Welcome Comrades to the 29th edition of the Dispatch!
This week we have an interview with the admins, with answers direct from
we hope you enjoy what they've put together!
This week saw a surge in tournament participation since the new
was released! I'm told some tournaments have been filled in less than 30hrs!
Today we say farewell to one of our long time reporters,
. He has been with us from the very beginning and has done a phenomenal job, we wish him well as he now moves on to bigger and better things
Taking his place as Foundry Team Leader is
who i'm sure will do great things with the foundry section!
will be sadly leaving the newsletter after being here from the very beginning, but it's all for a good reason, that is so he can dedicate more of his time to making clans bigger, better and more exciting than ever before for Conquer Club! Taking his place as Clan Team Leader is
who has shown himself to be a dedicated clanophile (is that a word?) and i'm sure he will do an awesome job!
We also welcome 3 new reporters onboard this issue!
have recently become Clan, Foundry and Tournament reporters respectively! Please make them welcome
We hope you enjoy this weeks issue!
Editor in Chief
If you would like to apply to join the news team, please visit the thread below for more details!
Click here for Recruitment Details...
Hey there. This fortnight, it is my privilege to give you among other things, a question and answer session with CC's administrators,
! Was CC really invented at McGill University? Just who the hell actually was
? Find out below! Also, this fortnight in the Mess Hall, we have
ARMY of GOD
's top 5 topics, a story from
and our Newt is finally growing up! He however needs a new name for his article as you shall find and is willing to buy a lucky winner a piece of CC merchandise for the best name, so thinking caps at the ready! Also, below you shall find another comedy cartoon from
ARMY of GOD
Nagerous Hot Topics by Army of GOD
Hot Topics: 1. Ever dream of being a mod? Well, here's your chance! 2. Clearly, I should top most people's Most Respected Player list, just because I'm THAT GOOD. 3. I recommend you go on over to the Recommendation Thread and recommend something worth recommending. You reckon? 4. It's called the Back-to-Font thread! What's the first ever thread with the last post first? (Clicky for it to make sense) 5. SAX ATTACK! LOL! J/K GANG! But really... SAXITOXIN'S Happiness Patrol wants your help! A Newt's Tale by elfish_lad
CC's MacGyver I’ve always loved the idea of the Swiss Army knife. I’ve never owned one. Can’t say that I really, actually, have ever wanted one. But the idea is so very cool. Lost in the Swiss Alps? Pop that lever there and you’ve got your microwave and a gourmet chef. Being attacked by adoring poperotsi as you leave your limo? Hit that button right there and you have a straw and some strips of paper. Sweet. Nothing clears the sinuses like going postal as you fire off spit wads! Well. I now am the proud owner of CC’s version of same said wonder tool. I refer to the plug-in. Check out its forum. It is CC geek heaven. I have my choice of 176 different options when I play now. I’ll give you a few examples of these excellent tools. • The anti-dead-beat/turn misser tool. It gives you the ability to reach through your opponent's monitor and punch them directly in the head. Yes. It is a violent add-on but sometimes physical force is necessary. • The OMFG your dice are space aliens tool. This is for when your enemy’s assault cubes are out of this world. This tool’s function is very similar to the one mentioned above with the exception that instead of physical violence you can pull your enemy’s underpants over their head. Which is called a Wedgy in this part of the world. In case you need to use that in a sentence this coming fortnight. • The STFU tool. Every move. Every roll of the dice. Every decision you make, they make, makes, and the Lord God Almighty makes is questioned, critiqued and maligned by them in a game. Tired of it? Well. Instead of foeing them just hit the send button on lackattack this feature. It sends anime porn to your opponents’ grandmother. Let them talk their way out of THAT one by god! And finally... • The FFS tool. You are Alexander the Great, Dagon the Magnificent, and General George S. Patton rolled into one. You have the strength of Mars the god of war. You have the battle strategy of Sun Tzu. In short? You are a CC demi-god/goddess. And yet, alas, you are getting smoked like some cheap herb by a Newt and a couple of Pawns on your favourite map because the CC Fates have decieded that it is time for your rank to go down on you like a Hong Kong whore. Hit the button on this plug-in. It lets you reach through your opponent's monitor and punch them directly in the head. No. It’s not their fault you are losing. But it sure as hell feels good to do something about it. The Real Deal Okay. None of those add-ons are real. (Although I hear the punching one is in the works!) But here are a few I’ve found recently that help me celebrate my total addiction to CC and confirm for my 14 year old nephew that I’m a complete and total geek. Map Rank Let's you know how bad you suck. For example, recently I learned that I'm a Brigadier General when I'm on my own and a Private in team play. The clan I'm in was thrilled when they heard that! It just goes to show that I can play with myself really, really, well... Watch This Game This is for all you turn sitters, tournament lovers and stalkers out there. Now you can follow games! With a click and a flick and a zap a list of games you want to see is there! This is really helpful with regard to my obsessive compulsive disorder. Counselling wasn’t working but maybe this will. Dice Streaks. All the cool kids have this one. It shows... uh... yeah, dice streaks. Its creator knows what it means. I sure as hell don’t. But it rocks. Check it out. But if there was one more add-on I would like to see it would be this one: • The holy crap this game chat is melting down tool. This is the one that can dispense popcorn and your favourite beverage, pulls up a lawn chair for you and lets you sit back and watch the show. Yeah. That would be sweet! Of course, we may not need an add-on for that. Heh. Cya in the Pit brothers and sisters, where, it seems like lately, I will be more than willing to give you ALL my points! ~sheesh... stupid dice~ E. p.s. Oh. Right. As we head into July and my Sophomore year at CC, "A Newt's Tale" will no longer cover it. We'll need a new name for this prolixity, and I'll be offering my faithful six readers something from the CC store for the best new name. Watch for it. The Neutral by deathcomesrippin
The Neutral It was bright, sunshiney day in Burkina Faso. It always was. Somehow, the temperature never changed, all that changed was his neighbours. Today, he had a Yellow in Benin, a Blue in Ghana, and a Green beside him in Guinea. Somebody had mentioned Red, but being Neutral he didn't care so much about people not immediately beside him. He knew there were other Neutrals out there, in fact since it was sunny he could see them. They were, like him, just chilling. It was all they could do. The Neutrals knew they couldn't do anything. All they could do was defend. Some Neutrals went down easy, some held out, but at the end of the day a neutral will die if a Color wants to come through. Burkina was very happy he was in Burkina. Last time, he was in Jakarta. He didn't live past the second round. Neutrals, though, they never go away for good, and they know this. They return, time and time again, to fill in the areas unclaimed by the Colors. Almost like settlers. They got wiped out by the Colors, sometimes with expletives being thrown out for something called "sh!tty dice", but they were always wiped out. Most Neutrals build up a fatalistic attitude towards thier never-ending life of pawnism, but not this guy. He was good with just being around for awhile. Neutral looked over Green and saw another Neutral sitting in Senegal. "Hey, Neut!!! Over here!!! Look up, buddy!!!" Neutral began waving his arms wildly, hoping to attract his attention. After a little bit, he saw the Neutral look over at him. Senegal began to yell something back, and then Neutral saw a large Blue army looming beside him, in Mali. "No, Neut, look out!! Look beside you!!" The attack went the way it always does. Seven Blues attacked, and four remained after the death of the Neutral. Neutral sighed, and looked around. It seemed that while he was sitting here doing nothing, Blue was amassing a stack of six on Ghana. This looked grim, Neutral thought to himself. I like it here. Looking at Benin, he saw four Yellows gathered as well, but at this point most Colors wouldn't attack four versus three. Three Neutrals was the rule, unless he ended up wandering into Feudal. Then there was a good chance there was only him. That annoyed him, for some strange reason. Neutral dragged himself back to reality. A few more turns passed. He heard, out of the great void, a voice echo off saying "FFS WTF Green you DBag. Y join a game just to deadbeat. FOED." All of a sudden, Guinea turned white. White!! He was neutral!!! This is always a joyous day for Neutrals, inviting new brothers into the fold. The former Greens looked confused by thier lack of activity, and niavely turned to Neutral to ask him what to do. Before they could, though, the Blues in Senegal ruthlessly turned upon the Newtrals (as they are called by the vets), and slaughtered them to a man. Neutral, for a moment, thought that Blue would stop. Such was not to be the case. Blue rolled through perfectly. Neutrals last thought was in his mind as the dice rolled. "I hope I end up in Greece. It's nice this time of year....." Interrogation of the Admins
