Daily Archives: April 23, 2018

Kickstarter to Play the Top Secret Game from the CIA

Another Kickstarter I think is worth noting.  Two in one month, what is happening?

Anyway, this Kickstarter campaign is from Mike Masnick of TechDirt, a site I should probably have on my side bar somewhere, and features a recently declassified card game used by the CIA to train their analysts.

Collect it All

From the Kickstarter:

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a CIA operative? The CIA designed a classified card game which they use to train their analysts. They recently declassified it and we’re adapting the game so you can play it too.

CIA: Collect It All is a competitive card game based on the CIA game Collection Deck. Players take on the role of agents who are collecting intelligence and tackling security threats over multiple rounds.

Drawing from a deck of over 150 cards, players start each round with a hand full of intelligence tactics and must devise strategies to successfully defuse various crises. The tactics and crises all contain aspects – Political, Military, Economic, and Weapons – and players can only tackle crises if they have tactics with matching aspects. However, rival players also have “reality check” cards that they can play to complicate their opponents’ efforts.

Color me interested, if only to see to gain some insight into how the CIA views the world.

The campaign kicked off today and is already more than $8,000 in towards its $30,000 goal so, given my usual first day rule of thumb (20% funded or bust), it looks like it is on its way to success if it can just keep its momentum going.  That means getting the word out, and since I want a copy, I’m helping with that.

The pledge options are pretty simple.  For $10 you can get a print-your-own PDF copy of the game and for $29 you get a physical boxed game plus the PDF version.

More details about the source of the game, once classified TOP SECRET, and how it came to be the focus of this campaign is available on the Kickstarter page.  Check it out.

Field Research and Pokemon Go

Niantic has slowly been refining and expanding the game play options for Pokemon Go.

Players have gotten better, more frequent, and more diverse events with the game.  I was especially good with the recent event that focused on the first generation Pokemon, making them more readily available and boosting the candies awarded on catching them to help people fill out their Kanto Pokedex.  I was also good with the last community day, which featured Mareep, one of my favorite Pokemon.

Mareep the Sheep

But one of the more interesting things of late in Pokemon Go was the introduction of Research.  Those are essentially little tasks to complete, for which you get a reward.  There are two flavors of research, field and special.  For each you have a series of tasks to complete for which you receive and overall reward on top of the bennie for each task.

Field research tends to be the easier group to complete.  For those you get a stamp each day for the first on you complete, earning a prize when you get enough stamps.

One more stamp for a prize

The field research tasks range from easy to annoying.  You pick them up at Pokestops and my very first one was to visit 10 Pokestops.  I happened to be in our local downtown area, which has a dozen Pokestops fairly close together.  I had that done in a snap.

Other ones, like catching a few Pokemon of a given type or getting a candy with your current buddy, or evolving a Pokemon were pretty straightforward.  Others were less so.  At one point I had this lineup.

Throwing me a curve ball

I would love to be able to complete the middle task, catching 3 Treecko or Mudkips.  But seeing that they are pretty rare around where I live and work, that is a tough one.  I still have that one as of this writing, with on Treecko caught so far.

The other two involve throwing curve balls… something I didn’t know how to do in the first place… and having them land multiple times in a row.  Getting my curve ball mojo running that well was a challenge indeed.  I actually ran through all of my base Pokeballs and a good chunk of my Great Balls knocking out those two.

The problem was that I’d find the sweet spot on a Pokemon and get that first “nice” throw (“Great” and “Excellent” also count) and then catch it.  Then I would have to hit again with a different Pokemon who was often a different size or further away on the field, leading to a miss and resetting the counter again.

Still, I got there, finishing up the 5 consecutive curve balls first, only to be rewarded with another curve ball task to replace it.  Fortunately it was just three that time.

And, once I had my stamps for that round, the reward was a shot at Moltres, a rare Pokemon.  Fortunately I had some golden razz berries from raid battles in my bag for just such an opportunity.  Caught him on the first throw.

Moltres obtained

That was worth the effort on the “collect ’em all” front.

If I get an opportunity like that when I finish up a seven daily field research tasks I’ll be pretty happy.  Of course, I am sitting at number seven today and my options are not so good.

My current task list

I need to hit a Pokestop for a third option, because the first two may take some time.

I also need to do another raid battle to wrap up my final special research task to see what that brings.

Anyway, Pokemon Go keeps on improving in small increments over time.