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1401  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Help needed on: October 06, 2007, 01:16:28 AM
Huh. So I tried to see if I could save a replay of Mortain it me or are we not able to see replays of single-player missions? Somehow I thought we could do that. It would be nice. I'd love to be able to sit back and watch some of the more frenetic missions, especially on cinematic mode.

Any ideas anyone?
1402  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Help needed on: October 05, 2007, 08:10:39 PM
Based on the 3 LAN parties with my friends I can tell you that people fall generally into 1 of 2 camps:

The first camp has finally gotten the hang of using keypad-zero whenever trouble pops up. It helps quickly identify the nature of the trouble and figure out what to do about it. Heck, they even use keypad-zero for early warning. Ex: click a jeep, click into fog of war, click keypad0. Click the 'halt' hotkey when a German icon pops up.

The 2nd camp still hasn't gotten the idea of using keypad-zero yet. They still cling to the idea of using the minimap and scrolling in the main view to figure out where the trouble is, scroll in the main view to figure out where the closest "solution" is, and then scroll back to right click on the trouble. Ex: Rifle squad is being attacked by a tank! Scroll, scroll, scroll. A-ha, an AT gun! Click on it. Scroll, scroll, scroll back to the rifle squad. Right click on tank.

Those of us in the first camp have not had too much of a problem w/ the single-player campaign.
1403  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Help needed on: October 05, 2007, 05:00:11 PM
If there is interest, I can put up a link to a replay of this mission, or I can put up screenshots that show how I set up my defenses.

And Ike, I don't think you are thinking of the correct mission. Prior to Mortain is the mission to destroy all Panther tanks. At the end of that mission there is a cutscene where the Lt. gets killed. Then Able company gets assigned to Mortain where we're told it just has to "Hold the hill until oh six-thirty when Dog company will relieve us. Hopefully they'll have coffee."

The mission after that is Mortain counter-attack, where the units that survived Mortain will also show up.

There's also this nice little mission guide that shows where the Germans are going to appear:

Personally I thought St. Lo was the hardest because of the fact that the enemy would spawn out of nowhere from certain points. It got to the point in St. Lo where I would put tank traps around the spawn locations just so the German tanks couldn't ambush me in the back after I'd "cleared an area".
1404  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Help needed on: September 30, 2007, 07:58:38 PM
I just went through the single player campaign last week before going on to the opposing fronts campaigns. Tips for "Mortain" aka "Defend Hill 317":

(I just played this scenario again and decided there are 4 main routes up the hill, not three).

First, visualize the map as a clock, with 12 o' clock pointing at the top of the screen, 3 o' clock to the right, and so on.

1. Your engineers can build defensive works for free. There are 4 main routes the Germans take to go up the hill. There is the wide path at 10-11 o' clock, a smaller path at 2 and 3 o' clock, and a path at 5 o' clock. Queue the engineers to build tank traps at these four routes. Hold down the shift key when clicking on the 'tank traps' icon to add it to the queue.

2. There are heavy MGs and AT guns lying on the ground, free to pick up. MGs are at the outposts you have to reinforce, and there are 2 AT's near the top of the hill. Take a squad and have it pick up an AT or MG. Then, take your depleted infantry squad, order it to retreat, then reinforce it back to full strength at HQ. Presto chango you now have heavy weapons and only had to pay manpower.

3. Capture the ammo and fuel points surrounding the hill right from the beginning. This will give you about 5 minutes of additional resources before the Germans start assaulting the hill.

4. There is an artillery battery on the hill. Add it to a hotkey (I use 0) and use the barrage capability for the first time ONLY when you see a large group of Germans on the hill. After that use it as needed. This way you don't end up wishing you had the arty available because you wasted the first strike on just 1 german squad. NOTE: The exception to this rule is if Germans are attacking Mortain OR attacking HQ. If they are, then feel free to use the arty to pound them.

5. Keypad0, keypad0, keypad0. Once the action gets heavy it is the only way to maintain situational awareness and figure out where the germans are and where you have to move your troops. If you hear "They got tanks", keypad 0. "We're getting shot up here." Keypad0.

