Quatermaster General a quick review

I picked up a great game from Amazon called Quartermaster General by Griggling Games.

In Quatermaster General you play as a team made up of either Axis or Allied powers with 2 – 6 players. The number of players determines how many of the powers each player will have. It is an interesting cooperative game where either the Allies or the Axis win by amassing the most victory points or capturing two of the other sides home cities. The cooperation comes from either all winning or all losing as a team and each player has a deck of cards that determines what they can do in a turn. Some of these cards help out an ally rather than the player themselves.
The interesting mechanic in the game, and the one that gives it its name, is the way you don’t build armies and move them around but instead construct chains of supply. You can only advance as far as the end of your supply chain and having one cut will destroy all unsupplied units further down the chain. Which makes long thin supply lines dangerous.
Over all the game is fun to play and an inexpensive purchase that I would highly recommend if you want a game to play with friends. The rules are quick and easy to learn but the randomness provided by the card decks and the cooperation required between powers to win make for a variable and fun game with a lot of replayability.

The racists come out in force against Jon Del Arroz for being Hispanic

So it seems the cntl-left has it in for Amazon Best selling author of Star Realms: Rescue Run and Superversive SF author Jon Del Arroz.

Is this a sign of the times of the divisive legacy that Barrack Obama left us?

(San Francisco) Hispanic novelist Jon Del Arroz receives threats of being “shooed out of the country” by alt-left internet trolls after writing a daring column for The Federalist about blackballing practices in the comic book industry. Obama supporter and white male Daniel Lee Brandt, from flyover state Indiana, sent further microaggressions by typing in all caps to him.

The situation was further amplified by blonde, white male and alt-left troll C. Thomas Hand, former RPG writer of the Legend of the Five Rings RPG aggressing toward Mr. Del Arroz with devastatingly racist bullying words such as “F- off” and seemingly considering HIspanics “generally horrible people.”

President Barrack Obama’s supporters have become increasingly hostile to minorities like Mr. Del Arroz since his frightening 2008 rallies, which have been likened to the kind that Hitler held. Mr. Obama so far has refused to disavow these supporters.

When will the madness end and what do we make of the silence of the left in the face of this excrebale behavior on the part of their members?

Poem: The Olive Pressed

We have some more guest poetry from Cameron Wood who blog at Cultural Rumbles

The Olive Pressed

I.

The Olive Tree that would my wild branch tame
Stood meekly by the pure spring drinking life
Unblemished, until false accusers came
With biting nails and hammers forged for strife,
And broke the mighty branches of that tree
Then razed it to Golgotha, drawing blood
While harsh ropes bound the tree in cutting tether.
The Pure Olive prayed: this I do for thee,
And – pressed – wept oil upon the blood-stained wood,
Which oil would sanctify all pure endeavor.

Thus issued forth the stream no sin could still,
To flood the thirsty cup of absolution.
And as accusers raged upon that hill
The Tree did weep the tears of purification
For sin-stained folk who would clean garments show.
For on the Olive Tree mixed blood and oil
Within the crushing press of our deepest pains;
And from such bitter drink the Tree does know
Our every leaf and root, and won’t recoil
From washing us until no dross remains.

II.

When, fasting, I came to the Olive Cross–
My wild branch in hand and heavily borne–
I thought that sacrifice was naught but loss,
And that such loss would end in bitter mourn,
Because I loved my sins. While the old wants laughed,
I tended to my branch as best I could,
But all that graced my branch when I was done
Was one weak blossom, so I took to graft
Onto my branch a Tree-grown shoot that would
Abet my own, for loneness grieved my one.

With two tame blossoms on my branch I knelt
And gave humble prayer upon that hill,
And wept for pain that all my years I’d felt;
Then I took symbols which I hoped would fill
My soul, and with hands still moist with oil
I poured a sacral drink and broke my bread,
And blessed them, reverencing the Olive torn.
Then succor came, abating my heart’s toil;
And saw I that which cast away my dread:
Pure olives from my blossoms had been born.

III.

That day the Olive Tree to me did say:
Canst thou be joyful even in duress?
Then came to me deep trials through which the only way
To pass did lay my fruits upon the Press.
My heart did sorrow, but in life’s stone crush
Sweet oil flowed out; then heard I through my rue:
Dost now though understand my love for thee?
And so again my verdant branch grew lush.
Heard I: As by thy pressed fruit I know you,
So by that very fruit dost thou know me.

And then upon the hill the Tree became
An Altar made of polished olive wood,
Enquiring me if all my fruit I’d tame,
Enquiring if I’d bind there all I could.
I wondered, could I sacrifice my all?
How could I not? The olives in my hand
Did show how trials had purged away the dross.
Thus, grafted to the Altar, straight and tall,
My branch became a tree that burst its band.
Heard I: True sacrifice is never loss.

IV.

In time I grew to ancient age as well;
My branches and my roots entwined complete
The Altar where upon my knees I fell
And where by grafting I did live replete.
My child, it said to me the day I died,
The Husbandman awaits, art though afraid?
Ah, dearest Lord, I smiled, I have no fears,
For it was Thee who blessed me when I cried,
And it is at Thy Altar I am laid,
And so beyond death’s veil you’ll kiss my tears.

For thou art Husbandman and Olive Tree,
And thou art Olive pure and Olive pressed,
So, too, Thou art the Altar at my knee,
Where spilled the blood and oil with which I’m blessed.
Well said, my child, well said! Thou hast been true;
‘Twere in my Press you overcame thy gall,
My blood and oil I gave as Olive Tree,
As Altar Pure thy best-grown fruits I knew,
As Husbandman I wash and dress thy all;
Now come, dear friend, and know Eternity!

by Cameron C. Wood
copyright 2017

Why doesn’t Monica Valentinelli want women as Guests of Honour?

