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1441  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
1442  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.
1443  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.
1444  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.
1445  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Favorite War Movies on: May 17, 2007, 02:38:50 PM
Das Boot
1446  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.
1447  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?
1448  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.
1449  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?
1450  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: House Passes Iraq Pullout Timetable on: March 29, 2007, 06:54:18 PM
The supporters of seeing the war in Iraq say that if we withdraw too soon the terrorists are going to follow us home. And fight us here.

I was thinking about this the other day. Don't we have home turf advantage if the terrorists fight here? Wouldn't we be the citizens who don't support the invaders (the terrorists)? Wouldn't the terrorists then have a harder time smuggling arms through borders and not have a sympathetic state nearby to provide them with weapons and training camps?

In short, isn't it time we bring back the concept of a strong America and say "Bring it!" ?

1451  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 300 - What'd ya think? [Movie] on: March 26, 2007, 03:25:34 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?

Personally I thought the first phalanx scene looked pretty damn cool and would have wanted to see more of it. Perhaps w/ variations, like if the Thespians tried to do their phalanx but several in the front rank faltered, which meant the Spartans would have to march up in phalanx to help.
1452  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 300 - What'd ya think? [Movie] on: March 23, 2007, 03:51:52 PM

Quote from: gameoverman on March 22, 2007, 06:47:46 AM

I'm talking internal logic.

Here's an example of internal logic in this movie:  The Persians, on more than one occasion, send emissaries to talk to Leonidas/Sparta.  Okay, what are the 'rules' governing this that the audience should know?  Well, by having the Spartans kill the Persians each time, the rules are that there is no diplomatic immunity in this story- everyone is fair game.   That's acceptable, the writers can set the rules of their own story, so no diplomatic immunity is the rule.

I'm sorry, what other emissaries? Are you referring to the guys w/ spears coming out of their mouths? Maybe the Spartans called them emissaries in the movie, but in the graphic novel they were advance scouts. And the "arrows blot out the sun" guy, he just lost his hand right?
1453  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 11 Million of yours to US = OK. A couple guys putting out a fire not ok? on: March 15, 2007, 08:57:12 PM
Lest we think immigrants only take menial or minimum-wage tasks from the get go, we have had, and are having, a large influx of immigrant nurses from outside the US; Philippines, India, and other places.
1454  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 11 Million of yours to US = OK. A couple guys putting out a fire not ok? on: March 13, 2007, 07:37:44 PM
Quote from: ATB
Good point.  But just wait. We'll start sending out subs to sink those boats and deploy anti-aircraft guns to blow those planes out of the sky.  W00t!

The point here is - the only reason Mexico is even being considered for getting a "pass" on the immigration issue is that people can walk from there to here. That makes it real hard to swallow for the rest of the world that isn't able to walk to the US and therefore waits their turn in line to LEGALLY enter.

Make it fair for everyone I say.
1455  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 11 Million of yours to US = OK. A couple guys putting out a fire not ok? on: March 13, 2007, 06:42:14 PM

Quote from: ATB on March 13, 2007, 02:08:22 PM

Of course I wouldn't! I would submit my name, struggle through beaurecratic hell for a couple years, watch my kids starve and then on the off chance that some over paid government worker does her job, I might get a call that says sorry, but the country is full. Try again in six months.

Yeah, sure you would.

Weird. That's EXACTLY what we went through for immigration. Minus the starving thing and getting told the country is full. And as a first generation immigrant I seriously don't think Mexico should be cut a break just because they can WALK to the US. Think of all the immigrants who have to wait their turn because they live HALFWAY ACROSS THE FREAKIN WORLD. Mexico should be no different.
1456  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 300 - What'd ya think? [Movie] on: March 12, 2007, 02:52:31 PM

Quote from: Calvin on March 11, 2007, 04:47:52 AM

Which historical account? Hehe-this type of justification is very, very, very tenuous at best. The only line attributed to that battle that all historians agreed on throughout time was "all the better, we shall fight them in the shade." Historians of the time disagree on almost every other significant detail of the battle except for the outcome-and I certainly cannot imagine that more than a word or two directly spoken has survived the test of time smile

Someone should go tell the Greeks then. There's a monument to Leonidas at Thermopylae which reads "Come and take them" in Greek. And the Greek First Army Corps has that as their motto.
1457  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Silent Hunter 4 - Gold - whoo! on: March 08, 2007, 06:36:24 PM
I'm in. Already pre-ordered. Will be fun to see Pearl Harbor in the 40's, along w/ Aloha Tower. Listening to Tokyo Rose, Glen Miller while on patrol. Getting orders to rescue downed fliers, inflitrate Marine Raiders, and sink Marus. I can't wait!
1458  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How rare is your name? on: March 06, 2007, 07:54:15 PM
Raymond - RAYMOND is the #36 most common male name.
0.488% of men in the US are named RAYMOND.
Around 597800 US men are named RAYMOND!