6. One jeep has a large scouting radius. Put a jeep on the hill and you will be able to see where the Germans are sooner. The AT guns will then be able to fire further.

7. There is always something you can do, especially in the early minutes of the game. If you find yourself just waiting on squads to get reinforced then hit keypad0 and get those engineers to build barbed wire or sandbags for troops to hide behind. There should be no point when you're sitting back and doing nothing - you should always be building something - especially the free defensive structures.

8. The troops on the hill don't have to retreat back to HQ to get reinforced. Move them to the barracks that is near the objective on the hill and you can reinforce them there. Also build an aid station on the hill so that your casualties get picked up - you'll probably get 1-2 squads at least out of the casualties that you will take.

9. Try to build the outposts on all the ammo and fuel objectives. These give you VP points which let you advance up the tech tree faster. It also boosts the rate of gathering ammo resources, which means you'll be able to call in the artillery barrage more often. In fact, by building outposts I was able to get the artillery barrage ability just as the Germans were making their first big assault.

10. Another early use of the hill arty battery is to kill the Germans attacking the ranger squad in the building to the northeast of HQ. Bring a squad of infantry there, pound the Germans with arty, and then you get to use the Rangers. Arm them with SMGs and put them in reserve on the hill (by the barracks). Assign them to a hotkey and use them to kill any germans that get through your defensive lines. Especially the pesky German engineers with flamethrowers.
1405  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Order this drink the next time you go to Starbucks *forgot the soy* on: September 29, 2007, 02:38:13 AM
Made this at home for myself and the wife by following the recipe. Its pretty good. The taste reminds me of the hot bubble tea drink we had at St. Alps teahouse in NYC. Minus the tapioca pearls.
1406  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Your [other] hobbies on: September 07, 2007, 05:30:36 PM
board games
1407  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: ETQW Beta 2 on: August 06, 2007, 02:37:56 PM
Started playing Beta2 this past weekend. I love it! The new map has an objective type that hasn't been seen before. Namely, the GDF has to escort their MCV (mobile construction vehicle) along a road to their destination site. The MCV can be disabled by the Strogg, at which point it stops and then GDF engineers have to repair it to get it going again. The MCV cannot be destroyed.

This made for some tense moments as there are places where the Strogg can set up choke points but when the GDF gets past those it makes it harder for the Strogg to stop their advance.

The weapon sounds don't seem to have changed from beta1, but I'm guessing this will be part of their final "polishing" of the game. Still, the game is pretty fun and I think its at the point where the asymmetrical play styles of Strogg and GDF are well balanced.
1408  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 300 - What'd ya think? [Movie] on: August 02, 2007, 07:13:12 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on March 24, 2007, 12:03:37 AM

It's actually because watching a phalanx at work for the whole movie wouldn't be all that exciting, at least for an action film.  In fact... it might come across as rather sickening.

What it really looks like is butchery, not fighting.  And would you rather watch people butchered by a machine-like formation, like cattle, or watch a movie with really cool, choreographed fight scenes?

Funny thing is, I'm reading Gates of Fire and they're describing the phalanx combat as exactly that - this man-machine "thing" that just grinds people into dead flesh. "War is work" as they say in the book. Still - reading those battle scenes in Gates of Fire makes me wish even more that I saw more of it in 300.

In fact, I daresay that if they had cut out the political intrigue at Sparta and replaced it with the battle as viewed from the squires and weapon-bearers (as in Gates of Fire) we would have seen lots of action and drama - AND have been able to include much more phalanx formation scenes.
1409  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Advertising Slogan Generator on: July 26, 2007, 08:45:27 PM
"Because so much is riding on your raydude"
1410  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] GRAW 2 - Is it Still Too Difficult? on: July 25, 2007, 04:06:26 PM

Quote from: Jag on July 25, 2007, 03:01:13 PM

Quote from: kronovan on July 24, 2007, 04:42:26 PM

Quote from: Jag on July 24, 2007, 02:33:18 PM

I think Graw2 on PC is stupidly easy on normal level. I never played Graw, but the ai in 2 is horrible. You can literally walk up to one guy and blow him away before he reacts. Grenades and guns going off? They just sit there and wait to be picked off. The game is pretty and the controls rock, but the ai really turns me off.

