good a showing as at Tron, but still something.
After Zone we headed for a popular local restaurant right in that same plaza called Taranova's...excellent food!
Then we headed for Wyomissing where I broke off from the group for a visit with a friend for whom I'm doing sound and voiceover work on an animated movie. How nice that this tourney took me right to his hometown with a nicely spaced break so we could have sushi and chat!
Then came time for Laser Quest Wyomissing.
Hunter and I got our "arts and crafts" time taping the LQ arena codes onto the "surfboards" (activators) before the rest of the group arrived.
Keeping with my "t-shirt for every system" theme I sported the latest LQ wearable gear.
Meanwhile the guys were doing their Ghostbusters thing...
And we played. And we groaned. And we tried to keep track of the packs. And we groaned some more. And we took heart again that we had points on the board...although clearly not enough.
But at the end of the night we mostly enjoyed the camaraderie of the group.
Well, I enjoyed the camaraderie right up until it manifested into a pillow fight in the hallway of the hotel keeping me from getting to my room and getting some sleep! But nobody really expects much sleep at an Armageddon. That will have to wait until after the Force events tomorrow!
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Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com