Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sidetracked

October 10, 2014

I do not have more screenshots from this week. Mostly because I haven’t really been in too many battles lately. Tuesday night I worked on my Polish campaign. I’m at the point in the Deluge questline where I need to gather the nobles together and take back Warsaw. However, I’m not friendly enough with enough of them to get them to join me, so I’m spending a lot of time playing courier, delivering letters back and forth between them to build up my relationships.

Wednesday night I had to play WoW. The patch is next week, and while I am excited about some of the changes, I am sad that some things are being taken out, even if only temporarily. I mean really, I have all these challenge card quests for the Brawlers’ Guild which I’ve been saving because I have no space for the shirts that are the quest rewards. So they are giving me more space but on the same day are taking away the Brawlers’ Guild. Maybe I can defeat them and not turn the quests in until later? I don’t know, but I don’t even feel like trying. And of course, as soon as that patch drops the guild is going to want to start getting everyone together for Mythic. I’m still burned out. I don’t even want to raid right now. I might still not want to raid in a month. Or even two.

So last night I tried to play Mount and Blade and decided to try some of these other things I’ve bought recently instead. I got Empire: Total War. I know I played it some last week but I don’t really remember why it didn’t quite grab me. I know I didn’t really get the battles, which you actually participate in. I also got a package of things by the same publisher, Paragon, that did the Mount and Blade series. In Crusader Kings II I signed on as the Grand Prince of Kiev and managed to get my son married off and a couple of other things before it all went to hell and I lost all of Lithuania.

Then I picked up Europa Universalis IV. I started out in the first section, 1444, leading Poland. This one has missions. You can only do one at a time and it gives you a set of three to choose from. Having a clear goal helped me to understand the game better and have something to be working on, so it was easier to get into it. I got a marriage set with Bohemia followed by an alliance. I got an alliance with Lithuania, which led to the change in government from a feudal monarchy to an elective monarchy. With my new allies at my side, I declared war on the Teutonic Order to take back some territory that the game said should really be mine. I also had to put down a small rebellion in Podolia. They want an independent Ukraine, so .. yeah, sadly, even though I would like that, too, I couldn’t allow it. Anyway, now I just need to take three or four other small areas and then I will be able to form the actual Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and rule over all of it. I doubt this will supplant Mount and Blade completely, but I think it is something I will keep working on.

Lords in the Field … what # are we on again?

September 9, 2014

Let’s clear up some of these screenshots that I still haven’t posted, shall we?

Mirza Yanmamed

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Hm apparently Petro Doroshenko’s horse was killed in this battle, but it’s a good shot of him even so. (That looks like Loboda behind him, also on foot. Poor horsies took a beating that battle!)

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He is one of the ones who was actually real, serving not only Khmelnytsky, but also later Vyhovsky (who I still haven’t managed to snag a screenshot of) who was Hetman after Khmelnytsky’s death. Doroshenko eventually became Hetman himself. So yeah, he’s a pretty important dude.

Here’s a shot from a siege of one of the Swedish strongholds .. either Koenigsburg or Narva, I forget which. Or possibly even Reval.

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Several of them have these really awesome moats, and the only approach a long bridge or two. I think this one is Koenigsburg, I believe it’s the one that just has a single extra-long bridge, and it SUCKS if you’re the attacking party. It’s great if you’re defending though. You can see there that they’ve knocked out 5 of my dudes already and we’ve barely gone 10 steps.

That’s enough for today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post some Poles for you, ya?

Obsession

September 8, 2014

When does an interest or hobby cross over into obsession? And is it necessarily always a *bad* thing? I know you all know what I am talking about here. I’m sure we all have some sort of WoW memorabilia, many of you have gone to Blizzcon, you’ve had guild meetups, etc. Heck, my old guild all went to Disney World together.

So I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but … I want to talk about my With Fire and Sword obsession (again). And yes, I have reasons for why it’s a good thing instead of a bad thing. Hear me out.

My main point here is that it has actually gotten me *away* from the computer. Sounds crazy when you look at my Steam profile and see that I have spent 300 hours playing the game. Ok fine. But I’ve done several things other than play the game.

I’ve spent a lot of time on Wikipedia, learning about the Khmelnytsky Uprising, Cossacks, the Polish Commonwealth, the Ukraine, and vodka. Ok, maybe that wasn’t ‘away from the computer’ but it was learning! Give me a break here eh?

I’ve read the book With Fire and Sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

I’ve watched the Jerzy Hoffman movie, in Polish with subtitles. My mom hates subtitles and is annoyed that I always turn them on, but even in regular programming it’s easy to miss what someone says … not so much if I can read it at the same time. Plus, with this, it’s a great way to learn some of the pronunciations. Skrzetuski sounds NOTHING like it is spelled. I mean, the -tuski part does but the first part is not even close.

I bought some vodka. That could possibly go under the ‘bad’ category, but hey, it got me out of the house and to the liquor store, right?

