2-3 missions are held every week. Two weeks before a mission begins, an announcement will be posted in that week's News Bulletin, giving an outline of the purpose and objectives of the mission, in addition to what sort of opposition is to be expected. Any characters who wish to participate in that mission are to then post a comment on the announcement, indicating their participation and all times within an indicated time frame when they would be available for the mission. The following week, an official time will be posted, and players will be given an opportunity to do a final sign up for the mission. At the indicated time, an AIM chatroom will be created, and the mission will be held.
In cases where AIM chat is infeasible, the mod in charge of the mission may choose to use IRC instead. Instructions for accessing IRC channels are here.
Missions are held in AOL Instant Messenger chatrooms, with one moderator and any number of players. Once the mission begins, an action order will be established, partially through whoever takes the initiative and partially through Moderator decision, and then characters will continue to act in round-robin fashion until they are incapacitated or the mission ends.
-What exactly constitutes one "action" is left at the player's judgement, but the Moderator can always rule that you're doing too much in one turn, so don't get carried away.
-Talking isn't an action. Any character can talk to any other character at any time. All GDF members can open comm channels to all other GDF members during a mission, and also to most enemy mechs.
-If an enemy attacks a player, they are allows to act in response to the attack. However, since this is usually a split-second reaction, much less can be accomplished with this action. Sometimes this action can be nullified by Moderator decision, depending on circumstances. Remember that this rule applies to enemies, too.
-Don't assume what effect your attack will have on someone. No Godmoding, all that. In the case of a dispute, the Moderator has final say.
-If your character's vehicle is incapacitated or destroyed during a mission, they will automatically eject and return safely to the flagship under normal conditions. The GDF will recover the mech on their own, although the repairs may take several weeks to complete. The character will usually spend some time injured after the mission.
-Writing is third-person, present-tense prose.
-Dialogue can be embedded into the prose just like in a novel. However, if you want to talk some time other than during your action, the traditional format is this:
Character Name: "Spoken lines"
-OOC comments are contained in ((double parentheses)). Comments not directly related to the mission should be kept to the OOC chatroom.
-When the moderator says a character's name in (single parentheses), that indicates that it is their turn to act. At the beginning of a scene, the turn order has usually not yet been determined, so don't wait for your name to come up until it's been established.
-Sometimes someone wants their turn to be spread over multiple messages. To avoid confusion, append a + to the end of the last message in your action. This means that the moderator is free to narrate the results of your action and move on to the next player.
-Sometimes a complex action requires reaction from an enemy partway through the attack. If this is the case, append a - to the end of the message that requires enemy reaction, and continue after the mod provides it.
-If another player is under attack and you want to intervene, then when that player is prompted to react, say #. You will then be given a chance to make a quick supporting reaction, such as shooting down enemy projectiles or taking the hit for your teammate.
-If this seems complicated, skim over some of the past mission logs to get a feel for the system.
-To prevent overcrowding and confusion, the maximum number of characters allowed to participate in a mission is six. From the people who sign up, six will be chosen based on a combination of scheduling convenience and how long it has been since they last were chosen for a mission. Especially large or involved missions may allow up to eight Combatants.
-Except in special circumstances, no player can bring more than one character into a mission.
-Commander and Non-Combatant characters do not count towards the six-character limit. Most missions allow a maximum of one Commander.
-If more than six people have signed up for a mission, six are chosen using the following priorities:
1: One signed-up character from each canon relevant to the mission is chosen. If multiple such characters are signed up, the one most relevant to the mission's events (as judged by the moderator running the mission) is chosen.
2: Additional characters are then picked, starting with the players who have gone the longest since they last participated in a mission.
3: If there is still a tie from step 2, the characters who have gone the longest since they last participated in a mission take priority.
4: If there is still a tie from step 3, the characters who signed up for the mission first take priority.
5: If you have top priority due to step 1 on one mission, you have bottom priority on any other missions taking place that week.
6: If you specify that one mission takes priority over another for you, you have bottom priority on the other mission.