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Armageddon Adventures - Day 3

Day 3 of Armageddon was one that we were anticipating for a few reasons. I looked forward to playing Quest again at the only location in the country where the system is still being actively used at a laser tag business at Laser Zone Canton. The unique opportunity available at this site was probably a big consideration in planning this year’s Armageddon route. It was a pleasure for me to return to this arena, where I most recently played when they hosted me for Tag 4 A Cause in November. I was glad to experience this arena this time around with my team.

As usual, we did a walk-through of the arena. I had played here more recently than anyone else, so I took the time to re-familiarize myself with the arena in full lights, and take more attentive note of things like the placement of reflective surfaces.

What else would I find in this arena? Perhaps a Jabber?

We had ample time to take for this because the schedule kept getting revised…three times! Now, that’s an organizational issue for ‘geddon that has absolutely nothing to do with the staff here, who are exceptional and deserve a shout out. It was great to see a couple of those familiar faces again.

Time to play!

This felt a little different than usual. There was a lot of “pack blaming” going on by a lot of players, but that’s nothing new. I get that sometimes packs have issues, but I’m not crazy about someone attributing my successes to the pack any more than attributing their weaknesses. Sometimes you get outplayed. Sometimes it’s just like that.

In spite of having a couple of Quest players in our team this system just did not go our way.

So, we simply moved on in anticipation of playing Tron for the final system of the day. We headed off to WhirlyBall in Bedford Heights, OH.

Let’s start with a picture of our team smiling.

Now, to say that everything went wrong is an understatement, but a lot had to do with factors that were beyond our control.

I was prepared to sit this system (by choice) because I was on a team made up almost entirely of Tron players and I wanted to cheer them on and get out of their way so they could do what they do best. Because I had never played at this site, I did jump into the practice game just to check it off.

Then I used my time to talk with players on the mic to get comments for an upcoming Armageddon Edition of my podcast.

I had ample time for this for two reasons. First, because I was either interviewing players or taking photos while my team was in the first couple of games.

And second, because the packs literally did not stay charged past the first half of the scheduled games. We had to take an unexpected break for nearly two hours while the packs charged up mid-competition. Hey, at least we got a break for lunch (props to the delicious food at the Winking Lizard Tavern).

You can probably guess from the charging issue alone that we were not playing on packs in the best condition. They were older and a bit beat up (much like we were feeling at this point!) and even though I know I just made a point about not blaming the packs, in this case they really were a big part of the problem. Props to the kid (he looked like he was 11 years old) who was teching the packs, but…seriously, re-read that. An 11 year old was teching the packs for Armageddon!

The game format was not what we had expected either. Although I still have nightmares about CHIPS (only partially joking about that), I might have had different feelings about Armageddon mode, which is a format created by Armageddon where you start with 300 shots, but only 5 lives before you go down for 5 seconds and then come up with the same. Energizers not needed and it is pretty much team shields up/down with bases.

I listened to the briefing, but did not expect to have to use it. However, there is a reason teams carry an alternate player, just in case.

While I was mid-podcast interview with Micro, Wil came over to me and said “you’re in”. I’ll edit it from the recording, but I’m pretty sure I said “oh sh—“, wondering what happened that I was being called into the game. Turns out Brenden had gotten sick at the end of the last game, so I had to step up.

Now, we haven't blamed Wil for anything in a while, so I'm going to take this opportunity because he kind of predicted this when he told me before things started "You've still got to be ready. If you're in the middle of an interview and we need you, you have to go in." That's exactly how you set up the universe to throw Murphy's Law right in your face every time!

So, the last game of Tron I went in to defend the base. However, a certain PITA who knew how to exploit my weakness kept cycling around and there was not much I could do to keep him down. Sigh. Not the way Tron should’ve, could’ve, would’ve likely gone in another arena, but it is what it is.

At this point I the writing was on the wall for this tournament unless something REALLY changed on day 4, so on the way back to the hotel I made a detour to pick up an ice cream cake.

We had a team gathering to celebrate the things that had gone well during the tournament and to put the other things in the rear-view mirror before moving on to the final day of competition. No matter what happens in the arena, Armageddon is still a great time with awesome people!

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