If you haven’t heard the term “Nerf Crystal” by now, you haven’t been listening.
The recent change in Standard and League games that has resulted from the removal of friendly codes and Safe Passage options from web fields has created a race without diplomatic options. Their ship list is inconducive to trading, being composed largely of overpriced minelayers and understrength warships — plus one 5-point terraformer. Now that they can’t trade their webs as currency, the Crystals have gone from one of the dominant races to something just slightly too sad to be considered a joke.Continue reading
There’s a hoary old tale that’s been circulating in American politics for generations. It starts with an elderly farmer, because in myth and parable those are our wise men.Continue reading
[Scene: Filthy Side Street, Charmed World]
[Music: “Let The Good Times Roll” on a scratchy L.P.]
[Shot: Train horn, discordant chord, D# major. Camera pans up past a sign reading “Single Resident Occupancy”, then across the elevated rail line and zooms in on an open window. Two men are inside, talking; one’s dressed for the street, one for the gutter.]
“How often do the trains go by?” he asked out of curiosity.Continue reading
The Planets Magazine staff has decided to decamp en masse and head to the beach. Or, rather, a position near enough to the beach that it’s cool but far enough away that sand doesn’t get into our typewriters, and preferably somewhere that has good WiFi.Continue reading
The following article is a personal opinion, and in no way represents the position of the Planets Magazine. It is merely a suggestion, presented as a seed for discussion. -G
All the literary masters of the military arts, from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz, Machiavelli and Vegetius, Patton and Guderian and Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf, write extensively about morale as a factor in warfare. Guns are fired by men, and if the man has broken, he won’t fire. It’s a simple equation, and it has driven innovations in tactics since the dawn of modern warfare.
The primary purpose for formations and battle lines is so each soldier can keep watch on his neighbor and make sure he doesn’t retreat (or, perhaps, advance in the wrong direction). The sergeants are in the rear to catch shirkers and turn them back around. And, while the famous “charge” scene in “Enemy At The Gates” is completely, absurdly fictitious, it’s not unknown in history for deserters to be shot en masse.Continue reading
OPINION – What’s really important?
I sit down to write this article and find myself straining to pinpoint when we last had an in-person Planets Con. Lords of Cobols – do you realize it’s been three years?! Was the last one truly 2018? Yes, the Finns know how to party, but the rest of us need to get shaking. With that in mind, I key this note to remind everybody of what’s really important:
That image sends some potentially confusing messages; however, I assure you that I honestly mean that beer is the most vital part of Planets Con. Is there really any better way to connect to another human being than to clink glasses together?
[TS: Rhetorical sarcasm?]
[G: Actual fact. Though mine might be coffee. …OK, maybe Irish coffee.]
Part 2: Reduce Mineral Costs for Low-tech Torpedoes
In my last article I offered recommendations to balance the MegaCredit costs of torpedoes. In this article I will look at mineral cost inequalities among torpedo types, and offer options on how they might be addressed.Continue reading
A few of you have expressed interested in how Planets Mag works — some with an eye to contributing content, others no doubt from idle curiosity. The simple truth is, alas, that we’ve got no idea ourselves. We keep writing, and people keep reading, and these are good things.
There’s more to it, mind; it’s a valuable rule to remember that everything is always more complex. So if you’re interested in the process, feel free to keep reading. If on the other hand you prefer to think of it as “magic” and just plan to enjoy the fruits of our labor… well, you too can keep reading, because this is exactly one of those products of which we are (for better or worse) so immensely proud.Continue reading