Monday, August 18, 2014

S9 Concludes! Off-Season Building Begins!

There are two things you can be sure of at the end of every Laser Tag Season with our group.  The first is everyone is asking "so when's the next game?" as they're still anxious to get out there and have another go.  The second is that the workbench comes ALIVE again.  There's time for projects, to test things out, and to reassess your existing equipment.

But first, a quick review of how Season 9 panned out.  It was a shorter-than-usual schedule, as we started in late-May as opposed to the first or second week.  Despite the short 12-game season, we still saw near-record turnout at a few events.  We also never saw a game rescheduled or rained-out, although one game was stopped early as a thunderstorm rolled in midway through the evening.  The nights with iffy weather or humid conditions saw lower-than-usual turnout, so attendance fluctuated quite a bit this season.  Our Season Opener saw 30 in attendance and our Independence Eve Blast saw 36 while some games near the end of the season barely managed to get 10 players, so the atmosphere at each game was unique every week.

Season 9 also saw the introduction of some new game scenarios.  A favorite (especially with the smaller groups) was a "Snipers" game.  One or two players are selected as Snipers.  The rest of the players form a substantially larger team (8-10, usually).  The Snipers secretly select one player on the other team as "the Traitor" who attempts to help tip the scales in the Sniper teams favor by killing off their own teammates.  Because we're all set on Solo mode, friendly fire is a possibility... but it also means that if someone thinks they've figured out who the Traitor is and tries to kill them... they might still be killing the wrong guy!  To make matters trickier, the Snipers start in the park, lying in wait.  The other team starts from the outside of the park and starts to search, so they're usually walking right into a trap.  These games play out quick and are pretty interesting to be a part of on either side.

With the season concluded as of last Friday, it means we've now got plenty of time to work on projects that had taken a back-seat to busy schedules.  One thing most of our veterans have felt this year was a noticeable shortage of spare time, so a lot of projects we had hoped to work on during the season went unfinished.  Projects like the Demolisher 2-in-1M41A Pulse Rifle, and other custom blasters for players have been on the back burner all summer, so now there's finally time to dig in with those.  Development of the accessories seen on the LTAR-AR are ready to move forward.  I battle tested these adapters through most of the season on my primary blaster with great success.  These accessories, as I've stated before, should help make modifying blasters for newer players even easier.  There are several players who have been making great strides towards building up their own blasters that don't need the help, but others could benefit from these simple upgrades to better suit their equipment to their play style.

We'll probably plan a mod night or two to break some ground on our projects before we schedule another game.  Generally, it's good to use these Off-Season games to test out equipment and work out the flaws of new concepts and designs.  When Season 10 rolls around in May of 2015, we'll be ready with a whole new arsenal of customized gear!

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