The full game. I'm only 2 missions in and i put it down for Civ for awhile. It just wasn't challenging enough to be enjoyable. Then again the ease of quicksaving makes it so easy. Got a tough assault? Just quicksave and redo it if it didn't go well.

I'm not quite sure I understand the description of the AI. If, as Jag says, you can "literally walk up to one guy and blow him away before he reacts" and if "they just sit there and wait to be picked off" then how does one encounter "a tough assault" ?

In other words, what is happening in the tough assault that you can't just "walk up to one guy and blow him away before he reacts" ? If the AI was that braindead then shouldn't ALL assaults be easy?
1411  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Insurgency mod for HL2 on: July 12, 2007, 01:59:23 AM
Whenever someone says that I always make it a point to reply "my team won, which is all that matters". Of course, only when its actually true smile
1412  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Next year's elections... a thought on: July 11, 2007, 06:21:55 PM
At this point I really don't frakkin care what political party one belongs to. Just frakkin look at all the facts, get past the frakkin ideology on both sides and LEAD the country goddamit! If that means compromising with the other party then hell ya do that too!
1413  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anybody live in the DC area? on: July 11, 2007, 01:46:05 PM
Alexandria as well.
1414  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Quake Wars Beta [Info & Impressions] on: June 28, 2007, 02:39:17 PM
Played a really great game on the Strogg side last night. We lost the first two matches and then won the next one. In the first match our side was clearly fighting as if we were all Rambos and not focusing on the objectives.

In fact, a lot of my teammates were still in their vehicles trying to shoot people AFTER the EMP generator was down. This lead to the GDF destroying the grate and then lead to 10 minutes of frantically trying to defend our last objectives. I think we lost the first game with about 8 minutes left.

The 2nd game I decided to try being the Strogg Aggressor with the hyperblaster, which is the Strogg equivalent of the heavy MG. I only did average while defending the EMP generator, as I didn't seem to get more hits than I normally would. The GDF again managed to construct it within about 3 minutes.

All that changed, however, after the EMP generator was constructed and we had to defend the sewer grates. I noticed that in order to get to the grates the GDF had to go through a hallway. Its a  ry long hallway, such that I could set up on the extreme opposite end. I went prone and used the weapon zoom on my hyperblaster. It was awesome! I mowed down about 10 GDF men at least, and they went down within 1-2 seconds of my putting the pipper on the target.

Luckily most of my team had switched to medics and so in two key presses ("I need a technician!") I could get healed whenever I got hit by a grenade or enemy fire. I even got revived about 3 times to boot! But it still wasn't enough. We had to hold them off for 10 whole minutes, and with only 1 Strogg agressor using the hyperblaster (ME!) and the rest cowering in the final objective room it was not enough. Not to mention the medics were NOT converting dead bodies to Strogg spawn points at all! It was a better showing than our first game though, and we held them off for about 5 minutes more in our second.

Still, the 3rd game was my high water mark. I was going to use the same tactic - Strogg Aggressor w/ Hyperblaster. This time though I decided to hop into the Strogg mech (Cyclops). I took it out to just beyond our base where the road slopes down a hill. I made a 45 degree turn to the right and from there I could just walk forwards and backwards to shift my mech and avoid tank fire. This way I could also use buildings and trees as cover to block the aim to enemy vehicles. From here I was able to take down several tanks, a humvee, and even enemy soldiers as they came across the little hill on their way to the EMP generator.

It was here that we stopped them cold. They never even got that damn EMP generator built.

Now, if they could just add more oomph to the sounds, slow down the foot speeds a little, and give more bonuses to firing while crouched or prone (giving more incentive to fire THEN maneuver) it would be perfect.
1415  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Quake Wars Beta [Info & Impressions] on: June 26, 2007, 12:35:34 AM

Quote from: Turtle on June 23, 2007, 11:23:48 PM

There's also two "Weapons" a healer class has to constantly switch between to do his job, they could have folded it into one that brings people back to life with the left button, and tossed out health with the right.

