[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.
“War is the continuation of politics by other means.” — Clausewitz “Diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.” — Zhou Enlai
There are as many philosophies of diplomacy in this game as there are Planets players, and it takes a wise man indeed to know which is right. In the end, no one can decide for you; you must choose your own path.
It is said of Hannibal that he won every battle but lost the war. The same has been claimed for other historical conflicts with more or less justification: the American conflict in Vietnam, the campaigns of Gustav Adolf den Store of Sweden, and even that Pyrrhus of Epirus from whose name the very phrase “Pyrrhic victory” comes.
But how is this possible? Is war not, more or less, a succession of battles which creates a metaphoric path over which the winner ascends to eventual victory?
There are a lot of articles out there on the mechanics of the game – how many mines you can get out of a Mk6 torpedo, how much an X-Ray Laser masses, that sort of thing. And there are several articles on good general strategies, opening gambits, the best way to defeat a Privateer ambush et cetera. But not much has been written on the big question: How do I win?
Perhaps this is because flawless generals are few; as such, it would require a good deal of arrogance to claim enough expertise to offer a definitive Continue reading →