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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-06-24 09:51:10
I wanted to balance out all the Xbox One hating we've been doing, so we're back to an old pet peeve of mine: incessant PlayStation 3 firmware updates. The 4.45 update has reportedly bricked a significant number of PlayStation 3s. Sony has since taken the update down, and is "investigating" the problem, but that's little consolation for users who now have oversized electronic paperweights, right when maybe the best game of the year, a PS3 exclusive no less, is rocking the gaming world.
Just as a general rule of thumb, I decided long ago to wait on installing PS3 firmware updates for at least a few days. Now I'm particularly suspicious of ones that tout "improved stability".
Click through for an exclusive interview with Josh Nizzi.
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-06-24 13:01:10
Diplomacy VII - Spring of 1455
I criticized England for her strategic reserve in previous turns, but now that the political picture is clear, Kodi is NOT an enemy to be taken lightly. In prior games, she demonstrated superlative tactical ability and taking her island will not be a simple task. She seized the English Channel, but lost the critically important North Sea. I have no doubt she'll pull off defensive tricks to stave off defeat for a time, but her combined enemies do possess a decisive numerical advantage. Kodi needs to convince at least one of her assailants that attacking is not worth the effort, and use that doubt as a political wedge to crack the alliance arrayed against her.
France continued his campaign against England by occupying the all-important North Sea. However, I'm intrigued by the southward movement of his armies. That army in Marseilles now appears to be badly out of position; that force is essential for the Anglo theater, and now is no time for Doug to suddenly suspect his Spanish neighbor. Besides, any supply center you have to garrison is not really an asset; at best, all you're doing is denying it to others.
The Holy Roman Empire is clearly working with his French neighbor; he supported the move into the North Sea. I'm hazarding a guess that the current price for this alliance is Holland. In the south, Alex wandered into Venetian territory, taking advantage of his neighbor's myopic preoccupation with Turkey. Alex is having a cakewalk of a game thus far. However, we can sense an impending confrontation with Poland developing. It's like watching glaciers slowly advancing into each others' paths. Alex should eliminate Venice before that comes to pass, lest Vargas ruin his plans (as Vargas has done to SOOO many would-be victors in past games). It also bears noting again that HRE forces are split into two separate entities.
Poland has an excellent overall gameplan: let the others do the fighting. Steve has employed the Franco/Anglo war to consolidate Scandinavia. He has engaged in a steady policy of appeasement toward Turkey, to keep that Eastern Mediterranean conflict in stalemate. To expand further, pushing on the HRE makes the most sense, but that would blow up the tenuous balance of the Sea Lion alliance against England. He could wait until England is divvied up, but that would involve relinquishing momentum. He could strike Turkey out of boredom, but that would likely have limited long term gain compared to the resulting fallout. Steve has some high end strategizing to deliberate over these next turns.
Spain is free to run amok! He now controls the Ionian and the southern boot of Italy. However, I criticized his build of a Portuguese army last turn. That army and the one in Spain spent this whole turn doing naught but shaking hands with each other. You'll see me write the words 'tempo' and 'momentum' frequently in these commentaries. It's my personal mantra in this game, and that of military strategists dating from ancient Sun Tzu's "fluidity" to modern West Point assault doctrine. Those idle armies wrench my strategic guts.
Turkey continues its slow force realignment. All Kang can do is await the fruit of his political machinations, but he did receive positive feedback this turn. HRE and Spanish aggression on Venice is complicated, but essential to the breakthrough he needs.
I pegged Venice exactly last turn. All Vargas did was sit tight with his three original units (AUGH MY STRATEGIC GUTS ARE TWISTING ON FIRE) and wait for his new fleet to slowly sail into support position. That would entail his forces sitting for yet another full year (OH SWEET MERCIES MY ENTRAILS ARE DIGESTING EXPLODING RAZOR BLADES). We'll never find out because it just got interdicted by a Spanish fleet. Vargas must relent in his anti-Turkish posture to deal with the invading forces, and negotiate a diplomatic turn of events.