Capture the Record II – and a lesson learned…

After the roaring success of the first Capture the Record (CTR) game, during Satori’s Birthday Bash, many of the players from that night were keen to play again – with a good number hoping to be included… But the kerfuffle created by Beta 1.6.5’s issues meant that the planned date of Friday 27 May had to be scrapped, and pushed back to yesterday. That caused problems for me, because stephoswalk had already scheduled me to join her on her show, and there was no way on this Earth that I was going to let her down twice. Satori, ever-gracious, completely understood, and expressed her hope that I’d be able to join in later on if time permitted.

So, after a delightful two and a half hours hanging out and recording with Steph, it turned out there was still enough time to join in some building before getting into the main thrust of the event. Jumping into Mumble first, so that I could find out the relevant server address, I saw that Gold and Green (based on the colours of the records) were the team names this time around, with the players arranged as follows:

Team Gold: alefnull, BoneZ177, djrodw, ethancherry, F00D, Gleeson9, Jarodh, luckey, MrsBoneZ177, NiSiSuingEht, Nosirrah, Thefre, Uruz, whiskeykiss

Team Green: Avidya, Bar_Barian, Bethness, BitBurner, dewtroid, extremebeyond, Imperialistic, Ironfruit, jessartisan, JuneyBug, MinecraftChick, MinecraftTeachr, Satori, silvrhawk, Tiniestbit, xwcg

(Note: I got the names from grabbing a screenshot of Mumble during the game, plus some extra info gleaned through Twitter, and quickly reviewing the video footage, after the event – so some names may have been missed, or differ from their Minecraft usernames. Sorry if this is the case!)

Being the good little boy that I am, I logged into the CTR server, and patiently waited outside the channels in Mumble, so that I could wait to see which team I’d be injected into. A few seconds later, alefnull’s pleased voice came through my headphones: “We got Astra!” (which is far more pleasing than hearing a depressed “Oh, God – we got Astra…” :)). Team Gold it was, then, so I headed for the relevant front entrance, dodging gate-crashing mobs on the way.

Inside Team Gold's Base, with the Chest Wall. Sorry for taking it at night.

Inside Team Gold's Base, with the Chest Wall. Sorry for taking it at night.

The set-up inside Team Gold’s camp looked surprisingly Spartan, compared to Team Love’s set-up in the previous game, but I figured that this was intentional. However, there was no time to consider aesthetics, given that there was only about 90 or so minutes of build time left before the onslaught – and I was determined not to feel useless this time around. After making an urgent request to be assigned a task (I can handle being told what to do, rather than using my own initiative), I was instructed to help mine obsidian with Thefre from the obsidian farm in the centre of the Gold camp. It turned out we didn’t need many, though, because they were to be used for The Obsidian Room, a rather small structure in the upper-south-east corner, from which the majority of the attackers would launch their offensive. I say “majority” because it turned out that part of the plan was for a couple of people to launch a covert attack…

During the time spent building, I heard over Team Gold’s Mumble chat that a wall of chests was being constructed, so when Thefre no longer needed my services, I decided to gather as much wood as possible to help out in that department. After gathering wood for a good while, and constructing chests, I headed over to the back wall to add my collection to the growing number already there. “Ah,” thought I – “they’re in a ‘checkerboard’ pattern, just like I told Satori earlier in the week – oh my god Satori’s on the OTHER team!

Indeed, earlier in the week, I told Satori that I thought I might have a potentially “game-breaking” strategy – in that it could end up being a technique used by both sides, every single time CTR was played. Hmm. When I read it back now, that comes across as if I was on an ego trip – but it was actually intended as a warning that such a strategy might take the fun out of the game, if it was always used! (Besides, anyone who really knows me also knows what I think of myself – but, moving on…) I told her what it was – making hundreds of single chests, to slow down the attackers – without even thinking about the possibility of Satori being on the other team!

And it’s not even as if I’d be able to deny it afterwards, because if you watch dewtroid’s recording of the livestream, about five minutes into the video, Satori told Team Green of the plan that I’d had… *facepalm*

That said, once I realised that I was on the opposing team, I should have said something to Team Gold along the lines of, “There’s one possible plan that they could be using!” – and then explain it, so that we might have had something to counter it. Talk about a squandered opportunity!

(Note to any budding CTR strategists: Make DAMN sure you don’t tell anyone UNTIL the day itself, and you know what team you’re going to be in! Careless talk…)

(Also: It’s ONLY A GAME. Lives are not being lost over this.)

