Monday, February 29, 2016

Watch the Skies: The Man Who Would Be King

Once again my friends and I gathered together with 40 or so others, dressed up, and talked with funny accents at the Bellingham MegaGames game Watch the Skies: Neptune's Revenge. This was our second Megagame and this time we were representing the UK. Ryan served as our PM, Shaun was the Deputy PM, Cameron was Foreign Secretary, Daniel was Head Scientist, and I was Defense Minister. After the success of the Gundam Project last time we felt we needed another big project to focus our efforts, so we developed TARDIS. TARDIS was a conversion of the HMS Illustrious into a space capable weapons/defense platform. 

As the military commander I was tasked with defending the UK and our NATO allies, as well as shooting down alien craft to recover the advanced tech we'd need for TARDIS. By Turn Two we realized that would be extremely difficult as the aliens were doing their best to avoid contact with human military units. 

Everyone was struggling to gain tech and control the panic that we wouldn't be able to defend our homes if/when the aliens became aggressive. Everyone except the US. The US deployed none of their advanced military units, but instead espoused a "wait and see" mentality that the rest of us found suspicious. 

A nuclear explosion in the Pacific was an ominous portent as the next turn a great sea monster rose out of the sea and attacked Tokyo. A handful of turns later three more rose up and attacked London, San Francisco, and Beijing. In the confusion we learned that the PM was assassinated by Brazil before he could escape the attack. They held a grudge against him selling them false tech based off a Stephanie Meyer's book. I guess they're not fans of sparkling vampires either.  

In defense of London - Germany, France, Russia, and ourselves gave nearly everything and slayed the beast before it could completely destroy that great city. The Queen was safe. Temporarily. 

Temporarily, as the US faked a nuclear launch from France and wiped London from the map. 

In this bleak moment it seemed that our revenge was near - our chief scientist finally had all the components we needed for TARDIS. Then they were dashed again when he and the rest if the scientists defected from their respective nations and formed their own nation of Science in India. TR-8R!! 

The betrayal didn't end there. Like a poorly written spy novel, Daniel actually had betrayed Team Science as well. In secret he'd built the Illustrious alongside the battle mechs the scientists had built and a kill switch into all their tech (and probably into the Illustrious as well now that I think of it. TR-8R!!). 

Despite my desire to bomb the US back to the stone age for the safety of our fully operational battle station, I instead deployed it over Europe to defend Germany's peace mission with the aliens. The UFO that arrived was a decoy and the Kaiju attacked across the world, including the coast of France and in the Baltic. With the Illustrious and the combined but depleted NATO forces we did our best to stop the beast at the gates of Paris and came close, possibly saving the earth from falling into complete panic. Then the US nuked Berlin and the other Kaiju devoured whole cities despite the best efforts of multi national defenses. 

The US were dicks. It was a resolution passed in the UN so that's official. Sure they can argue it was illegal to remove their veto power from the UN, but the world felt (and rightly so) that the US did not have humanity's best interests at heart. 

UK leadership remained on the Illustrious with the Queen safely aboard, making for the asteroid belt to form the United Stellar Kingdoms (USK). My final order involving the Earth was to launch a kinetic nuclear strike on the alien base in the Mariana Trench. Thanks for the fish. 

Mean while TR-8R... 

...produced false blood work to prove he had Windsor blood, allowing him to declare himself King of England or at least what was left of it. TR-8R!!!!!
All hail the king of filth! The king of refuse! The king of lies and deceit! He had love! True love! And he threw it all away! 

I enjoyed this game, but not as much as the last one. More often than not everyone on our team would say something to the effect of, "We need to do something." With the limited amount of tech coming in because of the non-aggression of the Aliens there was little we could do to advance our agenda or adapt to the current situation. There was a strong pull to become villains and just let the bombs fly. Ultimately we stayed truer to humanity than I thought we might based off of our preplanning. We were certainly more altruistic than China who tried to Goo-ify everyone and the US; who again, according to UN Resolution 47 were dicks. 

I had also suspected that the Alien threat was coming from the sea and had a few suspicions about how to deal with the Kaiju, but even with that knowledge we couldn't focus on a solution or see a way to use that information in the moment as so much information and many requests are flooding in each turn and our resources felt so constricted – also our scientist was a TR-8R! 

Finally I think I need to push myself to be more proactive and not constrain myself to the "rules" as much as I did. I needed to go to Control (the people running the game) and ask them to let me do some crazy idea or ask permission to try something out during the whole game and not just before the game or at the beginning. Too often I hesitated to do something or felt constricted by the rules; when that is the exact opposite of what I should feel. Since that is the point of the game I need to give myself the freedom to do that, so watch out world next time! 

Some miscellaneous points: 
  • Trolling the US President by acting like I didn't understand the language he was speaking 
  • Trying to convince the US Joint Chief of Staff to overthrow her government 
  • Cameron spearheading the removal of US Veto power from the UN, getting the US Ambassador out of the meeting, and then surviving when the US sent troops. 
  • The disjointed nature of my team as evidenced by this picture of our chat - 
  • Placing the Illustrious on the board and having everyone oooohhh and ahhhhh. She was beautiful. 
  • Placing forces in Africa every turn because the French were insistent we didn't need to 
  • Sabotaging Brazil's dome 
  • Sabotaging Science's dome 
  • We needed more domes to sabotage 
  • Shooting down my one and only Alien UFO was of course a diplomatic mission to the US 
  • Germany essentially running the War Map, keeping all of us working together 
  • Brazil's picture of Pele 
  • The tea was lovely

To learn more you can read about Shmee's experience here

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