Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Season 9 Schedule Released!

The 9th Summer Season of Fight Nights for the Midwest Laser Tag Association has been set!  It's a little shorter season than normal, mostly due to wedding preparations on my end... but it still should be a great set of games!  I figured I'd publish this information on the blog to reach more people about it.  Outreach to new players has always been important to the group, so whether you live in the Omaha area and have just learned about this or you're passing through on a trip and want to make a Laser Tag pit stop, here's all the info you'll need to know!

There are four special events in our 12-week season this year.  Below are details on each one.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Your Questions: ANSWERED... soon!

Hey everybody!  Wanted to thank all of you who submitted questions for the "Event Planning Q&A" thing I did last week.  It may have taken some bribery, but I'm excited to get to answering your inquiries about one of my favorite things to do: get people together to go shoot stuff!  Over the next week, I'll be putting together video responses to answer your questions about this... while simultaneously refinishing my basement.  SO, it might be an update-free couple of days between making the videos and working on my home.

Also, I've had a few surprising comments about doing more Laser Tag stuff... which is awesome!  Usually I get "Do more Nerfs" comments, but I don't have anything to show yet.  There's stuff in the works, but in the meantime, check out this fella!

Friday, April 25, 2014

ELV2 - Progress Update #2

Instead of talking about revisiting the long-forgotten Elite Longshot Version 2.0 project, I actually did some work on it today.  Made a lot of progress, but also have a lot of work ahead of me.  From tweaking the dodgy internals to deciding exactly what the colors to put where on the shell, not to mention I haven't even gotten STARTED on the LSFG... there's still a lot that needs to happen.

Still, I'm happy with the progress today and it's good to blow the dust off this and sink my teeth into it again.  Check out the video below that should bring you up to speed.

SledgeFire Fun!

This is probably one of the longest videos I've made in awhile, so I took my time and had some fun with it.  I'm fond of the ZombieStrike SledgeFire, so I did a two-in-one video.  The first half covers an easy modification that improves power and range without sacrificing reliability and internal structural integrity.  The second half gears up my MOLLE Rig with some pouches to carry 12 Shells and 36 Darts into battle!

Oh and I should say that the MOLLE Rig idea is kinda sorta "borrowed" from the awesome folks at Basic Nerf.  Go see what he's done with his MOLLE schtuff!

Lookin for the SledgeFire Video?  Click the link below.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Down to Earth Day - Super Soakers

I used to chime in about Super Soakers every now and then... but, from the looks of Nerf's 2014 lineup, I'll probably sitting this one out.  I was reminded today, being Earth Day, of the new look for Super Soaker by their post on their Facebook Page today.

Commence Rant Mode!

For the past few years, the Super Soaker lineup had taken on a bit of a "Tacti-cool" look to them.  Previously, the Thunderstorm, Tornado Strike, and Shot Blast had N-Strike compatible accessory rails and even had removable stocks, too.  They were fashioned much like their dart-firing brothers, but their performance wasn't too earth-shattering.  Lets be honest.  Half the reason these blasters sold was so you could ALSO get a cool accessory to put on your Nerf blaster!

The new lineup, while it still has a few recolored versions of previous models, has this odd white/blue/green look to 'em.  It makes the blasters look more like the goofy bright colors you see from other water gun manufacturers.  They've also done away with the accessories and such.  The designs in general (aside from those recolored from before) don't really fit the look the previous years had.  I understand why they've done this... to further differentiate the lineups from eachother.  ZombieStrike looks different from N-Strike Elite which looks different from Rebelle which looks different from Super Soaker.  But, in making the Super Soakers look more like the other funky colored water blasters out there... now I think they've shot themselves in the foot for one reason: cost.

Nerf Products always cost more than competitors.  If you ask me, the cost is justified because they do make a quality product that works well.  The "Nerf or Nothin" slogan explains why it's worth it to go with a Nerf Product over something else... and even the N-Strike lineup has picked up the "Elite" name to further shine marketing dominance over their competitors on the shelf.  But you can SEE the difference between the products.  So, in making the new Super Soakers look like your average run-of-the-mill water guns that are already on the market... but still have them more expensive, buyers are less inclined to give the triggerless pump-to-fire Super Soakers the sale if something just as goofy-looking can be purchased for less.

