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David Vargas: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2009-07-13 20:58:22
It's Not My Fault...
Actually, it's totally my fault. I spent most of the weekend getting strips done along with the responsibilities that come with life. I've gotten into the habit of immediately sending a finished strip over to Dee for review and posting. Well, if there's one thing I learned about myself is that, no matter how SURE I am that I did something, I should always double check. It turns out that I, in fact, did not send a strip to Dee. To make matters worse, I had no internet until just now, six in the evening, so I didn't know that I didn't send a strip nor would I have known had Dee not called me up earlier.
In any case, my bad, I apologize for the delay, and rest assured that Dee will find a cruel and unusual punishment for me.
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-07-14 04:39:20
Excuses, Dave. Know that I'm shaking my head at you in disappointment.
So Battlefield 1943 is TERRIFIC when it works. EA clearly underestimated the amount of interest this downloadable game would garner. There were over 5 MILLION kills on the first day of play alone. They've been feverishly adding servers since then, but problems still linger. I'll have a review shortly, but I recommend it without reservation for fans of multiplayer shooters.
Also, I won't be reviewing Bit.Trip Core, but it's a follow up to the quirky sweet Bit.Trip Beat. I don't think it's quite as good, and not different enough, for that matter, but I find these neo-retro releases fascinating.
Now Playing - Battlefield 1943 (360 XBLA)
Twitter - DiremanPress
Xbox Live/PSN/Steam Gamertag - Vawce
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-07-14 04:47:04
Diplomacy IV - In the Year of Our Lord, 1900
Here we go again! Play the home version by following these forum threads! The adjudicator is also running a side game of wagering for spectators.
The players for this game are:
Joel - Austria
Mike - England
Vargas - France
Steve G. - Germany Kang - Italy
Dee - Russia
Kodi - Turkey
The image below is the current state of the map. A larger version is available for viewing by clicking on it.
Analysis by Steve W., the adjudicator:
Welcome to Diplomacy IV!
Much like the Marvel Universe, this is the fourth iteration of an alternate-Earth struggle for Europe at the turn of the 20th century.
Austria is nestled centrally in southeast Europe, conveniently close to the ripe plums of the Balkan supply centers, but is eyed jealously by its German, Italian, Russian, and Turkish neighbors. Good diplomacy is a key to Austrian success - will the Archduke woo the Russians or the Turks? How will he resolve the thorny issue of the border with Italy? Joel is a clever player who brought England to a near-victory in Diplomacy II, and his diplomatic skills will be tested to the utmost as a central power in this game.
England gazes eagerly from its perch upon the white cliffs off the coast of northern Europe. With only the French posing a threat to her home centers in the first year of the game, English success often depends on whether she can expand onto the continent. How will the Prime Minister pursue expansion? Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and Normandy all beckon, yet promise conflict with Russia, Germany, or France should English forces arrive. Mike has steadily increased his familiarity with the game - can he not only maintain the naval wall, but turn it into a bridge to glory?
France is blessed with both a strong position and good expansion strategies. Iberia can provide the relatively safe supply centers of Spain and Portugal, and these armies or fleets can be the stick in policy towards England, Germany, or Italy. They can also be the carrot for powers that seek French help in their wars. Dave is growing in his strengths in this game, and with some new finesse to his diplomatic dialogue and tactics, may take advantage of French strength on the continent.
Germany has power and vulnerability due to its position in the center of Europe. If the Kaiser is a diligent diplomat he can arrange enough support from his neighbors to seize the Low Countries or Denmark, but his borders with Russia, France, and Austria need to be defended, and England also lurks over the sea. Steve (G) is new to me, so I hope he's ready to reach out his hand to his neighbors in negotiation, while keeping an extremely sharp knife in the other.
Italy may be the most difficult country to play in Diplomacy. Sandwiched between France and Austria, the Italians have only the outlet into the Mediterranean and Tunis without opposition from one of the other powers. Which way will Italy turn and can he secure the other border from aggression? Kang has been proven successful, winning with France in Diplomacy II, but now he is handed the most grueling test in the game - Italian victories are the longest games of all and the most rare.
Russia is sequestered in the cold northeastern sector of Europe, and may invade, or be invaded, through Scandinavia, central Europe, or the Black Sea and Armenia. Due to the extreme spread of Russian possessions and interests, Russia has a fourth unit and considerable choices - friend or foe to England, Germany, Austria, and Turkey? In the hands of a skillful player, Russia can be an extremely dangerous opponent. Dee has been victorious with Germany in Diplomacy I and with Austria in Diplomacy III, will the Russian hordes similarly overwhelm Europe this time?
Turkey basks in the glow of the sun at the extreme eastern end of the Mediterranean. Turkey is both well-defended by the Bulgaria-Constantinople bottleneck and straight-jacketed by it. The Sultan must discern which of Russia or Austria to attack and which to trust. Further complicating the situation, the Italians are just over the horizon. Kodi has a demonstrated ability to set the pace in her region of the board, and she should be able to use the tactical advantages of the Turkish position, but can her diplomatic achievements match or exceed the strength of Turkey's fortress?