Archive for March, 2016

This is an After-Action-Report on my experience at the Watch The Skies 4: Global Apocalypse Mega-game. I’ve talked about Megagames and what they are before, so if you’re curious please refer to the linked articles in Part One. This is a very narrow account on how I experienced the game, and so a lot of details are missing – apologies, I find it helps the narrative when I write this way. Please do check out the ‘Megagames Makers’ Facebook page for other accounts on what happened during the day.

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I put everything in motion turn 7 or 8, and I yelled to our leader ‘Yo homes smell ya later!’

I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the DAFT Prince of Kenya(ir)

The Plan

With no real contact with any other DAFTers, and with no counter-ideas to the plan I’d come up with, the rest of my time was pretty much taken up with trying to make a Red Mercury Bomb in time for my coup around Turn 8. For that, I found out I needed an actual Nuke card, something that proved almost impossible to get.

Gavin, despite being the WORST secret deputy ever, did manage to get a lot of funding for me and was a real trooper in trying to get a Nuke, especially with the Chinese. In a past life the Chinese President and I had been best bros, so I was admittedly playing on an OOC relationship to get what I wanted. It didn’t work, but to his credit Matt didn’t rat me in, which I appreciated. Gavin had no such luck either.

Surprisingly, it was the South African guy who followed through spectacularly.

By Turn 8, I had no working nuclear device, but I had a note signed by control stating that I had bits and pieces that represented 30% of a device. I also had Red Mercury, and a captured GMIC NPC scientist who hadn’t been doing anything all game. So I decided to take a page out of Zimbabwe’s book. I bluffed.

Keeping control informed of my idea, I created a facsimile of a Red Mercury Bomb. I figured no-one would really know what one looked like anyway.

Meanwhile, I’d kept my South African DAFTatron informed of my goings on. He knew I needed a nuke. I’d tried a couple of turns earlier to get one out of North Korea, as they were going through a lot of political upheaval and turmoil – I failed and only got the 30%. I did get to witness the rise of Cthulhu while I was there though.

Turns out the SA guy, with the help of the Venezuelan chapter of DAFTpunk, managed to extract one. Legends! A Venezuelan SIF was on its way to Kenya to transport the nuke, so we could actually back up our threats.

Centre Stage

Even though my SA DAFTest contact had come through, I couldn’t wait for the nuke to arrive. Knowing what I know about WTS, turn 9 was likely going to be the last turn, and it was Turn 8. I had to act now if there was any chance of seeing any of it through. I’d learned by this point that there may be other plans in place, but I figured I could at least draw attention to myself to help my brothers-in-arms launch their own initiative.

Turn 8 came around, and Gavin looked at me. It was time – I took the two assassination cards I’d been ‘looking after’ on behalf of my government, and then killed my President and the Foreign Minister. The army then took control of the country and DAFT flags were flown everywhere. I deployed everything as a show of force and to stand a remote chance of defending against the back-lash. Control were informed.

During all this, the Nigerian General asked me what was going on in Kenya. I replied: “There is no Kenya any-more”.

My moment of triumph achieved, I was allowed to go up on stage (Thanks Jim) and declare DAFT and our intentions to the world. DAFT was here, it was real, and we would make the world feel our power.

Then I died.

The End of All Things

So yeah – not even a second after finishing my speech, an American player stepped up and assassinated me. I was a little peeved but I had accepted this probably would happen. I just thought I’d be allowed to return to my table first.

If I’d really thought about it, I’d have challenged the action with control – technically my announced was made from inside Kenya, and having just staged a coup I would have been surrounded by soldiers and several layers of protection. It’s highly unlikely someone could have just walked up and killed me in such circumstances. You know what they say about hindsight though.

With the President and Foreign Minister away taking a walk as part of them being killed, and with me about to join them, I grabbed my secret deputy. He was in charge, along with Joyce, our only other surviving team member.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan’s were trying to deliver the nuke to loyal DAFT forces. With me dead though, some of the loyalist Kenyans fought back and shot at the plane, causing them to drop the nuke… right over Nairobi. The city, our science facility, the captured scientist who hadn’t done anything all game… all consumed in a fiery ball of death, thanks to a really unfortunate case of butter fingers.

All this I learned much later though. When my victims and I returned, all we knew was that my Secret Deputy had turned traitor and denounced DAFT – causing the regime to instantly collapse. We knew Nairobi had been nuked by an unknown party, and we spent the last turn trying to rebuild our shattered nation.

