Cyrus has been listening to "Don't Worry, Be Happy" on repeating loop since I got home from work. I'm frightened. He e-mailed me new lyrics he wrote for it, based on my affinity for chaos, called "Don't Worry. Be Random." The best part was:
Got no walls, got no tanks
Paulo advancing on the north flank
Don't worry. Be random.
That pretty much encapsulates every competition between Paulo and me ever. He wins almost every encounter, sooner or later, but he did once pay me a great compliment: "The thing I have to keep in mind when playing against you is that you will never do anything I have heard of before."
The best way to beat someone who's read Sun Tzu and Five Rings and studied military history is to be completely batshit crazy.
The best example of this kind of behavior on my part comes not from Paulo but from Chris, the infamous "Siege of Mason Tirith". See, I kept beating Chris at this very loose strategy game we came up with when we were bored. So he decided he wanted a battle stacked massively in his favor: he got Mordor's army from the siege of Minas Tirith as depicted in the Peter Jackson movie of The Return of the King (he hadn't yet read the book at that point), and I got Gondor's army. But instead of a nice fortress to defend, I got our college campus, with a couple of walls tossed in.
He beat me, but my 10,000 troops took down 200,000 of his. I am a master of forcing my opponent into a Pyrrhic victory. First, he moved in fire-catapults. I countered with Gandalf. BOOM! Barely got back into the walls alive, though. When he finally broke through my outermost walls, he marched his troops in through the student apartments, which were lightly manned. I had archers and trebuchets set up, silent and camouflaged, in them, doing NOTHING until his front lines were PAST them. Then they started slaughtering the middle ranks, who were trapped. After that, he had to make sure to thoroughly clean out EVERY BUILDING along his path. So I started putting kamikaze engineer teams in them, who would wait for his cleaner-group to be inside the building, then collapse it on top of themselves. I forced him to come at me through narrow tunnels one soldier at a time, and put Gimli or Legolas or Aragorn blocking the way. I killed SEVERAL Ringwraiths -- the best was the one I got with the point-blank trebuchet. And then, when defeat was assured, I had my last few troops escape the main citadel through tunnels and attack his reserve force from behind. And collapsed the citadel on thousands of orcs. Then I had my people scatter across the map, forcing him to hunt us through the outlying woods, while we picked off his people here and there.
I managed to stretch the battle out over more than a week, and forced him to send reinforcements -- the army Gondor really fought at the Black Gate. Which means Frodo would've been able to make it to Mt. Doom. As far as I'm concerned, I won. Chris disagrees, though.
NaNo report: 9,719/15,000
Not too shabby -- made the 2,000 goal, at least. Not feeling sleepy, so I might stay up and write more. If I do, I'll update with how far I got. Still introducing characters and subplots. I have a bloody lot of them.
I don't think my approach is quite consistent with the idea of NaNo. I *can't* just leave whatever I write as is, with no editing-as-I-go. The problem is that sometimes, while I'm typing, my mind wanders, and I find I've written "hedgehog stew potato faction random hat purple" or something like that. Just strings of meaningless words (hat, penguin, hedgehog, and chaos are the most common, I've noticed). I really don't think it would be fair to include those in my word count. Speaking of which, I haven't updated my count on the NaNo site since the first day. I think I will when I catch up. I'll probably post the prologue as an excerpt, too.
I haven't put any chapter divisions into my story. I have blank lines between scenes, but those are generally too short to stand by themselves as chapters. I suppose I could declare each of Teresa's journal entries as the beginning of a new chapter, but that means chapters of wildly variable length. I'll worry about it after I'm done writing.