Welcome Comrades to the 40th edition of the Dispatch
C h r i s t m a s
edition of our newsletter, and in honor of the 5th anniversary of Conquer Club, we interrogate none other than Lackattack, the big guy himself. Find out what it was like taking Conquer Club from a hobby to a full-time job. And get a sneak peek at what the future holds for our favorite game.
Just in case you missed the latest news, Conquer Club is turning 5 years old this January.
Find out how we are celebrating
! And be sure to check out the
Official Winter Holiday Celebration 2010
. it's time to get this party started!
Have a safe and happy holidays.
If you would like to apply to join the news team, please visit the thread below for more details!
Click here for Recruitment Details...
Merry Xmas from the Freestyle Team!
This edition we have a review of the Annual Risk Classic (better late than never!) by TheSaxLad and advice from deathcomesrippin as to how to deal when faced in battle against those tough talking high rankers. I also had a conversation with the turtle himself in celebration of the website's 5th birthday! Discover below what actually was going on whilst Lack was at McGill! Enjoy
Nagerous Annual Risk Classic Write Up by TheSaxLad
Well there we have it folks, after months of deliberations and everyone looking forward to it, it came and it went. And it seems like most people had a good time.
Here are a couple of the flagbearers experiences and what they thought about the Tournament! Flow520 wrote:
As far as the general experience, I thought it was a very well run professional tournament. My hat's off to SteelHorse and his team for arranging it.
They managed to pull together a great group of experienced players from all over the country.
I felt it was really worth the cost of the weekend. I dont think they made a dime off of it. There was food/drinks/snacks galore, not to mention the great prizes for the tournament as well as the side games.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. I highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good game of Risk.
Gilligan wrote:"The RISK classic was phenomenal. Extremely well run by Steelhorse, it was a blast meeting everybody. I'll definitely be there again next year." So without further ado lets announce the winning CC members!!! Final Table Jonesthecurl outsider Second Chance Tournament Winners Flow520 Gilligan Well thats it guys, the end of the first risk classic. But don’t despair because we have been promised that next year will be the second risk classic, at the same place. Sign ups for the Tournament are commencing now at http://www.annualriskclassic.com . Well thats it from me guys. Wait, where did I put nagerous’ tea, he’s gonna kill me for this... Dealing with the "Big Boys" (and "Girls") by deathcomesrippin
Like any online gaming, there are levels of game play in Conquer Club which separate people according to skill. In online shooters, you are given a rank, which is earned through experience points, and in some new weapons are unlocked as you advance. In MMOs, you gain levels which increase your stats and somehow, through advanced methods that I am not privy to, apply to how much damage you do, or how much health you regain, so on and so forth. In our little game we call home, your level of skill is often reflected by your “rank”. You gain rank by defeating opponents in games, and claiming a certain number of points from them which is added to your total. When your total reaches certain plateaus, you are increased in rank. A list of the ranks can be found in the Instructions tab on the website.
A lot of times, players who have achieved the upper echelon of ranks, say Colonel and above, are very good players in a particular area. This could be specific maps, specific styles, or even just settings. These are players who understand (usually) such things as combat odds, dice mechanisms, card cash timing, board sweeping, and more. Out of the 20,000+ users on the scoreboard, only slightly more than 300 of them hold a crown or better. A fairly small portion of the pie. Now, for one reason or another, not all of these Big Boys take to luck too well. When they are adversely affected by the lady, they may flip out. Also, when someone who does not understand how a map is played makes a bad call, they can get a bit ticked. Newer players, who are generally lower ranked, and those who play Conquer Club without caring about the wins and losses, can sometimes get into arguments with these ranked individuals about a turn they took or an attack they made that doesn’t fit into the normal makeup of the map or settings they are playing. This leads to frustration, caps locks, and occasionally a forum post about in-game arguments. Here are a few of my (humble) thoughts on how, as a lower ranked and possibly lesser experienced player, you can avoid these ultimately futile times. 1) Realize that in the long run, you could never convince them of your side. On a whole, unless you are experienced on the map/settings, then they consider themselves superior to you in that matter. They are probably right. Many of the high ranked individuals are map or settings ringers, and have multiple games of the same style going at once. Of course, they lose once and awhile, but they never play badly, and usually go about the game the same each time. Arguing the fact that your attack was not a bad play is never going to get a sympathetic ear against these individuals. 2) In fact, you should attempt to emulate their play style if you have limited experience on the map. If you have never played Feudal War, then instead of just rushing about willy-nilly in a 6 player escalating, just go with the flow. If it seems three or four of the players are playing a similar game style, try it out and see if you can hang. Quite a few of these players will even be open to giving you advice if asked politely, helping out the game as you go along. Throwing a game because you don’t understand the basic tactics of a map is frustrating to everyone. 3) Learn caution. Even if you lose, play the slow card and watch the opposition. This will cause less friction with the Big Boys, and if you do not want to ask for help, you can watch their plays if it’s not foggy and see what they do. Every map has nuances that you can pick up from people if you watch. If you play it slow and win, most of the time you will not face the name-calling and derision that you would if you randomly suicide and come out on top. Try to keep in mind that if you lose, you are not going to lose many points at all. When next you meet this Crown maybe you can turn his tactics against him. 4) Don’t get involved in any aggressive chatter unless necessary. This is especially important if there are more than one of these Crowns in the game, as they may have a past or it might be just banter to them. 5) Finally, until it turns out to be a bad move, don’t call them on what you consider to be a misplay. They usually make it vocally known when they screw up. Many times what looks like a bad move to you might just be setting up something for a future turn. These are just a few points on how to dodge fights in CC with the Big Boys. Hopefully they will help you as much as they have helped me. Admittedly, I am a bit of a hot head at times
