- Are you and your family better off than you were in May 2010?
- Do you think this country is a better place than it was in May 2010?
29 April 2012
26 April 2012
|We're in your city, killing your dudes|
25 April 2012
You know, when this government took power, I thought it would fix the economy and the deficit at the cost of massive social damage to this country. They can't even do the former.
22 April 2012
1010 to 1019
To misquote a misquote of Jim Callaghan, former British Prime Minister, “Counterattack? What counterattack?”
1010 saw Red engage in considerably more fire than I did, including three highly effective counter-battery artillery fires on my remaining on-field weaponry. I was either low on ATGMs or had forgotten to reload, but my actions were like King Canute trying to stop the tide…
In fact, OPFOR’s BMPs were filling the air with Spandrels, making my AAVP7s go up more frequently than caravans on Brainiac: Science Abuse (I hope I’m not making too many British references here).
At 1012, the lead element of the northern attack ran into my last-ditch units and a heavy exchange of bullets, grenades and missiles followed, destroying a large number of vehicles on both sides. While Red was nearing 01 Easting, he had not got over the finish line yet – he would take four minutes to do that.
The Red advance began curving its way through the gaps between the trees in the NW corner of the map and with eyes on the last ditchers, Coyote dropped artillery like it was going out of fashion on them – many of his on-map units now in range and joining in. Nearly every one of his shots inflicted casualties and while I tried to take out his artillery units on map, it was to no real avail – I did score a good number of hits, but the fire kept on coming.
If this was a soccer game, Blue supporters would be heading for the Tube by now. In fact, I tried to withdraw two lots of APCs from the battlefield (to report back on my abject failure), only for all of them to get ATGMs in the rear.
1015 saw the SMAW unit in 0105 fire a slew of LAAW missiles at a BMP2 unit only to get cut down by a massive amount of vehicle fire. The following turn, Coyote dropped smoke on the last ditch units, then followed it up with high explosive, effectively putting the guys out of the battle temporarily or permanently. He got six units across that turn, followed by 14 at 1017.
In the south at this time, OPFOR’s attack ran into a Javelin section that eliminated its lead unit, while the Javelins in the north also got a few more shots off.
At this point, the bookies would have started paying out. There were only 13 minutes of this game left to run – Red had already gotten 3% of his units over the victory line and the rest were closing fast, in fact his central mounted units were now joining the northern attack.
Grand Review is going to happen for this - I also plan one for Ringer.
I've also started listening to "The Daleks' Master Plan" on audio - expect a review of that as well.
19 April 2012
Gallifrey (we haven’t heard that name yet and won’t until “The Time Warrior”). Three Time Lords discuss the fact that the Master has got his hands on a secret file on “The Doomsday Weapon”. They decide to send the Doctor to sort this out. They don’t inform him of this – they just dematerialise the TARDIS while he’s showing Jo around.
Arriving on the planet Uxarieus in the year 2472, the Doctor and Jo find an agrarian colony led by a man called Ashe – a group that is trying to forge a new life away from an overcrowded and repressive Earth. While they have an uneasy truce with the “primitives” who live on the planet, their crops are failing and a “monster” is attacking their outer settlements. A survivor from an earlier colony arrives, claiming that the monsters and the Uxarieans wiped out the rest of his people.
Soon, a spaceship from the Interplanetary Mining Corporation (IMC) arrives, led by the nastily urbane Captain Dent and are “shocked” to discover there is a colony already there, so calls in an Adjudicator from Earth to resolve the dispute. The Doctor discovers the true identity of the monster, Jo gets kidnapped and then open fighting begins between the two groups of settlers. Then, the Adjudicator arrives…
The problem with a lot of the six-parters of classic Doctor Who is that they’re two parts too long. “Colony” is another classic example of a story that would have worked better in four 25-minute parts (i.e. 100 minutes, just a tad longer than a DW two-parter today) – tightening up the dialogue and making the thing less of a run-around that some of 1970s and 1980s Doctor Who ends up being.
Malcolm Hulke, who wrote or re-wrote eight Doctor Who stories and created the Silurians among other creatures, was a strong left-winger, never afraid to add political themes to his stories – this one discussing American colonisation is a particular example of his work. There are a lot of interesting ideas here, but the whole story falls apart in the execution.
The dialogue is very un-naturalistic and ‘stagey’. If this was made today, it would be a lot more free-flowing and snappy – Joss Whedon would have a lot of fun with a story like this. While real speech contains too many pauses to be really acceptable for a television audience, there is going too far and this sounds too polished, especially for a bunch of poor farmers who speak in Received Pronunciation.
