Zone Nationals 2014 Laser Skirmish – Mt Wellington, NZ: Day 1 LoTR

So Lord of the Rings was today but before that was the welcome ceremony which went through a few things including the new trippples format game and free stuff! Including this years Nationals player shirt and complementary beer mug.

The LOtR draw was done differently this year.. This wasn’t reflected well by all the players and many players didn’t even play the event and used the day to sight see. Basically round 1 consisted of 4 games.. based in victory points. There was 4 randomly drawn pools of players meaning if you had a tough pool there was no way of advancing to the next round as it was only the top 9 players on victory points across all 4 pools that would advance.. meaning the winner of the competition wouldn’t have competed against roughly 70% of the competitors..

In the end I came 20th with 16 victory points and an average score of 2280 after some underestimation of new players and home site players..
My first game I was last with a score of 3105 only being able to get off a single shot the whole game, the second was a little better but still last with a score of 2508, but my final two games are where I was able to shine beating Victoria’s own Gunner and Guardian with a score of 1706 to 2602 and 2710. Followed by my next game which I got 1802 against Ibo who eventually made the finals..

Azrael ranked 24th with 16 victory pts and an average score of 2430
Ninja ranked 28th with 14 victory pts and an avereage score of 2329.

We returned to the site later on for more training sessions with Hobart B and Albury where we worked on different strategies and what works in such a maze. I was also able to get in a few games playing for Maroons which was defiantly a good experience.

On an ending note, they’re finally using planetZEON which is able to track scores over the internet as well as replay all match data at anytime.. I’ve really been waiting for this. unfortunately you need to be a member to view games etc. so its no use for anyone watching from home just yet..

 

Zone Nationals 2014 Laser Skirmish – Mt Wellington, NZ: Day 0

After getting into Aukland at around 11:30 and settling in at around 2am.. we had to wake up bright and early to get the rental car and then for our first lot of training, We soon found out what was meant by peak hour traffic and ended up getting to the site just before the last 2 games went in. The first impressions of the maze.. crazy, there is a middle section which can be accessed by many different ramps which then also ramps down to the bottom floor where blue base is… Also they used the colour yellow instead of the classic nexus green which was a good homage to infusion and no one seemed to mind.

NZ Maze Topfloor

We were able to score a few more training sessions later in the day, training with teams including the other Victorian teams (Werribee Ant Farm, Pick N Mix), The QLD teams (Maroons and Raptors) as well as Hobart A.. Some games were tough and really showed the difference in skill level. NZ also has Wendys (Burgers) and Burger King.. Defiantly on my to try list.

Adelaide Spring League 2013 write up

This league we picked teams a little differently from previous seasons.. This league I was put in charge of making balanced teams and people we happy due to a few things that happened last league… Firstly I got 12 players (Most of them rather seasoned, playing against most players) to individually rank all A grade players out of 5. I then collected an average score from the 10 more realistic rankers and divided teams more equally using those numbers. I decided to stick to 4 man teams as players dropping out/subs were just a nightmare to deal with.

This worked out well, as no one in the league could complain about teams being overpowered as they all collectively ranked the players (and if a team was, they should’ve ranked me higher >=] )  The season started off quite strange as no one won a game on Red (our most overpowered colour) But then unfortunately teams started losing players to other commitments/injuries etc.. Putting the team Don’t Shoot Raptors down 2 players as well as Josh’s pimps later in the season.

Aspring

Eventually once players started melding together better, Red was once again the super dominant colour winning almost every game. Even though Don’t Shoot Raptors started rather strong, we only just scraped into finals during the last week, while still keeping quite a low average.

ASpringGame

On the plus side, this season I was on fire, working out how to properly get pack points again and getting 3rd on the solo ladder for the first time in a very very long time. You can also see from the ladder below exactly how many subs we had to use throughout the season. *Most subs used were B grade players.

