International Laser Tag Tournament 2018: results
In 2018, the international laser tag tournament has finally come back to its homeland. Since 2012, we’ve come a long way from Smolensk; we fought on the Alabino tank polygon, polished our tactics and strategy in Mokshino, scraped through the thicket of the Khotkovo game polygon. Throughout all these years, the ‘Maneuvers’ have always been associated with the LASERWAR brand. In 2018, the event was visited by 407 players. Traditionally, the event gathered the participants from different cities and countries. A sports tournament, a scenario game, an obstacle course, a fire show – we wanted every player to take with him a part of the big history that would be remembered forever.
The game battles have ended, reviews have been written, and we are eager to share the way that we, the organizers, see how these 3 difficult and intensive days went.
At first, though, a few words about the preparation. What is the major factor in organizing an event? That’s right – it’s the place. We looked into lots of options and compiled a whole list of polygons that were suitable for holding a big laser tag game. Then we picked the best option. In 2018, the abandoned military quarters of Gusino village. It wasn’t easy to obtain access to that polygon. Lots of approvals from the Ministry of Defence, letters of notice to the FSB, to the police. We had to come to an arrangement with all these security agencies so as to avoid any problems. We did an excellent job here. The players had a gorgeous polygon with buildings, a forest, good roads, and conveniently located respawns.
The work was in full swing after that: drafting the map, frequent trips to the polygon, establishing the camping site, gaining approvals from the local administration, ordering marketing materials -– this is just a fraction of the issues that have to be settled during the process of preparation for the event every year. We kept on working over weekends, too: we answered players’ questions, considered suggestions, published materials in the official group. This year, we aimed to provide as much information on the scenario and game interaction between the devices. For we were preparing a complex scenario game with 3 opposing groups. Therefore, it was important to us that every participant was prepared for the severe confrontation. we are jumping slightly ahead, though.
SPORTS TOURNAMENT AND OBSTACLE COURSE
10 June is the official start. On the very first day, the players could sense the atmosphere of the forthcoming event: the uncompromising sports tournament and the obstacle course put everyone’s endurance to a test.
The participants towed a car, crawled underneath barbed wire and fought for every centimetre of the game field.
In the sports tournament, different age categories, the results were as follows:
1 place - Alliance
2 place - Yunarmejtsy 25
1 place - Spets
2 place - Veggies
3 place – Stk Top Gun
1 place – Dream Team
2 place – Omega Laserdog
3 place – Alfa Laserdog
All the winners were awarded medals, LASERWAR prizes and received acknowledgement of the players who have been participating in laser tag competitions for quite some time.
Year after year, we see how the international laser tag tournament has been evolving from a scenario game into something bigger. 2016 was noted by the Hunger Games. In 2017, there was a whole complex of entertainments, including an aerial lift and trampolines. This is just the beginning. we understand that one scenario game is not enough for the players. The international laser tag tournament is a festival to which whole families come, where old friends meet each other and where new acquaintances are made. Next year, we are planning to enhance our entertainment program. The scenario part will remain the central element of the event. Yet besides the big game, there are going to be new enjoyable stages.
Changes are going to be introduced to the tournament. Once again, we are concentrating on a sports tournament that has a well-defined set of rules, refereeing, and an area on inflatable figures. Yet next year, we want to revise the format and veer to sports and military elements. We are sure that new laser tag stars will shine on the award pedestal in 2019.
SCENARIO GAME AND FIRE SHOW
The scenario game of the international laser tag tournament always puts players’ endurance and will to win to a test. This time was not an exception. Hundreds of players carried out tasks, sabotaged, cut the enemy in the rear, guarded their key objects for 14 hours. We need to point out that the scenario was closely linked to the game characters. Laser tag fighters had not only to capture the scenario ‘genetics’, but also to interrogate them and then accompany them to the required destination.
What made the scenario game a memorable experience? By the fireworks, play devices, engineers, doctors and the third party that took part in the made-up conflict. With the help of the ‘greens’, we aimed to create the pressure that all the players could feel. The South and the North didn’t have even a second for rest and for lunch. When the hot June weather, the equipment and the difficult tasks are taken into consideration, you will be able to get the picture of the work load every participant of the ‘Maneuvers’ coped with. All the teams fought to the last ditch, all did their best and achieved final results in the combat tasks set for them. The battle resulted in a draw – it corresponds to the principles of the event and the number of points earned.
A few words about the night phase of the game. It’s no secret that this is the most dangerous phase of a scenario part. The risk of getting a trauma is very high, especially during intensive game collisions. Therefore, we limited the number of players from the start. According to the plan, respawn locations had to be changed for the night phase, the polygon area decreased, play maneuvers had to be localized under the control of the organizers.
