Laser tag gets tactical at Battle House in De Pere
By Ben Rodgers
DE PERE – Laser tag has grown up and it can be found in De Pere.
Battle House, at 2125 American Blvd., is tactical laser tag, complete in 13,000-square feet which contains seven connected two-story buildings and offers players a multitude of game modes.
The business has been open since April, but showed off for De Pere officials at a ribbon cutting event on Friday, Aug. 24.
“It’s a workout and challenge just figuring out the map,” said Deidre Knapp, co-owner along with her husband Craig.
It took Craig and his son, Carter, Battle House field marshall and tactical lead, two-and-a-half months and 1,400 sheets of plywood to transform the space into a real-life map one would expect from the Call of Duty videogames.
There are nooks and crannies, perches that look down, and lots of windows that make for perfect vantage points for long-distance shots.
“We have 12 games you can play and there are different variations,” Carter said. “So whenever you come back it’s going to be a different game for you.”
Game modes include: team deathmatch, domination, capture the flag, search and destroy, VIP, rescue Rodger, money grab, bank heist, team elimination, siege and more.
In deathmatch it’s every person for themselves, while in capture the flag a team needs to hit a button on a domination box and try to hold it for a certain amount of time.
In VIP a team focuses on protecting a certain person and in bank heist, players attempt to rob a bank.
Carter likes search and destroy, where teams have a briefcase with a bomb in it and need to plant, arm and defend the bomb before it goes off.
“You have to rely on and coordinate the effort with your team, to plant it and defend it, and it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Each session consists of 90 minutes of game play with 15 minutes of prep and instruction.
Carter works with the groups teaching the basics of how to use the equipment and then players play through the list of game modes.
The entry-level gun for users is a semi-automatic rifle, but people can pay for upgrades, like using a sub machine gun, sniper rifle or AK47.
Only headshots count, so each user wears a headband with three sensors on it. Once a person is hit four times they need to respawn.
“If you would get eliminated then you come back here and push a button and you are back in the game,” Deidre said.
The facility can handle up to 50 players at a time, or 25 per team, but the most that have played so far are 36.
“The arena is very large,” Deidre said. “If you have 30 people in here it swallows them up. That’s why large groups are so fun.”
Because of the weight of the equipment, Battle House recommends players be at least 8-years old, but they have players in their 70s try it out.
Battle House also lends itself to large group events like parties or corporate team building exercises, but if someone doesn’t have a large group to play with, they can come in on the weekends and join a side.
The family got the idea from Deidre’s brother Doug Huckbody, who runs a battle house in Lake Barrington, Illinois.
Her other brother Derek Huckbody runs one in Wilmington, North Carolina.
But right now, the De Pere Battle House is the only one of its kind in Northeast Wisconsin.
Deidre’s other son Drew Knapp, also owns Warrior Jungle next door. That is a gym based on the TV show “American Ninja Warrior,” on which Drew has competed multiple times.
“We love to be active and we love laser tag,” Deidre said. “We felt Green Bay was lacking in things to do, so now we have two places where people can go to have fun.”
Battle House will also be having an open house on Labor Day with 45-minute battles for $15 per player from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each ticket purchased will be an entry into a raffle for a 10-player party package.
For more information on hours, rates or to sign up, people can visit battlehousegb.com.
More information is also available by finding Battle House on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter.