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Just Imagine - A Lego RTS

Just imagine...


... Imagine a computer game. More specifically, a real-time-strategy game.
But not with medieval knights. Not with spacemen. No, something far better - with both.


Both sides made out of Lego bricks.


Imagine starting with the classic AOE three minifigures...
Imagine harvesting Yellow bricks to build more minifigures....
Imagine harvesting Grey bricks to build weapons for those minifigures...
...  and harvesting all sorts of bricks to start building small vehicles....
Imagine using those vehicles to harvest more bricks to build more vehicles....
... to build war machines of destruction...


... And then imagine the other player doing exactly the same thing.



Picture the carnage. Robin Hood's arrows bringing down giant alien spaceships, which are in turn bombing Aquanauts submarines trying to mine silver crystals to add a giant death beam to the Neptune Discovery Lab. Mars Mission tanks grabbing with Police Cars, and aliens walking away handcuffed. Pirate ships boarding submarines. Chrome Crushers drilling the front off those inferior Power Miners vehicles. Spamming Galaxy Squad speeders to fight off an unexpected invasion of tribesmen lead by Achu. Training "super units", like the MX-81 Hypersonic Operations Aircraft, only to find that your enemy has build the Mobile Devastator before you and has just wiped out half of your Aquanaut allies...


... and of course, destroying anything yields precious bricks back, so imagine sending a fleet of Small Transport Trucks to pick up the wreckage of the defeated Agent Bikes so you can upgrade your Chrome Crushers to have a second laser on them to defeat the second wave of inevitable Agent Bikes...


... and using those bricks to repair your frontline Exo-Force mechs with Mechanics while they pelt away at the Fire Station...



... then imagine starting LDD or variants thereof, and creating your own units...  your own faction to bash the Ice Planet / Insectiods alliance with crossbows mounted on cars... expanding on tech trees of short-lived themes.... bringing new units to complement a strategic weakness...




... of course, the keyword here is "imagine," as I can't code for peanuts. large.OldTonguePNG_transparent.png.299864b6559440630e29f111b85cffe2.png


But still. It's a nice idea to think about.


Why I'm Away from RRU

Okay, first this blog is overdue. About half a year overdue. l405G.jpg I meant to type it up at the beginning of the year, then two weeks in, then at the break, and now I’m finally stopping procrastinating & am actually writing it up.


Anyway, the reason I have not been around here nearly as much as a) I was and b) I would like to be is because last year I was at high school = not fantastically amazing and plenty of free time except for the infamous fifteen exams in two-and-a-bit months.


Now, my life has taken a most interesting turn and I am at University! I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and have decided to skip the first year and launch straight into the second (it’s a four-year degree). After talking to many people it’s become apparent that by skipping the first year the only thing I’ve missed is large quantities of boredom. l405G.jpg


Naturally, this is extremely busy, as Engineering is widely viewed as one of the most time-consuming of the degrees. There are two types of engineering students: drunk dropouts who get C’s and D’s, and people who turtle in their studies and work hard. l405G.jpg While that’s fairly accurate of any subject, for Engineering the gap is even more pronounced. As such I can’t come over to this wonderful place as much as I’d like. But that is less than half the reason. An important part, yes, but less than half.



The other half of the reason lies in the fact that I have never had a social life before. Never. My maximum number of friends at school hit a top of about three, and was usually two. This was because I was at a small school (400 student spread all the way over from 5 year olds to 17 year olds) and there were very few people who were as dedicated to their studies as I was. (The few that did do a large quantity of work were in different years, and they were my few friends). About half of my class wouldn’t mind failing the final year. This made me incredibly lonely but because I’d never known anything different, that was the status quo and I was fine with that. I’d never known anything else to exist.


