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Scott Christian Simmons
Role-playing gamer and armchair philosopher.
Role-playing gamer and armchair philosopher.


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Scott Christian Simmons commented on a post on Blogger.
A 1st Edition AD&D character of mine had an item like that. Along with all of the other advantages you mention, the cost of researching the abilities of the item gave him something useful to do with his adventuring gold.

Ultimately, there's no mechanical difference between that and buying better items. But it sure was fun, and didn't break the verisimilitude of the campaign nearly so much.
D&D/OSR: Legacy Weapons in D&D
D&D/OSR: Legacy Weapons in D&D
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I appreciate the accurate description. Not, you know, much ...

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Game mashups: Cards Against Settlers of Catan
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TakeASchmidt, you should take a bow. Or maybe a hike.

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How about "No"? Does "no" work for you?

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FYI to vapers: Ken's Vapor Shop is offering an Anomaly special for Ingress players. Extra bonus discount for Enlightened! (Don't worry, Smurfs get something too!)

The store is about ten minutes north of the starting cluster straight up Henderson, between the Sansom Park Windmill and Tower Inn Fountain portals. Open today from 11 to 8.

Internet outage explanation table

(Roll 1d8 and consult this table when a customer calls complaining that their service is out)

1. Rats are chewing on your cables. We're dispatching cats.
2. To better serve you, we're upgrading our network in your area. Your service should be restored by a week from Thursday.
3. After our recent network upgrades, your local equipment is not compatible with the network. We will send technicians to install new wiring and cables and modems and routers and aluminum siding.
4. Solar activity is disrupting satellite signal relays. We have dispatched technicians to repair the Sun.
5. I'm sorry, this is the billing department. I'll transfer you to technical support.
6. Everything looks fine on our end. I'm transferring you to the billing department to see if they've suspended your service for nonpayment.
7. No speeka dee Inglisch.
8. Thank you for calling. Your call is very important to us! Due to high call volumes, the next representative will be available in approximately 5,412 minutes. If you'd prefer, please press 1 to leave a callback number, and a technician will contact you during your next regularly scheduled shower or coital session, if we can find one who cares enough about your problem to bother.
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Man, I love Cards Against Humanity.
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Fantastic writeup of last weekend's Ingress operation in the heart of the DFW Metroplex! (Including one bit from yours truly. :-) )
Operation: DFW GreenSlice Arlington/Grand Prairie April 24, 2015

Through a resplendent display of teamwork and planning, more than 40 Enlightened agents accomplished a cross-town, inner city fielding operation. With 34 layers on the west side of the slice line and 24 layers on the east side, 33 illuminator badges were attained in one night. Some agents were bronze at the beginning of the night and they walked away with Platinum. All agents on the throw teams made Platinum save for only one who attained Gold (rethrowing the central link one time for 340K MU!) and one agent who achieved Onyx.

This entire operation would not have been possible without the help of the demolition teams. Their dedication to helping teammates attain badges was a show of unselfishness and made the success of this operation that much sweeter. 

As usual for DFW weather this time of year, there were sudden severe storms across Dallas and Fort Worth with small hail leading up to the event. On the morning of the operation, we had to change plans to throw the central slice early as it was a “turd floater” rain (thanks Hugh). As the day went on, we monitored lanes, threw links to keep others from blocking (Res and ENL), cleared some in the lanes and fielded other parts of town. 

The C&C operations team assembled at HDQ a bit early to enjoy some delicious ribs and adult beverages as activities began to ramp up. As evening approached, an even bigger storm was on it way and operations had to question if we would proceed or not. Luckily, the storms moved away quickly and the sky turned a funny green color and a DOUBLE RAINBOW appeared (What does it mean? SMURF TEARS!). Electricity actually went out in some places at the launch line just 30 minutes before throw time. This we determined to be a good thing as Resistance agents left the area. 

