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Friday, May 29, 2015

MURPHY'S LAWS OF STAR FLEET BATTLES, part 6

51. By the time the Harriers get to Range Zero you will recognize them as Howlers.

52. Since the enemy did not have a copy of your plan, he could not oblige you by walking into your trap. And since your force was bought based on your plan, your plan isn't going to work with the ships you bought.

53. If you overwhelm an Orion with drones, you will discover that he could afford to buy a cloak.

54. Sending your really cool loophole tactic to ADB is the best way to get the rules changed to block it.

55. The ADD that missed was the one targeted on the type-IV.

56. The more you need to find the rule, the better it's hidden in the rulebook.

57. Congratulations on destroying all of the enemy's plasma launchers. Too bad he anchored you seven impulses later.

58. If you can Hit & Run the enemy, he can do it to you.

59. All ships are underpowered except for the ones that are under-gunned.

60. Those strange maneuvers of the enemy just led you across a nuclear space mine.


-- Garth Getgen, Steve Cole, Steven Petrick, Larry Ramey, Kirk Spencer, Jessica Orsini, Ron Sonnek, Andy Vancil, Ben Moldovan, Mark Kuyper, Howard Berkey, Timothy Steeves-Walton, David Keyser, Oliver Dewey Upshaw, Carl Magnus-Carlsson, Kirk Spencer, Richard K. Glover, Jeff Zellerkraut, Andy Palmer, Sean Newton, Daniel Zimmerman, Jason Goodwin, Michael Sweet, Paul Stovel, John Sierra, John Sickels, Sandy Hemenway


(c) copyright by Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Weather Event

This is Steven Petrick posting.

Last night was locally interesting, depending on where you lived.

Looking at the weather radar, a town south of Canyon was pummeled by the weather in that for more than a hour or so the pattern appeared stalled. That is to say you could see the weather moving into the town's location, but then breaking up and dissipating as it tried to move north of the town. This continued for over an hour (and was in place before I saw the radar), and as that cell seemed stalled, other storms appeared to be moving past Canyon from the south to east.

For a while it seemed as if Canyon would not be hit. Looking out my front window, I could see a "light show," that is lots of lightning strikes, going on beginning in the south, and moving to the east heading north.

It did not last.

A cell finally seemed to move up I-27 (as if following the road) until it hit Canyon.

The initial rain was fairly heavy, then got heavier, and then got heavier yet.

Heavy as in hail.

I am sure many of you have gone through a hailstorm before, as have I (I can recall a significant one in my youth in Florida for example). This, however, was noisier than anything I can remember. As in I could not even hear the television above the background noise of the impacts on the roof of my apartment unless I seriously jacked up the volume on the set. The bombardment also lasted longer than I can remember any previous hailstorm going on. And it was not the first hailstorm that had hit Canyon since I have been here, but it was most definitely the noisiest one I could recall. When it finally moved on, there was not a layer of hailstones, but the angle of my front door had a collection of them more than two inches high and a foot long (driven there by the wind).

From Canyon, it is about six miles north to where the Coles live. The storm arrived there, but the rain was apparently not as driven, and the hail was less severe (it may have been passing east of them on the track). Ten miles further north, and the storm hit Amarillo, where Jean said there was no hail, but enough rain to cause flooding problems and damage in her apartment complex. Perhaps four miles further north, and our offices do not appear to have been affected by all this.

Still, it was an unusual weather event for all of us, and none of us are displeased that none of the reported tornadoes that touched down during this period was any closer than 30 miles to any of us.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Got Any Marketing Ideas?

ADB, Inc., is always interested in great marketing ideas, ways and places to sell our products, as well as new products to sell. Our page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf) exists to put our products in front of other groups of potential customers. You will find us on Twitter as ADBInc_Amarillo. We also are releasing YouTube videos that show what you'll find in "the box" and our latest releases. You can catch our videos on our channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/starfleetgames.

We tried a lot of things that didn't work (Google Pay per Click, full-color ads in trade journals) and a lot of things that did work (banners on gamer websites, Star Fleet Alerts) and are always looking for new ideas. If you have any, send them to us at Marketing@StarFleetGames.com and we'll think them over.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

RANDOM THOUGHTS #232

Steve Cole ponders various thoughts that he discovered about the English alphabet.
      

1. J is the most recent addition, being only a few centuries old. It's really just a funny form of "I" but then so is "Y." Consider saying these words: jagged, iagged, yagged. They aren't that different, are they? They all basically start from eh-agged.
   

2. U and V and W were the same letter two thousand years ago, which is why Roman monuments are spelled funny (MARCVS) and US coins have TRVST on them. U was the vowel version, V was the consonant, and W was really just two "U" letters creating the sound we know as "W".
   

3. The ampersand has been considered a letter of the alphabet at various times in history, coming between Y and Z. It's a combination of E+T and "et" is Latin for "and." The reason we say "X, Y, and Z" is because it used to be "X, Y, &, Z."
        

4. Other than CH, there really isn't much use for C, and the Germans have discarded it altogether except for proper names and CH. For that matter, we could replace every "Q" with a K and nobody would notice. Remember when you were taught that QU is pronounced KW? Remember when I said that W was just a funny way of saying U?
   

