WoT stands for World of Tanks and wall of text.

So, with our Eve corporation not actually playing Eve (unless targets are presented on a platter, a gang is already formed and they are cordially invited to attend by persons leading said gang, via Ventrilo) I’ve been mostly playing the World of Tanks beta, which while occasionally infuriating to a degree I cannot explain unless you ask me within three seconds of my T-34-85’s ammo rack exploding, is actually a bit of a lark.

I imagine it’s a bit less exciting for people who play tank destroyers, and sit in bushes like Wiley-fucking-Coyote waiting for an unsuspecting Roadrunner to happen across their crosshairs, but for me and my medium tank it’s either death, glory, death and glory, or death followed by a string of unrepeatable obscenities. I like it best when it’s just glory.

It’s a game that doesn’t really fit under the MMO title but seems to have fallen in to the trap of masquerading as one, much like so many games these days that seem to want to ‘ride the wave’. MMOs have such a high turnover rate these days that there are few with consistent player bases, and most of the ones that do have player numbers that are dwarfed by the number they launched with. The examples I’d use are Warhammer Online and Aion, simply because I played them myself and later moved on. In fact, Eve is the only MMO that I maintain a consistent ‘relationship’ with, Eve seems to have become the online gaming equivalent of a wife, comparative to other MMOs which would surely qualify as nothing but mistresses or passing fancies, who are not cut out for the long run.

Nonetheless, World of Tanks masquerades, even though the actual game system is much more like an FPS – even the more “massively” orientated attributes are easily matched by FPS games these days, as the progression doesn’t go much deeper than play matches in tanks > gain experience & cash > unlock and buy new tanks. Not entirely different from unlocking new weapons in say, Battlefield Bad Company 2, surely?

Really the only thing that sets it apart from the usual FPS system is the restrictive reliance on credits, you have to pay for ammo and tank repairs after a battle, which can be more expensive than the coin you make from winning it if you’re storming around (crawling around more like) the battlefield in a Tiger or larger. There’s a lot of armour to superglue back on to a Tiger tank after it’s taken a good old fashioned twatting, so you get bills big enough to push you in to using lighter tanks as money makers so that you can afford to use your larger ones.

All of this said, it’s a good laugh, and once there’s a team system in place that’ll allow grouping with friends (we currently count down from three on Ventrilo and all hit “Battle” at the same time, then hope to god we got in to the same match) the experience will only improve. I’m not convinced of the longevity of the game, but perhaps the lack of a subscription will compensate for that. No sub means you can pick up and play when it suits you, and the optional micro-transactions don’t seem too game breaking.

Anyway, I would talk about anime as usual but I’ve not really watched any. Since I finished Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood I’ve watched maybe 2 episodes of Highschool of the Dead, and that’s about it.

What I have been watching after some demands on the part of a friend, is Life on Mars, which has been pretty awesome so far. I’m currently just over half way through the second season and I’ve no doubt that I’ll have finished it and be hitting up Ashes to Ashes some time this week.

Now that I’ve provided something resembling an update, even if mostly a muddled explanation of my opinion of World of Tanks, I’m going to get on with ordering myself a takeaway, as it is the weekend, I’m hungry and I can’t blog and operate Just-Eat at the same time without fucking one up entirely.

Final note before I sign off is this: If you have a bizarrely named domain such as, I don’t know, ClaymoreDog.com, and you’re asked by work colleagues what the name is about, don’t try to explain, it’s not possible to do it any kind of sensible way.

Toad in the hole

No, this post doesn’t have anything to do with food, at least not with Toad in the Hole, Toad in the hole is the name of our True Sansha Control Tower in the w-space system we have affectionately come to know as simply “Toad”. In case you’re reading this and have no idea what I just said, you may want to skip downwards as I’m going to ramble about Eve-Online a bit.

We moved into Toad on the merit that it was the first unoccupied Class 4 w-space system that I could find, and over the last couple of weeks it has treated us to some fun things, such as watching Yswr’s Hurricane attempt to align under fire from four Sleeper battleships with no RR in a system that reduces ship agility, while webbed. It exploded of course, and we smirked and continued, as w-space is lucrative enough that losing a Hurricane is of course absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

This, and the small fool around in Faction Warfare that preceded it, is part of our re-entry to Eve. Once coffers are full and we’re good and ready Omerta Syndicate will see a reactivation of sorts, a return to active service.