I have this very strong feeling that the game is context sensitive when it comes to reviving teammates. I just played a game as the strogg where I was the medic and had my main gun out. I ran to a fallen teammate, pointed at him, and before I realized I had the wrong weapon the game switched to the syringe and I was able to revive him.

I didn't switch back to my normal weapon when I was done, however. That I still had to do manually. But try to revive people as the medic without switching to the appropriate item first and see if the game 'auto-switches' for you.
1416  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Quake Wars Beta [Info & Impressions] on: June 23, 2007, 09:53:52 PM
anyone got any tips for how to be better than a rank noob in this game? I still haven't figured out how to get into vehicles   paranoid
1417  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 23, 2007, 02:59:05 AM
I noticed pirates definitely have their own self-preservation at heart. A small group of pirates were harassing a volcanic planet colony 2 jumps from my home planet. They stayed there until they were severely outnumbered, then they started heading out towards the node point to jump away.

As an aside, this was the discovery of my first crash of the game. I killed a pirate that was getting ready to phase jump, then focused fire on another pirate just before he phase jumped. He jumped away and then the screen froze and then dumped me to the desktop about 20 seconds later.
1418  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ghost Hunters- back June 6th on: June 22, 2007, 03:05:38 PM
What gets me is there was one episode where both the main guys went into a room, turned to the right, and you could tell there were in stunned silence. Later on they both said they saw a ghostly apparition of a woman go down the stairwell at the other side of the room.

WHY THE HELL COULDN"T THE CAMERAMAN HAVE MOVED INTO THE ROOM AND LOOKED AT WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING AT??!?!? Instead, we get a shot of them staring for about 1 full minute! Nice camera work buddy!
1419  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 22, 2007, 01:33:52 PM
I don't think this has been brought up yet, but the Artifacts section of the research tree allows you to research tech only if you discover "artifact" planets. I am guessing that these artifact planets are randomly seeded on the map and will probably be highly contested as everyone wants to get artifact tech.

As to the pacing, I like it. It kind of reminds me of the pacing of Kohan, where things started out slow but then heated up during the midgame as people's economies expanded and cities would become hotly contested.

As to turning off gamers, we'll see. A recent game that ran to the other extreme - Command and Conquer 3 - seems to have turned off gamers as well. At least around these parts, as I don't know the sell numbers. And its really easy to make a real-time 4x game feel overwhelming unless you ease up on the game speed. Besides, that's why you have game speed sliders.  icon_biggrin
1420  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 21, 2007, 06:12:10 PM
Here's my impression:

Did anyone else get the email from stardock that their pre-order was charged?
Apparently the way this was going to work was, everyone who pre-ordered was to get an email saying "your order has been charged, here is your ID number for the beta."

I haven't gotten my email yet so I wonder if anyone else has?

Never mind! I just got it!
1421  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Screw "Nintendo is making money" they're almost as "big" as Sony... on: June 21, 2007, 02:33:25 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 21, 2007, 12:28:51 PM

It's arbitrary because its an artificially small sampling (the here and now of the stock price vs. number of shares-and yes the number of branded divisions does matter) that only indicates current market value by stock.

If Nintendo is in this same position in one year and the stock has normalized from being up 300% in 24 months, then I will take it all back and say Nintendo's growth is no fluke and its here to stay. But we have seen this before, time and time again, though arguably not to this extent(Ebay, Yahoo, more .dot flop companies than I can shake a stick at).

Actually if anything it is Sony's stock that still rides high in terms of investor expectations and "hype". Looking at current stock prices Sony's P/E is 51.7, so investors are willing to shell out $52 for every dollar of earnings reported by Sony. In contrast Nintendo's P/E is 31.0, so investors are more cautious (relative to Sony) and only shelling out $31 for every dollar of earnings.