There's less of a pull for buyers to get a Super Soaker.  They probably get the same mediocre range as they have since they put the "Nerf" logo on 'em.  There's no cool accessories to pimp your dart blaster out with.  They've got goofy colors.  They lack a trigger (except those electronic ones).  They're still more expensive than most generic water blasters.  I can't be any more down-to-earth about this!  The new Super Soaker lineup has no real pull in my books.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Q&A: Everything Events!

While I was making preparations for the Introduction Video posted on Tactical Tag's birthday last week, I stumbled upon a lot of great old footage and it got my gears turning again.  Sometimes the best ideas for the future can come from the past!  One of those bits was something I think I enjoyed as much as readers and fans did.  There were two weeks where I answered questions from readers about Nerf and Laser Tag.  So, with the summer months coming up quick (sorry, Australia) and my own personal plans for the MLTA and a local Nerf group are ramping up, I figured what better time to field some questions about Event Organization.

It's really something I've pushed for awhile.  Not just to mod your blasters, but to get out and enjoy the fruits of your labor with your mates either indoors or outdoors (or both).  I did a video during those Q&A weeks specifically about Event Planning, so I thought I'd do two things.  The first, shed light on the information I've already provided (aka, go check out that video if you haven't before).  The second, field more questions from YOU about this and then go about answering them in a video format again.  It's a common enough question that I get both on a local level and in comments on Facebook, YouTube, and this blog.

SO, at the end of this week (April 26th), I'll hopefully have gathered up enough questions from everyone to put together a Q&A session for Nerf and Laser Tag Events.  Anything about events, from finding places to play to getting enough interest to start up a group (and keep it GOING), you ask 'em and I'll answer 'em!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Egg Day!!

Tactical Tag would like to wish everyone a happy and ridiculous "Egg Day".  No Cadbury Bunnies were harmed in the filming of this video... very much.

Put together a special video on this "Egg-Day" Sunday! Doesn't matter if you're celebrating Easter with your family today or if you're at home watching re-runs of "Home Improvement". Whatever you do... keep a blaster handy in case of a bunny sighting!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Slydev Systems

When this package from Hasbro showed up with 6 more SledgeFire Shells, instantly I got to thinking "what is the best way to use all this ammo I suddenly have for my beloved shotgun?"  Yep, that's right.  Slydev!

I've often talked about Slydev, that neato Nerf company with the custom accessory bits that bridge the gap (literally) between your blaster and your gear.  It's all about integration and weapon-mounted accessories with most of their stuff.  However, I've yet to pick up any of their nifty gizmos.  Not out of disinterest, mind you!  I just haven't really had a need for it yet.

Originally, I was just thinking of using a pouch to carry the extra shells in.  I've used the Dart Holder Accessory from the Barrel Break on this a bit, but it gets a little clunky taking out shells and refilling them on the fly, which is why I figured extra shells and a pouch would do the trick.  Honestly, when I ordered the shells I didn't even think of Slydev.  For some reason, the second this box showed up, BAM.  That's all I could think of using.

Now then, I'm not an expert on building these systems up and I've seen some impressive loadouts that utilize multiple rails and such.  I have a total of 12 Shells at my disposal, so what I'd like to do is figure out what combination of parts would work to maximize storage on the SledgeFire.  I get the feeling that having ALL those on there would be a bit clunky to make the blaster to use, so I'm open to suggestions on how to load it up.  Have all of 'em on the blaster?  Have a few on the blaster and the rest in a pouch? Also, if you have a SledgeFire loaded up, please share those pictures so I can get some ideas.  Thanks!!

Slydev SledgeFire Shell Holder

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

3 Years of Tactical Tag

To most US residents, April 15th merely means "Tax Day".  To me, it's a milestone for this blog and what it's managed to accomplish each year.  That's right!  Today, Tactical Tag turns 3 YEARS OLD!

While I actually have been quite busy over the past few weeks or so, I did manage to get a neat video together that kind of ties the past with the present in one big "Why I do what I do" video.  It'll act as an Introduction Video for my YouTube Channel and has some neat throwbacks of older gear and reviews mixed in.

