The Seventh Dynasty of Kevan
September 30th, 2010 - November 3rd, 2010
- A cold autumn morning in the tail end of the 1970s, and you tune your shortwave radio to the usual frequency, resting it on the chipped kitchen windowsill to lessen the static. As you clear away paperwork and prepare an early breakfast, the ancient, recorded voice drifts over you, looping through its staccato sequence of numbers. You pause and focus as 6:43am approaches, and now, for the first time since you were stationed here, the words begin to change.
- Remaining calm, you pick up a pen and sketch the new number on the back of a takeaway menu. As the voice returns blankly to its usual loop, you rifle through a cutlery drawer and draw out a slim notebook. Among the tightly-ranked lines of code numbers, you find the matching five digits.
- You have been activated.
Throughout the ruleset, replace “Befuddled” with “Agent”, and “Riddler” with “Director of Operations”.
The following players were active at the beginning of this Dynasty:
ais523, Bucky*, Darknight, Darth Cliche*, EvilToaster, flurie, Kevan*, lilomar*, Thane Q
At the end:
Brendan*, Bucky*, Darknight*, Darth Cliche*, FuzzyLogic, Josh*, Kevan*, Mosby, Purplebeard*, Roujo, Ujalu, the unnecessary., Undef
Posts of Interest
- Spandau Ballet - Introduced Locations and the Berlin Map (divided into Areas, Sectors and Districts), which were both flavorful and the most frequently used aspects of the game.
- The Adversaries - Introduced the Imposters, fake Agents who would be valuable and potentially explosive pawns.
- STUCKINATELEGRAPHHOUSESENDHELP - Created a mechanism to anonymously broadcast messages through Kevan, which would lead to a great deal of encryption and codebreaking.
- Clarity Ascendant - Core rule change that would prevent a repeat of Roujo's brief Dynasty-starting scam.
- Making a connection. - Created the mechanism that would eventually become Surveillance--a way to scan for other Agents and learn their Codenames in your Location.
- Your mission, should you choose to accept it… - Created Objectives/Operations, which Agents could request and then complete by fulfilling certain requirements to learn hidden information.
- This is Nighthawk, over - Allowed weekly Sector-targeted private messages via Kevan, with a chance of interception.
- I Saw You Again Again - Allowed daily movement between locations rather than weekly, with information-leakage as the drawback.
- Unloaded Dice - Core rule change, making "random" in the ruleset conform to the expected value of the word.
- A Little List - Created the victory condition: a list of Codenames from the other Allegiances, matched to their Agents.
- Not So Fast - Allowed Agents to Intercept each other on Operations, if you knew who was undertaking which. This was employed quite heavily once serious grinding attempts began.
- Investigative Journalism - Published a list of all existing Codenames, which allowed Agents to actually begin process-of-elimination matchups. Four new members would join, four more would drop out, and one existing Agent would obtain a new Codename over the next two weeks.
- Action Stations - Created the "Station Raid" objective, via which Agents could obtain a Codename, an Allegiance, AND a real name by camping certain Locations. Of the twelve attempted objectives, nine (including every one started after this passed) were Station Raids.
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor - Created a role-based exception system, by which Agents could perform better or more frequent actions. This would eventually allow victory, though at the end of the Dynasty, only half the Agents had taken advantage of it.
- Red Herrings - Created a severe penalty for accidentally including an Imposter in a Final Report, and a strong disincentive toward report-spamming.
- Intelligence Leak - Made public the distribution of the various Allegiances, which led to...
- The Enemy of My Frenemy - ... which allowed a more extensive Report that included Agents from more than one Allegiance, mitigating the disadvantage for members of the largest Allegiance.
- Blending In - Further strengthened the process-of-elimination approach by making Surveillance also reveal Nationalities.
- X-Header - Presented as an easier way to send messages, this was actually a back-door mechanism for message-spamming, which let the sender ping a given Codename to determine if they were an Imposter.
- Investigative Journalism Never Sleeps - A repeat of the original Investigative Journalism. The final piece of the process-of-elimination puzzle, this put the new Agents on a slightly worse field than the old ones.
Roujo used a flaw in Kevan's Ascension Address to achieve victory before a single proposal was enacted. When Kevan made his Ascension Address, he forgot to repeal all dynastic rules. Roujo then used that fact to use the very same scam that Kevan used to win the previous dynasty, and posted his Declaration of Victory 32 minutes into the game. This broke the record for the shortest dynasty, and has never since been (and likely never will be) matched.
When his DoV passed, he passed on the mantle to Kevan so that he could continue his dynasty. After some discussion this was considered to constitute one continuous dynasty, without in any way undermining the validity of Roujo's Victory.
Brendan achieved victory by correctly identifying four enemy agents.
- Here’s all the Codenames I knew:
- TIPCAT/HEADSMAN: Bucky (learned via successful interception)
- VIRGATE: FuzzyLogic (learned via process of elimination; Bucky and FL were the only people who would have been active in time to intercept me, but who did not have Codenames at the time of Newspaper Clipping)
- NONILLION: Mosby (learned via logic-gaming: had to be newer than Newspaper Clipping, had to be French as learned via surveillance)
- JUMBUCK: Undef (Had to be new, and the other three new codenames were accounted for)
- I also knew WHITLOW was Darknight via the first Station Raid, but he and I were both Soviet, so useless for the report—I had originally planned to learn all the Soviet names and then defect.
- I had previously surveilled VAPORETTO and, just before the Signal went out, returned to its location in time to verify that it was an Imposter. (I knew it was West German, and Bucky was the only West German Agent but had a different Codename, QED.) Toward the end of the game I was systematically scouring the Soviet district trying to find it again for an Assassination attempt.
- It was in the course of said scouring that I happened to Surveil three French-nationality codenames in a row (KALEYARD, NONILLION, HARUSPEX)—a huge stroke of luck. I knew Mosby was the only new French Agent, and so had to be NONILLION. That meant that of KALEYARD and HARUSPEX, one had to be Roujo and one had to be an Imposter.
- I switched to Lamplighter in order to exploit the Imposter-sonar method I’d snuck in under “X-Header.” I could now send daily messages to myself using any suspect Codename as a relay, and if the message got through I knew they were an Imposter. I tried this with HARUSPEX and it failed, which told me that HARUSPEX was Roujo and KALEYARD was an Imposter. (I confirmed by sending another message the next day.)
- I reversed course to head back to the last place I’d seen KALEYARD, to assassinate it instead, but discovered that Kevan had already moved it. At this point, “Breaking News” emerged, and I realized that I had everything I needed to ID the four new Codenames; if I was lucky, none of them would have picked Soviet.
- I submitted a Final Report on that gamble, and amazingly enough it worked. I did a decent amount of slanted rule-writing in this round (note that both kinds of Taxis work better if you’re in SU, and that AIGRETTE contains multiples of the most common letters in Codenames), but I also had a LOT of luck.
There is some post-game discussion here.
NOWTHEARCHIVESWILLBEREVEALEDTOALLSTOPHAVEFUNREVISITINGTHEPASTSTOP was a clever gambit by Roujo, who sent a heavily-encrypted broadcast promising "secret information" if anyone managed to decipher it. Like several other messages, the code shattered under the mental assault of Thane Q, and the information would turn out to be the full archives of the original Blogspot site.
I was half-afraid that no one would crack the code and I'd have to make an easier one. Heck, I don't even remember what were the 12-ish levels of encryption I used! Congrats Thane Q, that was some solid counter-intelligence you did there. (^_^)b ~ Roujo 23:43, 3 Nov 2010 (GMT)