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Operation Dice Drop for Zigggurat Con in Iraq

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-suggest-the-shackled-city-guys dept.

Role Playing (Games) 45

LandGator wrote with some information about the upcoming Ziggurat Con. Their catch phrase: "Where RPG isn't just a Rocket Propelled Grenade." This very special tabletop gaming event will be held on June 9th of this year ... at Camp Adder /Talil Airbase in Iraq. For nine hours on that day, gamers currently deployed to Iraq will be able to forget about the conflict by rolling dice and playing games. The con organizers are looking for willing folks to donate games and dice to the soldiers, as well as a little recognition for the d20-rolleres in harms way this year. "The Con's historical landmark 'mascot' -- the Ziggurat -- can be found on the post, and hails from the ancient city of Ur. Nearby is the house where it is believed that Abraham (a large figure in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah) was born. Cool digs for a Con -- if not for the fact that there's a war going on. [Convention organizer David] Amberson, however, emphasized the need for soldiers to relax and kick back with enjoyable activities from time to time."

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...and the winner... (4, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829009)

of the "Most Incomprehensible Headline" Award goes to...

Re:...and the winner... (4, Funny)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829813)

No kidding. I thought Ziggurat Con was some new kind of Pyramid Scheme.

Re:...and the winner... (1)

Mr_Trebuchet (674447) | more than 7 years ago | (#18830145)

What this particular article doesn't mention specificly is that there was some concern at one point that there would not be enough dice to go around. Donated dice := dice drop. Not so incomprehensible.

More details from the front (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835579)

http://kiloseven.blogspot.com/2007/04/operation-di ce-drop-live-from-iraq-its.html [blogspot.com]
has the list of games they want, a link to a postal cost calculator , deadlines for timely arrival of parcels, and the e-mail address for the Con Chair.

New Blog for Operation Dice Drop (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959041)

Portlanders (the Oregonian variety) have coughed up $50 cash to pay for shipment postal charges.
A game store, Rainy Day Games, discounts purchases for donation and accepts donations to be held for shipment.
My wife's Girrll Gamers group sewed their little fingers to the bone making dice bags and packaging sets of dice, as well as donating several pounds of dice, many, many miniatrues, and many books and games.
Details at the blog for Operation Dice Drop [blogspot.com] .

Would it be in poor taste... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18829035)

to donate games like Risk, Axis and Allies, Twilight 2000.

Re:Would it be in poor taste... (2, Funny)

spezz (150943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829065)

No, poor taste would be insisting that you be allowed to use "improvised magical devices"

Re:Would it be in poor taste... (0, Troll)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829075)

I don't think so. Irony died with this administration. Pointless to demonstrate its lack of self-awareness when they consider self-awareness a disadvantage.

Not in the least (1)

narftrek (549077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831971)

Speaking as someone who just left Tallil, I can tell you we regularly play Command and Conquer Generals, Call of Duty, Battlefield 1942 w/desert mods, etc on the LAN here. Not all of us have to go outside the wire and shoot at baddies. The soldiers here are not as shell shocked and nutso as the media leads on. Most of us communications guys are nerds just like yourselves but don't have to wonder what we're gonna wear today! Send whatever you want!

fp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18829049)

stw

hmm.. bad idea? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829055)

Is it just me or is it a bad idea to advertise this until after it is done with? I mean we have guys with mortars looking for easy targets, mention a bunch of guys are hanging around together in a small space in a set location.. well we know how that goes. Go at your own risk I'd say personally.

Still hope the guys have fun and don't get blown up.

Re:hmm.. bad idea? (1)

sys.napalm (558480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829695)

The IDF threat at Tallil is rockets which are notoriously inaccurate. JAM has failed to hit anything important there in a long long time. There's really nothing to be concerned about.

Re:hmm.. bad idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832597)

Gah, this negative stupid mindsets is abhorring.

"Of course, there will be no security.
And thousands of gamers will come.
And this is such an easy target."
Compared to the mess halls where everyone eats. The barracks where everyone sleeps.
Every time at the same time. At any day. At any week. At any month. (and I'd almost say "at any year" but we don't know how long it will last, so I'll refrain from that).

Think sensibly about security.
A con means a few people being together, having fun. That's good for morale. What are the odds some towelhead will stay in the sun for too long and think it's a viable target, compared to all the different targets already available?
The benefits far outweigh the risk. And really, there is no real additional risk compared to the risk the soldiers already are taking every day.

It's like saying "think of the children"... without even knowing how the situation is.
These happen to be adults, quite capable of being intelligent and making decisions on their own, about things they actually know about.

I like the idea, and the fact that the military is willing to let these events take place. Maybe it's a bit of a publicity stunt, but it's fine by me if it helps morale.

Re:hmm.. bad idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834503)

atleast if something were to happen like that, then we'd have no reason NOT to humiliate then murder every single towelhead.

Re:hmm.. bad idea? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18836233)

Yeah, 9/11 wasn't a big deal but a mortar strike againts tabletop players in a warzone will surely push the US government over the edge.

Re:hmm.. bad idea? (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835343)

a) Tallil is a BIG place.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=tALLIL,+Ir aq&layer=&sll=45.412759,-122.615635&sspn=0.214018, 0.431213&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=30.951859,46.13959&spn=0. 004085,0.006738&t=k&om=1&iwloc=addr [google.com]

b) Maskirova will undoubtedly be used; how do they know WHICH tent the gamers are in?

c) Besides, the gun bunnies will be playing the "Counter Battery Fire" game, for double XP.

Nice Gesture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18829089)

It might not be for everybody, but its always good to see when something good is being done for our troops overseas.

Whether you agree with the war or not, the boys and girls are putting their lives on the line to defend our freedom and our way of life, and they deserve all the best.

God Bless America and Support Our Troops.

Re:Nice Gesture (2, Insightful)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829165)

They're not defending our freedom or our way of life. They're defending a series of lies this administration has yet to own up to.

The best thing we could have done for our boys and girls—and not just the ones fighting the war—would have been NOT TO SEND THEM THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Re:Nice Gesture (2, Funny)

Jame_Retief (1090281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829491)

You are apparently blathering on, lost in your hatred. Even I, who have a deep and real fear of Hitlery getting elected, recognize that Bill Clinton had things he did well. The fact that you cannot see past your own prejudices and find that the soldiers ARE defending our way-of-life simply shows how narrow-minded you really are. What lies are being covered up? The ones that Pres. Clinton told when HE said that Iraq had WMD? Or when all the other members of that administration said the same thing? STOP DRINKING THE KOOL-AID and THINK FOR YOURSELF!!! If we were not busy draining the blood out of terrorism in Iraq we would be doing it here . . . which strikes me as being VERY BAD for our kids. Paricularly my own. It is great that the soldiers are looking to play games and relax. Besides which, maybe the organizer is using the time-tested approach of misleading the enemy and not telling the truth about when & where.

Re:Nice Gesture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18829725)

When Clinton said Iraq had WMDs there was no actual proof, so he didn't do anything. And zero people died and it cost zero dollars. When Bush said Iraq had WMDs, he still couldn't prove it, so they made shit up. So far it's cost thousands of lives and almost a trillion dollars, and guess what, there's still no WMDs.

Also, there were no "terrorists" in Iraq. Saddam would've killed people for having explosives and guns. Crazed dictators aren't so hot on their subjects having weapons. And he was already under enough scrutiny for being an asshole dictator, the last thing he needed was to be caught funding "terrorists". So why are they blowing up our troops now? Because we invaded their country and made their shitty lives even worse.

Re:Nice Gesture (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829879)

If we were not busy draining the blood out of terrorism in Iraq we would be doing it here . . . which strikes me as being VERY BAD for our kids.
And where do you think the now massively enlarged, better funded, better organized, battle hardened terrorists will attack once the US leaves Iraq? You're an idiot if you think they haven't been spending all this time finding (and not sending to their deaths) all the terrorists intelligent enough for a mission to the US. Thats not even talking about what will happen in 10 years when all the anti-US fervor and hatred that we've sowed in youths will finally be reaped. Or that we've turned Iraq over to the same religious group than runs Iran.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18830217)

Or that we've turned Iraq over to the same religious group than runs Iran.
Given the alternatives, Iranian control of Iraq could be the best thing that could happen. It would bring order to the region, and the internal religious battles would become Iran's problem, not the US. Iran can claim victory, while at the same time being saddled with reconstruction costs. For the US, a single enemy you know is better than many enemies you don't know.
The US still hasn't recognized the post-Cold War, new world order, which is moving towards regional control. Europe - EU, SE Asia - China, South America - Venezuala, Middle East - Iran.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