And it is true that snapshot looks at the market are just that - snapshots. So let's look at the 5 year stock history of both: (closing stock price)

July 2003 10.9
July 2004 14.85
July 2005 13.3
July 2006 21.25
June 2007 44.85

July 2003 32.02
July 2004 36.95
July 2005 34.88
July 2006 42.33
June 2007 52.05

The annual interest return on Nintendo is a nice 42% when holding for the past 5 years. And looking at the pleasant curve upwards with very little fluctuation it looks like a well managed company with a solid handle on its profit margins.

In contrast, the jagged peaks of the Sony stock prices for the past 5 years makes it look like a pretty risky investment. Too risky for my blood anyway. And even though Sony's stock prices are valued high, the 5 year annual return is on the order of 13%.

So, judging from past performance I would say Nintendo's market valuation is not just a flash in the pan. Then again, time will tell if Nintendo's price history becomes as jagged as Sony's.
1422  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 15, 2007, 07:41:47 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on June 13, 2007, 08:15:20 PM

Now onto some GREAT news!!!!

From the Sins forums:

Gamers who missed the first phase of the Sins of a Solar Empire beta test will soon get another chance to play Stardock and Ironclad's highly anticipated strategy game ahead of its February 2008 release. Beta 2 launches on June 21 for anyone who has pre-ordered Sins of a Solar Empire via, and includes a ton of new features that will be included in the final game, as well as tweaks and fixes based on feedback from beta testers.

Woohooo! Can't wait to play this version of the beta!
1423  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: June 08, 2007, 02:37:16 PM

Quote from: Turtle on June 01, 2007, 07:31:18 AM

Actually, it removes resourcing from the game entirely.  You don't collect mass or energy, instead your commander provides everything and slowly increases how much it provides over time.  They paced the rate of income increases to mimic how quickly a skilled SupCom player's resource rate would come rolling in.

It's a good idea I think since getting an economy running while still fighting is a huge hurdle for new players, especially when some extremely skilled players (*cough* mattc0m *cough*) can get insane economies up and running quickly.  And it focuses the player on the fighting.

They're also working on a new version of this mod with also makes territory control valuable in that each mass extractor you have built gives you more resources and makes your increase rate go faster.  This makes holding and taking land much more valuable, whereas currently once you get are well into tier 2 most players ignore the mass deposits.

Neat! Sort of a Supcom meets DOW or COH gametype. I may have to get the game if this mod does well.
1424  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts expansion on: May 30, 2007, 02:18:37 PM

Quote from: Calvin on May 30, 2007, 01:02:45 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 29, 2007, 02:25:18 AM

I can tell you that the reason I never bought the original CoH was threefold: WWII again, burnout on RTS games, and perhaps most importantly the fact that everything I read made it seem like it needed a high-end PC to run it (even though I just tried the demo out and it ran fine with medium settings on my crappy old rig). 

As a big fan of RTS that has played every recent release and loves the MP aspect I can tell you with 100% certainty that you are making a huge mistake. Company of Heroes is an incredible RTS. It is easily the best RTS of the last 3-4 years, and it has multiplayer far more deserving of being played by hundred of thousands than the stale resource gathering peon pushing, hot-key micro, lasso and throw gameplay that has captivated the masses (cough Starcraft cough). Truly, the gameplay is fantastic, and I still think underrated. It has tremendous tactical depth, multiple different winning approaches, gorgeous graphics, somewhat destructable terrain, and a resource gathering system that should be the standard in RTS now, not the exception.

Ditto what Calvin said.
1425  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Advice re: Craigslist on: May 25, 2007, 02:24:57 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 24, 2007, 10:18:42 PM

I bought my Wii, unopened, about $50 above retail, from Craig's List. It's been great. My seller included the original receipt with the console and was a college student at UT, just north of the Capitol, so that helped make the transaction easy.

Same story here. Looked up craigslist, found a college student who posted THAT day about selling a Wii for $300. Said he couldn't afford to keep it. Called him up, met him at a public location, inspected the contents, saw the receipt, and paid him his money. Win-win for both of us.
1426  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Buying new car questions on: May 25, 2007, 02:22:52 PM
Try to go with a group if you can. The larger the better. The car dealership does it to you by piling on more agents or bringing in the manager the more hesitant you are. Its simple psychology - the group (i.e. car dealership) has a better chance of convincing one person (you) when they have numbers. Fight back with your own psychology - bring your own posse who can then ask questions of the initial agent and bring up issues that you might have missed.

