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Mass Effect/AEC:Asari Military Doctrine (3)



Tweet of the Day: Is Patience a Real Virtue?


Excerpt from Modern Galactic War by Paul Malthus, 3rd Edition , Made available for Extranet Scholastic Use by  The Institute of War and Diplomacy, Vancouver Metroplex, North American Union, Earth, 2190 (1st Edition published by Banabar Books in 2184).

 Strategic Weaknesses

The Asari military suffers from twin weaknesses link to their emphasis of political/economic warfare. Both come into play when they meet an enemy that is not deterred by attrition or loss of political prestige. Time and time again the asari failed to deter or stop such enemies as the rachni, the krogan or the reapers. The first two races could produce more units at all levels at much faster rates than they lost them. Thus they were invulnerable to the threat of a Pyrrhic victory. These threats were defeated by the deployment of massive military forces that brought these species to the brink of extension something that the asari lack of conventional all-arms formations could not do. In the case of the reapers, their absolute power and ability to turn their enemies resources against them made them immune to the asari’s hit-and-run tactics.

The second weakness comes from the emphasis in training and maintaining expensive elite prestige units. The cost and political prestige invested in each ship or commando unit means that commanders loath to risk them in battle. The typical service span for a cruiser from a Citadel race averages between 15 to 25 years. The average asari cruiser may stay in service up to 70 years standard. It is cheaper to keep the unit in service through continuing upgrades than to build a replacement. At the end of it service lifespan the only thing that remains is the hull, the interior having been completely  replaced by new technology.  A similar situation occurs with asari huntresses. It takes decades of intensive training to produce an elite asari commando.  The losses can not be replaced at a rate that matches the tempo of modern conflicts.



TV Tropes Monday: Arranged Marriage



Tweet of the Day: History v. Future: Averting Wars Through Marriage/Romance


This trope explains itself, if not, click on the link above. It comes with all sorts of troubles often arising from the unwillingness of the betrothed to be wed. And that problems don’t stop at the altar. It may be a bad match not only at the individual level but of the families that are brought together by the marriage. Nor does it stop one or both sides of the marriage to be unfaithful to the other. And others may not approve of the marriage and try to sabotage it, before or after the nuptials.

Then you have the unfortunate implications attached to this trope when the story is set in modern times. It is seen as a sign of a backward/primitive culture that has not embraced the idea of marriage for love rather than procreation. Made even worse when things like child brides (or grooms) are thrown into the mix.

There is also the question of why this trope is still in use in modern or even future societies specially when reproductive technologies should, in theory, liberate marriage from the burden of reproduction. It may well be that baring reproduction marriage comes full circle and becomes a social contract once again for the purpose of cementing alliances and securing wealth.


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Weekend Rounup: April 6-12



Tweet of the Day: The Stone Which Built London


I like to start by saying that things have gotten better…I liked to but the damn stomach bug I caught during the week says otherwise. I am getting better, but I’m not 100% yet. Still managed to post a few things, although not as much as I wanted:

Short, simple and to the point. I hope you had a great week. See you all later.



April 2014 Blog Chain: Alpha Complex



Tweet of the Day: Why are games with a customizable main character so popular?


I’m battling a stomach bug but hey still time to engage in another Blog Chain. Let’s see what I can come up with:

Starting Date: Monday, April 7, 2014
Open to all forum members, even after it starts!

This month’s prompt:
Random Fiasco

It’s time to roll the dice, baby, and come up with a random setting and setup sourced from the roleplaying game Fiasco.

Using this online dice-roller (or real dice), roll to see which setting you’ll be using:
01 – Alpha Complex (science fiction)
02 – Dragon Slayers (fantasy)
03 – Flyover (contemporary America)
04 – Heroes Of Pinnacle City (superheroes)
05 – Los Angeles, 1936 (film noir)
06 – Vegas, Baby (Vegas!)

Each setting linked above has a list of Relationships, Needs, Objects, and Places. Roll the dice twice for each category, once to determine the kind of Relationship, Need, Object, and Place, and once to determine the specifics.

Your blog post must use the rolled Setting, Relationshio, Need, Object, and Place in some way. You can reroll if you can’t make it work.

1. Using the dice roller, I roll a 2. That means my setting is Dragon Slayers.
2. Following the Dragon Slayers link, I roll for my Relationship. I get a 1, which means Family and Romance
3. I roll again to see what kind of Family and Romance. I roll a 3, which means Unrequited lovers.
4. I roll for my Needs. I get a 5, which means To Rule.
5. I roll again to see what kind of Rule and get a 4, which means To Rule…an army of undead.
6. I roll for my Location. I get a 5, which means From the Past.
7. I roll again to see what kind of location From the Past and get a 2, which means Military academy (massacred in a major war).
8. Finally, I roll for my Object. I get a 1, which means Weapons.
9. I roll one more time to see what kind of Weapons and get a 3, which means Big-ass iron warhammer.

So in this case, my blog entry would need to include:
-A fantasy setting
-Character(s) with an unrequited romance
-Someone who needs/wants to rule over an army of undead
-A military academy massacred and destroyed in a past war
-A big-ass iron warhammer


Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible. Read and comment on other participants’ posts if you possibly can–they’ll be doing the same for you! Please include a list of all participants’ blogs (not necessarily their actual posts for the month) in your blog post.