Q. Has Andy ever abused his authority by wanting bananas instead of points awarded for wins?
Lackattack: All too often. AndyDufresne: When I first joined the Team, I tried to convince Lackattack that I had a revolutionary idea for Conquer Club. It involved bananas. The cyber-transmission of bananas. Imagine a world, Willy Wonka-esque, where you can de-materialize objects, like bananas, and send them somewhere...imagine if that was in front of your computer? Imagine. Imagine. I know. Q. What do you anticipate will have become of CC a decade from now? Lackattack: Our top players will be world famous and our games will be incorporated into the Winter Olympics AndyDufresne: I imagine it'll still be here, banana-ing along. It's difficult to say what the Community will look like...will Blitz still be here racking up points? Will GabonX still be "changing minds one at a time" in the Off Topics forum? Will Robinette pursue a career telling stories in graphic art? Hm! On a Conquer Club side, I hope the site has more user-personalization. User created lists like "my favorite maps" and customizable intensity cube graphics...hm...hm... Q. Where do you see ConquerClub in 12 months? Lackattack: More features, more active members and people generally more engaged in community activities like tournaments, clans, training etc. AndyDufresne: I think this year is going to be the year of Events. I really see Events on Conquer Club growing. It's been definitely one of those areas that have been under utilized throughout our history. I hope in 12 months we have a calendar of events, some 1-time some reoccurring yearly. Q. Is it true that Conquer Club was invented at McGill University in 2006? Lackattack: Partly True AndyDufresne: Why partly? What are you holding back? You know it was...the question, as always when it comes to McGill---what wasn't invented in there? But even then, I heard invention was invented there. Where does that leave us? Running in circles peeling bananas. Q. Has lack ever created another account so he could play people with no hassle or people that just wanted to take out the founder of CC? Lackattack: Nope. I only have 1 other account (bork bork bork!) AndyDufresne: You dirty dirty chef. There was a discussion once that everyone on Conquer Club was Lack's multi. Some alternate universe nearly. Maybe we are all in a snow-globe in Lack's hand. Deep. Q. Since people really hate the multi rebuying policy, will that ever be changed? Lackattack: I would like to have separate rules for multiple account use to cheat in the game and multiple account use to bypass the 4 game limit and no rebuys for the former. But I need to upgrade our technology and consult the community beforehand. AndyDufresne: This is something we have discussed before. It would coincide with some revolutionary changes as well...more to come. Q. As CC is a start up venture, do you foresee an exit strategy such as a buy-out or IPO (IPO being a little ridiculous), or is the profit margin acceptable enough to just focus on growing the company? In this same vein, are there thoughts for expansion, such as another gaming site using a different game? Lackattack: I have no plans to sell CC - I'd be happy to grow it while keeping it real and community-oriented. I launched Speed Sudoku last year based on a similar model but CC is still my primary focus. I also continue to support and develop the Salamander Voting System which has been around longer than CC. AndyDufresne: I've never subscribed to the Economist. Q. Was Hyasri a fictional account? Lackattack: He was real, but didn't do much AndyDufresne: He was indeed real. Well, actually, I can't say I know for sure. I never heard him speak (out loud, with my own ears). I only ever saw him type. Hm...so I can't say I know for sure then. Creepy... Q. What was the thought process behind creating this site? Why RISK(ish type game)? Why not War-nopoly, or Extreme Scrabble? Lackattack: I used to play the Global Wars BBS game before the web was invented. I'd wake up early to take my turns before going to school. Eventually I started using the web and email and moved on from the BBS world, leaving my beloved Global Wars behind. Then one day I wondered... "is there a Global Wars on the web??" AndyDufresne: Creepy, you played games by the e-mail? Q. With Wicked being gone, who has the pleasure of spanking Andy's banana? Lackattack: Andy is due for a good banana spanking AndyDufresne: I'll make an open application callout for this. Who'd like to sign up? Would you please? Q. What are the 3 best additions you've made since starting CC? Lackattack: Speed games, fog of war, medals, 2 player games, card counters and auto-attack AndyDufresne: Speed Games, 2 Player Games (since this is what I like to play!), and...Map Foundry. That is kind of like an "addition." Without the Map Foundry, I never would've stuck around probably! And you wouldn't have me now! Isn't that teary? But without the Maps and the Map Foundry and the Community that participates (both in game playing and in development), Conquer Club would be one peeled-banana (in a bad way). Q. Why is Night Strike so grumpy? Lackattack: Probably because I've been driving him nuts with a massive tournament data cleanup! AndyDufresne: I've always seen him more as a sleepy or sneezy kind of guy.
This article is not very full as most of my work has been put into the first 3 tournament announcements that have been recently released. If you want to see the crowning piece, just check out the New tab at the top of the page!
Amazzony has put together some quotes about College Sports Tournaments, so be sure to read that before enjoying the new database.
College Sports Tournaments by amazzony
A few issues ago we promised to reveal to you
’s all time favourite tournament he has run. Life happened, therefore I couldn’t write about it before but here it is now and this section is dedicated to different college sports’ tournament, including an interview with flexmaster33 (one organiser of the biggest sport league ever ran on CC) and thoughts from different organisers about their leagues: dowian2 , KingConan , jrh_cardinal and Bruceswar . TheMissionary flexmaster33 wrote:
My favorite has always been each year's rendition of the
NCAA College Hoops season
. It's a blast when I have the time to run it well with the newsletter updates and Selection Show. Plus, it's fun knowing that so many people look forward to it each year. I was bummed when I realized I wouldn't be able to manage it this year, and it's been great to still be able to play in it and see all who signed up be able to finish it out. I love college hoops.
are doing a nice job with the tourney, and I'm grateful they stepped in to rescue a tournament that requires so much time and effort
I've managed to steal a few minutes from who agreed to answer some questions about the College Hoops 2009-2010 season. dowian2 [D2] Q: Why did you take it over? D2:
Personally, I volunteered to take it over due to the fact that I was playing in flex's NFL Singles tournament, which was the most fun I'd had in Conquer Club. I felt that if I could make this tournament half as fun as that one, it'd be successful.
Q: Is it hard to run such a big tournament? Is it easier/harder to run it than you expected? D2:
I wouldn't say it's
, but it does take up more time than I was expecting it to. I've got a great spreadsheet that makes it as easy as possible to create games, send out invites, and record results.
Q: How much preparation and work does it require to run something like this? D2:
Flex had already done a lot of the preparatory work (designing the tournament, partially completing the schedule, getting players, etc.) when we took over. I revamped the schedule so I could have it in a format of my liking, but that was the extent of the true preparatory work that I did. It probably requires 3-5 hours of work each week for me, most of which is spent making games and sending out invites.
Q: What's the hardest part about these kinds of tournaments? D2:
Deadbeats. It's hard to keep 186 people interested in a tournament with a 28-30 game schedule, particularly if they get off to a bad start.
Q: Easiest? D2:
Playing in the games, of course!
Q: What's the most rewarding part? D2:
The most rewarding part for me is extending my network of CC contacts. I hadn't really worked with yellow, or flex, or you (
) much before this tournament, and I didn't know many of the players in the tournament before this. And, of course, when I win the tourney in a couple of months, that'll be rewarding as well!
How have you divided the tasks between yourself ( dowian2 and yellowdog run the tournament together)? D2:
In general, I've been creating the games and sending out invites; yellow's been recording results and doing the top 25. I also calculate RPI in my master spreadsheet whenever I get a chance.