At the very least go in there with a buddy. Never go alone.
1427  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: May 25, 2007, 01:30:55 PM
Waaaah! Me want in on beta! Me want in on multiplayer testing  nod
1428  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: May 24, 2007, 01:37:28 PM

Quote from: Mattc0m on May 24, 2007, 03:32:18 AM

Here's a bit of strategy I wrote up awhile a go. A lot of this has changed, and if enough people are interested in some improved Multiplayer strategy and tactics, I'll get some stuff writen up.

I'm interested. I'd like to see what the different possibilities are for multiplayer strategy and tactics. If it seems deep enough then I'll pick this one up. Weren't there supposed to be units that play around with the fog of war or create the illusion of multiple units where there are none? Am especially interested in strategies based on messing with the other player's head.
1429  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: May 24, 2007, 01:31:29 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on May 24, 2007, 01:13:19 PM

So, it's hard to compare them because they are so different in my mind.  Everything about the way SotS is made tells me I should love it and it should be one of my favorite games ever; yet I get to the combat parts of the game and wince.  I don't know why.  Meanwhile, when you really sit and breakdown Sins, it's basically just another RTS with a deeper research tree than your average RTS, that has pre-set units that can be somewhat upgraded, is slower paced than most RTS's, and has potentially gigantic maps.  In my mind, it shouldn't really be all that great.  Yet I am really enjoying playing it, even in it's beta state.  Don't ask me to try and figure it out, cause I can't.

If I could hazard a guess, its because SotS put the strategy in fleet composition and fleet movement, which is where it properly belongs in naval (yes, the closest parallel is blue-water naval battles) combat.  Which is different from land battles and hasn't really been properly portrayed in RTS form. Its a different emphasis from a traditional RTS, and you are enjoying yourself because the tension is high during fleet maneuver and fleet buildup, even if the battles themselves are somewhat lackluster.

So, unlike land battles, where the nail-biting moments are during the battle itself, as you constantly click here, there, and everywhere to exploit the terrain and out-click the enemy, the nail biting moments are during the execution of your grand scheme of maneuver. You send out your diversion fleets to outlying enemy planets, hoping the enemy takes the bait. You wait, and wait, daring yourself to wait just a little more, and hoping your diversion fleets survive long enough to make the enemy commit more ships to the battle. Then, at the right moment, you send your true invasion fleet at the real target and try to get your diversion fleets home before they are utterly destroyed.

Still, that's just a guess. I wish I was in the beta so I can find out for myself smile.
1430  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: May 24, 2007, 02:31:17 AM
I dunno. I guess I don't have a problem with the whole experience thing because I see it (along with the module building) as a game representation of something thats a lot more complicated in real life. Think about it. People don't design carriers to only carry 2 squadrons and then retrofit them individually to carry more. They design a whole new class of carrier where every carrier in that class can carry 8 squadrons.

Lets say the Space Navy for whatever reason decides to individually upgrade different ships in the same ship class. Realistically one would still expect to have to bring that ship back to spacedock, take the crew off the ship, let the engineers work on it, put the crew back on, and conduct space trials with the new module to get the crew and ship re-integrated with each other. I certainly wouldn't expect the ship to "grow" a new module while out in space. Thus, I see this as a gamey representation of what takes navies years to do: build new ship classes to integrate new technologies and lessons learned from the last war.

