I always assume that people who can play laser tag any time they want (i.e. the game masters) actually do play whenever they want and therefore must have a leg up, especially in their home arena, over the casual player (or even the weekly renegade like me). After all, I play a lot, but I do have to make an effort to drive a fair distance to play so it's not like I'm practicing every night. So, whether this is a correct or incorrect assumption, I generally expect the game master to be pretty good competition if and when he plays. And because of that the victory is all the more sweet if I happen to come out on top of one of those games, which is what happened in the first two Zone games last night. Props to the game master who went in and played it out...and he played some good games...because I really appreciate someone who gets into it along with the players and isn't just there to clock time. To me this made for even more interesting games and then when I ended up with the top score in those rounds it felt way more rewarding because I knew there was particularly worthy competition in those rounds. It was a pleasure to play.
And let me acknowledge he had his comeback too. Third game I was second to this guy when he joined my team and I was no longer shooting against him. At one point in this game he commented to one of the players "you can't beat her" which I took as a cool compliment...until he actually did! Well played. In between time the games were decent and I kept a pretty good winning streak up for most of the night. I played favorites with a new pack as "Cyclone" as I decided last time I was here that something wasn't quite right with my previous favorite pack, "Legend". The Cyclone pack somehow felt and sounded slightly different tonight, which I inquired about, but maybe it was just in my head.
There was a cute moment that I smiled about internally, but did not speak up about since I knew the explanation would be self-evident shortly. There was a guy who came as part of a group and it must have been his first time here because after the first round he loudly commented "This time I want a pack that will register on the board because my pack wasn't up there last round. My pack name was "Rift". I'll pause a moment for any seasoned laser tag player reading this to smile at that also. I was tempted to explain it to him right then and there, but I suspected he was with his girlfriend and I didn't see the point of possibly embarrassing the guy by correcting him when he would certainly realize upon entering the vesting room again that they are in fact all Rift packs.
I don't know why this center doesn't mix up their game options, but they simply don't. Every game is standard three team play and lately that has felt a little boring (not playing a standard game in and of itself...just the lack of variety compared to other places where I go) and someone asked if it was possible to play free for all here. I told the room I knew that they could do that, so perhaps if we all spoke up they would run a free for all game. We did, and they did. I won this round and found it to be a lot of fun doing something different in this particular arena where often times it all feels vanilla. This time there was something fresh to the game, which was cool. They left it on free for all for the rest of the night (maybe they think it's a pain to change between games?) and it made for a more interesting evening. I also thought it was cool to see the games evolve throughout the evening as the core group of players adjusted their tactics accordingly. Cool night, a good challenge and props to the game master for getting right in the mix.