* Basics of Military Gameplay: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=99173
* Political Gameplay: viewtopic.php?t=1911
Note: This will be a work in progress about my Nationstates history with tangents to various Gameplay situations I remember.
My oldest nation Ananke was founded in The North Pacific during august 2003. For the first couple of months I just answered issues and looked at the RMB posts. TNP didn't really have a forum at the time, so our RMB was always busy with chatter. That's how I quickly came to recognise oldtimers like Treenudity (who was TNP delegate when I joined), Nastic, The Twoslit Experiment, Delphinum, Wilkshire and others. Instead of getting tempted by all the recruitment telegrams I received, they all just made me want to stick around The North Pacific, since I liked the community there, even if I didn't really participate in it.
Pacific Liberation Attempts
My first real participation in Gameplay had to do with the Pacific. It had been taken over by Francos Spain sometime during the summer of 2003. It wasn't the first feeder to fall to a dictator, but at the time The Pacific already had a somewhat closeknit and vocal community (TheDoc, Savage Lands, Crazygirl, Bleasdale) + Francos Spain had a pretty lose finger on the ban button. In October 2003 Francos Spain lost the delegacy of The Pacific (but kept his endorsements) due to a bug. For the anti-FS forces, which included people from all over Nationstates (The South Pacific, The North Pacific and The Meritocracy to name a few of the bigger/more important regions) this provided the perfect opportunity for a liberation attempt. With Corinthe and The Savage Lands as endorsement leads nations started pouring into The Pacific. The reason I got involved was because Nastic, who was an endorser of mine and a former delegate of The North Pacific, went on the TNP RMB to ask for help in the Pacific. I had a very high opinion of Nastic, so decided to follow his lead and move to the Pacific, where (from what I remember) I endorsed Corinthe, The Savage Lands and possibly Crazy Girl. We actually managed to gather enough people to surpass Francos Spain's endorsement count, so would've taken the delegacy the next update. Unfortunately Neutered Sputniks came online and told everyone that taking advantage of a bug to unseat Francos Spain wasn't kosher at all. I seem to remember him threatening deletion of any anti-FS nations, which didn't leave the region again. Being a total newbie that scared the crap out of me, so I quickly fled back to The North Pacific. [violet] later ruled the liberation attempt legal. By then it was too late though, since too many people had heeded Neutered Sputniks warning and moved out of the region. The controversy sparked a lot of outraged posts on the Nationstates forum.
Someone must've made a list of all Corinthe's endorsers, since not too long afterward I was contacted about a new liberation attempt. This time people were asked to move to the region Radio Free Pacific and cross endorse everyone there. After enough people had moved there the date for the attempt got distributed and people were asked to move to the Pacific as close to the specified time as possible. In hindsight, this attempt was of course doomed to fail, since 1) Francos Spain was a very active delegate and 2) there's no way to distribute that kind of information to a large number of nations without details getting back to the target. So we moved into the Pacific on the appointed day and of course got banned before anyone got close enough in endorsement count to threaten Francos Spain's delegacy. While Radio Free Pacific, lead by Freemon and Zhdanov - both of them somewhat shady characters - went on to become an active anti-FS group for a while (marred by various internal conflicts), I moved back to The North Pacific after a couple of days. The then delegate of The North Pacific, The Twoslit Experiment, who was a vocal opponent of Francos Spain, had evidently kept an eye on the liberation participants, since after I returned to The North Pacific he changed the WFE to thank me and 3 other nations - Sybertronia, Nem and Multaan - for being part of the liberation effort and asked WA nations in the region to re-endorse us.
I registered at The North Pacific forum pretty early, but mostly lurked for a long time. What made me come out of the woodwork and really start posting was a topic about a couple of endorsement swappers, who was getting close to The Twoslit Experiment's endorsement count (about 550 endos to his 600+). I've always disliked endorsement swapping in the feeders and the fact that these two nations were trading like mad without participating at the regional forum really rubbed me the wrong way, so I wrote a long post about why holding endorsement swappers accountable was the right thing to do. The discussion on whether to ban one or both of these nations went on for two 9-pages threads and ended up with both of them banned (one of them went on to become a prominent member of Gatesville).