There is a fuss going on at the moment with author Monica Valentinelli pulling out of Odyssey Con two weeks before the Con is scheduled to happen because of she feels “unsafe” around former Tor editor Jim Frenkel. According to reports at File 770 she made mention of this a while ago to the Con organisers and then she assumed her accusation and “unsafeness” would suffice to have Jim banished from anything relating to Odyssey Con. The kerfuffle stems from Monica’s discovery that Jim was still involved and hadn’t been banished with her magical imprecation.

Now this strikes me as incredibly poor form by Ms Valentinelli to dump Odyssey Con into this predicament 2 weeks out. Especially as they offered to remove Jim from any panels she was also on and otherwise make sure she didn’t have to interact with him and her feelz would be protected. Apparently this was insufficient fawning on the Con’s part.

What I am wondering though is, has Monica considered the wider implications of this sort of diva behaviour? If you were organising a Con would you invite her as Guest of Honour? I wouldn’t given this is her idea of professional behaviour. More than that, this will likely cause any rational Con organiser, even if only unconsciously, to be less willing to invite any women as Guest of Honour. Who wants the headache of someone flaking at the last second because they have decided their feelings of “unsafeness” trump any consideration of professional behaviour or the enormous problems it will cause other people? Monica in her betrayal of the trust shown in her has made it harder for women everywhere. What if a guest you have invited and planned for decides to “Pull a Valentinelli” at the last second? I suppose it isn’t fair to generalise this to all female authors, as much as it would be more reasonable to generalise this to any sort of grievance peddling group instead.

The people I feel most sorry for are the Jagi Lamplighters, Sarah Hoyt’s and other female authors of the world who are actual professionals and would never engage in this sort of childish tantrum, but whose prospects are damaged by one ridiculous drama queen and idiots who are enabling her behaviour.

Mood and Meter for Pulpy Poets

This is a guest post from a reader. Could he please get in contact with us so I can find out if he wants credit for the post and whether he would be interested in joining us on a more regular basis.

Need help getting the ol’ pulp vibe kickstarted? Do some poetry! No, wait! Come back! I’m serious!

All this recent talk here and there about the old role-playing games got me to feeling rather keen on the old, pre-CGI days of my mostly misspent youth. So today I whipped a neat couple and then after church quickly blew out a bunch of images.

The rules are simple:
1. Six lines, the last two being a repeating couplet. Or not!
2. Four solid beats per line, like a war chant. A must! None of that faux Greek 5 beats per line nonsense. This ain’t for your classics professor.
3. They don’t have to rhyme at all. Unless you want them to!
4. They don’t even require complete images. See 3., above!

Just let your imagination fly, and have fun. Here’s the stuff I just finished:

Dark clouds part on ivory sand,
Jungles wreath deep canyons walls,
Shadowed giants-stone in mist,
Deep and deeper floats a light
Far beyond an unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Bright corona, circle gate,
Pinpoints flashing in and out,
Wheel and turn, bright field of stars
Frontiers beckon near the rim
Far beyond the Terran sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Six-armed goddess, carven jade,
Green swords flail, death she brings,
Slice and parry, weave and kick,
Closer toward the pit we dance
Far beyond an unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Eldritch head and golden eye,
Teeth like swords that promise blood,
Scale and sinew, neck raised high.
Heft my lance and spur my horse–
Far beyond an unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Goblins gibber, bold knights yell,
Broken bodies on the plain
Armies pause, the Hunter sounds,
Armies charge beneath his horn
Far beyond the unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Ship in spacedock, soldiers chase,
Be alert now; let them pass
Seven letters in my pouch,
Seven planets, seven kings
Far beyond my galaxy:
That is where I wish to be.

Down the hallway toward the gold
Mouth on pillar sings a tale;
Riddles warn and pillar shakes,
Thrumming echoes, distant drums
Far beyond the unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

–Knock yourselves, guys!

Superversive Alliance Award Nominees

Superversive SF contributor Jon Del Arroz’s book, Star Realms: Rescue Run, has been nominated for the Realm Makers Alliance Award, a reader’s choice award for Christian speculative fiction. The nomination process was open during the month of March with the top vote-getters being nominated.

The second round of voting cuts the 20 nominees to a top-5, based on a star rating system. In order to ensure that these are real readers voting, voters must give star ratings for at least two of the works, and leave a brief blurb about why they nominated the books as evidence of their readership.

In order to facilitate the readership, Jon Del Arroz has offered to give a free ebook of Star Realms: Rescue Run to anyone who wishes to vote in the second round of this nomination process. This is in conjunction with another nominee, Kia Heavey, a leader in the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance group. Kia’s book, Domino, has also received the nomination, and she is likewise offering free ebooks to anyone who wishes to vote. Both authors endorse each other’s work in the nomination process.

In order to receive Jon’s book, contact him through his blog at http://www.delarroz.com, twitter @jondelarroz, Gab.ai: @Jon del Arroz or through Facebook messenger: Jon Del Arroz (not on his wall as he is off Facebook for Lent) and he will take your contact info for the free book.

In order to receive Kia’s book, contact her through her blog: http://www.kiaheavey.com, twitter: @KiaHeavey Gab.ai: @KiaHeavey or through Facebook messenger Kia Taskos Heavey.