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Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #1 
I was really looking forward to this Armada, but the flight in from Texas was a complete nightmare. We missed our connecting flight due to bad timing, and there were no more flights to Cleveland with six free seats until Saturday. Finally, we were able to get a flight to Canton, but it wasn't due to leave until 5 pm. That meant we missed all of the first day, and had to drive in from Canton to Cleveland.

After that ordeal, we were too exhausted to get up Saturday morning. My crew dragged their heels until 5 pm, so we essentially arrived just in time for the 20 bridge battle. We had 6 laptops with us, as well as a wireless router, but only three network cables. (It was all I had that was portable) I had a couple of hours to set up, and hoped we could borrow what we needed.

I checked in at the front table, and found out Mike Substelny was looking for me. I had signed up for a canonical battle, but since we were so late I had abandoned the idea of participating. I met with him, and since we were looking for help with setting up our bridge, he offered the use of one of the set up bridges, which was at the back of the room. I suspect it was one of Thom's custom bridges.

While I was at it, I got a look at the bridge of the Snackbar, which was impressive as hell, and the custom bridge used by the Belisarius, which was awesome too. (I've since come to understand it was not the Belisarius's bridge, but borrowed for their use, correct me if I'm wrong)

When we arrived, a competition was underway (first team to finish a mission on difficulty 8, I believe) but we concentrated on getting set up. When we learned we needed a TeamSpeak client for the 20 bridge battle, I got out my laptop and started up TeamSpeak. I thought since the ballroom network was all a cable setup I would need a network cable for my laptop, but fortunately the TeamSpeak connection was on wireless. (I had left the cables in the car)

The 20 bridge battle (a War Server battle, of course) was a lot of fun. We were directed to our sector, and I went ahead and selected a Light Cruiser since I expected that as a relatively green crew we wouldn't be assigned major missions. It took me a moment to figure how to enter the Nyborg's name without a keyboard at the helm station, but I was able to get around that. [biggrin] My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I believe that after a few minutes of thrashing around trying to get the hang of the game again, we were finally able to clear the few enemies in the sector. That took most of the turn, though, so we only entered that one sector.

The second turn we had much more success. We were sent into a more crowded sector, and with a more organized effort, managed to clear it. Unfortunately, after clearing that sector we asked for another, and were sent to F2. As we would learn, there was something wrong with F2 and it would lock up the game. While I was trying to shut down, restart, and try again to connect to the sector, our Engineering officer got bored and went to visit the bar. The Science officer, my fiancée, also decided she needed a drink and left as well.

Thus, when we were reassigned to a different sector, we were two crewmen down. I've played Captain and Engineering before, though, and so quickly set Engineering on presets and took over Science. This was a harder battle and we got destroyed about halfway through. I restarted the server and made another try, but by then the turn was over.

The third turn was then a free-for-all. We kept being assigned to a sector, approaching an enemy, getting ready to start the attack, when the Admiral would tell us the sector was cleared by someone else and directed us elsewhere. By the time we got there it had been cleared and so on. Finally, the last sector was cleared and the game was won, without us ever firing a shot! [biggrin] My fiancée had returned, and there were still enemies in the sector we could have killed as practice, but I decided not to push our luck. (Or sobriety)

After that, Thom came by and took pictures with everyone. My fiancée was.... exuberant. [biggrin] I apologize, Thom, she was a little (okay, a lot) tipsy. Still, a good time was had by all. The Nyborg may not have had the greatest role in the war, but she did pretty good for a green crew.

Unfortunately, by this time Richard, our Engineering officer, had returned, and he was not feeling well. Since the events for the day were over, except for clean up, I decided it was time to go. We returned to the hotel, and after dinner Richard reported he was feeling even worse. He wanted to go to the hospital, but insisted on taking a taxi himself. My sister and I talked him into letting us take him, and we went to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a minor respiratory infection (he thought it was pneumonia, but apparently it wasn't that bad) and given a shot and released.

My tale continues in the next post...

Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #2 
After the late night Saturday, I knew no one else would want to attend the morning events Sunday, but my sister and I agreed to get up early and go back. I had not bought any souvenirs (although my fiancée had managed to grab two yellow Staff Armada shirts) and wanted to get something I could use to make costumes for next year. So I got up as early as I could. Although my fiancée was not willing to go (for obvious reasons, she had gotten a little tipsy [biggrin]) her daughter was also up and agreed to go with us.

We arrived at the Armada at about 10:00. As before, Mike was looking for us. He was running the third canonical battle, and wanted to run a little roleplaying missions for us afterwards. Even though there was only the three of us, we agreed. We also sat in on the canonical mission, which was "Operation Ocelot". While I won't spoiler it, since I know it's going to be posted here on the board soon, it was awesome to be the audience for this suspenseful and ultimately successful mission.

