There is a new outdoor sport out there called Laser Skirmish that is taking the world by storm. I actually discovered laser skirmish online several years ago, but I just had the opportunity to actually play laser skirmish for the first time recently.
Basically what has happened is that laser tag has been improved to the point that it can be played outdoors now and in full sunlight. Laser skirmish is much like playing paintball, but with weapons that are more accurate, have greater ranges 7.62×39 hunting ammo and without the sting associated with paintball hits. Some of us actually like the pain that goes along with paintball, since it adds realism, but one of the advantages of laser skirmish is that it allows for younger players who would not be very excited about being hit by paintballs.
Laser Tag/laser skirmish is actually a misnomer to a degree, since the weapons used do not fire a laser at all, but instead fire an infrared beam that is harmless. Players wear a Velcro band around their ball cap. Attached to that Velcro band are two sensors. When an opponent fires his weapon at your head, the sensors detect a hit. Your weapon is attached to the sensor via a cord. There are several different brands of outdoor laser weapons being manufactured. The weapons we used emit an Ughhh sound when you take a hit. After you receive enough damage points, your gun will not operate, your digital readout on your gun will read “Dead”, and your gun will make a sound to let you know you are dead. At this point, you have to return to your base and respawn.
The laser weapons can also be set for ammo. Our weapons had an unlimited supply of ammo, but each clip contained 40 rounds, which forces you to reload on occasion. During your reload an opponent might charge you and you are helpless to defend yourself.
We played 20 minute games. During the first game it was our mission to defend an area where our opponents were to try and plant a bomb. Then we were to try and prevent our opponents from reaching the extractions zone. We successfully defended our area and denied the enemy the chance to plant the bomb, however, 3 of their 4 soldiers reached the extraction zone. Points were awarded based on mission accomplishment and each gun records damage inflicted on your opponents and damage received by you. This is computed to give each player a score and is all added together for a team score.
There are numerous battlefield scenarios that can be played with laser skirmish. These scenarios promote teamwork, leadership development, and all out fun! There is information on the internet on how to build your own laser skirmish weapons using components you can order. First however, I recommend you find the closest laser skirmish field in your area where you can play to see if you like it as much as I did. Personally I think it is more fun than paintball, and somewhat safer and the range and accuracy of the weapons allows for more realistic battlefield scenarios.
Darryl Rodgers is a stay-at-home dad, author, and adventurer. He grew up in rural South Carolina hunting, fishing, and playing in the woods near his home for hours at a time. At the age of 19, Darryl started a career as a corporate pilot. He served as a medic in the Army National Guard and eventually became a Copilot/Gunner on the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter