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Asteroids: The Movie

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-08-24 04:03:17

Asteroids: The Movie

I don't quite understand the decision to license the rights to Asteroids. Does this ANCIENT game hold any cache with contemporary moviegoers? Is it the DEEP NARRATIVE of Asteroids that the film producers were looking to parlay? I know, it must be the thrilling setting that they paid to license OH WAIT ROCKS FLOATING IN SPACE ISN'T COPYRIGHTED.

I'd much rather watch this:

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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-08-24 12:00:17

Diplomacy IV - Fall 1905

Play the home version by following these forum threads! The adjudicator is also running a side game of wagering for spectators.

The image below depicts the latest state of the board. A larger version is available for viewing by clicking on it.

Adjudicator Steve W.'s analysis:

...played a short game, facing the triple alliance of Italy, Turkey, and Russia. Joel attempted an ambitious opening intended to give him an advantage in the Balkans, but left himself open to betrayal by Italy and in cooperation with Turkey and Russia, this proved to be too much for the Archduke (and would have been too much for any Archduke).

...had to play a heavily defensive game, coming under attack in 1902 from Germany, France, and (sort of) Russia. Likely far overplayed his diplomatic hand early in the game, successfully encouraging Germany to take all the risk of engaging Russia while England took on very little risk. An important reminder that even if you do manage to convince an ally to accept a lopsided deal in your favor, you have not built a strong alliance. England did manage a successful defensive war from 1902-1903, but the inevitable leakage of enemy fleets onto Yorkshire and Wales were his downfall. Even so, the other players should have encouraged him to help in the fight against Russia by 1904-1905. With English and German cooperation, Denmark could have been in German hands in Fall 1905.

...gained a lot of ground in this game, but still lost. Rapid French growth eventually contributed to a 4-fleet French navy, dominant in the Atlantic, but this was insufficient to make up for a lack of a Mediterranean strategy. Strategic understanding with Germany was very good (and leaving Belgium in French hands, very beneficial for France.) However, Germany and France had very little tactical cooperation and the eventual stab of Germany for Holland and Edinburgh did not set the stage for any useful cooperative resistance against Russia (note the refused support of A Kiel in Fall 1905.)

...was just learning the game, and probably now has a much better idea of how it is played. Wavering policy against Russia was probably the largest failure of German policy in this game. First beginning with a very aggressive anti-Russian move in 1901, concomitant ambivalence towards the critical supply centers of the Low Countries and Scandinavia, and culminating in almost complete ignorance of Russian growth 1902-1904, Germany didn't really take military action to protect itself from Russia until it was too late and the Cossaks were about to march through Berlin. I cannot know what diplomatic action Germany took to counterbalance Russian growth, but Turkey proved powerless against Russia, Italy was allied with Russia, and England was far too busy trying to fight off the Hun. In the final analysis, I shouldn't be too harsh to Steve, since surviving to the end is not bad for a new player.

...was really the other big contender for the title of solo victor this game. Kang gained wonderfully from his alliances, using Turkey as a patsy to the utmost, and driving a successful (1901-1904) Russo-Italian alliance to nine centers before he was stabbed. I don't know how he managed to keep France neutral (I think it may have involved magic,) but that was one of the masterstrokes this game. In the end, he fatally misjudged Russia and cooperated too far, ensuring that his Russian ally could stab him for several centers without his being able to damage Russia in any appreciable way. Even in a successful alliance, it is sometimes not a bad idea to quietly drop suggestions for effective defense to the other side of the board, lest your ally outgrow you too quickly.

...dominated the gameboard in a truly impressive way. Not only were no Russian centers taken by enemy forces once they fell under the Tsar's reign, very few of Russia's moves were ever even blocked by the other players. The only way a 1905 victory was possible was that virtually every Russian unit moved straight into an undefended or poorly defended supply center by the end of the game. The diplomatic action required to make this happen is truly stunning, considering that both Turkey and Germany opened with strongly anti-Russian moves. There's a certain elegance to convincing other powers that they have to turn their units around and go the other way, while your own advance upon their capital (sometimes indirectly, as in the case of Turkey.) I have no reservations in declaring David the most interesting Diplomat in the game. I hear bulls refuse to play Diplomacy against him. I'm trying to look over the moves and see any obvious errors in Russian play this game, but I'm not finding them except in Scandinavia at the very end. That doesn't mean he's invincible, but just that other players would have to build some real trust (more than just "let's go get Russia") to defeat him.

...was short-lived, but fun to watch. Linda deftly manuvered from an anti-Russian position to an anti-Austrian position from Spring to Fall 1901. She successfully gained from the anti-Austrian alliance and properly built fleets to challenge Italy by 1902. However, like Italy later did, she failed to sufficiently guard her borders with Russia. Two-teamed by Italy and Russia, no Sultan would be able to survive.

Good game everyone, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Sorry about the image - digital camera acting up after it rained on us in the Eastern Sierras.

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