Monday, March 9, 2009

The play date, after-action report.

At approximately 8PM EDT, I logged on and joined MUDH0G and True Anarki to represent as we took on the public of Xbox Live in Halo Wars. It went something like this:

Game 1 pitted us against ForgottenProxy, iTz Ge7VoCidE z, and Z3r0 1st in the Frozen Valley. The Geezers started with a rush, but the challengers were victorious in holding us at bay. While CyberKnight stayed on the defensive against constant aerial bombardment, True and Mud sent in their support and used the time to their advantage to build up their own forces, and eventually, the Geezers pushed forward and wiped the challengers out. Round 1 went to the Geezers.

Game 2, the same team of ForgottenProxy, iTz Ge7VoCidE z, and Z3r0 1st played us in a rematch on Fort Deen. The strategies were slightly different, but the outcome was more or less the same. Mud and Proxy battled back and forth in the east, with neither side giving up any ground; while True and Cyber joined forces in the west and, taking advantage of the right moment to strike, cut a swath across the north and destroyed Z3r0 and G37VoCidE in less time than it takes to correctly type their names. Still, with his teammates destroyed, Proxy did not go quietly into that goodnight. Cyber and True started the final push and ran smack into a red brick wall, with ODSTs swarming around like red ants. Odds against him, however, he eventually fell, and the Geezers won their second battle.

Game 3 saw ForgottenProxy pick up two new teammates, VUA PuR3 sKiLlZ and Kamikaze Pandax, on Exile. VUA PuR3 sKiLlZ promised to drop the hurt on us with his ODSTs and treated us to his beat-boxing "skillz" in the pregame lobby. However, when the first of his four bases fell and he failed to retake it, it became apparent he was most skilled in the art of "RAGE QUIT". True and Mud circled around and took out Pandax, and Proxy, who had enjoyed an uneasy cold war with CyberKnight since the beginning of the match, now found himself completely surrounded. With only two bases and no economy to speak of, he quickly fell to the three-front onslaught. Round 3: Geezers.

We were ready to begin Game 4. ForgottenProxy was with us for the long haul. Unfortunately, we seemed to be out of sync with the community, who were in the middle of other games while we were ready to play. (I had been getting messages and invites to play, but it was of course in the middle of our games.) A friend of True, JackJim N Jose, joined Proxy, as did founding Geezer Jamey T, for a 3v3 match on Exile.

It was a hard battle. Cyber picked up a few bases around the edge of the map early, and True held the rear, while Mud was stuck in the middle of the map. The challengers, led by Jamey and his never-ending supply of Vultures, quite nearly took Mud out of the game early. If it wasn't for some last-minute support from True and Cyber, along with Mud's Spartan that just wouldn't die, it could've been the end. But Team Geezer pulled together and saved their fallen comrade, and in the end turned it around and wiped out Proxy, Jamey, and finally Jose to win the fourth battle.

Jamey had to call it a night, so we attempted to find a replacement. Sadly, we were unable to get any responses from community members or other Geezers (even those who were showing as being in lobbies or menus), so we decided to bring in a Heroic AI to round out the challenger team for our final match on Fort Deen. (It was, of course, only after the game was underway that messages started to come in. Just the way it goes sometimes.)

The AI kept Mud harried with wave after wave of infantry. Fortunately, Cyber, who had been building up a fleet of Warthogs for base capture and recon, was able to assist, while True scouted out base locations and built up his force in the east. Once Cyber's base became the target for the AI's ground troops (with Jose's mixed fleet joining in the fun), Mud and True returned the favor and kept Cyber on life support until the danger passed. Jose and Proxy took their time building and expanding, while the AI kept the Geezers busy. When Mud and Cyber finally had enough and tried pushing through to put an end to the AI's constant annoyance, Jose was there to snuff out the attackers like candles in the wind.

Eventually, old age and treachery wore out youthful dexterity. After telling the AI "I am lying," we finally defeated the computer opponent, and Cyber used its base sites to establish a new base of operations, from which Scorpions, Hawks, and Spartans could quickly augment the Scarabs and Suicide Grunts that True and Mud kept streaming in from their respective bases.

The team of MUDH0G, CyberKnight, and True Anarki ended our 5-game streak against ForgottenProxy and challengers undefeated at 1:45AM EDT.

All in all, it went pretty well. I regret that we didn't get to play with so few people from the community. There were a lot of people out there who wanted to play, and we tried to send invites between games. I knew that, of the 60-some random friend requests I had leading up to the event, I'd only be able to "serve" a small percentage, but even then, I only managed to bring in two or three. It wasn't for lack of trying, though. Still, it made for a good time. I hope the people we played with can say the same.

No comments: