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Gambit Pileup / Web Original

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  • Film Cow made a skit involving a depressed whale and a goldfish. Then the whale turns out to be a robber. Then the goldfish turns out to be an undercover cop gone corrupt. Then the whale turns out to be an Internal Affairs Officer. Then the fish turns out to be a cook at Steak 'n Shake.
  • A smaller example is presented near the end of this funny video skit.
  • In the Rooster Teeth Short Lunch Bunch, the office constantly has problems with people stealing other people's lunches. When Burnie tries to steal Matt's lunch, he starts choking, and Matt reveals he had put salt in his sandwich. But then, it turns out that he had stolen Gus' salt, which Gus replaced with rat poison in case someone tried to steal it. But then it turns out Gus had stolen Geoff's rat poison, who, foreseeing this, had replaced it with Nathan's protein powder, and dumped the real poison into the coffee pot. All three of them realize they are drinking poison and fall to the floor. Burnie stops choking, gets off the floor, steals the poisoned coffee and walks away.
  • Whateley Universe: A lot of them, actually.
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    • In "Silent Nacht", the various gambits by The Bell Witch, Dr. Macabre, Dr. Venus, Lycorax, the Witch Hunter, Mister Magic, and even the heroine Brujah all come crashing into a huge pileup. It's Nacht herself, however, who manages to Out Gambit the rest of them, though Brujah does get a dig in when she talks Kate out of killing The Bell Witch.
    • "Ayla and the Networks" is a massive fifty-gambit pileup of epic proportions. It shifts perspective to show each person setting up their gambits. To top it all off...Thuban and Ayla had won before the first move was drawn. Thuban had purposely leaked the very blackmail conversation that STARTED this mess, solely to make sure everything happened just as planned. Even more complicated, Phase set the whole thing up several novels earlier with a Chekhov's Gun that he patiently waited a couple months for someone running their own gambit to trigger it. And then several new groups step in, trying to pull off their own gambits in the middle of the story. Hilarity Ensues.
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    • Silver Ghost seems to attract this sort of thing, especially if Madcap (an attention-starved teen 'supervillain'/'superhero' of unknown powers who thinks she is Silver Ghost's nemesis - or best friend, depending on what she thinks she is that day) is involved. Specifically, in the second part of "Silver Ghost, Golden Angel", SPECTRUM try to deliberately cause one in order to smoke out Madcap/Golden Angel as well as two different Criminal Mastermind type supervillains. They need to draw "Golden Angel" (Madcap's 'superhero' persona) out in order to arrest her, so they arrange a press conference for Silver Ghost and SPECTRUM; but since both of the supervillains are trying to grab Madcap for their own reasons, they need to make sure that the two villains trip each other up long enough for the trap to be sprung. Throw in a bunch of political maneuvering by both pro- and anti-mutant groups, and anyone else who sees a profit for their own causes in showing up, and you have an epic mess.
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    • Scapegrace's Supervillain Origin story involves a family of superpowered professional con artists, a vendetta against said family by three other supervillains, and a magical quest, with little bits of backstabbing and deception thrown in. in the end, Jesse not only Out Gambits everyone - including his parents and siblings - but steals the magic and Applied Phlebotinum of all three opposing villains, rescues his older brother, and fulfills her greatest desire (if you didn't see that last part coming, you must not know the series very well).
  • Parodied in this Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle ending on Uncyclopedia.
  • Faced with a dearth of actual gameplay, the players in NationStates have spent the last seven years turning the site into one of these.
  • In "Deicide" The Salvation War has brought this to Heaven. You have Yahweh, Michael-lan's plotting against Yahweh, Salapael's First Conspiracy, the mysterious Second Conspiracy and whoever subverted that Israeli sub into nuking Tel-Aviv, which may be the Second Conspiracy or who knows, a Third bloody conspiracy.
  • Master Prankers show us how it's done.
  • How It Should Have Ended shows us an example with Sherlock Holmes.
  • Many forum games such as Mafia and games centered around nation-building can become loaded with gambit pileups. It is often hilarious watching how one Franz Ferdinand-esque scenario knocks down mountains' worth of intrigue dominoes set up by the players. Hilarious if you're GMing, terrifying if you're a player.
  • In The Dead Skunk, the Caroline affair turns into this. Prince Regent George (later King George IV) hires men to spy on his wife so that he can collect the evidence he needs to divorce her, which snowballs into counter-schemes and counter-counter-schemes by his wife Caroline of Brunswick, Lords Liverpool and Castlereagh, several officials within the French government, and Henry Brougham.
  • freddiew turns a Mexican Standoff into a web of intrigue so dense it calls into question the characters' very identities.
