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Okay, doing the whole series is just lazy. ;)



"Wow, that's a little gross to imagine!" "Not if you're into that kind of stuff." "Well, I threw up a little in my mouth, so..."


Classic catchup:



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Coincidentally, the History Channel's blacksmith competition show "Forged in Fire" will feature a Glaive-Guisearm challenge on the next episode! (June 26th.)
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It's a five-pointed throwing star thing, a little larger than an average grown man's hand, that can be telepathically controlled by magic after its claws pop out.

The claws resemble the claws of a goose's arm.

Thus the name.

 >:D


(It's a special type of pike with a broad blade instead of a spear at the end, but the blade has a hook on it, too. There are various designs. It isn't as long as a typical pike, more like normal spear length. This question also vexed me, back since the days of the Blue Book or possibly the Red Basic Rules. But there were pictures back then, too. I think the Swiss Vatican guards use them.)
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Computer Wargaming / Re: Combat Mission status
« Last post by Michael Dorosh on Today at 08:59:31 PM »
Looks like Steve has discussed this at BFC:

Note about map size and engagement ranges. The notion that massive maps are a prerequisite for modern combat is false. Engagement ranges have changed very little since WW2. A King Tiger was just as capable of hitting a target at 4km as an Abrams. What's changed is the effectiveness and flexibility of engagement at longer ranges, making a 4km shot from an Abrams far more likely to hit a target at 4km than a King Tiger. But check out modern AARs from real warfare and you're going to be hard pressed to find 4km engagements and even those aren't going to be all that fun to simulate (i.e. tank sniping at long range is BORING). The desire for larger maps is fine, just don't confuse opinion with fact when it comes to their necessity.


Allied studies showed that German tank and anti-tank units in NW Europe generally opened fire at ranges of I think 500 to 700 metres. I suspect due to the terrain and LOS limitations but also AIUI to assist in accurate gunnery, and most likely to prevent Allied units from simply going to ground and calling down artillery and air on them.
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Computer Wargaming / Re: Combat Mission status
« Last post by Michael Dorosh on Today at 08:54:21 PM »
Let's face it...  In CM you are dropped in right in range of most of the weapons on the board.  There is almost no planning.  SB lets you do some recon, form a plan, and maneuver.  You don't have to use a 4x4 map in SB.  In fact, you can use a large map and restrict it to a smaller area.  But you have the option and the game can handle it if you want to do it.  I have seen SB scenarios where you only control one part of the entire larger blue force and the AI handles flanks.  The AI can be scripted by a designer with an immense amount of options to react to things happening around the map.

It took me a long time to change how I built scenarios from CM to SB.  I was so used to having units start in range and the firefights starting within minutes.  In SB, you have the freedom to not do that.  I can't count the number of CM scenarios I have played where either starting forces or reinforcements enter the board in battle or even in the middle of an enemy formation.

I'd say blame the scenario designers rather than the game. For World War II weapons, 4km isn't battle range. I think 1km would be pushing it, certainly in western Europe. (Desert and Russian steppe are exceptions, and neither theatre has been covered yet.) You may have a point for CMSF2, but that might just speak more to the fact the engine is less suited for modern warfare than its bread and butter.

The point of CM was never to have a large recon and operations planning element - it's really the wrong scale for that, especially given the limitations of the C2 links. It's designed to let you fight a battalion. Most battalions had extremely limited recon capabilities (a British battalion in Normandy had a single platoon of scouts and snipers).

Sounds like the criticism is that CM isn't more like TacOps. I'd suggest to get that experience...you play TacOps. :-)
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The first thing to do is Encamp and memorize spells.

None of us have one bit of equipment on us. Funny that whomever our little thieves are, they didn't bother to take the king's sum of cash we have stashed. I guess we hid 1800 Platinum under our pillows? Bah.



The memorizin' takes over 8 hours. We're seasoned adventurers now. Because we totally defeated Tyranthraxus. Weren't you around for that? Gee, what a shame...  ::)

With nary but the clothes on our backs and enough money to buy this speck of a town, we ventured groggily out into the hallway, to be immediately accosted by this establishment's owner.



Collective scowls are collectively scowling and less than pleased.

What in the hells of the Demonweb Pits happened to us?



Journal Entry 31
"You were brought in by a group in red robes. They said they'd found you on the road, near death. They paid for your rooms in advance, so you can stay as long as you'd like. You had those tattoos when you came in, but I've never seen anything like them. Filani the sage could help you though, you should go see her, two blocks north."


So we were "found" in the road, dumped into this random Inn, had all our lodging expenses paid in advance.

Were we made the playthings of someone or...some thing?

A quick mental check reveals no issues with the nethers, thank goodness. No wyvern tails or tentacles in our past.

Err...that we know of.



Stepping outside into the bright light, feeling naked despite our clothing as we are completely unarmed, the name of the establishment silently calls its name to passerby.