We actually commenced the throwing operation an hour early due to the lanes being cleared earlier than expected. Rather than miss the opportunity, C&C gave the go ahead to start throwing, both East and West at the same time. This put the tertiary objective of Checkpoint at risk, but that was offset by the likelihood of achieving primary and secondary objectives. 

The first round of fields went off with virtually no issues. The West got off to an early lead, but slowed a bit due to a few more distant portals. East side being contained in a much tighter area finished the entire 1st round well ahead of West, and began preparation for their second throw. As West side wrapped up the 1st round, East began to ADA the wing portals for their second throw. 

About ⅔ through the 2nd throw, the Resistance were able to find the anchor portals, taking out the north anchor first. (See additional Security Guard story below…) After the agent left, our agents recaptured the North anchor, just as the resistance discovered the hidden South anchor. Additionally, a few half-hearted attempts to throw blocking links were made. Unfortunately, the timing was such that we were unable to make checkpoint with the fields. The fielding agents threw links to the recaptured North anchor, ensuring no new blockers from that direction. Agents recaptured the South anchor while simultaneously removing the remaining Resistance blockers to the south.  As soon as the South anchor was back online, the fielding agents threw the primary southern links, and the central slice was re-thrown. Back in action! The heart had been taken out of the Resistance, and all of the fields were all re-thrown even more quickly than before. Amazing! Resistance eventually removed the south anchor again, but not before we had achieved our goals and called it a night. Except for a couple of particularly eager Enlightened agents (so glad they are on our side!) - see the Epilogue below...

The East launch area captured 160,000 MU at its biggest. Thankfully, over the past few months the Resistance have given up their farm near downtown Dallas, and ENL were able to stroll right in and wait for the All Clear from operations. The West Side fields were much more spread out and at the biggest were 260,000 MU, a fact that took everyone by surprise. 

Primary Planners (5):
@Philip!, @TxCelt, @Hugh!
Additional planning and intel:@John Spence,@Cashew12

Illuminator Badges
Smooth coordination/cooperation between Dallas and Fort Worth agents, typically very focused in smaller areas
Checkpoint (lowest priority for this first attempt)
Smurf distress

The initial concept started with two veteran agents, which expanded to a core of 5 planners. Two additional “leads” were selected to help on the ground as needed. This core began recruiting agents for the operation 3-4 weeks prior to to the planned operation date.

Most planning and coordination were accomplished through multiple Google Hangouts. One for the Command & Control team, one for the general op, then subdivided into East and West hangouts for more detailed coordination. The teams held one general meetup 3 weeks before the op, and then a second meetup was held for each team the week of the op to distribute keys. 

One key objective was to find the right type of portals for anchors that are tucked away from easy take downs. Oh, did we find some. One was not just park & walk, but so far off the beaten path that agents farming for keys had to hop over ant mounds and shield themselves from tree branches...only to then stand in a swarm of mosquitos. The other anchor could really only flipped by ADA because lets just be real here, ain't nothing cutting through 4 AXA. These anchors were revealed to the operation teams 2 weeks prior to the op to assist with key farming.

Google Hangouts, Zello (realtime voice communications), Zello Overlay, Glympse (realtime agent location)

Total Mind Units captured: 
Entire Slice: ~25,000,000 MU 
Total Field Square Miles: 218
East threw 23 fields 1st round, 18 in the interrupted 2nd round, then 23 for 3rd go-round!
East side Largest: ~160,000 MU
East side TOTAL: ~10 million MU

West threw 32 fields 1st round, 33 for 2nd round, and 18 fields for unplanned 3rd round for 5a checkpoint - surprise!
West side Largest: ~260,000 MU
West side TOTAL: ~15 million MU

SmashTeam (EAST): Critical to clearing lanes, and helping ADA the target portals for rethrow!

Fielding Team (EAST): Averaged 1.5 million MU each - 13 Badges achieved!

SmashTeam (WEST): Critical to clearing lanes AND rescuing the North anchor

Fielding Team (WEST): Averaged 1.5 million MU each - 20 badges achieved!