Viewed a different way, I see the use of experience levels as the Space Navy's way of rewarding successful individual crews with the latest and greatest in technology. Given two Dunov class cruisers, one captained by Ivan McNewbie, fresh out of the academy, and the other by Mikhail "Bulldog" Halsinski, veteran of 5 battles and awarded the Nebula cluster for Bravery - which one would the Admiralty bequeath their new, untried EMP technology? I'm guessing Capt. Halsinski.
1431  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: May 23, 2007, 03:50:48 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on May 23, 2007, 03:33:05 PM

I can't speak to the stability of 4 vs. 4 games, but Supreme Commander is *extremely* dependent on the processor speed of the host computer during multiplayer games.  I recently upgraded from a 3.4 ghz Pentium D system to a 2.4 ghz Core 2 Quad system, and the performance improvement in SupCom is *incredible.*

-Autistic Angel

Is it JUST the host computer or do all the players need to have beefy systems? I have a 2.4GHz core 2 but believe the rest of my LAN mates still have Pentium 4s.
1432  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: May 23, 2007, 03:46:41 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on May 23, 2007, 03:12:10 PM

Heya Ray... nice to see you around these parts!  It's too rare.

Hiya smile. Due to work I only have time to respond to games or topics which have caught my eye, as this one has! Thanks to your writeups I'm very excited about the prospects for this game.

Regarding feints - definitely possible, depending on the size of your fleet.  And the A.I. will sometimes do some really interesting things, which I don't fully understand as I don't know the implications of actions well enough yet.  Sometimes it will come after me with a fleet that is obviously designed to wipe out my defending fleet.  Other times it will come at me with just enough combat vessels to keep me busy, but focus on siege ships that go directly to my planets to bombard it into extinction (which can theoretically hit you pretty hard economically).  Other times it will completely bypass numerous planets/asteroids in my chain, because it has a specific goal in mind, which could be pretty deep into my empire.  Now, it has to be able to travel through my gravity well to do so, which takes time, but if I'm not prepared, it can pretty much travel through it with little to no resistance at all.  So as a player, you start recalling your forces to the awesome planet you think he's heading for, only to see him come in to an area you just pulled your fleet away from to take it over.  He sacrifices some of his fleet for the greater gain.  Now, whether the A.I. is doing this stuff cause it's that smart, or cause it's just flailing around haphazardly, I don't know yet.

Most excellent! I remember back in the X-wing/Tie Fighter sim days that the Rebellion mission briefings would talk a lot about doing "hit and fade" operations. Many a time was spent raiding undefended Empire stations until the Empire fleet shows up, then warping out. I had high hopes that Star Wars: Empires at War would let me execute hit and fade operations on a strategic scale. Unfortunately the warp travel between points in EaW seems too quick to be able to out-feint your opponent.

However, SotSE has me intrigued. I wonder if smaller sized fleets can execute a raid in a gravity well and get out before larger forces can intercept. Also, sounds like smaller sized fleets can penetrate outer gravity wells, fly through them at sub-warp, and then warp to more vulnerable inner systems. Given that, it sounds like the strategery part of the game is going to be on out-guessing and out-maneuvering your opponent on the strategic map and then, based on your fleet composition, deciding whether to press the attack or retreat.

Definitely seems like I would be a "Grand Admiral in space" at this point. Me like!  nod
1433  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: May 23, 2007, 01:49:24 PM
Question for people who have the latest patch:

Does it make 4 v 4 games play any better? I'm really interested because this could be a great LAN party game, but not if we have to split up and play separate games of 2 v 2.
1434  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: May 23, 2007, 01:45:30 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on May 23, 2007, 12:32:56 PM

@ Turtle:  I don't disagree.  I think HW2's system is better.  However, the system used in Sins is easier, which might be why they went with the simplified system of upgrading.  I really don't know.  My memory is hazy, but in HW2 - when one upgraded the bombers and interceptors from the research tab, where they global upgrades, or tied to the mothership/carrier that created those particular squadrons?

I'm just theorizing, but perhaps the design philosophy behind the "level-ups as upgrades" could be to encourage withdrawal of fleet units instead of leaving them to die to the last ship. Maybe the designers are trying to get you to emulate real-world fleet engagements which are decided long before all the ships on one side are destroyed.

One could argue that the same could be achieved using the HW2 style system of buying modules, but a player with abundant resources could still build carriers and modules and let them get destroyed just because he knows he can build more. With a "level-up" based system the player with more resources still needs to shepherd his forces because otherwise he'll end up with a lot of "first level" ships vs. the enemies "level 8" ships. Which brings up another dynamic - the interplay between quantity versus quality of forces.

