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The Real Legion Story of GW3


Lord Swampy
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For those of you who missed it, I've decided to write down the stories of my three years in CN, starting from the beginning. After Episode I got a mostly approving reception, I figured I'd polish up and publish Episode II. When we last left young Lord Swampy, Great War II had ended, the New Dominion went underground, and Swampy had been promoted.

Episode II - Ascent to Cabinet and the Third Great War

After being appointed Director of Communications, I spent my time trying to revitalize some publicity, working with a Legionnaire named Gman08 who was talented in the Photoshop program. We worked on a poster series and I began planning a Legion newsletter and conscripting moviemaking Legionnaires for a video propaganda series. A program I had recently started, the Legion Lottery, was going well and helping equip Legionnaires with nuclear weapons. I also had been spending terrifically fun evenings once a week holding my radio show with a large Legion audience. My WVBU broadcasts to the Legion are still some of my fondest memories of my time with CN. The rest of the Legion was looking around anxiously, because the world was still a very tense place post-GW2. Many Legionnaires were still upset about our abstention from the war.

Elections came in mid-February, and I tossed my hat in the race for Deputy Prime Minister. I didn’t really expect to win after Reformentia nominated himself for the same post a day later because I knew he was much more experienced than I; I had even privately told him before elections that he should run for something because the Legion needs him. The rest of the races were also very exciting, especially the crowded Foreign Minister’s race and Home Minister’s race, both of which included at least five candidates. Somehow, I beat Reformentia and I made it into a Cabinet of people I considered decent friends: GunneR, Sinatra, and Sir Galahad, led by VL. But something bothered me, and that night I had a conversation with my Prime Minister I’ll never forget.

I confronted VL about lying to the last Cabinet, and asked if he’d lie to us too. His response was that he’d do what he felt was best for the Legion, even if it meant lying. He stressed that 99.9% of the time he was honest, but on very specific occasions a lie or fib was the best option. For better or for worse, that introduction to top level Legion politics colored my development as a leader for the rest of my tenure in the Legion. Perhaps it led to some decisions I’m not proud of, but it also led to decisions that I still honestly believe were the right calls.

The term started off pretty nicely. The Legion was the biggest alliance in the world, and had a bulging human infrastructure within it to try to manage over 1500 nations. VL’s mission was clear: build Orrple into a bloc that could break away from CN politics and go focus on its own growth and economic development unfettered by the polarized MDP web. The Cabinet backed that goal, and moved toward it by approaching various alliances about it including /b/, CDS, NAAC, and even GPA. In fact, I remember my first diplomatic talks with an alliance; VL brought Sir Galahad and I to speak with GPA representatives about signing a treaty with us. No treaty came of it of course, but it was fun meeting and discussing business with them. It would prove a stark contrast to the next diplomatic mission I’d undertake.

We felt we were making good progress abroad, and at the same time internally we were happy. I have great memories of late night games of online Monopoly with friends and allies. Some folks weren’t thrilled about how things went in the election and split off to form their own alliance called Valhalla, and there was a lot of resentment on both sides. Some in the Legion tried to quell it while others only exacerbated the issue, and the same could be said about the Valhallans. We didn’t think much on them though, and focused on our own house until Sir Galahad spoke to Vincent_Xander, GATO Assembly Chairman, about GATO’s potentially threatening stance towards NPO. The Legion wanted no part of anymore animosity or fighting or bickering over ancient history, and SG told VX as much. I told SG we’d need to withdraw from the treaty because GATO clearly wanted to head down a road antithetical to the Legion’s aims. How we went about doing so was a huge blunder on our part.

The logs got posted on our forum’s Private Discussions section as evidence against the GATO MDP, but anyone who was around and paying attention back then remembers the Legion’s forum security was awful and the logs got leaked quickly. NPO used it as a staging point for an effective PR campaign against GATO. The recently crowned Emperor Moo even commented that perhaps he had misjudged Legion’s intentions, having now seen a private conversation portraying Legion’s earnest repulsion from GATO’s anti-NPO sentiments. VL and the Cabinet tried to cancel the GATO treaty, but did so without due process. The membership backlash from those who wanted to stand with GATO against NPO snowballed until some were calling for VL’s impeachment. In the end, we went back and tried to vote it out, but the knee-jerk movement to keep it was already very strong and the MDP remained intact. The leadership looked like fools and kept a treaty that dragged us into a war we didn’t want any part of, but I learned something about how to present decisions to the membership in such a way that they’ll accept—a lesson that would come in handy in a month.