It’s been a while, and I for one am still rusty – you play a game for long enough consistently and you develop an extra instinct of sorts, you respond appropriately to your surroundings without hesitation and you know where everything in your UI is. Take a year out and you’ll find yourself a bit clumsier than you remember.

It didn’t stop me from flattening a Navy Slicer with my Claw recently, but it did mean afterwards I lost a 1v1 with a Hookbill, something I could have avoided if my approach had been measured better, leaving me just a couple of km closer after the mutual scrambling occurred. As it was I was too far in to fall off range and the dip in DPS meant I couldn’t quite kill him quick enough. It’s all just practice, really, and I do miss piloting interceptors so I’m sure I’ll get plenty once we’re back in populated space.

Speaking of PVP, Alliance Tournament 8 has been airing on EveTV over the weekend, much to the delight of, well, the entire corp, who have been on Ventrilo cheering along with the matches like it’s the Eve World Cup. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Machariels blow up in groups of three, or so many Drakes fielded by idiots. The Drake is a hugely useful and versatile ship, it pains me to see these cretins just slap HML and Extenders on it, press f-keys and seemingly go AFK for a shit while the fight plays itself out. Lrn2HAM.

Final note on the subject of Eve is that Planetary Interaction has finally been released, command centres included, and some very elaborate planning and charting has followed on our part. PI is, to understate greatly, overwhelmingly fiddly. There are so many ways to do it badly that the mind simply boggles as to how many planets will be squandered under the control of moron armies of aspiring tyrants who will surely just keep pressing buttons until something starts moving, spinning or twirling, and then consider themselves satisfied with their shiny “Empire”. God knows Eve isn’t without its population of slightly more remedial users, and in a game with such a huge capacity for failure anything can happen.

If you wanted to skip the Eve speak then you’re safe to continue from here.

So I said earlier that this thread wasn’t about food, and I was telling the truth, mostly, but there’s one thing I feel is noteworthy, and that is Deks KFC chicken conspiracy theory. He assures me that KFC chickens are in fact not grown in the traditional manner of egg > chicken > bargain bucket, but are actually genetically modified test tube chickens that grow only a breast.

Deks, to you I say this, if only a breast is grown, then where the fuck do they keep getting the wings and legs from? I’m sure the answer will be that those are also part of the genetic growth plan, but somehow I’m struggling with the idea.

Anyway, the following is entirely to distract Deks from questing towards me with intent to clarify, and instead send him into a state of confusion. If you don’t understand, simply scroll on and normal blogging will resume.

Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line

While Deks hypnotizes himself in to a fit of rage reading that a few times we will continue.

My next subject is fucking huge holes in the ground. Specifically this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nni68iqI7WA

This is something that there is, I’m quite sure, a perfectly logical scientific explanation for. But still, it’s pretty ominous, right? A giant hole opens up and swallows a three story building. Just one building. Who lived there? He must have pissed off someone important, like, uh, Lucifer. I don’t know if the idea of disappearing 200ft down a hole that wasn’t there five minutes ago scares the shit out of anyone reading this, but I for one find it just the slightest bit intimidating. And what do they do now? Fill it? Cover it? Charge Americans as much money as possible to come see it as a tourist attraction?

Maybe I’ll look it up later, for now I’m going to crash.

Something to do

This post is going to be about AMVs (That’s Anime Music Videos for those who haven’t stumbled across these at some point already).

While mostly merit-less fan creations made to pay tribute to a thoroughly enjoyed series/movie, there are as with anything, a number of gems hidden amongst the thousands of fan videos submitted to YouTube to be criticized by the world of internet cynics or fawned over by those with similar tastes.

Whether it’s flashy editing or just good timing and fitting music, there’s always some that stand out, here are some I’ve stumbled across so far.

Note: Some of these may contain spoilers – if you’ve not seen the series in the title, and are likely to watch it, it might be best to give that one a miss.

The Best of You (Multi-series)

Faint Remix (Samurai Champloo) *Spoilers*

Stress (Cowboy Bebop) *Spoilers*

W.U.N. (Soul Eater) *Spoilers*

300 Trailer (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) *Spoilers*

I’ll leave it at that for now.

