Archive for November, 2017

Let’s Play Tropic 4: XIX

Monday, November 20th, 2017

October ’65

The plant a flag on Mars program is going very slow. Who knew nuclear science was so hard. I mean… that’s what we hired the scientists for right?

January ’65

With the election coming up I feel that it’s important to give a speech. I mean, I have never lost an election because I am such a great leader, but not everyone knows this so it is best to make clear what the future has in store. And this year I plan to build a Cathedral, improve relations with Russia, and continue to improve housing on the island.

May ’66

I said I’d build us a cathedral, and I will, but first I’m going to build a fabulous mall to bring luxuries to the island and improve the life of all of my constituents.

July ’67

I just received a report that 3 people died last year due to lack of proper healthcare facilities… It is a good thing then that back in February I set out plans to build a hospital.

May ’69

The hospital, mall and several new apartment buildings have been completed. Our college and high school are turning out brilliant minds so fast that half the time the halls are empty.

July ’69

Our Island now has a nuclear deterrent!  Not only that, but the amount of money we can rake in publicizing every new record we achieve is ludicrous! I’ve built two more newspapers, and we’ve got plans for another radio station and TV station in the works!

Meet the Cult 20: March Svorak

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Meet The Cultist is a weekly feature focusing on some of the least regarded members of a Warhammer 40k Chaos Army, the cultists. In the game they are cannon fodder or a distraction at best, yet I find examining the sonder of their lives interesting. While chronology isn’t particularly important, you can start at the beginning if you care about reading them in order.

March Svorak has always been a bit of a Luddite, not that anyone really knows that term anymore. Still given the choice between complex and simple machines he’s always eschewed anything that might have a hint of a machine spirit. However collaborating with Talon he’s come up with a number of poisonous coatings for his arrows (many are actually just failed batches of Talon’s experiments). Amongst the cult Berzerk and SexGod are generally considered the most entertaining… Nothing sows confusion in the enemy like one of their own going crazy, though often there is disappointment if the target hit with Berzerk manages to kill the rest of his squadmates leaving no one else for the cult to fight.

In light of this Svorak and a couple of other cultists are often sent off as a diversion… they’ll incite some kind of riot, distracting the enemy from where the real attack is to come from, and in cases like that the relatively silent nature of the crossbow more than makes up for the slow reload time. He’s been on enough side missions with Brunus that they’ve become fast friends and March wears the mask Brunus made, even though it’s a little on the shoddy side thanks to Brunus’s crab claw not being the most dexterous at textile manipulation (aside from snipping!)

Apparently we’re not the only pawns

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 11

Start from the beginning

After a brief discussion we decided the mostly likely place that Solei would be was the Noble District, which conveniently was just a short ways away from the park area… We had no trouble at all crossing the wall and entering the dark, yet somehow jovial swamp surrounding the area. Once there we discovered a series of guarded areas which… well this is going to sound crazy, but we were able to discern the patrol patterns of the guards, and use that to sneak by them. After skirting through a half dozen different estates we finally found the Lord’s Manor where we suspected one of the Diviners was located. Hubert was sure it was Doldrums, which would have made sense considering the ease with which we slipped by the guards.

We found a side entrance that lead to the wine cellar. No one seemed to have a plan so while Hubert, Mortia and Vyrez discussed the situation, I liberated and sampled a few of the finer vintages. I’d just started on sampling a very fine white grown not too far north of the Monastery when it was decided to venture deeper into the mansion looking for Solei. We talked to a servant (very snooty) from whom we discerned that Solei was to be some sort of “Entertainment” … My supposition that it was to be some sort of gladiatorial fight turned out to be wrong, instead she was held in a cage suspended from the ceiling, and apparently she was to be auctioned off as a slave later in the evening.

