14 August 2019

F-4 Phantom II


What am I reading?

I have just started on the two volumes on French tanks by Steven Zaloga. This was sparked by playing War Thunder on the computer as a friend had taken to using French tanks in the game. They were pretty horrible in the game though their cast, shaped armour were pretty advanced for its time.

I am also reading "Battle Flight: RAF Air Defence Projects and Weapons Since 1945" by Chris Gibson. This is about British Cold War air defences as denoted in the title, much of which were paper projects and prototypes that were never fielded. This is an area that I know little about.

A few decades ago, Singapore did field the Bloodhound surface to air missile (SAM). This is examined in the book by Gibson.











I have read a few books about the Battle of Stalingrad over the years. I have also read much more on the Eastern Front.

"Winter Storm: The Battle for Stalingrad and the Operation to Rescue 6th Army" by Hans Wijers has just arrived in the mail. I have always wanted to read more accounts of the firefights in the tractor factory, the city fighting in general. This volume should have the narratives I seek.

And as I usual, I am reading numerous others, each at various stages of completion.

03 August 2019

10 July 2019

I have used metal straws some years before. This weekend, I had the experience of using one in a café. Needless to say, sucking a metal straw isn't pleasant, I rather drink from the glass. No, I don't like straws period, metal or plastic. This move to stop the use of straws is absurd and amusing at the same time, almost Kafkaesque.

02 July 2019

I wish the Orchard library will carry Air International and Jane's Defence Weekly. However, I don't think they will.

26 June 2019

I also finished Marble Age, a unforgiving but fun game.
I tried Gremlins Inc, TASTEE Lethal Tactics, Bronze Age, Polaris Sector, Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville.

Not bad, promsing games. I did finish Bronze Age, a neat little package, fun.
Someone was telling me something in what seems to be in English but I cannot make out what she was saying. She could not get to the point.

Yesterday, I had two insurance folks visit me. They also said a whole bunch of things. Again, they seemingly spoke in English but I could not make out what they were saying. I asked many things for clarification but they left me puzzled.

24 June 2019

I did also try Wartile. Slick and well implemented. However, despite my interest in Vikings, the gameplay doesn't seem compelling.
I tried a few more games yesterday. I had tried 16bit Trader some time ago. This time, I went a little bit further and I think I figured the game out. It involves doing quests to supplement income. It is hard to trade without quests as travel is extremely costly.

I also tried Killing Floor 2, it is not bad at all. It runs on the Unreal Engine. Unlike other games, this doesn't give me any headaches. I tried the Berserker, the Gunslinger and finally the Commando. I managed to get through four waves with the Commando only to meet my demise at the Boss.

I tried Airmech Wastelands which is a RPG-ish implementation of the basic Airmech. Slick, evocative but.. it feels a bit like a cash grab despite the amount of great work put in. I hear Front Line Assembly music in the background. Very nice.

I tried more of Battlevoid Harbinger. Good game. I think I have pretty much exhausted it. Time to move on. Recommended.

I went to take a look at Torchlight II again. No, I don't like it.

I also took a quite look at Void Destroyer. Five sets of tutorials. It looks involving.





08 June 2019

A battle between the Saxons and Vikings

It has been over a year since my last Field of Glory II game. I have been playing Grim Dawn a fair bit. There have been two or three expansions since the last time I played.

I set up a custom battle between the Saxons and the Irish Vikings, circa 1000 CE. These are armies from the Wolves at the Gate expansion.

I had forgotten how to play the game, it had been a year. I set my army in an L-shape, with the battle line extending across the width of the battlefield. I have four units of cavalry on the left. My shieldwall and housecarls form the battle line with about six or seven units behind as reserves. I have my light skirmishers forward of the line to seize the high ground. The terrain is broken and would badly affect the shieldwall and other heavy units. I expect the Viking army to be not very different in composition to my Saxon army.

My plan was to advance fast, close in, seizing the high ground with my left flank swinging like a hook. My right flank would be anchored to the forest on the right.

The computer AI for Field of Glory II is competent. As we will see later, it can do a lot of damage.

As I advance my battle line forward, it split in half due to a large pond in the centre of the battlefield. My skirmishers seized the high ground and began driving their skirmishers off.


As my left wing swung into their shorter line, their stronger left wing hit my weaker right. It would be a race of which army would manage to destroy their opponent's flank first.

The AI had cleverly inserted a light skirmisher unit into the forest, tying down a heavy unit of mine.


The Viking smashed my right flank and also my reserve units sent to reinforce that flank. I managed to crush their flank as well and rolled their line up. In the end, I orientated a new battle line and met theirs head on and won.


06 June 2019

Emptiness

I did wish that he hadn't showed me. A game such as this is about finding solutions and when the solutions are laid out starkly like that, there is no game left.

 I don't mind spoilers to the story however.

Yes, one can try to find new possible solutions or variations to those solutions. However, these being on paths well-trodden by much better players, there are unlikely many more.