  • Beyond the Impossible: comes with the territory with multiple gods pulling the strings for very, very complicated plans. Hermes is particularly fond of this:
    Alright, there’s a war shaping up and I’m already working with at least three sides, I might as well make things interesting and add a fourth one.
  • Cracked has a skit that parodies movies centering around high school gambits. During a class, two students suddenly arrest a girl and a guy in a jersey who were passing money, and reveal themselves to be undercover cops. The girl reveals she's a reporter pretending to be a student who was getting help from the jock for her story about steroid use. The jock reveals he's actually a college football player posing as a student to play one more year of football. He apologizes to another jock who then says he was only in the class so he could pass and join the family business. The teacher asks if anyone there is really a student. A boy takes off his wig to reveal he's a girl just trying to get close to the boy she likes, another guy says he's an undercover black man posing as a white man posing as a black man... and he's lost track. There's also a girl who switched bodies with her daughter, a boy in a fat suit, and a girl who's just a highly intelligent dog. And one naked guy who thinks he's just having a nightmare.
  • When the ARMA clan Shack Tactical plays the scenario "Dark Business", this is practically guaranteed. The premise of Dark Business is that the Independents have captured two American agents and are negotiating to sell them to Russian forces in exchange for weapons and supplies. Both sides are planning to betray the other and keep everything for themselves. Meanwhile a tiny (only 6 operatives while the Russians and Independents have 30 soldiers apiece) but extremely well armed and equipped American special operations team is looking to rescue the hostages, and the hostages themselves are looking for a chance to escape and help that rescue along. A typical session generally goes something like this: the Russians and Independents meet at an agreed location and pretend to negotiate while trying to trick each other or get into position to ambush each other. If/when things devolve into a Blast Out, the hostages will attempt to use the chaos to escape, and the Americans need to use that as the best chance to swoop in and save them. All the moves and countermoves happening among the sides more or less assures that things will take a lot of turns and not go in the direction that was anticipated. Who wins, (if anyone does) comes down to a mix of planning, luck, and execution. But to see exactly how chaotic and what a pileup this can create, lets examine one particular session from the end of 2013.
    • Blackdragon and the Independents have come up with a creative scheme for dealing with the Russians: they've loaded the hostages onto a plane and have it circling the area. This should eliminate the problem of making sure the hostages don't make a break for it, and negate any Russian attempts to simply try to overpower the Independents to seize the hostages. The Russians will have no choice but to pay them and wait for the Independents to deliver the hostages. Except...
    • Dslyecxi and the Americans have chosen an unorthodox strategy of their own; they've hijacked the truck of weapons and ammunition the Russians were going to use to pay the Independents and hidden it in a place where the Russians are unlikely to find it. As a result the Russians aren't able pay the Independents even if they wanted to, guaranteeing a confrontation and the sort of chaos that the American need to have a chance. This leads to...
    • Nautilus and the Russians drive some trucks up by to the meeting place with the Independents, but drive them away too quickly for the Independents to see that it’s not the actual ammo truck. The Russians then ”negotiate” just long enough for Blackdragon to explain how the hostages are on the plane, and for the Russians to get an idea of where the Independents are and how many are present, then launch an all-out attack that kills many of the Independents at the scene, scattering the rest. Blackdragon barely escapes with his life and has to hide in the nearby wilderness while he tries to get his men to communicate with the Americans instead now, and see if they can strike a deal with them.
    • After the Americans sustain damage to their helicopter circling the meeting site and taking potshots at both the Russians and Independents, they have to land and Dslyecxi runs into Blackdragon. The two start to strike a deal, although Dslyecxi calmly and cold-bloodedly killing Bernie, another Independent who was with Blackdragon, understandably unnerves Blackdragon. Nonetheless the two start to cooperate... and then bad luck strikes and whether because of damage, low fuel, or simply the hazards of trying to fly/land on a dark night, the pilot flying the hostages around crashes the plane. Blackdragon desperately tries to bluff Dslyecxi into thinking that the hostages were actually split up and one is still alive, but Dslyecxi quickly sees through it, decides that Blackdragon has officially outlived his usefulness, and executes him. End result: casualties and equipment losses for all sides, the hostages dead, and nobody got what they wanted. The End.
    • Note: this still is leaving out quite a few other minor gambits being used, like Black Dragon lying about how many Independents are still alive and how may Russians they killed when talking to Dslyecxi so that the Independents will seem like more valuable partners, (including referencing and pretending to communicate on his radio with players who were killed earlier in the session) the misplaced paranoia of the Americans that the Independents are going to betray or turn on them at any moment, (and all the precautions they take to try to prevent this) etc.


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