I don't typically play tactical laser tag. In fact I can count on one hand the number of times the opportunity has even presented itself (Armageddon '15 if you count the single game before they dropped the system, Baltigeddon '16 and '17 and a couple rounds of iCombat are all the tactical games I can actually recall playing). So this was different and it was off to Milford, NY to play at Barnyard Swing, home of Wild West Laser Tag using Steradian equipment.
We played a 1v1 in an "arena" built under a barn. The game master handed me the headband attached to the phaser and instructed that it should be worn around the neck like a collar (it had been modified with breakaway snaps for safety). Well...ok. I followed his directions.
For this game we had a twenty minute session. One person went in to hide in position while the other waited for the cue to go in and pursue. Sensors on both the phaser and the headband would register shots and the first person to land six shots would deactivate the opponent and win the round, then we'd return to the starting point. Rinse and repeat with the other player going in to hide. Most wins in twenty minutes would be the winner.
It didn't actually take us 20 minutes. I won every round (I think we went in 7 or 8 times) pretty quickly and so as not to "prolong the suffering" we decided that was enough.
Afterwards the owner was kind enough to show me the differences between the Eclipse phaser that we had used vs the current model Eclipse 400.
They have a few 400s on hand as backups, but mostly use the phasers they've had for about 12 years. All the equipment is stored in an outdoor shed.
The Eclipse I used was made using an apparent paintball gun casing with markings on the back to indicate the company who provided the housing part.
As compared with the lighter 400 series that felt a little less substantial and also had different sound cues when you pulled the trigger.
And he showed me how because of the "close quarters" of their playing field that the lenses were modified with a rubber piece to narrow the beam so it would play more appropriately within the space they use.
Compared to other tactical tag equipment this felt the closest to traditional that I have experienced. I always love getting to try out different laser tag equipment and it was really cool to play with a phaser that I was told by the site owner that they no longer make. This was fun!
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