I'll use Homeworld 2, only because it's probably the closest thing I can think of.  In HW2, battles could take place anywhere in space, as there was really no "homebase" to defend so to speak.  One could argue you created your own homebase, based on where your mothership and shipyards were located.  So these needed to be defended.  Also, carriers in HW2 functioned like a barracks of sorts in most games, and could be mobile bases, for lack of a better term.  Then there were the asteroids where you got your resources from.  These were sort of like control points in a game of Dawn of War.   In Sins, you have actual planets/gravity wells that you can build shipyards around and defenses and such.  But "space" is empty, other than the travel lines.  If you have a 20 planet game, it's almost like you have 20 islands that you are either defending or attacking.  I'm not saying it's good or bad, just that it's different.

Theorizing again, it seems as if the designers are really trying to make "sea combat in space". Drawing from real-world examples, it is really tough to get fleets to fight each other in battles of annihilation. Sea power is only useful with regards to influencing land power. Case in point: Battle of Midway. The Japanese knew the Americans would not engage their fleets in a stand up fight unless it was to protect a strategic land mass. Midway Island was that land mass.

Going back to the game, lets suppose we could fight each other anywhere we wanted, even in deep space. I see that you have a fleet out in deep space and you are daring me to attack you. I'd think to myself, "self, what does that gain me? Absolutely nothing. Lets go invade his planet and take his resources instead."

That brings up another question actually. When ships go into warp do they stay in warp until they reach the destination's gravity well? If so, does that mean you cannot change the destination of ships currently in warp? If that is true, then that brings up some interesting options for tactics involving feints and raids.
1435  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking at Grills on: May 22, 2007, 01:36:59 PM

Quote from: Tebunker on May 22, 2007, 01:04:55 PM

I'm a charcoal guy, and I have a big grill with a smoker on the side. I'll throw wood chips in the fire box/smoker with some coals and I'll slow cook stuff in the big part. Personally, if you enjoy grilling, and you really put some effort into it then it's hard to beat charcoal.

Ditto. Charcoal grill here as well. Don't have a smoker though, just a conventional Weber bowl grill. With the one-touch cleaning system its definitely less of a pain in the ass to clean than the grills my Dad used to use. And you can't beat charcoal for the taste, IMHO.
1436  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Favorite War Movies on: May 17, 2007, 02:38:50 PM
Das Boot
1437  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Public transportation too expensive? on: April 19, 2007, 02:30:04 PM

Quote from: Calvin on April 17, 2007, 08:23:05 PM

(walk several blocks to metro both ways, sit with smelly disgusting regular people, etc)

Weird. When I rode the metro to go into DC on a weekday during rush hour I just saw people in business attire or in uniform.
1438  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: HDTV Hookup Question on: April 18, 2007, 06:16:26 PM
As a related question, what happens if the HDTV only has one HDMI input and one wants to hook up an upconverting DVD Player AND the HD cable box?
1439  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Canada to buy 100 Leopard II Tanks on: April 13, 2007, 01:35:24 PM

Quote from: Calvin on April 13, 2007, 11:08:02 AM

Why not try to buy, you know, real tanks, like the revision models of the M1A1 with dust grilles, effective rear composite plating, and a really big gun CSL? smile

I would think the Germans know a thing or two about tanks smile.
1440  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: You know it's bad for Don Imus........ on: April 12, 2007, 06:16:14 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on April 12, 2007, 06:04:41 PM

I agree, there should be more controversy about Limbaugh's racist comments, but he is preaching to the choir.  Rather than shaking their heads, they are nodding them.  That's why Fox gets away with it too: their viewers are just looking for an outlet which parrots their viewpoint... and everyone else is already aware of their position.

I'd love to see a Limbaugh vs. Sharpton no-holds-barred cage match. How can we set this up? Can we get Limbaugh to comment on the controversy somehow and have Sharpton be a caller?
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