Iraq is falling.

So then, Iraq is falling to a terrorist group and Shia Muslims are being beheaded in the streets. This jumped up mob of lunatics are about to be (or already are) in control of huge oil revenues and the weapons the west gave to the Iraqi army (which promptly deserted when the rain came).

America is about to realise that Obama lost the Iraq war with their humiliating retreat and is repeating the strategy in Afghanistan. Why does this matter? America is turning isolationist and it will take a terrorist tragedy, or the fall of a European nation, to shake them from their reverie.

As Mark Steyn points out, the lesson this teaches the world is that we can’t rely on America, they are content to lose wars rather than lose soldiers. Europe needs to wake up to the fact that in the next ten to twenty years Islamism is going to be breaking down our doors. The question is are we up for it? or will we roll over?

In less depressing news my board gaming club took a turn for the better, we played Small World, twice! Its great! Fun, fast, simple yet highly pleasurable. You invade a small board with successive tribes of little warriors. Each tribe is very different (and there are lots, especially since we played with a couple of expansions) and each tribe is given a random trait. So you get Merchant Giants, Mounted Elves and Flying Halflings etc etc.

Anyway, you attack until you are overstretched, then you put that tribe into decline and pick another one, the bonus being you still score for the tribe that’s in decline if they stay on the board. The rules are simple, there is a lot of quick and fun combat, and you don’t have enough time to get bored of your little tribe because you’ll soon have another one. Once I had a tribe of Werewolf Barbarians, I took half the board in one turn then instantly went into decline.

Weirdly the guy I was sat next to compared it to Kingdom Builder Which I hated. They are totally different. Small World = Fun, Kingdom builder = brain busting boredom.

Secondly I’m learning a game called Eclipse so we can play it on Monday, so far I’ve only played a couple of solo games, but I have a hunch it might be the best board game I’ve ever played. Seriously if I and a few other gamers were to be stranded on a desert island and we could only take a single game then I’d be very content to take it.

The only fault I can find with the game is that the set up time is a tad tedious, but after that the game’s economics (it has economics!) run themselves. (You can potentially bankrupt your little space empire if you try to do too much in any one turn.)

The game runs like a 4X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate.) but in a relatively manageable time frame. Even so it will be by far the biggest and most complex game I’ve ever played, but it is so well designed that once you get the hang of it the little symbols on the components explain most of what you need to know. I’ll let you know how it goes on Monday.


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