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Everything posted by Agiel

  1. I suppose if you've enjoyed the STALKER games or were able to see Fallout: New Vegas to the end near launch (or many BIS and early Obsidian games, for that matter) you develop a tolerance for bugs and instability.
  2. "Snake Plissken" would also have been acceptable.
  3. His immortal words: “I’m pretty sure, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure if you die, the cancer dies at the same time. That’s not a loss. That’s a draw.”
  4. As is typical of any Pathfinder playthrough, Grease is your friend. So are pit spells for CCing some troublesome casters.
  5. The Latest GOP Schism: How to Handle Afghan Evacuees It seems to me that the GOP in its commitment to entertaining the basest impulses of its dwindling constituency is potentially missing a big opportunity with Afghan refugees. Consider in 1975 the Democrats having swept into the majority of Congress denied then President Ford's request to provide additional funding and air support for South Vietnam in order to stem the renewed NVA offensive (Operation Linebacker I and the Battle of An Loc demonstrated how this would likely have been sufficient to halting the Northern advance). As a result many refugees from the former RVN have blamed the Democrats for the fall of South Vietnam and much like their counterparts from Cuba still retain strong anti-communist convictions, with many becoming ardent Republicans (RVN flags were reported to have been flown during the Jan 6th Capitol attack). In addition like their Cuban counterparts Vietnamese-Americans also have phenomenally higher rates of small business entrepreneurship as compared to most other demographics in the US. Fall of Kabul, refugee plight provoke painful memories for Vietnamese 'boat people'
  6. Planning on a Bard multi-classing into Duelist for a Trickster playthrough and role-playing as Cegorach the Laughing God:
  7. Alternatives presented by the US would have sufficed when there was appropriate investment put into the project. The big kicker is that it was a hell of a lot cheaper for the ISI to pay angry, listless young men with few prospects at home in Pakistan (of which there are plenty) to wreck infrastructure, plant IEDs, and intimidate folks in places where ISAF and ANA forces weren't. Then there's the idea the ISI and generals have of the existence of a functional nationalist state with a reasonably trained and equipped army at its back being nothing short of a threat* to the survival of the Pakistani state. A firm belief in such tends to focus the mind. *Mind you, I heavily disagree with the ISI's outlook.
  8. They probably haven't seen the superior Charlton Heston movie <<The Omega Man>> that was the direct forebear of <<I Am Legend>> in which the protagonist survives the viral apocalypse because he developed and administered the _vaccine_ to himself. "Beauty, eh?"
  9. If I didn't know better, you couldn't help but insert another Raising Arizona reference, which by the way is now free (with ads) on Youtube and is one of the Coen Brothers' most under-recognised flicks.
  10. While there has been much speculation on the airframe's potential performance and capabilities based on its outward appearance (mind that about 5% of total R&D time and costs for today's fighters are the airframe, with 40% going to engines and the other 55% in sensors and avionics), my outlook thus far is that most have missed asking the correct question about the program: Who's going to buy a pig in a poke? Fifteen years ago with Russia's civil aviation going the way of the Dodo in the face of Airbus and Boeing and military aviation kept on life support by the then still relevant Su-27/30 series the entirety of Russian aerospace was merged into a single state-owned, centrally-controlled monstrosity only Lenin could love, the UAC (OAK in Russian). Management of the different sectors in this new concern were subsequently delegated to various loyal cronies of Putin, almost to a man none had any background in engineering, military aviation, or industrial management (think Jen Barber from the IT Crowd), the last person with anything like this was fired from RAC MIG in 2015-2016). As a result subsequent aerospace products have had an ever widening gulf between what customers specified and what UAC design bureaus, and most importantly Putin, had in mind. This effect was most beautifully illustrated by India's involvement in the PAK-FA. When the Indians helped keep the lights on for Sukhoi they had requested a two-seat strike version (the VVS possibly wanted this too) all the while Sukhoi insisted on a single seat F-22 analogue. Thus when the Indians got a non-compliant craft which might as well have had "Sorry" stenciled on one of the wings and critical capabilities missing and likely not forthcoming (specifically an integrated targeting pod with a rotating head) the Indians unceremoniously pulled