Monday, August 1, 2016

[Ingress Post-Op Report] Operation Clear Sky

Recently, I've been actively playing INGRESS again, playing on the side of RESISTANCE. Prior to the recent week, I've been basically quite inactive and only playing alone but as I start to made a couple of new friends through the game from within the area I normally play in. I start to get more absorbed into the game. Anyway, this is about a recent counter-Op we executed on a last minute notice  on a fine Sunday afternoon. How it all started?

Like most times, it was a casual chat session on Slack on the Sunday morning when suddenly, an alarm went off around 10:46AM. Those of us on the Intel page saw the whole map around where we are in turned GREEN! Yup, I thought at first that maybe my browser has crashed on me but it's the same in my app. And I wasn't the only one that sounded the alarm in Slack cause soon, everyone else verified that it is the same, even in the game's COMM, Resistance players was asking what's happening as all they see on their screen was green!

 Agents @luinithil and @aavenchen, who was also looking at the Intel map decide to see the exted of the huge bloom and discovered that ENLIGHTENED had just moments ago raised several multilayered fields, with an anchor in Bentong, another one in Port Dickson and the final one across the ocean to Belawan, Indonesia. Yup, it was massive!

Resistance agents up and down the West Coast were in a flurry of communications, amidst much grumbling over aborted field ops. Smurflings and confused tadpoles asked panicked questions over comms and shared intel snapshots of the green algae infestation. “What can we do? Is anyone doing anything? What’s going on?”

RESMY’s Slack channels now was abuzzed with plans. Agents in KL couldn’t do anything for those further north-- but we could at least reach the anchors in Bentong and Port Dickson. @luinithil, having located the various anchor points and marking the ENL agents still in the area, issued the call for volunteers to head out for a takedown. The anchors were easily within an hour’s drive, but who was available to go? The last time something like this had happened, senior agents had gone out to clear the moss.

This time, the senior players turned solemnly to the junior agents, and told us: “It’s your turn now.”

Trial by Fire

@mikeyip, @warrenen, and @amuyot responded immediately with plans for a road trip with agent @berbacat. @luinithil remained as Ops/Dispatch/Intel (with advisory input from @afredlee). None of the guys had any experience conducting such an op before but spirits were high as the team sorted out their targets. @berbacat and @mikeyip had a quick plan and work out the deployment details and spread the information out via a private operation room and made  their way to Bentong, where two anchors awaited, along with ENL agents @JasonSng and @expediter.

@warrenen, as PD team lead, would travel southwards with @amuyot and last-minute addition @imjoel around 1.30PM. A second group consisting of @gaffor with agents @Spunkme and @ianlty would join them later to take on the cluster of 5 anchors and remaining ENL controlled portals there. @aavenchen remained on standby to fire blocking links once the fields were taken down.

The Battle of Bentong

Agents @berbacat and @mikeyip arrived at 1:15 but we detected the presence of ENL agents in the area just as we entered into town, we had to be careful to avoid detection by the ENL teams. Moving into positions, we quickly got into the app and deployed Ultra Strikes to disable all the VR Shields. Fortunately only one portal out of the two anchors were heavily shielded; after taking down the heavily guarded one, however, ENL detected our presence and started recharging the second portal instantly. Fortunately enough, ENL couldn't rush to the portal to redeploy their shields and we took the second portal down successfully.

The Bentong team hung around waiting for the ENLs to show up, but received no signs of activity. Considering their job done, they went for a celebratory lunch of wantan mee, before making plans to head back home while still keeping in touch with the rest of the ops that is happening across the other state.

The frogs weren’t about to go off quietly into the grass, however. @aavenchen was caught by ENL agents @keretapir and @ptewe23, who soon had his blocking links and fields down.

Barely 5km out of Bentong, @mikeyip and @berbacat was alerted by Ops central that the ENL were going to redeploy their fields, U-turned back to Bentong. On the way back to Bentong, we attempted to create our own blocking links, farming keys along the way back to Bentong town so that we could fire our own blocking links after we took the portal down a second time. We still weren't low on ammo yet, but our Ultra Strikes were used up so we had to kill the Bentong anchors the crude way by using up all our X6 and X7s first.

Fighting it out with @expediter and @JasonSng to keep ENL’s attention occupied. The two agents repeatedly duelled over the portals, capturing and and recapturing one of the anchors until they ran out of bursters;

After we took the field down for the second time, we proceeded to create our own block links  while @aavenchen blocking links were still active. However, once again ENL managed to coordinate another BAF, where @expediter drove to the anchor of the blocking link we were defending to destroy our blocking link, and @JasonSnG fielded from the Bentong anchor once again. This time, they sat at the Bentong anchor waiting for us.

@berbacat and @mikeyip got in some sweet revenge when they JARVIS’d one of the Bentong anchors with filled mod slots, rendering the ENL team unable to re-establish the outgoing link to Belawan from that portal before the checkpoint was crossed.

Meanwhile, @luinithil broadcast requests to support the Bentong team and @aavenchen. @bananasminion came to the rescue, with two long blocking links going up into Seremban, giving the Bentong team and PD group some breathing space. The blockers didn’t last very long however: with the fields being successfully rethrown at 3:15PM, the skies turned green again for a second time that day...

@berbacat and @mikeyip had spent most of their weaponry in the first round. They were running out of cubes, XMPs, Ultra Strikes, even resonators, everything. Yet they hung on, fighting it out with @expediter and @JasonSng to keep ENL’s attention occupied. The two agents repeatedly dueled over the portals, capturing and and recapturing one of the anchors until they ran out of bursters; when that happened they began to employ distraction tactics: walking over to meet their ENL opponents in person to chit chat, creating smaller blockers forcing the ENL agents away from the anchor points in a game of cat and mouse, attempting to delay so that the PD team could get to their targets without being noticed.

Hail ADA!

The PD team were now under immense pressure: 50 minutes to checkpoint, and it was now all down to them, as the Bentong team were reduced to harassing the opposition, but could no longer deal significant damage and were about to head home. @aavenchen stood by yet again with his remaining stock of keys, waiting for the fields to come down. Bad news came-- due to their late start, @warrenen and his team were going to be cutting things very fine, with their ETA maybe only half an hour or less before deadline. Concern was high, as the original plan had been to blast the portals-- but there was no more time for that. 5 portals in under 30 minutes, and the driver unfamiliar with the route. Could they make it in time and still blast their way to victory?

A call from @amuyot came: @imjoel had brought 8 ADAs-- could they use them?

YES. @afredlee confirmed that ADAs were a go.

@warrenen’s F1 style driving got them to the first of the PD anchors, and one by one the fields dropped, as their anchors fell before the mighty power of the ADA Refactor, @aavenchen firing blocks without being prompted as soon as his scanner cleared. The green fields were downed for good with 15 minutes to spare.

@gaffor and posse, having earlier been delayed by traffic, had by then finally managed to join up with the victorious strike team, and together they proceeded to clean up ENL presence around the PD waterfront, creating fields that netted at least several hundred MUs. A happy ending was had for all as the PD team celebrated with a well deserved beachfront makan.

“That was fun, wasn’t it? Same time next week?”

The ENL agents conceded a game well played, retiring from the field with ominous promises of repeating the BAF. Even sending messages over COMM to the RESMY teams to congratulate us on a game well fought. Signing off from Bentong, the team even drove home together in a convoy with the ENL team until we decide to lose them on the highway after we exited Bentong.

It was an exciting battle, and with new bloods coming into RESMY that is willing to do their parts, We can stands firm. We will be watching, and we will be ready to #ClearSkies as needed, defending humanity against continued Shaper ingression.

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