Friday, July 31, 2020

Random Links for 7/31/2020

Miscellaneous links for Friday!

- I bought this issue of Torchlight and I enjoyed it. I was amused that it uses some of the same free art SJG uses.

- My planned auctions have been delayed - the USPS says they shipped my boxes, but haven't provided a shipping number or a delivery date. I couldn't go to the office to just pick up boxes, because they're not doing that these days apparently thanks to the pandemic.

- I got sucked into re-reading the "Sten" series of books, which I picked up thanks to Steve Jackson writing about them in Roleplayer magazine. I got a newish Kindle book, and it back-references the first book, so I re-read it. Fun stuff. Way cinematic, but fun. Also fun fact - my first order from was two Sten books I couldn't find otherwise (Vortex and Fleet of the Damned) and She is the Darkness by Glen Cook. Also, somewhere, I have a signed postcard from Allan Cole. I'd reached out to him, somehow, because I couldn't find book 2. He couldn't help but sent me a nice postcard.

- CRPG Addict continues to work his own particular way through Ultima VII. It still seems like a hot mess to me. I eagerly loaded it up post Ultima VI (which I loved enough to play through three times), and hated the hell out of it. Mostly for the stuff that trips him up - companions griping when you eat food you should clearly own, messy combat (he had someone die and not notice until later . . . hey, where's Durpre? He died hours ago.), and just weird NPC interactions. I couldn't cope. He did. I really enjoyed the whole series (well, III, IV, and VI) but I wouldn't play Ultima VII unless you paid me a reasonable hourly wage to do so.

- I have to post some reviews, but I'll say now: Action 7: Mercenaries is great and will influence my gaming. So will DF Adventure 3.

- Yes, you say, but I come to Dungeon Fantastic to find out about your War in the East gameplay! Hey, so do I.

I'm on turn 33, now, after a restart just prior to the blizzards and using the reduced blizzard mode. Turn 33 is 1942-02-05. Overall, it's going well.

The good: I took all of Moscow. I just kept hammering away at weak units put up against my strong units. Periodically the Soviets would launch an assault to re-take the corner of Moscow I took. But when they weakened, presumably to even out the strength of the line, I assaulted Moscow and took it. I'm now 20-30 miles past the city, pushing a spike into the center of the Soviet line. I'm also pushing the Soviets back in the north, and I solidified my line in the south. Reinforcements are coming.

The bad: The Soviets are pushing into my Finnish troops back. They've driven me from Kalinin, pushed holes in the center north of Lipestk and south of Voronezh, and drove me from the Don river.

The ugly: Finnish units and German units fighting under Finnish auspices - such as the 163rd division (which Sweden infamously allowed to transit its territory) - are scheduled to disband or withdraw. I had two divisions disband while being the only units I had to stop a Soviet advance in the north. I'm lacking enough Corps HQs to really reinforce the center - HQs do the best with about 3 units, maybe 4 . . . and the sectors that are being penetrated by the Soviets don't have enough. I have 14 divisions under 3 corps, and I need maybe 4-5 divisions to stabilize the center and no HQs to send there. Command and control - and overburdened command - is a real thing in this game. I'm getting smashed back north of Moscow and may need to halt my advance just to shore up the shoulder of my advance. The Soviets, meanwhile, are showing more and more units as "Guard" - meaning they're being promoted for success.

It's a mess. A fun mess - and with reduced blizzard effects, a more fun game. The total destruction I was suffering under the "standard" blizzard is lessening, but I am still getting slammed. I think I'll do okay, but I'm now at 1,000,000+ Axis casualties and 5,000,000+ Soviets. Since it was more like 10:1 before, this is a long slide down. But hey, maybe in the Spring I can conquer the Soviet Union? Yeah, maybe.

- I had to put comment moderation on everything, because I've gotten a huge wave of spam recently. The waves are coming closer and closer, so moderation may become a permanent thing at some point. Generally I'll check a few times a day if there are comments, approve anything that looks legit, and come back later to read them and respond. But sadly, that seems to be the way of things.

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