Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Enfilade

This was the game I had the most fun in at Enfilade this year, The Sword and the Flame on Mars, using TSATF with vehicle modifications for Space 1889. It wouldn't be Space1889 without a flyer, this is a custom conversion using a model of Jabba the Hutt's sailing barge as a base.... There was a lot of nice conversion work on the table.

The armor contingent includes a pair of spider walkers converted from the Burger King Wild, Wild West toys and some WWI tank miniatures with Steam Engine fittings added on.

Ooops. The natives have an armored unit in the woods. This evidently is the only unconverted vehicle on the field, something purpose built for steampunk games. It popped out of the woods and shot up my Martian sepoys, the spider walkers followed it back into the woods where they supported a British infantry unit against a civilized native company (they had a few shield guns, infantry with a musket that pokes out of a shield, supported by lots of hacker weapons). Between splitting fire to support the infantry and firing on a native muzzle-loading cannon supporting the native armored walker, one was destroyed and one was incapacitated and they failed to further incapacitate the native armored walker. The native foot units were decimated, but the infantry ultimately ran the survivors of the British infantry off.

The goal of the scenario is to rescue these guys. They moved away from their broken tank, triggering the swarm of natives that pretty much destroyed them.

And the armored units are too far away or out of line of sight, unable to support them.

The referee ruled it a marginal Colonial victory due to some successes and we apparently got farther down the table than anybody previously, but I Don't Think So. We failed the primary mission and without a good bit of time to do more damage to the natives, I don't think we have really impressed them so much.... That's my tank and the remains of my Martian Sepoys behind it in the center left of the photo. After being ambushed by a native rifle unit twice their size and the native armor unit, they are under 1/2 strength and next turn they decamped. The turn after that, they rolled a 20 to rally in the presence of the force commander.... I figure they are shedding uniform items and planning a religious conversion. ;o) I let Kimberlyn run the tank for a turn or two, she rolls better than I do.


This is a distraction. Michelle Malkin, a Fox commentator, has caused Dunkin' Donuts to pull this add because it might be misunderstood as sympathetic to Islamic jihadists. Male jihadists may wear a black and white scarf to show their sympathies. Feh! She's a woman, therefor it does not have that meaning even for those whom a black and white scarf has meaning. It's a fashion accessory. And (IMO) it looks good. Shame on Dunkin' Donutz for folding on this. It's a distraction. Here is this issue:

Educating John McCain about Iraq. From an Iraqi-American.

I feel it is my duty as an Iraqi-American to educate Senator McCain, who has demonstrated time and time again not only his fundamental ignorance about Iraq (ie., not knowing the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite), but his willingness to distort the realities there to suit his own political ambitions.
I recount this story not because it is extraordinary, but because it is the mundane in Iraq. When I tell other Iraqis this story, they congratulate me. My uncle was kidnapped and tortured, but he survived. For most Iraqis, these stories end in death.

When you see the distraction, steer the discussion to the issue.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some notes from Enfilade 2008

Much Fun Was Had By All

Never Give A Fifteen Year Old A Tank and a machine gun unless mayhem and destruction are a goal.... The teenager in question was Kimberlyn. Because she has an upcoming unit on the Russian Revolution, the battle below between White and Red Russians (and some uncommitted units that committed at an uncomfortable moment) in the Russian Civil War was a natural. I got her started and wandered off. When I came back, her tank, MG and rifle company had annihilated two rifle companies, a mounted company and a MG. The MG and the remainder of the rifles (she did take casualties) were holding the right flank, while the tank (below) had wandered off to the center of the battle field (the right flank is directly below the tank off picture) where it was still killing Commies.

Never Leave an Entire Flank of the Stronghold Undefended at Deployment. Note the two heroes and rider supports approaching the undefended flank at full speed. It went badly....

These existing light pictures looked much better on the little monitor.... Had a little tripod and a timer and everything. Obviously I have more to learn....

Friday, May 16, 2008

It can't be said better -- XVII

"They're trying to fool you, trying to scare you, and they're not telling you the truth because they can't win a foreign policy debate on the merits"

Barack Obama

Monday, May 12, 2008

In a nutshell.

"The Mariners get a man as far as third but can't get him home."

Mariners' play by play announcer Dave Sims
Middle of the fourth inning, Mariners down 6-5.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Done and done.

But I can assure you that no matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party because we must win in November. And I know that Senator Obama feels the same way.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Indiana, 05/06/08

Told ya so. Nothing else matters, elect the Democrat. Any Democrat.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Another stupid policy post

I just don't get why people don't seem to get some things that are blindingly obvious to me. For example, it seems blindingly obvious to me that there are some things that profit incentives are just not suitable for supplying.

If making a profit is the only suitable incentive, where services are not profitable, they will not be provided. The classic example is rural electrical services. While it is wildly profitable to provide electrical services (or rail services or phone services) where populations are dense making provisioning relatively inexpensive, it is unprofitable to provide the same service where populations are not dense which makes provisioning relatively expensive. The only solution is to provide incentives and mandates from governmental entities which spread the higher cost of provisioning for rural areas to the lower cost urban areas. Historically, this is what happened with railroads, then electricity, then telephones. The public mandated these actions because it was recognized that it would benefit the entire country for everyone to have these basic services.

So why isn't it just as obvious to anybody with brain cells that since the profitable way to provide health insurance is to only provide it to those who aren't sick, a private health insurance company out to make a profit will make every effort to exclude anyone who is actually sick or might get sick, in other words, anybody who might actually NEED it.

IF you accept that everybody should have health insurance because they might need it and SINCE it can be mathematically proven that insuring the entire population is the least cost per person way to provide insurance THEN it follows that the profit incentive cannot accomplish the goal. Therefore, government intervention of a time-honored type (equalize profit opportunity for provisioning low profit or actual loss making service areas using tax dollars or other government policy, remember, we did the exact same thing for railroads, electricity and telephone services) is required.

But when you design your program, keep in mind the goal is to PROVIDE INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE, not guarantee profits for the insurance industry, 'cause you can bet the insurance industry will be in there pitching for anything that lets them make a bigger profit. The voter's best choice is for the program that comes closest to providing universal coverage as that will spread the cost widest and result in the lowest cost per capita. So why do voters keep buying the nonsense that private health insurance is better? Logically and empirically that's just false.

Ask yourself this question. Why have so many large entities such as municipalities, school districts, large corporations and even states chosen to self-insure various risks? Because all insurance is just a bookie's bet that your insurance premiums will exceed your insurance claims and THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS. If you are big enough, better to be the house yourself and save the difference.