show: Interrogation of Lackattack
Q. Hello Lackattack! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed! The pleasure is mine, nagerous Q: How did you come up with the idea for Conquer Club as a website? And the name? Before the web was invented I used to play a BBS game called Global War. Every day I'd wake up early anxious to take my turn before going to school! About 7 years ago I wondered... could there be a version of Global War on the web? I searched and found a few web games - but I wasn't satisfied with the way they were designed and I thought it would be a fun project to build my own. It was tough to think of a good name that wasn't taken. I was trying to narrow down my choices between Casual Warfare, Konquestica, Total Takeover, Border Blitz, Rolling Armies and Conquerama. But the moment "Conquer Club" came to me and I knew that was it! Q: What was it like working full-time at a job, and then working on Conquer Club as a hobby? It was so much fun, I felt like I had a double life - a programmer at McGill University's IT department by day and Webmaster of Conquer Club at night! I would do my website updates during evenings and weekends - often I'd tell my friends I'm on "lockdown" and they wouldn't hear from me for a week. That was the only way I could churn out new features like Terminator and Speed games. My co-workers probably found me annoying as I always talked about Conquer Club. I was obsessed. Q: What was it like to finally transition from Conquer Club as a hobby to Conquer Club as your personal business? When you quit your job to do your own thing you feel a combination of excitement for the future and nervousness because you have no guaranteed pay-cheque to pay for rent and groceries. In my case it was also a relief because at that point I felt like I was juggling 2 full-time jobs. I loved what I was doing and the fact that I could work whenever I want, from wherever I want. Q: During the first year, did you ever have worries that Conquer Club would not take off---and that it'd just be you, your close friends, and a small group of interweb folk sitting around on a near empty website? Of course! After I sent an initial invitation email to about 80 people in my address book, I started to worry that not enough people would play to have a "critical mass". I raised the limit to 10 simultaneous games and kept on creating games myself so there would be always be a waiting game for new players to join! Q: How much of the coding did you do yourself? I imagine there was a lot to be done. I programmed all of it, except for pre-fabricated parts like the phpBB forum software. A graphic designer I knew did the first 3 maps - Classic, Asia and USA. I suck at webdesign so I used an open source layout. It took about 6 months to have everything ready for launch. Q: Have you ever changed your avatar away from the turtle? Only for a couple brief moments - once to support a community event and once because I lost a bet-your-avatar game. Once you get attached to an avatar it feels strange to wear another, doesn't it? Q: Why Leonardo? You know, I originally thought it was Donatello because even though the mask is blue, his weapon looks like a bō staff! Donatello was my favourite because he's into technology and the bō staff had the longest range in the Nintendo game. But Leonardo is good too. He's the leader and it fits for a webmaster. Anyone but Michelangelo, that party dude is too cool for me. Q: What is your favorite part of running Conquer Club? When I'm designing new features or playing with a technology for the first time. I also love going live with something I had been working on for days or weeks. Q: What were some of the best decisions you've ever made regarding Conquer Club? Listening to Twill who urged me to let go and appoint moderators for the forum. Using a good hosting company (Rackspace). Making "farming" against the rules. Q: What does your daily routine look like? How has it changed over the years? I now have a regular schedule. I wake up, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast with my wife, and head to the office upstairs. First I check my Conquer Club email account, my inbox, the error log and a few key forums for anything that needs my attention. After the daily catch-up I spend the rest of the day on whatever my "active" project happens to be which could be programming a feature, tuning the server, web marketing or community-related. It wasn't always like this at all. I remember never using an alarm, crawling straight from bed to the computer, working at random hours. I remember doing all the multi-hunting myself (in the early days I almost accidentally busted two friends of mine who lived close to each other - turns out one was stealing the other's internet connection so they had the same IP address!). I also used to spend much less time with "administration" stuff and more of my time "under the hood". Q: Why have you been dedicated to keeping flashing ads and banners off the website? Why not try to increase revenue this way? Because they are yucky. It's out of respect for this website and respect for its members. To be honest I'd consider ads for free members if it would make a big difference financially but it doesn't seem to be worth the annoyance. Q: Is it true that from your full-time employment, you sometimes would work on Conquer Club? Did you ever get worried about being caught---or were you ever caught? How did you hear about that?! Well, all I can say is... my boss was very happy with my work and I never got in trouble for anything Q: How have you grown over these last 5 years as a person---and has Conquer Club contributed to that growth in any way? I've grown a lot as a person - from being a chronic bachelor to a husband to - god willing by the time this is published - a father. I think Conquer Club taught me how to be a hard worker and how to be a leader. I've also learned a ton about public relations and this helps me deal with people in my personal life. Q: Were your family, friends, and associates skeptical about Conquer Club as an endeavor in the beginning? What do they