Monday, 8/17/15

I had posted that I wanted to think bigger.   So I did.    What if I wanted to field from Burbank to the Santa Clarita Valley ?

I evaluated several lanes and found some routes where I could cover the mountains, which isn’t too impressive.   Then I thought, what about fielding the SCV ?    They did it this weekend.    But from Burbank perhaps……

A seven layer cake.

A seven layer cake.

Anchors are : 1) Newhall Ranch and the 5 freeway.   2) The top of Villa Cabrini, in Burbank.    This line snakes its way through Sylmar to the hills of Burbank, after passing straight through Newhall and just to the west of “Bluehall”, the downtown area of Newhall with a hundred portals.   Several friendly links in the way and even more green ones.

The layers are all portals I’m familiar with along the Sierra Highway.   These lines pass pretty much through the mountains down to Burbank, but must pass through a thin piece of Sunland which would need clearing.   Some spots in the SCV would need to be clear too.

On the North side there’s a lot of interference from friendly portals.    These are not durable by any means, and I could even minimize it by skipping two of the lower layers.    Or I could just ask for help from friendlies.

The key requirements are not too hard – minimum of 8 keys for the two anchor portals, plus one for each of the portal layers.   I have most of the Sierra keys already.

The Sierra portals will be very close to the SCV’s biggest baddest agent, and the Newhall Ranch portal will be an easy kill.    So I can’t worry about durability – making the fields, all by themselves, would be a miracle.

So that’s that.    Have to collect keys first, then evaluate how exactly to create the links and how much help I’d need.

Wed, 8/19/15

I farmed keys from the two main anchors today, need to hit them both again.    Sat at one portal, with plenty of time at lunch, and hacked 4x to burnout, then added a heatsink for four additional hacks.   The other portal just got a quick heatsink after one hack due to lack of time.    Hopefully one more round will finish them both.

Got the RESWUE tool working finally, and it counts 23 portals to kill to make the links – but 10 of those are friendlies.    Two green portals are pretty remote.    But I’m not in much of a hurry, this is very much a “Let’s see what happens” kind of an operation anyway.

Thurs, 8/20/15

The anchors chosen avoid Bluehall to the left (Often L8 blue with links) and Magic Mountain to the right (Usually Green and linked).   I’ve farmed all the keys strictly necessary for the op, but might need more in case of informed opposition.    The enemy players did me a favor and wiped out blue fields in the way.    The only real question now is, when do I do this ?

It’s a minimum 20 minute drive from Burbank up to the SCV, and clearing the “left lane” will take a while.   Probably best to have someone do that for me.    The “right lane”won’t take too long to clear.    The throw order is planned –

  1. Sierra Highway to Burbank.
  2. Field all these triangles for “skinny fields”
  3. Newhall Ranch to Burbank
  4. Newhall Ranch 7 times to Sierra for the seven layer cake.

It’ll be important to move quickly from Sierra over to Newhall Ranch.   Guaranteed that this field will be noticed quickly and smashed, but I at least want to see it thrown.    So I guess the question is, can I do this with just two people ?

Sat 8/22/15

With some experienced hands giving a completion time of 45 minutes, I think it’s time to go.   Set a time for the op of 0700 Tues 8/25/15.   I can be late into work that morning.

I am totally blown away at all the people who want to help.    Nobody has said ANYTHING about taking a piece of the field, and several have said they can’t because they cannot be present in the area.    Hopefully some will be with me for the final throws.

I have two agents traveling north from Burbank for the Sylmar/Sunland area; one guy killing on his way to work, early; and SCV agents to knock out additional links in the SCV.   Estimated time to complete is 30-45 minutes for blockers and total of 1 hour for the fielding.

Thank God I drove from Sierra Highway to Newhall Ranch today.   The route I chose has a very long time to reach the Old Road.   Much quicker jumping on the freeway for one exit.

Strangely enough, one of my team just threw a MASSIVE set of blocking links.   If those stay up until Tuesday morning……. But he’s assured me that he can Jarvis them easy if they stay up that long.

Ummm - dude. Did you not study the links needed for Tuesday ?

Someone did not study the links needed for Tuesday.

Killed one blocker as I was running errands in the morning.   I left a friendly portal alone as I assume Jarvising will be seen and reacted to by the opposition.   I was in the Newhall area at night and ran into hours of operation problems trying to kill some other blockers early.    Now I know, at least.