Since 2011, it's been the same story.  Modifications, Reviews, Game Summaries, News, and everything that ties into those, it's all here. Yes... sometimes I blur the lines between the other stuff I do, but that's really what's made doing this fun for the past couple of years.  This element has made Tactical Tag unique and helped it stand the test of time that other sites that have come and gone sometimes lack.  Continuing this blog has been easy because, as you'll see from this video, it's part of who I am.  And when you're doing something that is just second nature, it's that much easier to keep it going.

I'd be lying if I said the only thing sustaining this blog was the fact that this is what I enjoy.  I come back to Tactical Tag every day to interact with YOU, the readers and viewers who fuel this thing.  So I want to sincerely thank you all for making this blog, YouTube, and Facebook page worth maintaining.

See the video after the jump!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Shellin for Shells

I did a reloading trick with the ZombieStrike SledgeFire a month or so ago.  I've had a lot of questions about spare shells for the SledgeFire and, at the time, the only way you could get more shells was to buy another SledgeFire.  However, I also knew that eventually Nerf would release those spare shells on their own.  Well, now they're released!  I pre-ordered mine and just got a notification that they're shipping now.

The pack comes with 3 shells for $4.99.  No darts included, as this is an online-only refill pack.  You won't find these on store shelves.  Regardless, if you want 'em, head on over to this link at to order yours!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Return of the Rocket

No, not the cool Racoon guy from Guardians of the Galaxy.  I'm talking about big foam hard-hitting ROCKETS!  The N-Strike ELITE Demolisher "2-in-1" is coming out in Fall of 2014 and with it comes the glorious return of the Nerf Rocket.  They've been absent from the lineup for a little while, and the last Rocket-launching blaster we got from Nerf was the Titan.

While we have known about this blaster for several months now, we've finally got a decent look at the size of this rocket in comparison to a MEGA Dart and Elite Dart.  It's not as hefty as Titan AS-V1 Rocket, but maybe that's a good thing?  It still has a large collapsible foam head, but it tapers off near the back.  It sort of resembles a Big Blast rocket the more I look at it.

Having a smaller rocket should make it easier to hurl further, but then again, there doesn't appear to be a ton of power behind the Demolisher Rocket.  To fire it, you'd slide the lever forward to fill the air tank and then (a la triggerless Super Soakers) pull back to launch it... so that tank isn't super huge either.  I'd be interested to see how the Demolisher's setup stacks up to the Titan.  Or, better yet, I'd be interested to see someone improve the launcher or make custom rockets like there were for the Titan.

Captain America: Stealth Suit, Rollout!

At the beginning of the year, I started building my next Costume in anticipation of the April 4th release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Most of the stuff came together quite easily, but then one thing led to another and I ended up running out of time to REALLY dig in and make this suit look screen-accurate.  We still managed to get things together by the premier of the latest installment by Marvel, and I'm still happy with how it turned out.

It worked awesome for the premier!  Got some compliments, saw others in costume, took some pictures, it was fun!  Then I got to see Cap sling that shield like never before in what turned out to be a spectacular film!  I had my expectations high, but the actual movie made those seem LOW.  The fight scenes, the plot, the one-liners, did I mention the fight scenes??  Holy cow was it a RIDE to watch!!  I won't spoil it for you.  Go see it!  Marvel really nailed this one and you'll enjoy every second of it.

As for the future for this costume, this is really just the first Phase.  There was more planned for it, but amidst everything else going on in my life right now, I just ran short on time to really do this Stealth Suit justice.  The majority of that work will be on the shirt, as everything else is pretty much set.  I'll be getting this thing more detailed, more accurate, and have it all awesome by the Halloween Game this fall.

In the meantime, GO SEE THE MOVIE!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mission Accomplished!

I didn't expect to fool everyone, but there were more than enough folks who took the bait with yesterday's prank.  Yes, if you missed your calendar, it was April Fools Day.  The "Rhino-Fire", as far as I know, does not look like that photoshopped MEGA blaster.  However, it was quite amusing to see some fans speculate over it.

