Anathema?

Earworms:
Hagane no Messiah by JAM Project. A song I haven’t listened to in a long time.
Fire in the Night by After Omega
Projects:
The Black and the Purple Chapter ???: Fallen Art Thou, Eveningstar!
Hell’s Heart: An Eberron Campaign
Soul Calibur 3: Grinding for weapons

So there’s been a lot of hoo-hah about The Golden Compass lately, about how anti-Christian it is. Many people seem to be spreading emails that warn people against watching it and reading the novels.

I’m sure they mean well, but this is again another case of overreaction that reminds me a lot about The Da Vinci Code.

I haven’t watched the movie or read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, so I can’t really say much. However, I did stumble upon a blog post that I agree with a hundred percent: [here].

I’m of the opinion that if the Church is depicted as a monstrous engine of tyranny, then it should prove itself to be otherwise instead of being defensive and whining about this man, his books, and the movie based on them. The Church of Christ has lasted for 2000 years and has endured persecution in various forms for just as long. If we are truly following the teachings of Christ, then I don’t think this is anything to fear. The post above says everything else I have to say.

Magic, Again
So I’ve decided quite a while ago to stop buying any more Magic cards. It’s a very expensive hobby to maintain and cards become obsolete all the time, so I’m going to stick to my Zest Seven deck indefinitely. I used it against some of my students last Sunday. It hasn’t lost its touch. My Pseudo-Izzetron got steamrolled twice due to its slow pace. It’s just really difficult to sustain a burn barrage if the mana isn’t coming. On the other hand, my Gruul deck smashed everything. Not very hard to do with Gruul.

It’s funny how Zest Seven works. For a long time the deck doesn’t seem to be doing much, but what it actually does is neutralize all your threats. By the time Angel of Despair hits the board, it’s usually endgame.

The Black and the Purple
Milica is dead. I’ve still yet to write down my chapters of the story, but I’m definitely going to be writing the her last chapter alive. So yeah, I can actually be productive this break!

Hell’s Heart
Our one-shot Singapore campaign is finally going to push through. We still have to settle on the dates we’re going to play, but if we can make these last the whole day, it would be completely awesome. I’m going to be putting up some new information on our campaign journal that will help my players prepare for the adventure.

C&C 3
Finally got around to playing this game again. I just patched it up to 1.09, and somehow this makes it run better. As of late I’ve been successfully using the Scrin Mothership to destroy the AI bases entirely, a tactic I’ll call Base Delta Zero.

BDZing is a throwback to an extremely cheesy tactic my friends and I used way back in Red Alert: Aftermath.
The Soviet side had a unit called the MAD Tank, which was about as slow as a Mammoth Tank and much more expensive. Now since I’d played Dark Reign before Aftermath, I’d thought the “MAD” meant “Mobile Air Defense.” So I built a MAD Tank and deployed it.

A massive explosion later, I realized that the MAD Tank was a base destruction tool. It took a full third off the HP of every building in a very large area.

Mad Tank
Mad Tank 2

I later learned that MAD stood for “Mutually Assured Destruction” and that three MAD Tanks detonating simultaneously could obliterate a base completely. This tactic was abused a lot in our multiplayer games, where Soviets would turtle up and build three MAD Tanks as fast as they can. While tricky to pull off, it was quite effective when it worked. IF it worked. Getting three slow units to a defensible position close to you opponent’s base is just asking for trouble. What’s worse, the Soviet’s Iron Curtain invulnerability could only target a single unit. Interestingly enough, the MAD Tank did not detonate until the Invulnerability charge expired.

The Scrin Mothership is likewise extremely tricky to use. It costs 5000 credits, and is insanely slow. A couple of rocket infantry squads can take it down easily if a commander plays his cards right. However, the Mothership’s Catalyst Cannon can level a base completely if it gets to a good position in good condition.

Now here’s the problem. The mothership’s cannon power is proportionate to its remaining health. A badly-damaged Mothership will only be able to unleash a very small catalyst blast. At full HP, however, the blast takes up a good portion of the game screen. It doesn’t end there, though.
The initial explosion causes everything caught in the blast to explode immediately (it seems to do this regardless of HP). Each explosion sends off a smaller shockwave that tags everything in the object’s respective area. After a short delay, everything that got tagged explodes as well. The process is repeated until nothing is left. id4_01.jpg

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~ by J. R. R. Flores on December 10, 2007.

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