After Francos Spain gained the delegacy in The Pacific through endorsement swapping, the Pacific exiles gathered in the region Pacific Army, under the leadership of The Savage Lands, who was a former TP delegate himself. The Pacific Army had been founded as a defender group connected with the Pacific a few weeks before FS took over the delegacy. They became the nucleus of the anti-FS fight in Nationstates, rallying allies around the world, including several invader groups, which participated in the first couple of Pacific liberation attempts along side defenders and more neutral gameplayers. For a while most of NS was united in their opposition to Francos Spain and the NPO.
The North Pacific Army
So anyway, I'm back in The North Pacific and start talking with The Twoslit Experiment, who I'm totally in awe of (yes, I'm easily impressed) and he asks me if I'll go and spy in the Pacific for him. I'm not really sold on the idea, but at this point in time there's practically nothing I won't do for Twoslit, so I switch WA membership to a nation in the Pacific and endorse Francos Spain. I hang around the Pacific forum and RMB, but really don't feel comfortable - I do manage to gather a very impressive collection of ad spam though, since everyone's trying to make FS' endorsers move out of the Pacific - so after a month or so I decide that I'm really crap at spying and asks Twoslit if I can't do something else. He tells me that he's thinking of founding the North Pacific Army with Sybertronia in charge. Nem, I and later Tresville become the first members. The first big defender mission I remember us being involved in is the invasion of Solarius. As it later turned out this particular invasion had repercussions around Nationstates which are still felt today. Solarius was part of a 3 member regional alliance, which was a bit of a backwater. They were pretty active, but didn't really interact with the rest of the gameplay regions in Nationstates. After Solarius got liberated New Florence Marie decided to start a militant defender organisation, which would take the fight to invaders themselves. Militant defender organisations can work. Often they lose their way though, since there's only so many founderless raider and nazi regions you can legitimately target and still call yourself a defender. Like others before them New Florence Marie's org eventually turned to invasions of neutral regions and morphed into DEN.
I remember Twoslit having alliance talks with 10000 Islands in early 2004. Didn't lead anywhere, which was fair enough, since 10ki doesn't really do alliances and we were already on decent terms anyway. We did however have a wargame between TITO and the NPA, which was a lot of fun. I think TITO trounced us 3-1, but we managed to gather 11-13 NPA nations, which was pretty decent for a new defender org. I was kinda a newbie at the time though, so when TITO started arriving by having their members jump through The North Pacific and one other feeder region on their way to the target region I was sure they were trying to remove their trail and trick us into thinking that they were from TNP. Of course I later learnt that doing Pac jumps was just ordinary TITO procedure, but I still think my conspiracy theory was a lot more interesting. Kept me busy organising the NPA and keeping my own nations apprised of the situation.
--- The next long-ish bit is going to be jumbled up some, since I don't remember the exact timeline + I'm going to just write stuff down whenever I remember it ---
EU-topia + United States
After I joined ADN, but before I got access to any high level areas the whole EU-topia thing blew up. EU-topia was a nation who'd been quite active in Pacific Army, RRA and TITO and was somewhat trusted by anti-FS people. He seemed like a decent defender, who had managed to become more than a grunt in all 3 places + he had some low-level access in ADN. He was the kind of guy who was likely to keep gaining rank/access, because he was smart and committed. Certain people received a pretty convincing tip that he was really Unlimited of the NPO though, after which he was stripped of all access in the regions he was spying upon. After that a lot of defender orgs tightened up their rules about having people being involved in more than one org at the same time. The tip which felled Unlimited came from a somewhat disreputable source (Lady Blue Moon I think) and I seem to remember some hacking being involved. The information wasn't sought out by defenders, but more or less dropped in their lap. I don't think anyone liked how the information had come about, but there was no way to overlook the fact that a NPO spy had buried into 3 defender orgs (although not to the highest levels anywhere, since EU-topia's conduct had already raised some suspicions before the whole thing broke).