ASolo

 

But then came the finals, by this time so many players had stopped playing for various reasons so teams were scrapped together with people who didn’t make finals, It also states in the rules you can use players that haven’t participated in this season.. Which Ninja used to his full advantage with being able to pick up Pal our 5th Nationals team player for the finals. Don’t Shoot Raptors were able to pick up Harkrage making this the first finals in ages all 5 Adelaide Respawn players participated in. The games were good, with everyone getting a strong sense of red winning every game. But no one expected the results to be this close.

agf

only 28 points separated 2nd and 3rd. Everyone was on equal victory points, and as you can see, our colours have a certain pecking order as usual.

==========================
B Grade-

Wrecking ball was able to make it into finals after having quite a rocky start and was possible due to getting a new player a few weeks in.

BSpring

BGames

*Wrecking Ball only had one player show up in week 1 so were unable to play any games

BSolos

Just like A Grade, the finals were ridiculously close, surprisingly though blue and green swapped their rankings. This was the closest finals for both grades we’ve ever seen.

BGF

Adelaide over the last 12 months

The Adelaide team has come a long way since out Nationals reboot back in 2012, the first step major to where we are today would have defiantly been the Adelaide Road-trip back in November 2012 which you can find more information about here.

Since November last year I have travelled interstate on 8 different occasions, With 6 of them being solely for Lasertag. The full list of sites travelled to is below and I will go into further details about how we placed in comps etc following that.

Mid November, 2012
-Werribee (Laser Realm) – November Comp
-Geelong (TimeZone)
-Sunshine (Darkzone ‘Fun City)
-Melbourne (M9 ‘Crown’)
-BoxHill (Darkzone)
-Bendigo (Laserzone ‘The Zone’)
-Albury (Zone Laser Tag)
-Canberra (Zone 3)

January 30th, 2013
-Bendigo (LZ) – Kinda drunkenly kidnapped and taken here… long story

8th – 17th March, 2013
-Canberra (Zone 3) – Zone Nationals 2013
-Wagga Wagga (Visit)

3rd May, 2013
-Bendigo (LZ) – Members Night

8th – 10th June, 2013
-Werribee (LR) – Queens Cup (3rd place)

20th July, 2013
-Bendigo (LZ) – July Comp (1st Place!)

7th September, 2013
-Werribee – Site-op Conference Weekend Comp (3rd place)
-Box Hill (visit)

5th – 6th October, 2013
-Werribee -State of Origin Invitational (4th Place) (1st Place Team Elim)

So overall this yeah I have played Nationals (Canberra)
4x competitions in Werribee
1x competition in Bendigo
it’s been a busy year, with a few more to come.

Mid November, 2012
First off was the Werribee November comp, the amount we learnt from this was intense. We versed teams so beyond our skill level and didn’t even bring a full strength team over. We came 17th at our first Nats the closest ranking confirmed team for this comp was Bendigo who ended up 8th, followed by Werribee 6th and a whole mixture of Canberra players including most of the Falcons who came 2nd overall. This is where I believe Adelaide’s Skill/Learning curve started getting steeper and steeper. I was lucky enough to play all 3 finals games as a sub which was a great experience, playing against and with the best players over the whole competition. Overall I believe we ended up dead last for the comp, with SgtMoo making LotR Finals.

8th – 17th March, 2013
Four months later we were back in Canberra for Nats, this time with two teams. After the knowledge we bought back with us from the road trip including different maze dynamics and how players work well as a team, we were training hard for the whole lead up towards Nats and truly believed we could break the top 15 or even top 10 this Nats, Even though we weren’t predicted too highly. But after a very hard Round Robin draw, followed by two moderate cascades we were in the top 10, and were able to hang on to that and finish 7th which was above both Werribee and Bendigo who we played against in the comp previously.

After Nats there was quite a break in competitions, with the only one being in Adelaide where interstate teams were able to make it due to it being so close to Nats. The main format was Nats Tripppes where of course Nats triple finalists Myself, Ninja and Azrael took home all possible trophies from the comp.