As we didn’t get the sufficient number of players, we decided to do without the night phase. Yet to pay due respect to the participants, we decided to hold a small game round the control points. That wasn’t as we had planned, but we realised that we had to consider the wishes of our our laser tag fighters. As a result, the night phase did happen. That wasn’t the main scenario, though, that had been approved initially. We hope we have made it clear on this phase of the game.
We want to note separately about the Fire Show. Such mini performances have an overall positive impression from an event. The musical arrangement, the adeptness of actors, and the fascinating flame – can any other laser tag event boast such a delightful bonus? Probably, only the Maneuvers can.
PROFITABILITY AND POSITIONING
Maneuvers have always been unprofitable events. This is a fact. Our team organizes it not for the sake of money. We have taken on this project and we know what it means to be responsible to the society. We hold this event every year. Our players would have to pay a lot more for the service they receive at our event, which costs them just 500 roubles per day. Besides, there are simply no other events of such a scale on the map of laser tag games. Clearly, it is not only the participation fee that is forms a trip to an MLT. You will have to pay for transportation, petrol, plane/train tickets, return trip. When we talk about the cost of participation, we consider all these. We aim to make sure that you get the cheapest ticket possible. We give discounts, too.
We also want all players to understand that our expenses on Maneuvers are not calculated by the formula ‘firewood+water+toilets’. They include salaries to our staff, petrol, business trips, camp arrangement, purchasing any extra essentials, the work of designers and production artists. All these need to be considered when evaluating our expenses. This event does not bring us any profit. We are not trying to blame players for this, there is just something that we know for sure: if we stop organizing MLTs, no one else will ever do it. This is a fact of life.
We do a big event and we feel that we are still at the beginning. The Maneuvers must become a major event, which can be attended by families with kids. An event at which one can play laser tag, participate in a tournament, navigate a series of physical obstacles, play volleyball, attend an acoustic concert, sit around a bonfire and find out about new laser tag industry developments. This event is for those who are interested, who are not afraid of difficulties and ready to overcome any obstacles. To avoid ambiguity in interpretations, the name of the event will be changed to ‘International Laser Tag Festival’. No pitfalls. Honest and straightforward. We’ll be waiting for all those who enjoys big games and active recreation.
PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR
What is most difficult about holding an event of such a level? It is hard to change the location every single time. It is impossible to avoid mistakes at a new place. Cognition comes through work. Different things can influence the way an event is organized: the map, whether the place is familiar or not, whether the teams are equal. To achieve high standard levels, one needs to hold the events at a familiar place for several years in a row. And we have already mentioned earlier that we have found such a place. All the participants have noted the enormous potential of the Gusino polygon and we can assure you: next year, we will realise this potential to the maximum. We have created 47 notes based on your reviews and we have made a project of the event. All your wishes regarding fireworks, the scenario and characters have been taken into consideration.
Due attention will be given to delegating responsibilities to the organizers. We understand how many people we need and at which points they will be located. We will simplify the job of explaining tasks to the generals, create videos of special briefings, so that one can watch them several times. Changes will be done to scenario games, where single player and team quests will be introduced: each participant will be able to feel what he has done to help his team win. We are sure that the IFL 2019 will become an annual event as much important and as much anticipated as is MLT 2018.
MANEUVERS RESULTS AND CRITICISM
THE Maneuvers ended with a final line up, the announcement of results and the final words of the generals of each side.
The organizers would like to thank the participants, team captains, generals. It’s nice to see everyone again at the biggest laser tag event for so many years. Thanks to you, guys, MLTs have remained the most spectacular, discussed large-scale event. It is no secret to anyone that all the big battles are the creation of players.
A few words on critical notes. Year in and year out, the event is criticized basically by same people. In 90% of cases, these people do not visit the international laser tag tournament. And still, they do write a review. We do not consider the opinions of those who just want to earn likes and blab in social networks.
Some people, though, share constructive criticism. And we are grateful to them for noting the things that need improvement. Those players are interested in making MLTs better. All these people follow same rules, and we don't think this to be a coincidence:
— Praise publicly – criticize privately;
— As you criticize, offer a suggestion;
— Criticize strictly to the point.
We would like to thank once again all those who really keep their fingers crossed for the future of the event. We will consider all the suggestions and complaints and will fix all the problem areas. Thank you everyone who sees the difference between to show off one’s wit in comments and offer helpful advice. Owing to your help, even more people will gather together for the 2019 May Maneuvers.
See you in 2019 with renewed vigour.