One of the earliest defenses I remember doing with ADN, not long after I'd gotten access to the ADN military section was United States, which was such a mess. I need to read up on it, but I remember Hrmmm being defender lead and I'm pretty sure Freedom Alliance were the ones who got us into the situation in the first place. This is going by my purely faulty memory, but I think United States was OfFlags' (who was a member of Freedom Alliance) home region. It had earlier been invaded by Archeuithis and some people of his, who are often known as the French in Nationstates. They had some ties to the farkers and were especially interested in US themed regions, some of which they'd invaded earlier. The first invasion was repelled, but for some reason OfFlags main nation got deleted not long after and Archeuithis moved into the region again and took the delegacy. When Archeuithis lost the delegacy OfFlags asked various defenders to help him regain the region. ADN moved in and made Hrmmm defender delegate. It was pretty much impossible to clearly divide the region between real natives and invader puppets. Archeuithis and the known invaders were banned, but Ben Franklin, a somewhat shady character was allowed to stay, since he'd been in the region long enough to count as a native and no obvious invader connection could be found. At this point the Freedom Alliance people were pretty mad at ADN, since they'd wanted us to make one of them delegate. We weren't in the business of deciding internal disputes in the region though, which was why we went with Hrmmm as defender delegate, since the natives couldn't agree on one of their own a delegate, while the invasion was going on. Anyway, after we left Ben Franklin became delegate and promptly turned the region over to Archeuithis, who's owned it ever since. The United States RMB still to this day contain their trademark jokes about how Americans are stupid and everything French is great. If nothing else you have to give them points for perseverance. 8+ years of US jokes/bashing and praise of France is nothing to sneeze at.
In April 2004 I'm asked by Pope Hope to become ADN Secretary of State, since Moldavi is stepping down from the position. Came as quite a surprise, since I'd been a bit of a lurker at the ADN forums, so didn't really think anyone had noticed me. You don't say no to Pope Hope though, so accepted the position and quickly found myself a lot more involved in the organisation.
Not too long after this I got an invitation to join GLA. I'd seen them around and knew of some of their more wellknown members, so had nurtured a secret wish to join for a while. Plaguing to join up was a sure fire way to never get invited though, so I hadn't told anyone that I was interested in joining. Anyway, becoming part of GLA is probably on my top 3 favourite things I've done in Nationstates. We did a lot of stuff. One of my favourite things though was our month long defense of the region Imperial Europe. It started out as a bit of a mistake really. I'd noticed two separate invasions of the region on the same day by Imperial Germany and SOAP, so moved in and asked the others for help. Turned out though that the deleted founder of Imperial Europe was a nazi. However at that point we were already in the region, so decided to stay and kick the invaders. Our first defense must've put Imperial Europe on the raider map though, for during the next month we ended up defending the place at least every 2nd day, trading the delegacy among us. One of the reasons we kept up the defense of the place was that some of the non-nazi natives were pretty active and vocal about keeping nazis and invaders out of the place. They liked having GLA around and having gotten involved we wanted to keep the place free of invaders and griefers. After a while the Imperial Europe banlist was pretty filled up and we decided that we might as well get as many NS invaders on it as possible, so to clear the place once and for all one of us gained the delegacy and let his WA nation go inactive. At the same time others went around various invader regions and suggested Imperial Europe as a prime target. Took a week or so, but finally a couple of the bigger invader regions took the bait and started moving into Imperial Europe thinking that the "native" delegate was inactive. Our end goal was to set off a CDi alert though. At that point in time the bigger invader regions had promised to help eachother through the Counter Defense initiative, which meant that a general CDi alert would compel every invader to move in to help the invader group who'd triggered the alert. To force the alert we kept moving in defenders to keep just in front of the invader lead, who finally asked for help. Close to update time there was about 80 invaders in the region, who were all boasting about how they were defeating defenders. Of course the only reason they were defeating us was because we'd asked Grub to keep TITO out of the region, so as to not snuff out the invasion with overwhelming force. Right before update hit our delegate logged in and kicked every single invader to The Rejected Realms. They never knew what hit them. ;)
The first real delegacy scare we had in The North Pacific was just after Blackshear took over as delegate from The Twoslit Experiment. He'd only been delegate a couple of days, when various circumstances made him lose the delegacy, leaving The North Pacific without a delegate when I woke up one morning. Since we had several unknown people endo swapping in the region I asked ADN for help. As TNP was a member region our need took priority and ADN nations + other defenders started pouring into the region to endorse Magicality, who I'd asked people to help get into the seat. I remember also asking TITO for help. Since noone had any idea what had happened to Blackshear (his nation had moved to The Rejected Realms) TITO understandably was wondering wtf was going on, so I got invited into a chat with Fleeb and Grub (the only time I've ever talked with Grub on IM I think) where I to the best of my abilities explained what was happening and they agreed to send in nations to prop up Magicality, while I started trying to figure out what was going on.