Is there something that you would like to add? D2:
Thanks to all the players in the tournament who have been patient with the two of us as we work through our first tournament. There have been some kinks in the road, but I hope everyone's enjoying themselves, and look forward to seeing you in future tournaments that I make. Much, much simpler tournaments
There are other tournaments that use NCAA Hoops as example for their tournaments. is one of them with his KingConan : KING OF FEUDAL - MARCH MADNESS STYLE KingConan wrote:
This is my first time hosting a tournament, so I wanted to make the format something that people could easily relate to. Obviously with the NCAA basketball tournament starting up this weekend [note: the interview was done in March], it was an easy choice for me. Personally I love the college basketball tournament. I think it is one of the most exciting post season systems in all of sports. I think the NCAA b-ball format lends itself to an exciting and surprising experience for the players that balances the right amount of players with a fairly quick time frame from start to finish. Running this tournament has been fun (other than my first round exit from it
). I look forward to crowning a champion and looking forward already to running this same tournament next year!
is also running a Bruceswar tournament, though not alone: March Madness Bruceswar wrote:
So this is my 6th Tournament, and I am helping
get her feet wet with it all. It is her first one as a TO. With that being said the work past the thread is going 50/50 even split. I am showing her everything needed to run the next one. As for the setup and format it was very simple as to why I choose this setup. For one is NCAA March Madness time when it started. I liked the 1 vs 1 idea, so we can have any player that wanted to play allowed to play. That means just like in the real tournament there will be some upsets. Now as we know CC dice are not always what we like, which is why a best of 3 series was chosen. Gives the higher seed a chance for dice to even out and skill to take over. The maps for this tournament were based on actual locations of the Tournament in Real life, trying to get as close as possible to real life. The
USA map pack
worked great for that reason. Past that this one is a short and sweet tournament, but one that should be fun for players of all skill levels. As a tournament organiser I always hope for a smooth ran tournament and one without me screwing up invites or PMs. LOL This is also a tournament I am playing in, so it double great for me.
Another player taking March Madness as example for tournament is with his jrh_cardinal : JRH's MARCH MADNESS jrh_cardinal wrote:I am also playing in a couple other March Madness Tourney's, so it's given me a good feel of the variety that different people are offering. Mine is the only one I have seen using the real March Madness Bracket, in the others players just sign up for any NCAA team they like. I think this adds to the fun when you use the real bracket because you can compare it to the real tournament, who gets hot in the real tournament as compared to my CC version. Thanks to the other TO's for each adding something unique to March Madness! Though seems a bit overwhelmed with a baby in the house (congratulations!), we hope he will have time to finish off his unique TheMissionary tournament: College Football Div. 1 FBS 2009-2010 TheMissionary wrote:My college football tournament consists of playing an entire season, but it has a twist at the end. I thought it would be interesting to see what the situation would be like if college football had a playoff like college basketball. I decided to create this tournament with the elimination of the BCS system that is currently in place, and replacing it with the 64 team playoff like in college basketball. Another reason I chose to do college football over NFL, is because college sports aren't as predictable as pro sports. You could have a no name team come and dominate for an entire season. In professional sports, it goes by salaries. I feel the people of CC represent more fully the college aspect of sports. I wish all of you and several others who are running tournaments based on college sports events a lot of luck and may your tournaments be a great success! Currently Taking Sign-ups
With the new Tournament Database, this section of the article should no longer be needed since everyone can just check the tab at the top of every CC page.
Hi everyone! The Foundry section is going through some changes. Firstly, our beloved long time team leader
is stepping down from the leadership of the news team, to concentrate more on other duties. He will remain in the news team as a reporter, while I,
take the leadership of the team. I hope to lead the Foundry section to a new era of glory and Foundry reporting. Also, we welcome a new reporter,
, to the news team.
These last two weeks have been hectic also in the Foundry. There are changes to the organization of the forums, some ongoing improvement by the moderators, and new cartographers appointed to the team. Of which you can read more in the news below... We also have
's history article, another special foundry article by me, and of course the latest maps in development. Have fun!
13 Colonies Map Quenched Fourteen months ago, Industrial Helix set out to make a map based upon the American Revolution. Thirty-five versions and a Cartography Assistant's position later, he has perfected a charmingly cozy map that depicts the 8-year-long conflict which ensared Redcoat and Frenchman alike. Flexible bonuses, killer neutrals and a "long string" territory arrangement combine for wonderfully unique gameplay. Congratulations, Industrial Helix, on earning your first quench- hopefully one of many more to come Japan Map Quenched The story of RedBaron0's Japan map echoes that of 13 Colonies- by the end of his personal mapmaking odyessy, RedBaron0 had both joined the Blue Crew and earned his first map medal. The maps themselves also share similarities- they are nearly the same size with their bonus regions arranged roughly in a long line. Whereas 13 Colonies boasts historical gameplay as its strength, however, Japan's elegance lays with its simplicity. Since going Beta almost a month ago, this straightforward and beautiful map has proven itself to be the latest CC hit- so congratulations Redbaron0 for a job very well done Ideas Abound in April Gameplay Contest Two weeks ago MrBenn, the fearless Foundry Foreman, presented the community at large with a challenge: to come up with a map concept that had something to do with the month of April. No fancy graphics or high-powered editing programs were required; just an idea and April. Since that time, no less than 7 proposals have come forth to battle for the title of Winning Entry. Veteran mapmaker and novice alike have presented very creative and intricate ideas, ranging from WWII battles to conquering the Zodiac to the battle to legalize! The contest is still open to the community; visit the competitions forum here to comment on your favorite ideas or present your own April Entry. The competition ends April 21st at 23:59 GMT, so be sure to hurry and present your case for the best April map that CC has ever seen! Cartography team got two new members Industrial Helix and TaCktix have been chosen as assistant cartographers. Their primary job will be evaluating design briefs and ensuring that maps keep moving smoothly from the Melting Pot. This will be a huge improvement to the Foundry and these two certainly are good choices for the job. Congratulations to both Foundry Betterment Campaign There is a campaign of "Foundry Betterment" going on. MrBenn announced it in this thread, but has been quite secretive on the details. We tried to acquire more information, but failed, so you all will just need to wait and see... History 101: The Cold War by dolomite13
History 101: The Cold War Duck and Cover by Oaktown Arms Race by WidowMakers and Mibi Berlin 1961 by Oaktown This issue I have chosen three maps to focus on for History 101. They all deal with the Cold War and arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The first is Duck and Cover, a wonderful map evocative of the propaganda of the cold war era. It features a unique view of the northern hemisphere and utilizes the bombard mechanic to simulate nuclear weapon strikes. The second map is Arms Race, a unique split map that uses a unique bonus structure as well as utilizing the bombard mechanic to simulate nuclear annihilation. The third is Berlin 1961, it utilizes the bombard mechanic to simulate artillery and auto-deploy to simulate reinforcements at airfields. I highly recommend all of these maps. Cold War The Cold War was the continuing state of political conflict, military tension, and economic competition existing after World War II, primarily between the Soviet Union and the powers of the Western world, particularly the United States. Although the primary participants' military forces never officially clashed directly, they expressed the conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to states deemed vulnerable, proxy wars, espionage, propaganda, a nuclear arms race, economic and technological competitions, such as the Space Race. The Cold War featured periods of relative calm and of international high tension – the Berlin Blockade (1948–1949), the Korean War (1950–1953), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Vietnam War (1959–1975), the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989), and the Able Archer 83 NATO exercises in November 1983. Both sides sought détente to relieve political tensions and deter direct military attack, which would likely guarantee their mutual assured destruction with nuclear weapons. The Cold War ended after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, leaving the United States as the dominant military power, and Russia possessing most of the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal. The Cold War and its events have had a significant impact on the world today, and it is commonly referred to in popular culture. Origins of the Term During World War II, George Orwell used the term Cold War in the essay “You and the Atomic Bomb” published October 19, 1945, in the British newspaper Tribune. Contemplating a world living in the shadow of the threat of nuclear war, he warned of a “peace that is no peace”, which he called a permanent “cold war”, Orwell directly referred to that war as the ideological confrontation between the Soviet Union and the Western powers. World War II and post-war (1939–47) Soviet relations with the West further deteriorated when, one week prior to the start of the World War II, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. For the next year and a half, they engaged in an extensive economic relationship, trading vital war materials until Germany broke the pact with Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Allies against the Axis (1941-45) During their joint war effort, which began thereafter in 1941, the Soviets suspected that the British and the Americans had conspired to allow the Soviets to bear the brunt of the fighting against Nazi Germany. According to this view, the Western Allies had deliberately delayed opening a second anti-German front in order to step in at the last moment and shape the peace settlement. Thus, Soviet perceptions of the West left a strong undercurrent of tension and hostility between the Allied powers. Post-war Europe The Allies disagreed about how the European map should look, and how borders would be drawn, following the war. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Allies failed to reach a firm consensus on the framework for post-war settlement in Europe. The Soviet Union, United States, Britain and France established zones of occupation and a loose framework for four-power control of occupied Germany. The Allies set up the United Nations for the maintenance of world peace, but the enforcement capacity of its Security Council was effectively paralyzed by individual members' ability to use veto power. The Eastern Bloc During the final stages of the war, the Soviet Union laid the foundation for the Eastern Bloc by directly annexing several countries as Soviet Socialist Republics. These included eastern Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania. part of eastern Finland, and eastern Romania. The Defeat of Japan At the Potsdam Conference Truman informed Stalin that the United States possessed a powerful new weapon. Stalin was aware that the Americans were working on the atomic bomb and, given that the Soviets' own rival program was in place, he reacted to the news calmly. The Soviet leader said he was pleased by the news and expressed the hope that the weapon would be used against Japan. One week after the end of the Potsdam Conference, the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Shortly after the attacks, Stalin protested to US officials. Winston Churchill (1946) wrote:From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Korea (1947–53) The Soviet-style regimes that arose in the Eastern Bloc not only reproduced Soviet command economies, but also adopted the brutal methods employed by Joseph Stalin and Soviet secret police to suppress real and potential opposition. In Asia, the Red Army had overrun Manchuria in the last month of the war, and went on to occupy the large swath of Korean territory located north of the 38th parallel. The Truman Doctrine By 1947, US president Harry S. Truman's advisers urged him to take immediate steps to counter the Soviet Union's influence. In February 1947, the British government announced that it could no longer afford to finance the Greek monarchical military regime in its civil war against communist-led insurgents. The American government's response to this announcement was the adoption of containment, the goal of which was to stop the spread of communism. Truman delivered a speech that called for the allocation of $400 million to intervene in the war and unveiled the Truman Doctrine, which framed the conflict as a contest between free peoples and totalitarian regimes. Enunciation of the Truman Doctrine marked the beginning of a US bipartisan defense and foreign policy consensus between Republicans and Democrats focused on containment and deterrence that weakened during and after the Vietnam War, but ultimately held steady. The Marshall Plan In early 1947, Britain, France and the United States unsuccessfully attempted to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union for a plan envisioning an economically self-sufficient Germany, including a detailed accounting of the industrial plants, goods and infrastructure already removed by the Soviets. In June 1947, in accordance with the Truman Doctrine, the United States enacted the Marshall Plan, a pledge of economic assistance for all European countries willing to participate, including the Soviet Union. Chinese Civil War In 1949, Mao's People's Liberation Army defeated Chiang's US-backed Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalist Government in China, and the Soviet Union promptly created an alliance with the newly formed People's Republic of China. The Nationalist Government retreated to the island of Taiwan. Confronted with the Communist takeover of mainland China and the end of the US atomic monopoly in 1949, the Truman administration quickly moved to escalate and expand the containment policy. US officials moved thereafter to expand containment into Asia, Africa, and Latin America, in order to counter revolutionary nationalist movements, often led by Communist parties financed by the USSR, fighting against the restoration of Europe's colonial empires in South-East Asia and elsewhere. In the early 1950s, the US formalized a series of alliances with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines, thereby guaranteeing the United States a number of long-term military bases. The Korean War One of the more significant impacts of containment was the outbreak of the Korean War. In June 1950, Kim Il-Sung's North Korean People's Army invaded South Korea. To Stalin's surprise, the UN Security Council backed the defense of South Korea, though the Soviets were then boycotting meetings to protest that Taiwan and not Communist China held a permanent seat on the Council. A UN force of personnel from South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Canada, Australia, France, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand and other countries joined to stop the invasion. Among other effects, the Korean War galvanised NATO to develop a military structure. Even though the Chinese and North Koreans were exhausted by the war and were prepared to end it by late 1952, Stalin insisted that they continue fighting, and a cease-fire was approved only in July 1953, after Stalin's death. In North Korea, Kim Il Sung created a highly centralized and brutal dictatorship, according himself unlimited power and generating a formidable cult of personality. Nikita Khruschev (1956) wrote:Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you. Crisis and escalation (1953–62) In 1953, changes in political leadership on both sides shifted the dynamic of the Cold War. Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated president that January. After the death of Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev became the Soviet leader. On November 18, 1956, while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow, Khrushchev used his famous "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you" expression, shocking everyone present. However, he had not been talking about nuclear war, he later claimed, but rather about the historically determined victory of communism over capitalism. Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles called for a greater reliance on nuclear weapons against US enemies in wartime. Dulles also enunciated the doctrine of "massive retaliation", threatening a severe US response to any Soviet aggression. Warsaw Pact While Stalin's death in 1953 slightly relaxed tensions, the situation in Europe remained an uneasy armed truce. The Soviets, who had already created a network of mutual assistance treaties in the Eastern Bloc by 1949, established a formal alliance therein, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 occurred. The Soviet Red Army invaded. Thousands of Hungarians were arrested, imprisoned and deported to the Soviet Union. Hungarian leader Imre Nagy and others were executed following secret trials. Threats of Nuclear Annihilation From 1957 through 1961, Khrushchev openly and repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear annihilation. He claimed that Soviet missile capabilities were far superior to those of the United States, capable of wiping out any American or European city. However, Khrushchev rejected Stalin's belief in the inevitability of war, and declared his new goal was to be "peaceful coexistence". This formulation modified the Stalin-era Soviet stance, where international class struggle meant the two opposing camps were on an inevitable collision course where Communism would triumph through global war; now, peace would allow capitalism to collapse on its own, as well as giving the Soviets time to boost their military capabilities, which remained for decades until Gorbachev's later "new thinking" envisioning peaceful coexistence as an end in itself rather than a form of class struggle. The Space Race & ICBMs The period after 1956 was marked by serious setbacks for the Soviet Union, most notably the breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, beginning the Sino-Soviet split. Mao had defended Stalin when Khrushchev attacked him after his death in 1956, and treated the new Soviet leader as a superficial upstart, accusing him of having lost his revolutionary edge. After this, Khrushchev made many desperate attempts to reconstitute the Sino-Soviet alliance, but Mao considered it useless and denied any proposal. The Chinese and the Soviets waged an intra-Communist propaganda war. Further on, the Soviets focused on a bitter rivalry with Mao's China for leadership of the global communist movement, and the two clashed militarily in 1969. On the nuclear weapons front, the US and the USSR pursued nuclear rearmament and developed long-range weapons with which they could strike the territory of the other. In August 1957, the Soviets successfully launched the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and in October, launched the first Earth satellite, Sputnik. The launch of Sputnik inaugurated the Space Race. This culminated in the Apollo Moon landings, which astronaut Frank Borman later described as "just a battle in the Cold War" with superior spaceflight rockets indicating superior ICBMs. Cuban Missile Crisis The Soviet Union formed an alliance with Fidel Castro-led Cuba after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy responded to the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba with a naval blockade. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world closer to nuclear war than ever before. It further demonstrated the concept of mutually assured destruction, that neither nuclear power was prepared to use nuclear weapons fearing total destruction via nuclear retaliation. The aftermath of the crisis led to the first efforts in the nuclear arms race at nuclear disarmament and improving relations, although the Cold War's first arms control agreement, the Antarctic Treaty, had come into force in 1961. In 1964, Khrushchev's Kremlin colleagues managed to oust him, but allowed him a peaceful retirement. Accused of rudeness and incompetence, he was also credited with ruining Soviet agriculture and bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. Khrushchev had become an international embarrassment when he authorised construction of the Berlin Wall, a public humiliation for Marxism-Leninism. Détente (1962–79) In the course of the 1960s and '70s, Cold War participants struggled to adjust to a new, more complicated pattern of international relations in which the world was no longer divided into two clearly opposed blocs. From the beginning of the post-war period, Western Europe and Japan rapidly recovered from the destruction of World War II and sustained strong economic growth through the 1950s and '60s, with per capita GDPs approaching those of the United States, while Eastern Bloc economies stagnated. As a result of the 1973 oil crisis, combined with the growing influence of Third World alignments such as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Non-Aligned Movement, less-powerful countries had more room to assert their independence and often showed themselves resistant to pressure from either superpower. Moscow, meanwhile, was forced to turn its attention inward to deal with the Soviet Union's deep-seated domestic economic problems. During this period, Soviet leaders such as Alexey Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev embraced the notion of détente. Czechoslovakia In 1968, a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia called the Prague Spring took place that included "Action Program" of liberalizations, which described increasing freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of movement, along with an economic emphasis on consumer goods, the possibility of a multiparty government, limiting the power of the secret police and potentially withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet Red Army, together with most of their Warsaw Pact allies, invaded Czechoslovakia. The invasion sparked intense protests from Yugoslavia, Romania and China, and from Western European communist parties. Brezhnev Doctrine In September 1968, during a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party one month after the invasion of Czechoslovakia, Brezhnev outlined the Brezhnev Doctrine, in which he claimed the right to violate the sovereignty of any country attempting to replace Marxism-Leninism with capitalism. The doctrine found its origins in the failures of Marxism-Leninism in states like Poland, Hungary and East Germany, which were facing a declining standard of living contrasting with the prosperity of West Germany and the rest of Western Europe. Richard M Nixon wrote:The Cold War isn't thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn't sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting. Third World Escalations The US continued to spend heavily on supporting friendly Third World regimes in Asia. Conflicts in peripheral regions and client states—most prominently in Vietnam—continued. Johnson stationed 575,000 troops in Southeast Asia to defeat the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam and their North Vietnamese allies in the Vietnam War, but his costly policy weakened the US economy and, by 1975, ultimately culminated in what most of the world saw as a humiliating defeat of the world's most powerful superpower at the hands of one of the world's poorest nations. The Middle East continued to be a source of contention. Egypt, which received the bulk of its arms and economic assistance from the USSR, was a troublesome client, with a reluctant Soviet Union feeling obliged to assist in both the 1967 Six-Day War (with advisers and technicians) and the War of Attrition (with pilots and aircraft) against US ally Israel; Syria and Iraq later received increased assistance as well as (indirectly) the PLO. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, rumors of imminent Soviet intervention on the Egyptians' behalf brought about a massive US mobilization that threatened to wreck détente; this escalation, the USSR's first in a regional conflict central to US interests, inaugurated a new and more turbulent stage of Third World military activism in which the Soviets made use of their new strategic parity. Afghanistan During December 1979, approximately 75,000 Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in order to support the Marxist government formed by ex-Prime-minister Nur Muhammad Taraki, assassinated that September by one of his party rivals. As a result, US President Jimmy Carter withdrew the SALT II treaty from the Senate, imposed embargoes on grain and technology shipments to the USSR, demanded a significant increase in military spending, and further announced that the United States would boycott the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. He described the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan as "the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War". Reagan and Thatcher In 1980, Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the US presidential election, vowing to increase military spending and confront the Soviets everywhere. Both Reagan and new British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher denounced the Soviet Union and its ideology. Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and predicted that Communism would be left on the "ash heap of history". Polish Solidarity Pope John Paul II provided a moral focus for anti-communism; a visit to his native Poland in 1979 stimulated a religious and nationalist resurgence centered on the Solidarity movement that galvanized opposition and may have led to his attempted assassination two years later. Reagan also imposed economic sanctions on Poland to protest the suppression of Solidarity. In response, Mikhail Suslov, the Kremlin's top ideologist, advised Soviet leaders not to intervene if Poland fell under the control of Solidarity, for fear it might lead to heavy economic sanctions, representing a catastrophe for the Soviet economy. Military and Economic Issues By the early 1980s, the USSR had built up a military arsenal and army surpassing that of the United States. Previously, the US had relied on the qualitative superiority of its weapons, but the gap had been narrowed. Ronald Reagan began massively building up the United States military not long after taking office. This led to the largest peacetime defense buildup in United States history. Tensions continued intensifying in the early 1980s when Reagan revived the B-1 Lancer program that was canceled by the Carter administration, produced LGM-118 Peacekeepers, installed US cruise missiles in Europe, and announced his experimental Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed "Star Wars" by the media, a defense program to shoot down missiles in mid-flight. With the background of a buildup in tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States, and the deployment of Soviet RSD-10 Pioneer ballistic missiles targeting Western Europe, NATO decided, under the impetus of the Carter presidency, to deploy MGM-31 Pershing and cruise missiles in Europe, primarily West Germany. This deployment would have placed missiles just 10 minutes' striking distance from Moscow. After Reagan's military buildup, the Soviet Union did not respond by further building its military because the enormous military expenses, along with inefficient planned manufacturing and collectivized agriculture, were already a heavy burden for the Soviet economy. At the same time, Reagan persuaded Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, even as other non-OPEC nations were increasing production. These developments contributed to the 1980s oil glut, which affected the Soviet Union, as oil was the main source of Soviet export revenues. Issues with command economics, oil prices decreases and large military expenditures gradually brought the Soviet economy to stagnation. George H W Bush wrote:The Cold War began with the division of Europe. It can only end when Europe is whole. End of the Cold War (1985–91) By the time the comparatively youthful Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary in 1985, the Soviet economy was stagnant and faced a sharp fall in foreign currency earnings as a result of the downward slide in oil prices in the 1980s. These issues prompted Gorbachev to investigate measures to revive the ailing state. An ineffectual start led to the conclusion that deeper structural changes were necessary and in June 1987 Gorbachev announced an agenda of economic reform called perestroika, or restructuring Despite initial skepticism in the West, the new Soviet leader proved to be committed to reversing the Soviet Union's deteriorating economic condition instead of continuing the arms race with the West. Partly as a way to fight off internal opposition from party cliques to his reforms, Gorbachev simultaneously introduced glasnost, or openness, which increased freedom of the press and the transparency of state institutions. Glasnost was intended to reduce the corruption at the top of the Communist Party and moderate the abuse of power in the Central Committee. Glasnost also enabled increased contact between Soviet citizens and the western world, particularly with the United States, contributing to the accelerating détente between the two nations. East–West tensions rapidly subsided through the mid-to-late 1980s, culminating with the final summit in Moscow in 1989, when Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signed the START I arms control treaty. During the following year it became apparent to the Soviets that oil and gas subsidies, along with the cost of maintaining massive troops levels, represented a substantial economic drain. In addition, the security advantage of a buffer zone was recognised as irrelevant and the Soviets officially declared that they would no longer intervene in the affairs of allied states in Eastern Europe. In 1989, Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan and by 1990 Gorbachev consented to German reunification. When the Berlin Wall came down, Gorbachev's "Common European Home" concept began to take shape. On December 3, 1989, Gorbachev and Reagan's successor, George H. W. Bush, declared the Cold War over at the Malta Summit; a year later, the two former rivals were partners in the Gulf War against longtime Soviet ally Iraq. Soviet Dissolution By 1989, the Soviet alliance system was on the brink of collapse, and, deprived of Soviet military support, the Communist leaders of the Warsaw Pact states were losing power. In the USSR itself, glasnost weakened the bonds that held the Soviet Union together and by February 1990, with the dissolution of the USSR looming, the Communist Party was forced to surrender its 73-year-old monopoly on state power. the same time freedom of press and dissent allowed by glasnost and the festering "nationalities question" increasingly led the Union's component republics to declare their autonomy from Moscow, with the Baltic states withdrawing from the Union entirely. The 1989 revolutionary wave that swept across Central and Eastern Europe overthrew the Soviet-style communist states, such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria, Romania being the only Eastern-bloc country to topple its communist regime violently and execute its head of state. Gorbachev's permissive attitude toward Eastern Europe did not initially extend to Soviet territory; even Bush, who strove to maintain friendly relations, condemned the January 1991 killings in Latvia and Lithuania, privately warning that economic ties would be frozen if the violence continued. The USSR was fatally weakened by a failed coup and a growing number of Soviet republics, particularly Russia, who threatened to secede from the USSR. The Commonwealth of Independent States, created on December 21, 1991, is viewed as a successor entity to the Soviet Union but, according to Russia's leaders, its purpose was to "allow a civilized divorce" between the Soviet Republics and is comparable to a loose confederation. The USSR was declared officially dissolved on December 25, 1991. The End... or is it? Observations on the Foundry by natty_dread
