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NegativeZer0

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Armada II has come and gone.  
Let's get some reports from the captains and crew of this years event.
NegativeZer0

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I was not at Armada I so this was my first Armada.

I came over from Syracuse (5ish hours) and it was well worth the trip. I was the touch screen bridge on the left wall as you walk in. Thanks to everyone that came over and played on my bridge and thanks to everyone that let me crash their bridge for a game. While I'm on this topic I wanted to give a shout out to Clavestone, Gray Beard and whoever else was part of that crew. The 5 station fighter wing setup was a blast.

Fighters:
Thom did a great job with his "first take" on the fighters, they are really fun to play in the game.

Main Ballroom:
Seeing all the bridges, talking with everyone, and of course the multi ship/crew games. it was all a blast and everything thing seemed to run very well all weekend. I'm sure some of the staff/volunteers have a nightmare story or two about something going horribly wrong but from my perspective the entire con ran great.

Canonical Battle:
I was up stairs for the well after midnight drunken shenanigans Canonical. Even though I wasn't playing at the time I still had fun just watching. Congrats to the crew for their impressive (I think 19?) score.

Parade of Bridges:
I fully agree with notsabbat on this one (see his post in this thread).  Parade was in a very poor time slot butting up against the challenge game Sat.  This just needs to run a different time slot where if need be it can run long as this is a big part of the game for many that come to armada.  Personally I had to excuse myself and miss the last 2 bridges because I had to get my bridge ready for the game.  Only real disappointment of the entire con for me.

CattailNu

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I had a great time!  It was nice to put faces to voices and text and to meet new friends!

I shuttled the away team on the larp, and got to take out a Skaraan all by myself as a fighter.  I played on several bridges, mostly with TSN Dauntless, shared my mission wizard, and tried out my upcoming mission auditor.  Didn't get much sleep though...  The weekend went by way too fast!

I have a video from Sunday morning, of the crew of the Nomad, applying my jump driving training. They are a super team!

http://cattail.nu/artemis/artemis_jump_drive_operation.html

- T
clavestone

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My take..... Level 9 and higher is EXTREMELY hard for a lone carrier with full fighter wing...... even when we did the large group battles we never lasted more then 10 minutes. The enemies came at us so fast that we always launched fighters into a hornets nest. Now in most cases our ship was not the first to fall, but without battleships or dreads giving us cover we died......

The Pirate Bridge (Eastern Front Host bridge) was the first bridge to your left when you entered and thanks to GreyBeard and a good friend of mine Greg for tech support and hardware support that even with 1 system dying at the start we still were able to have a full fighter wing. 12931103_10209616377385104_5694588948412665821_n.jpg 


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Commander of the 1st CAP Light Recon Fleet stationed at ShoShuShen station, Eastern Front Sector
Captain of the Privateer Longbow "Jimi-Saru"
Captain of the Privateer Brigantine "Fulminate" and 59th Pirate Fighter wing "The Reapers"

Charter Member of the Eastern Front online group (PirateLord)



Gryphon

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Here's a link to Guardtroll's after-action photoshoot with the LARP mission crew and away team from Operation TITAN on Saturday - plus Kraliens, Ximni, Terran pirates, Arvonian royals, and a Laparian technical advisor:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153589470515642&type=1&l=490c1fa3e2

isildur42

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Reply with quote  #6 
I returned this year in even finer regalia than last year, as befits my Admiral status.

I brought my Kangaroo (www.kangaroo.cc), and impressed many a person with its power, size, and cost.

I was very much looking forward to playing the war server again, and was sad to learn it had been nixed.  I had specifically avoided signing up for the LARP mission because it was at the same time slot.  While there are some issues with how the WS functions, these are easily addressed outside the game code with a small amount of preparation.  It may not be a great system in the outside world, but it was amazing at Armada last year.  But I digress.

The 8 bridge co-op games we played in the time slot instead were still a lot of fun.