It didn’t take long after the logs got leaked for war to break out. The Legion mobilized as best as it could, but we were a lumbering giant, tripping over our own mass. Before things actually got rolling, the Cabinet received a tip from a member whose nation was mistakenly sent a message clearly not meant for him. The PM contained orders for TOP, FAN, and VE to hit the Legion when Legion entered the fray. In a very controversial decision, VL decided we would strike at TOP and FAN, instead of waiting for them to go on the offensive against us. The Legion held an NAP with TOP and a treaty of recognition with FAN (FAN already had a policy against NAPs by the time our GLOCK treaty was written—it said virtually nothing of any substance whatsoever beyond affirming FAN’s affinity for firearms). TOP’s NAP had a self-voiding clause that triggered when one of us went against an ally of the other’s. When TOP threw their support behind NPO’s attacks on GATO on March 19, that treaty was cancelled. These realities did nothing to prevent WUT propagandists from slandering the Legion as treaty-breakers, of course, for our assault against those set to attack us.

I remember the thrill and anxiety in #Sanctum, the IRC command center for Aegis. I got to meet some very interesting people from a wide array of alliances, folks I’ve only ever heard of and seen making posts here and there. It was packed full of leaders, and the energy was palpable. Make no mistake, it was a total madhouse. No clear leadership, no uniform direction, no decent battle plan. It was a bigger clusterfrak than I could have realized then, but that was also where I first met people I still call my friends today, players like Archon, Virillus, and others. Something else was odd about leadership. I didn’t see it at the time because I wasn’t expecting it at all, but in retrospect I got the distinct impression that a lot of people were looking to the Legion to lead the war effort for Aegis. I suppose it made sense that we would, as the biggest, strongest behemoth on our side. What felt awkward about that at the beginning of the war was what doomed us all the way though: our inexperience.

One of my clearest memories from the early days of the war was talking with /b/’s second-in-command, furseiseki, convincing her to toss /b/ into the fight, against VE. Moreover, we discussed a problem, that Heft was possibly an NPO plant or spy in IRON, based on logs that revealed Heft talking to Philosopher, feeding him intel from #Sanctum. One of the projects the two of us attempted the rest of the war was trying to build enough evidence that Heft was leaking information to NPO from IRON and our side’s private channel, but by the time furseiseki and I had enough the war was almost over and she said Sister Midnight, then President of IRON, was in denial about Heft even after chewing him out for leaking information to NPO. Ever since he ran to Philosopher with private Aegis intel, I never really trusted or respected Heft.

I genuinely thought during most of the war that we were winning and the numbers were an illusion, but there was no getting around it by the end. We sucked. Half of our members left under the pressure, and our admiralty system was great to deal with nuclear rogues and isolated pests—not a large-scale war. Instead, we tried to stem large-scale desertions. The home we loved so dearly came crashing down around us. What was at first excitement at the thought that we’d finally be able to end the WUT hegemony and lift NPO’s stranglehold on Digiterra descended into despair that the arrayed forces against the Initiative were being crushed so soundly.

That war was hell on toast for that Cabinet. VL was not nearly active enough. I spent part of the war in the hospital having heart surgery, largely cut off from the Internet. I managed to largely miss /b/’s monstrous departure, the CN code getting stolen, and the game shutting down. The Legion was still having security issues, and members were resigning in quick succession. Our Foreign Minister Sir Galahad left, feeling like he was the only one doing any work in our government. We were stretched too thin, and we didn’t even have the time or manpower to follow up adequately on information being passed to us about the Valhallan spy in our ranks, USNN.

As our alliance struggled and morale fell, our Aegis-mates left the war one by one. Our strategy of knocking out WUT’s smaller players in order to focus on NPO in the second phase of the war had failed miserably. The Legion’s personal strategy to attack two hours before update backfired. It was a steaming pile of failure on our part on just so many levels. Around the first week in April, I realized the sooner we surrendered the more of the alliance would be left to carry on and live. There was a problem though: VL had just publicly scorned and mocked Ivan Moldavi in the first attempt at terms. I could tell VL was tired of CN drama and had had enough of the stress from what should have been a fun experience. Nevertheless, his offense made getting terms from WUT tricky; they refused to speak with him after that.

