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Centurian52 last won the day on September 5 2023

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  1. I recall ISW pointing out a couple months ago that while the US is the largest single doner (and Ukraine does desperately need the US to resume donating), Europe overall has donated more than the US. I think it was something like $160-$170 billion.
  2. Yes, I did take a look at the other links. The part of my point that is in question here is "The overall trend so far appears to be towards greater democratization". And I stand by that. I don't think a 20 year decline constitutes a trend in democratization any more than a one year decline represents a trend in the stock market. When you zoom out the overall trend is still clearly upwards.
  3. And a quick follow up with an article talking about the recent dip in democratization.: https://ourworldindata.org/less-democratic This bit seems to be the core of what the article is saying. I've added some bold.
  4. Alright, I had to restart my browser in order to open these links for some reason. I'm not seeing the downward lines you're referring to. In fact these all look pretty darn upwards to me. We are in the middle of a dip starting ~15 years ago. But dips and rises are pretty normal on any graph, and I don't think there's any reason to think that this one is any more significant than the dips in democratization at the end of the 19th century, in the 20s-40s, or in the 60s and 70s (anyone living in the 20s-40s with access to a similar graph really would have had good reason to be pessimistic about the future of democracy). My guess is that it'll continue going down for another decade or two and then either level off or start rising again, just like the last three dips. Let's check back on this in 20 years.
  5. In the Operations Room video? Yeah, I suppose it does look a bit like Armored Brigade. Both The Operations Room and Armored Brigade use 2d maps with a similar balance of detail/abstraction and what looks to me like a similar art style. But I doubt they're actually using AB to generate their maps. The locations depicted in most Operations Room videos aren't present in any of the stock AB maps. So that would mean they would have to be creating custom AB maps for each video. Possible, but it's probably easier to just use a dedicated graphics program at that point.
  6. I remain optimistic. Regardless of how fast our genes are evolving, I think our memes are evolving plenty fast enough to allow us to tackle the challenges ahead. I'll say nothing further on evolution, except to recommend A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, by Adam Rutherford (I just finished the audiobook, narrated by Adam Rutherford, on my commutes to work). It gives an excellent overview of the current state of the field of human genomics. He explains things in a way that is easy to understand, without falling into the all too common trap of oversimplifying things to the point of being misleading.
  7. I'm not disconnecting physiological and psychological evolution. We aren't changing biologically on politically relevant timescales. The biological changes that can be traced to within the last 10,000 years are minor and have no way of effecting which political systems would work (I don't think the ability to digest milk as an adult has much effect on the efficacy of democracy). Where did you hear that our brains have gotten smaller within the last 10,000 years? I have heard that homo-sapien brains are probably smaller than homo-neanderthalensis brains. But Neandertals died out 30,000 years ago. Homo-sapiens haven't visibly changed in the last 100,000 years. As to social evolution, that's the same as technological development. We are developing better methods of organizing ourselves socially just as we develop better tools for any other task. It has nothing to do with biological evolution. I'll admit that social evolution does behave a bit like biological evolution. Ideas go through a similar natural selection process as genes. This is actually why the word "meme" was coined. A meme is an idea that undergoes a natural selection process similar to a gene. An important difference is that memes evolve far more rapidly than genes.
  8. I'm always a bit concerned whenever I see any of my friends online advocating "tearing it all down". They never have any suggestions about what to replace it with. And anything you could replace it with would either be worse, or mostly the same but for a few modifications. The system as it is actually has the framework of a pretty good system. It just needs some tweaking. Rather that screaming into the void about tearing it all down, I think we'd do ourselves a lot more good by having constructive arguments over which tweaks would improve the system. I'd avoid using terms like "evolution" and "species". There is evidence that our species has evolved measurably in the recent past (as in "within the last 10,000 years"). The most notable sign of recent evolution being the evolution of lactase persistence in European populations (clearly a post-agriculture development, probably as a reaction to dairy farming). But there is no evidence at all that our psychology has evolved since the rise of the first civilizations (about 6,000 years ago) in a way that would have any influence on which political systems would be most effective. It's our systems that are changing to better suite the brains we have. It isn't our brains changing to allow us to use better systems. We are certainly still evolving. But the timescales involved are so long compared to the timescales on which we refine our political systems that it just isn't relevant. I actually think the jury is in. Loads of countries other than the US are democracies. It's obvious at this point that there are much better implementations of democracy than the US system (downsides of being first). But almost universally, people living in democracies (including the US) are better off than people living in autocracies. Democracies do collapse and revert to autocracies (and it feels like the US is currently skirting the danger zone on that). But autocracies also collapse and become democracies. And so far it appears that autocracies collapse at a higher rate than democracies. The overall trend so far appears to be towards greater democratization.
