Although it was a sweeping victory which placed most of the neighborhood under our control Vermin War 9 had also taken a toll on our team’s armament. It was a Pyrrhic victory of sorts in that we had come out on top with the W but had been left in such a condition as to be severely disadvantaged for future engagements. One more such victory would completely undo us. The enemy new this and challenged us to a rematch on grounds of their choosing.
The team that came I put together for the war was not only lacking in firepower, but was also severely undermanned due to numerous no shows and last minute cancellations. Out of our little 6 man team we only had 2 CPS blasters – a 1200 and my 4100. Rounding out the team’s armament we had an XP 270, SC 400, and 2 Water Warriors Fireflies.
The battle would be a 2 flag CTF game, with flags at each team’s base. Victory would be secured when one team seized the other’s flag and brought it back to their own base. I decided to go out as aggressively as possible, sending 5 on offense with only Joel in reserve to guard the flag.
When the bull horn sounded we rushed across the field and into the wood line between the two bases. Since I had not been shown where the enemy team’s flag was, we’d have to search for it. The two most obvious choices were the abandoned trailer and the tobacco barn. We headed for the trailer first.
We walked straight into the perfect ambush. Briar thickets surrounded the old trailer, confining possible avenues of approach to a single winding path that led to the rickety front door. We were within point blank range of the windows when the front door swung open – or at least tried to. The hinges were so rusted and broken that whoever was inside actually had difficulty getting it open. In that extra second we realized what was happening. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
The door flung open with a kick; almost hitting Eric, who was serving as our point man, in the face. Barrels instantly emerged from the windows and behind the door. I laid down fire with my 4100 at the nozzle poking around the open door. Eric was backed up against the trailer, with the door right in his face and a window behind him as we traded shots a mere foot or 2 in front of his face.
Fortunately the old rusty door had failed to open all the way, meaning its defender couldn’t see what he was shooting at. We had only taken one casualty as a result. Our 2 other teammates had backed down the path and were now lobbing balloons through the trailer’s broken windows. I was still caught in the open. The barrel emerged from behind the door again but this time Eric grabbed it, pointing it down to the ground and holding it in place, allowing me to turn the corner and soak its owner at point blank range. Paul and Garner took care of the other defenders, nailing them through the window. With the trailer now cleared and no sign of the enemy flag we ran straight for the barn.
We had no problem overwhelming the barn’s defenders as they were all lightly armed with piston blasters, liquidators, and hydroblades. Our 2 CPS blasters wrecked havoc on the opposing defense; but no matter defenders we hit, they kept coming back. The enemy team had placed their respawn zone around their flag. We soon got into an argument on the legality of this; however, our conversation was soon cut short.
“How do you have 12 different flags at your base?”
I heard the voice of the enemy team’s commander.
“What? I don’t know.”
“There’s 12 different flags, and they all look the same. You can’t do that.”
We had left Joel, at 20, the oldest team member, and only member who was in college at the time, to guard the flag. You would think, if anyone, you could count on your “most mature player.” So much for that.
“Well your guys put your flag right in the middle of the respawn zone, it practically gives the defenders infinite lives.”
It was clear that passion and the will to win was certainly not lacking between the two teams, but it was also apparent that both teams had a few players that would do anything to win.