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The XM4

Developing a new product that improves your entertainment business and helps it grow is ideal.  Doug Huckbody, owner of Battle House Laser Combat, spent a year designing and building the XM4, which will become the standard weapon in the armory in both the Lake Barrington, IL and Wilmington, NC Battle House locations.  It will also go into service at the two additional facilities opening in 2018, in Green Bay, Wisconsin and second location to be announced.

“The XM4 can be utilized with the standard semi-automatic, 3-round burst, full auto, and sniper settings,” said Huckbody.  “It’s based on the M4, the standard issue of the U.S. Military.  The design includes a quad rail system and military specifications, allowing a variety of accessories to be added with simple available attachments like bi-pods, forearm grips, lights, and sling attachment points.”


Huckbody had several reasons for designing his own laser combat equipment.  “We were dissatisfied with many aspects of the service we received and the quality of their products.  Moving forward, we are already in the final design phase of another new tactical laser tag gun and plan to build additional equipment to enhance our brand and bring new technology to the table.  Our improved designs are very realistic and fun to use.

Ease of maintenance was another key consideration.  “Removal of one panel on each weapon provides quick access to nearly all the electrical components, which we’ve consolidated into the receiver/magazine,” added Huckbody.  “This significantly reduces maintenance time, allowing for faster repair and return of the equipment to the armory, where it generates revenue.”

Cost reduction and self-sufficiency are additional reasons for Huckbody’s innovation.  “We can utilize components available through the internet and direct access to suppliers,” he explained.  “The receiver, lens assembly, and LED light board are manufactured locally, offering reduced costs and improved response time.  Our new guns have generated energy and excitement for our customers as we integrate them into our armories.” 

Thrilling Experience for Corporate Team Outings

If you’re looking for a great way to reward your employees, show them a good time, and enjoy some team-building challenges, take a mid-week break to get your battle on!  At Battle House Laser Combat, an evening in the middle of the work week is the perfect time to take over the indoor arena and see what your co-workers are made of!

A teambuilding activity, like mission scenario-based laser combat, provides participants with in-depth and high-impact learning, and increases communication and morale within a group.  Team members learn more about each other, including strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities, which deepens relationships and develops trust.  They learn responsibility as it relates to team performance, which easily transfers to a work environment.  Team members bond as they learn to look out for each other in a fun atmosphere, and connection barriers are diminished as members learn to use both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication.  Teambuilding also brings out the natural leaders within a group.


Imagine this:  you can sit at your computer, surf different websites, and send popcorn tins or cheese and cracker baskets to the people who work hard for you all year long.

Or – you can rent the arena at Battle House Laser Combat, get out of the office, and have a fun outing for everyone!  It can be as easy or as extensive as you like.  Everyone can show up, have a weapons orientation, and battle against each other for an hour and 45 minutes, then cool off and head home.  The better alternative is to have pizza or other food delivered, rent a party room, have a secret santa or white elephant gift exchange, hang out in the bar, and play tournament-style battles for several hours.  It’s an unforgettable experience!

Call us at 815-900-9003 to setup your next team-building event!

Aaron Huckbody, Tactical Lead Tell All

In the upscale “Tactical Laser Combat” category of indoor laser tag, the Field Marshals have a big impact on the gaming experience.  They’re not there to babysit.  At Battle House Laser Combat in North Barrington, Field Marshals are a part of every mission scenario.

Aaron Huckbody, Tactical Lead at Battle House, moved to Illinois to help his dad and stepmom develop and open this exciting, military-style tactical laser combat facility.  “I’ve been working here since there were gravel floors,” said Huckbody.  “I have a background in customer service, so that’s a big emphasis for me as a Tactical Leader.  I also grew up playing Army all day long, so this is the perfect job for me.”

Huckbody enjoys creating a fun and safe environment for the players.  “I run a tight ship, and I like coming up with new game ideas,” said Huckbody.  “The classic games are fun, but I really like the new ones, including “Battle of the Bulge” and “Ambush”.  I like players to have a completely unique experience every time they come in.”

Many players will ask Huckbody for advice before a battle.  “I’m a strong believer in good strategy, but communication with teammates, calling out enemy positions, and a simple bob of the head go a long way,” said Huckbody.  “I advise working in small squads, where everyone has a job, and to have a backup plan if the first strategy fails.”

Huckbody likes hearing players interact after the battles.  “I always hear ‘that was amazing’, and ‘best time ever’,” he added.  “I’m amazed at how far we’ve come, and I’m excited by the enormous potential for Battle House.  I like building relationships with the customers, and we see many of the same faces week after week.”  Huckbody invites the community to come to Battle House for an experience like no other.

Make Time to Celebrate Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a very important holiday in the Unites States.  Originally named “Armistice Day”, it was observed on November 11th to recognize the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.  In the 1950s, the holiday was renamed “Veterans Day” to recognize those who have served in all wars.

Veterans Day means a lot to Doug Huckbody, owner of Battle House Laser Combat, and to his entire family.  Huckbody has uncles, cousins, siblings, and children who are veterans, in addition to Doug being a veteran himself.  “Years ago, most of my family lived in small Wisconsin communities, and many were dairy farmers,” said Huckbody.  “Most of my uncles went off to fight in World War II, leaving the farms for their wives and children to care for.  My father served in the Navy during the Korean War, and several of my older cousins served in Vietnam.  I served in the Cold War, and my eldest son served two deployments in Afghanistan.  Even my baby sister, Dana, is a former Army Captain and a West Point grad.  Our family has always had a strong military focus.”

Last summer, the Huckbodys came together for a family reunion.  “My mother, Ella, decided to honor all the veterans in the family for this year’s reunion theme, and engaged the services of a niece who is a quilter,” said Huckbody.  “The living veterans received beautiful patriotic-themed throw quilts.  To recognize the veterans who have passed on, pillows were made with their images for their families.  Dana gave a wonderful heartfelt talk about each veteran in the family.”

The Huckbodys rejoice in celebrating not only the veterans in their own family, but all of America’s veterans.  “It’s important to recognize, honor, and appreciate their patriotism and willingness to serve our country,” added Huckbody.  “They’re the reason we live in a free country.”

At Battle House Laser Combat, veterans accompanied by a paying customer play for free the weekend of Friday through Sunday, November 10 – 12.

Brian Nielsen, Field Marshal Tips & Strategies

A Field Marshal at Battle House Laser Combat is responsible for many aspects of each participants’ gaming experience.  He or she must ensure that rules are understood, that the battles are played fairly and safely, and that each participant learns how to play in a strategic and tactical manner.

Brian Neilsen, a Field Marshal – Level 2 who has been with Battle House Laser Combat for the past 2 1/2 years, enjoys learning about the technology associated with this higher-end level of tactical laser combat.  “I enjoy working on the equipment and finding new enhancements to make,” said Neilsen.  “My favorite experience so far has been helping develop and build new equipment.”  I’m currently attending college and with an emphasis on robotics which helps greatly in my current position.

Neilsen’s favorite missions to referee are the version of “The Bomb!”, where one team has to blow up a randomly selected room, and “Get to the Choppa”.  “I enjoy watching the groups develop different tactics to complete these complex objectives,” he added.

Battle House Laser Combat is a unique type of facility that offers realistic situations, weaponry, and communication requirements.  “We offer a gaming experience where the goal is not to work on your personal score, but to work together as a team,” said Neilsen.  “I advise players to use the Red Dot Sight.  Keep both eyes open for a broader view of your surroundings, and keep your equipment at the ready vs. hanging by your side.  Our equipment is very fast and accurate and proper shooting techniques are critical.  And equally as important is to not go alone.  If you travel with a teammate you have a better chance of survival and achieving your objective.