Convention

Another short and decidedly random bit of nothing I wrote makes it on to the internet… This one’s a bit odd.

Convention

He stared at the numbers in the corner of his screen, waiting for the 59 to become 00 and start the 60 minute cycle over. This 60 minute cycle would also reset the other numbers too, marking the start of a new day, the end of today.

Today will never happen again, he thought, pondering the significance of that. While today is another Monday among an infinite number of Mondays within an infinite number of weeks made up of days, hours, minutes and seconds, he couldn’t help but think about it.

This Monday is finished, at the end of its cycle, dead.

Then again, the entire system is artificial, isn’t it? We created calendar and clock systems as a means to measure time, regulate, plan, whatever.

00:00

Tuesday.

He wondered if it’d be more eventful than Monday, or whether Tuesday would bring nothing of value.

What if we didn’t have minutes, he questioned, how would we manage with a less precise system? Everything would be scheduled on the hour, never at half-past or quarter-to.

Looking away from the screen into a pair of blue eyes, he smiled.

“I’m sorry sweet heart; I didn’t mean to ignore you”

He turned the screen off and then stretched his arms out, he was visibly tired, not that she could tell.

“I’ll drop you off at home in the morning.”

He lifted the head from his lap by a fistful of blonde hair as he stood up and tossed it in to a nearby waste paper basket, then wandered sleepily towards the bedroom.

Udon noodles are great

But Udon noodles and their inherent greatness aside, there are some other great things making an appearance. In between my bordering-on-excessive Bones spree (I’m late to the party I know) I’ve noticed that Hollywood is going to be spitting out some good fun in the near future and the now.

Generally I try to be one of those elitist gits that insists Hollywood movies are all woefully shit and should take some pointers from world cinema, rather than simply doing a terrible job of “adapting” asian cinema for western audiences, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood doesn’t have its diamonds, specifically, the best full-on action movies. No-one really blows shit up quite as impressively.

For example, while Spiderman was turned into a complete wuss, particularly in the third movie (Evil influence means getting yourself confused with an emo John Travolta and being rude to people apparantly) Iron Man on the other hand was fantastic, on a pie chart it’d be 60% awesome 15% victory and 25% fuck yeah.

So with that in mind, I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing Iron Man 2, and if you’re not then I think there must be something very wrong with you and I’d recommend making an appointment to see your Doctor.

I’m also looking forward to watching Law Abiding Citizen, which judging by the trailer, mostly reminds us that while you can take Gerard Butler out of Sparta, you can’t take the Sparta out of Gerard Butler.

The third movie I’m going to mention may actually cause low resolution televisions to explode due to breaching some sort of action hero capacity level. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if the studio it was filmed in was turned to rubble in the wake of attempting such a lofty task.

Plot be damned, this has to be watched.

Future Proof

Fucking awesome
Fucking awesome

I was bound to put up a post about this, being best friends with the director and creator of the video, but I’m positive I’d be posting this even if that weren’t the case. What that does mean however is that I saw some of what went in to the creation of it, the utter dedication that was necessary to put this kind of piece of work together, and how despite having seen the inner workings, the development and advancement of ideas and in some way the general evolution of a piece of media it still left a huge impact on me after I watched it, entirely as a viewer, in my chair, in my room and on my screen.

If you’re an Eve player and you’ve not already seen it, shame on you. I’d say more but I think the video speaks for itself.

Here’s the link to the forum thread, all download mirrors and a YouTube link are contained within.

If my word isn’t enough for you to watch if you haven’t already, read the responses on the thread linked and here’s a little web coverage to help convince you:

Massively.com
Eve-Online-Fan.co.uk

Just because.

This is something I wrote at about 4am a few nights ago, it has no real purpose, it’s clumsy, comes at is it and consists entirely of dialogue but I didn’t see the point in leaving it idle on my hard drive. So here it is.

What no-one knows

‘Nothing just “exists”, there has to be a reason all this shit is here, if the Universe we’re in is an effect, then what’s the cause?’

‘That’s obvious, isn’t it? The big bang.’

‘People like you always say that, like its some indisputable gospel truth and you know one-hundred percent that it couldn’t be wrong.’

‘What the fuck is gospel truth anyway?’

‘Don’t try to change the subject, you want to act like you have all the answers, but you don’t, you know less than I do.’

