specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Julblog 2024

    Julblog 2024

    Not a lot of time for serious abstract thinking this month due to seasonal tribal gatherings with parts of the clan from the Antipodes, the Americas, and the Scottish Highlands, leaving barely enough time for a couple of sculptures. So, in this holiday season, herewith a few oddments in lieu of serious esoteric thought: -

    This is Chaos. – The book. The publishers have all the manuscripts from the 15 contributors, and I’ve seen the provisional cover design. Publication date probably July 2025 with pre-orders possible from this September.  

    Assassination attempt. Will the failed assassination of Donald Trump go down in history as a Sarajevo Level Event and become regarded as the trigger that made WW3 inevitable? I dunno, the UK media delight in interpreting Trump as a narcissistic, sociopathic, machiavellian untrustworthy blaggard who plays populist demagogue to the worst instincts of the American electorate. Have they missed something? If civilisation survives, will historians come to regard Donald Trump as a master of Chaos Magic? See this: -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Star_Rising

    UK Election. As the dust settles from the landslide UK general election it becomes apparent that the old truism still holds, oppositions do not win elections – governments lose them. The Labour party adopted the cunning strategy of saying almost nothing about its intentions and simply let the Conservatives dig an even bigger hole of indecisiveness and incompetence for themselves. Only one in five of the UK electorate actually voted for Labour but the plethora of other parties running, a low turnout, and the peculiarities of our first past the post voting system delivered them a huge majority. This may prove a good thing for a while, Kier Starmer need not feel himself a hostage to the wokeist, anti-Israel, LGBT, Critical Race Theorist and Green factions of the left. I doubt that he has much faith in the Dictatorship of the Proletariat but those with worthwhile assets and descendants may wish to consider dying fairly soon before Punitive Death Duties become announced. Labour seems to have pinned its hopes for economic growth on persuading private finance to invest massively in capital projects, infrastructure, and housebuilding. We tried that before under Tony Blair. It didn’t work for long, the country just ended up with a legacy of massive long term debt to private financial groups, badly built structures, and asset degraded utility companies.

    It doesn’t look like Starmer will do much to reduce the UK’s dependency on the vicious circle of trying to prop up a decadent low productivity economy with massive immigration to reduce training and wage costs and to continually inflate property prices. These small islands become insanely overcrowded and the environment continues to degrade as a result.

    Sculpture. Firstly, the latest in a long line of sci-fi neo-juvenilia pieces, an over the top Flagship for the Skaron fleet, bristling with improbable armaments, made from the usual recycled vape and scrap metal pieces and another lump of autoclaved aerated concrete that washed up on the beach.

    Secondly, a serious item of conceptual post-modernist high art: –

    ‘Cracked Pedestal’ – The fragility of belief and the absence of absolute truth.

    A bold and disturbing masterpiece in hand-marbled recycled antique hardwood.

    Death at Chateaux Chaos. We put out kilos of birdseed each week and the number and variety of small birds visiting the feeders has climbed over the years. Then a couple of days ago this happened on the south meadow: -

    A Sparrowhawk came for lunch. We just managed to take a pic before it took off carrying something small and feathered, hopefully not one of the rare Nuthatches. I have only ever seen one wild Sparrowhawk before, but it seems that the more we degrade the UK’s rural habitats, the more the wildlife seeks suburban sanctuary.

    Written on Thursday, 18 July 2024 12:06 in Blog Read 111 times

Latest Games Post

  • Frontier Space War 4.

    Frontier Space War, version 8.

    FSW8 represents the latest upgrade to this interstellar conflict system. I have used some high quality metallic spray paints on the card discs showing the star systems and the all-metal ships made out of nuts and bolts, ball bearings, plumbing fittings, masonry and plaster anchors, and some two-part epoxy resin as adhesive.

    The five factions here represent: -

    Imperials (I), Aquarians (A), Goths (G), Capitalists (C), Soviets (S).

    Yet they can represent anything from Neo-Feudal Noble Houses to a variety of Alien Races.

    The combat powers of units in attack A or defence D, appear as the type of dice used for such attacks or defences. Icosahedron 20, Dodecahedron 12, Pentagonal bipyramid 10, Octahedron 8, Cube 6, Tetrahedron 4. The system requires 3 sets of attack dice and two of defence dice.

    b/3 means best of 3 dice rolls. (1/tn) means only one shot per player turn. (8*) means Destroyers engaged in rounds of combat with  Capital Ships denoted *, attack or defend at 8. # means craft may jump past enemy craft during movement, but not enemy # craft, otherise all other pieces must halt on encountering enemy pieces.