Observations on the Foundry Recently, I started gathering opinions from various foundry-goers on how to improve the atmosphere of the Foundry. The Foundry system is great, but there's always room for improvement. Recently the Foundry atmosphere has been under discussion, and lots of casual visitors seem to feel intimidated by the Foundry. TacKtiX also addressed the issue briefly in his article in last issue, but I wanted to do a deeper analysis. So I set out finding out how people feel about the current Foundry process, and how it could be improved. I posted threads, sent PM:s, bothered people... As a result I have seen some very interesting discussion arise in the Foundry. First I wanted to address the concerns of the non-mapmaking foundry population, those who don't make maps but like to follow threads and comment on their favourite projects. When I asked what these people would like to see in map threads, I got responses such as these. MarshalNey wrote:The Melting Pot is an overloaded forum that could use some cleaning; threads that haven't been commented on in a year or longer should be moved, recycled or deleted. Threads themselves could often use some cleaning when they rise above 10 pages, but since this seems impractical to accomplish, they should instead have a really good, short first post. If necessary, put all of the in-depth details on a second post that more interested readers can delve into. Also, it's good for mapmakers to respond to all feedback given, even if they're disappointed in the content, and to respond in a positive manner that gives guidance to the visitor for future feedback. My second question was for mapmakers, from whom I asked what kind of feedback they would like in their map threads and received answers like these: TacKtiX wrote:I prefer to have some feedback on all concerns and a yay/nay on updates before I roll up the next version. I get a little bit miffed when either of those are utterly ignored (which is dang hard to do when you think about it). Industrial Helix wrote:Initially I would say I want crits that offer a solution to a specific problem. But really, only other mapmakers and those familiar with this place are best suited to offer those. From the rest of the thousands-strong CC community I would want to know this: Do you want me to continue with this map? A simple, "Yes, this is a good idea and I want to play this map" would do. Or a "No, it's too similar to other maps and I really don't see this map (in its current version) becoming a map that I would look forward to playing. Then I also asked what kinds of action would these people wish to see from the administration and foundry moderators, that would improve the Foundry. Industrial Helix wrote:I'd like to see maps being moved from the melting pot a lot quicker than they are at this point. I'm looking at maps with 10 pages of development right now. They look great and play great, but that's not what the melting pot is for. The melting pot is for ideas and if an observer wants to watch and help a map develop then the place for that is the Gameplay Workshop (and not the gameplay tweakshop). This is where the bulk of the gameplay or graphics work needs to occur. In moving maps quicker to these workshops, I think observers and map followers will partake in more of the whole process. Porkenbeans wrote:My advice is to loosen up, and let the creative minds have the required room to breath. You can still have all the various stamps and such, just let the mapmaker make his own decisions as to how his map should evolve. So long as he gathers all the required stamps, it should not make any difference whatsoever, in which order he gets them. These are just a few samples of the responses I got, since I didn't want to clutter this article. But there's a few conclusions that can be made here. Firstly I'd like to concentrate on issues that could be addressed by the moderators. First of all, the Melting pot forum. Lots of threads end up there as dead threads, doomed to never advance anywhere, either due to mapmaker losing interest, or not enough interest to the map from others. Either way, these threads crowd the forum. I'm not sure what the perfect solution would be, perhaps moving threads to the Recycling bin. Which brings me to another point, recently raised: ender516 wrote:I just read a topic about a new Chess map where one responder was under the impression that john9blue's map had been abandoned. Given that the thread now resides in the Recycling Bin, that is an easy mistake to make. Why not keep the Recycling Bin strictly for those topics where the mapmaker has not responded to a fortnightly warning about inactivity, and have another forum for those topics which are moved to the sidelines temporarily at the request of the mapmaker. Call it the Holding Pen. While I personally feel another forum would be a bit redundant, I agree that threads in the recycling bin could be separated somehow. Perhaps stickying of the threads that are still active and only on vacation, and letting threads that are permanently abandoned fall to the bottom. Not sure if this would be a good solution, as it would mean more work for the moderators, which could be better used to maps that are actively being developed. But if someone could check on the recycling bin and melting pot forums once a month or something, it would probably help. Also, the issue of maps not being moved fast enough is raising it's head again. However, during the writing of this article, two new Cartographers have been appointed with the sole purpose of keeping an eye on design briefs and the Melting pot. The situation will likely improve in the near future. Now for issues concerning mapmakers and Foundry commentators. The foundry needs more people commenting on threads. Unfortunately most CC forum users aren't really interested in commenting on map threads, until the map is in beta-testing, and by then the mapmakers generally aren't very receptive to huge changes to their maps. But the mapmakers can also influence this themselves. We should all work towards creating a fun environment to work in. Many veterans seem to miss the "good old times" and feel that the foundry just isn't fun anymore. While the "good old times" will probably never return as such, we can all try our best to create a fun atmosphere in the Foundry. Let's try not to be overly serious, and remember that mapmaking should also be fun. Of course quality is important, but if mapmaking becomes a chore we will soon have no mapmakers... Mapmakers can help the commentators by adding relevant information to the first post of their map threads about the current development of their maps. Also, adding "feedback requests" - a couple of issues the mapmaker is most looking for feedback on - has been suggested, there are some mapmakers who do this currently, but not all. Another issue that has been raised in the Foundry discussions is the lack of "cross-pollination" between the map threads. Each thread seems to have it's own "entourage" which comments on that thread nearly exclusively. There are a few people who comment on all map threads, but most only stick to their favorites. I'd like to encourage everyone to bravely venture into other map threads and leave their feedback. This should apply to mapmakers as well: after all, how do you expect to receive feedback from others if you don't give any yourself? Overall, I'd say the Foundry has relatively few problems. The Foundry produces a lot of quality maps. No system is perfect though, neither is the Foundry. But we can all do our share to improve it, and that was the point of this article. Maps in Development
Maps in Development To see the full sized preview of the following maps just click on the title of the map, to visit the map development thread Melting Pot Recently Design Brief Submissions: Rebellion in Congo Mapmaker: Domovoi Description:
A promising first draft, the map features the ongoing war in Congo, thus shining some light on the continent of Africa that is very under-represented in CC.
Clans of CC 2010 Mapmaker: jpcloet Description:
Another take on the subject of "clans". Jpcloet's map challenges Clandemonium with a gameplay that is more closely related to the interactions between CC clans.
Gameplay Workshop South Africa 1885 Mapmaker: Industrial Helix Description:
Industrial Helix's next map is a war map of South Africa from the industrial age. Very skillfully executed, pretty map, from one of our latest cartographers.
Just recently moved into Gameplay Workshop, development has started on full speed.
Peru Mapmaker: Rih0 Description:
This map of Peru from a new mapmaker offers relatively standard gameplay yet with some interesting features.
Recently moved to Gameplay Workshop.
Baltic Crusades Mapmaker: theBastard Description:
A beautiful map of the Baltic Countries and their surroundings, this medieval map features the battle between Teutonic knights and Polish-Lithuanian forces.
Figuring out bonus values and neutral starts.
Conquer 500 Mapmaker: dolomite13 Description:
CC:s first map of a race track.
Development has stood still for a while, but will probably pick up after Monsters is quenched.
Graphics Workshop Napoleonic Europe Mapmaker: Kabanellas
A map of the conquests of Napoleon and his empire at it's heyday.
XML is being written, also some graphical tweaks are being made to improve legibility.
Clandemonium Mapmaker: Blitzaholic
The first clan map which has had a huge popularity among clan players, has now advanced to Graphics Workshop and is being developed with full steam.
Kabanellas has recently taken over the graphics of the map, and it is starting to look very professional.