‘There’s no way I know less than a guy who thinks there could be a god.’

‘You wanna know why I know more than you do? Because I know that I don’t know shit, but you can’t even tell how little you actually know.’

‘I know there’s no all powerful being in the sky making worlds in seven days.’

‘Oh you do? How do you know that?’

‘What the fuck kind of question is that?’

‘It is what it is, how do you know that there is without doubt no all powerful being in control of this Universe?’

‘There’s something wrong with you, man.’

‘That’s what I thought. You don’t even know what’s on that sandwich you’re eating so don’t come preaching to me about what can’t possibly be.’

‘Yeah you’re right I don’t know what’s on my sandwich, because you ordered my sandwich for me and I’ve not checked yet, asked you, or taken a bite. More importantly, do you really believe in God?’

‘Not necessarily.’

‘Then what the fuck is this lecture about?’

‘It was about not ruling out things you can’t rule out.’

‘Which means?’

‘You can’t prove there’s no God, so don’t say there isn’t one. You can’t even prove there’s real beef in a Big Mac, so keep your presumptions to yourself and try thinking before you open your face hole and let some of your ignorance spill out.’

‘You’re an asshole.’

‘Yeah, but I’m also right.’

‘About the Universe, the Big Mac or my face hole?’

‘The only one I have first hand evidence of is your face hole.’

‘So for all your smart-ass words you know the same jack shit amount as I do.’

‘That’s kind of the point, none of us know a damn thing, me included.’

‘Well here’s a helpful tip. Next time you want to tell me you know fuck all you can save yourself some energy because I never accused you of knowing nothing in the first place.’

‘You mean you never accused me of knowing anything.’

‘Shut the fuck up.’

‘That’s what I thought.’

Worst MMO event ever?

A thousand words.
A thousand words.

For St Patrick’s day NCSoft held an event.

The player populace of Aion have been for the most part crying out for events for quite some time, but this was by no means what they were expecting.

The event revolved around a leprechaun called Fergus McGreedy (apparantly there are leprechauns in the Aion universe suddenly?), and some bullshit about tax collectors and shedding wealth, and losing his glasses, and a bunch of other rubbish circumstances. Anyway, what actually occurred, was that he spammed some stuff in !Shout and then mobs would spawn and be killed for loot.

The problems began before anything even happened really, because on some servers this leprechaun was extremely late to arrive, making me ponder whether NCSoft had one or two people taking care of the entire fucking event? This wouldn’t surprise me, it also wouldn’t surprise me if these people were either not in contact with each other at all, or just immensely irresponsible, because the types of mobs that actually spawned differed from Asmo to Elyos, and even from server to server.

On Telemachus the Elyos had three Zapiel spawns – Zapiel is a world boss that drops, among other things possibly the best spear in the game. The Asmo however, had L10-50 non-elite trash mobs, with some named ones thrown in. Hardly any loot at all, a blue L40 chest piece dropped, not much else.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, some hours later, without any advanced notification at all the GMs had apparantly become aware of the disparity between their mob spawns, and decided to “rectify” the issue by returning to Pandaemonium and spawning some world bosses for the Asmos. Much like I imagine it went on just about every server, a single legion got all the loot, people protested, and the GMs then saw fit to randomly hand out Zapiel items.

I logged back in shortly after this, just in time to find people showing off their Zaps items while this GM continued to spawn a lower level world boss, and then Menotios, which of course, the same legion took the loot for.

So the see-saw of horribly irresponsible GMing has now tilted from Elyos favour to Asmo, with more world bosses being spawned, and endgame items being doled out like welfare.

This wasn’t an event, it was a loot farm for each server’s biggest legions, and some lucky passer-bys. You may wonder if I’d still be complaining if I’d gotten a Zaps spear myself, not as much that’s for sure, but it’d take a whole lot of burying your head in the sand to even pretend this wasn’t an utter joke of an event.

I’d expect better than this from F2P MMOs, nevermind one I actually paid for.

Whaling

With all the recent controversy about the Sea Shepherds and their collision with the Shonen Maru, a Japanese whaling ship, I decided to do a little mooching around for information among the bias and see if I couldn’t piece a bit together for myself.

I started with low expectations – ultimately any collision of ideologies, opinions or other opposing human factors tends to have both sides at fault and I don’t believe this will be any different.