8th – 10th June, 2013
before long though Albury announced it was going to hold its first ever competition on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Due to unforeseen circumstances it was moved to Werribee and I for one wanted to come home with an interstate trophy this time. Due to Pal being a successful Uni student and SgtMoo having a job, we bought a fairly new Adelaide player with us known as Vahn. We were also about to get Burritos from Werribee to complete our team. Compared to the previous comp at Werribee, this one was much closer and the alternative 3 bases were used to mix up the way the maze played (Luckily in our favour) as there was quite a few left-handed friendly shooter spots around the place. The old triples format was also played as a side event where the base emits IR after being destroyed, meaning if you’re pack is in visible reach of the base you would deactivate and lose a substantial amount of points. This was mostly just played for fun, leading to some clever strategies like destroying a base and pushing them in front of it  . We placed 3rd in teams overall, getting Vahn his first Laser Tag trophy… which was an interstate one.

20th July, 2013
After our continued success this year we went to Bendigo next who held a comp in July after winning the bid to host the 2015 Nationals title. Unfortunately Azrael was added to the list of Adelaide absentees as he couldn’t get time off work. For this comp we bought over FancyBoy from Adelaide Shrike, Ninja, Vahn once again and myself, and needed a sub. Luckily we heard both Moro and Samus were heading over without a team, unfortunately neither of them were in sight around the start of the competition but Deamon from Campbelltown asked to join us and we accepted. We started off a little rocky, but once I implemented ‘Ridiculous Adelaide Tactics’ we started seeing both good results and confusion on Bendigo faces. We won games on both Blue and Yellow which were the least powered colours. After we barley scraped into finals which all came down the last game which we weren’t playing, I was relieved we still had a chance in getting a trophy. Using our more recent strategies we were able to win all 3 games with Ninja having an average score of 16k and average rank of first. Straight after this comp was lord of the rings, it was only a quick comp and a very cold one, being on the roller rink. With a loud industrial heater being used in conjunction with huge 6m rings, it was at times difficult to hear others powering up due to players being able to spread out. Overall I was kicked out just before finals as only the top player from each ring could advance, my final score but me at 4th though. As for finals, it was the most painful series of LoTR games to watch, everyone was exhausted and starting to cramp up which when mixed with short quick movements was not fun for the players. There is some great footage of players in pain and cramping up mid games I’ll try and find later. Ninja ended up coming second for that event with UBH8IN winning.

BendigoFinals

7th September, 2013
The next comp was a small one chucked together since the Zone Site Operators Conference was the same weekend. We bought over Ninja, Moo, Azrael and this time our youngest representative Robin who had never seen a maze outside of Adelaide before. I didn’t have much luck holding down the bases in their new positions but we ended up coming 3rd, unfortunately due to time limitations there were no finals played but it is always good to keep our skills fresh with interstate players.

5th – 6th October, 2013
Last but not least is the most current comp we have played in and that is the State of Origin Invitational competition which was once again held in Werribee. I always knew this was going to be a tough one as the teams that were confirmed were the Dragons who won nationals, as well as Werribee, a strong Bendigo side, Hobart A and Campbelltown. We started off on a pretty good foot, coming 2nd in our first game I predicted us to lose, but slowly deteriorated as defenders seemed to go missing randomly during the game and so on. Our strongest point was beating the Dragons in a game and by the end of Round Robin we were only 3 points from bottom. Team Elimination was also played with randomly mixed teams, I was lucky to be grouped with Shiny from Hobart, Wazza from Canberra, UBH8IN from Bendigo and Ninja, giving us a pretty strong team. From game 1 we already had the perfect starting location where we locked down a section of the maze while in safe cover. Our team was fairly conservative, with only a few players going full out taking risks, after winning a few games other teams learnt from our tactic and were able to get more kills than us, winning games mid competition. By day two Team Elim finals were being played and we stuck to our strategy while other teams were a lot more aggressive, this was shown in the second game when teams spent most of the games eliminating each other allowing us to sweep in and get the last few kills to get a perfect game with none of our team eliminated and all other teams fully eliminating, basically sealing finals for us. If I was to play again, I would be a little more aggressive as I often had too many lives left by the end of the game. Being 5th/6th on the team event ladder we played Campbelltown about 5 or 6 games in a row including the start of cascades. We were able to finish 1 position above them each of the games securing 5th spot on the ladder before finals. Finals was done in a format I’ve never seen used before where it starts off as a descension until the bottom of the ladder is reached and then plays like an accession after a tough couple of games we were able to pull ourselves up one extra spot and only missed the top 3 by less than 3k points! Maybe next time.