I was not able to bring an entire crew, so my crew mate Jason and I floated around bridges playing as needed.  Hopefully next year I can muster an entire crew (the timing just didn't work for any of my normal group of players).  I did get in on the RP mission Saturday afternoon, and had a blast playing Weapons (get it!?)

Played on the late night drunk LARP-light as Science, and then the late night drunk canonical as XO/Comms Training Officer, and we totally kicked Mike's script out of the water!

Looking forward to putting together a full bridge and full crew for next year.

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Captain of the TSN Chiron NTE-3142, Lend-Leased from the NSEA.
Commandant of the 42nd Training Corps - Washington, DC, USA, Earth
Docere ad astra

davidtrinh

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Reply with quote  #7 
Begin Log.

Attending Armada II for the first time this year, I had no expectation on what it should be. I knew I wanted to attend the workshops during the day, and see the bridges people built from sheer passion and love. I wanted to know if our bridge operations, procedures and protocols were similar to others. Most importantly, what was some of the social values people were bringing to the weekend event.

I was really happy and grateful to see that all attendees shared my personal and operating values for community LAN gaming. Everyone was inclusive, made their bridges accessible and geeked out hard! The challenge and canonical missions, the LARP'ing, the dressing up and shenanigans all exceeded my expectations. The guard salute to Thom really touched my heart, because it was one of the many ways we as a community of people could show him how much we appreciated his work. He grabbed our imagination, seeded it with this idea of flying star ships, and we all came together to share and celebrate a common sense of wonder and playfulness.

Personal, I spent my time meeting and talking about ideas with various attendees. At the same time, see where I fit in at Armada given my skill set and experience. I wanted to be constructive and productive to the event, and give what I could while I was there. Through the field promotion to Admiral on Saturday at the co operative battle, I was honoured to be able to serve that role to the seven other Captains in the fleet. When Thom announced I won "The Best Admiral" award during the closing ceremony, that was the icing on the cake and I knew I found a good spot to serve.

Thank you all and I hope you all take back to your respective communities, the excitement, inspiration and love for this game to those who couldn't attend Armada II.

End Log.
notsabbat

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whew, another Armada came and went. Wasnt sure if I would get to say that again, but Im very glad I can. It was an amazing time same as last year. Artemis really does bring out the best people and although I did spend as much time as I would have liked meeting and playing with other crews, I did make it a point to at least play a little bit on some other bridges. It was super cool seeing how many people just brought their A game this weekend in props, bridges and uniforms. I cant remember the ship name right now, but I loved the tactical Armor that the bridge near the doors brought. I was so happy to be located next to the Hyperion, they really were the nicest bridge, and get a chance to see the cool consoles that they worked up (custom controls with a touchscreen really is the way to go and it looked so cool!). It was fantastic to catch up with Verok in person and see all the cool new stuff that he has been working on this past year (wireless DMX!!!!). The tactical readout that HowToStarship was really cool and I hope they put a detailed thread about how he put it all together. I wasnt sure how the alien races cosplay would come out, but I really liked it and everyone had great stories to tell once the LARP was over. Even the Gaming Nomads are getting into DMX (good weeing you guys again BTW). Im really looking forward to seeing how this con and the community as a whole develops over the next year as people continue to build more immersive experiences.

The canonical missions: They were a lot of fun. I really liked how interconnected they all were. It really gave you a sense of urgency to know other missions were counting on you doing well at yours and made the experience all the more poignant. The experimental heavy Battleship aka; Juggernaut was just silly, but in the best possible way; The thing is a beast in every sense of the word.my crew had a great time flying around and obliterating enemy in the 'murder boat'.
I am also very happy that I went to Mike's after hours game. running through the hotel looking for a glowing artifact while Wick was holding a "tricorder" (a tablet with a GPS tracking app) to give us directions was more fun than it had any business being. The following re-play of the first canonical mission was also an amazing experience with really amazing teamwork made all the more entertaining by the shear number of intoxicated participants.  Engineering suddenly looks up in the middle of a game: "am I the only sober one here?" We all look around: "pretty much". isildur42, you can be my XO anytime!