It’s best to start any such investigation at the root of the issue. In this case that’s the general consensus that whaling is bad, and that whale populations suffer due to over hunting.

So how best to look at this objectively? If whale populations were stable, would whaling still be considered cruel by conservationist groups such as the Sea Shepherds? Is killing whales for food any different than killing Cows, Sheep or Birds?

The short answer is yes, from what I’ve read there’s no humane way to kill a whale, the whale will feel pain before it dies. This for us, as a species that loves our pedestals, is problematic. What I wonder though is whether we should be killing Zebras ahead of time in humane ways and tossing the meat to wild Lions so that they don’t have to suffer the pain of being pulled down and killed that way.

It may sound callous to make such a comparison, but predators exist, and I can’t help but ponder just how much of our esteemed humanity is energy wasted. Generally speaking I’m an animal lover, I also don’t particularly see the point of whaling, but I feel as though our tip-toeing around patting other species on the head is often pointless when the predator-prey reality of life on this planet is taken in to consideration.

Now lets focus entirely on the population issue.

Most of the whaling is at the expense of Minke whales, they are by far the most abundantly available whale in the oceans and represent a massive percentage of those caught. Minke whales only produce an offspring every couple of years, with Japan alone hunting in the region of 700 whales per year. It’d be easy to presume a hunt ratio of 1:1 for males and females, suggesting 350 female Minke whales are killed for food and so on each year by Japanese whalers. That’s 700 females every birth cycle, with is 700 less potential births.

Now we need to look at the total population of Minke whales, which at current is actually quite difficult, seen as the IWC (International Whaling Committee) don’t actually seem to know, and are undergoing a “major review” of numbers.

From Wikipedia:

In the early 1990s the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee agreed that minkes in the Southern Hemisphere numbered 760,000 (CPII), which the Japanese whaling industry currently uses as the (2005) estimate. In 2000, however, the Committee withdrew this advice in light of new survey data suggesting 50% lower population than in the 1980s.

Japan has suggested in the past that the population of Minke whales was booming, even to the extent that the population of Minke whales was becoming detrimental to the re-population of larger whales. This has since been debunked by a DNA study conducted by Stanford University. It seems as though the original theory was mostly fabricated based on facts manipulated to support increasing the numbers of Minke whales hunted.

What baffles me is that the Japanese would go to such lengths to continue an industry that is bad for their economy, not only having to fight international pressure and seemingly fabricating supporting theories, but also continually pumping money in to whaling, an industry that is costing money:

In 2008, the Japanese fleet killed 551 minke whales in Antarctica, while in 2009 the figures jumped to a kill of 679 minke whales and one endangered fin whale. The increase in numbers has led to a glut of meat in the Japanese market; by the end of August 2009, some 5288 tons of whale meat was sitting in cold stores across Japan, a 16% rise in stockpiles compared to August of 2008.

Butler-Stroud continued, “Obviously, the Japanese neither need nor want to eat whale meat. The whaling fleet is costing the Japanese tax-payers money, and yielding nothing in return.”

(Source)

Is the insistence on continued whaling due to a knee-jerk defence of culture? Seafood on the whole is certainly integral to Japanese culture, sushi being the staple food a foreigner would associate with the country, but does whaling need to be a part of that?

Then again, even with hazy population numbers, if Minke whales were at a mere 50% of the suggested 706,000, that’s still 353,000 whales, leaving 176,500 females to potentially produce an offspring every couple of years. As previously mentioned Japan alone is catching in the region of 700 Minke whales per year, doubling up to 700 females every two versus the 176,500 females with potential to reproduce. Surely the numbers hunted are negligible?

Obviously that 700 does not include those hunted by other countries, but even if 10 countries are hunting 700 females each every two years, that’s 7000. Surely 176,500 females will produce more than 7000 offspring?

I can understand the fuss where endangered whales are involved, but this debate is confusing from every perspective. The Japanese continue to push on with an industry that’s bad for their economy, and the Sea Shepherds and so on are one step from terrorism while attempting (and failing in truly hilarious ways) to stop Japanese whalers from taking stock of what whales that aren’t actually endangered.

Am I the only person missing the punch line here? Perhaps someone will read this and correct me on some of what I find so perplexing, that’d be nice.

