Kiwi’s team takes out world Laserforce title
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.
Hot shot: Baden Howe.