think of Conquer Club now? I think my friends that played on similar websites were surprised to see Conquer Club take off, but they switched over and some still play. My father didn't consider Conquer Club to be a serious career move, but I eventually won him over too. Q: Why do you think Conquer Club has been as successful as it has been---and what do you see in the future that can make it even more so? I think the keys to our success are the simple user interface, the variety of maps, the level of competition and the vibrant community spirit that permeates this website. I think we need additional dimensions of competition, innovation in gameplay, and better social interaction to continue growing. Q: What gaming sites apart from Conquer Club do you like and why? To be honest I don't play much on game sites, except sometimes Zynga Poker on Facebook. I still play Worms World Party, my favourite computer game. Other computer games I loved were Jagged Alliance 2 and Star Wars X-Wing. Q: Was the community - the forums, the mapmakers etc - part of the plan or has that surprised you? Both! We started off with forums for mapmaking and organizing tournament hoping that they would be used. But I never expected the community to be anything close to what it is today. Society of the Cooks, the Newsletter, Clans, forum games, even the process of quenching maps is all stuff that came from the community. The community has it's own vibe, lingo, and intrigue. It is the biggest surprise for me. Q: If you weren't lackattack which CC player would you most like to be? Bork bork bork! Q: What suggestions in the Suggestions Forum are you working on implementing? I'm working on Clickable Maps now. I'm trying to get it done by our 5th anniversary... we'll see how that goes. Q: When you were a young man, what did you think your career was going to be? Did you have any dream jobs in mind? When I was young I wanted to be a scientist, and part of me still wants to be. Q: CC has come a long way from where it started. How did you feel about its progress? Proud and grateful but not satisfied. Q: What is your vision for Conquer Club for 2011? Or another way of putting it, what New Year's resolutions do you have for Conquer Club for 2011? Clickable maps, an official automated mega-tournament, clans integrated into the website, a game sitter feature, more game options. I also resolve to get another programmer working on the website. Q: How do you picture CC 5 years from now? I picture the website looking a bit different and having new bells and whistles, but still being the same old CC underneath. There will be different versions of the website in various languages and Conquer Club apps on platforms like the iPhone and Facebook. Q: If you had more time to spend playing the game, how would you spend it? Clans? Tournaments? Mafia Games? Definitely all of the above! Q: Who is the sexiest mod on Conquer Club? Wicked. I know, she's technically a former mod, but her sexiness is legendary. Q: Over the 5 year span, Conquer Club has seen numerous interesting players/forum-posters? What characters have most entertained/interested you? Oh my, there have been so many characters! Dugcarr1 was completely nuts and I miss his offensive antics. Weidsun impressed me by placing 3 of his multies in the top 5 positions on the scoreboard! I'll never forget AK_iceman getting arrested for playing CC on his library's wireless internet after hours. The generous "anonymous benefactor" who donated 5 premiums every month. BoredGirl faking her own death. The sarcastic Stachewakers who knew just how to get under people's skin. All that is from the old days but the list goes on and on. I should write a book about interesting Conquer Club stories someday! Q: Do you think Conquer Club will be a part of your life for the rest of your life? I sure hope so. Q: Thank you very much for your time. It's me that should be thanking you, nagerous.
Welcome to the Holiday issue of the War Games. This is my first appearance as Tournament Executive and I want to thanks the whole ConquerClub Dispatch Team for the opportunity. On the other side, this is Amazzony's last issue! She will take a break for a while, but hopefully, we can have her back in the near future. Good luck ZZ, and thanks for all your help, time and dedication!
I wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Navidad!) and a great new year, and lets hope Santa can bring us a better dice for 2011.
Tournament Executive Join This? Or Not! by amazzony
show: JOIN THIS - OR NOT
It is going to be for the last time when I share my unprofessional and totally biased opinion about the (not so) great tournaments that are waiting for your participation. Feel relieved, last time I shall hold my fist of fear above all the organisers
I shall start with TPA event which was abandoned by a very irresponsible organiser and now keiths31 is doing his best to get the Triple Threat Terror [TPA] back on track. If you are lucky then you might grab one of the last places in flexmaster33's College Football Playoff 2010 which are always superbly run 1v1 tournaments. "The White Man's Burden" is an interesting way to approach tournament. With the well organised post and premium prize, Raskholnikov is on the way to become a very solid organiser. kawe85 is trying to run something huge, doubles Great Family Tournament. And I will be finishing my CC newsletter career with an 8-player standard TPA tournament by benga - Escalating Fog: Classic Combination. I wish you all great Christmas (or just winter) time, an incredible new year and don't forget to peek to Create/Join a Tournament forum time to time! TPA Update by jrh_cardinal
show: TPA Update
Barterer2002 has been running the Tournament Players Association (TPA) smoothly for 7 months now. So smoothly in fact that a newsletter update hasn't been necessary since late April, when the TPA was first announced. A huge amount of tournament players have signed up for one or more of the 31 TPA sanctioned events that have been announced so far. One tournament has been announced every Monday between May 3 and last Monday, December 13. Today, December 20, the tournament will be of the 8 player singles variety hosted by benga. Sign up quickly before the tournament is full! As usual in tournament news recently, HighlanderAttack sits alone at the top of the Scoreboard. He has 11.85 TPA points, which are collected by each participant in all TPA events. However, HighlanderAttack is followed closely by Bones2484 (11.76 points). Sonicsteve is in 3rd place in the overall standings with 10.91 points. The final TPA tournament starts the last Monday in April. When that event and all others are complete, the top 3 players in the overall standings will all receive a General Achievement Medal. For now that's HighlanderAttack, Bones, and sonicsteve, but there is still a ton of time for anyone to make their way onto the list! 2010 Tournaments Year In Review by Night Strike