Unable to come up with a plan for busting her out on the spot, Vyrez tried to mock start a duel with me, but he basically said “I challenge you to pretend to have a duel” which kind of gave the ruse away before it even had a chance to be swallowed. Hubert decided there was little point in waiting and lofted a vial of acid at the support holding the cage but it had little noticeable effect. Meanwhile the guards were trying to escort us out so I did my best to get their attention and then lead them on a merry chase through the crowds, drawing them away from the rest of the party. The orchestra managed to switch to an amazingly timely tune and as I drew them away Hubert put up a ladder, which Mortia climbed; however she was unable to pick the lock on the cage, so I followed up the ladder, drawing the guards after me which ended up being more than the ladder could easily support. Vyrez valiantly held the ladder up as the comedic climbing continued. Then the music stopped and Desire appeared and offered to release Solei if we’d stop interrupting the proceedings. We agreed and move from the Drawing Room to the Parlor where we had a very long and interesting discussion about Darkness’s plan; Desire’s willingness to allow for someone else to enact it; injustice and inequality in whom is considered a civilized race. His arguments where actually fairly persuasive and reasonable, and he seemed willing to work out a favorable deal in exchange for us letting him fake his demise and granting our desires we’d assist him in bringing equality to civilization on the continent. Of course the first step is to rescue our erstwhile companion Honch who apparently was also to be sold into slavery but we somehow missed him amongst the slave cages in the Drawing Room.

Let’s Play Tropic 4: XVIII

Monday, November 13th, 2017

November ’61

The saltmine is complete. Soon we can start exporting this and hopefully raking in the money hand over fist. I’m not sure what that means, but someone said it and it sounds good.

April ’62

With the newspaper in full swing, the next step is Radio! Invisible Airwaves of the future. Or so they tell me. They’ve built it right next to the palace so I can hear it better… I don’t think that’s how it works, but we’ve only just appointed a minister of education so and I don’t want to burden her with silly questions so soon. With all of these improvements, surely it won’t be long before all of the protests stop.

April ’63

And our first “real” record, most rum drunk! Thanks to religion, we have achieved a dubious honor, but it is an honor indisputably. Building both churches right next to the distillery was genius.

April ’64

And now Tropico has Television. I’m not sure how much good it’ll do, but every little bit of publicity helps. Besides, the more cameras we have focused on every achievement, the harder it’ll be for the bitch from the UN to denounce our achievements as fraudulent.

August ’64

I’ll let Penultimo’s report speak for itself; Noelia Chavez, our minster of economy, is a genius.

December ’64

The college is done. Once we hire a few professors we can stop having to hire educated folks from off the island. A new age of knowledge dawns.

Meet the Cult 19: Sekrax Melgoy

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Meet The Cultist is a weekly feature focusing on some of the least regarded members of a Warhammer 40k Chaos Army, the cultists. In the game they are cannon fodder or a distraction at best, yet I find examining the sonder of their lives interesting. While chronology isn’t particularly important, you can start at the beginning if you care about reading them in order.

Once upon a time Sekrax had the voice of an angel. He had a promising career as an entertainer on Poulionus, a hive world which was far enough from the regular trade lanes that it seemed the Imperium turned a blind eye to the active trade agreements with the expanding T’au empire. And if the effect of his voice hadn’t been so pronounced he might have done a tour on various T’au occupied worlds singing to Gue’vesa, betraying the Imperium in a small and fairly insignificant way; but that’s not how is story went.

Instead his performances brought money, fame, and fans: drugs and other excesses soon followed. Everybody knows Slaanesh cultists throw the best parties, and once he’d tasted the mind bending extravagances  provided by the petitioners of She Who Thirsts there was no turning back for Sekrax. Before he sang for money, and fame. Now he had a purpose; his voice a living prayer to Slaanesh that enthralled and intoxicated any who heard it.  His presence on the battlefield was usually restricted to the back lines, where his voice was piped through amplifiers and thence to a Noise Marine who used the melodious tones to fire off devastatingly distorted sussurances that were felt rather than heard and left the affected foes writhing in pleasure even as their overloaded nervous systems shutdown from the magnificent over stimulation of it.

Then, while raiding for liquor on a Nurgle infested agri-world, Sekrax’s luck ran out. Some pestilential wind passed over the his squad and whatever noxious vapour it was ruined his voice. Everyone knows that it was Zygor’s fault, but only Sekrax knows the truth; his gas mask was fine, he was just t0o slow getting it on. Initially he was too embarrassed to clear Zygor’s name, not expecting the alacrity or severity with which punishment would be meted out. Now it’s been several months, and Zygor seems to have accepted his fate so Sekrax channels his guilt into battle. His chain sword will just have to sing for him.

Many lament that Tudax joined after Sekrax had lost his voice, but the truth is recordings never could touch a live performance; it was as if the was some magic in his voice that couldn’t be captured by a box of metal and plastic.