Adelaide Winter League 2013 write up

With a surge of returning and new players we were able to form 5man league teams this season. Unfortunately Junior League was scrapped due to lack of interest, meaning that if younger players wanted to play they would have to be pushed up into B grade. Some people were against this idea in the beginning but I was all for it.

Creating even teams is extremely hard, especially when there is such a huge gap between an experienced social league player, a nationals team player and of course Ninja. It was also decided that we weren’t going to use any for of subs unless a team was dangerously low on players, This spawned a whole tonne of problems that I will get into later on.

Firstly the final team ladder before finals. As you see the top 3 teams were fairly close, earlier in the season they were on equal points for 2 weeks until my team ‘Team No Pe’ broke out into top place and eventually coming second by only 4 points.Winter A 2013

 

As you see below, this is why the points are so equal. Red base used to be very overpowered until the changes, unfortunately its the only way many of the social leaguers know how to play.. “Get the easier bases, then get red”.. Red becomes a shit storm late game, red wins.

[Insert Decent Pic Here]

But you might notice such a huge anomaly on the overall points in some games. Eg the second game on the 27/8. This was due to the way subs were played. If Team A had 4 players and Teams B & C had 5, they would get their lowest score dropped. That’s a potential loss of around 10,000 points, meaning even if red had 4 players they would still always end up on top. The huge negative effect with this is that if Team A has 3 and Team B has 4, Team C with 5 has barely anyway of generating decent pack points with 7 targets and lose their 2 lowest scores, While Team A gets 9 targets and keep all their points.But who is the real loser out of this situation?
There was a week in the season where THE CAPZ had their full team and the others only had 4, This is where the problems became clear. Ninja being the type of player he is, is able to cycle and help out players getting bases and this is when he used one of the most horrible yet intelligent tactics I’ve ever seen. He knew that the lowest team score was going to get dropped, so why even bother getting that player through bases, bang permanent defender. Once people started needing red, they had a 4 man defense there and were able to trickle out people who needed the last couple of bases. This absolutely destroyed the fabric of the game, with everyone on Red getting over 11k except the scapegoat player whose score didn’t count getting around 3k.

This really shows in the solo ladder too, as Torn only adjusted final team scores, preserving individual player scores.
WinterSoloA

 

Another interesting thing this shows is putting a ton of good solo players on a team really doesn’t work out positively, Tim(Azrael) knew at the start of the season his team would perform poorly overall and it was inevitable just with everyones’ set play styles. Then came finals, where subs were used.. causing more of a stir among some players.
BAKURA was the player that needed replacing for finals so solely using the information above Azrael would have been a great choice since he was like “Lowest seeded player” this season.. which is understandable there.. but was he logically a fair choice? Not really.
WinterA2013FinalsThe Da Dings had won.. with a sub. Uh-Oh. Ninja still without a team trophy since 2011. But as these points look like something you would usually see in a Finals series, it was lost by my by a measly 100 point difference between the other two teams in game two (As seen below.. when i get a decent picture)

Adelaide Autumn League 2013 write up

After our striving effort to Tripples finals at Nats, we decided to play a league of National Trippples format. So the winners of the EasterCup/Nats Finalists all part ways and formed separate teams. Unfortunately we only have enough for 4 teams, which meant only 1 base at a time would be a struggle to get (In most cases wherever Ninja was)

The results below show the total points of the whole entire season apart from finals.
ResultsAs you see it was very rough for my team (Sorry for party rocking). But were certain teams overpowered? The answer is no, the problem with a tripples league was stronger players could really help carry they whole team through bases etc. So basically whenever Ninjas team was attacking a base, they all got cycled through it twice, each. Also note we played with arena music on for the whole league. Here was the total game breakdown for the season, note my team didn’t get a certain first place >_<

Autumn League score breakdown

But then came along finals, we turned off the arena music for this one so team communication was easier and clearer. We played with all four teams so bases were still (slightly) more of a challenge to get. With the lack of music some teams were a lot stronger and had been taught well during the past 9 weeks. Was one of those teams mine?