Conquer National Bank Mapmaker: lzrman
A map of a bank heist, with unique gameplay.
Taking a photograph of an actual handgun to add to the map to improve the theme. Shows some dedication...
Good Morning Woodboro Mapmaker: Evil DIMwit Description:
Radio stations battling for listeners. Very unique theme with conquest gameplay.
Some debate on the fonts.
Final Forge Central America Mapmaker: Oaktown
A pretty much standard gameplay map of the countries of Central America.
Recently acquired graphics stamp and moved to Final Forge.
Clan League Update by laughingcavalier
Clan League – Division One playoffs still undecided
laughingcavalier (AoD) The last few games of the season decide the play-off places in the Clan League. Only Legends of War had an easy finish to the regular season, running out well ahead of their rivals in Division 1B. Having won more than two thirds of their games, they end 9 games up on their nearest rivals. Much respect to the clan, not least to their joint-leaders: reptile wrote:
Well, I think we have been playing really well as a team. We are finally recovered from a bad streak after our split with TOFU (who is also a force to be reckoned with). Each of our active members have participated in no less than 11 games. It is a mighty fine accomplishment to play this many games against such talent and have our worst record for any single player in our clan to be just one game below .500 W/L. We figure the more we spread the load, the more each Legend can concentrate on their games, and that is the main key.
I wanted to point out a few Legends that have really stepped up to the plate, but there are just so many. I guess Waseemalim's record of 26-3 has kind of led the way with a host of other LoW members that have mid range double digit wins with only a couple losses chipping in. Also our current Conqueror (Rabbiton) has not lost a CLA game yet this year (11-0).
Everyone has really done their part this year beyond just playing the games and it has shown as we finished with the best record in Division 1. We have some Legends that do the research, others that take care of the threads, and others that take care of the match-ups. This makes it much easier to participate and concentrate on games. We are hoping to continue our good play throughout the playoffs and bring home the title!
To sum it up, we have a lot of players that are all stepping in and doing their part. Chard and Prankcall have also stepped in and gone above and beyond this year. I would like to point out that deciding the match-ups is sometimes as important as the game play itself.
I also would like to mention that Legends of War is NOT the sexiest clan on CC, but we do not go for sexy, otherwise we would be.
chard wrote:For the league we finally started matching our fixed teams toward games instead of just having random people join. That hurt us against O&H the first time and in some weeks of the league. Second place in the division is up for grabs. The last game of the season is the decider for The Bullet Proof Bandits, while the clan they have to better, The Spanking Monkeys, must sit by and watch. The Monkeys looked safe home and dry for the playoffs, till they took a heavy 7-1 defeat from Generation One in the final week. G1 were not shy about their success – it was not just down to good players, but a clever tactic. G1, famed for its mapmakers, knows just about every map inside out, and by setting 8 random games they threw the Monkeys off. The Monkeys, unable to choose their specialists for given maps, and perhaps exhausted after their battle with THOTA or confident they were home and dry, paid the price. So it is all down to the final game of the regular season for Bullet Proof Bandits -Charleston quads, Game 6636243, and no-one is watching more closely than their venerable clan leader: Fruitcake wrote: The clan league has been very interesting for us in this, our first season. We made a couple of errors getting to this point, which is something of a shame as had we not done so we would now be in the play off position win or lose. The pressure on our quads team is quite immense and within our forum we are all showing our complete support whatever the result. Naturally, we are all following the game closely. The Bandits were not really rated as real challengers by many and we are pleased to have vindicated JP’s decision to give us the position in the 1st Div. However, winning this game has proven incredibly difficult with the famous cc dice proving capricious, as they ever were. On the other hand, the number of messages of support we have received, since this situation and chance occurred, has been heartening. Whether we win or lose this game we shall certainly return for the next season. Division 1A was decided in the last half dozen games, as the Immortal Assassins overtook Knights of the Round Table at the last gasp. The final game between the two clans swung back and forth in an epic fight, but went to KORT after 20 rounds – Game 6472108. That tied the score between the clans. But IA just did enough in their final week’s match against Imperial Dragoons to take the lead. KORT, who had topped the division for most of the season, take the second play-off spot. Division 2 play-offs are decided: Agents of Chaos (winners, div 2B) vrs Divine Domination (2nd, div 2A). The Odd Fellows Union (div winners, division 2A) vrs Legends of the Zone (2nd, divi 2B). Play-offs will be 17 game matches; with the winner of each semi-final going through to the division final. Conqueror's Cup Round 1 by laughingcavalier
Conqueror's Cup Round 1 results
laughingcavalier (AoD) Tenth seeds ++The Legion++ have made a dramatic comeback against seventh seeds Imperial Dragoons to take their challenge by a narrow margin. A week ago the Goons were leading 15-8; but as we went to press, their leader mudpuppy was conceding defeat. Finished games are tied 18-18, but bar a major upset, ++The Legion++ will finish ahead by 21 points to 19. Even if the Goons do pull one back, the tie-break, which was started early, looks to be going to ++The Legion++ after a lucky first turn gave them the Australian bonus off the bat. mudpuppy paid due attention to the luck and the skill that go into CC as told us his own best and worst moments of the challenge: MudPuppy wrote:
First off, this was a truly great challenge with strong participation from members of both clans: 42 warriors total; 21 from each clan with a good balance of games among them.
Best moment was when the 'Goons took the lead for good in a back and forth New World quads game (
in the 8th round with a 2v1 roll of 6-4.
Worst moment came in the deciding Sydney Metrol quads game (
) where I failed my objective on a crucial 10th round turn when attempting to march 9 troops down from Manly to Centennial Park and fort
's new-found Waverley bonus. We had been slightly down in troop counts for most of the game but hanging tough. This was our best chance for making a strong counter-attack. I took the 1 troop on the Opera House uncontested before proceeding to lose the next 3 rolls for a net slaughter of 1-6 which allowed them to easily break Waverley and take a commanding lead in the game.