I rolled:

Setting: Alpha Complex
Relationships: Secret Societies-Sierra Club Tree Huger and Pro-Tech gadget fanatic
Needs: To get rich-by earning bonuses for completing service services
Locations: HPD and Mind Control-Private suite of a much higher-clearance citizen
Objects: Treasonous- Gatzmann Archive of Old Reckoning history and literature


A-Level, Alpha Complex, 165 Post-Reckoning

The team swept through the place. They poked into every nook and cranny of the luxury apartment. We had gotten a tip about insider service trading scheme between some Sierra Club members and the Pro-Tech Gideons. Something about diverting funds for, “special tasks,” whatever that meant. We only had an hour to search the place before the suspect came back from the Octopera. Opera in eight dimensions, only the filthy rich could afford that. They could also afford a three bedroom apartment with a full size kitchen decorated in gun metal and dark lacquer.  Or the oversize bean bag sofas and a four sided tele-viewer set up.  To top it all off, it sported a large set of windows that overlooked the upper dome and the stark lunar landscape beyond.

I bet he gets the best views of Terra on this side of A-Level.

“Stevens get out of that sofa!” I yelled at my lieutenant.

“Sorry boss,” he said as he struggled to escape the folds of the orange monstrosity.

“Boss, we found something,” said Conley. He extracted a grey box from the fluted base of the tele-viewer.

“Boys, this here is a Gatzmann Archive. The finest Pre-Reckoning storage device in existence and I bet our Sierra Club friends are not cleared for such tech. Good Job Conley,” I said.

Handed me the box and we exited the apartment with a few minutes to spare. Now it was up to the surveillance team to track his movements. With any luck, once he discovered the missing box he would bolt and lead them right to his accomplices.

D-Level, Alpha Complex, 165 Post-Reckoning

I opened the door to my place, Gatzmann box in hand. Like all apartments on the level, it was a windowless corridor affair. Wardrobe to the right of the front door, where I tossed my jacket. In the middle a sofa-bed that folded into the left wall, a flat tele-viewer on the right and at the bottom, the water closet and food heating station. I hoked up the grey box to my tele-viewer and sat in the sofa.  It started in the middle of a recording.

“Ridiculous speed!” said a midget in an large black helmet.

This looked like fun, and the best thing was I didn’t have to return it until the beginning of my next shift.


orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Amanda R. – http://www.twoamericansinchina.com/ (link to post)
Sixpence – http://orlawritesthings.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
BBBurke – http://www.awritersprogression.com/ (link to post) [after 4/14]


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TV Tropes Monday: Mugging the Monster



Tweet of the Day: Rules vs. Guidelines in Fantasy


Some people should know better. And by some people I mean you, yes you, the guy eying the lady walking to her car in the far side of the lot. It’s not nice to steal from people, but you already know that and you don’t care. She looks like an easy mark, right? You shout at her to give you- ouch! oh! yikes! Damn! I didn’t know legs could bend that way. You just learn the hard way not to go around Mugging the Monster.

As you might have guessed, oh gentle reader, the poor bastard of a robber took on more than he could chew this evening and now he will be eating his meals through a straw for the next couple of months. As the original page points out, this is an excellent character establishing trope. It shows that the character, i.e. the Monster (for the trope does not go into whether the character is good/bad or somewhere in between) is not someone to be trifled with. It also establishes the setting. A place with real dangers for the unwary.  Depending on the nature of the attacker as well as the response by would be victim, it can also set the tone. The Monster may merely disarm/humiliate the mugger or may paint the nearby walls with his lower intestines.

Author’s choice, of course.



Frozen: A Failed Feminist Fantasy



Tweet of the Day: Inside the disintegration of a game jam reality show


I finally saw Frozen and… it was okay. Better than Cars 2 but that is not saying much. Te movie is saddled with way to many Disney cliches that are there only to be barely subverted. Instead of focusing on the relationship between the sisters, Pixar had to shoehorn a pair of male characters for the obligatory love triangle/romantic plot tumor. So the movie wastes time setting all that up when in fact it had a perfectly good plot already going. And for those who may claim they were used to subvert all the relevant cliches attached to Disney princesses, it was already done in Enchanted.

The irony is that Brave did it much better even within the cultural boundaries it set for itself. The plot revolved around the key relationship between mother and daughter. The male characters that are present serve well in their backup roles but rarely interfere in said relationship. I would go so far as to say that Frozen would have been a much better movie if it embraced the underlying feminist message and ditched the romantic interest all together.

But alas, some cliches refuse to die.


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Weekend Roundup: March 30- April 5


Tweet of the Day: It’s A Man, Man?


This is more of an update than a roundup. Things are improving but we are not out of the woods yet. And to be honest I doubt we never will. This is the new normal and I just have to get used to it. I managed to post something on Friday and it felt good. I’ve forgotten the sense of release that comes with writing.  It is my hope, once again, to get back to it, bit by bit. Will see how that goes. In the meantime here are the links to this week’s posts:

I hope Spring has finally arrived in your neck of the woods (or Fall if your on the other side of the globe).

Until then….



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