Who hasn`t had nightmares about GW`s dreaded Orcs? Great Guitar Lessons: December 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

Set and Drift: Doctrine Matters why the Japanese Lost at Midway

Pictured: Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures game, "Atlanta" card

Pictured: The Book Requiem for Battleship Yamato

Naval War College Review, Summer, 2001 by Jonathan B. Parshall, David D. Dickson, Anthony P. Tully

Dallas Isom's article "The Battle of Midway: Why the Japanese Lost" [Naval War College Review, Summer 2000, PP. 60-100] is laudable for its use of Japanese sources and for the interesting points it raises. In particular, we applaud Isom's interviews with Japanese survivors, which contribute new and useful information regarding Japanese aircraft rearmament procedures. This new data is crucial to building an accurate account of the events that transpired aboard the Japanese carriers on the morning of 4 June 1942. However, in our opinion, Professor Isom's arguments appear to rely too much on a rather rigid (and highly debatable) interpretation of Japanese communications: namely, exactly when did Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo received transmissions from scout plane 4, launched by the cruiser Tone. In addition, while Isom's rearmament information (which he puts forward as central to Nagumo's inability to launch his anticarrier strike before being fatally attacked) is clearly important to understanding the Japanese s ide of the battle, we feel that he did not carry his operational analysis far enough. As a result, we cannot accept his conclusions.

At the time of Isom's writing, we were engaged in a reappraisal and rewriting of the Japanese account of Midway as a result of our own work in identifying wreckage from the carrier Kaga. (1) A key part of our approach was to build an accurate model of the operations of the Japanese carrier striking force. As we will show, the disaster that befell the Japanese carrier force hinged neither on whether Nagumo received Tone 4's message at 0740 or at 0800, nor on how quickly the armorers in the Japanese hangars could do their work. Rather, the fate of the Japanese Mobile Striking Force (Kido Butai) revolved around what was happening on its flight decks. Armed with a knowledge of Japanese carrier doctrine, as well as the operational information from the battle, one can reach an accurate assessment of the state of readiness of Nagumo's force at the time of the climactic American attack without resorting to Isom's indirect method.

A major error in the Isom article is that it repeatedly misstates what aircraft actually were on the Japanese flight decks. In several places, Isom presumes that the Japanese antiship strike force was on the flight decks when it is demonstrable that those aircraft were still in their hangars. This presumption carries forward the (mistaken) conventional view that the Japanese had spotted their antiship strike force on the flight decks shortly after the initial Midway attack force had taken off and had only briefly moved these antiship strike aircraft below for the purposes of rearming them or recovering the first-strike wave. As will be shown, this is the root of the fundamental misunderstanding of circumstances at the time the carriers were struck.

In fact, both Japanese doctrine and the operations of the Japanese combat air patrol (CAP) fighters would have kept the reserve strike planes securely below in their hangars until they were definitely needed. Not only that, but because of Japanese hangar design, the window of time necessary to lift, spot, and launch the aircraft was substantially longer than has been previously understood. As a result, given the frenetic nature of Japanese CAP operations after about 0800 (particularly aboard Akagi and Kaga), it is unlikely that many of these second-wave aircraft were ever spotted on the flight decks before the fatal American dive-bomber attack commenced at 1020.

This point cannot be overemphasized, because from the conventional belief of what was on the flight decks flow nearly all Western interpretations of the battle. To put the matter succinctly, at the time Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu were struck, their flight decks were more empty than occupied. This is almost the reverse of the standard view, which has the Japanese flight decks packed with strike aircraft awaiting takeoff. There were aircraft on deck, but most were CAP fighters, not attack aircraft. There were also fewer aircraft on deck than is generally supposed. Though potentially startling, this is less a "revision" than a correction and careful restating of the existing historical record. We will show that official Japanese sources on the battle have been aware of this for some thirty years.

