Thursday, August 20, 2015

The "Stripes" plan and STAW...

So, had to explain to someone what I meant by “I joined the Army on the ‘Stripes’ plan”…  Was a while back (1990) and I felt like I was living out Mr. Murray’s character for a bit there.  Everything hit in about a 24 hour period:

Got put on “Academic Probation” at the University of Illinois.  I “might” have been a LOT more into drinking than classes…
Divorce finalized… Big mistake, and stupid, so quick and quietly it died…
Laid off my job I got…  Drought and Landscaping work not really a good mix.
Then some drunk asshole rear ended my car in the middle of the day…  Was going to “The Crow’s Nest”, a local record shop to see a friend…  Back when we HAD such things J…  He hit my car pretty hard, the back lost about 2” due to the compression… 

But getting out of the vehicle, I looked up and saw a billboard with “Army, Be All You Can Be” and thought “eh, how much worse can it get?”  I apparently missed the universe laughing and saying “challenge accepted”.  While I was reporting to Basic (actually “One Station Unit Training” combining “Basic” and “Advanced”), Iraq invaded Kuwait.  I had just gotten my allergy tests done, among the more amusing things like cocaine and THC, camel hair came back positive…  Thought “Like I’ll ever see a camel”…  J  Yeah, was wrong about that too…  Training got shortened from a leisurely 16 week course to just under 9 weeks.  Cutting out all things “bridge” and “formality” related…  Oh, was a 12-B “Combat Engineer”…  The bridges we used we “just like” the ones we used in WWII…  I say “just like” because in many cases they WERE the bridges used then.  Problem was that the M-60 was the last tank we had that would fit onto them…  So, the 12-Es (Bridge) lads were…  Well, pretty much useless.  More on that later, but I went in weighing 238, left 9 weeks later weighing 168…  So, was GREAT for weight loss.  Had a really hard time maintaining my strength with the weight loss being so rapid, but toward the end it got better.  I wound up in the 180-190 range when we deployed, and in the 200-210 range when I was in the best shape of my life (Germany, Ft. Bragg). 

Not many pictures of me back then, but here I'm the TC of an ancient M-113 out in the desert...  Great tan for some reason :-) 

Back to game related stuff…  D&D Attack Wing Monday, I’ll probably run another Silver Dragon with either an Angel or another one of the big Dragons…  We’ll see, the scenario is odd. 

But really looking forward to the STAW event the following week…  Q Continuum Month 2, so the episode where Q became mortal and the Enterprise had to move a moon back to a normal orbit to save the planet below…  Some odd rules like Q is on your largest ship for the first 4 turns (at least) causing it to halve its primary Attack and Defense and get an Aux Power token each turn…  So, being a big Klingon/Romulan Federation player I’ll likely choose one of those…  Being a Klingon prize, would LIKE to play Klingon to win it, but not so sure they’ll be the best in this scenario..  At 120 points this is what I brought to Gen Con:
List Name

Chang's Bird-of-Prey (22)
Chang (4)
Qapla' (2)
Photon Torpedoes (3)
Ship SP: 31

K’Vort Class (24)
Martok (6)
Ship SP: 30

I.K.S. Pagh (26)
Gowron (4)
Ship SP: 30

Vor'cha Class (26)
Worf (3)
Ship SP: 29

Total Build SP: 120

Generated by STAW Builder

I might have swapped CPT Worf and Martok and/or dropped Qapla’ for the real 5 point Torpedoes…  Which are potentially a 7 Dice Attack with a re-roll and BS converting to a Critical…  So, 4 ships, usually 5-7 Attack Dice each for the “I don’t care what you brought”… Problem being that it is a tightly packed formation, and does not do well against the really top tier lists that are all technically legal, but…  Well, they pretty much killed the game at our venue. 

Other options would be the Romulan build I’ve been running pretty frequently with the Scimitar, Avatar of Tomed and the Valdore…  Fleet CPT to reduce some costs, 2 Cloaked Mines in there somewhere, Mirok, Salatrel and Donatra being the CPTs I’ve had the best luck with and perhaps the Admiral Mendak?  BS action is nice and taking Mirok from a 4 to a 6 is pretty big…  Solid fleet, but not as fun really…  The Cloaked Mines are REALLY overpowered still, but it is a strong and winning combo…

Federation being the other likely choice for me…  My Dominion/Cardassian fleet is REALLY good, but there is another player locally who plays Dominion exclusively, so would prefer not to duplicate that.  Well, actually he almost always plays the BB and BC while I tend to use exclusively Cardassian ships (Galor/Keldon Class) and Fighters…  But still…  For the Feds, the USS Excelsior loaded out as a Torpedo boat, perhaps the USS Thunderchild loaded out as a “Can’t Hit Me” ship to abuse its text ability and Fighters…  Feds being a more “friendly” force I think… 

Just not sure which to bring…  I’ll likely have the new Klingon ship as well by then, so more options possible…