Competition games; These were a lot of fun and exactly what I wanted out of an Artemis competition. Myself and my crew have never been ones for straight PvP, but have been DYING to really get a chance to see how good we really were when tested against other crews. Last year had some competition, but nothing that really let us flex the muscles our training had given us, so this was exactly what we were wanting and my crew kicked butt. I will have to apologize to those around us for our obnoxious behavior, but we were so unbelievably excited to get the chance to really compete and do so well at it.  So thank you all, sorry if we came off like total jerks.

Differences from last year; It seemed like there were less people there, but when we were all together it like the same number of people or more than last year. I attribute this to the additional number of things to do outside of the ballroom. I really liked going to the panels and will probably do more of that in the future. The extra stuff to do did mean that there were fewer people in the ballroom to do pickup games with and there werent staff members that came around to facilitate matchups like there was last year. I dont know if this is really a bad thing as the few times someone did come up to us to facilitate a game, we had already set one up and it was more of an intrusion than anything else. There was also a sense of "wait till the next scheduled thing" which meant a lot of people hanging out rather than playing. This is also something that I'm not sure is a totally bad thing since Artemis is such a social game, and in all honesty, regardless of if I am playing online or in person about 50% of the time seems to just be spent chattting. Maybe that time was needed to get that social fix. I would also like to get a schedule printed out and handed to me when I check in. I realize lookng back that I often didnt know what was going on because the schedule was in the hallway and I was really far from there [biggrin]

The network: as expected the network was rock solid and I had very little problems with it. Way to kee the important stuff working at 100%!!!!!

Staff: The staff was very helpful when we had questions or needed help! thank you so much!!

Te bad stuff: I had a great time, but there are some things I didn't like. the first one that comes my mind (while not the most important is the most personal), we were interrupted during the parade of bridges that we would be cut off if we didn't hurry. We had some great stuff on display by some people that spent a lot of time and love on their bridges. I have said it before and I will say it again; custom bridges/controls/mods whatever are going to be the future of Artemis and a big draw for coming to Armada in the future. Seeing people build cool stuff keeps my imagination captured and makes me think about what I can keep building and improving my experience and others. To not even be halfway through, after not really even taking that long per bridge to talk about stuff and have someone come over the loudspeaker and basically say "hey hurry up, we have to do this this other thing, you aren't important" was dismissive and honestly insulting to the people that enjoy that part of the hobby. I would understand it more if it was running late or people were being long winded, but that just wasn't the case. I thought this was a wonderful idea and would like to see it implemented in the future, but please allow more time.
Probably the most important thing however is con announcements. This really needs to be improved on. We got very little information from the guy running the con other than he was organizing it and a wierd garbled "transmission" post that was never followed up on. When the schedule did drop, itwasnt posted to the forum, but some other random forum that someone had to find and then post a link to. The schedule also changed significantly from last year at very short notice. While I was SUPER happy that it was starting early on friday, that it was announced 5 weeks before that con made it very difficult to adjust plans for; plans that had been laid out for 6 months or so. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE work on this!!! I want more people to come to this thing in the future and that is more likely to happen if they know how to plan for it.

Conclusion: That being said; I love this con. I will go to this con every year even if for some reason stop playing Artemis. I have minor quibbles about things, but once Im there you guys are great. Thank you for another wonderful Armada Thom and crew!!


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http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/immersion-bridge-build-in-progress-7335195?pid=1290158413
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by isildur42

I was very much looking forward to playing the war server again, and was sad to learn it had been nixed.  I had specifically avoided signing up for the LARP mission because it was at the same time slot.  While there are some issues with how the WS functions, these are easily addressed outside the game code with a small amount of preparation.  It may not be a great system in the outside world, but it was amazing at Armada last year.  But I digress.


I'm sorry to hear there was no war server. I was hoping that my War Proxy might have solved some of those problems, but hopefully there will be some other folks who will like to test it out.