show: 2010 Tournaments Year In Review
From the Desk of the Tournament Directors:
This year has been an insane one for me personally and very busy for CC Tournaments as well. Not only did I graduate from college, start graduate school, and get married, I was also Head Tournament Director! Let's take a look at some of the things that took place this past year in our forum home. The first bang of 2010 came not from the directors, but from an incredibly contentious public discussion thread. After seeing a few organizers start many tournaments all at once, a few members felt like those organizers were flooding the forums by running copy/paste tournaments. A bitter discussion ensued, including threats of dropping tournaments and the sending of inflaming PMs. The discussion caused us Directors to begin making movements toward instituting new minimum requirements for running tournaments. In probably the most misunderstood (by the community) and mishandled (by me) incident in the tournament forums to date, I sent out a feedback request to select organizers and players to get feedback on what we Directors had come up with, knowing that rolling it out to the community on our own would not be successful. The feedback was supposed to be private, but once it got leaked, the "shit hit the fan". We all had a mess on our hands, and I was at the center of it due to my desire for secrecy regarding the changes. I listened to the public (although some didn't believe me in that) and did make a few changes to help smooth over some of the worst dissent so that we could move on to the other big news that was brewing. April 2010 saw CC Tournaments reach the mainstage: the banner at the top of the site. A series of announcements were made regarding massive changes to the tournament forums. The first announcement concerned the new minimum requirements that had been debated in public over the prior three months. Much to my surprise and relief, they were well accepted by everybody. The second announcement was less pleasant as we lost Gilligan to the Entertainment Department. The work he did with the Hall of Fame was invaluable, especially as the third announcement came to light. It concerned the new database that lack built into the site and we Directors had spent many hours over the previous weeks tweaking and populating. The Tournament Database revolutionized CC Tournaments. Not only was there a search-able tool that ranked organizers and players by their tournaments run or won, but it also provided a list of all the tournaments recruiting players so members would no longer have to go to the forum every day to look for tournaments. It also drastically simplified the way privileges were granted (or removed), medals were distributed, and titles even changed by speeding up all of those processes. Within a couple of weeks, the new tab at the top of the site had led more than 300 new players to join tournaments! Some other additions were planned for the fourth announcement in the series, but those ideas were scrapped. Instead, Tupence was announced as a new Tournament Director to run tournament contests for public enjoyment. As an exclusive for newsletter readers, within the past few days Tupence has chosen to step down from his position, and we all wish him well in his future endeavors. After the massive work put into the new requirements and the database, we Directors kept things quiet for most of the summer. Immediately after our announcements, barterer2002 began the year-long competition of the Tournament Players Association (TPA) that has been a huge hit in the tournament forums. It's so much of a hit that people are now wondering what happened to an organizer if they don't post their tournament within 2 hours of the target time. The Entertainment Team stepped into our arena to host the World Cup 2010 series of Official Tournaments, and the Independence Day Contest was run. The summer also saw the introduction of using General Achievement Medals in tournaments, meant to provide some extra incentives for outstanding or wacky achievements during a tournament. The end of the summer saw a massive rewrite of our Abandoned and Rescued Tournaments Policies courtesy of Lindax. A new points system was instituted to protect organizers who had a successful history of organizing tournaments but may have had personal issues arise that caused them to abandon tournaments. Working in conjunction with the Tournament Organizers Usergroup, abandoned tournaments began to be rescued at such a rate that now nearly every tournament ends with a winner. Many hats off to Lindax and all the organizers who step up to finish off started tournaments. Due to my very busy personal life, 2010 saw me as Head Tournament Director model our team as one that delegates tasks to individual directors rather than everyone do anything that is necessary. Not only does this help me personally to not get overwhelmed, it also helps all the CC members know who to contact when they have an issue by referencing our Task Distribution List. This delegation led to another expansion in the number of Directors. danryan joined to assist with Abandoned and Rescued Tournaments while DJ Teflon joined to work on developing Speed Tournaments. Also in the fall, we saw the Rookie TO contest won by alstergren and a change in leadership of the Tournament Organizers Usergroup, the members of which elected jrh_cardinal as their leader. The end of 2010 has seen a discussion arise about the ability of organizers to exclude players from their tournaments. The resolution of this discussion should arise early in 2011. Wow, this recap has become very much longer than anticipated, but I hope it serves as a useful reminder to everybody about the expansion and changes we've seen in CC Tournaments in 2010. Look to the next issue of the newsletter to find my outlook and plans for 2011. Thank you to all the organizers and players who contributed daily to making this site a better place to spend our time. ~Night Strike Tournament Commissioner
In this issue we have a Map Spotlight featuring an interview with grifftron, the continuation of last issues History 101 on the military history of the United States of America and a special Xtreme Holiday interview with MrBenn and a very special foundry holiday word finder puzzle for your amusement. We will return to your regularly scheduled format next issue.
dolomite13 Happy Holidays The "X" in "Xmas" is for "Xtreme"!
