Campus News

Ambush winner talks strategy

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It’s that time of year again when Bethel students participate in a campus-wide game of tag known as Ambush. Each player is given a water gun and a name of a fellow student whom they must “shoot.” Because of this, many participants fall into a state of paranoia as they try to avoid their pursuers. But is this the best strategy? Not according to Lucas Grudda, a recent graduate of Bethel College. What does Grudda know about Ambush strategy, you say? Oh, he only won last year. "Everyone was just trying to hide and survive till the end,” said Resident Director Sara Loucy-Swartz, who also oversees the Ambush proceedings, “(Grudda) was actually getting into it and still trying to shoot people. It was getting down to finals week, and we had to make a choice. He had the most kills so we chose him as the winner.” What was the key to his victory? Did he go to such drastic extremes as wearing disguises or deleting his Facebook profile? “I guess it was just mostly luck,” said Grudda. He’s just being humble. He had to have some type of secret plan heading into the event, right? "I just wanted to see how many people I could shoot,” said Grudda, “Honestly, I figured I would get shot right away.” Grudda did not get shot right away. In fact, he found himself still “alive” as the game was progressing. However, even his free and easy attitude had to change at this point. “Rather than try to survive 'til the end, I finally decided to just start shooting people,” said Grudda. In fact, the longer he stayed alive, the more thought he had to put into his strategy. “The deeper into the game it got, the more elaborate your plans had to be,” he said. So, just what were these elaborate plans? "Once I found out whose name I had, I would find someone who knew (my target) and ask them where they were,” he said. Not exactly the most elaborate plan, right? So, how did he get all his other “victims?” Well, like he said earlier, he got a little lucky. “One time I saw a girl who I was supposed to get as she was walking out of the DC, “said Grudda. “It was especially lucky because she was a commuter.” Was he ever worried that someone would end his steady stream of good luck? “When I first started, I was paranoid," he said. But, the paranoia didn’t cause him to go to unnecessary extremes. “I wasn’t going to ruin my life for this game,” he said.
Lucas Grudda was last year's ambush champion (photo by Jeff Welsh)
Actually, his life stayed mostly normal. He still went to class and he still hung out with friends. However, he just might occasionally stake out inside a building where, based on some credible intelligence, he knew his unsuspecting victim was about to be walking to class. Before they knew it, he would surprise them outside just before they walked in the door. What if someone is playing Ambush for the first time, though? Doesn’t experience play a key role? “This was my first time to actually get to play Ambush,” said Grudda. “My other years I didn’t sign up in time. So I knew I needed to play my senior year.” Not only did he play, but he won. So, as the winner, he gave his own advice to those who would like to play in the future. “Don’t take (Ambush) too seriously and try to move quickly before people know who’s who,” said Grudda. So there you have it. If you want to win Ambush, you might not have to turn your life upside down. It might all just come down to a little bit of luck.          
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