Autumn League 3

Nope, But Jesters took it after a 76 league point difference it always comes down to the final games of the season. The final solo ladder is also a painful site to look at.
Autumn Solo Ladder

Zone Nationals 2013 Laser Skirmish – Canberra: Day 7 Cascade 2!

Mid-Week drinks was last night.. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay as long as I wanted, but it was still great to see the Zone players in a different social environment.

Our second cascade was defiantly more tougher then the first one was.

Our second cascade was defiantly more tougher then the first one was.

Our first game was with Hobart and Raiders, We were lucky with Raiders last time and with us being lower then us on the ladder I was sure they were after as many points as they could get. We tried a tatic that failed from the beginning, team mates lost eachother and we couldnt hold our base enough to cause some major damage. We ended up with a 3rd place.

The next game was against our friends Bendigo and WANK, We were on green for this one which is our stronger colour. Towards the end of the game Blue base was really locked down and we couldnt get those last few bases. We still managed to beat Bendigo, which in the end helped us get above them on the ladder at the end of cascades.

We were stuck in a Canberra sandwich once again with Jaguars on red and Falcons on blue. Falcons held their base towards the end with a 4 – 5 man defense, Unfortunately they diddnt have too many bases and we only needed two more from them. In the end Falcons came 3rd and Jaguars won, which was the opposite of what it should’ve been. This also made Falcons unable to overpass the Dragons for top position on the ladder.

Communication was a huge issue in the next game, The Sabers were very hung over from drinks the night before so it would’ve been good to actually beat them. Raptors held their base well and we missed some crucial bases needed to get a second place.

Luckily in the two final games we won, the first one was against the Widowmakers (2nd) and the NZ Silverbacks (3rd). We were able to cut through the defense at NZs green base and get many bases easily. Surprisingly blue was held well being our lest favored colour.

We really needed a 1st in our last game if we wanted to keep a spot in the top 10. We were up against NZ Kryptonite and Launceston Skybreakers. Similar to the last game, we were able to get in green easy, communication was a big issue in this game as calls were misheard, misinterpreted etc.. But in the end we were able to get a 1st which put us 9th, above Bendigo Blitz.

Tomorrow is the tie off day where Solos finals, Double finals and the start of Teams finals. Being so high on the ladder (and so bad at doubles and solos) we have a whole day off to hopefully relax before our games on Sataurday.

-NinjaJim

Zone Nationals 2013 Laser Skirmish – Canberra: Day 6 Trippples!

The whole day is devoted to Tripples.

The teams Adelaide had this year were:
NinjaJim, Ninja, Azrael

They had all six bases on this year which could all be 4 shot destroyed twice. They also used the older scoring (200 chest, 100 back, 50 for Phasor and Shoulders).

In the first round we felt like we did really well, with a high 58k score.. I got around 23k as I was solo’d the maze while the other two worked together. Bases were the hardest part, but the most rewarding as they are only -100 points per shot and 2701 points per destroy. Only the top 10 scores across all the games got through we of course, finished 11th meaning we had to play in the Repechage 1A game.

After the repecharge game we thought it was all over for us. We got 57k in this one but the team above us got 66k and got through to the next round.

By some miracle we got into Round 2, this was a lot tougher than the previous games and we got sent down to the repercharge once again. We changed our tactics and was able to get into round 3. We couldn’t believe how far we got at this stage, we got into Finals smashing the other 6 teams and coming first directly from Round 3!

Finals was difficult, we played 4 games and the total score determines the winner, with our worst game being dropped. I believe we did fairly well, the results arn’t going to be revealed until the dinner, but its possible that we got Adelaide’s second trophy for this year! Last year our best triples place was 28th. Next up is Cascades 2.. Our draw is a lot harder than the previous!

-NinjaJim

Zone Nationals 2013 Laser Skirmish – Canberra: Day 5 Teams Cascade 1

The draw we had for Cascade 1

The draw we had for Cascade 1

Cascades started today, luckily we had a fairly late draw.. which meant Sleep in!
Our first game was defiantly going to be a hard one, Falcons and Raiders while we were on green. Luckily green has been a really good colour for us, and with Falcons hitting Raiders hard, we were able to pull off a comfortable 2nd place.

Game two we played against Sabers and the NZ Team Kkat and others. After Sabers drilling us the night before I was expecting a second place, Luckily we were able to pull through and win the game giving us 2 more points than expected.

The third game was against Blue Steel Raptors and Widowmakers. I had really high hopes for this game, as we were doing to well. Unfortunately we pulled of a second, just shy of Blue Steel’s score

 The next three games were all firsts! It was defiantly surprising beating the Box Hill team and the last game was a treat, being able to Vs Adelaide Shrike once again! We ended up getting 32 points for the day putting us up in 8th spot! almost smashing our target rank of 15 by half! I think the next cascade is going to be very challenging for us, but next up is trippples all of tomorrow.

-NinjaJim

Zone Nationals 2013 Laser Skirmish – Canberra: Day 4 Doubles/Teams

Day 4 was the Doubles tournament.

My partner was Azrael, and we decided to wear or matching shirts every game (I had Bootza, he had Mad Cans from SunnyCoast, I had Nickfriday he had Frop from Fury)

Our first game was fairly high scoring, we both managed to pull all 6 bases and ended up 4th on a high 24,000 score. Only the top 18 scores over all games went though to the next round, the cut off was around 26,000.. so we missed out on direct entry to round 2.

Our next repecharge game didn’t go so well, halfway in I ended up tricking myself with calls saying I already had the base.. when in actual fact I had no bases at all. Tim was able to get his 3 and I managed to get one just at the end. As a team we came 4th from memory.. only the top 2 teams advance in repecharge games.

The draw for our final repecharge game was very surprising. The WHOLE Adelaide Respawn team was in there, along with a double of Shrike players and a Lycans & Hobart A pair as well. I made a bet with a Bendigo player that if we didn’t get a single player from Respawn in round 2, I would but the team a round of drinks.. luckily Ninja and Pal pulled 2nd place and getting through, But after some controversial tactics from a particular player our double diddnt do so well only pulling off a 4th (Out of six).

Our first game is at 7.00pm tonight.. so ill post deets after we’ve played.

First game tonight was against Widowmakers & Hobart B. We were green, which we seem to have a good run on in the past. Our tactics were amazing and were executed by our team well, no one strayed off too far from their positions and base takes were great. I ended up with both bases for a change and came out with the second highest score in the game.. I was on fire.

Yahtzee!!! WE DID IT, Our team ranks were 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. We vs’d Campbelltown Trojans (Blue) and Albury (Green) and had our game planned perfectly as we did the one before. To phyc us up even more Tim said if we win the next two games we’re getting Dominos for dinner. Unfortunately I missed out on a base.. but still managed to grab the 5th rank. There is a wives tale that if a Yahtzee happeneds the captain shouts a round.. haha good joke.

Third game Sabers & Shrike. Shrike were blue, we were green, this was obviously the first time we actually vs’d each other. We hit them hard at the start, but it back fired as The Sabers were all over us. They had their game sorted, all spots were perfectly defended and not too many of us were able to get their base in the end. We finished our last round robin game with a 2nd.. Over Shrike who we beat by 10,001 points :)

They released the current team ladder after the last game which now stands like this

Nats Round Robin Ladder 2013

Adelaide Respawn – 13th! Adelaide Shrike – 24th

This is significantly higher than last years, showing how well he have progressed as a team. The 16 points we gained tonight alone also helps us quite a fair bit! Our average score is also higher than the team ranked 6th at the moment, meaning we have played in some pretty huge scoring games!.. Ill try add scores later (again)

-NinjaJim