Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, October 31, 2005

2005 Ghost Recon Stealth Tourney

An Hour Of Crawling, A Second Of Dying...

The group of SOGgy Ghost Recon fanatics I associate with had our first throw-down in the 2005 Alpha Squad Ghost Recon Stealth Tourney last night.

For the record, groups such as ours are commonly known in the gaming community as "clans", but since we lack kilts, Scottish brogues, and blood ties, I'm not sure "clan" is really accurate! Gaming clans come and go, rarely lasting 6 months, but we've been hanging for 2 solid years and most of a third, albeit with a few folks who've come in or gone away.

I resisted the pull for the longest time, preferring my status as a Gamma Delta Iota than to being at the beck and call of a 13 yr old "clan leader". Fortunately, the SOGgies are an older, wiser crew, and (for the most part) past all the adolescent BS that make most clans repellent to me. Zippo applied the final arm-twisting, and got me to change my handle on Gameranger from El Capitan to El Capitan:SOG.

Ghost Recon is a Special Forces-styled First Person Shooter game, set in the near future. You kit out with the latest in equipment for killing people and breaking things, then drop into a scenario to do your thing, be it assassination, reconnaisance, rescue or demolition missions.

SOG (Special Operations Group) specializes in cooperative missions, requiring teamwork and stealth. Ghost Recon allows for huge 36 person team against team shoot-em-ups, but the endless run & gun gets old after a while.

So, we're in this year's stealth tournament, a series of 4 games where you get an initial briefing, a quick run around on a sand table, then you're dropped into the shit. We'd been practicing sporadically the past few weeks, and spent all of Sunday afternoon laying out our plan of attack, and practicing as best we could on similar scenarios.

Technical glitches were minor, limited to one headset that wouldn't transmit, but could receive.

We had three objectives, and split our 9 person crew to deal with each in turn. My squad got chosen to sneak & peek around the perimeter of the map, stealthing into a tent camp to whack a terrorist running the OPFOR's communications.

Our sneaking was perfect. We low-crawled past groups of tangoes, laid our motion sensors as needed, timed the patrol patterns of the tangos, and got everyone into place just prior to Weapons Hot. Zippo's plan was for Sparrow to lay the sensor, then back off and join Zip and our sniper Ballard in covering me, and I'd injun into the tent camp and grease the tango. Everything was going good until the tango looked out the tent window, and put half a dozen AK rounds into Sparrow. At this point, the shit well and truly hit the fan.

I poked my head into the tent, double-tapped the tango, then tried to pull back. Zippo had been whacked by the alerted camp guards, and I only managed to get one more of them before I got whipsawed. Once you're dead in tourney, you have to exit the game, so we could only sit in the Loser Lounge and listen in on our teammates.

We'd blown stealth by getting one of our guys shot before we killed the commo terrorist, so a lot of points got dropped there. Each of us dying cost -5 points. With our squad dead, the others had a rougher time of it, and one after another got detected and eliminated by the tangoes. I think we had 3 out of 9 make it to extract.

So, an unauspicious beginning to the tourney. We'll have three more chances to make up ground, and despite our poor score on Game One, the tournament judges were impressed by our tactics and professionalism. We just hit a big chunk o' bad luck this time around.