Doctorzulak

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Hi! Me and my friend kind of came on a whim, and we were kind of blown away by how much fun we had. Mercing around all weekend made us a lot of friends, flying fighters and eating tacos with the Nereus and the ill fated rise and fall of the Juggernaut Derpendots.
mwick

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Reply with quote  #11 

This was my first armada. I came without a bridge crew, and met up with some people that I play online with regularly.

I'll start with echoing some of Notsabbat's sentiments about announcements. By the time I found out that the con was starting almost a full day earlier than last year, I had already reserved flights for myself and my wife, which means I missed out on what seemed to be some important things, including the first two canonical battles and the first challenge mission.

When I first arrived, I was a little bit overwhelmed, considering I didn't really know anybody except a few people by voice. I felt a little awkward just standing around not doing much. My wife especially felt very awkward, not knowing anybody at all. It would have been nice to have staff either organize ad-hoc games to help people play together, or provide some coordination like that. Eventually played a few games Friday evening with the few people I knew and had a great time meeting several new players.

Saturday morning we went and found some breakfast and hit up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before coming back early Saturday afternoon. We arrived just in time for a challenge battle - one of the organizers grabbed us and stuck us with a crew - which was something I wish had happened more often. After that challenge mission we played a couple of rounds with the Pirate crew by the door, and I participated in a canonical battle with Switch at the captain's chair. Our ship was destroyed by Thom's Ximni crew, but we successfully destroyed the enemy bases, completing our mission. Our lives were a small price to pay to protect the TSN!

We played a few more games with various bridges, including one with the Dauntless (which was an absolutely stunning setup, impressive to see). After the ballroom closed, I joined a few people for the late-night LARP round 2. I led the away mission with a tablet in hand, acting as a sort of primitive tricorder. This was the highlight of my weekend - it felt much more immersive to be involved in a multi-facet battle - something a little more dynamic than a pure race against the clock. I was also in the drunken late-night battle with Notsabbat and Isildur42 - a close second on the highlights of my weekend.

I had very few gripes with the overall con, really just that I wish the staff had served as a bit more of a connecting point to make it easier for introverts to link up with crew. People really are friendly and glad to play with people, but it's still very awkward and difficult to approach a group of people that are already in a group activity.

 

I would love to see more large coordinated activities like the LARP and third canonical battle - large-scale battles with multiple facets, not just plain PVP or race-against-the-clock. A team-v-team PVP battle with multiple ships on each side, multiple away teams, and perhaps complex objectives (e.g. 'destroy the planetside shield generator before the ships will be able to destroy the enemy base') would be difficult to coordinate, but certainly much easier than any other time! This convention likely would be the only chance we'd have to organize something like that, we shouldn't pass on the opportunity!

 

Overall impressions, though:

Totally glad I came to this. It was absolutely fantastic.


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https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/artemis-eastern-front-8008146

Vason

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Reply with quote  #12 
I once again had an excellent time at Armada. It was very fun to be able to give the new ships a shot, and giving Thom direct feedback on them is always a plus.

As with last year, we were more than happy to host the random games again, and were honored to host the full-crew PVP game. It was very heartening to see that this year, 8 bridge games were the norm rather than the exception. One thing I'll have to do for next year is work with the staff and make the Illuminati's involvement in such things official. The Illuminati do control everything, after all. [tongue]

I'm already looking forward to next year's Armada, and to kicking Skaraan arse with you all once more!