Instead of the usual Old School article, I've decided to focus on the exciting new seasonal Christmas map created by MrBenn! I got a mini interview (a "mininterview", if you will) with the Foundry Foreman himself: Sully: Did you come up with the idea to make this map before the "Festive Foundry Fun", or was that not the original plan? The planning for a Christmas Map started back in June, while the World Cup was still going on! The graphics for the advent calendar section were the bit I had left for last, and rather than come up with lots of different images myself, I thought the mini-contest would be a fun and easy thing for people to get involved in. MrBenn: Sully: What was your thinking behind the gameplay? How did you come up with it? There was some discussion amongst the special events team and cartographers, which led to the concept me a tree with decorations, gifts and stars. Originally there was going to be a big stack of presents to conquer/steal from your opponents too! MrBenn: When it became clear that the new Losing Conditions gameplay feature was coming, I started to think about ways of using this on the map, and the advent calendar section of the map was born! The hardest thing to do was to try and strike a balance between eliminating opponents and going for the objective, which is why the christmas used is loaded with bonuses. The bonus structure is deliberately designed to encourge expansion onto the tree (and is actually quite similar to that of Route 66). Sully: Any further things you'd like to say about the map? The eagle-eyed observer may notice that the map images do not conform to the long-established foundry size restrictions; which will tie-in with a future announcement regarding the relaxation of existing limits in certain circumstances. This announcement will pave the way for the provision of bigger and better maps. MrBenn: Also, for those hard-core Black Friday shoppers, Gilligan is doing a tournament with "Conquer Christmas" as the focus. Why don't you gather up a few people and join? viewtopic.php?t=133219 Remember fellow friends, the festivities finish on the sixth, so gather your sharpened candy canes and intensity snowflakes and send your elf minions up the tree to Conquer Christmas and show that old Saint Nick who's boss! Holiday Foundry Fun Word Finder
Puzzle Solution Maps Review Map Spotlight: Thailand
<The Bison King> Why don't you start by telling us a little bit about yourself. ‹grifftron› Yeah ok, name is David, have been living here in Thailand since 2005 doing translation / office work, was married in 2007 and have a 18 month year old daughter ‹The Bison King› Sounds like things are going well, where did you live before hand? ‹grifftron› Minnesota ‹The Bison King› So how has the transition to life in Thailand been? how do you like it there? ‹grifftron› well its a lot diff then the states of course, but i live in northern part of thailand in a small city in the provience of Chiang Mai, life is simple and slow for most the people here, big change from the busy city life where i grew up ‹The Bison King› Big city... in Minnisota? Nice try! ‹grifftron› lol not that BIG but minneapolis is bigger then Chiang Mai! haha ‹The Bison King› any way the food there's supposed to be amazing right? ‹grifftron› if you like Thai food then yes it would be amazing ‹The Bison King› oh and I do! ‹The Bison King› so any way onto the map. Is this your first map on Conquer Club? ‹grifftron› no i suggested a bunch before, nothing to serious. I also worked on this map with Blitz until it was in the graphics part and then i stepped down due to lack of time during that period of my life. which is why i am "guest star" on the map itself... i wont be getting a medal but at least i got my name on it ‹The Bison King› What made this one work as opposed to the others? ‹grifftron› I think having someone to do the maps with has helped me want to bring it thru the process... the other times when i suggested them myself i just didn't feel as motivated i guess. It helps when you can share ideas with another person. Helped me anyways... ‹The Bison King› Who are you working with on this project and how are the roles divided? ‹grifftron› FarangDemon... he worked out the gameplay, will be doing the xml and also has been very good about getting the right tert names / spellings and all that stuff, i give my input too but mostly just work on the gpx. We both live in Thailand so it has been a special project for us as we want to see a map of just Thailand be brought to CC ‹The Bison King› The graphics are looking great by the way. what's your process? ‹grifftron› thanks. I use photoshop CS2 ‹The Bison King› old skool ‹grifftron› Yeah old skool I started with an img of Thailand i googled, then on the version i have now, i ended up printing off the img i googled and traced the boarders with a pencil and then scanned it onto my comp. Then just worked with that in photoshop. but when we started, we just put the img together quick and added terts and some impassables with the HTMS ship to get around the bottle neck just to see what people thought... pretty good response so we decided to go for it ‹The Bison King› So why don't you walk us through he gameplay on this map. There's a lot of unique elements to the gameplay. ‹grifftron› haha, FD would prob be better for that, but we got lots of impassables on the map (mtns / rivers).. we have the HTMS to help get around the bottle neck, 3 airports helping connect to the north & the south thru BKK and of course the small boats on the Mekong river. FD wanted this map to have lots of bonus opportunities and also be as "fair" as possible so we also have 3 starting neutral spots to help even out a fair drop. I think FD did a great job with the gameplay ‹The Bison King› Yeah I really like the river connections, that's a nice touch ‹grifftron› yeah and everything that is on the map is pretty accurate... all except for the change of the BKK area that we had to cut out due to lack of space ‹The Bison King› Do you have any other idea's for maps you want to do? ‹grifftron› well we do have another in the melting pot, it has been there for a while, still working on the gameplay.. we wanted to do a map that was a little bit more complicated. we do have other ideas FD & I were talking about but i think we will just stick to 2 maps at a time, ‹The Bison King› How do you find the foundry proccess? ‹grifftron› I find it fair, i know those guys are doing their best, plus they are all doing it for free so i think they are doing a great job with how the proccess is now for the map foundry ‹The Bison King› ok one more question, what's your favorite thing about living in Thailand, and is it truly "The land of Smiles"? ‹grifftron› The people are my favorite thing about living in Thailand, and yes it truly is the land of smiles... if you ever travel to Thailand try to get out of the touristy areas and you'll find some of the most friendly people you ever met in your life (that are smiling of course!). Inside the Foundry History 101: United States of America (1865 - 1945)