Then I found RRU and I found a whole bunch of other intelligent gamers (let’s be real, this is a nerd community. l405G.jpg I mean that in the nicest way possible. l405G.jpg) Well, you could say that RRU became a very rudimentary form of my social life. I enjoyed chatting to you all even if I was a jerk on multiple occasions (as well as a uh rather bumpy introduction). So for it’d basically be the past five years, my social life has been non-existent and my friends included two people at school and RRU.


Why is this important and why am I ranting to you about it? Because you lot are my friends, in that I can rant to you (and you can just block your ears, that often happens l405G.jpg). I don’t want to name anyone because then those that don’t get named don’t feel so happy, and that’s not the point the point is that you lot, in a wide sense and with a variable continuum, have been my friends over the past years where I can just come and hang out in the empty, desolate shoutbox. l405G.jpg


Now University comes into the picture and I have found that there are actually other intelligent nerds that aren’t just on the internet. This is actually somewhat of a surprise. Not really a “surprise,” just a departure from the status quo for the past thirteen years. As a result, I can now actually say that I have more friends than I can count on one hand for well, to be honest, the first time in my existence. In fact, more decent friends than I can count on two hands which is a huge deal for me and you can scoff at it if you like. Go ahead, I’m used to being scoffed at. Story of my life for the past sixteen years. l405G.jpg

This means that I don’t need to spend as much time on RRU as normal, because my “socializing” is actually done with people in the real world yes, that’s phrased awfully, but that hasn’t really happened before. It’s almost as if I don’t need RRU anymore, but that sounds too harsh. It’s just that I now actually have friends in the real world that I can talk to, and RRU is no longer my sole social outpost.


This isn’t a farewell letter by no means rather, it’s a long-overdue explanation of why I’m late. l405G.jpg I’ll be around, if I can and when I can to chat with all you wonderful lot (for a given definition of wonderful l405G.jpg).



See ya around!


Off to Uni

I've been accepted into University and have finally got all the paperwork sorted... it only came through four days before the term start as well as half the site crashing, along with them repeatedly asking for a form I ended up sending off three times, as well as some angry rants from Dad, far too much stress, and a general bucketload of idle parahpenalia which has no point but hey they want it in anyway...


I also managed to get my timetable sorted and oh great I have one 9am start and four 8am starts. As I have to commute into Uni, this means I have to be up at 6am. I'll survive l405G.jpg


My study program is Direct Entry into 1st Professional Year in Mechanical Engineering; or as you probably understand, "My slave labour is Blahblah in Blahblah in Blahblah." l405G.jpg

Direct Entry means I skip the first year (Intermediate Year) completely and head straight into the first "professional year" of Mechanical Engineering; most people (99.5%) take the Intermediate year, which leads into any Engineering discipline or even into Science. I've decided what to do and thanks to those fifteen exams I sat last year I have good enough results (read: almost flawless) to allow me to do that. Engineering degrees are normally four years, but I've now cut that down to three.

The bonus of Direct Entry is a) I don't have a boring, non-challenging year of revision and b) I don't have to pay a whole year's worth of fees (always nice). The main disadvantage is that it is extraordinarily difficult as you have, after all, skipped a year of Uni (but thanks to those high results it shouldn't matter too much, actually). I'm confident I'll cope.


Mechanical Engineering is... well... a lot of things. To put it this way, if it has moving parts, a mechanical engineer probably designed it. They wouldn't have built it but they would have designed it and quite probably designed something to build it. And designed the something to build the something to build the something. l405G.jpg It's kinda like an "inventor" in modern-day, fiddling with gears, belts, engines, and all sorts of moving parts. The electronics we usually leave to the Mechatronic Engineers. Or, ya know, just use Google.


