On Double-Edged Swords

EDITORIAL

For a while now, I’ve had a personal, private theory about why it is that the Evil Empire keeps losing. After all, on the face of things they do have the single best ship in the game, a wide variety of support carriers, free fighters, a hyperspace courier, and an innate advantage that gives them complete information about the static defenses of their rivals. On paper, there’s simply no reason for them to ever lose.

Except, of course, they do. A lot. And I’ve got a theory about why — one that’s made me unpopular a time or two.

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The Christmas Truce

You all know the story, but even if you don’t that’s OK, because I’m going to tell it again anyway.

Europe, 1914. Christmas week.

For months now, vast armies had battled across the face of the continent, each racing to outflank the other. Along the Western Front, the race had stopped for lack of room, and a continuous line of trenches ran from Switzerland to the North Sea. By Christmas, things had somewhat stabilized. Gas attacks and mass artillery barrages were still in the future, and the soldiers themselves still had great sympathy for the fellows in the trenches on the other side.

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Trophies! Also, Our Own Coffee!

Talespin and I are thrilled to announce the arrival, here at the official Planets Magazine shipping and distribution center (otherwise known as my dining room table), of the brand new trophies for the Planets Magazine Invitational series. Take a look:

I remember when I used to have a dining room…

Just imagine winning one of these for your very own, to display next to that Nobel medal, the Pulitzer, and your eighth-grade spelling bee trophy.

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610 Turns

OPINION

War of the Zodiac: Last Gaffer Standing

BovTown Comics by Talespin

We here at the Mag rely on your feedback to measure how well we’re doing, and there’s very little to match that joyful feeling of getting a free coffee. As always, you can make a PayPal donation to support the Planets Magazine, or click the button below to Buy Us A Coffee — and don’t forget to leave your feedback!

Buy Me A Coffee

A Modest Proposal: Race Balance In Standard

EDITORIAL

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.

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Morale: A Mechanism

EDITORIAL

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.

Machine guns are for deserters, not the enemy!
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Planets Con in a Post-Pandemic Continuum – Cheers!

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.]

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On Keeping The Pot Boiling

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.

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