We wander about a bit, trying to find the arms store "across the way."



Guess that ain't it...



Probably shouldn't go bashing or picking locked doors yet...



Aaaaaand I'm doubting that's an arms shop...



There we go!

Our aimless wanderings have finally found the target of the Innkeeper's vague directions.



A guy that looks like he does LARPing on the weekends and on days he's off from his total drag of a retail job helps us re-arm.



I avoid asking the age-old question, "what the **** is a Glaive-Guisarme?"

This is a question as old as time. I remember asking it when I first played the blue-covered D&D game. And through many iterations and editions after that.

Now, I have NO DOUBT that any one of a few dozen weapons nerds in these forums could answer this question RIGHT off the top of their heads.

So could Google, too, but I don't feel like looking. I'd rather leave this ambiguous for the time being.

Or, maybe JP could write us twelve paragraphs on the history of this weapon?  O:-)



Such a nice parting quip.

We're feeling much more warm and fuzzy with new shiny armor, pointy weapons, and spells left sizzling at some of our fingertips.
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Music, TV, Movies / Re: Babylon 5
« Last post by JasonPratt on Today at 08:31:29 PM »
Some of the fx were redone a few years later, so it isn't all contemporary fx. Still the redones don't change much, just touch things up -- a main reason was to improve the monitors on the bridge, for example.

How many related miniseries and special feature episodes were there in addition to the main series?

In continuity order (more or less):

IN THE BEGINNING -- retells the story of Earth's first encounter with the elf-like Minbari, and the genocidal war that followed. Spoils some key plot points since it was made much later after the main series ended. Should probably not be watched until after Season 3's two-parter "War Without End", or even not until near the end of Season 5. (The overarching narration is set during "Objects in Motion" iirc, the climactic action to the second half of Season 5.) The first season will fill in the blanks sufficiently enough to figure out the story after the fact.

THE GATHERING -- this is the pilot movie. Despite much of the human cast changing out afterward, it sets up a number of situations and plot points that continue on into the main series. Should be watched before season 1 starts (and might be included in a season 1 compilation).

THIRDSPACE -- a filler movie that can be safely skipped, set during a period of the show without much filler! There are some continuity snarls, too, which keep it from fitting cleanly anywhere, but roughly speaking it happens somewhere around (or during?) Episode 4.9 "Atonement". It's watchable but not at all necessary.

RIVER OF SOULS -- a filler movie that hearkens back to a somewhat-filler plotline from the first season. Set just after the end of Season 5's story Ep 5.21.


I should point out here that due to the 5 plotted seasons being abandoned by the network, the show basically ties up and ends its main plots at Ep 4.21 "Rising Star". Ep 5.22 was meant to be the true finale to the series, skipping ahead several years, and so is placed at the end of the 5th season, but Ep 4.22 "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" was meant to be an epilogue to the epilogue showcasing the history of the growth of the legend of the history of the story (so to speak) over thousands of generations. When Season 5 was greenlit after all, some parts were foreshortened to add in teasers about events coming in season 5. (Or something like that. What I mean is that the final eps to Season 4 and 5 are screwy.)

Season 5 itself ends up being kind-of filler, with two main stories (dividing the season into rough halves) acting much like the second half of "Into The Woods"! -- the happy ending isn't a clean ending after all, and several things fall apart messily. Some fans like it, but I didn't. The quality drops off a lot in my opinion, and I've never watched it again.


A CALL TO ARMS -- starts a new large story arc after the events of season 5 (but long before the seasons 4 and 5 finales), and serves as the pilot film for a new series with some serious similarities to the Space Battleship Yamato / Star Blazers. The sequel series was called "Legend of the Rangers" "Babylon 5: Crusade" and due to a number of problems including rampant Executive Meddling, it was wrapped up with an aborted single season.  I gave up on it long before the season ended, and have never gone back. (Heck I didn't even remember the series name properly!)

THE LEGEND OF THE RANGERS: TO LIVE AND DIE IN STARLIGHT -- was supposed to be the pilot film of a third series, but its ratings doomed it (partly due to unlucky or unwise scheduling). I've never watched it myself.

THE LOST TALES: VOICES IN THE DARK -- was supposed to be the pilot film, sort of, for a direct-to-video intraquel series, but that didn't pan out either. Never watched it myself.


In conclusion, the only tie-in movies I recommend are The Gathering (because that starts the actual series, and may be included with season one anyway) and In The Beginning (although that's more of an official fan film and isn't really necessary for anything; it just fleshes out things we already know and have heard about, sometimes borrowing footage straight out or recreating it.) I made my own fan-edit of ITB which minimizes the narrator's situation and some other spoilery things, so that I can watch / show it 'first' safely.