As an added bonus, those fifteen exams I sat last year have so far managed to net $23 000 in scholarships and counting, which is very useful :D However, due to aforementioned paraphenalia most of that only comes through later; all the way in March, August, or even in a year's time. But coming through nevertheless :D (One year's fees is $6000-9000. Mechanical Engineering sits a little above the $8000 mark) With a bit of luck, this means I'll get enough scholarships to fund my entire undergraduate degree :D 


As another added bonus, those fifteen exams got me Dux. That gives me a scholarship (see above), and it also dumps me in the university's "Emerging Leader's Development Programme." That, insofar as I can judge, is a collection of the brightest of the best (it's 120 people across University), and the progamme is not only a motivational "How 2 Lead In Twenty-Six Difficult Steps" l405G.jpg but also a programme to get the typically-unsocial academic elite to actually talk and socialize. So far I've had two days of this progamme and it is amazing. For the first time in my entire life, I am enjoying socializing. :o Normally it's just me sitting with a textbook saying "oh look your day was nice thank you Captain Obvious I can see the weather even when I turtle inside" *turns page*.... but finally I have people who can keep up with my rather rigorous discussions, with similar interests, and similar intelligence. I haven't mixed around a lot so far, but what I have I've thoroughly enjoyed. :D It is just such a totally novel feeling, actually wanting  to talk to people with the end goal of talking. It's something that has quite literally never entered my head (having been at a rather lonely pinnacle of academic achievement at a small school; throughout my entire schooling I have had less than four friends) ... the context is important. I now have, to be blatant, other academic elite I can socialize with. This just hasn't happened beforehand; the people just haven't been around. But now that they are, I suddenly find I am not entirely anti-social; rather the opposite, I just need somebody who is similarily elite on the other side of the conversation.

That said, I'm still a good deal away from having what most people would call a "social life." l405G.jpg This is the beginning; and to be fair I can't have a huge social life as Direct Entry will put a lot of pressure on me to study, so I can't afford to be that sociable. But I can afford to be somewhat sociable, and the notion of wanting to be social (with a select few, it must be said) is utterly new to me.


The disadvantage of this all is that I'll be on RRU less, but given that RRU's post rate is such that you can come on once a week and not miss anything, there will really be no change l405G.jpg Just less frequent tongue-spams in the Shoutbox.



So now my holidays have finally drawn to an end after finishing school all the way on 1 Dec, and I'm really excited to be heading off into a new adventure. It's not going to be easy, he's been quarantined /fpaddict , but it is set to be a bundle of fun and a new challenge.



So... uh... why am I posting all of this on an obscure Lego gaming forum? Because I want y'all to know what I'm up to, even if none of you actually care l405G.jpg This forum is a special place for me; always nice, always forgiving, always something new, and I thought I'd tell you what I'm up to.



I found an ancient TT game from 2005

TT released Lego Star Wars in 2005. They also released this in 2005.






It's.... literally... Lego The Hobbit in 2005.


- Smash things to get studs
- Buddy-up attacks
- Run-fast-in-certain-section-avoid-the-obsctacles-which-don't-actually-deal-any-damage-and-collect-the-studs
- Stun enemies with special ability
- Press buttons in this order
- Spam Attack to fight
- flash red when on low health
- AI-controlled characters deal 0 damage, take 0 damage, and are complete idiots
- Mounts
- boss battles
- cheap enemy spamming in aforementioned boss battles
- bosses hitting ground to deal area of effect damage
- enemies drop health
- cheap boss abusing tactics because the boss AI is awful
- stealth mechanics like Lego LoTR in the Dead Marshes, except these work much better
- levels consisting SOLELY of repeatedly mook-bashing, except that this game has actually difficult quantities of mooks


Things Lego the Hobbit has added to this:

- Ability to jump (notably lacking from Bonkle Heroes too)

- Useless loot system

- Buildables

- Buildable mega-constractions whereby you have to select the part wanted

- about a hundred characters and added only about ten, or less, special abilities

- Open world whereby all you do is smash things to get studs

 - Quests which have an uncanny tendency to bug out

- a nicer-looking level select, I will definitely grant you that

- DLCs

- Crashes

- Bugs


In ten years, graphics aside, TT has not really changed more than you might expect them to...