The Smurf and the Security Guard
The team had placed an agent at the North anchor portal. While sitting in her car in the parking lot, she noticed another car come in slowly. There is no easy access to the North anchor, and the car ended up parking in the fire lane next to the portal. Yes, the Resistance had arrived. Our intrepid agent was prepared to quick recharge as necessary, but received word from C&C: Let the Smurf take it! This was actually part of the contingency planning. We expected at least one anchor to be taken, which would make it far easier to re-throw at least one additional round. We were fully prepared to ADA one of the anchors ourselves if necessary.
After the Resistance agent had captured the portal, though, he hung around, apparently to ensure that we could not rethrow anything for checkpoint. While sitting there, another of our team had arrived at the portal location with a buddy he had recently introduced to the game. In a stroke of genius, our agents realized they could take advantage of this fact. You see, the buddy had just gotten off work and was still in his uniform. That’s right, the Security Guard of the story. The Resistance agent had not noticed our new agents arrive, so the Security Guard calmly strolls up to him, and informs him that he cannot stay in the fire lane, he would need to exit the premises. Perfectly executed deception! The agent drove off, and after waiting a few minutes for him to put some miles between them, our agents recaptured the portal. The op was back in business!
(The Resistance agent did return a while later, ruefully acknowledged the ruse, but was unable to take the portal with three of our agents prepared to recharge.)

SCSArlingtonTX: After bringing CecilBone and WhimsicalRJF back to their car, SweetRed10583 and I headed home to crash after an exciting night. We arrived home around 2:30; while she got ready for bed, I decided to take a quick look at intel to see what was left of our magnificent creation.

I was very surprised to see that the entire west side of the Greenslice was nearly intact. The north anchor had been ADA'd, dropping the spine and all of the north-side links. But all of the south-side links on the west were still in place, and there were no blockers up to prevent a rethrow of the north-side links. The spine link was blocked--by two links anchored at one level 5 portal, just 2 km from my house.

It was about a quarter to 3. The next checkpoint? 5 AM. Chance of getting any sleep with that intel dancing through my head? Zero.

I went to check out with SweetRed, letting her know that I planned to go drop the blocker, Jarvis the anchor, and re-throw what fields I could on my own before checkpoint. She didn't hesitate--she said she was too tired to drive, but she wasn't going to miss the opportunity for a third throw. Our discussion woke up our son, AvatarVecna, who hadn't been able to participate in the op but was very excited to get to jump in late.

AvatarVecna had actually had some sleep and was able to drive, so I quickly revised the plan to take advantage, hoping to get more fields thrown and also reduce the chance of a new blocker being thrown in the ~20 minutes it would take to drive from that portal to the north anchor. AV headed south to that blocker, while SweetRed and I headed straight to the anchor.
We hacked keys until 4 AM, 1 hour before checkpoint. As arranged, AV dropped the blocking link at the top of the hour and immediately headed west to try to collect dropped anchor keys on Rosedale. I applied a Jarvis virus to the anchor portal and linked it to the southern anchor. SweetRed and I threw six links to portals on Rosedale and at Texas Wesleyan, hacked a couple more keys, then headed west.

We met up with AV on Rosedale and proceeded together to the first Magnolia portal. From there, the three of us had enough keys to throw twelve links back to the northern anchor. In all, eighteen of the western layers of Greenslice went up, although only twelve or thirteen beat the 5 AM checkpoint.

Getting some fields to checkpoint did give the operation an impact on the team score, a secondary goal that the first two throws hadn't managed to achieve. As for the primary goal--I hadn't made any fields during those first two throws, as I was focused on being the ground leader for the west fielding teams. This time, eight of those 18 fields were mine, earning me a black Illuminator badge.

#Ingress #enlightened #niantic #greenslice #ENLorGTFO #TEN +Niantic Project +NIA Ops +Ingress +John Hanke +Brian Rose +Brandon Badger +Joe Philley +Susanna Moyer +Linda Besh +Enlightened Grassroots
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