The pace is plodding and it just feels like a run-around much of the time. That said, the final episode is pretty enjoyable and kicks things up nicely. The effects are well, dated, but they generally are for early 1970s Who.
It’s by no means a bad story – Jon Pertwee is at his charming Edwardian best, Roger Delgado is suitably slimy and Katy Manning demonstrates why she is so popular among fandom. The overall plot is a good one and battle scenes involving slug-throwing weapons always feel more real to me (other Firefly fans as well, I’d say).
All in all, there’s been worse, there’s been better. Wouldn’t recommend this for a first timer to the show, but after a few, who knows.
Received Pronunciation (RP) or The Queen’s English is the “standard” English pronunciation that most native Anglophone people don’t use in their everyday speech. It’s the sort of accent commonly associated with BBC newsreaders and sci-fi of this era. Tom Baker and the late Lis Sladen both hail from Merseyside, but both utilise RP accents for their roles. RP is declining in use (even the Queen is sounding less RP as the years go by), although it is still around and disconcertingly common among British characters in US drama, even those played by British actors, with few notable exceptions. I personally joke that the LA air does something funny to British actors’ vocal cords.
12 April 2012
10 April 2012
(Incidentally, I think Obama will get less than 2008 - but will still win. A noticeable third party guy may turn up and take a good number of votes - not enough to pick up any Electoral College Votes, though)
08 April 2012
The good news is that I've gotten some more air support. From the Chinese - who have decided to contribute a large number of MiG-15s - two groups to start with, with three more coming. I decided to deploy one of these units in Pyongyang to begin with as it would be closer to the front. In the UN half of turn 19 that force came under heavy air attack, taking considerable losses, but also inflicting them at a greater than 1:1 ratio on the larger prop-driven blue/green forces.
The bad news - many of my units have now fallen apart under the strain of the fighting and UN attacks; basically most of the men are scattered, dead or POWs. I'll get some of them back as the units are recreated over the next few turns, but the UN is getting alarmingly close to the 38th Parallel and my VP count is dropping gradually...
01 April 2012
0950 to 0959
This turn started with a bout of vehicles blowing up – in my case with four AAV7s going down to some 2k plus range fire from Coyote’s Spandrels and two of his BRDMs being written off by the infantry squad in square 0901, who were certainly going out with style. This was followed up by an intense vehicle shootout in the north of the map as an M1 platoon went all guns blazing at a large mass of vehicles and did well, while a lucky Red artillery strike on 0701 inflicted several casualties on one of my southern unit groups – a follow-up strike eliminating several squads.
0952 saw one of the most impressive bouts of anti-tank attackery in the entire match as another Spandrel unit took out an M1 section in one volley from half-way across the map.
This period was definitely intense – with the rattle of assault rifle and machine gun fire heard across the map, generally making move resolution arguably lengthy and tedious. Artillery fire showed our relative knowledge of each other well – Red was engaging in effective counter-battery fires, while I was just blasting away at pretty much anything I could see, with a priority on mechanised units. This is not to say that I wasn’t having success in this - as OPFOR’s first units to cross 05 Easting got themselves wiped out to a man by a combination of AT and artillery fire – he didn’t get any more across until 095945.
My thin blue line was slowly being eroded and bypassed, but they were giving a good account of themselves – with several enemy units being taken down as they advanced. The centre of his attack was taking heavy casualties and Coyote diverted forces to the south as I wasn’t giving it the attention that he wanted me to.
0956 and 0957 were bloody – Red’s artillery was getting increasingly accurate and focussed on the Javelin units in 0404, which had contributed a lot to the attack on the northern units that, like the rest of his forces, were moving slowly but surely west. Also, much of my on-map artillery was either gone or suppressed.
I’d gotten some air support back at this point and launched an airstrike at 0958, but the zone was too hot and the strike was aborted. Pity, that bomb could have done a lot of damage.
As 1000 arrived, the overall scores were as follows:
Time Left: 60 minutes
Blue - ABCDE Accomplished
Red exit % - 0
Blue Attrition Points - 9347
Red Attrition Points - 21650
Red had roughly eight clicks to go – but his work was almost done.
One further addition to that - picked up today - if people were willing to have their coats trampled by a donkey for Jesus, then they must have clearly loved him. Who of us here has ever done that for someone who isn't a head of state or our significant other - if at all?