Paintball, Wargaming, Laser Tag Skirmish Games & Combat Team Building

In the early days, when team building programmes were still new to Singapore & Hong Kong, the term “combat team building” was unheard of and when it was heard, it usually meant “wargaming” simulations where participants engage in indoor conflict simulation scenarios. It was more of a strategic planning game than an outdoor physical activity. These wargaming programs were almost run entirely by the military to train their officers in battle situations.

In the 1980s, laser tag equipment were limited to the military grade Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (or MILES as they are more commonly known) developed by the United Sates of America to train their soldiers in combat situations with firearms. The system comprises of a transmitter mounted onto the barrel of the weapon which fires a beam of harmless infra red light when the weapon fires a blank (a bullet filled with gun powder without explosives). At the same time, soldiers participating in the MILES training will also be wearning a body and a separate helmet harness with several sensors mounted onto it.

This beam of infra-red light that is “shot” from the gun revolutionalised the way military training is being carried out in the United States and in other countries (including Singapore). The light simultes the trajectory of the bullet and if it is picked up by the sensors worn by other soldiers, the harness of that soldier will register the shot and the small speaker mounted on the harness will give out a beeping noise (indicating that the soldier has been shot) and at the same time, his weapon is disabled. The MILES system became the choice equipment for modern militaries around the world as it is far more realistic in terms of range and accuracy for realistic skirmish exercises than using blanks alone.

Paintball, on the other hand, remained the preferred equipment for close quarter combat trainng and other leisure skirmish games for hard core fans of combat games. Paintball is prefered by some militaries during their training perhaps because it inflicts a certain level of pain (and bruising) when people are being shot and this may help toughen their soldiers.

Initially invented for marking trees and free ranging cattle (hence the name paintball marker), paintball swiftly gained popularity as an outdoor extreme sport. Paintball equipment are mostly powered by compressed CO2 cannisters. Modern equipment allows adjustments for range (by adjusting the amount of compressed CO2 emitted when the trigger is squeezed).

Tiny pellets containing coloured paint exit the barrels of the paintball markers at speeds of about 60 to 80 m/s, explodes upon impact, leaving the target stained with paint. If unprotected at close range, the naked skin may bruise or even bleed. It is considered an extreme sport in most countries and there is a legal age limit to participate in paintball games.

The good news is that, during game play, the paintball field operators will limit the range of their guns to probably about 50 meters depending on their playing field, this will also prevent  severe injuries when players fire at their opponents at close range (against regulations) in their excitement. Protective masks and clothing are also required to prevent injuries. 

In 2004 when laser tag equipment were finally introduced in Singaopre, it gave an entire new meaning to consumers as to what war games and laser tag skirmish games meant. Laser tag equipment are invented with leisure skimish games in mind and the technology is very similar to MILES equipment. The only difference is that laser tag weapons are entirely battery operated and do not emit any physical bullets (at all)! They are safe for children and the infra-red “bullets” will not cause any harm (no bruising & no bleeding).

Combat team building was only introduced when laser tag games operators started to integrate training objectives with the skirmish games to meet the demands of corporate clients. Today laser tag skirmish games are the preferred combat team building option as they are not as “extreme” as paintball (more ladies are open to this game) and the risks of injury are much lower. It is also less cumbersome as protective clothing need not be worn.

The different settings in the skimish equipment (number of lives, number of rounds per clip, firing modes) can also be adusted, giving a whole range of possibilities for different scenarios and mission types.

If you wish to know more about combat team building or laser tag skirmish games, please feel free to drop us an enquiry.

Leave a Reply