Before I knew it, 1am was closing in fast, but there was going to be a slight delay, while a couple more people joined (sadly, none of the guys from The Shaft were going to be able to make it, but they weren’t the ones we were waiting for). In the meantime, Team Gold decided which squad they were going to be joining: attackers, covert attackers, or defenders. I got all gung-ho and decided I wanted to go over the wall and attack – and maybe, if I found the record, I could atone for my unwitting stupidity…

What I was not expecting was to be voted in – well, got in practically by default, really – as the leader of the attacking team! I’m no flipping leader! Legends will not be written about my strategising in the field of battle, virtual or not – at least, not complimentary ones, anyway. Still, with the situation thrust upon me, I tried to make the best of it, and attempted to instruct my valiant band to take quadrants, as had been suggested earlier by someone else in the team (my apologies: I can’t recall who it was). But there was some confusion as to which way was north, and just before the wall came down, I gave up on trying to explain. “**** it – CHARGE!” was what I called out as the general outline of
Plan B…

With only a couple of minutes left until the start of the battle phase, the trash talk began in chat. I seized upon the fact that MinecraftTeachr was playing for Team Green:

<Astragali> MinecraftTeachr is gonna get SCHOOLED
<alefnull> lol astra
<MinecraftTeachr> dammit… Astragali…
<MinecraftTeachr> you just stole my catchphrase I was planning to use

Insert evil laughter here 😉

Then it was time to begin – and when Thefre and I broke down the nearest stone wall, I reported in horror on what I saw: a huge area of cacti, surrounded by rings of lava! As it was, I was too busy trying to get through the wall to even think of taking a screenshot (which was the whole reason I’d attended in the first place), so the pic below is taken from dewtroid’s Team Green video:

Team Green's Base - with a clever and deadly upgrade from my original plan.

Team Green's Base - with a clever and deadly upgrade from my original plan.

There was very little up above to deal with – so it turned out that going up high was a waste of time, after all. For me, it didn’t really matter that much, because it wasn’t probably much more than a minute before I died, and lost all four swords (three iron, one stone) that I’d brought with me. Back to spawn…

Trying to come in through the front, I didn’t last long at all, despite repeated attempts – and then, as I decided to try a different tack (tunnelling in under a side wall), Thefre told me to accompany him. He’d gone all the way around to the opposite side from the original Gold/Green entrances, and tunnelled in that way. Turned out it brought us out by the cactus field – which wasn’t just cacti: it was the chests, arranged in that checkerboard pattern, but the cacti and sand gave it a deadly upgrade! Still, we attackers had a job to do and, remembering what Avidya had said when he and I were on Team Love the last time around, I broke every chest which wasn’t the correct one. But it wasn’t easy: Avidya and Satori, now my sworn enemies (but only for the duration of the game, naturally), kept charging into the fray, over and over. Thefre, BoneZ177, MrsBoneZ177 and I were having a hard time of it, but we stuck at it as best we could – we did manage to clear a good number of chests, before…

Now playing: C418 – 13

They’d won! Curses, Team Green had won! It turned out that extremebeyond – aka our Antipodean chum, Maz – had located the elusive disc within the Chest Wall, and claimed the game for Team Green.

What was even more galling was that, as discovered in the post-game, BoneZ177 and I had apparently come extremely close to uncovering the chest! Ah, all’s fair in love and war – and hearty congratulations to Maz, and Team Green, for an excellent win 🙂 Thanks also to the players of Team Gold – you put up a valiant fight!

 

MinecraftTeachr with the gold record

MinecraftTeachr with the gold record, snatched by Maz just moments before. Well played, Team Green, well played.

I’d like to suggest one tweak for any future games of CTR: given the amount of “spawn killing” which was committed by people on both teams, it might be an idea to have an area marked out around the bedrock cubes, for about 20 blocks or so in each direction – with no fighting outside of those areas.

Dewtroid’s full video of the livestream can be found at this location, and edited highlights of xwcg’s recording are now available, through the Pretzelcasters’ YouTube channel, in three parts (#1, #2, #3).

Anyway, I don’t know if anyone on Team Gold is planning to lynch me for effectively giving Team Green a useful defence strategy… but just in case, I think I’ll just crawl into this nice, secure bunker with the laser-targeted defence mechanisms – so that this hopefully won’t be my last ever blog post… 😛

 

The players of CTR II - minus the ones who weren't able to stay for the whole match.

The players of CTR II - minus the ones who weren't able to stay for the whole match.

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One Response to Capture the Record II – and a lesson learned…

  1. 1thecop says:

    Very good, Sir! I only hope to be able to play with you guys sometime.

    Like

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