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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-07-29 08:18:44
Madden NFL 12
Funny, I finally get around to writing this comic strip and the NFL Players Association and the owners actually mange to come to terms a couple days before we post this. This is one of those rare times that my low estimation of humanity proved to be overly cynical. They actually managed to agree to curb their greed...in order to make money. Basketball has gotten so much fun in recent years, I hope the NBA manages to follow suit.
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-07-28 03:58:38
Diplomacy VI - Fall of 1997
Britain continued his joint campaign with Spain, and captured the port of Bordeaux. Steve G.'s Wing unit also slipped into Alsace, where it completes an encirclement of the remaining French forces or is able to conduct joint maneuvers with the Italian guerrilla army. He also risked command of the North Sea for a curious move to Lapland; but now that the Russian theater is nearly cleared of military forces, it does give him a bid at the final Russian territory of Murmansk.
Conceding Cairo to the invading Turks, Egypt elected to take the offensive and slid into the Red Sea. In conjunction with Ukraine's move to Kazakhstan, this muddies Turkey's Middle Eastern strategy. It remains to be seen whether Ukraine's declaration of war on Turkey came in time for Steve W. to salvage his survival.
France got sliced to ribbons. Britain took Bordeaux, Spain captured Marseilles, and Italy seized Monaco. Predicting this, Germany stabbed Paul as well, and casually slid into Belgium and Switzerland. That leaves only the French interior and an unguarded colony in Milan remaining. It's difficult to envision a scenario in which France isn't eliminated next year.
Germany made me LOL. Mike saw that his two allies, France and Russia, were crumbling and decided to turn on them before everyone else claimed the spoils. He was able to laughably stroll into these conquests with limited or no support. Germany's forces are still extended and strewn about, but now THERE ARE A SHITTON OF THEM. IF he can end Poland, make peace with Ukraine, and deal with that rogue Italian army in his interior (each reasonably achievable conditions, although accomplishing all three would be quite a feat), he'll be in decent shape to take on even an alliance of foes.
Italy continues to be the X Factor, as she slowly claws her way back into the game. I've repeatedly described Kodi as the "eye of the hurricane", as every single player has higher priorities than attacking her. Like a fulcrum, she is in position to affect the game to a degree far out of proportion to her actual strength. Her choice to build an army bodes ill for Germany, as that would be consistent with a Continental campaign and in line with past grudges.
Remarkably, Poland endures. The Spanish player awarded him the "Cockroach Award" this game for proving impossible to kill. There is undoubtedly a large degree of luck in his continued survival, but Vargas has remained committed to a sound strategy of working with a solid player to attack his biggest threats. Now that the Russian homeland has been entirely neutralized, he can turn his attention toward ousting the German invaders from his homeland. With the entirety of the West seemingly aligning against Germany, this is now within the realm of remote plausibility.
Russia finally collapsed. Charles managed to pull off one clever tactical defensive maneuver after another all game long...while Germany continued to provide support. With Germany deciding to claim a slice of the Russian pie, all was lost. Entertainingly, he elected to keep a fleet far from home as his last military unit. I look forward with anticipation to see its final act of defiance. Considering the hand he was dealt, Russia played a superb game that might not be entirely obvious from the game board alone. While constrained by harsh military conditions, I feel that no other player effected as much political influence over the course of this game. Well played. (If he somehow manages to survive, I'm gonna feel stupid for giving this eulogy.)
The Anglo-Spanish coalition continued their methodical dismantling of France, and their interests remain aligned. Ignoring the wild cards, the political landscape can be summed up with the four juggernauts: Ukraine vs. Turkey, and Britain/Spain vs. Germany. Alliances are typically fragile, paranoid animals, but these two have demonstrated sufficient wherewithal to expect continued cooperation to mutual benefit. Kang leaving Morocco untouched is a prime indicator of this enlightened self-interest.
Turkey now faces a grueling campaign against Ukraine. The Black Sea is about to be jammed up in a massively ugly naval struggle over the relatively small pond. Ukraine is also flanking Iran, and the Turkish army in Iraq must choose between saving that or defending Saudi Arabia from the Egyptian fleet. Despite these difficulties, Gorbash does retains sufficient force to stalemate Ukraine while he continues to sweep North Africa.
Ukraine accomplished every reasonable goal last turn: ending Russia, gaining builds, and positioning against Turkey. Yino has the clear positional strength on the critical Black Sea, and can mop up Poland if he requires reinforcements. His new army is three turns from reaching the support position that is Azerbaijan, but he clearly has the initiative against Turkey. The only major setback would be a shooting war with Germany.