These errors in both the conventional Western interpretation and Isom's article cannot be addressed without first developing a sense of how the Japanese conducted carrier operations. Unfortunately, standard English-language histories of the battle of Midway have not well understood Japanese carrier operations. From the common misperception that Japanese naval aviation was derivative of Western (primarily British) practice, Western writers typically believe that the Japanese carriers of World War II behaved much like their Western counterparts. In fact, they did not. Japanese carrier operations contained elements of both U.S. Navy and Royal Navy practices. However, as a result of differences in physical design and operational doctrine, by the late 1930s Japanese carriers fought in a fashion all their own. Without understanding these points of divergence, understanding Nagumo's actions is likewise impossible.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Board Games – Bringing Families Together

Pictured: The board game Modern Art

by John GIbb

Board games have entertained children and adults for many years. Many board games have now been made available to play online over the Internet. Some of the most famous board games, such as battleships, monopoly and checkers can now be played online. You can even play against your friends over the computer. Personally I used to prefer the old fashioned way.

Board games can bring families together, a cosy night in huddled next to the fire logs playing a good old game of monopoly with the family. Not only is monopoly fun, but it also stimulates the mind and can help with a Childs education. next to the fire logs playing a good old game of monopoly with the family. Not only is monopoly fun, but it also stimulates the mind and can help with a Childs education. You could set a night each week where you play monopoly with your family. Each member can take turns to be the banker.

Monopoly is a fun way to improve number skills for all members of the family and can be a good way to learning about investing and other useful skills that can come in handy later on in life.

Checkers is an ancient game that can now be played online. Many messenger services have the game built in now, such as the famous msn messenger. You can play against your online contacts free of charge. This is an old but famous game what can have you hooked in no time. Hours of our time were spent playing checkers as a family when we were all young.

Another famous game which has now been available for online play is battleships. Battleships can be very addicting trying to locate the others ships so you can destroy them. Co – ordinates are used. This game can be fun to play against a family member or friend.

Board games may be old and may sit on people’s shelves gathering dust in today’s world. With all the computer games around now, board games have become less popular amongst many families. However, for mind and even exercise stimulation, old fashioned board games will bring your family together and are much more constructive than sitting playing computer games all day. How about a good game of twister or a game of guess who? That’s more constructive for the family than sitting on a computer getting eye strain and head aches.

If you want to have enjoyable evenings with your family, board games are definitely the way to go.

About The Author

John Gibb is the owner of http://www.Boardgames-sources.info

For more information on board games please check out http://Boardgames-sources.info


Tips to Transform your Scrabble Game

by: Emma Snow

Alright, so your mother-in-law, a PhD in English Literature, has challenged you, a lowly salesclerk at the local bookstore, to a “friendly” game of Scrabble. Sound like a hopeless case? Certainly not! More than just a rivalry of vocabularies, Scrabble is a game of strategy. Equipped with the right tricks, even a child could give your mother-in-law a run for her money!

This article will give you five proven tips guaranteed to transform your Scrabble game. Whether you are a novice to the game, or looking to increase your skill in order to compete in clubs or tournaments, a little practice with these techniques will bring instant results!

Tip #1: Two-by-Twos

Experienced Scrabble players agree that the first key to success is memorizing the list of acceptable two-letter word combinations. This sounds harder than it really is. There are only 96 two letter words, and you undoubtedly know 23 of them. (Some lists include 120 two-letter words, depending on which dictionary you refer to. The 1998 Chambers Dictionary, as well as the Chambers Official Scrabble Words qualifies 120 words, while the Merriam Webster Official Scrabble Players Dictionary includes only 96. A good word of thumb would be to decide at the outset of a game which dictionary you will be using. I’d focus on the list of 96 words, as they are universally accepted in almost all dictionaries.)

Why is this word list so valuable, considering you only use two tiles? Knowing the two letter words helps you to build parallel words, enabling you to count your letters twice for each word you form. This dramatically increases your score! This skill is absolutely essential when the board is “closed,” (meaning that there are no wide open spaces to build new words in), as well as at the end of the game, when you must empty out your rack.

Memorizing this list only takes minutes if you associate each letter with the number of words it forms, (for example, there are 16 “A” words, 5 “B” words, etc.). Going through the lists and becoming familiar with the lesser known words is usually all it takes to commit the list to memory. It’s nice to know there are a few words that don’t require vowels!