Jame_Retief (1090281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831263)

And where do you think the now massively enlarged, better funded, better organized, battle hardened terrorists will attack once the US leaves Iraq? You're an idiot if you think they haven't been spending all this time finding (and not sending to their deaths) all the terrorists intelligent enough for a mission to the US. Thats not even talking about what will happen in 10 years when all the anti-US fervor and hatred that we've sowed in youths will finally be reaped. Or that we've turned Iraq over to the same religious group than runs Iran.

There are not lots of people getting out. Their best and brightest go to Iraq and we KILL them. Dead is dead. The ones who live . . . are those providing the funding and direction (notice that Osama did not himself volunteer to fly one of those planes). Guess what? If it comes that they still want to come here ten years from now we will still slaughter them. But their funding will be less, not more. Ten years from now there will be less reliance (with some luck since the Democratic hypocrites don't want to cut back on oil use) on oil and foreign oil in particular. The one step that the Left in our country will not take in defeating terrorism . . . siding with the Right to do it. They succeeded in turning our victory in Vietnam into defeat and will continue push defeat out of the jaws of victory here.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831871)

Willful ignorance of this degree can't be for real. Your commentary is satire, isn't it? And the funniest part is that we're taking you seriously, right?

Re:Nice Gesture (2, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832121)

There are not lots of people getting out. Their best and brightest go to Iraq and we KILL them. Dead is dead.
You actually think an organization the size of some terrorist groups isn't keeping the best out of combat? You do realize that the best for fighting in Iraq and the best for fighting in the US are two very different types of people, right?

The ones who live . . . are those providing the funding and direction (notice that Osama did not himself volunteer to fly one of those planes). Guess what?
Of course the ones in charge don't sacrifice their lives, Bush isn't there fighting either last I checked.

If it comes that they still want to come here ten years from now we will still slaughter them.
You mean like we slaughtered the hijackers on 9/11... last I checked we didn't so so well on stopping that one. I mean how do you think they'll attack is in the future.

But their funding will be less, not more. Ten years from now there will be less reliance (with some luck since the Democratic hypocrites don't want to cut back on oil use) on oil and foreign oil in particular.
US oil usage is going up all the time as are prices, in 10 years we'll be if lucky using the same amount of oil. You think that in 3 years anyone will even give a damn about limiting foreign oil?

The one step that the Left in our country will not take in defeating terrorism . . . siding with the Right to do it. They succeeded in turning our victory in Vietnam into defeat
Lol, Vietnam was a clusterfuck which gained nothing. It'd have gained nothing even if we had held the damn country from uniting.

and will continue push defeat out of the jaws of victory here.
Victory? Christ you're insane. We're losing more lives every day, Iraq is essentially in a civil war, oil prices are at a record high, the US is hated world wide, Afghanistan is returning to what it was before the war, Iran is making nukes and we don't even have the forces left to invade them if need be.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833651)

You actually think an organization the size of some terrorist groups isn't keeping the best out of combat?

I choose to think the 'terrorist organizations' aren't really that well or wisely organized. It's hard when your 'foot soldiers' are frothing religious zealots. It really wasn't that big of an organized feat to use the planes for the 9/11 attack, esp. not in the 'security environment' or lack therof, of the time.

Somehow I don't buy into the notion that some Dr. Evil hidden in a volcano somewhere is directing the placement of IEDs in Iraq. It's decentralized, disorganized, and can be defeated by attrition.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835695)

I choose to think the 'terrorist organizations' aren't really that well or wisely organized.
You don't need great organization, you need half decent organization and marginally intelligent leaders.

It's hard when your 'foot soldiers' are frothing religious zealots.
Why? Most armies are made of such people after all. Replace zealot with nationalistic or political and you have some of the most devastating armies of the last century. All you need to do is direct them after all and not even mass death will cause them to waver. Grunts can be canon fodder as long as the people higher up aren't as suicidal which they usually aren't in these organizations.

It really wasn't that big of an organized feat to use the planes for the 9/11 attack, esp. not in the 'security environment' or lack therof, of the time.
But they did it and the security environment isn't much better now either. They found the right people for the job even when there weren't recruits pilling at their doorways and they found the right plan given the limitations they had.