Sun 8/23/15

The family went to the park for a group activity.   And I cleared three blocking links wandering around – very helpful, as they are not easy access links in a car.    I resist the temptation to fiddle around with RESWUE as I’m sure I’m annoying everyone who is signed up to help.    The tool pushes an alert each time I make a change, so phones are buzzing and beeping.

Mon 8/24/15 AM

All blocking links in existence are assigned to agents, everyone swears they’ll take care of them all.    An agent not in the op, bless him, gave us an additional three portals to jarvis tomorrow.

I drove most of the route this morning, that I’ll need to take tomorrow.   It’s straightforward.    I get to clear the northern blocking links, and everything else depends on the rest of the team following through.    I don’t think I could be more prepared.

The Bad Man appeared at noon, and I stared at the intel map.   “Come on.   Kill that portal” – hoping he would take care of some jarvises for me.   One went down.  Then two.   Nice !   In the meantime the Bluehall area is suddenly clear between Green & Blue agents dualling.   That’s 5 portals less to jarvis.   Good luck keeps on coming !


Augh !    The greens threw a deadly bunch of blocking links in Lakeview Terrace !   I had nobody assigned to take care of that area.    Fortunately, I was able to get one more helper for that area, and he’ll check it tomorrow morning.   I killed these links on my way home.

Effective blocks.

Effective blocks.


Op Time

I was up and ready early, sitting at the computer.   East side was clear – including Lakeview Terrace – and no new blockers had emerged.    I got my daughter out of bed while passing out final assignments and working with my team.   She ate breakfast while my Sylmar guy killed portal after portal.    She brushed her teeth and got ready for school while I handed off the intel duties to another agent.   My job got a bit harder – a certain someone overslept so I had to kill their portals too.

The Bad Man was active in the SCV at 5 am, and was a constant worry as I cleared blockers, then created the skinny fields.    Is he going to notice ?   And stop me ?    Turns out, the answer was no.

The Connect Burbank field. (I should have used a better code name I guess.)

The Connect Burbank field. (I should have used a better code name I guess.)

This time I was not an emotional wreck while making the field – it was just fun, and a challenge, and an adrenaline rush all linked in together.    The butterflies didn’t hit until I got to the first anchor to throw from, and I worked through the connection issues and GPS loss that always happens in a canyon like the Sierra Highway.   I got stuck in traffic on the way to Newhall Ranch Road (all the muggles on their way to work.   Don’t they know I’m trying to keep them safe ?) and was almost to the anchor when the final problem emerged.

I was lucky that a Sylmar contact messaged me and asked me what on Earth I was doing.   Because we got a last minute blocker in Sylmar just as I was ready to make the layers.    I tried to wait patiently, and in 15 minutes Sylmar Guy came through, and the fields were thrown at 8:45 AM.    Two agents even made it to Newhall Ranch and got their own layers.

19 fields.   Seven layered cake.  1,120,298 MU from the main fields and another 10k or so from the skinny fields.    2 running Intel, 7 agents total, and three agents getting a “piece of the cake”.    The only thing that would have made it better would be surviving to checkpoint @ 10 AM, but as expected that didn’t happen.   What surprised me was The Bad Man slept through the whole thing, and it was taken down from Burbank instead, a mere 2 minutes before I arrived in Downtown again and could have recharged.

Remnants of the field. Since they were layered, each of these triangles stays empty now that the Burbank anchor is gone.

Remnants of the field. Since they were layered, each of these triangles stays empty now that the Burbank anchor is gone.

That was fun !

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t use Jarvises.    If you have to use “too many”, your field is probably in the wrong spot.
  2. Spend more time planning.    Every Jarvis could ruin somebody’s day, and it helps to reach out to them.   Reaching out is tricky due to fluid situations, but it has to be done.
  3. Opsec is important, but I appear to have erred on the side of too much opsec.
  4. I now have more contacts across the Resistance for coordination.   Yay !
  5. Better to do ops at night, for many reasons.   This means I need to be “The Intel Guy” as I almost never get out at night.    Unlikely to get an Onyx Illuminator.
  6. Completion time, first estimated at 1 hour, stretched to 1 and 45 minutes.    Isn’t that the case with everything though ?