Then, on Saturday as I was going to the grocery store, I saw a banner for a Ukrainian festival. As luck would have it, it was happening on Sunday (yesterday) at a nearby Ukrainian Catholic Church. You KNOW I had to go. HAD. TO. It was a perfect day for it, too … 70 and sunny. Just gorgeous. They had Ukrainian music playing and of course plenty of Ukrainian food. I ate pyrogys, kielbasa, cabbage rolls, and sauerkraut. I washed it down with Obolon, a brand of beer brewed in Kyiv.

They had all kinds of things for sale, too. Ethnic costumes, the little decorated eggs, beaded jewelry, decals for your car, scarves, hats, flasks, t-shirts … you name it, they had it, with a Ukrainian flag or symbol on it. I bought these colorful coasters because I’ve been moving the one that I had back and forth between the computer desk and the end table next to the easy chair, so I *needed* them.

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I bought this magnet for my fridge in the shape of modern-day Ukraine, in the colors of the flag and with all of the ‘states’ outlined. Except they don’t call them states there, I forgot the word, I think it starts with O …(brb wiki) … ah yes, oblasts.

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They also had CDs. Even better, they are in MP3 format so there are really 5 full CDs on each disk. Only problem was, well … I definitely can’t read Ukrainian. So I have no idea what’s actually on any of them. How am I going to pick one out? Well, in the end it was quite easy, because this one …

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has a picture of the statue of Khmelnytsky that stands in Kyiv, so I bought it as much for the photo as I did for the music.

So … obsessed? Yeah maybe. But is it really so bad to immerse myself in the history and culture of something REAL?

AFK, working on my winged hussar Halloween costume.

Lords in the Field 5

August 25, 2014

Let’s see, where did we leave off. Oh yes, Les’ and I taking back Kilburun. We bounced back from the Crimeans’ onslaught slowly, eventually gaining back Ladyzhyn and Izmail. Things held steady there for some time and it seemed like we might bounce back fully, although I never seemed to have many guys joining me. Then Giray got his full forces gathered again and took all three back. Once again, I was without any fortress or even village of my own. This time, I didn’t even bother trying to mess with his 900-man army. I went around doing quests until a couple of guys came to join me. Then two more showed up. Hmm … let’s do this! We took back all of them … Izmail, Kilburun, Kracow and Ladyzhyn. Oh, there was some back and forth with the three nearest their homeland.

I found a way to hold onto all three of my fortresses, however. Yes, three. Hmel was kind enough to give me back the three that I had been lord of in the past: Kilburun, Krakov, and Ladyzhyn. Izmail was granted to the one man that I have been unable to form any kind of friendship with, Army Chief Pavlo Gomon.

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(Oh, hey, I got Timofiy Nosach in that shot too, on the left! Nice!!)

Probably has something to do with the fact that he is the one who I am always running against in the voting for Marshal. I’m sure being Army Chief and not actually being in charge has got to be grating on his soul just a little bit. Lord knows I’ve tried to win his favor but to no avail. At least I have succeeded in not making him an enemy, however. I only have one of those. Sedjet-bey got mad every time I had a chance to capture him and let him go free. Apparently he feels that he is disgraced by such acts of kindness, so I gave up on him and just put him in my prison after that.

Anyway, back to keeping my holdings. Shortly after we re-acquired those fortresses, Sweden declared war on us. Now, we are stretched thin enough with one enemy. I don’t want my colonels running off across the map on their own to lay siege to Sweden’s towns when we have the Crimeans right next door breathing fire on us. The mayors of the fortresses will offer a quest to convince two colonels, one from your own faction and one from the faction you are at war with, to bring a peace agreement to the table. So I went around to the Cossack fortresses and visited the mayors until one gave me the quest. I didn’t care which one of the two factions he chose, just as long as I could end one of them and keep my forces focused on one. Fortunately, it was the Crimeans, and even more fortunately, the general I needed to convince was Ahmed-pasha, one of my best friends. For the low price of -3 relationship, he was convinced. The other was Ivan Bogun. It cost a bit more relationship with him, but it was worth it because I could save my thalers. Bam! Done. After so much … WAR … it was nice to have the heartland of our territory at peace. Oh, sure, the Swedes took Kilburun and I had to get it back from them. But no biggie. And once we took, um … that fortress that starts with D and is next to Lviv … we pretty much pushed the Swedes out of our area.

It’s been fun fighting Swedes instead of Crimeans for a change. And holding Krakov, I have a nice short ride straight over the bridge behind Warsaw to get to Allenstein Castle. I led an expedition up there and took that, Kovno Fortress, and Narva. The Swedes have been in a bitter war with both Poland and Moscow for some time now, so they have very few things left. The Poles hold many of their strongholds, like Vilna and Riga.

One other thing before I go, since this will be the only post this week. I’ve mentioned that I’m reading the book. Lyss can testify as to how much I am enjoying it. I freaked out at her last week, afraid to turn the page because Bogun was going to duel and I was scared to learn the outcome. Well, the story has Ivan Bogun and Jan Skrzetuski both in love with the same woman. So when I ran into this battle back when we were at war with Poland, I had to get a screenshot, because, dude … Bogun vs. Skrzetuski!

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In this battle, Bogun won and captured Skrzetuski. But we haven’t been at war with the Poles since, and I still haven’t gotten a screenshot of Bogun. Oh well, maybe next week.


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