----Time jump, since I'd already written this elsewhere----
The reason for the ADN-Ireland war had to do with the region Northern Ireland. It was founderless and a popular target for conquest by both Ireland and various English regions. Whenever someone (including Ireland) tried to take it over ADN and other defenders usually moved in to kick them out. This pissed off Ireland, who told ADN to stay out of Northern Ireland altogether or they'd declare war on us. Not being in the habit of following ultimatums from imperialists and invaders, ADN declined the offer. Ireland then allied with Imperial Germany and a couple of other regions and declared war on ADN. Ireland and Imperial Germany weren't really invaders, mostly just a bit imperialist in what they saw as their own sphere of the game, but let a couple of invader regions participate in their war declaration, after which they started targetting founderless ADN regions for invasion. From what I remember the only time any of our regions was somewhat close to falling, was when they invaded United Peoples of Abraham. We beat them back just before update though, and the absent founder (who had just let his founder puppet die, while he was busy elsewhere in Nationstates) returned not long after. I was the one who spotted the invasion of United Peoples of Abraham and I remember spending a couple if stressing hours trying to gather enough people to defeat the invasion, since it being an ADN member region a lot of prestige and PR hung in the balance. When I couldn't track down any of the people in charge of TITO I even went so far as trying to convince online TITO people to move to the region on their own. Not my proudest moment, but hey, it was worth a try. ;)
Since neither Ireland or Imperial Germany were really raiders, peace talks went on between them and ADN through most of the time the war lasted. At the start of the 'war' there was some chatter in ADN about whether a counter invasion of Ireland would be useful, but neither Pope Hope, our SecDef or the rest of the cabinet was keen on the idea, so it quickly got dropped. Or, at least that's what I thought, since the first I (being ADN SecState at the time) heard of actual plans to invade Ireland was when a spy posted screenshots of plans between Vazquez (who was co-founder of ADN, although Pope Hope tended to do most of the day-to-day leading of the alliance) and some Alcatraz people about invading it. He stepped down as president of ADN not long after, leaving Pope Hope as sole Director of ADN.