Neilsen is a great fit as a Field Marshal.  “Not only can I get a large group organized, I’m also able to connect with people of all ages and help them have a memorable gaming experience,” he said.  “I love hearing players’ feedback.   Once you get a taste of Battle House, you’ll want to return again and again!”

Nate Hoffmann, Field Marshal’s Insider Perspective

Tactical laser combat is an entirely different experience from “kiddie laser tag”.  Forget the plastic vests, the plastic weapons, and spending 15 or 20 minutes running around in an unrealistic environment.  Your experience at Battle House Laser Combat will be exceptional, made unique by owner Doug Huckbody and his helpful, engaged staff who run the missions.

Nate Hoffmann, Tactical Gaming Lead, has been with Battle House for 2 1/2 years.  “The best part of my job is making people happy, and seeing their eyes light up when they experience our different mission scenarios and our multi-level urban arena,” said Hoffmann.  “Battle House is unlike anything else; we stand out with our tactical objective-based missions, which make the gaming experience unique every time you visit.  More importantly, the whole crew goes the extra mile to give you a 2-hour experience you won’t forget.”

Hoffmann likes to offer various tips and strategies to his players.  “I tell our combat teams to talk to each other to come up with a strategy before starting their mission.  It’s all about positioning, communicating, and helping your team,” he added.  “The best strategy is to not go solo.  You always want someone watching different directions so you’re not blindsided by the enemy.”

Hoffmann is a great Field Marshal because he loves interacting with the teams, offering strategies, and making sure they have a fantastic time.  “My favorite experience so far was helping a young lady named Tiffany,” said Hoffmann.  “She was in a wheelchair with a broken leg.  I gave her a fully automatic gun and pushed her throughout the arena, as if we had turned her wheelchair into a tank.  She was super happy because she was able to play with her friends and family.”

When asked what the best feedback was that he’d received so far, Hoffmann answered, “I heard someone say, ‘That was the best money I’ve ever spent’.”

Birthday Parties Are Memories In The Making

A birthday is a great time to celebrate that special person in your life.  Planning a party requires time and effort, so off-site parties are very popular.  Battle House Laser Combat in Lake Barrington has become a successful, premier destination for birthday parties.

“We are proud to offer families a meticulously clean facility and weapons arsenal, and an exciting, fun-filled gaming experience for birthday parties,” said Doug Huckbody, owner of Battle House Laser Combat.  “We enjoy helping families make special birthday memories, and we want our customers to remember the experience forever.”

One customer planned her son’s Battle House birthday party for him and 19 guests.  “She decorated our event room to the nines, and made t-shirts that included team identifications,” added Huckbody.  “We love seeing customers personalize the rooms to fit their theme.”

One satisfied parent commented, “My son had his tenth birthday party at Battle House, and everyone had an amazing time!  It was 1,000 times better than our laser tag party at Brunswick last year, which consisted of only two 15-minute sessions.  Battle House gave them nearly two hours of play time!  The owner was extremely accommodating and kind – a great guy to work with.  Now my older son wants his birthday party here this fall!”

Another parent added, “We hosted our 16-year-old twins’ birthday party at Battle House, and everyone had the time of their lives.  My husband and I even joined in the fun!  They talked about it the whole way home, and were still talking about it three days later.  They want to bring their high school Cross Country team next time!”  And the comment that says it all:  “Normal laser tag has forever been ruined for me by the exhilarating experience that Battle House provides!”

The special “Recon 2 Party Package” includes use of an event room, and the Birthday Boy or Girl receives a free weapons upgrade and a Battle House T-shirt.  For more information about hosting a birthday party, give us a call at 815-900-9003 to speak with a member of the Battle Crew.

Battle House Offers Pristine Facility And Equipment

Many laser tag facilities have chaotic, staggered customer turnover, which doesn’t allow for efficient cleanings between games.  Players may begin a new game after being handed a sweaty vest from a previous player.  At Battle House Laser Combat, the gaming system was designed so players don’t have to wear smelly vests, and downtime is designated between battles so equipment can be sanitized and ready for the next user.

