Kiwi’s team takes out world Laser­force ti­tle

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Baden Howe might have been the only New Zealand-based player at the re­cent Laser­force In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­onships in New York, but his ex­pe­ri­ence counted for a lot.

His six-man team – Baden, brother Brent and four other co­horts from Bris­bane – took out the com­pe­ti­tion con­vinc­ingly, as they did last year in San Diego. The trip is be­com­ing an an­nual event for Baden, who lives in Els­don, with plans al­ready afoot for the 2012 event.

Seven teams took part, with Baden’s one of only two from out­side the United States. They were in un­fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings, not hav­ing played at the Fun Ware­house in Syra­cuse be­fore, and the sin­gle-level maze took some get­ting used to.

‘‘We thought this year would be a lot tougher,’’ he says. ‘‘It was more of an arena lay­out, com­pletely dif­fer­ent to what we’ve had be­fore. Plus, we had three new play­ers in our team, so we weren’t cocky.’’

The 15-minute games of Laser­force in­volve each team mem­ber hav­ing spe­cific du­ties – a com­man­der (Brent, con­sid­ered one of the best in the world at Laser­force), two scouts, a medic, and those re­spon­si­ble for heavy weapons and am­mu­ni­tion. Both teams are let into the maze and, amid plenty of run­ning and shout­ing, do their best to wipe out the op­po­si­tion.

Two days of prac­tice at Syra­cuse saw Baden’s team get a feel for the course, and he grew into his role as a de­fen­sive scout. Some of the other teams showed their hands a bit early.

‘‘They all came out at­tack­ing. Nor­mally, you have your com­man­der and scouts out front, but they sent ev­ery­one at you from the start. It was a real sur­prise, but we came up with a plan and adapted to that style.’’

Over­all at the tour­na­ment, Baden’s team lost just two of 82 games, and some of their vic­to­ries were not even close.

‘‘We were win­ning by a lot, re­ally smash­ing some of the teams. We worked it out that our team had over 100 years of [Laser­force] ex­pe­ri­ence and the near­est to us was maybe 40 years, so we were just a lit­tle bit above ev­ery­one else.’’

They won six tro­phies for their achieve­ments, in­clud­ing the big one as grand fi­nal win­ners.

Baden says ev­ery­one was chuffed’’.

This could have been his last tour­na­ment with Brent and com­pany, how­ever. Feel­ing like it is time for a change, he has been talk­ing with Detroit-based play­ers and may team up with them in Sacra­mento in 2012.

‘‘pretty

Hot shot: Baden Howe.

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