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Gryphon

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Reply with quote  #13 

This was our first Armada as well. Our usually intrepid crew arrived Thursday night feeling bedraggled from a four-state drive in the rain, but were cheerfully greeted in the lobby by Thom and Mike, who promptly helped us get settled into our rooms. We unpacked bins and more bins full of gear, then sorted out the costumes and props into preliminary staging piles before crashing. On Friday morning, half of the crew volunteered to help wire the network and set up bridges on the main floor, while the other half got to work prepping costumes for test-fitting to the Cleveland-area actors Mike had recruited to play Ximni and pirate NPCs during Operation TITAN on Saturday. Throughout the day and evening on Friday, we took turns garbing up in pairs and circulating in costume, posing for photos, participating in pick-up games, and generally building anticipation for our LARP. My scheduled 4pm roleplay mission with Mike on Friday was preempted by the replay of a canonical battle that had locked up earlier. Our evening cosplay makeup demo was attended by a charming young lady named Emma who was given a fearsome Arvonian War Maiden paintjob by our makeup artists Jess and Cerys. Rumor has it that Arvonian Emma was later seen menacingly crewing a starship in the ballroom, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Makeup, final costume fitting and rules/roles review for Operation TITAN began at 9am and were open to anyone who wanted an inside look at cosplay/LARP outfitting; again, half our crew worked on garbing our NPCs while the other half placed props in the four rooms on three floors that made up the LARP play area. The start of Operation TITAN was delayed by an hour by a scheduling conflict on the second floor, but our cosplayers spent the time interacting in-character with con attendees until Game On. Operation TITAN itself was fast-paced and challenging. I will leave it to the away team and the TSN Artemis bridge crew to describe their actions and experiences, but I will say that my cast of experienced LARP producers were truly impressed by the talent, ingenuity, roleplay ability, humor, and spiffy uniforms of the Nereus away team. Officer McGinn’s “coughing fit” was a particularly effective bit of misdirection; too bad she’s not up on her Kralien antiquities! They did eventually locate and claim the real Gin Du Liden in time (juuuuuust barely!) but basically rekindled an interstellar war to do it. All in all, a rather bloodier affair than intended by the TSN, and quite the nail-biter. It will probably be a long time before the Arvonians and the Ximni cozy up to the USFP again, but the Kraliens were pleased with the outcome. Well, as close to pleased as Kraliens can come, anyway.

Mike and I co-ran an odd but amusing improvised roleplaying mission at 4pm involving an overly curious Terran astrobiological research station camped out on a nebula teeming with fauna that was unfortunately also claimed by an irate Skaraan shark-fishing fleet. The crew brokered an agreement and lived to tell the tale despite far, far too many shark, dragon, insect, and piranha encounters in and around the opaque interstellar cloud. At 7pm, our crew provided “Battleax Thom’s” Ximni honor guard for The Battle of Hotblood's Tail, then participated in Thom’s birthday salute and partook of some delicious home-brewed refreshments. Ximni admire Dwarven Ale! It has vigorous warrior spirit and rushes from confinement, eager to slake its enemy, Thirst!! Back on the main floor again, the Nereus crew generously allowed me to pilot one of their fighters for the rest of the evening and politely ignored my numerous “friendly fire” hits on their vessel, while the pirates and the Arvonians were almost certainly being of more use to their host ship on the other side of the ballroom.

We had to leave early on Sunday, but not before Nick presented us with the shiny golden Best LARP trophy Thom had made with his 3D printer. This was sweet and unexpected. Let me extend the thanks of all my crew to Thom, Mike, Patty, Nick, Mark, Ivan, and all of the volunteers and bridge-builders who came together to make Ximni Dawn happen. My personal thanks to my crew for stepping up and knockin’ it out of the park yet again, and special thanks to all our new actor friends in Cleveland – we played well together. Let’s do it again.

Armada II was everything I hoped it would be. I made a command decision beforehand that trying to prep/load/haul/set up/operate/tear down my portable bridge, on top of the cosplay and the LARPs, was just too much for our wee crew, and I apologize for not delivering on that pledge this year. I would also like to apologize to the LARP bridge crew and away team for the breakdown in pre-con communication that meant that they did not receive a mission briefing until literally minutes before scheduled game time. If the event organizers invite us back to produce another live action adventure for next year’s Armada, we will make certain that all LARP players are informed of their selection and the mission parameters in a timelier manner next time around.

Finally, have fun exploring exotic Arizona, Salalsiba! It is said that the accommodations there are most acceptable, and that both glucose-based solids and organic solvent nourishment are readily available.

 

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