Gavin had taken the role of President, and used his time to out and arrest the Senior Ambassador for South Africa. The Angolan DAFT member was assassinated not long after I was, and globally DAFT members were being hunted down and executed, from what I understood. The game ended on Turn 9 (I was hoping we’d get to 10 this time, since it was the last WTS), and that was that.

Final Thoughts

DAFT had made its presence felt, and I liked to think we made the world tremble, even if the glorious DAFT revolution was un-done in a few minutes. I’m not sure how well we achieved our aims, but the President of America was eventually assassinated, despite surviving four attempts on his life, as had been the Grand Mufti and the Pope by the end of the game. The Pope was killed in South Africa, by the SA Daft member, during the African games that SA was hosting.

On the other fronts, apart from kidnapping a GMIC scientist, I’m not we had much of an impact on the Corporation game. I’m not even certain they were told one of their NPC’s had been taken. The thing was, I needed them to sell me weapons first for my coup, so I wasn’t really in a position to do much to them.

According to our super-secret DAFT handbooks, our measure of success was determined by how hard the World governments worked to try and supress us.

I was assassinated, so I’m pretty sure that means I win, right?

Long Live DAFT!

Some Amusing Moments from the Game:

  • When Africa was quarantined, one of the UK Generals came over with one navy unit and said he was here to “Blocked” Africa. This was hilarious for many reasons because A: He was trying to blockade an entire continent with one navy piece. B – by coming over to the Africa Map, Control were seriously considering trapping him there because he was now infected. I think they let him go in the end.
  • In the last turn, after our newly appointed former-DAFT President ousted the SA Ambassador and got him arrested, I was tasked with going to the press to declare that Kenya had Saved The World. I turned up at their desk to discover they had relocated to space.
  • Sending Kenyan forces to retrieve some Alien Tech while also sending my own DAFT agent to retrieve it. No one asked in the end, but my story was that someone from something called ‘DAFT’ stole the tech from under me. Yes, I stole something from myself to give to me.
  • Whilst we’re here – the whole process of having to secretly do DAFT-things through Control was both tense and hilarious. My secret-backhand shake got really good by the end of the game.
  • The look of joy and relief on some of the cetacean’s player’s faces when they found out we could talk to them because we had Dat Card.
  • Having bought a Level 3 SIF from GMIC, only to discover later my Foreign Minister had sold it to the Chinese, and having to go buy it back. I needed it go steal a nuke, dammit!
  • Watching Cthulhu rise from the deep. What was more amusing was a great alien battleship skidding into orbit and only doing 4 damage with its death lasers.

 

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This is an After-Action-Report on my experience at the Watch The Skies 4: Global Apocalypse Mega-game. I’ve talked about Megagames and what they are before, so if you’re curious please refer to the linked articles below. This is a very narrow account on how I experienced the game, and so a lot of details are missing – apologies, I find it helps the narrative when I write this way. Please do check out the ‘Megagames Makers’ Facebook page for other accounts on what happened during the day.

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Now this is a story all about how my game got flipped-turned upside, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the Daft Prince of Kenya(ir).

I woke up on March 19th, 202whateveritwas from a bad dream. In that dream I thought I was the Chief of Defence for Nigeria and that I’d just spent countless months cleaning up poo. I’d been having a lot of dreams like that recently – one where I was the Chancellor for Germany, and another where I was a Viking.

As the Chief of Defence for the glorious nation in Kenya, I did find it odd that I was having dreams of being other people, but having talked to my local shaman about it he put it down to after-images from a past life. My wife thought it was probably just stress.

We were dealing with a lot of things at the time – Aliens had been a thing for quite a few years now, and they kept trying to strip-mine Africa. We’d also recently discovered the existence of sentient whales and dolphins, and had been having tentative communications with them about Fish and cleaning the oceans. As a nation that lacked anything that resembled a navy, you can probably guess how well those early talks went.

As Chief of Defence, I was tasked with making sure our glorious army – all 1 militia unit of it – was in tip top shape and ready to deal with any crises, the first of which was that Zimbabwe was apparently building nukes. After a quick con-fab between the rest of the Kenyan government, we decided that we actually really wanted those nukes for ourselves to make up for our lack of basically everything.

At the same time, I’d discovered that the corporations had perfected the weapons manufacturing process to such a degree that not only were they able to upgrade my army, but expand it as well. In my past lives as a German and a Nigerian, I distinctly remember being forced to deal with the fact that a nation’s army couldn’t be expanded. It could be upgraded, but you weren’t physically able to build any more regular units. Unless you’re awesome like me, that is.

