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1  Community / License to Improvise / Re: STORMSURGE - Warstrider Gaming for Mastercraft on: Today at 08:31:01 AM
Handling is over-priced and under-valued; to be frank when it's a special order quality I get a bit Tongue and ACE specializes in Striders that are near the bottom of handling upgrade costs.

As correctly noted the proliferation of gadgetry underlines it's (probably excessive) bang-for-buck value. There is precedent for that though; looking at model upgrades in military aviation changes to electronics are some of the most common -what doesn't fit under the dashboard can be hung on external pods.

Tangent: maybe the hybrid-flight designs should get reduced Handling upgrades costs?

The weapon/armor/powerplant ratio seems to be pretty damn good though. I know I've spent hours agonizing over just how much plating to scrape up to make the Hoplite's weapons and turret costs balance out just right with enough left over for enough electronics to keep it from being utterly disabled by EWS tricks or the like. That design has a real vulnerability to being knocked over and to missiles, but for what I think the rest of it does that's acceptable.

Just mentally meandering now, but I wonder if the the inherent problem is that it's like trying to build a tank into a fighter jet? The problem is that if you're trying to improve a fighter improving it's flight qualities is the most overall effective set of changes to make. Trying to fit it to be more durable is generally a giant waste of energy for minuscule gains -though notable exceptions exist like the legendarily durable A-10 Thunderbolt 2.
However the A-10 isn't an air-superiority design by miles and is more like a kind of specialized helicopter than it is like the rest of it's brethren.
Hmm. Anyway, is what makes Striders work advances in weapons tech? Like I'm guessing an Abrams or Challenger-2 can't stand up to a commonplace Stormsurge payload; a tank that can't survive a direct hit is just a cost sink. So Striders are just harder to hit and more able to use terrain variations for cover.

Part of it is the broad range of possible encounters, right? This is The Bloody Dark; it's warfare in every type of terrain except the Arctic. Tanks can't stomp jungles and aircraft have monstrously high upkeep costs for the national/tribal/corporate/contractor forces involved. But you can squeeze a Scout or Light Strider in and around the trees, dip it in the lakes and trudge it up the mountains -and still massacre any idiot with an AK who decides to try himself when you arrive.
I'm guessing that that's the kind of the magic number: tough enough to laugh off HMG fire means being able to cow 90% of TBD encounters. And unlike the modern crapholes of war IED's are only of limited use because roads aren't quite as mandatory. They're still valuable and worth protecting, but just lying in wait for a fat target's less useful when A) the target's not as obliged to show up and B) isn't some national military trying to win hearts and minds and can in fact sweep for IED's or their caretakers with a flametongue.

Forgot where I was going with all that, but maybe it'll still be useful.
2  Products / Z-Corps / Re: Escape Routes & Safe Zones on: October 29, 2014, 11:08:11 PM
Enterprise and Joseph? Man, that's some serious "I hear a banjo" country out there.

You can pick your friends but you can't pick your family and all that.
3  Community / License to Improvise / Re: STORMSURGE - Warstrider Gaming for Mastercraft on: October 29, 2014, 04:01:57 AM
Of course of constant interest is the possible continuation of the Stormsurge events in progress...
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 28, 2014, 03:16:09 PM
So... after the Marvel event thing... who's winning?? DC or Marvel??  Evil
is it wrong to just answer this, "the fans?"

QFT, good show sir. Cool
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 28, 2014, 09:44:28 AM

Aye, we do. Cool
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: October 28, 2014, 06:10:19 AM
Yes, that's why I have been looking in my spare time but not really finding anything on it

I can't deny that I find the idea repugnant, but really there's only one valid answer: if there's proof and it stands up to peer review, I'm interested.
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Vids (Keep it Clean) on: October 28, 2014, 02:03:57 AM
We The Economy.
Twenty videos about how money in the United States works, where it all started, and what happens later.
It's good stuff.

Also the Totally Sweet Alpacas might make a great Cartoon Network parody.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 28, 2014, 01:41:28 AM
Wait, you were firing up short-duration satellites for the purpose of having them splash down into your controlled areas?
That's goddamn brilliant. Coral provides Culture, too.
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 28, 2014, 12:39:42 AM
Brain-droppings ahoy.

So here's a proposition: we get a clear look at why a given Affinity works, but how do they fail?
Note: I'm ignoring any possible influence on conflict; IE why Harmony goes to war (threat reaction instinct? smells delicious?) is different from why Supremacy might (kill you, take j00r l007s) but really it's moot because the end results (and even broad motivations: hate, greed, fear) are the same.

Off the top of my head:

Purity: human problems, human solutions. With the promise of further human problems.
Firaxis is very deliberately coy about what the Great Mistake was, but I bet it was probably Human caused. Purity means doing our best to ignore that we're creatures as much as we're intelligent and that the possibility of repeating another wave of disaster and desperate recover is real.
There's also the question of can we ever elevate ourselves beyond our mistakes? New tools, same tool users, different outcomes?
Or of some immortal dictator-lord managing to ruin everything with an eternal era of grim darkness?
Those Settlers being Liberated from Earth could be reduced to Slaves right damn quick if the wrong Prince-Regent-Prime thinks that "they need to earn their upkeep!"

