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JWR 2.39 - Game Over?!?!?


You're damn right I'm over.


I played this board game last night with three of my friends.  Itís called Axis and Allies.  Simply put, itís a strategic game thatís set during World War II, at the height of the Axis Powersí strength, I might add, just before America entered the war.  At any rate, the five principal countries: U.S.S.R., Germany, U.K., Japan and U.S.A. each take a turn where they first buy an assortment of troops, tanks, fighter planes, bombers, transport ships, battleships, submarines, aircraft carriers or facilities to make these products.  Then you move to attack (the countries you decide to attack can only defend or retreat), then you make military non-combat movements, then you place the pieces you previously bought at your facilities.  Then each country gets their turn to go through this same rigmarole.


I was the U.S., and I guess thatíll teach me to not go and put a pizza in from now on.  Those Japs and their fucking Pearl Harbor, goddammit.  Knocked me right the hell out of the Pacific.  I was never able to mount a comeback because I had to split resources between the war in Europe and the war in Asia, and you would think that Russia wouldíve been helpful with both Asia but primarily Germany, but no...Russia just sat there with their troops and did nothing but lose more and more territory which caused them to get less money as the game went on and conversely caused Germany to gain more money.  Hell, Europe looked like a big grey dot.  And they just as I brought over a couple of fighters and a bomber to eastern Russia, and we were going to plan an attack on a Japanese stronghold in Southeastern Russia, the Japs decide to attack.


But it is important to point out the attacking and defending are all decided by what you attack with and a roll of a die.  If you attack with a bomber, you need to roll a 4 or less to make a hit, but if you are defending with that bomber, you can only roll a 1 to make a hit on the attackers.


So, Russia fell.  The U.K. had amassed a large contingency of troops and tanks on the isle, but they were never able to ship troops or tanks anywhere because by the time the Brits got their shit together and produced transports, the Germans had fighters and bomber that they were able to fly over, bomb the transports, and then just fly back home.  And the Americans werenít much help.  There was little that could have been done.  Although, if I were smart I wouldíve stocked up on a couple air craft carriers loaded them with the fighters and made for waters off the coast of the U.K. to start attacking the heart of Germany.  But attacking the heart of a superpower like Japan or Germany is dumb because theyíre spread out, but forces are centralized on the homeland.  Youíve first got to reach an area that you can take where youíd be able to work your way to the heart.  The problem with America is that they are so far away.  It takes two turns just to transport troops to either west Africa or a Pacific isle.  If I were smart, I would have fortified troops in west Africa, which I did start doing.  Expand to a few territories there, fuck both the Germans and the British, who were no help.  Set up a facility to produce equipment, load up Africa with the blinding light of American power and charge into Europe.


I had similar plans to do the same with Japan, first taking the smaller southern islands of the Pacific and then work northward, first to mainland Asia to drive inward, and hopefully the Americans in Europe troops would have been able to lend a hand to drive the Japanese back to their island.  From there we conduct bombing raids on the mainland until they are softened up enough for troop transports.


Remember, there is no A-bomb and there is no possibility of a joint attack with a few clever exceptions, but nothing simultaneously between two nations.


The problem was that we started playing at about eleven and the game has the potential to take several hours, especially if you have intelligent people playing.  So, by about three in the morning we quit.  Germany took Russia, has all but destroyed Britainís ability to make war, America had just moved onto Africa and had taken a couple territories, but the Asian war was nonexistent.  I hope we donít finish the game.


Itís supposed to be a game.  And it was fun.  My brother has this same game and although he thinks we would have a good time playing it, I fully disagree.  With your friends, itís okay to bitch and moan and berate each othersí dumb moves and lack of war knowledge.  Thatís what makes it fun, itís the interaction of the people as you play a game about a tragedy.  Is that somber enough for you?


But as I went to sleep, my mind was filled with potential moves and strategies I could have made.


Perhaps thatís why I had this dream about a girl that I had, have, no, had, well, maybe still have, probably more likely that I had, or it could still be have, Iíd prefer to think that I had, but still, I did have this dream so maybe it is have...






Could we...?


Oh, sure.  Sorry.


Well, I had a dream about a girl I know.  (Thatís pretty good.)  It was quite strange.  It started at my old high school were she did not go.  In the cafeteria we were not speaking to each other, we were at different ends.   All the guys I knew back in high school but did not get along with were there, and although we didnít interact, I knew that they noticed me and knew enough to leave me alone.


Well, I somehow had in my hands a small sketchpad that was hers.  I flipped through it and there were all different drawings, some with color, others without, of varying degree of symbolism and subject matter.  Then on the last few pages of work the subject switched to a lot of American flags and people holding the flag or reading beneath a flag pole.


So I went over to her and sat down and we talked about her work a bit.  And I knew that I had a thing for her and I knew she knew but was unsure if she had the same for me.  Suddenly we were in the Communication Arts building at Parkside (where she did not go either) sitting in the chairs in the hallway.


We then decided to go look at some of her work in a studio and we did.  The room was covered in her work: sculptures, paintings, ceramics and each was different and each was good work.  Well, my admiration grew or her even more and likewise, I became even more unsure how she felt about me.


Well, I wanted her to come with me a floor down which would have been that part of the building where I spent a great deal of my time and had created a lot of my own works.  I could tell she was hesitant but she followed at a distance.  I began to descend stairs and didnít see her, but I continued.  At the bottom of the stairs, I still could not see her and as I began to make my way down the hall, still no sign of her.  I went inside the classroom and waited a few, but she never showed up.  Someone was in there who wanted to talk about the works we were doing, but with no sign of the girl, I didnít want to talk about it.


And then I woke up, with no real feeling but a memory of how I felt in the dream.  I really donít know what the point is.  Itís been quite some time since Iíve seen this girl.  I do still think of her, but itís not as frequent as it was, as things go on...Do I not know how I should feel?  Do I not know if itís a non-option?  Do I have second thoughts about how I handled things?  The more I think about it, the more it was like that board game.  No matter what I did, there was no way to take Asia.


The advise was to bulk up on your troops.  You canít win a war from the air or from the sea.  You have to get in there.  Keep going.  Donít let up.  Donít get ahead of her in the hallway, I guess.


Iíd send this to her alone, but I think sheíd respect it a bit more this way.  Itís not private and quiet this way; not something to be embarrassed about, for me especially.  Plus, then none of you would learn anything.  And thatís what Iím all about.  That and getting drunk as I watch Braveheart.  Oh, I missed the last hour, my friend.  Hey, you know that King Lionheart...?Ē




When I hold my head down to the ground

And I wish you were here with me

Seems like youíre always around

I was blind to see

Too good to be true--

You canít stay with me

I wish she was all I need

And itís getting late and itís cold outside

So cold so cold



Copyright © 2001 John Lemut