So, you can imagine how happy I was at this new marvel in corporate manufacturing. I ordered two, plus two upgrades. Kenya was going to get all the guns.

It was at this point, around about Turn 2 (in Kenya we mark the passage of time in ‘Turns’ rather than days, weeks or months. It’s more efficient), that I got the call.

DAFT beyond measure                    

You see, there was more to me than apparently even I knew. I was a member of DAFT – Democracy and Freedom Today – an organisation dedicated to the destruction of corporations, the dismantling of America, and the curbing of oppressive organised religion. I was being activated – there were others like me, but I didn’t know who they were. All I knew was that “living the dream” was the code-phrase used to identify ourselves.

This. Changed. EVERYTHING.

Well not really – as a team, we’d already decided to walk a bit on the wild side and be a dark horse in Africa. I was now just going to be an even darker, more secret horse. I immediately set two aims for myself:

  • To launch a military coup in Kenya and declare DAFT to the world.
  • Get a nuke so that people took me seriously.

I thought Zimbabwe having a nuclear program was going to make the second point easier than it actually turned out to be. Turns out they didn’t actually have a nuclear program and were just trolling everyone – typical.

Still, a military coup was very doable – As I grew the army, I bribed the **** out of them to make sure they were personally loyal to me. We had an empty, state-of-the-art research facility in Nairobi that no one was using (as we didn’t have a scientist), so I kidnapped an NPC GMIC scientist (who I was using to expanded and upgrade said army), to work at that facility. Early in my time as a DAFT agent I recovered some Red Mercury from the aliens. I didn’t tell anyone about it and my vague plan was to make a Red Mercury powered weapon. That sounded scary, right?

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Normally in a game like this funding become a problem. As one of the poorer African nations, we only got so much money in a turn, and I could only steal so much of it without anyone noticing (turns out that amount was a lot more than I probably should have been able to get away with). As a DAFT member though, I could claim 1 megabuck per 10 points in the regional terror track. I don’t know if anyone outside of Africa was paying attention, but it got pretty terror-fying over there. Suffice to say I was making it rain.

It was touch and go though – my plans took me away from the African map a lot – a lot more than I’d ever had to do in any of the previous games I’d played, and a lot more than a Chief of Defence with no back-up (one of our guys got sick and couldn’t make it) really should. The thing was, whilst I revelled in the terror and tried not to help or hinder the situation, I was worried at some point that it would all go horribly wrong and my country would collapse around me before I could do anything.

After Zimbabwe, Uganda kicked up a fuss and raised an army right on our border, which If I’d thought about it I probably should have been more concerned about – the U.N. sorted it though, since they were actually being useful for a change.

After that, there was a Zombie Virus out-break that Africa, collectively, hilariously failed to deal with. So much so it pretty much spread across the entire continent, spawning countless hordes and forcing Africa to be quarantined. South-Africa developed a cure early, but didn’t seem to do much to it other then sell-it to the player nations, including us. I was away from the map for a lot of this, although I had the presence of mind to mobilise the army to defend Kenya’s borders. I understand the Egyptians, Algerians and some Europeans did most of the zombie fighting.

There was also that one turn where literally every alien ever descended onto Africa, and no-one intercepted them. I didn’t because I was DAFT, but I don’t know what everyone else’s excuses were.

One big happy, anonymous family

It took me a while to figure out who the other DAFT Members were. As a military player in a game the size of WTS4 (and playing the nation that I was), I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to visit the other map. Early on in my DAFTness I recruited my friend who was in my team, Gavin, to the cause. It was his first game and he was feeling a bit directionless in his role, so I broke the rules and included him in my plot – sorry Jim/Viji!

Not long after though I discovered the Senior Ambassador for South Africa was also “living the dream”. We quickly started combo-ing our agent actions, and through him I found out that the United State’s team’s Ambassador for Africa was also a DAFT member. He was a weird one – I always got the impression through-out the whole game he never trusted me (having asked him about it afterwards, Ken said that he had this vague idea I may not have been DAFT. I was, but now that I think about it I never showed him my passport) – he wouldn’t talk openly with me about his plans, and whenever I would tell the SA guy something, he’d run off and tell the American and I was genuinely worried for most of the game that I was setting myself up for a big fail.

Apart from us four musketeers though, I didn’t encounter any other DAFT players. Apparently a big group of them met around turn 5 (including the SA player), but no-one told me about it. Not even Gavin! You really can’t get the staff.

Just before I made my coup, I found out one of the Angolan military players was also DAFT, but it was a bit late by then.

More to come in Part Two!