Revealer

Oh dear. My friend revealed all the endgame builds that allow one to eliminate the superbosses in Grim Dawn.

Suddenly, there is no mystery nor purpose left to many of the characters I have built. Many of the characters have no future while others can succeed if I were to do those builds.

As the game is deterministic, it suddenly removes the game aspect. I would be sure to succeed if I strive towards those builds, there is not much need for experimentation left, thus no game left.

It is time to take a long break from Grim Dawn.



29 May 2019

Grim Dawn level 100 builds

My level 100 characters. The primary mastery is shown first, followed by the secondary mastery.

Cabalist - Necromancer / Occultist
Sentinel - Occultist / Oathkeeper
Witchblade - Soldier / Occultist
Trickster - Nightblade / Shaman
Druid - Shaman / Arcanist
Elementalist - Shaman / Demolitionist
Purifier - Demolitionist / Inquisitor
Warlord - Soldier / Oathkeeper
Blademaster - Nightblade / Soldier
Warder - Soldier / Shaman

My Sorcerer (Demolitionist / Arcanist) is level 71 now.
Yesterday was uneventful and quiet.

16 April 2019

Grim Dawn level 100 builds

These are my level 100 builds. Most of the points are in the first mastery, the second mastery is secondary. I can't make the Arcanist, Inquisitor and Oathkeeper work so far.

  • Cabalist - Necromancer / Occultist
  • Sentinel - Occultist / Oathkeeper
  • Witchblade - Soldier / Occultist
  • Trickster - Nightblade / Shaman
  • Druid - Shaman / Arcanist
  • Elementalist - Shaman / Demolitionist
  • Purifier - Demolitionist / Inquisitor


I have a Warlord (Oathkeeper / Soldier), a Blademaster (Nightblade / Soldier) and  a Sorcerer (Demolitionist / Arcanist) on the way.

27 March 2019

I dreamed of vast primeval forests, well, not literally. I am back to drawing old forests. I drew one last night after midnight.

26 March 2019

Strangely enough, I did dream of her this morning but I got up, dismissed it and went back to sleep.

22 March 2019

A dream of palaces

I had a long dream of visiting the ruins of a Cambodian palace complex with my father. I drove up an old trail before alighting. And we ventured into the remains of the building.

Inside, we walked down a few levels and actually found a modern shop that had been joined to the complex, not a tourist shop but a local shop, the folks had that learned to make use of the old and the new.
I find people who claim that that they like drawing but they don't draw to be somewhat... Haha. It is funny how things are.

There will be things that I will not understand.
I have always wanted to create stories and artwork. I need to focus on them in a more organised way.
The re-orientation of priorities continue. A lifetime of other priorities. Now, my priorities will centre around my desires.

And I will need to re-examine what my heart wants.
Kindness has always been the supreme virtue. Given the distortions and societal expectations, what passes as kindness today is a perverse form of political correctness.

Many people deemed as 'kind' aren't really kind per se.

21 March 2019

This is such a moody day. Heavy rainfall after a long period of brilliant sunshine.
Nothing will ever be good enough. An individual, a free mind, one must conform to the dictates of ordinary society, surrender to the expectations of others and not be allowed to just be a simple person. Sometimes, what others think really doesn't matter. Sadly, many cannot throw off the shackles of societal expectations.
I walk, I think, I remember. I will embrace this solitude.

At a point earlier in life, I had made sacrifices, sacrifices that were more significant to me than what had previously transpired. Sacrifices that were sadly unrecognised nor appreciated. I was glad to make them, I was happy to be consumed in an all-encompassing connection of emotion. I gave myself. I had opened myself. Eventually, sadly, it had come to nought. In that, I had wondered, time and again, why.

Thus, I must stride on this narrow path, be strong again, and not give myself again.

18 March 2019

I did a fair bit of walking on Saturday. I need to carry less things. I walked by certain places that brought back memories. Has it been years? A tint of sadness.

Sadly, not much drawing nor painting done over the weekend.

16 March 2019

I will do more drawing this afternoon!

Moral Compass

I asked a few questions to gauge the moral compasses of some friends. Well, the answers from some of the fellows were pretty expected. Oh well, some were disappointing while some showed some ability to discern.

13 March 2019

Dumb Jock Games

There are games which I consider to be dumb jocks games. I guess it comes from the impression of folks that I know who plays these games, dumb people.
  • Grand Theft Auto series. 
  • All sports games.
  • Golf games.
  • Truck driving games.
  • Tomb Raider series
  • Far Cry series
  • Crysis (not so much)
  • All other gangster games.

19 February 2019

The ignorance of some people is appalling. I just read two persons talking about something that happened. And I was shocked as to the stupidity and ignorance exhibited. A third person joined in and what he said made a lot more sense than what the first two have said.
When someone is so wrong about things, there is no need to tell him why, correct him and show him. So, I don't.

05 January 2019

Don't buy into what 'friends' are aggressively promoting.  It is agenda-driven. For instance, self-interest!