Battle House Laser Combat prides itself on its state-of-the-art equipment, and keeps it maintained to a very high standard.  Sight-in for the weapons is performed in-house on a weekly basis, ensuring correct alignment so players’ guns have the greatest accuracy to hit their targets.  The game utilizes small infrared beams of light, so accuracy is very important.

Not only is the weapons arsenal always functional, the guns are cleaned after every use.  “We want our customers to have a remarkable gaming experience,” said Doug Huckbody, owner of Battle House Laser Combat.  “We get many compliments from parents for how well-kept, organized, and clean our air-conditioned facility is.  We have many customers who come to play, so we make sure guns, door handles, windows, and other frequently touched surfaces are cleaned several times a day.”

The arena, the carpeted mezzanine area, the event rooms, and the bathrooms are all cleaned and maintained with military precision.  “The quality of our facility and the gaming experience we provide are very important to us,” added Huckbody, who has a military background.  “In addition to our regular customers who come to play for fun, our facility is used by SWAT teams and other public service groups.  They have high expectations for cleanliness and organization, and we do our best to exceed their expectations.  Our attention to detail is second to none.”

Battle House Offers Law Enforcement Training

Area Law Enforcement teams now have access to a truly unique, intentionally designed, indoor tactical environment for training. Various departments have used Battle House Laser Combat’s safe, climate-controlled facility to practice delivery of warrants, room-clearing, simulated active shooter situations, dog handling, and other specific training. Many then engage in Battle House’s mission scenarios for team building and blowing off steam. Battle House doubles as a location for thrilling, energetic, tactical laser combat for kids and adults ages 8 to 80.

“Battle House is a veteran-owned business,” said Doug Huckbody, owner of Battle House. “We have ties to military and law enforcement agencies, and we’re proud to offer our facility and equipment to public safety organizations for tactical training and team building at a significantly reduced cost.” The facility, with various two-story buildings, tramways, and obstacles, offers an ideal environment for SWAT, SRT, CERT, MEG, FBI, K-9, and other training. The equipment is state-of-the-art, accurate, and fast. Law Enforcement Training can be scheduled during weekdays, with exclusive access to the entire facility.

For additional information, call or click here!

Battle House Laser Combat Offers Outings for Indian Guides & Princesses, Student Groups

The YMCA Indian Guides & Princesses is a terrific family program that encourages parents and their young children to engage in a side-by-side journey of exploration and learning. The Circle, the program’s group unit, provides structure, support, and a sense of community to help build self-esteem and feelings of personal worth for the children, and to provide opportunities for parents and children to spend enjoyable, quality time together.

Battle House Laser Combat is an awesome way to bring Indian Guides & Princesses and parents together to learn team-building skills, enjoy great exercise, and have a lot of fun; the experience, geared to everyone between the ages of 8 and 80+, is unique and challenging on many levels. “One of our very first events at Battle House was with the Indian Guides,” said Doug Huckbody, owner of BHLC. “Since then we’ve hosted many different gatherings of individual Tribes and Nations.”

Battle House is mission-based and tactical. For example, “Protect the VIP” is an escort mission with one team trying to get their VIP safely to the helipad for extraction, while the other team tries to prevent his/her escape. “Capture the Flag” and “Rescue Randy” are other scenarios that involve learning to communicate within a team and strategizing to accomplish a goal together. The indoor facility is an incredible environment, with eight 2-story buildings, tramways, abandoned vehicles and a crashed helicopter, and high-tech tactical laser combat equipment.

In its nearly three years of operation, Battle House has hosted many events for park districts, youth groups, and boys’ and girls’ middle and high school teams and clubs. Kids and adults of all ages enjoy the camaraderie, the thrill of the chase, and the friendships forged during play. For more information about arranging your Indian Guides & Princesses or other student activity outing, please give us a call at 815-900-9003 or email us at info@battlehouselasercombat.com.