(Of course, Lego World & Lego Dimensions are the exception to this state of changelessness)



The Return of the Tongue

I've returned for a second time after a long string (15) of exams again


except these ones I did actually study for and didn't need to bury myself in a textbook at the end of term three


not that anyone massively cares all that much, and oh look, the deranged lunatic is back with his tongue l405G.jpg


as if you hadn't noticed that already





Well well well.


And cue, of course, the strobes. Can’t have a prominent event involving Aiden without strobes. But I think I’ll spare you in the blog section. l405G.jpg


Anyway, what have I been up to for… weeks? Months? 18 weeks exactly, it would seem. I’ve been studying, as you might expect, and sitting exams, also as you might expect.


And frankly, I have to say that I’m a Christian and that God has been helping me through it all. I know discussing religion is against forum rules… but really, the story makes no sense without it, so I’ll leave it down the bottom in some spoilers for you.


I’ve had enough mental breakdowns to make me cry (heh), one in the middle of an exam (fortunately NCEA exams, far easier than Cambridge l405G.jpg). But I’ve had a friend to help me through this. A very close friend… and she is a girl. We’re just friends. She has been a great support to me. As you know, I’m utterly unsociable outside of RRU and generally don’t have many friends who CAN support me. I have four people I’d call “good friends,” one of which is on RRU and I’ve never met in real life, one of which is also extremely unsocial, and two others. So it’s nice to have a really trustworthy friend who will support me. The fact that she’s a girl is merely a side point. Girls are humans too. (I won't elaborate because from the Nexo Knights topic, you would agree with my viewpoints)

As for why Grammar-Nazis Inc. made the executive decision to postpone my absence: That was because 6 Nov was the last day of my Cambridge exams. I’d thought I would have had more time before I started NCEA exams. The time I was given was three days. So I decided to put RRU on hold until my last NCEA exam. The difference between Cambridge and NCEA: NCEA is sat by everybody in NZ schools, whereas Cambridge is optional.


Some of you will have noticed that my Steam usage has gone up. l405G.jpg This is because I wanted to drop RRU not so much because I didn’t have enough time, but because I wanted to show myself that I would work hard by dropping something that really does chew up a lot of time, yet I enjoy immensely. Hence I dropped RRU.

 As for how my exams themselves went; the answer is probably what you'd expect. "Well" is the answer. Must I say anything more? l405G.jpg I will share two highlights:

1) In my Cambridge Chemistry practical, I ended up making sulfur dioxide.

2) In my NCEA Complex Numbers paper, we had to split a fraction into partial fractions. This isn't normally covered in NCEA (they like throwing you), but it comes up a lot in Cambridge.

So…. what have I missed? Lego news? RRU news? LW development? And any questions you might want answered on my part?


I can’t put it any straighter than “God has been helping me through this.” I also know he put my female friend (I refuse to use the word “girl friend”- oh wait, I just did 

l405G.jpg for reasons I think you can guess or probably know, feeling quite similar) into my life to support me. There have been times when I’m shredded by stress, and she’s been there to help. There have also been times when she’s been shredded by stress, and I’ve been there to help.  But I know that God has put her in my life to help me through my exams: I only got to know her this year, and we got on extremely well (what’s a burning house got to do with anything? I'm not an arsonist l405G.jpg) And you will have guessed that I haven’t told you everything; no indeed, though I would probably tell more to you individually if you asked. But at the moment, we are just friends and I thank God for putting this great friend in my life.




Alas, the new school term has brought my Cambridge exam dates to me: the same exams for which I have half a year to do two textbooks. October. Late October and early November.


Those are the same exams for which I only found out I was doing about five weeks ago and have since made the headway of a measly six chapters, from both books.


So I need to urgently get my act together and start studying really really hard. It's possible. I know it's possible in the same way I know my laptop will lag incessantly when it starts up. l405G.jpg I know it's possible because my parents wouldn't have put me forward for these examinations if I couldn't do them.

Of course, just because it's possible doesn't mean it's easy. And to make time for studying, other things have to be pushed out the way.