  9. I do think the Battle of Bure is worth covering if any scenario designers are up to it. The British had a relatively small part to play in the Battle of the Bulge. But some of the fighting they were involved in, such as Bure, was pretty interesting. It doesn't strictly speaking fall into the Downfall timeframe. But it does fall into the wider CMFB timeframe, and requires assets that only became available in CMFB with the addition of the Downfall module. Here's The Operations Room's video on the battle:
  10. The formations aren't parade-ground rigid. Intervals and alignment are flexible in order to take advantage of the terrain. But they do fight in formations, of which a literal line is one (in fact it is the default formation for engaging an enemy to your front). The best you can do to mimic squad formations in Combat Mission is to break the squad into teams and arrange those teams into a line, column, or wedge (there are never enough teams to form a diamond unfortunately). A better representation of formations is on my wishlist for future improvements to Combat Mission.
  11. I don't know. Perhaps not. My reading of "what battles were left out" was "what battles that have not already been covered can be covered now that Downfall has provided more resources". But I don't know how other people will read it.
  12. I think this thread still has the potential to go somewhere. Provided that everyone can remember to avoid further personal attacks and insults. I think there is value in having a thread dedicated to discussing what we'd like some of the scenario designers out there to tackle. Give it one more chance.
  13. I'd say it's worth playing both against a human opponent and against the AI. The human opponent is more reactive and challenging. But you can get in more turns a day against the AI. I think the only way to learn the game is precisely the same way you learn anything else. You put lots of time into it. Of course one additional thing you can do is to supplement your gameplay by studying tactics. I made a post that I thought offered some decent tactical advice a while back: If you're really crazy you can even go directly to the doctrine manuals. For WW2 doctrine I usually go to the Nafziger collection: https://nafzigercollection.com/product/american-tank-company-tactics-fm-17-32/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/us-armored-infantry-battalion-fm-17-42/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/british-and-commonwealth-armored-tactics-in-wwii/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/british-and-commonwealth-motorized-infantry-tactics-in-wwii/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/employment-of-tanks-with-infantry-fm-17-36/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/german-panzer-tactics-in-world-war-ii-combat-tactics-of-german-armored-units-from-section-to-regiment/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/soviet-armored-tactics-in-world-war-ii-the-tactics-of-the-armored-units-of-the-red-army-from-individual-vehicles-to-battalions-according-to-the-combat-regulations-of-february-1944/ https://nafzigercollection.com/product/soviet-infantry-tactics-in-world-war-ii/ I'd recommend FM 100-2-1 for Cold War/modern Soviet/Russian doctrine. And FM 71-1 or FM 71-2 for Cold War/modern US doctrine.
  14. Honestly if I'm in a halftrack I think I'd actually be more concerned about early-war ATRs than the HEAT projectors of the mid-late war. I've found that while ATRs really struggle to be effective against tanks, even in the early war, they are far more effective against halftracks. The post-penetration effects of ATRs are usually underwhelming compared to HEAT warheads and ATGs. But against a halftrack stuffed full of infantry you can't miss. Each shot can't help but inflict several casualties. Each shot may not be as lethal as a single HEAT warhead, but they come on a lot more rapidly, a lot more accurately, and at much greater range. ATRs are still crap against tanks. But they work very well against halftracks and armored cars.
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