specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Spring Equinox 2017

    I hope that you have all acquired, and started to read twice, and thoroughly study MYOMT by Lionel Snell as mentioned in the previous blog. Nobody henceforth gets into the Illuminati without having done so.

    Finally, the season turns, the first toads have come to the pond at Chateaux Chaos and laid their astonishingly long strings of potential successors, and a solitary newt has appeared awaiting a mate. In the greenhouse, the three Greek Autumnalis Mandrakes have produced their best ever foliage but it will not last much longer and they have not yet flowered in their first five years. Thus, the plan to reintroduce them to the wild in the entire southwest of England will plainly take a century or two unless I resort to some genetic engineering.

    The Spring Equinox Druidical Neo-Pagan Easter/Ostara ritual went off delightfully. I could see no point in celebrating the season of fertility by some ghastly sacrificial crucifixion of the son of some Middle Eastern deity who got promoted to monotheistic position around 700BC. Therefore, we made eggshells full of wishes and spells and affirmations (mainly in chocolate) and invoked the god of the sun and the goddess of spring in many guises, and superbly personified by some of our members, to consecrate our ‘plantings’ for harvest at autumn.

    The arse end of winter seemed dominated for me by the dislocation of my shoulder a few weeks ago, occasioned by the over exuberance of our dopey giant sheepdog tugging me down a flight of slimy stone steps in the churchyard. The pain and shock seemed quite astonishing, for a moment, I felt a sort of ‘out of body experience’, a sort of superposition of the experience of standing at the top of the stone steps, lying at the bottom of it, and leaping up again shouting F*** innumerable times. My eldest up in Scotland caught a twinge of it at the exact moment according to a later call.

    A neurophysiologist at grove later explained this as a peculiarity of the fight-flight-freeze sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, but I dunno, it seemed very weird at the time. I can well appreciate why the inquisition used dislocation via the rack or the strapado as a method of torture.

    At A&E they asked me to evaluate my agony on a scale of 1-10. I could still imagine blowtorches and molten lead as more painful so I opted for 8, probably a mistake, but nevertheless four medics eventually knocked me out in the end and wrenched it back in.  On the bright side, I have partially mastered the awkward arts of left hand pickaxe, mattock, shovel, and sledgehammer, without too much collateral damage, round at the Memsahib’s community garden construction project. Yet at 64 this comes as an intimation of mortality and human frailness. I shall avoid surfing until at least midsummer. Whilst drowning reportedly seems a good way to go, I still have another 2 books to write, a further 3? grandchildren to welcome, New Zealand to visit, and a Michelangelo grade sculpture to make.

    Meanwhile on Arcanorium College we explore the experimental belief that extra-terrestrial intelligences may know stuff that we don’t yet quite understand.

    As Robert Anton Wilson said, ‘Magic is what you use when you have exhausted the possibilities of common sense’.

    Thus we scroll through all human knowledge on various topics such as consciousness, biology, ontology/epistemology, philosophy, spacetime cosmology, and quantum physics and then ask the Lovecraftian Necronomicon Mythos Elder Gods for the next bits, on the justifiable assumption that something in the universe probably already knows. Whilst I have historically taken a dim view of ‘channelling’ this does seem to have generated some very provocative feedback.

    Scotland has seen an export boom in the wake of the post-Brexit currency correction. The policy of the Loch Ness Sturgeon and the SNP of quitting Britain and joining the EU looks increasingly like an absurd posture. Scotland would implode economically without UK handouts and they know it, and they know they won’t get them from the EU now. The Scots just want a bit more autonomy and more subsidies.

    Jean Claude Junker threatens Brexit Britain with the sort of spiteful punishing EU exit conditions that surely confirm that no country in its right mind would have ever contemplated joining this failed synarchic superstate if it had known its real agenda. Only fear holds it together now.