We started getting desperate. Government and membership alike talked of folding into ODN, or disbanding publicly and reforming in several months under another guise, or settling into an underground resistance movement. After NAAC disbanded, I realized that if someone didn’t get us out of this war, the Legion would be next. I remembered what VL had told me my first night in office, about doing what was best for the Legion even at the price of total honesty. That night I decided to go approach NPO for terms myself, without telling VL. It was quite a different experience than my friendly meeting with GPA just weeks earlier.

After hours of negotiating and arguing, we hammered out our conditions of surrender, and they weren’t pretty at all. Aside from crippling reparations, VL and Great Britain would have to be exiled and I knew what that would mean for them. After they were agreed upon, I began the task of getting the terms passed and apologized to VL for what was to come. He was my Prime Minister, and I felt terrible that I went behind his back to sign him over to the NPO, but I saw no other way for the Legion to survive the war.

I took to heart the lessons I learned from the GATO MDP debacle, and this time I posted the terms in the Legion’s Discussions simultaneously with a post from each Cabinet member asking the Legion membership to accept the terms and honor the sacrifice VL and Great Britain would be making. Under great pressure from NPO government, I expedited the process further and wrote the post of one Cabinet member for him because I hadn’t gotten his yet and we were on a timetable I didn’t want to risk breaking at the cost of terms being withdrawn. I’ve never been morally comfortable with that decision since I made it, and even now I regret putting words into another person’s mouth that egregiously. If you’re out there, somewhere, reading this and willing to accept it, I want to say publicly and sincerely that I’m still very sorry for doing that to you, GunneR.

The Legion agreed to the terms, and with a heavy heart we cast out VL and Great Britain. I always have wished, still wish now, and always will wish that it had been me instead of VL who was ejected under those terms. I even offered my head to NPO in place of his, but was refused. VL, you were always the better man and better leader. You didn’t deserve what happened to you, and for my part in it I’m terribly, terribly sorry. There was no other way out than surrender, and no surrender to be had without you gone.

And so I took the Prime Minister’s seat, and appointed the competent and weathered veteran Atlashill to my now empty chair to sit through the last days of the term bereft of our dignity, our happy little world, and a sad many friends. When the term ended, I took a much-needed break from Cybernations and running the Legion. I was burnt out, feeling sad and guilty, and had another heart surgery coming up. I kept my AA, but I didn’t even stick around to see myself get inducted into the Legion Hall of Fame, along with my dear friend Rakari. The Legion never fully recovered from the Great War III loss, due in part to the later losses that continued to set us back, and the crushing defeat of our armies and our reputation.

Great Wars make great stories of their own right, and I wanted to keep this Episode a bit shorter than the last, so it only covers about three months. Given the historical importance of the war, I figured it deserved its own Episode. Tune in next time for Episode III - Seeing Red on Purple Sphere. Thanks again for reading!

Regards,

Swampy

Edited by Lord Swampy
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Moreover, we discussed a problem, that Heft was possibly an NPO plant or spy in IRON, based on logs that revealed Heft talking to Philosopher, feeding him intel from #Sanctum. One of the projects the two of us attempted the rest of the war was trying to build enough evidence that Heft was leaking information to NPO from IRON and our side’s private channel, but by the time furseiseki and I had enough the war was almost over and she said Sister Midnight, then President of IRON, was in denial about Heft even after chewing him out for leaking information to NPO. Ever since he ran to Philosopher with private Aegis intel, I never really trusted or respected Heft.

Half the people in #Sanctum could tell what Heft was up to from the beginning, and expressed that on a daily basis. Why he was consistently allowed back in the room, despite several kickings, is beyond me.

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Ever since he ran to Philosopher with private Aegis intel, I never really trusted or respected Heft.

To be perfectly fair, I told Dilber a bunch of stuff I found out when I was in sanctum the few times. This is more Aegis' fault than anything, the IRON government wanted no part of your side. Our council discussions were along the idea of "We do not participate but if we have to get involved we back NPO" and thinking otherwise was a mistake on your part.

EDIT: It's actually all the more embarressing if half of you realised it at the time.

EDIT2: Good read though, interesting perspective.

Edited by Shan Revan
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I came across your nation back while you were still on perma-ZI. I did a bit of investigation into the matter and discovered that you had in fact been on perma-ZI for longer than my nation had existed, in which time I had come to lead a midsized alliance. I was extremely impressed by your ability to persevere through such a sentence, and wondered why you never gave up hope.

