Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nothing Gained But Glory

Nothing Gained But Glory is the fifth game in the Musket & Pike series by GMT Games, which I have written about before.  This volume moves the action past the Thirty Years War, and deals (primarily) with the Scanian War, a war that I had never even heard about before I encountered this game.  The war involves Sweden defending itself against the Dutch and their allies (primarily the Brandenburg Germans).  The time frame is late 17th century, generally in the 1670s.  The title comes from the fact that at the end of the war, even though Sweden had lost a fair amount of territory, the peace treaty basically gave Sweden everything back that it had lost.  So, a war that really accomplished nothing but killing a bunch of people and making a few commanders famous.

But what about the game?  It is the same Musket & Pike rules, with all of the enjoyable and annoying features that I have written about before.  However, there is one thing here of note: there are NO two-hex heavy infantry units.  All heavy infantry units are one hex only, purportedly due to the smaller infantry units used during the Scanian War.  That actually does have an impact on the tactics used, as the two-hex infantry units could be quite unwieldy to maneuver, which is not a problem with the one-hex units.

Perhaps because I did not know anything about the Scanian War before playing this game, I must admit that while the game is fine, I don't like it as much as other volumes in the series.  It just feels... different, and not in a good way for me.  Thus, I'm not sure how much more this game will get played.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

One Year Without Cable

Last March I decided to "cut the cable" and went back to having only antenna TV service for the first time since 2004.  Are there things that I have missed?  Sure.  I liked watching Pardon the Interruption on ESPN, and I liked watching English Premier League soccer matches and the occasional Cardinals baseball game.  I can't do that anymore.  However, I was paying about $102 per month for that privilege.  When I cancelled my cable subscription I picked up some sports packages that I can watch online, like NHL Center Ice and the package, as well as the MLS Live package.  Put all of those together and that costs around $330 per year.  So, I actually have more sports to watch and am saving around $800 per year.  All told, I'm content with my decision.