Supremacy: self-abnegation. The problem is that if you can't be you, what's the point of your life? I'm not bothered by the idea that personal liberties have to be judiciously curtailed, but if I don't get to have any fun then fuck you and your "Glorious Vision of Forever."

Plus we are (best that I know anyway) basically biological machines. What we do, we do from biological promptings. It's kind of like the Heroin Equation: everything you enjoy you enjoy because Dopamine. You could inject Heroin and get alllll the Dopamine without any of the other work. And Supremacy potentially allows so much mechanical neurological alteration either you have to deliberately regulate access to Dopamine, or remove it altogether -at which point you've never having fun again. And where's the being human in that?
Of all the random-ass things to be right about, Andrew "Dice" Clay had a routine wherein he was running with the idea of how great it would be to have an orgasm button and that if he had one he'd just pound on it all day every day. Well, imo in Supremacy that's a real possible issue.
Even the greatly disassociated Major Motoko Kusanangi of Ghost in the Shell would sometimes spend her downtime making "drug" programs for cyborgs of a similar type like herself.
You could probably find people willing to exist utterly in the absence of themselves in service to some higher cause, but at what point would you not just use computers instead? It could be that sapient minds are just better at certain tasks, but let's not get full of ourselves -we're amazing parallel processors, but machines could catch up. We're only made of common-grade stuff, after all.

Also, there's a small but persistent worry that the right super-user could get to be in charge of everything. I'm sure the various redundancies and AI managed system can keep that from happening, but I'd like those "one-in-a-X" chance to be upwards of millions, thanks.

Harmony: bad luck.
A problem with Transcendence is it's Event Horizon nature. Once the Mind Flower goes live and we're all WE what happens next? Can one very strong impulse dominate others? Because then we could be one psychopath with a taste of meditation away from become the next Black/Black MtG deck theme.
What about pain? I like the idea of a total shared cognispace but I don't really want you to share my dental surgery.... though it might be interesting to be the dentist and patient and everyone watching all at once.
And there's a kind of terrifying blind spot called the rest of the universe. It would really, really suck to run across something capable of insinuating itself into the network and propagating like a psychic virus.
Also how much cognition would remain? Or what about Trolling? Could I hate someone to death?
I love the idea, but the possibilities are troubling.
10  Products / Z-Corps / Re: Escape Routes & Safe Zones on: October 27, 2014, 11:37:51 PM
La Grande is really gorgeous. I lived there for six months or so. The whole Grande Ronde Valley could just be a feudal kingdom in case of zombie. At least until they get overrun.  Smiley

Hey, +1 to you. Smiley
I spent years in and out of Enterprise and Joseph.
11  Products / Z-Corps / Re: Escape Routes & Safe Zones on: October 27, 2014, 08:30:12 PM
Wallowa County in the eastern half of Oregon state.
It's hot, dry, hilly and has a low population density.
Easy place to get a horse, too, and easy access to natural water sources.

...nah, I'm still planning on dying. Tongue
There's only a few routes through the mountains separating me from them and they'll get terminally blocked in hours.
Make it that far and the odds that a jumpy asshole with a long gun and better knowledge of the terrain ends you because reasons are too high.

Hmm, so what about safe civilian-provide relief?
I'm thinking of an old home of mine. Long, flat driveway (100 meters maybe) with easy LoS to a house surrounded by fenced-off pastures.
Put a simple shelter at the base: stock it with water, trailbars, maybe some first aid stuff and decorate with a bullseye target with a few rounds in it already.
Sign says, "take what you need, don't take it all, don't approach the house, keep moving and good luck."
If we're super-tech maybe put a field phone or solar radio out there for emergencies or news or trade.
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 27, 2014, 07:33:29 PM
I love / hate how it's VERY hard to be a Wonder hog.  The Web pretty much makes it impossible to lock down all the wonders.  You go for Crawler too quickly, and someone is going to grab Gene Vault.  You spend your time getting Memetwork, and Daedalus Ladder is going to go.  Makes all your choices very much "Can I afford to lose this to gain that?"

I've put a little brain-wattage towards adapting the rhyme structure of "the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" for the story of "How Valentina Became the God-Emperor," but it's not working out. Tongue

So I'll use your kindly proffered anecdote instead.

I'm the PK.
It's a Jungle-trove world-type-thinger.
Seven other Civs.
Normally I don't chase Wonders enough. I rarely get more than the non-unique ones up and running, but because of a twist of Expedition result I'm looking at a really early full point of Purity.

(The concept of Purity as a touchstone for a civilization makes me ooky. It's all downhill to jackboots and workcamps and worse when you canonize ideological absolutes like that, but I said "fuck it" because what's the point of cognition if you never consider things you don't like?)