Somehow I don't buy into the notion that some Dr. Evil hidden in a volcano somewhere is directing the placement of IEDs in Iraq. It's decentralized, disorganized, and can be defeated by attrition.
I never said that, you don't seem to understand how much loose organizations can do despite their limitations. All the leaders need is to have it known that certain types of people are wanted and have them sent to a certain location if they are found at training camps. Reward those training camps/commanders who send the best such people upwards, either materially or spiritually (ie: some BS about helping the cause greatly). It won't be efficient or foolproof but should probably get them more than enough people, a thousand would be more than enough I'd assume.

More importantly lack of central organization helps them in this as there is no idiot on the top to truly force others to follow idiotic schemes, stifle good ones or micromanage things to hell. Worse catching one group doesn't necessarily mean we'll learn anything about larger plans no matter how high up the people we catch were.

Nonetheless I do agree that it is stupid to overestimate these people but at the same time it is even worse to underestimate what they can do. There is a reason those in power grow paranoid of even the smallest dissident groups.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835507)

This is probably the smartest deconstruction of this "patriotist" type bullshit I see everywhere here on /.

If the US as a whole woke the fuck up and smelt the coffee (shipped in from other countries US administrations have oppressed) maybe tyrants like George W Stalin wouldn't be in control of your country.

So long as there's idiots in power who believe the best way to "defend freedom" *cough*bullshit*cough* is to attack another country, the world will continue to be destabalised. I mean, come on, Vietnam are still feeling the effects of the American War (to be correct it wasn't the Vietnam War), not to mention the "collateral damager" of countries like Cambodia & Laos.

While I don't wish harm to any person serving in a war, I do wish harm to ANY soldier who is commiting the atrocities that are currently being carried out in Iraq - it is NEVER right to kill innocents (I know some slackjawed yokel is going to run with that comment, GL with that one).

Anyway, my point is really this - invading a country, whether you call it "liberating" or "bringing freedom", is NEVER right... in fact, under the rules of engagement, it's counted as "agression", which is worse than terrorism.

Re:Nice Gesture (2, Interesting)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832495)

If countries that harbor terrorists [wikipedia.org] , invade [wikipedia.org] democracies [wikipedia.org] for picking [wikipedia.org] leaders whose policies they oppose [wikipedia.org] , and support vicious dictators(too many to list) deserve invasion to restore democracy, then America is at the top of the list. Considering that 60% percent of the people who voted for Bush considered that "moral values" meant social justice or reducing greed (Chomsky, Noam Failed States) I seriously do not see anything wrong with such an action, other then the fact that Americans should be doing it themselves.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18847217)

Yep.
Could not have said it better.
However, let the troops know who likes them, and you will have several hundred thousand heavily armed friends some day.

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831841)

In all honesty, please explain: How did invading Iraq have anything to do with "defending our way of life"?

Re:Nice Gesture (1)

RyatNrrd (662756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835801)

By ensuring the availability of petroleum?

Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833715)

The parent post has to be flamebait. I can't see how anybody can believe the logic behind "fighting them over there..." and still be able to run a computer.

Re:Nice Gesture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18829673)

CAn we keep the politics out of it and just support the deployed troops trying to find something to do? Would hate to see this spiral into a debate about the proper uses of troops and the vast money being spent on the government contractors who are over there supporting our troops but getting paid four times as much without much risk. oops...I guess my politics are coming through.

I've been to Talil and it's a giant mudhole during the rainy season and a dustbowl during the dry season. Glad to see they are holding an event like this there. Would have loved to have had it when I was there.

Re:Nice Gesture (0, Troll)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18830411)

Hells yah man. L:es, more lies and even more lies. Does Bush lie to cover up the old lies? Or does lie about the new lies to lie about the even older lies? It must be very confusing to be him and his administration. What lies to do deny or admit? And yet he lies even more.....

Was that a joke? (2, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18830971)

Muwhahahaaah

10x more people die yearly from car fatalities caused by illegal immigrants in USA than of 911.

Is maths that hard to comprehend?

Those countries at war, never threatened usa, and never cared what you did at home, but your USA govt did, it cares, so much that it regulates it, checks it, makes sure you
obey the law. Unless you make millions, you have no freedoms really.

