January 21, 2019
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The Dancing Grappler

Europa Universalis II (EU2)

I really, really like this game, for three reasons: (1) love of history, (2) complexity, and (3) realism. Its not the most graphically stunning game on the market, which will turn some people off. But, if you're interested in the time period of 1419 - 1820, then you may want to try this RTS (w/ pause and speed control features).

What do you need to manage?
(1) military - 3 units (land, naval, & artillery) which gain strength through tech level advancements; terrain & weather considerations during battles, and military leaders which appear in a historical context; and rebels/pirates.
(2) diplomacy - royal marriages, military alliances, trade embargoes, trade agreements; and diplomatic annexations, forced annexations, and vassals.
(3) colonization - you may have the opportunity to colonize (e.g. North & South America).
(4) economy - centers of trade (COTs), merchants, trade embargoes, trade agreements, and investments (land, naval, trade, & infrastructure); and promote bailiffs, legal counselors, and mayors within provinces.
(5) religion - decide tolerance levels for other religions, which may very well affect revolt risks within your provinces; convert provinces to your state religion.
(6) general improvements (w/ in provinces) Ė improve fortresses, construct naval yards, conscription centers, and factories (fine arts academies, naval equipment factories, refineries, and weapons factories).
(7) domestic policy Ė there are 8 sliders which directly affect your country profile; can be changed only once every ten years, and in only one area.

Another very important aspect of EU2 is the historical events. Throughout the game, historical events are triggered where the player must choose an option inline w/ history. A player may choose to do exactly what was decided upon in history or choose a slightly altered option. The number of options varies depending on the event. There are four important events that will be faced by everyone: Reformation, Jean Calvin, Council of Trent, and The Edict of Tolerance. These are all tied to religion. Other events are nation specific (e.g. Austriaís inheritance of Bohemia) or general (e.g. peasant uprising).

Winning the game: EU2 has a Victory Points (VP) scale to show how you rank among the world's nations. If you have the most VPs at the end of the game, you're recognized as the winner, if not, then you're recognized as a loser. You gain VPs in a number of ways: diplomatic manuevers, economic strength, military strength, accepting goals and attaining them (e.g. forming an alliance w/ country x by a certain date), and a number of other ways. But, the general consensus among players is that having the most VPs at the end of the game doesn't necessarily mean you lost. If you started out w/ a one-province country and expanded to great lengths, but missed the VP race, you have every right to feel like the victor, as in a moral victory.

There is a fairly steep learning curve involved, IMHO. However, others have taken to it much faster than myself. Iím still learning more and more about the game. What is nice though, is a person may control the AIís aggressiveness level and the game's difficulty level. For me, the only drawback is that a Grand Campaign takes forever. But, there are several different scenarios included. One of which (Napoleonís Ambition) is only 20 game years in length.

Posted on May 22, 2004 at 3:07 pm
Today's Medicine.

I'm extremely grateful for today's medicine. The event that has motivated this blog is that tomorrow night, my wife and I are attending a baby-shower for two wonderful friends of ours. I teach w/ the husband. Well, their pregnancy has been touch and go. After several miscarriages, this latest pregnancy took, but the baby tried to arrive much too soon. Hospitalization was needed, and the mother has fought like a warrior. Now, next Friday, the doctor is going to enduce the birth. Woo-hoo! They made it.

My own wife was terribly ill w/ both our children. In fact, w/ our second child, she had to be hospitalized for dehydration (constant vomiting) and then 2 months of IVs at home, which I would hook up every night before bed. I remember thinking if this had been 100 years ago, maybe less, my wife would have died.

Thanks to everyone who has a hand in today's medical technology and its practical application.

My buddy is beside himself. He's going to be a new dad. Oh, its going to be a little girl! Of course, he's already told me to keep my boys away from her. ;-)

Posted on May 20, 2004 at 4:47 pm
dojo humor

From cyberspace, out there, somewhere.


A drunken man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway seat next to a priest.

The man's tie was stained; his face was plastered with red lip- stick, in addition, a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket.

He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked," Say, Father, what causes arthritis?"

"My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of bath."

"Well, I'll be damned," the drunk muttered, returning to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry. I did not mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?" "I don't have it, Father. I was just
reading here that the Pope does."


Posted on May 18, 2004 at 5:15 am
Kid in a candy store, plus

I feel like a kid in a candy store after coming across this new feature offered by IMG. Really nice. I mean, really nice. One more thing to keep away me from gaming! ;-)

Saw where someone had mentioned movies in their blog. This past weekend, I watched Master & Commander, Last Samuari, and Kill Bill. Very pleased with all three, all though my wife had to leave and return a few times during Kill Bill.

Recently, I've been thinking about taking up fencing lessons with my oldest son. He'd love it more than me. Plus, I very much would like to learn more about this era.

Currently reading "Life at the Bottom" by Theodore Dalrymple. Very good. Other books waiting in the wings are: The Dark Continent: Europe in the Twentieth Century, Salt, and Jihad v. McWorld. I've got some campy things to read as well. Since I teach sixth graders, I must stay atop their summer reading list as well.

Summer vacation is almost here!

Whew! Got to go.

Posted on May 17, 2004 at 7:44 pm
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Games Playing:
Civ5: BNW
TWD: 400 Days
Crusader Kings 2
Crusader Kings 10/20/2005
Hearts of Iron (HOI) 3/31/2005
Europa Universalis II (EU2) 5/22/2004
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