++The Legion++ are a group of tough competitors that gave it their all and proved, once again, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Elsewhere, the Cup dream is over for Mythology. The number 14 seeds won a convincing victory in the qualifying round, and sprinted to a 5 game lead over number 3 seeds Empire in the first round proper. When push came to shove though, it was Empire who had the power, and who lead 21-15 as we go to press. Myth’s co-leaders, peanutsdad and MTIceman41 commented: peanutsdad wrote: It has been a fantastic challenge. While it was a bit disheartening to read all the posts from people saying that Mythology would be lucky to win 3-4 games total, or that it would be a slaughter by Empire, I think we showed a lot of people that we're much better than our record in the clan league might show. This challenge literally came down to about 4 games, 2 won strictly by the dice, and 2 by one person missing a turn on our side and another screwing up a crucial turn in another. All credit to Empire for their respect and honorable play, they took advantage of our mistakes and will win because of it. Over all, it's been a lot of fun, and I look forward to the next one. MTIceman41 wrote:Our war with Empire was very intense from the start, which I predicted it would be...mid-way through the match I felt like both teams would get 18 wins at the minimum, and it would come down to four decisive games. I think that two games we made some tactical errors that cost us, in addition Empire got the "clutch" dice at the opportune time to steal a few more games away. We came a bit short this match, but this was a good platform to showcase the improved Mythology clan. We wish Empire the best in the tournament and are thankful for the opportunity to participate in such a fun event. Empire’s Cup leaders praised Myth and gave us an insight into what turned the challenge in their favour: Lubawski and Chephren wrote: Mythology conducted themselves with skill, class and sportsmanship, They are under-rated as a clan and definitely on the "up". We felt a little frustrated early on in the challenge, with first turns, drops and dice favouring Myth. As the results seemed to go against us, we saw that many people were predicting an upset. We decided to stay quiet and focus on our game and fairly quickly we realized that we'd managed to turn things in our favour. In our preparations we focused on our strengths and perceived "chinks" in the Mythology armor, from our extensive research in the weeks leading up to the challenge. Our map choices turned out to find precise weaknesses and the choice of Fog for almost all of our home games also gave us an edge as we follow games extremely closely and everyone is comfortable with taking snapshots after every turn. Turns were discussed at length, frequently involving chats outside of game chat, PMs to discuss, and planning for times to be on-line together to move through critical turns together. We also had 100% attendance for turns, so our teammate coverage as a clan was exceptional. We have improved as a clan in every respect in the past 12 months and I think the way we stuck it out when things were going against us, turned some games around and emerged triumphant, speaks volumes for the great spirit and teamwork in the clan. The top of the draw quarter final will be between THOTA (currently 25-9 over Left for Dead, and Nemesis (leading Black Sheep Squadron 23-9). The Immortal Assassins are through, 20-13 against Agents of Chaos; and late-starters TOFU are 11-5 up over the Mermaids. One of the closely-watched matches is between Knights of the Round Table and Generation One. The clans tied 15-15 when they last met – but that was KORT’s first clan war, and with a season of getting organised behind them, KORT have this time won by a convincing margin (currently 23-10). Legends of War (24) have posted a win over Outlaws and Highwaymen (12). Last time the two clans faced up, just a few months ago, O&H won decisively, but since that time O&H lost a lot of players to a breakaway and they have had to reorganise hastily in the midst of a string of games. Full credit to them that they can do this and stay competitive on the field of play. Clan leader safariguy5 has this to say: safariguy5 wrote:"We actually weren't particularly prepared for the kickoff of the Conqueror’s Cup. After FOED branched off, O&H was still in the middle of the Legion challenge and the last couple of weeks of the CLA. O&H pulled harder than ever to fill all the LoW games whilst adhering to the obscure 15-games cap rule. There is no bad blood between us and FOED. We respect danryan, brian fletcher and the others. The split was amicable and stemmed from differing philosophies between different members of the clan. Our members still view their members as good teammates and friends. Overall, with the addition of some nice new free agents, we feel confident in our ability to play to our fullest and give LoW a good challenge. Round two match-ups can be seen at Conqueror's Cup!!. Round one has proved there is a big gap between the few elite clans and the pack that are chasing them. The members of the pack are being left behind now, and the quarter final line-ups are nearly complete. It’s time for the elite clans to come out and show what they are made of, mano a mano. EMPIRE by Georgerx7di
EMPIRE By Georgerx7di (TSM) This issue I go inside the forum of Empire, one of CC’s top clans. Before I take you inside let me tell you a little about this clan. Empire was ranked #4 seed in the Conqueror’s cup (actually seeded 3rd as The Spanking Monkeys are not playing). Empire is ranked #6 in the new RPI ladder, and they were also ranked #6 in my top ten list published in issue 25, which you can see here: viewtopic.php?f=430&t=108931 Empire is also the clan that is hosting and running the Conqueror’s Cup, (see more later in this article). Empire is one of CC’s top clans in terms of clan wars won. With their impending victory over Mythology they will have an 8-1 record with wins over clans like The Imperial Dragoons, Nemesis, The Legion, Black Sheep Squadron and Agents of Chaos; their only defeat coming at the hands of Legends of War. This puts them in an elite group, not just in terms of who they beat, but also in terms of number of wins. Only 4 clans have 8 or more wins. Those are Angels of Death 10-4, The Horsemen of the Apocalypse 8-0, Empire 8-1 and The Legion 8-5-1; no other clan has more than 5 wins. So here we begin our journey into the clan forum of one of CC’s best and most active clans. The first time I got a “visitor’s pass” into another clans forum, it was Memento Mori a clan that was less than 6 months old. It wasn’t too much of a surprise that they only had 25 topics in there forum being this now. With an experienced clan on the other hand, one would expect many more. In The Spanking Monkeys (TSM) forum for instance we have 11 pages with 501 topics. So one can imagine my shock when I entered Empire’s forum (a clan that is older than TSM) and found 1 page with only 42 topics! It was like walking into the twilight zone, what had they done? Another thing that surprised me was that a clan that is this active only has 17 members. We have 25 guys at TSM and lately we have to pick up one of our guys at the bar and sober him with coffee so that we can fill a clan game. Those 17 guys in fact include two players who had just joined, lord voldemort formerly of Imperial Dragoons and slowreactor formerly of Eternal Empire. This clan seems to be made up of hardcore CC addicts. While these 17 guys were playing Mythology, running the Conqueror’s Cup and doing their usual stuff, I saw this post in their forum, (it was posted in the appropriate thread, “General Discussion”, wouldn’t want to make a mess): Chuuuuck wrote:I know with everyone else being somewhat busy this might be a bad idea. But I enjoy the site more when we have some sort of clan activity going. Does anyone else want to/can we get something set up with another clan for right after the KoRT challenge? Maybe even start it while the KoRT challenge is winding down. I understand some people may like time off but I don't like the lulls so that is why I am asking. There are also several teams representing Empire in tournaments right now, making this doubly surprising. It looks like they shot the idea down, but that is not the point. The point is, this is a very active clan; and very organized as Chuuuuck had claimed. Empire is all around very professional. Most of the threads that they are allowed to have are about studying certain maps and who will learn what. A lot of chatter in the GD thread is about who will team in what funky map tourney and so on. There is only one thread in their forum that was started by someone when he or she was drunk, far fewer than most clans I would think. Sometimes I wonder if these guys have any fun : P It doesn’t seem like a stressed environment though. There aren’t a lot of posts about people needing a break or not having time to get things done. As for their clan war Empire has a 21-15 lead giving them the win. They face KORT in the next round. The Conqueror’s Cup seems to be a big success, with most of the top clans joining. Only The Spanking Monkeys (my clan), Angels of Death, and Bullet Proof Bandits did not join among the top clans. The cup is well underway and many of the first round match-ups have been decided. Some of the best have been KORT vs. G1 and Legion vs. ID. You can follow all of the action on the “active challenges” page here: viewforum.php?f=441 All Conqueror’s Cup games will have the C.C. acronym in the title of the clan war. Also see laughingcavalier’s article on all the round 1 action in the cup in this section of the paper. Hot Date by laughingcavalier
laughingcavalier (AoD) There comes a time in many players' lives on Conquer Club that they tire of the one-night stands, the energetic courting, the all-too brief moment of excitement, and waking up in the morning next to a frog. And it is then that many of them turn to a clan, looking for something better, something more meaningful, something more permanent. But how do you know if a clan is right for you, and what do you do first time you meet? Many and various are such dates and we hope to hear more of them as time goes on. This issue’s HOT DATE features Great-Ollie and Hells Messengers. How did it go? caymanmew, clan leader, Hells Messengers: Primping and preening What is special about Hells Messengers? We’re new and intend on getting good fast. We also merged with another clan (snipers) to boost our ranks, you could call that special. Fluttering eyelashes Why should new recruits join you? Because we want to be the best. Wandering eye… How do you recruit? We looks for higher ranked players (captain up) mostly, we do allow lower ranks (sergeants and corporals) in but they tend to have to ask. Object of desire What did you like about Great-Ollie? He is loyal and loves to be in the clan The first kiss How is it going with Great-Ollie so far? He is great, he has recruited 4 members for us. He has played one clan game. It was a dubs game, I was his partner, we got bad drop and lost. Game 6730399. He is currently in a couple games for a war that are active. Game 6732197 Game 6732037. Great-Ollie, new recruit, Hells Messengers Thinking about settling down I joined a clan because I wanted to be part of one for clan challenges as well as having a social group to share games and issues with. What did you like about Hells Messengers? They were a new group and needed good, committed members to build the clan from the ground up. I wanted a chance to be involved with decisions made by the clan and being one of the stronger members I am looked upon for ideas and strategies. LOL not always a good idea to follow the way I play. The chat up line Caymanmew played some games against me and recruited me after a couple days of convincing. I was a little leery about Hells Messengers at the start. Now I love it and am 100% committed. I turned down a much stronger clan to join Hells Messengers because of caymanmew and his vision for the clan. The first kiss I am a recruiter for the clan and currently working on one. Our recruiting’s on hold till we figure out our new numbers. I love being in a clan! My wife thinks I am crazy though! LOL To find out how to join a clan look here: How to Join or Create a Clan To find clans that are recruiting look here: Create/Join a Competitive Clan To tell your own Hot Date story in the next issue of CC Dispatch, PM laughingcavalier
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