There’s nothing to Dredd but Dredd himself.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 10

Start from the beginning

We barely had a chance to exchange greetings with Mortia and Hubert before Dredd and his 2 cohorts joined battle. Well, that’s not exactly true. We were in a large room, 6 sided, but not hexagonal, rather more like a square with two corners cut out. In a big arc around the back (and sides) where the “cut outs” were was a large raised wooden and metal platform without railing or adornment. A tight spiral staircase surmounted each end of this platform so there was a sort of central area surrounded by this raised stage. If you’ve ever been in a church you might be forgiven for thinking there were stained glass windows, except these were all done in blacks and reds, and even the reds might be better described as black. I didn’t really get a chance to examine them until after the fight, which is probably for the best. I won’t describe the actual content of the pictures, suffice to say the scenes they depicted were terrifying and had I known their contents before hand I’d been much more hesitant to engage Dredd and his malefic minions.

As I said Dredd finished his monologue about how scary he was, which lacked a certain weight seeing as he’d claimed Teawrecks was more terrifying and we’d already bested the metal beast. However when Solei accepted his baleful deal to trade her presences for our previous companions, with a logic that only seems to work in dreams, she disappeared and they returned, and Mortia was evidently quite upset for before anyone could react she was calling down magic upon them. Honch moved up to attacked the heavily armored one on the left while Hubert stepped forward and tossed acid at Dredd. Vyrez judged the distance to far to reach any of them so drew a pistol and began firing upon Dredd. It took me but a second to get my bearings, and I vaulted up the stairs on the right, focusing my Ki and rolling forward to deliver 17 Fist That Silence the Tiger just as the Hexer began her incantation. After only 4 blows she reeled back and collapsed. Dredd then cast some foul magic which made everyone so afraid of failure that failing to connect was physically painful. Hubert later told me that this was called Kakorraphiophobia, but I suspect he’s making it up; that can’t be a real word. This ended up working against them as we were as able to dodge as they. Honch meanwhile had stuck to his oeuvre and knocked the other minion off the platform and then come down on top of him like a ton of bricks (or an angry half-ork, which might be worse.) For a brief period I was pretty sure that Dredd was not a person at all, but rather a suit of armor piloted by spiders. Fortunately I was unable to communicate this to the rest of the part because Mortia had put a zone of silence on us, and as it turns out this was some sort of dreadful illusion put in my head by Dredd. However with the full focus of the party on him Dredd was not able to stand up to our combined might.

Unfortunately Solei was not returned to us upon Dredd’s demise, so after a brief rest we continued on, heading to the last major landmark in the area, the Silo. We found it without too much trouble, and climbed it where we were set upon by some more ghosts and Shadow folk. We managed to dispatch them, but during the fight Honch got into a tug of war with one of the ghosts over one of Hubert’s potions and together they vanished 80 feet or more below to whatever was at the bottom of the Silo.

Let’s Play Tropic 4: XVII

Monday, November 6th, 2017

October ’58

The High School is finally done, but not nearly soon enough as so is the Rum Distillery, however the latter needs someone with at least a HS education to operate. Short term I think we’ll have to hire some foreign workers until we can complete our first education cycle.

August ’59

Here’s my latest money making scheme, a couple of Tobacco Farms (still under construction) and a Cigar Factory. It’s like money grows on shrubs as they say! Yet again though we need employees with at least a High School Education! This is why it’s so important to start them young. Literacy for everyone; I’m sure that will be one of my campaign pillars once the people get smart enough to demand an election. Education is a double edged sword after all.

November ’60

The newspaper is finally done. Apparently our High School is not enough and we’ll need to hire someone with a college degree, in the meantime we’ll print coupons for local businesses; this should help invigorate the local economy and make the people happy (who doesn’t like discounts?) The electrical infrastructure has also been expanding. Two apartment complexes have Air Conditioning, and it won’t be long before we can get electricity out to the mines and can really ramp up production there. Still costs keep cropping up faster than we can earn money. I don’t know when I’m going to have time to start padding my Swiss Bank Account.

June ’61

With this electrical substation in place our Gold and iron mines should really be able to ramp up production. We’ve also built a salt mine near the harbor district in order to secretly provide the Russians with salt for a perfectly legitimate purpose.

Meet the Cult 18: Zygor Honlock

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Meet The Cultist is a weekly feature focusing on some of the least regarded members of a Warhammer 40k Chaos Army, the cultists. In the game they are cannon fodder or a distraction at best, yet I find examining the sonder of their lives interesting. While chronology isn’t particularly important, you can start at the beginning if you care about reading them in order.