    I recommend that we threaten to use the RAF and our missile arsenal to completely flatten the corrupt shite-hole of Brussels (having of course given a humanitarian warning to evacuate it first).

    Only the French have the capacity to retaliate but I suspect they would like to see the end of it too. Only the Germans and the Euro-Political class have profited from the EU.

    ‘Belgium’ remains a term of vilest abuse in most of the civilised cultures of the galaxy according to Douglas Adams, one can now see why. 

    Written on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 13:57 in Blog Read 288 times

Latest Games Post

  • Game of Thrones Risk Deluxe Solo

    Game of Thrones Risk Deluxe.

    I enjoyed the Game of Thrones so much that I arranged to receive the board game for xmas. Okay, so it follows the usual Risk format which provides a reasonable ‘beer and pizza’ evening for 5 or 7 student age people if you play it straight. However the beauty of the map and the pieces led me to wonder if I could get more out of it by using it to tell a longer story as a one player game over a number of evenings, rather as one might enjoy reading or writing a novel within defined parameters.

    Herewith my rough house rules: -

    Setup on the Westeros board only.

    Each house occupies all of its own territory, plus use the red pieces for the Iron Islanders.

    Use the blue pieces for neutral territories (Vale of Arryn, Riverlands, Stormlands.)

    Place the blue citadel on Kings Landing as a second Baratheon citadel.

    Each territory generates 1 troop unit, as does each town and each port, citadels generate 3 units.

    Each town and port and citadel generates 1 (100) gold.

    Ships – I used the galleons out of ‘Civilisation’, you need about 10 ship markers. Each house starts with one, except the Iron Islanders who have 2. They begin and end turns in ports.

    At each player turn, 1) adjust forces and income as above. 2) move any troops 1 space within occupied territory. Spend income if desired on fortifications, catapults, knights, reinforcements, or treachery.

    Costs, fortifications, catapults, knights, ships, 3 gold each.

    Treachery, to subvert an adjoining enemy unit pay 1 gold and throw a 2 or less on a D6, pay 2 gold and throw a 4 or less, or pay 3 gold and throw a 5 or less to change that unit to one of the active players own house. This only works at all if all units on a territory plus knights become subverted, otherwise it all fails, and the gold wasted.

    Attack any neighbouring territories from ones you initially own. Ships carrying troops may attack up to 4 ports away, and may sail around the bottom of the map but not the top.

    The usual rules of combat apply but with the following modifications, you can employ multiple knights and catapults, so towards the end of the game the 8 sided dice get used more. (you may need an extra 8 sided attack dice)

    Citadels offer +2 to defenders on dice but only if the defenders elect to retreat to the citadel for a siege. Attackers can elect not to assault but to lay siege, in which  case they own the territory, towns, and ports associated. If after 3 turns the siege remains in place, the defenders become eliminated.

    Naval warfare. If a defender elects to defend an attacked port with ships then each ship can have a fighting crew of up to 3 troops plus up to 3 knights and one catapult if available, it may also carry another 3 troops as transports but not combatants. If a ship losses all three combat troops it becomes sunk, along with transports.

    Ships can land troops on any territory to which a white line points even if it doesn’t count as a port, but then the ships must retire to their nearest friendly port.

    Undefended ships in ports become automatically captured if attacked by crewed ships.

    The single player should play each house in turn, considering the strategic options as they arise. Obviously alliances will become a critical consideration and part of the developing narrative. One simple rule can suffice here; any house breaking the terms of an alliance has to forgo all of its income in its next turn.

    Objective- dominate Westeros, or at least form a stable alliance between the surviving houses.

    Extra feature, when the last of the blue neutral pieces become eliminated the Undead as blue, begin to invade the The Gift. Roll a D8 to see how many appear each turn. They attempt to move south 1 territory per turn rolling D8s. Destroyed opposing pieces become replaced with undead pieces if they capture territory.

     

     

     

    Written on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 20:53 in Games Read 21 times

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