In the early summer of 2003 The North Pacific experienced a slump in activity. Due to RL we lost our delegate Magicality, who stopped logging into Nationstates. For a while we cherished hope that she would return to us, and in the meantime Thel D'Ran was asking people to endorse her to keep up her endorsement count. We didn't have anyone, who'd be able to quickly take over the delegacy. A nation called UPS Rail had been steadily endorsement trading though and was getting near Magicality's endorsement level. I didn't know UPS Rail that well, but he'd been posting some on the forum, seemed an ok person and followed the guidelines in our constitution in regards to declaring his interest in the delegacy. Due to the activity slump I was feeling somewhat dissatisfied with the region and was considering getting active in some other defender region. The long and the short of it was that UPS Rail managed to take over as delegate, since there was no real reason to suspect him of being duplicitous, and it went alright to start with. I think I was the first one to suspect that something was going on. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly made me suspicious though, so at first I just aired my misgivings to my fellow GLA members. Then he started talking about bettering relations with the NPO. While I didn't agree with that, it wasn't enough for me to think of him as a plant, since in my mind it was just a policy discussion, although one on which our opinion differed a lot. Enough so that I resigned my diplomatic positions in The North Pacific. Not long afterward though, UPS Rail declared that we were now allied with the NPO and started ejecting longtime members of The North Pacific. Didn't take long for everyone to get active on the forum again, when they noticed what was going on. Blackshear who'd stayed on as forum admin after I left only a couple of weeks earlier made me admin again, and we started planning what to do. The first order of business was to contact all UPS Rail's endorsers and get them to unendorse him. Poe and Damocratic Donkeys organised this with help from a lot of other TNP nations. While this was going on and TNP nations were gathering on the forum (Old Blue), talking about what was happening I started reaching out to allies around Nationstates. At this point in time I was the most well-known TNP person, since my interest in defending and diplomacy + my involvement in ADN and other organisations meant that I had a pretty decent network of contacts. The North Pacific was a member of ADN, so several TNP members asked for ADN assistance right after UPS Rail started kicking people (this was while I was still asleep). Since TNP had been somewhat inactive the month before the coup I was at this point in time the TNP nation ADN knew best, so they asked me what I wanted ADN to do. As mentioned earlier I'd been involved in several Pacific Liberation attempts, so knew that having everyone moving into TNP without any plan and just endorse the next-highest endorsed nation would never work against what seemed to be a NPO plant. Therefore I asked ADN to stay out of the region for the time being, while the first unendorsement campaigns against UPS Rail was running and several longtime TNP people were gaining endorsements through hectic swapping. I know that my telling ADN to stay out that first day created bad feelings among some TNP nations, which got directed towards both me and ADN later. However there's no way mobilizing everyone at that point in time would've let us regain the delegacy. It might've created some goodwill among TNP people, but the liberation attempt would've failed, which would've hurt morale.
--- Another jump ---
NPO joining ADN?
Sometime during 2005 The Pacific submitted an application to join ADN. It was just after Mammothistan became delegate. From what I remember he mostly did it on a whim, expecting a quick rejection. ADN didn't feel like playing along though, so started the application process, thinking that Mammothistan would quickly admit that his application wasn't serious. Having gotten caught up in a situation noone had actually thought through, neither side were willing to back down and lose face though. So we spent a month or so, posting cordial/snide replies back and forth, acting towards the rest of NS as if we all might actually be interested in seeing the Pacific become a part of ADN. What was really amusing though was the fact that the ADN leadership got to explain to the rest of ADN why having the NPO join ADN wouldn't be a total disaster, while the NPO senate found themselves having to pacify a bunch of irate district governors and Pacific citizens, who were pissed that Mammothistan had submitted the application without consulting them.
At that point in time the NPO and ADN really disliked and distrusted eachother, but neither side were willing to back down, even though the application process was leading everyone closer to an outcome noone actually wanted. It never did come to the NPO actually joining, but I think we reached the point of ADN getting the application vote going before someone decided to call it quits.
* Added 24/1-2014 10000 Islands
After some years where I wasn't really active I returned to Nationstates in early 2008 and joined 10000 Islands. At that point 10ki was one of the few defender regions still around, which I remembered from back in the day. I used to spend a lot of time defending with Fleeb and had gotten to know Anime Daisuki some years earlier, when I was hanging around FRA. With AD and MinnaCaroline (who I'd talked some with previously as well) still being active in 10ki it was an easy choice to join the region. At this point I was interested in getting back into defending, so I joined TITO and started keeping an eye out for invasions, which I forwarded to Anime Daisuki. Back then he was the sole TITO Tactical Officer, so after showing him and Grub that I knew what I was doing I became a Tactical Officer in March 2009.