After that, Mike set up "The Party Crashers" for my crew on the conference room bridge. It was identical to the bridge we had used before, which was helpful. Unfortunately, I had not played the mission before, and I while I figured out immediately that our goal was to protect the Minelayers, I was not fast enough to react. I let the Helmsman (my sister) get too far behind the pursuing Skaraan, and it was able to get away from us and destroy the Minelayer. The Skarran then led us on a wild goose chase while circling around to the other Minelayer, and by the time we caught up with it, the swarm of main enemies had already arrived. The outcome of the mission was inevitable from that point. We nuked everything we could, and then took off running laying mines. When the mines ran out, I ordered self destruct. [biggrin]

We picked up a set of the small badges. I would have gotten the larger ones as well, but there was no Captain badge left. I also picked up four Armada shirts, the regular blue ones this time, so we would all have a shirt to take home.

My crew:

Richard Ryley - myself, the Captain
Felicity Ryley - my sister, Helmsman
Michelle Mitchel - my fiancée, Science
Sierra Jackson - Michelle's daughter, Comms
Alice Coudrain - Weapons
Richard Carr - Engineering

Felicity, Alice and myself have been playing for years, although we were out of practice. Michelle, Sierra and Richard were new to the game, with Michelle having a little more experience.

Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #3 
Now my feelings on the Armada.

Overall, it was great, and I wish we had been able to arrive on time, as we planned. It would have been great if we hadn't been so exhausted and gotten sick. (My fiancée has health problems as well as Richard getting sick, and we all ended up with the sniffles after the trip) Everyone was all very nice to us and helped us out, even though we were showing up at the last minute. In particular, my crew was impressed that Mike was looking for me, and that he and Thom seemed to know me. Of course, I'm very active here, so I expected that, but my crew was amused by it. (And as you might guess, they're mostly family anyway, so they're always happy to puncture my ego [biggrin])

The bad side is that that sector F2 was causing so much trouble, and I don't think we were the only ship that couldn't enter it. I was also disappointed that the Admirals chose to send ships into the same sector separately, instead of assigning a single ship to run the server and have the others connect to that bridge. However, that's so much more convoluted and time consuming that I understand why the Admirals didn't want to do that. Obviously, the War Server still needs some work, but it was a blast to play all the same.

Next year, I would like to go in costume. We will think about putting together some uniforms, and I think Felicity would like to go as an Arvonian. (In the TSN, obviously, but made up as an Arvonian taking on a human form) We just didn't have time to prepare for something like this year, but I think it will add a lot to our participation to the event. And we will definitely apply for the canonical battles next year.


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Posts: 1,297
Reply with quote  #4 
Wow, that is probably the most tragic thing I have heard in awhile. I'm glad you at least got to experience some of it. It really was a wonderful event save that it was too short [wink]
Hopefully things will go better for you all next go around

-Captain of the TSN Gungnir JN-001
-Eastern Front online group member
-My continuing bridge build:

Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #5 
Yeah, well, we were travelling across country and had limited time (most of us had to work on the Thursday before and the Tuesday after) and I had travelled before, so I was expecting things to go wrong. But it was honestly a culmination of the worst luck I've had in a long time. [biggrin]

I don't regret it, though, and although we only got in about three to four hours of play total I'd do it again if I had to.

Posts: 294
Reply with quote  #6 
Originally Posted by ryleyra
While I was at it, I got a look at the bridge of the Snackbar, which was impressive as hell, and the custom bridge used by the Belisarius, which was awesome too. (I've since come to understand it was not the Belisarius's bridge, but borrowed for their use, correct me if I'm wrong)

The "borrowed" bridge was actually the TSN RP group's bridge, brought by me. Thanks to Graybeard, it now has an official name, the TSN Havoc. The RP crew only had 4, and so we adopted (and were adopted by) the Belisarius to fill out our empty seats. The two groups blended extremely well together, and we had a blast!

I'm really sorry that your trip was so messed up. Next time though...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop by and play a game or two on my bridge. I'd be more than happy to let you or your whole crew play.

Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #7 
We'd love to. [smile] We were oo'ing and ah'ing over it, and since it was across from us, we got a chance to see the lights and stuff in action while we were playing. Not that we weren't pretty busy at the same time.

Posts: 311
Reply with quote  #8 
ryleyra - as every gamer knows, sometimes you just hit a string of bad dice.  Hope everyone is feeling better now.  And I hope you get to Armada 2 and have a good time then. 
As far as the Self Destruct, I guess I'm in the #NeverGiveIn, #NeverGiveUp School.  Have had some {solo} missions that turned  into ridiculous long time affairs.  Go hang out w/ systems cut to generate a little power, then try to lure "them" into minefields or black holes or space monsters. 
davisn456 - thanks for the credit, I know you'll do the name proud! 

on TeamSpeak as GrayBeard {the Grim}  ;-) 
on Twitter as   @GrayberdTheGrim 

Chief Engineer of the Fulminata, one of the Pirates Of BeechWood! 
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