the plug on their involvement in the project. Today to hear Putin tell it the Felon has managed to wheeze into the finish line of beginning "serial production" but with further orders only coming after the delivery of the first 75 airframes, its final engine design stuck in development hell, and its low numbers and largely single-role nature making it a rather disproportionate drain on VVS resources (for this reason the F-22 was slated for retirement sometime in the 2030s) future prospects for the type continue to look bleak. Then there comes the matter of current competition in the market today. If we have at the very top end (or what the Swiss have called "the Ferrari option") is the F-35, the current "Checkmate" seems to target the segment currently occupied by Eurocanard fighters (Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen), but even with stealth such is an uphill battle (especially so when Sukhoi flat-out admitted that the stealth capabilities of the Su-57 do not compare well with the F-22 and F-35). Many air force's given the choice between exotic capabilities but poor integration with Western systems (LITENING targeting pod, Paveway laser-guided kit, even MICA missiles) and more established systems with very good integration with said systems will almost always go with the latter every time. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Su-30 with French avionics and compatibility with LITENING and Damocles targeting pods enjoys far more export success than the Su-35 which has almost entirely domestic content. As Joseph Trevithick put it:
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrfhmDtGPrk Playable pre-alpha demo available as well, though folks are having problems getting it downloaded at the moment due to traffic.
  12. The narrator forgot the most important thing for a modern trailer in 2021: A minor-key cover of an old classic song.
  13. And they will also be fighting against a combined arms force utilising not just stealth aircraft, but also highly sophisticated offensive ECM craft equipped with top-of-the-line jammers further augmenting LO aircrafts' ability to remain undetected and untargetable, hordes of air-launched decoys (some of them also having OECM capability), support assets in numbers and sophistication they can only dream of, HARM shooters on the prowl for enemy emitters which at the minimum forces early warning and fire control radars to have to switch off and reposition, and swarms of air and sea-launched cruise missiles flying below the horizon on top of LO stand-off glide bombs. Unlike fanboys, serious people do not consider the A2/AD problem even remotely insurmountable. Predicated on the use of long-wavelength radars that at best give a big area of uncertainty for an airborne CAP to do its best to sniff out and are extraordinarily easy to deceive with ECM to begin with. If anything, rough terrain confers a bigger advantage to an attacking force due to terrain masking. See Operation Mole Cricket 19.
  14. In the summer before I went off to college I started looking for a summer job, my parents hoping that the funds would go towards paying off the eventual student loan debt but actually went to a new graphics card. I got a job working for the night crew for the local supermarket. In spite of my high school career running cross-country and track my feet ached to the point that I couldn't have a lie-down fast enough once I clocked out, and I got the worst case of eczema on my hands in my life opening a ton of cardboard boxes. One family dinner I plaintively confessed to my parents that I couldn't imagine myself doing that line of work for the rest of my life, to which they simply told me that I should have an idea why they were constantly on my case about taking my studies seriously. I suppose I ought to be thankful. After a brief stint working in a copy and print store after graduation to supplement my freelance income I managed to land a relatively cushy white-collar job, which was just as well since with the onset of the pandemic my position transitioned relatively painlessly to a work-from-home arrangement. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm a milquetoast softy.
  15. For the benefit of those few who were still on the fence on this game: He seemed to enjoy it.
  16. If the country having a "masculine military" means being conscripted into a force that is cosmically corrupt, its equipment constantly facing readiness issues and modernisations deferred, and myself getting the stuffing beaten out of me on a daily basis, honestly, I think the US military is in an alright place.
  17. This comes two months late, but with these two videos from Raytheon, one of the top 5 defence primes and now top supplier for turbofan engines for jetliners, released immediately after the inauguration of Biden and Harris I can't help but think there's a theme behind them.
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