If you did find yourself among the ranks that fell for this, don't feel bad.  I simply took advantage of the fact that Nerf has starved us of any decent News for a month or so.  We can probably blame this on the overload of information during ToyFair 2014.  There's buckets of new blasters that were all announced at once and now... we get to wait.  Some of the blasters we're waiting for might take over half a year to hit shelves, so the info-hungry fans of Nerf were spoiled in January and February and then starved through the whole month of March.  It set up the grounds for a prank PERFECTLY.  Any sort of news, April Fools Day or not, was going to be believable.

Besides, if you paid attention, there was a hidden clue in the bottom right corner of that post.  In a small black box with the text "April Fools!" (you can see it if you highlight it), you'll find the link to the image I used for this prank. ;)

Reading all the "It's a FAKE!!!!" claims right next to "I can't wait for this to get released!" posts was quite amusing.  Sort of reminds me of the Elite Longshot stuff, which was never intended to be a phony or anything.  To this day, I'm still seeing "YOUR A LIER" posts every week from people that are too dense to either A: read the description or B: see the embedded links and such saying "SEE how I made it!"

Gotta thank Buster Builder for the photoshop that I used for the "Rhino-Fire" announcement.  It was good enough to look new, but had enough small imperfections and clues to tip off die-hard fans that caught on.  Honestly, I think it was a good way to stir up Nerf Nation a bit.  Things have started to slip to the stagnant side for activity.  Some of the big blogs that thrive on news haven't had a whole lot to say because, well, there's nothing really to say!  Makes me happy that I do more than follow the latest releases.  I get out and play the game (including that awesome match we had on Sunday!)  Not just so I've got something to report on a weekly basis, but because I really think that's where the core enjoyment of this can be found.  Not waiting for something to show up on the shelf, but to get out and USE it!  So get off your computers and smartphones, people!  Go ENJOY your blasters!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Share your Nerf!

This week's winning "SOTW" comes with a bit of a cool story I thought I'd share.  The photo was submitted by Andu Mijomee on Facebook for Week #3 and I couldn't pass it up!

"These four lads are Danish (well, one's Norwegian). My school has an exchange program with a college in Denmark. In the last two weeks that their students were here, I ran into some of them at a Minecraft club meeting, and invited them to our Nerf wars. Since they didn't have time to go to their hotel for dinner, I made them all pasta with taco meat sauce (they were interested in American food traditions).

I elected two of them as team captains, and they tried doing Rock, Paper, Scissors in English and couldn't. They finally did it in Danish--saks, sten, papir (Rock, Scissors, Paper). I got them to teach it to me, and I try to enforce the new club rule that Rock, Paper, Scissors is to always be done in Danish! (After all, the point of the exchange program is the sharing of culture.) I got along well with the Danes, in part because the portion of my ancestry that I claim is Scandinavian, and I know a little more about the culture and mythology (non-Marvel mythology, that is) than most Americans.

The best part of this photo? The guy holding my Nerf foam Mjolnir is named Thor. No, seriously--that's his birth name.  I let him keep the hammer when he went home to Denmark."

Moral of the story?  Share your Nerf!  (And submit your photos for SOTW #4!)

Rhino-Fire Confirmed!!

Earlier, we reported on the latest name for a new Nerf Blaster, the "Rhino-Fire".  As it turns out, it's actually a MEGA Dart Blaster as opposed to the original rumors that it was for Hasbro's new line of toys for The Amazing Spiderman 2.  The Rhino-Fire is the first Slam-Fire Flywheel blaster!  Simply pull back on the lever to grab a MEGA Dart, and upon pushing the lever back forward, slide the dart forward into the firing chamber where it's hurled 90 feet to it's target.  It's a surprisingly simple concept and completely reshapes the way we think about Flywheel-driven blasters!

The MEGA Rhino-Fire holds 18 MEGA Darts in a rotating chamber and has a tactical rail on top and a shoulder stock adapter just above the rear handle.  There's not information on how many batteries it takes, as we've yet to see a MEGA Flywheel blaster.  I'd imagine it would take stronger motors to launch these larger darts to the ranges that Nerf expects from the MEGA lineup.  No information on it's release date,  but I expect this to debut sometime in Fall of 2014.