I usually do watch Thirdspace, but it's far from necessary, more of a small breather arc between the main stories of Season 4.
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Computer Wargaming / Re: Steam Summer Sale 2018...
« Last post by Steelgrave on Today at 08:26:29 PM »
So I've always gotten a kick out of the "News of the Bizarre" type columns where people do something so crazy or stupid it becomes news. But sometimes situations repeat themselves to the point where they are no longer bizarre. Stupid perhaps, yet commonplace. What does this have to do with the Steam Summer Sale? I'm sorry you asked......

I'm sorry because this is at least the fifth or sixth time I've gone to buy a game on Steam only to discover......I already own it. Today's entry into the bizarre was "Freemen:Guerilla Warfare" which I apparently bought during the Christmas sale and never installed.  :-"  :uglystupid2:  L:-)  Granted, I love grabbing a bargain and darn it, I'm a gamer. Still....it would probably be good for my karmic balance if I actually played the games I bought sometimes. Or even half of the games.

Oh and I'm reinstalling Skyrim. Somehow I suspect this will not end well for my unplayed game balance......
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I'm copying and pasting a lot of content from the game books. If that's copyright infringement, please tell me and I will refrain and edit as necessary. I figure that these materials are so prevalent now on teh Intarwebz that it's not that big a deal, and it helps a lot to frame the story if you, the reader, understands the history.

If you don't care, just keep scrolling to the next few posts.

Ahem...getting into role-playing voice mode, here...

"I am beginning a new journal. My old journal is gone, along with all of the party's equipment. I write here to try to make some
sense out of our spotty memories.

We had all agreed to come south to Tilverton to seek the lost princess, Nacacia of Cormyr. Tilverton is on the border between the Dalelands and Cormyr, and was the last place the princess had been spotted.

Rumor was that King Azoun's youngest daughter, the Princess Nacacia, ran away from the royal household of Cormyr almost a year ago. She fled an arranged marriage and ran off with a cleric from Tilverton named Gharri of Gond.

The latest word was that Nacacia and Gharri had a falling out and that she was seen near ‘Tilverton recently. The king had a large reward out for Nacacia's return. A smart group of adventurers like ourselves


HA

could make some powerful friends if they found the princess and returned her to the king.

Somewhere along the road to Tilverton we were attacked. The brigands must have been invisible, because some of our party went down before we knew what was going on. I vaguely remember dark faces in evil looking helmets firing crossbows into our midst. The crossbow hits were not fatal, but every hit seemed to drop its target. I remember getting hit in the arm. The wound blazed like fire. My head swam, just before l blacked out, I thought that this was a bad end for such experience adventurers.

I mean, we beat Tyranthraxus like a rented 0th-level NPC. We totally pwned him. Maybe I'll eventually get to tell that story...

Anyway, now we awake in Tilverton with our wounds healed. Our equipment is gone, but we have found a stash of coins. One of
our first priorities must be to buy new equipment.


Funny thing! We have 300 friggin' Platinum pieces PER CHARACTER. That's...1,500 Gold pieces.

EACH.

We could build a damn Keep with that kind of coin.

Anyway...back to the backstory...

I overheard a servant mention the date, but I in not sure I believe it. If the servant speaks true it is almost a month since the ambush. Almost anything could have happened in that time.

It seems that almost anything did. Each of us awoke with five azure blue symbols imprinted on our sword arm. The symbols are
not tattoos, they seem to exist below the skin. They occasionally feel like they're moving.




We have devised a plan of attack. Our spell-casters will prepare their spells. We will purchase some new arms and armor. Then we are going out into Tilverton and find out what is going on. Someone must know. And l don l care if we have to roust every sage, priest, and bartender in this town to find out.

These are some random printed notes I have collected. Their information may be important on our journey."
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We're not using a TANDY 1000 (thank God), so...



Fortunately, this wait time is now much shorter than it was back in the day.



Dun dun DUNNNNNNNN



Yay, it works!

Curse of the Azure Bonds is the second gold box D&D game in a long series of D&D gold box games (four, I think in this one). Admittedly, it was my least favorite of the series, but in the interest of humor and trying to be consistent (with the storyline, not giving up on this halfway through...we ain't even that far into it yet!), I'm going to go with this.

I mean, it's been 25+ years since I've played it. Surely things have improved with age?



Well, maybe not.

I think I messed up with the original lineup and overlooked one or two of you that 'volunteered' your screen name for that last AAR. I went back through and made sure I hit everyone this time.

So here's the list of characters...

BC - Human 5th level Fighter
Sir Slash - Human 5th level Paladin
KyzBP - Human 5th level Cleric
Mirth - Half-elf 4th/4th level Fighter/Magic-User
Barthheart - Human 6th level Thief
BBMike - Human 5th level Magic-User

Yeah yeah, we're Human-heavy here. Take it up with the student unions representing elves, dwarves, and the other fantasy creatures out there. I only made mirthy a Half-Elf because it was required for a dual-class, and I wanted a Fighter/Mage in the party. So there. :P

The party is in dire straights once again. Be prepared for a lot of exposition in the following posts as I set up the story.
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