The 96 words are: aa, ab, ad, ae, ag, ah, ai, al, am, an, ar, as, at, aw, ax, ay, ba, be, bi, bo, by, de, do, ed, ef, eh, el, em, en, er, es, et, ex, fa, go, ha, he hi, ho, id, if, in, is, it, jo, ka, la, li, lo, ma, me, mi, mm, mo, mu, my, na, ne, no, nu, od, oe, of, oh, om, on, op, or, os, ow, ox, oy, pa, pe, pi, re, sh, si, so, ta, ti, to, uh, um, un, up, us, ut, we, wo, xi, xu, ya, ye, yo.

Tip #2: “Racking” up Points by Anagramming

The difference between an average and an advanced Scrabble player has to do with the number of options a player can find in a given rack. Don’t just find one word and give up—keep moving those tiles around. There may very well be a better option than the one you find initially. Even if you end up using the same tiles, one word may score a higher value than another based on the location of the bonus squares. In addition, you may opt for one word over another because it is harder for your opponent to build on. For instance, if you have a hunch that your opponent has an S you should avoid laying down a noun, as this would allow him/her to “hook” on, scoring points for both words!

Tip #3: Keep it Hot

This hint may seem obvious at first, although there’s a bit more to it than first meets the eye. As you formulate your options on the board, focus on the “hot spots,” or the squares which award you double and triple the value of your tile and/or word. Use these squares to even better advantage by building parallel words, allowing you to use the bonus square two times (once for the horizontal word, and again for the vertical.) This is where that list of two-letter words comes in handy, particularly the words that contain high-scoring letters like J, Q, X, and Z. For example, the word “ex” used in a parallel position where the X lands on a triple would score at least 26 points.

The other side of this equation is that you must be careful not to make these hot spots available for your opponent! However, if you have a great word that opens up a triple, don’t throw it out the window. Weigh up your score against what your opponent may likely get. You may still come out ahead. Who knows? Your opponent may even pass up the triple, giving you a shot!

Tip #4: The Q—boon or bane?

No doubt about it, the Q is one of the most difficult tiles to play; therefore, it demands attention. There are a few tricks that can help you turn the Q to your advantage.

First of all, it’s advisable to commit to memory a few Q words that don’t require a U. Yes, they exist, and they are worth a lot of points, besides! So, here is your second (and final, for now) list of words to memorize: qaid, qanat, qat, qindar, qintar, sheqel, tranq, qoph, qwerty, faqir.

The words “aid” and “at” are particularly helpful for those looking to dump a Q, and this goes for your opponent too! Take care not to lay down either word if you suspect your opponent of having the Q on his/her rack, particularly at the end of the game! (I know this from sad experience; this oversight cost me an important match!)

Whatever you do, don’t hold on to Qs for more than a turn or two, hoping to draw a U. (This also goes for holding onto Us in case of drawing a Q.) Try to get it off your rack as soon as possible, as you lessen your chance of playing a good move when you’re only using six of your tiles. And if the game is close to the end you may want to consider trading it if there aren’t any options on the board. You certainly DO NOT want to get stuck with an unplayed Q at the end of the game, as it automatically adds 20 points to your opponent’s score.

Tip #5: Plan for BINGOs

Our last tip can be quite satisfying once it is mastered. It has to do with creating BINGO words (words which use all seven tiles) and is remarkably easy, once you know how to do it. Start by sorting your rack according to common word endings and save these letter combinations. One of the most valuable sets is “ING.” This takes care of three of your letters, and it’s much easier to form a four or five letter verb that works with “ING.” Voila! You have a BINGO! Some other common endings you want to watch for are -ed, -er, -ier, -iest, and -ies. I’ve even used -ation to good advantage. Un- and re- are good letters to set aside for word beginnings. Laying down your first BINGO is almost a rite of passage in the Scrabble world.

Now you are prepared to take on that grandiloquent mother-in-law; put that palaverous brother in his place. With practice, you may soon be able to join the ranks of the real Scrabble champions.

