Two scoops. Double down. Deuce’s wild. This week's Humpday Challenge ventures into Double Team Training, but unlike last week, we didn't descend from Mt. Bungie with 7 commandments and 3 massacres. Instead, this week it is brother(s) versus brother(s), a modern day Double Dragon, only the damsel we’re fighting over isn’t named Marian – her name is Pride. This week, star of Internet television and Red vs. Blue super-dude Burnie, joined Frank, Ske7ch and I in Double Team Training.
Frankie, Jimmy Lee
Burnie, Trigger Happy
Lukems, Machine Gun Willy
V.I.P. High Ground
Tone of Game: Sticky-icky-ick
In the Double Team variant of Very Important Person, there are moments where a team may not have a VIP assigned to them – the next person to die becomes the VIP. Strategically, in moments such as this, Frank’s tactical prowess bubbles up like the gaseous release of a sweaty stockbroker sipping Cris’ in a hot tub. Steel-plated martyr that he is, Frankie ran time after time into the very heart of combat when we were VIP-less so that he could carry the weight of Overshields on his mile-wide shoulders.
With Burnie and Ske7ch out to an early lead because of their incessant, nefarious and borderline illegal use of the Plasma Pistols on our VIP me, Frankie and I had to come up with some other strategy. After clawing our way back to a 5-5 tie, Frankie and I spawned by the Mongoose near the SAM Site. If there were little thought bubbles in the game, I would’ve seen one appear over Frank’s head with a lightbulb in it. With a sigh, I pressed RB to ride Brokeback.
To call taking the Mongoose out of the High Ground base when the other team has the Rocket Launcher and a Brute Shot a “tactical oversight” is an understatement of geo-political proportions.
In order to break this Seattle-rush hour brand of gridlock, we needed a plan. Something devious, dastardly and far less cheap than using the Plasma Pistol against their VIP.That strategy began and ended with getting Frankie the Spartan Laser.
Like desperate kittens, we clawed up the back of Ske7ch and Burnie’s upholstery and shed all over them.
Final Score: 10-8 Frankie and I
Crazy King of the Hill, Snowbound
Tone of Game: Aggressive Negotiations
The matchmaking gods reshuffled the deck, pairing Frank and Ske7ch for Crazy King on Snowbound. That meant Burnie Burns was stuck playing with me.
When he joined our little digital soiree he warned, “I’m not good, but I stay positive,” which made us almost direct foils, almost. I, like Burnie Burns, am not good, but I’m witheringly negative and a total jerk to play with. Before the match started, Burnie volunteered to be “Hill guy” – which meant that I’d just have to kill Ske7ch and Frank over and over again.
The same gods that paired Burnie and I, apparently guided my reticule during this game, too. Over and over and over again Ske7ch and Frankie fell. Dutifully, after every respawn, Burnie made a bee line to the King icon, frantically trying to wear the crown. Liege that I am, I swatted back Ske7ch and Frank’s repeated assault. A couple of double kills dotted the game, little hearts I left on love notes for Ske7ch and Frank to read while they respawned. In the post-game lobby, Ske7ch was talking about how “terrible” this Humpday was going to be.
Whatever, I was having fun.
Final Score: 100-39 Burnie and I
Team Slayer, Snowbound
Tone of Game: Strategery
In college, a professor once explained to me that circularity in storytelling was an important tool, “It’s important to end where you began, it gives the reader a sense of conclusion.” Circularity isn’t something to be trifled with, especially when our Matchmaking system is tossing us into different duos like croutons in a Caesar salad. But, on this night, Matchmaking wanted to tell a story.
Reunited with Frankie on Snowbound, he donned the power cosmic – Galactus to my Aquaman. Except in this icy, brightly-lit version of our comic mashup, Galactus drives a Ghost and carries a shoulder mounted Death Star on his utility belt instead of simply munching on planets like they were cloud-covered apples.
“It’s easy to take the Ghost out on Snowbound, they just didn’t do it,” Frankie says. The stats only show one vehicle kill, but the sheer amount of confusion, panic and tongues-lolling from gaping mouths that resulted from Frank’s brilliantly unpredicatble Ghost-driving turned the tide like a bloom-lit white wizard.
When he wasn’t in the Ghost, Frankie was busy “controlling” the Spartan Laser. By controlling, I mean spraying it till it was empty and then circling its spawn point like a vulture waiting for an unfortunate desert-crosser in a barely-watched Gus Van Sant movie to die.
Erratic vehicle use and weapon camping? Keys to victory total.
From the losers: “I actually thought that game was pretty close, aside from the bull-blam-.“
Final Score: 25-15 Frankie and I