5. Not even all of Europe uses the same version of the Latin alphabet that we use. The Spanish alphabet has four extra letters: CH, double R, double L, and two versions of N. The Swedish alphabet has three extras (two extra versions of A and one of O). Same thing for Norway, but one of the As is different from Swedish. The Russians have 33 letters, some of which Saint Cyrill created from his own artistic fancy to cover sounds he thought he heard. (The Russians had no written alphabet before he created one.)
       

6. English used to have a letter called "thorn" that was a combined "TH" thing. The word "ye" as in "Ye Old Game Shoppe" is actually "thorn+E" or "the." People a few centuries ago would look at that sign and pronounce it as "The Old Game Shoppe" and ask you what "ye" meant.
      

7. Actually, English used to have 36 or more letters, since it was (in the Middle Ages) a combination of the Runic alphabet and the Latin alphabet. A lot of Runic letters stuck around for centuries until they were gradually replaced with the equivalent Latin letter. Thorn (#6 above) was the last one to die.

Monday, May 25, 2015

This Week at ADB, Inc., 17-23 May 2015

Steve Cole reports: 

This was a week we continued working on current projects. The weather this week was wet, with constant rain. It got so bad we had to leave early some days. The spam storm mostly remained at something under 200 per day. Thursday was the annual company picnic.
      

New on Warehouse 23, DriveThruRPG, and Wargame Vault this week was JagdPanther #14.
 

Steve Cole worked on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Captain's Log #51, fiction, and art for the Klingon Master Starship Book. He also found a moment to correct and update some Wall of Honor pages and to walk as much as the weather allowed.
     

Steven Petrick worked on the Klingon Master Starship Book and Captain's Log #51.
 

The 2500 project continues to wait for production molds that are months late.
   

The Starlist Update Project moved forward with one new entry.
 

Leanna kept orders and accounting up to date.
   

Mike kept orders going out and rebuilt the inventory.
   

Simone did website updates and some graphics.
   

Jean worked on the text catalog update, updated the list of updated products, managed our page on Facebook (which is up to 2,613 friends), managed our Twitter feed (149 followers), commanded the Rangers, dealt with the continuing spam assault on the BBS, managed the blog feed, took care of customers, uploaded PDFs, and did some marketing.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Join us on Facebook and Twitter

ADB, Inc.’s page on Facebook is now up and running, and we’re finding a lot of new faces who haven’t been around the BBS or Forum. We have pictures up of ADB, Inc. staff, links to many of our videos, snippets of information, and interaction with our fans. Jean Sexton is the main voice you will hear on our page on Facebook. If she doesn’t know an answer, she’ll ask one of the Steves and ferry the answer back.

All that is left is for you to "like" the page for Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. if you haven’t done so already. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amarillo-Design-Bureau-Inc/231728653279?ref=mf.

Many people on our page on Facebook have not been on our BBS, so perhaps our new outpost on Facebook will become the place for those who want to keep up with current events without the intense atmosphere (and flood of information) found on the BBS. If you are very busy on a given day, checking our page on Facebook would tell you quickly if something important has been announced. The page also has its own art galleries, plus a place where you can post a review of our products. It also has discussions where you can link up with fellow gamers.

We've also added a Twitter feed which you can follow at https://twitter.com/ADBInc_Amarillo.
 Be sure to follow us for a quick look at what is going on!

We hope to see you there! For Facebook users, be sure to add us to an interest group to see all of our posts.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

RANDOM THOUGHTS #231

Steve Cole's thoughts on surprising and little known parts of military history.
 

1. Just before the atomic bombs fell on Japan, wheels were in motion in Washington, D.C. to promote five-star General of the Army MacArthur to the "six-star" rank of General of the Armies (previously held only by Black Jack Pershing during World War I). The idea was to end the bickering between MacArthur and five-star Fleet Admiral Nimitz over who was going to command the invasion of Japan. It should be noted that George Washington was retroactively promoted to General of the Armies long after his death. There is endless debate over whether the General of the Armies and General of the Army ranks were supposed to be the same thing and somebody just mistyped it.
       

2. Days before the Operation Torch landings in French North Africa, US Army Major General Mark Clark slipped ashore on a secret mission. While nothing went wrong and some things went right, this could have been a disaster that changed the war. Clark had actually written the plan for Operation Torch, and if the French captured him and wanted to oppose the landings, he might well have been tortured into revealing everything. It gets worse. Clark was one of a tiny number of people who knew that the British had broken the German codes. If the French had captured Clark and handed him over to the German Gestapo, he would no doubt have revealed the secret, changing just about everything in World War II from that day forward.
 

3. German paratrooper officers used purple parachutes in the first two years of the war so that their men could find them on the landing fields. The German parachute harness made it easy for a soldier to fire his weapon on the way to the ground but gave him no ability to steer the parachute away from a bad landing spot.
       

4. Hitler's trademark narrow mustache was actually the way most German soldiers wore their mustaches in World War One, so as to better fit their gas masks. After the war, soldiers returning to civilian life let their mustaches grow to traditional width. Hitler kept his narrow to say "I served on the front lines" as he was an actual hero (having won both versions of the Iron Cross). So his trademark mustache was a political trademark.
   

5. During the bloody campaign in Italy, General Mark Clark ordered that two dozen majors and colonels (officers so good that they would be the generals in the next war) relieved from duty and sent home to training commands so they would not be killed.