Sekrax Melgoy had the voice of an an angel, everyone agreed. Hearing him talk or sing was ecstasy. However this not his story.  Zygor Honlock made filters for, and assembled the cults’ supply of gas masks. And the one time he screwed up, his one mistake, was in Sekrax’s mask during a raid in a Nurgle infested agri-world. Sekrax survived, but his voice was ruined by the noxious gases encountered there, thenceforth sounding like Tom Waits gargling sandpaper. As punishment it was ordained that Zygor never speak again; to that end he’s been bound with a similar punishment as Varbhor.

Like most of the cult Zygor’s biggest desire is to curry the favor of Slaanesh. Before his sentence of silence he lead a small group of cultists who’d found some ancient texts on philosophy. As such they’d devoted themselves to the pursuit of excellence, for surly the more perfect they became the greater the chance Slaanesh’s gaze would fall upon them. While he can no longer participate in the debates, he still attends and listens. In addition he is one of the best shots with a pistol in the cult, able to hit a target half again as far away as most marksmen.

Finally Zygor is also a collector; several years ago he came across an ancient miniatures game called CrimeHive. According to the rules the miniature robots and monsters would move on their own, fighting battles as directed by the players. However the ravages have time have not been kind to the sparse selection of models Zygor has found, and while most are in decent condition the electronics inside have long since corroded to the point of being unsalvageable. The are several other cultists who are willing to play his modified rules where they use measuring sticks and dice to determine the outcome of battles, but little would please Zygor more than finding some perfectly preserved pieces with functioning electronics so that they could play the game properly.

Some day soon you’ll ride a duck

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Dael’s Adventure Part 9

Start from the beginning

Fortunately for us  Teawrecks wasn’t very observant and we were all able to sneak past it. We quickly decided we’d try and lure it into the elevator shaft and so I trailed it to give warning if it  came back whilst the other three devised a cunning plan involving steel cable and industrial strength mayonnaise. Fortunately the mechanical beast made it’s way back just after they’d completed the trap. Solei hanging from a rope in the elevator shaft got it’s attention and pulled herself up just in time, the dinosaur slipped on the mayo-slick Honch had prepared and then tripped over the steel cable tripwire Vyrez     had strung in front of the the elevator shaft. Or it would have worked, except Vyrez had tied one end of the wire to a barrel, and the other to the support that Solei was hanging from. The monster did end up going down the shaft but was able to launch itself across and land 3 floors down. Unfortunately it also drug the support that Vyrez and Solei were hanging from after it, and if Honch and I hadn’t been very quick to rescue them they’d have gone down the shaft after the terror.

Apparently Mayo is flammable! Who knew? Well, Honch is a cook, so I guess he did, which would explain why he lit a couple of torches and tossed them down onto the now Mayonated monstrosity, setting it aflame. Then the three of them started hurling the spikes they’d prepared as a fallback defense down at the Teawrecks. With the terror looking a little worse for wear the three of them decided to descend in the elevator with the remaining spikes to try and finish it off. Turns out it was doing better than expected and had stopped, dropped and rolled, putting the condimental fire out. They got past it, but it then leapt on top of the elevator car. I tossed the remaining Mayo and just to be sure the remains of my liberated jar of whisky on top, hoping to reignite the flames of it’s demise. Solei and Vyrez enacted some complicated plan which involved rubble and flying, the exact details of which I’m still a little unclear on, while Honch rode the elevator back up. Honch used a spike to rub sparks off the elevator cable and reset the undying thing back on fire and finally we were reunited a few floors above the beast. Solei was suggesting going back down, but I could see the elevator cables didn’t look to sturdy so I lowered the elevator back down empty and sure enough it was stupid enough to climb in, as the elevator struggled to come back up to us Honch hammered the cable while Solei cast some sort of mystical power at it and moments before Teawrecks returned to our floor to wreck us the cable snapped sending it plummeting dozens of stories to it’s destruction.

We made our way to the bottom, and were pleased to find a distinct lack of the remains of Mortia and Hubert in the rubble. However we found a magic gem, which nearly killed Vyrez, and a note that said: “They haven’t been eaten, it’s worse than that. -Love Dredd”.

Upon exiting the tower and heading to the next spire we eventually found Dredd and he offered us a terrible choice, one of us would have to trade our lives for that of our captured companions. Solei quickly accepted the martyrdom, but both of our missing companions were returned within a hairs breadth of death.