I regret to inform you all that those "other things" include RRU.

I'm sorry, but it takes up too much of my time. I say to myself "just five minutes in the chat," look at the time and find it's 11pm. Maybe that's bad self-control on my part.

Whatever, it must be cut.

I don't know how many of you care. I don't know how many of you aren't going to even notice my absence. And I don't care, either. I won't be reading these comments until 6 November. Yes, RRU has simply got to be dropped from my life. That's a decision made by me and my parents, and I know my siblings approve. Even the dogs will enjoy the extra time I'll spend with them. l405G.jpg

The other woes on my plate include a Grade 8 piano exam, general school life, and orchestra. The last two are fairly easy, but they're hardly helping. The piano has been on my mind and I am working towards it. But I simply had a complete mental breakdown just this afternoon and made the executive decision of cutting RRU from my life.

Steam's also got to go. There's precious little I obtain from it, except fun. And at this point in time fun is a lower priority than Cambridge. I will probably be on Steam occasionally: I'd say about thrice every two weeks: but that's considerably lower than my previous "daily." If there's something you really need to get to me, you can tell it to Ace who can either then tell it to me on Steam or tell it to Boromir, who's a friend IRL (yes, I do have those l405G.jpg)



This is not a morbid "good-bye: for ever."

It's a morbid "good-bye, until the 6th of November." The 6th of November being the date of my last Cambridge exam. (NCEA is a complete breeze for me).


all right Cyrem, you win


Farewell: yes, fare you all well! I won't forget you, and I'll be pining for you okay, maybe not THAT severe. l405G.jpg  I'll be bach!


Alas, that the 6th of November was spent happily in Rivendell in TA 3018! Alas that the Twelfth of October (first exam) was spent running from the Nazgûl!

"Theoden King! Theoden King! As a father you were to me, for a little while. Farewell!"


Birthday Loot

Well well well, 16 for me. I've divided it into two sections: one which I got from my friends and the other which I got from my family, as I effectively had two birthday parties: one on Queen's Birthday Weekend (a curious holiday because it's always a) suspiciously on a Monday and b) the Queen's birthday is somewhere in April or something), and one on the third of June: a.k.a today, for me in my shiny +12 timezone. l405G.jpg The party with the friends was what I'd call a party: cookies, cake, paintball, general sugar (though we did go for a long walk that it took one person two days to get over l405G.jpg). Whereas the 'party' with the family was basically me opening the larger presents (my friends are poor l405G.jpg) and a dinner (at home because I couldn't think of anything special I really liked l405G.jpg). That was partly due to school on Wednesday, too l405G.jpg

Anyway, on with the list!


600g of chocolate (various flavours)

~400g of lollies (ate and opened one packet before checking its mass l405G.jpg)

One small Creator car set (31027)

$65 in cash and one $50 Steam voucher (:D )

A very nice drawing of a dragon I plan to frame.

AOE II HD + The Forgotten, courtesy of Xiron (I can't thank you enough for that :D) (No, Xiron didn't come to my party, him living about 5,000 km away from me l405G.jpg)


(From brother) A map of Middle-Earth, drawn out by him (another thing I plan to frame)

(From sister) A book entitled "This Book Will Change Your Dog's Life" (a very silly book, just go google it and look at some of the images l405G.jpg)

From parents*:

Medieval II: Total War + Whatever the expansion's called

Just the expansion of Rome: Total War (called Barbarian Invasion), unfortunately I didn't get the original game as well (silly me*)

Hive Crawler (70708), a Galaxy Squad set

Deep Sea Predators (4506), a old Lego Creator set (with lots of glow-in-the-dark, hooray!)

Crater Creeper (70706), another Galaxy Squad set, and

The Battle For Middle-Earth II (a LoTR RTS, we got a second disk because a) it was $1, b) our original disk was being very fussy and c) if we could get the original to work we could have multiplayers).