While my sources aren’t exactly comprehensive, and I’ve not done all that much detective work beyond a bit of googling, I feel something is missing.

My only conclusion is that both involved parties need a smack in the mouth.

As for the collision that originally caught my interest, Sea Shepherds, really, if you don’t want your fucking stupid batman boat to get smashed, don’t sit in the path of a much larger ship. The Shonen Maru 2 could not possibly hope to intentionally run down a ship as quick as the Ady Gil without it being handed on a platter. Accusations of such are utterly redundant when your own boats position is taken into account.

To summarize, you’re a bunch of twats, regardless of whether the other ship was also at fault (Which I’m sure it was).

Can anyone really believe that after spending a day or so following the Shonen Maru 2 around hassling the larger ship, the Sea Shepherds would notice they were going to run out of fuel, then decide it was a good idea to stop in the path of the ship they’d been harassing? In the recording that’s available on this page the Sea Shepherd captain suggests the Ady Gil was stationary and out of fuel, yet the videos show wash from the engines of the ship, it’s moving.

With these things taken in to account these people should not be allowed to “represent” the fight against whaling, as they’re nothing but overgrown delinquents that will only perpetuate the practice – the Japanese are far more likely to dig heels in and raise middle fingers at this sort of behaviour than take opposing opinions to heart.

Well, Whatever. At the end of the day, all I’ve done is rambled and filled another post in what is just another blog on the internet. Still, it kept me entertained for a while.

Have a picture as a reward for spending all that time reading me talking about shit I know fuck all about.

Srsly
Srsly

R.U.S.E.

Ahoy faggots (is it hypocritical to refer to the reader as a faggot after using “ahoy” as a greeting? Probably).

Today I’m going to talk about R.U.S.E, Ubisoft’s new RTS that allegedly employs a new and exciting system that is “set to reinvigorate the genre”.

I might seem sceptical already, given my use of the word ‘allegedly’, but having played the RUSE beta online a few times 3v3 I have to say it’s a lot of fun. That doesn’t however mean I believe it’ll be reinvigorating anything, at least not with the RUSE system, which is essentially a number of commander abilities that allow you to misdirect your enemy, spy on their units, hide your own or just go faster in whatever sector of the map you choose to deploy your RUSE card in.

It’s a good system, and as already stated, a fun game, but I do think suggesting it’ll have a large effect on the RTS genre on the whole may be stretching things ever so slightly. The game itself it’s fairly intuitive which makes it easy to pick up and have fun with, which, although I’m comparing apples and oranges, is something it has over the original Supreme Commander – an RTS many will find baffling to play competitively.

The only resources there are to be captured are supply caches, and your entire army is run on just one resource: money. There’s enough unit variety to keep you testing different races but ultimately Ubisoft seem to have done their best to make units largely comparable. By that I mean, the Germans can build Wirblewinds, which if you’ve played Company of Heroes or the lesser known (but much better) Men of War, is a rather unfriendly anti-air vehicle. To mirror this Britain have the Skink and the Russians have the ZSU which basically do the same job.

It’ll be a little longer before I’m aware of the more intricate differences between the races, I’m yet to find out whether the French units can be forced to retreat faster than the other armies, have a prototype white flag, or can build negligible bunkers that can be mostly ignored. I’m also yet to try the Italian army, and discover whether it’s possible to change teams if things are starting to look like they might go badly for me.

What I have established is that Tiger tanks are fairly unpleasant unless you can apply the correct dosage of fighter-bomber, which of course requires that they not be absolutely surrounded by anti-air, which they often are.

The Armour/Infantry/Air/Artillery balance seems quite nice; while it’s possible to spam an ungodly amount of bombers for runs at the enemy HQ and key buildings, it’s also possible to meet those bombers with a nice fleet of fighters and anti-air, which will allow you to practice your best evil villain laugh as they explode or turn back full of bullet holes and flak, only to discover that while they were gone you had some well placed paratroopers slip into their base from the forest behind it and capture their airbase, HQ, and any other useful buildings your elite troops could storm while the player was distracted watching his bombers fall out of the sky.

Oh, sweet justice.

The beta is available on Steam now, I’d say give it a try and see what you think of it. Don’t let the weird looking French blokes that introduce it put you off, I’m sure they’re harmless.

Because I need somewhere stable to vent at you retards.