So I've been pondering writing about the recent shinanagans perpetuated by those idiots some other idiots voted into office. However, there are a lot of people out there (some of them found on my blog roll) that have done a better job lambasting this.
So I'll settle for this - Remember this as we weather the storm, because this was just the opening salvo, the shot across the bow - if you will. It's going to get much, much worse, and it will continue for at least two to four years barring acts of God or angry militia.
(Please note I'm not advocating an armed uprising... yet.)
So instead I'm going to talk about my recent time waster. Europa Universalis III (In Nome update). It is perhaps the epitome of long term grognard games. Or at least, the highest summit I have climbed to date. You'll have to forgive me, but the company who publishes it eludes me, but they also made another gem called Hearts of Iron II which simulates the things that lead up to and through the Second World War, and into the Cold War, along with a lot of spiffy what if scenarios - and that game can suck me in for days on end, and it only covers a brief span of thirty years at the longest.
...EU3 on the other hand starts in 1399 and can last until 1826 or so. Thats a game for the long haul. As with most high level world domination/strategy type games, the trick is an eternal juggling act, praying certain random number generators fall your way as often as possible. (And, when they don't that you've covered as many bases as possible.) There are no less then four sub systems to the economy, two of which are intertwined in a way that makes very little sense, when viewed from a high level, but once you figure out how it works, at least functions in an understanding manner.
Since the setting is Europe, its fair to understand that you're going to be at war with someone neigh on constantly. Early game, there are tons of little 'countrys' scattered about Europe, all of which have interwoven alliances and royal marriages enough to make one's head spin. (And give you a good idea of just how screwed up WWI *could* have been). But being at war is bad for your overall stability as a country, and generally the locals don't like it when you take papa away from them (by drafting him into the army, natch) and then send him off to die on the fields of Normandy with a few thousand of his closest friends).
And of course, you only have so much room in the manpower pool before there's just no more men left to re-enforce your military if you've over extended yourself. (So, for example, its best to try to *not* piss off the French, they just have too many troops early game. But, they're the French, and back then still sorta had Balls and wanted to rough up virtually everyone.)
I find myself playing England most of the time. Probably because I like having a wall of wooden ships keeping the Euro-trash from soiling my front yard. There is a down side though - you have to find a way to deal with Scotland, since the idiots seem to like to ally with France, and then declare war on you. So the French can take your few Europe propper provences early game, while you basically subjigate the Scotts. And you have to put down those rabble rousers, because if you don't, they'll just keep poking at you, usually at the most in-opportune times.
And of course, the computer does like to throw you a serious curve now and again. In my last game, France had off and decided to declare war again because well, they were bored, and I'm England, and still had my (three) European provences, and this obviously annoyed them. So Suddenly I find myself fighting Castile (early Spain), France, and a bunch of tiny French Lapdogs. France has walked into my provences and sat on them and have too many troops for me to dig out.
...So I attacked Castile. Who's troops I could manage, my allys (and willing Vassals, the crazy Irish) joined in with gusto, and I was halfway to trouncing Castile and forcing it to heel when the bulwark that had held the French back (A country called Aragon, whom the French could not march through to aide the Castiles, and my Navy was handling the rest) found out (along with me) that the Burgundy King had willed his throne to me (Henery the IVth, at the time. I wouldn't will my throne to Henery the Fourth, but thats just me) and that ticked Aragon off cause they wanted it... or something. So they went to War with me. They of course couldn't get past my Navy either... but they sure could attack me in Castile.
Where I was having a grand old time, and dispite getting low on manpower, was set to crush the spanish... until 14,000 fresh troops were knocking on my door.
The keys to crushing the French long term were in my fingers... and the King of Burgundy just couldn't hold onto life for another three years while I finished prosecution.
What a mess.
Guess I'll just have to try again :D