Re:Was that a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831745)

And the, public education system, seems to have, failed you horribly.

lemme be the first... (1, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829299)

to offer a fukyeah on this one. I was and continue to be very polarised against this war, but had the chance to meet a soldier on leave while at a friend's house a couple of months back (unusual company for my rather rabidly anti-military friends).

The guy was in a combat group that had lost a good number of soldiers while being deployed in some heavy fighting. This guy carried a gun and shot at baddies and all the rest.

But under it all he was just a geek who had needed money and a way out of his tiny dead end town... so joined the military in peace time to get some technical training. He experienced guilt and remorse over things that had happened. He questioned the reason he was there. He was going back so that 'someone else didn't have to go in his place.'

I for one will be looking for my old dice set to send... it's not like i use 'em.

Regards.

p.s. this guy had actually recieved fairly comprehensive networking training in the services, so he actually had made a good peace-time decision to improve his lot in life. Remember they aren't all rabid psychopaths.

Re:lemme be the first... (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829321)

Most of them aren't rabid psychopaths.

Re:lemme be the first... (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18829367)

Prolly not, but all of my other experience with soldiers was through my crazy friggin uncle. They were definitely ALL rabid psychopaths.

Re:lemme be the first... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18829899)

Wars are crazy and psychopathic.
Not everyone makes it out ok mentally.

Unlike what some would have you believe, the casualties are not anywhere near as bad as Vietnam or Korea or WW2 or WW1.

I know a guy who was in vietnam, he lost 70 some odd percent of the guys in his platoon on the second day there. Then they promote him to just under the leader, cause everyone was pretty much dead. There goes the innocent 17 year old farm kid trying to get off the farm.

Go insult people who deserve it.

Re:lemme be the first... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832257)

The fact that you need to remind us that all members of the military are not "raving psychopaths", as if this bit of information is revolutionary and surprising, shows an astounding lack of critical thinking and reasoning skills. This is probably not surprising since you and your friends are "rabidly anti-military", which is in and of itself a stunningly ignorant thing to be. As if being a member of the military somehow makes you responsible for those above you who make decisions you may or may not agree with.

Re:lemme be the first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833613)

I'm not a rabid psychopath! I've been to Iraq twice! That means that at least two of us that aren't rapid psychopaths! YAAYYY!!!!!!

Re:lemme be the first... (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835411)

Like First Blogger Dr. Jerry Pournelle
http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/currentview.htm l [jerrypournelle.com]
I was opposed to Shrub's Folly.

But, I'm also a Red Crosser, and don't want GI Joes and Janes to have a maximally frackked experience.

A little bit of humanity protects dogfaces from PTSD. It sucketh massively to grow another crop of PTSD'd zombie combat vets like so many of buds who went to 'Nam and left their souls there. I want to protect them, for if they don't turn into stone-faced killers, and stay human, they'll kill less innocent Iraqis, and come home saner.

Let's leave alone the stuff that's above their pay grade, and instead of being fruitlessly political, go ponder how to assure this doesn't happen again, eh?

LAN parties (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18839283)

When I was down there, myself (Army) and one of the civilians who ran the camp help desk would setup monthly LAN parties in one of the tents. We took a couple of backup switches, some of the briefing projectors, and several power strips and took over the MWR (Morale Welfare Recreation) tent for a night.

I was on a transient camp in Kuwait that funneled Soldiers from all countries into Iraq, so there wasn't much of an infrastructure for these guys to get together for some gaming. We basically just told everyone a couple days in advance, so anyone who was on camp would get a chance to come game for several hours.

I travelled between camps a lot with my job, but I was always asking around about what sort of similar events were available on the other camps, and very rarely did I actually find anything similar.

The issue is, mainly, it takes a decently ranking person to sign a memorandum to allow people to leave a camp. When you begin coordinating events like this, if you don't have that support from higher, then each camp is on their own to create an infrastructure for these types of events. Needless to say, this doesn't happen. You'd be amazed how out of several thousand people, only one or two might be willing and have the ability to setup something like this, and then they gotta actually THINK of doing it.

I really like how these guys are getting this going. Hopefully someone doesn't forget to mail them some model trees and shrubs, cuz otherwise every battle will be on a sand table :\
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