Wednesday, October 19, 2005

10/16/05 - Laser Tag Analysis

I made my third trip to Bob-O's Laser Odyssey on Sunday. This time, I took two of my friends from Juarez along for the fun and I was able to test some more of my tactical theories, mostly those regarding team play.

Without the aid of radios, team play is unquestionably quite difficult in indoor laser tag. It is dark and noisy in there, making communication, either vocal or gesture, difficult. Beyond the darkness, the fog machines and limited time to arrange meaningful hand signals with your teammates further limit the viability of gesture communication. Because of this, your team must adopt a more general strategy which is lose enough to overcome the difficulty of communication.

The general strategy we chose was to first hit the opposing teams' bases on the lower level and then seize and hold the upper level for the remainder of the game. This plan worked out very well. I've discussed the tactic of holding the upper level before but this time I actually got to try it. The first question was: how many people are required to do it? The answer seems to be "at least three." We were able to do it with three against eight opponents. A group of three was able to make a raid and reach the upper level but we drove them back quickly.

In the second game, the teams were even and it was six against six. We repeated our upper-level grab, this time with two additional people and decimated the other team. At one point, I was laughing maniacally as I blasted the opposing team from above. From the central opening of the upper deck, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Unfortunately, the small size of the other team did lead to a dearth of targets, which limited our scores.

The US Army's Field Manual on urban combat emphasizes attacking buildings from the top and moving down, to the point of scaling the outside of the building to get to the roof. The wisdom of this was made clear in the game statistics: our tag ratios went through the roof! My highest was 438% and one of my friends topped 500%.


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