Friday Finds – Nancy Wake and Meteor Showers

Posts of the week:

And here are links for your reading pleasure:

Evil squirrels wreck the internet.  No, not with a cute video meme, just by chewing.

The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks tonight.

On this day in 1981, the first IBM PC was introduced.  4.77mhz!  Up to 256kb of memory!  Optional COLOR GRAPHICS!

And finally, Nancy Wake, the ‘White Mouse’ of the Maquis in WWII, died earlier this week.  If you saw Captain America and liked Agent Carter, then this lady’s story is for you.

As her involvement in the war deepened, Ms. Wake was trained by the British to kill with her bare hands (she delivered a fatal karate chop to a sentry at an arms factory), parachute into enemy-held territory and work a machine gun.

With her highly motivated force, Ms. Wake planned and executed a successful raid on a Gestapo garrison and an arms factory in central France in 1944.

It’s an incredible tale that had yet (to her mind) been told properly on TV or in film.  Rest in Peace, Ms. Wake.

PC Games

Vintage Gaming – Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion (or Supremacy, as it was known across the pond) is a real-time 4X game Lucasarts released in 1998 to quite mixed reviews.  I bought it and played it quite a bit, though almost always from the Rebel side.  I have a hard time playing the bad guys.  Rebellion is set just after the destruction of the first Death Star at Yavin, and you have to win over support of the existing core worlds while colonizing worlds in the unknown territories.  You must also recruit more heroes to your side, and they make heavy use of the Expanded universe (or “Star Wars Legends”) so you are just as likely to find Grand Admiral Thrawn or Garm Bel Iblis as you are General Covell or Wedge Antilles.

Rebel Scum

Rebellion moved at a fairly slow pace, unless you jacked up the speed on how fast the ‘days’ passed.  You could build all sorts of buildings on the planets, such as mines and refineries, defensive structures, factories for ships, and training grounds for troops.  The only ‘action’ was ship to ship combat when two fleets met at a planet, and that’s only if you wanted to micro-manage it.  Most everything else was resolved automatically, such as diplomacy missions to neutral (or enemy) planets, sabotage, and orbital bombardment.

I think what I liked most about SW:R was finding and recruiting everybody.  You never knew who you were going to find, and it seemed really cool that a lot of them were from the books.  It was very hard to ‘win’ this game with the default rules as you had to capture the two main characters from the opposing side (Vader and Palpatine, or Mon Mothma and Luke Skywalker) and since they could be anywhere, including in transit aboard ships, it became very frustrating.  You can set the game to accept just destroying the home base as a win though.

There was a decent sized mod community, though I don’t know how active they are now.  I enjoyed Rebellion quite a bit in spite of the flaws.  Worth a spin, especially now when it’s discounted for May 4th.