Sunday, September 30, 2012

Should I stay or should I go? Tactical Tips

It seems like when I'm playing a laser tag game outdoors with friends or when I'm slinging foam darts around indoors, folks tend to make some odd decisions as far as their movement (or lack thereof) is concerned that is tactically disadvantageous.  Since this blog is called "Tactical Tag", I figured it'd be a good time to address this common issue that novice players tend to make.  This marks the start of a series of "Tactical Tips" I'll be making every other week for this blog.

Should I stay or should I go?

First I'll explain the basic issue that this covers.  It seems like folks get tagged out of the game all to easily when they're not thinking about how they're moving.  You can have the most tricked out laser tag blaster that shoots a gazillion feet with a rate-of-fire that would make the A-10 Warthog blush.  You can have a full-auto pipe-dream air blaster that slings homemade slugs the length of a football field.  However, if you're not moving correctly, or just making poor decisions in general when it comes to your movement, none of that matters.  Knowing when to stay put and when to be on the run is an important part of staying in the game and having an edge on the competition.

My golden rules for movement are easily broken down into a few points of observation.  In the same way that the tourists at Jurassic Park were instructed not to move when the T-Rex was trying to devour them, don't move when you think you've been spotted.  The movement will only confirm what your enemy thinks they already see.  OR they may not even see you at all, but any movement on your part could change that instantly for them.  That being said, if you are spotted and your opponent is on the attack, holding your ground is no longer a good idea.  Knowing when to compromise your stealth is a key element to winning the shootout.

Another point of observation is not to abuse your cover.  You may have the BEST hiding spot in the world, but if you've been spotted, it's lost it's value.  Sometimes we get too attached to good hiding spots and end up returning to them all too often.  The best hiding places are the ones you can escape from so you can get to another hiding spot.  If you don't have a good exit route, your spot is only really good for a few shots or so.  Don't get attached to these locations, as your opponent will quickly catch on and have a leg up on you.  Have a series of spots you can fall back to or an escape route that gives you good cover.

The big picture here is to be observant.  Moving with a plan, with purpose in general, is much better than just being a hide-a-saurus rex or being too stubborn to know when to abandon your coveted vantage point and find a new one.  If you tailor your movements to what your enemy is doing instead of waiting for them to spring a trap they may never end up falling into, you'll be much more successful in your gameplay.


  1. Good points Bazookafied, I really need to learn not to be attached to hiding spots...

  2. I spy a TV gun attached to an LTX! What does that do? Is that one of the Rapid Blast prototypes that Tagferret was working on, or is that some other type of homemade laser artillery?
    Link? I have two TV guns, and am interested in making them useful...

  3. Good eyes! That blaster belongs to a friend, but I can tell you what he's using that TV attachment for. He has outfitted the main lens with a "sniper lens" (longer range, tighter focus) but still wanted a shotblast for close-range protection. He removed the internals from a shotblast and installed them into the TV game module. At the push of a button, he can arm the Shotblast and fire a short-range attack in close-range situations.