History 101: The Military History of the United States of America (1865 - 1945) In issue 39 we presented part 1 of this 3 part series on the military history of the United States of America. In this issue we bring you part 2 the post-civil war era (1865–1945) Indian Wars (1865–1870) After the Civil War, population expansion, railroad construction, and the disappearance of the buffalo herds, heightened military tensions on the Great Plains. Several tribes, especially the Sioux and Comanche, fiercely resisted confinement to reservations. The main role of the Army was to keep the Indians on the reservations, and force them to return if they left on raiding parties. William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Sheridan were in charge. The most dramatic episode was the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, when Col. George Armstrong Custer and his regiment were all killed when they attacked a much larger Indian force in eastern Montana. After 1890 there were no more serious episodes. Spanish-American War (1898) The Spanish-American War was a short decisive war marked by quick American victories at sea and on land against Spain. The United States purchased the former Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific, most notably Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. An insurgency in the Philippines was a carry-over from Filipino attacks on Spain; it was resolved by 1901 with the capture of the insurgent leader Modernization The Navy was modernized in the 1880s, and by the 1890s had adopted the naval power strategy of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan--as indeed did every major navy. The old sailing ships were replaced by modern steel battleships, bringing them in line with the navies of Britain and Germany. In 1907, most of the Navy's battleships, with several support vessels, dubbed the Great White Fleet, were showcased in a 14-month circumnavigation of the world. Ordered by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was a mission designed to demonstrate the Navy's capability to extend to the global theater. Secretary of War Elihu Root (1899–1904) led the modernization of the Army. His goal of a uniformed chief of staff as general manager and a European-type general staff for planning was stymied by General Nelson A. Miles but did succeed in enlarging West Point and establishing the U.S. Army War College as well as the General Staff. Root changed the procedures for promotions and organized schools for the special branches of the service. He also devised the principle of rotating officers from staff to line. Root was concerned about the Army's role in governing the new territories acquired in 1898 and worked out the procedures for turning Cuba over to the Cubans, and wrote the charter of government for the Philippines. Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske was at the vanguard of new technology in naval guns and gunnery, thanks to his innovations in fire control 1890-1910. He immediately grasped the potential for air power, and called for the development of a torpedo plane. Fiske, as aide for operations in 1913-15 to Assistant Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt, proposed a radical reorganization of the Navy to make it a war-fighting instrument. Fiske wanted to centralize authority in a chief of naval operations and an expert staff that would develop new strategies, oversee the construction of a larger fleet, coordinate war planning including force structure, mobilization plans, and industrial base, and insure that the US Navy possessed the best possible war machines. Eventually, the Navy adopted his reforms and by 1915 started to reorganize for possible involvement in the World War then underway. Banana Wars (1898-1935) The Banana Wars is a term used to describe US intervention in Latin America from the end of the Spanish American War in 1898 until 1935. These wars include involvement in Cuba, Mexico, Panama with the Panama Canal Zone, Haiti (1915–1935), Dominican Republic (1916–1924) and Nicaragua (1912–1925) & (1926–1933). The U.S. Marine Corps began to specialize in long-term military occupation of these countries. Most notable of these conflicts was when U.S. forces occupied the Mexican city of Veracruz for over six months in 1914, in response to the April 9, 1914 "Tampico Affair", which involved the brief arrest of U.S. sailors by soldiers of the regime of Mexican President Victoriano Huerta. The incident came in the midst of poor diplomatic relations with the United States, related to the ongoing Mexican Revolution. World War I (1917–1918) The United States originally wished to remain neutral when World War I broke out in August 1914. However, it insisted on its right as a neutral party to immunity from German submarine attack. The ships carried food and raw materials to Britain. In 1917 the Germans resumed submarine attacks, knowing that it would lead to American entry. However the U.S. had deliberately kept its army small and mobilization took a year. Meanwhile the U.S. sent more supplies and money to Britain and France, and started the first peacetime draft. Economic mobilization was much slower than expected, so the decision was made to send divisions to Europe without their equipment, relying instead on British and French supplies. By summer 1918, a million American soldiers, or "doughboys" as they were often called, of the American Expeditionary Force were in Europe under the command of John J. Pershing, with 25,000 more arriving every week. The failure of Germany's spring offensive meant they had exhausted their manpower reserves and were unable to launch attacks or even defend their lines. Meanwhile, the German home front revolted and a new German government signed a conditional surrender, the Armistice, ending the war on November 11, 1918. Russian Revolution The so-called Polar Bear Expedition was the involvement of U.S. troops, during the tail end of World War I and the Russian Revolution, in fighting the Bolsheviks in Arkhangelsk, Russia in 1918 and 1919. Neutrality Acts After the costly US involvement in World War I, isolationism grew in the U.S. Congress refused membership in the League of Nations, and in response to the growing turmoil in Europe and Asia, the gradually more restrictive Neutrality Acts were passed, which were intended to prevent the U.S. from supporting either side in a war. The size of the U.S. military declined greatly, with the loss of many senior officers. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to support Britain, however, and in 1940 passed the Lend-Lease Act, which permitted an expansion of the "cash and carry" arms trade to develop with the United Kingdom, which controlled the Atlantic sea lanes. World War II (1939–1945) During the interwar period the United States again reduced its military, but mobilized to its largest levels in history during World War II. The global conflict started on 1 September 1939 and raged until 2 September 1945, involving most of the peoples of the world. It was the most extensive and costly war in history as well as the history of the United States (excepting personnel). US involvement in World War II was initially limited to providing war material and financial support to the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and Republic of China. The US entered officially on 8 December 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii the previous day. This attack was followed by attacks on US, Dutch and British possessions across the Pacific. On 11 December, the remaining Axis powers, Germany and Italy, declared war on the US, drawing the US firmly into the war and removing all doubts about the global nature of the conflict. The loss of 8 battleships and 2000 sailors and airmen at Pearl Harbor forced the US to rely on its remaining aircraft carriers, which won a major victory over Japan at Midway just 6 months into the war, and its growing submarine fleet. The Navy and Marine Corps followed this up with an island hopping campaign across the central and South Pacific in 1943-45, reaching the outskirts of Japan in the Battle of Okinawa. During 1942 and 1943, the US deployed millions of men and thousands of planes and tanks to the UK, beginning with the strategic bombing of Nazi Germany and occupied Europe and leading up to the Allied invasions of occupied North Africa in November, 1942, Sicily and Italy in 1943, France in 1944, and the invasion of Germany in 1945, parallel with the Soviet invasion from the east. That led to the surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945. In the Pacific, the US experienced much success in naval campaigns during 1944, but bloody battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945 led the US to look for a way to end the war with minimal loss of lives. The U.S. used atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to shock the Japanese leadership, which (combined with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria) quickly caused the surrender of Japan. Despite the crippling effects of the Great Depression, the United States was able to mobilize quickly, eventually becoming the dominant military power in most theaters of the war (excepting only eastern Europe and mainland China), and the industrial might of the US economy is widely cited as a major factor in the Allies' eventual victory in the war. Early in the war, the US military was perceived by some observers to be too "green" and untested to be of much use other than cannon fodder against experienced German and Japanese troops (especially as their first major action against German forces resulted in the humiliating defeat at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass), but the US eventually acquitted itself well and established a modern military tradition. Strategic and tactical lessons learned by the US, such as the importance of air superiority and the dominance of the aircraft carrier in naval actions, continue to guide US military doctrine more than 60 years later. World War II holds a special place in the American psyche as the country's greatest triumph, and the soldiers of World War II are frequently referred to as "the greatest generation" for their sacrifices in the name of liberty. Over 16 million served (about 13% of the population), and over 400,000 were killed during the war; only the American Civil War saw more Americans killed (although the majority of soldier deaths that were directly caused by the war were the result of disease). The US entered the war, like many other nations, as a country struggling with economic and social problems and unsure of its identity. It emerged as one of the two undisputed superpowers along with the Soviet Union, and unlike the Soviet Union, the US homeland was virtually untouched by the ravages of war. The importance of US military and political power in world affairs since 1945 cannot be overstated; the outcome of the war and the fortunes of the victors have shaped world events to this day. During and following World War II, the United States and United Kingdom developed an increasingly strong defense and intelligence relationship. Manifestations of this include extensive basing of US forces in the UK, shared intelligence, shared military technology (e.g. nuclear technology) and shared procurement.
What a year the clans have had - quite a coming of age. Who would have thought clan wars would have become a spectator sport the way they have? Challenge threads have been full of excitement (and sometimes that excitement has become plain nastiness), and key games have been filled with chat from watchers dropping in. The Conqueror's Cup has added a whole new level of intensity to the scene. Several clans have established their right to be counted among the elite, a host of new clans have emerged to challenge them. More clan games have been played than ever before. The clan directors brought us game creation privileges. And to cap it all off, we have -
The clan medal! jpcloet
has been working on this for a long time and it arrives as a Christmas present, bringing joy to the heart of many a committed clannie. It's awarded to any player who wins a small (or large) number of games in a challenge win. jp has worked through all the existing clan wars and handed out medals to everyone who qualifies (barring a few where there are troubles tracking down the games). The nice 11 medals won symbol you see above is taken from the profile of the early leader in the medals stakes,
- players from other clans such as TOFU and Legion are not far behind. It seems this is a valued and sought after medal. And no surprise. What's better than having a gang of mates and getting together with them to conquer the world?
State of Play by laughingcavalier (TSM)
Clan League Season 3 It is the final week of games in the regular season of the League and most of the playoff spots are effectively decided already. This time last season there was drama every which way as no-one much was sure they were headed for the playoffs, or if they were, who they would be facing. This year the final week sees each clan playing against its nearest rival - no 1 seed vrs no 2, no 3 vrs no 4, no 5 vrs no 6. Because most of the divisions have settled into a pattern there are not many of these matches which will decide playoff spots. But for players it certainly has produced excitement, as clans find themselves this week facing their closest rivals, the clan they really want to beat. Check out the thread - click the title above to see the latest scores and join in the chat. Division A No surprise in this tough division that TOFU and LOW occupy the top two spots. What is surprising though is that TOFU, enter the final week with an 80% win rate. That's not far off what they achieved last year when they were in with second tier clans. They joked with the Dispatch before that they were in a league of their own - but is that the truth? Chariot of Fire (TOFU) wrote: Of course the 'League of Our Own' comment in Season II was tongue-in-cheek. Now we're in a league with LoW - a recognized force - as well as Legion who always have the capacity to punch above their weight. I like the way the division schedules have been formatted, with the two highest seeds in each division meeting in the final week. It would take a rather dramatic collapse on the part of TOFU not to clinch the Div.A title though. We couldn't have wished for a better start to our campaign. Results for Weeks 1-9 look like being 14-4, 14-4, 14-4 (a popular score, lol), 15-3 and unknown for Wk.9 (we are currently 2-0 up vs LoW). The overall score with completed games and those about to conclude is 59-15 (80%). Every one of our 19 active members has played a part, some to a greater extent than others in terms of gameload simply due to absence or a particular dislike of many away maps. In