     

    Unit.                        ATTACK    DEFENCE            COST     MOVE    

    Capital City*                  -                  20                          -               0

    Fortress*                         -                  20                         5               1 NR       

    Battleship*                    12                 12                         5               2                              

    Battlecruiser*               10                 10                         4               2                                               

    Cruiser/Carrier             8                    8                         3              3#                               

    Destroyer                       6     (8*)        6                          2              3#                                              

    Frigate                           4                    4                          1              3#             

    Fort                                -                     4                          -               0

    Monitor*                       4                   20                         3               1 NR

    Devastator(I)                12   (1/tn)     4                           2               3                    

    Fighter(I)                       6                   6                         1/3              01     

    Attack Cruiser(G)        10                  6                          3               3

    Heavy Gunship*(ACS) 20                 4                          5               2                           

    Katusha (S)           b/3   10  (1/tn)       6                         2               3

    Flagships*  as below

    (I)(S) As for Battleship, but attack at 20 and add  +1 to all dice in flotilla A or D.

    (C) As for Battleship, but may deploy its 2 fighters in addition to standard attack or defence 3:2 lineup.             

    (G) As for Battleship, but b/3 to self and one other ship in flotilla, A or D.

    (A) As for Destroyer, but b/3 to self and two other ships in flotilla, A or D.

    All worlds must be occupied by a Fort for income. Any Fortress can produce units up to a total cost of 5 per turn. Unused income cannot be saved.  Any ship costing 3 or more may place a Fort on a world cleared of opposing forces at no cost.

    Player turn: - INCOME(connected systems), PRODUCTION(at Fortresses), MOVEMENT, COMBAT(retreat, out of combat), (PLACE FORTS)

    COMBAT – Risk Protocols, up to 3 Attack dice and 2 Defence dice. Attacker deploys first in each round, up to 3 pieces if available, defender deploys second, must place 2 pieces if available. Compare highest two dice throws in order, defender wins draws. Each side removes one casualty of choice for each loss. After one or more rounds of combat either side may elect to retreat 1 jump from the territory, if possible. NR means no retreat option for unit.

    01 Fighters can only move in Carriers. Only one active producing fortress per system.

    Start – 2 Player game - All pieces on board, at least one ship and a fort per system. Imperials pick 1 ally. Remaining 3 factions ally as Rebels. Alternate All Imperials then All Rebels. Combined ops in attack or defence.

    3 Player game. Imperials versus 2 alliances of 2 others. No combined operations.

    4 Player game. Imperials inactive due to internal collapse, no production, or movement, defence only. 4 other factions fight for supremacy.

    5 Player game. All five factions strive for supremacy. Alliances may form and break but no combined operations except for conquered factions.

    Victory Conditions. Eliminate enemy Capitals. Any remaining forces then become subsumed into an alliance with combined operations.

    Income from star systems, Large 3, Medium 2, Small 1.    

    Starting incomes. (I) 19   (A) 15   (G) 15   (C) 16   (S) 14

    Optional extra:  Psi Weapon Tournament Rules.  

    Psi weapons run on strange esoteric, AI, and quantum principles to modify material and psychological realities. Factions may purchase them during their production phases at a cost denoted by C. Any faction may hold up to one of each type of the eight Psi weapons. The black and red Psi weapons can attack enemy Psi weapons (or other enemy units) at any distance with an attack denoted by A. All Psi weapons have a defence denoted by D. Any vessel may transport or hold a Psi weapon, but if all available vessels become destroyed, so does the weapon.

     

    Local effect weapons. (Within systems only.)

    (6) Yellow – Command Enhancement. Confers  +2, A or D on a Flotilla. C4 D6

    (8) Orange - Navigation – Allows all mobile vessels in a flotilla to move 3, ignoring # pickets. C5 D4

    (1) White – Prescience – Allows a vessel or flotilla to move and make an attack but to completely cancel the entire action if it fails, at the cost of the loss of the Psi weapon. Alternatively, an attacking flotilla with Prescience may require a defending flotilla without Prescience to deploy first in each combat round. C4 D6

    (7) Green - Diplomacy – Allows a flotilla to delay its move for a combined operation with another faction. C3 D8

     

    Non-Local effect weapons. (Effects anywhere.)

    (4)  Blue - Production Bonus -  increases production of fortresses to 8. C3 D6

    (2) Purple - Fecundity Bonus – increases income from all systems by 1. C5 D4

    (5) Red – Attack Magic - attack any Psi weapon. C3 A6 D6

    (3) Black – Dark Arts – attack any Psi weapon or may attack any unit. C5 A8 D8

     

    The following chart shows the ideological relationships of the five example factions.

                            

                           (Individualist)

                                      l

             Goths               l              Capitalists

                                      l

    (Mystical) ---------Imperials ------------(Rationalist)

                                      l                     

             Aquarians       l                 Soviets

                                      l

                             (Collectivist)

     

     

    Written on Monday, 24 January 2022 13:51 in Games Read 7727 times

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