Thanks for the picture of the man behind the nation. Looking forward to future installments. :)

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It didn’t take long after the logs got leaked for war to break out. The Legion mobilized as best as it could, but we were a lumbering giant, tripping over our own mass. Before things actually got rolling, the Cabinet received a tip from a member whose nation was mistakenly sent a message clearly not meant for him. The PM contained orders for TOP, FAN, and VE to hit the Legion when Legion entered the fray. In a very controversial decision, VL decided we would strike at TOP and FAN, instead of waiting for them to go on the offensive against us. The Legion held an NAP with TOP and a treaty of recognition with FAN (FAN already had a policy against NAPs by the time our GLOCK treaty was written—it said virtually nothing of any substance whatsoever beyond affirming FAN’s affinity for firearms). TOP’s NAP had a self-voiding clause that triggered when one of us went against an ally of the other’s. When TOP threw their support behind NPO’s attacks on GATO on March 19, that treaty was cancelled. These realities did nothing to prevent WUT propagandists from slandering the Legion as treaty-breakers, of course, for our assault against those set to attack us.

Interesting. Mistakenly received orders. I remember quite well that certain CIS government member leaked screenshot from high WUT government subforum. In the screenshot, mpol? or someone else IIRC from FAN was laying out potential scenario for the war. And there he said that TOP/FAN should cover Legion.

I always thought this was how you found out, not via "mistakenly sent PM". It was posted on OWF after all. I also believe that this decision contributed to Legion's fall, as instead of FAN/TOP hitting vast numbers of ghosts and inactives in Legion, we had clear active targets which we could swarm and dismantle one by one.

Edited by Saber
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For better or for worse, that introduction to top level Legion politics colored my development as a leader for the rest of my tenure in the Legion. Perhaps it led to some decisions I’m not proud of [...]

That's sailing close to blaming VL (who disconnected for our sins) for your own failings, Swampy.

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TOP’s NAP had a self-voiding clause that triggered when one of us went against an ally of the other’s. When TOP threw their support behind NPO’s attacks on GATO on March 19, that treaty was cancelled. These realities did nothing to prevent WUT propagandists from slandering the Legion as treaty-breakers, of course, for our assault against those set to attack us.

Of course, the treaty wasn't even half as clear cut as that, and the giving of public support was not exactly listed in the treaty (the treaty itself can still be viewed on our forums). Not that we didn't fully plan to use a similar reasoning if you hit NPO or other INI allies.

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After NAAC disbanded, I realized that if someone didn’t get us out of this war, the Legion would be next.

My understanding is the Legion surrendered on the 10th of April. The NAAC fought until the 14th and was the last combatant to leave the Aegis side of the conflict.

http://z15.invisionfree.com/Cyber_Nations/...showtopic=63831 <--- Legion Surrender

http://z15.invisionfree.com/Cyber_Nations/...=64609&st=0 <--- NAAC disbandment

Ofcourse I think I understand what you mean and what you have confused. At the time NPO gave Grub the most humiliating terms, roughly about the same time and they were posted on the AP section of the OWF to point that fact out. It also indicated that the NAAC was about ready to leave the conflict at the time.

But due to the ridiculous terms, and the NAAC's resolve to see the war to it's end they were never accepted.

Otherwise that was great work. Please write more.

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I remember Legion had accepted surrender and left the war, so had GATO for that matter, before NAAC disbanded. Didn't FAN attack them under one of their 'Order something' threads once they'd finished with Legion?

This was a very interesting read Swampy. Filled in some blanks and brought back memories. Good and bad.

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Also just for clarity:

NPO gave Grub the most humiliating terms

There were other players involved ofcourse. Notably NpO and other Initiative alliances. But NPO was the party with the most interest, since as they put it at the time "this is the 5th time we've gone to war with the NAAC".

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Very nice piece. The IRON part was really interesting. The GATO leaders at the time seemed to think that IRON had lost its mind, spending time with the NPO instead of backing GATO.

For my msn, I made a custom smiley that replaced GATO with an image that flashed WORST ALLIANCE EVER.

Seriously they had the wrong idea about us. Sure our membership was certainly very split on the issue, but council was mostly against Aegis.

When they invited me into sanctum the first time they had chris kaos and reuben trying to convince me. These were two people I disliked most in cn. Really. Really did not get us at all. The constant "you're going to be next if we fail!" arguments just pissed us off and they persisted with them even after told such.

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