terms of individual results there are a few worthy of note: cachejob 17-0 (yep, undefeated so far) Dako 19-2 CoF 19-3 jakewilliams 18-3 jpeter15 15-5 shatners bassoon 13-4 trapyoung 11-2 sonicsteve 13-5 Iron Maid 11-3 Week 9 is proving to be tough and it's still too early to forecast the result, but although we only need to win four of the 18 games to clinch the division we would nevertheless like to reach the magic 9 and still wear the mantle of being the only clan never to have lost a single encounter since being founded in July 2009. Division B Empire maintain their lead. The second place spot here is the most hotly contended in the league. With second seeds Bullet Proof Bandits failing to reproduce their outstanding form of last year, and Angels of Death and Memento Mori also out of the running, it has come down to a battle between lower seeds, Mythology and Devils Brigade. These two are the underdogs who are breathing some life into the competition - only one of them can go on to the playoffs. We spoke to the Devils Brigade just as they signed up for their first major competition a few weeks back - how does it feel, now, we asked, to be fighting for a playoff spot? shaneback (Devils Brigade) wrote: We have really enjoyed the season for a couple reasons, -The competition has been great, every game is a fight to pull out a win. - We like being able to against 5 other clans in essential 2 months, granted it is only 18 games. It would normally take 1 year+ to play against 5 different clans. Playoffs? Before the season started we set of goal of making the playoffs, so hopefully we can achieve that goal. We are running neck and neck with Mythology right now, and luckily we are facing them in the final week. I am sure as they start to finish up there will be a lot of interested observers. We are used to close finishes as all 5 of our challenges were decided by 1 or 2 games. But DB are up against a longer establised clan, who have confidence and a fighting spirit: peanutsdad (Mythology) wrote:It's been a fantastic league, the competition has been spectacular, Jp did another great job running it. As for making the playoffs, I have to say, if we don't beat them and make the playoffs we will be extremely disappointed, so HELL YEAH, we're kicking ass and taking names. The playoffs are all ours....lol. MTIceman41 (Mythology) wrote:With average dice and drop I feel confident we will get into the playoffs...this has been a great year so far! Division C Immortal Assassins are comfortable leaders - they have the second best win rate in the League, not far off TOFU's. And behind them Agents of Chaos have proved themselves worthy of the playoffs, seeing off strong contenders with little apparent trouble. Division D KoRT have a substantial lead over TSM and are strong favourites to head the group. The two clans face each other in the final week and in some of the games one team or another is beginning to get an advantage. ........................................ Conqueror's Cup Finals THOTA vs. KoRT vrs The action is getting fierce in the finals. Knights of the Round Table took an early lead, then lost a few but it looks like they may take a small advantage in the first set against number one seeds The Horsemen of the Apocalypse. THOTA are used to going behind in the early stages of a challenge, and so far they have always come back to win. But it's worth asking if the cows can be the clan that finally defeats the ponies. Bruceswar (KoRT) wrote:Simple answer "Yes" Longer Answer "Sure we can, but nobody is counting anything till the 31st game is won. Lets see how this plays out and should be a good match. RUM RANTS: The Festive Foods Drunkards Lift Out by bogangod (BotFM)
Greetings from the galley on the Fat Mermaid. 'Tis Christmas time in only a few days. So have to sack the last few pirate cooks for drunken negligence. Drunkenness is not an issue, but when one is too drunk to cook it becomes a problem rather fast. A hungry crew, is an angry crew..... Thought I would share a few festive dishes suited to warmer parts of the globe. Pirates and snow get along fine, when a pirate is on holiday. For the average working pirate, warmer climates are the preferred work location. Please excuse my use of metric measurements - pirates whilst having a strong aggressive streak, are logical folks as a rule. One must plan carefully to bring in enough booty whilst still leaving enough time for human/goat interaction, drinking, singing pirate songs, cross gender dress ups (not all pirates, but a few of us, any one know where I can get killer high heels in a men's size 10shoe?) and weapons practice. So without further inane waffle... Punch to get you punch drunk. 300ml bunderburg rum (Aussie angry rum, has a picture of a polar bear on the bottle, don't ask me why), 1L pineapple juice, 750ml dry cider, 300ml gin, 1L ginger ale, and 300ml stones green ginger wine. Put a generous amount of ice in your blender with a handful of mint leaves, whizz till chunks a bit bigger than popcorn before it pops. Add ice to all afore mentioned liquids. Damn good firewater. Have a few jugs of that sitting under the hot sun, and when you try and get up from your chair, may well take a few attempts! Lovely and refreshing, goes down like soft drink, easy to obtain ingredients, all and all a perfect little christmas tipple Mango and prawn salad - Serves 2, so obviously make many times the recipe. Mango salsa - 1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1cm cubes, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 quarter of a red onion finely diced, 3 sprigs of coriander (celentro to you American b*****ds) finely chopped, 1/4 cup of cucumber diced 1cm cubes, skin, and seeds included, juice of half a lime, half a birds eye chilli finely chopped. Method - Mix all salsa ingredients together, adjust to taste with brown sugar, chilli, lime juice, and fish sauce. Prawns 0.5kg of cooked king, tiger, or banana prawns, peeled and de-veined. Toss prawns and salsa together, serve in an iceburg lettuce cup. Bloody tasty, and a nice way to start off christmas lunch. Very sexy with an unwooded New Zealand Chardonnay or for the sweet tooths, a dry riesling. Oysters with spring onion Vinaigrette - this recipe is enough for 1/2 a dozen oysters (ideally pacific oysters which are larger and juicier with a slightly less salty taste) 3 level tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 level tablespoons spring onions finely sliced (the white part of the spring onion, believe the ignorant Americans call them scallions), 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar. Mix all ingredients together, season to taste with good salt (sea salt flakes), and freshly ground black pepper. Taste, and adjust as required. Let stand for 2 hrs before using, check seasoning again before spooning a little over freshly shucked oysters. Very, very yummy. Puts lead in your pencil or damp in your pants depending on your gender. A few little ideas for those that live in the tropics or wish they did. Enjoy and merry Christmas, and plenty of rum to all. Love Uncle Bogan ps I'll be sucking back on my rum cocktail, on Christmas day, restaurant isn't open, so happy day for me. Thinking about the poor fools, floundering around in the snow.
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