Espiritu - Espiritu is the #14076 most common last name.
0.001% of last names in the US are Espiritu.
Around 2500 US last names are Espiritu!
1459  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Race to the Bottom: Who has the worst TV? on: March 01, 2007, 05:52:39 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 27, 2007, 04:00:12 PM

I just remembered I have a 25' PanaSamSonyIba'ish TV sitting in the corned ever since I got my HDTV.

That doesn't sound like its the main TV to me.  Tongue
1460  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Race to the Bottom: Who has the worst TV? on: March 01, 2007, 05:51:33 PM
Wow, I thought I was ghetto with my 10 year old 27" Sony. Yes that is my main TV.
We did lose the original remote to it and had to get a new universal remote. However, the uni-remote doesn't let us access the TV's configuration menu - and there are no buttons on the TV itself that let us adjust brightness, contrast, etc. And to top it all off, the sound seems to be going bad. Premium cable channel sound output is softer than regular channels. Anyone else experience that?
1461  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Attack Helicopters unsuited for modern combat? on: January 30, 2007, 10:31:54 PM
One does not have to put a lot of effort into researching the Stryker effectiveness to debate this. One could simply go to the same source as Kobra and find a "MORE RECENT" analysis of the Styrker vehicle:

On another note, looks like Hawaii will be getting a Stryker brigade as the 25th Inf Division ("Tropic Lightning") will be upgrading a brigade at Schofield Barracks w/ Strykers.
1462  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: Carmack isn't AGAINST Vista, as the front page puts it on: January 12, 2007, 09:15:18 PM
Carmack MEH on Vista
1463  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] Final Fantasy XIII TV ads have Japan on: January 03, 2007, 03:18:21 PM

Quote from: Hetz on January 03, 2007, 12:26:56 AM

I am sorry to the entire forum for putting you all through this. I honestly don't go looking for fights. I get excited about consoles/games/life whatever...and I tend to post in a manner that shows my enthusiasm for my hobby. I don't go into XBox threads and crap all over them saying "PS3 RULZ DOODS!!!" or that the system sucks, in fact I think the 360 is a great system. I try and just be positive about the PS3 or whatever my thread is about.

I think part of the problem is that while it is public knowledge that you own all three next gen consoles you have of late only really been excited about the PS3. Are the upcoming 360 and Wii titles not exciting enough for you? If not I'd gladly take that Wii off your hands smile.
1464  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Has anyone ever been to a shooting range? on: December 27, 2006, 09:18:11 PM
I remember going to an outdoor range in Hawaii as part of the JROTC class during High School. It was my first time shooting a gun - a .22 rifle actually. We first went through orientation...point the rifle downrange, always make sure the bolt is open and clear before heading downrage to collect the target, etc. Then we had about 10 shots each from prone, kneeling, and standing positions. Part of the class grade (5% or something like that) was actually based on how well one did at the range, and you could qualify for the marksmanship badge if your score was high enough. I just remember the rifle was heavy as hell in kneeling and standing positions, especially since I took my time lining up the shot.

I've only shot one more time since, about four years ago with some friends and my wife (girlfriend at the time). It was an indoor range and I loaded and shot a Glock a few times.

Neat, but I think I'll stick to melee weapons (sword, staff) for now. smile
1465  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk about Coffee. on: December 22, 2006, 02:07:34 AM

Quote from: ROTC1983 on December 22, 2006, 01:03:01 AM

Kona coffee rocks.  Since I live on the islands, it is pretty easy for me to get, but I do enjoy a nicely brewed cup in the morning. 

+1. I have my relatives mail that stuff to me whenever they can. I don't get the blended stuff though (10% kona or less, meh). Pure Kona medium roast is where its at.
1466  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Virtua Fighter 5 announced! on: December 21, 2006, 09:33:14 PM
wow, this just nudged me one step closer towards getting a 360 sometime next year. Guitar Hero for 360 might push me over the edge.
1467  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: If kobra can whore companies so can I! on: December 12, 2006, 08:19:03 PM
I like B&N. If it weren't for them I wouldn't have a place to go to while my wife shopped.
1468  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battle Stations Midway on: November 30, 2006, 03:17:30 PM
Personally I'm hoping the grand strategy and task force level combat work well and relatively realistically. I fail to see how one can make a good Pacific War, theater level game without some sort of fog-of-war and intelligence work. I'm not talking about blacked out areas either. I'm talking about sending scouts out and seeing piddly transports when in reality they are the main carrier task force.

Oh well, one can dream.
1469  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / paid off every month on: November 21, 2006, 03:20:49 PM
$0. We use our credit card for most everyday purchases - food, gas, clothes, etc - then pay it off at the end of the month. Then every so often Amazon mails us a $25 gift coupon that we can use to buy gifts from them for birthdays and such. Win-win.
1470  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ultimately, in a couple years, which console will have won this generation? on: November 14, 2006, 04:05:23 PM
Wait, so my only choices are giant douche Microsoft or a turd sandwichSony ?