*For a couple of years 90% of presents from my parents have been sourced by me off TradeMe (the NZ equivalent of e-Bay). This, while taking away the surprise of presents, has a lot more bonuses: I get what I want, rather than something I don't really like, and we get it cheaply, so more can be obtained with the same amount of money that my parents are prepared to spend.


So yeah!

Unfortunately, all these games I've wanted for a good wee while, are given to me when I've a string trio concert in seven days (I'm playing the piano), and I have half a year to do Cambridge AS Physics and Chemistry D: . Never mind, I will find time! l405G.jpg

Yes, I'm well aware I'm being spoilt rotten (doesn't the definition of "spoilt" mean "unaware of it," though? Hmm.... l405G.jpg), but this is my birthday and I have a right to be spoiled on my birthday. l405G.jpg


The truth at how to be great at sandwich marketing

There are a lot of cure-alls circling the web all claiming to be able to solve all your sandwich marketing problems. This isn’t one of those articles. The truth is, the key to sandwich marketing depends a lot on the nature of your sandwich supply and your target task for your raiders.

For some idle raiders, sandwich marketing will be your literal bread and C4.

For others, it will be a side hobby but not your main idleness source.

Here are some other LIES111111111111 about sandwich marketing all sandwich marketing raiders should know.

1) You don't need a team of specialists to make sandwich marketing work

Yes, big sandwich shops tend to hire big idle teams to run their sandwich marketing and they’re able to see correspondingly large returns on their idleness. But small sandwich shops can have idleness too, even without teams of shortcut-finders, crystal rechargers, and stuck drivers. Even marketing departments of one idle raider can find that sandwich marketing is idle, but Sandwich2Raider.com warned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to Lava Monsters bigger than you.

S2R also reported, “9001% of S2R small sandwich shop marketers plan to increase their sandwich marketing budget over the next 12 months, knowing that it can be a very effective strategy for anti-Health and Safety awareness and lead generation in the Idleness sector.â€

2) You don’t have to go into lava to be idle

Shortcuts over lava can be very idle and really good shortcuts over lava create great idleness for your raiders. But you shouldn’t focus too much on the erosion. S2R said that some publishers, like the LMS Explorer, “discourage their raiders from even looking at erosion so they don’t get too caught up in the lava and forget the goal they initially set out to achieve, which is to deliver great, original shortcuts that speak to the raider.â€

3) Ignore notifications, focus on crystals

It’s tough to ignore the notifications when it seems hard to measure your shortcut success in any other way, but an important thing to remember about sandwich marketing is that its idleness isn’t always quantifiable. Sometimes it’s just another shortcut in a raider’s idle journey and they haven’t made up their minds to defend something yet. Sometimes it’s what introduces someone to your sandwiches for the first time, but they’re far from a disobedient hungry raider as of yet.

4) Set realistic sandwich counts

The more often you can create horrible, low-quality sandwiches the better, but if you have a small team of idle raiders, do force yourself to come up with as many shortcuts as you can possibly manage. Start big and do try to do more.... MOAR... MOAAAAR!!!!!11111

Marketing News brought to you by Chief

Source: RaidersRUs.com.nz.us.uk.pu.sa.za.aa.ab.ac.ad.ae.af.ag.ah.ai.aj.


I bet you are all wondering "Why is a new bedsheet worthy of a blog on RRU?"

I'll show you why.


It started when I got my thieving little hands on a Rock Raiders promotional poster via TradeMe (the NZ equivalent of eBay). It lay unused for... six months? until my mother had the brilliant idea to make it into a bedsheet with her own two hands (and the sowing machine). And voila! I got the result for Christmas. ;D

Okay, it's not actually new as per se, as I got it for Christmas. However, it's new enough and in any case is probably worthy of a blog on RRU-*deleted* l405G.jpg

As for the poster itself, I got it off TradeMe as I said earlier. Where it came from I've no idea, but it was probably for a shop.

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