About The Author
Emma Snow works a pragmatic puzzler at the Puzzle Place http://www.puzzle-place.net and Chess Strategies http://www.chess-strategies.net leading puzzle portals.
Puzzle Place

Chess Strategies

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Online Games – The Evolution

Pictured: The Redemption card game

Online games have become extremely popular in recent years.
Games like Halo, Warcraft and others come to mind.
Susie Symonds examines this phenomenon in the following article.

by Susie Symonds

Now we see thousands of people playing online games such as tetris, ping pong, mario bros, super mario etc for free but despite its history dating back to 1970s, for most people online gaming began with the explosion of Internet in 1993 and with the advent of Doom and Warcraft sometime in 1994 or 1995. This got further boost with publishers starting to add Internet connectivity to computer games in 1994-95.

The media, in fact, have themselves been ignorant about online games history. As far as they are concerned, online gaming just coincidentally happened when their advertisers started producing Internet-capable games. But it isn’t so…

Early Years of development

In early 1950’s a college student created a game much like Tic-Tac-Toe for a class project to be played on dinosaur computers of those days complete with cathode ray tubes for the screen display. The 1960’s had MIT students programming a game called “Space war” that could be played with two people over a primitive network. The late 1960’s brought the first “real” video games like table tennis and shooter games.

The 70s – the game begins

Serious online gaming began with the first interactive online game called ADVENT. In fact networked gaming got conceptualized with ADVENT. Networked gaming had users playing against each other within an online fantasy world. The first networked game was called Mazewar, a game which involved networked players traveling through a maze and attempting to kill one another.

Next came the interpersonal interaction in a multi-player environment. The first such game was called DUNGEN. DUNGEN had players competing against one another to complete a series of quests. DUNGEN provided with new settings and players each time the user logged on.

The late 1970’s saw the start of video game craze with more and more households getting computer savvy. As a natural corollary, people started writing their own games for the home computers. These programming hobbyists traded and sold these home-grown games in local markets.

Other changes in the 1970’s were home gaming consoles which used game cartridges. That meant the people could collect games cartridges for one base unit instead of having bulky game console systems.

The 80s – some pause before the storm

1980’s saw growing craze for the video and computer game craze, but online gaming wasn’t on the horizon yet. New games with better sound and graphics were introduced and gained popularity. Pole Position and Pac-man were two that achieved big popularity. It was during 1980’s when Nintendo introduced its first gaming system.

The 90s – revolution begins

The 1990’s saw the phenomenal growth in both popularity and technology mostly because of the rise of 3-D and multimedia.

Myst, the intellectual adventure game introduced gaming on the CD-ROM format. Fancier 3-D graphics hardware made FPS (first person shooter) games such as Quake possible.

The late 1990’s saw the exponential growth of the Internet, MUDs (multi-user dungeons) which made online games wildly popular. New and improved graphical interfaces had people all over the world playing against each other not only in FPS games but also in real time strategy games (RTS games) as well as third person games like Grand Theft Auto.

This was also the period when websites started offering online games such as tetris, ping pong, mario bros, super Mario, and other free online flash games and non-flash based games free for playing after registering with them. This really pushed online gaming into the popular psyche.

The 21st Century – world is just a playground

Early years of the 21st century were dominated by the DVD-CD-ROM. It has changed the way online games are played. The latest gaming systems such as Sony’s play station and Microsoft’s X-box have networking capabilities to enable people play with each other in real time from all over the world. Exponentially growing broadband internet services have made playing these online games possible in true sense of the word.

The only drawback to the constantly evolving technology for online games is that what you buy today might become obsolete by the next year. Luckily, for the serious gamers, the resale industry for these online games is huge. This resale industry is just another element to the ever-changing history of online game.

About The Author
Susie is a game developer advocating to play online games free.

Visit www.Play-Online-Games-Free.com to play tetris online for free.

About JIGG: Japan`s International Gamers Guild

Join us if you want to play games while living in Japan at JIGG: Japan`s International
Gamers Guild

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