Note, the point being that Sony is just as evil, gigantic, in love with its own interests as Microsoft. I know there are 3 choices in the poll smile.
1471  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ultimately, in a couple years, which console will have won this generation? on: November 14, 2006, 03:16:40 PM
Whichever one gets the bright idea to sell additional songs for Guitar Hero 2 on its internet service.
1472  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Need a new gaming rig, but should I wait? on: November 03, 2006, 06:29:47 PM

Quote from: Mystic95Z on November 03, 2006, 06:26:10 PM

Dont even bother with the quad core processors at this point.

Wasn't planning on it. Was hoping the market would cause the core-2 duo prices to drop then.
1473  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Need a new gaming rig, but should I wait? on: November 03, 2006, 06:01:50 PM
Even if going for the core duo processors, wouldn't it be better to wait until the quad processors come out? My theory is that the release of the quads would bring a price drop in the duos. Especially the core 2 duo extreme cpus. Last I read, the first quad cores were going to be released sometime late November. Anyone read differently?
1474  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Want Exclusives? Then You Want Microsoft for the Next 7 months on: November 02, 2006, 04:14:45 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on November 02, 2006, 03:09:43 PM

To me the exclusive titles are what define the console.  If a title really interests me and there is only one console that has it, then obviously I would be very compelled to buy that console.  How many people bought a PS2 because of GTA3, or an Xbox because of Halo? 
Well, true, I bought the Xbox because of Halo. But, my decision wasn't further influenced by the ratio of Xbox exclusivity titles versus PS2 exclusivity titles. I just bought what I wanted to play.

However, I am inclined to purchase the Wii because I am intrigued by the system of control. It does not bother me that a game may or may not also be available for another console - as long as the Wii version of the game caters to its unique controller methodology.

The fact that the majority of big companies, at leaset in the US, are doing multi-platform releases tells me that buyers don't particularly care about exclusivity either. If they did, then there would be no market for a title that was not exclusive. In other words, I get the jist from this thread that people here won't buy a title if it came out for other platforms. Yet, the market is telling me that the majority of gamers don't share that sentiment.
1475  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Want Exclusives? Then You Want Microsoft for the Next 7 months on: November 02, 2006, 02:59:48 PM
I'm sorry, remind me again why an exclusive title makes it more appealing? When I buy a single console (such as the Wii), I'm buying titles that I can play on that system. Do I really care that the same title can be played on another system? Am I missing out on some "special enjoyment of the game" that players of exclusive titles get high on?
1476  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Are we sure Wii won't be a hit with non-gamers? on: November 01, 2006, 06:43:44 PM
All I know is this:

I showed my wife, who doesn't play video games, the E3 clips for the Wii. I said "I want one." She said "Forget you, I want one for myself!"

This Wii could jump-start us into being a gaming couple.
1477  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Whatcha playing this weekend? (Oct 6.7.8) on: October 06, 2006, 04:38:22 PM
Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes
and, oh yeah, Company of Heroes
1478  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I bought a bottle of sake...what's the best way to drink it? on: September 23, 2006, 01:44:48 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on September 23, 2006, 09:02:02 AM

Sake is very much an aquired taste and most people I know don't care for it because it seems so harsh.  It's more tolerable cold or chilled, but it still maintains some of it's unique flavors.

Sake isn't a rice beer, though there are some really good rice beers available, sake is a hard liquor.

I used to think sake was harsh and bitter and yucky. Then I found some information online, and from Japanese friends. Basically the information boils down to: sake, like wine, has different levels of quality, sweetness, and whatever else one uses to describe the flavor of alchohol. Personally I find the Sho Chiku Bai brands equivalent to Milwaukee's Best. Other than that, I don't have a brand preference, but I do prefer the sake types called Ginjo-shu or Daiginjo-shu. Those typically go down almost like water and then I feel a pleasant warming sensation in my chest.  If you're lucky you can find imported sake bottles on which the American importer has put info about the level of sweetness and acidity along with more descriptions about the flavor. I tend to go towards the more sweet sake as that goes down a lot better than the Milwaukees Best stuff.

However, I have found that ALL sake generally gets more bitter if you have leftovers after its been opened and are trying to save the leftovers for another night. So, invite some friends and have them help you down the entire bottle in one sitting. I also find that, warm or cold is not the end all be all to enjoyment of sake. Its serving sake with friends and observing the sake ettiquette. In this case, the pourer always pours for others, never for himself. Then someone else will take the bottle and serve the original pourer. Also, sip the sake because as soon as the cup is empty it must be refilled. To me THAT is the point of how to enjoy sake.
1479  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Company of Heroes retail name list on: September 23, 2006, 01:32:11 PM
1480  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Defcon preorders have started on Steam $9.95 on: September 22, 2006, 06:18:37 PM
Excellent! My preorder for the boxed version is now in.  nod thumbsup
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