This time's different. I unlock the Gene Vault pretty early. Wewt, can we build it?
NO. -PAC just finished it (I'm also like 5/10 for the "get construction of a Wonder interrupted by someone else" achievement), Tongue to me.
ONWARD, to the...uh...I forget, but another Genetics/Purity-ish Wonder.
NOPE.MKV, PAC again.
Previous the Pan-Asian Collective and I had an "disagreement" about the rate of my expansion. Seems adapting the Koranic urging to spread the faith by word or sword into a city-growth mechanic is a good way to arse your neighbors. Surprise surprise.
So when I go to Condemn the PAC for their pissing me off -though "they covet a Wonder you've built" is an NPC attitude factor, I see their rep already pounding her fist into her hand.
For about a dozen turns it's pretty rough. I'm not a patient, long-sighted commander. And we're #1 (her) and #2 (me) for strength of civilization. And I'm not super rich so my local Outpost doesn't do much contributing to being more then a hub for unit healing for a while.
I've built a metric (not Imperial, whoops gotta declare an edict changing it back) fuckton of Artillery in preparation of this war.
I've gotten my teeth into Purity unit advancements, and pretty soon my Rangers are Gunners and my Missile Rovers are Artillery.
"Ultima ratio regnum, motherfuckers."
I finally take the first PAC border city, this 16 pop monstrosity I've spent too many turns bashing my head against.
 Shocked Huh? Angry Angry Angry Lips Sealed Cry Tongue
Not that I don't totally see why, but I think they were being opportunistic.
And then it's Totaler Krieg.

But I've been chasing that Purity star.
And pretty soon my Marines are Sentinels who're damn tough with that +30% Defending bonus and a nice hill.
And my Gunners are Guardians they get this sick +30% when defending from a city so I really don't need more then 2 units to hold down territory.
And my Arty are Punishers with a total 3 move and +60% when attacking Cities! (EMP is the new Napalm, so says the God-Emperor).
And I've built roads to everywhere I'm planning on fighting and am converting my inter-city lines into magrail non-stop.^
So when the waves come I have very, very effective defense units and can get reinforcements 30 tiles in 2 turns.

(I'll say this for Purity: it works basic Gunline Tactics quite well. Soldiers in defensive terrain, bonus-range Gunners shooting past them, kill opportunistically with Armor, and Artillery waiting to roll into position -it's all by-the-book-Napoleonic, and I can work that.)

So yeah, War is brutalizing.
My Colony Health is down under -40 (well under 70 by the end) when I finish the PAC (no Achieve for just wiping out one Faction, btw) and when I start taking cities if I see a population under 8 I burn that puppy down. Not worth the time.
I hit Tier 4 pretty fast -at least 2 tiers ahead of the rest, and I stop bothering with Armies. Small cities I just throw a Lancer or a Battlesuit at and they rarely take a third turn.
Burn it and move on.
And on, and on, etc etc.

(There is one brightspot -I take the ARC capital with a coup-d`etat. and I was cheering aloud when that worked. Grin
Just POW and suddenly Susan "Adam Smith said" Fielding is shaking her and saying she'll just put it on my tab.

The rest is carnage. The Brasilian leader's last words are "I cannot stop your evil, but not for want of trying."
#respect, burn nothing.
The irony is that A) I never intended to do more than punch the PAC in the mouth and B) every couple of turns I went to my former trade partners like the Polystralians and ARC and sued for Peace.
Dee-nide? So be it.

(The Franco-Iberians, btw, where the only group to develop T3 units, and those Harmony critters were a bitch to chew apart.)

Oh, and Ironic Component article C) is that I'd meant to encircle and control the Slavic Federation so as to sail to an Exodus victory qualifier ...except that I'd take their capital early, and hadn't known that I didn't need to squash the whole colony to knock them out of the running if I had that.

Cue hollowed out cityscapes and mournful meditations on how "the path to peace ultimately must be walked alone."
...and the accompanying achievements.


*actually very weakest powers the Franco-Iberian and the Brasilia do not. And I do indeed "destroy them last."
^pun intended.
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 27, 2014, 02:49:03 AM
Morg: so the Coastline Scanner is as useful as you might guess it is. I saved a lot of time and questions on blind exploration with it.
But the Tectonic Scanner? Yeah, super handy. Biomass, Titanium, and a couple of others are easily just found in the field -Geo-Thermal's a pain.
14  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Around the Campfire [OOC and open feedback] on: October 26, 2014, 06:13:12 PM
As always I like cool ideas, and I'm most fixated on the mechanical outcome.
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 26, 2014, 05:30:48 PM
Well, map size is a factor.
That'll work on a Small map, but Massive won't be as viable.
That said 6-8 hexes between cities seems about optimal where density is concerned.

I missed a Transcendence victory for the second time, and I just realized why:
I didn't build factories.
Yup, my Fence moment is better than anyone else. Tongue Grin
I did manage to research almost everything and I won a war against a comparably sized nation (PAC got angry about me destroying a station they were trading with and attacked; Xeno Titans carried the day), but next try through I'm not going to forget about Factories which should save me a lot of time on everything.

That said my health index was rarely lower then -3, and was in the positives even after Annexing several population 12+ cities.

So we're a large, healthy militarily robust nation that's still going to lose Civilization. Fail. XP
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