About Gnerphk

I'm a bookseller and freelance writer. Gaming is the fourth great passion of my life and I attack each with equal verve. http://gnerphk.wordpress.com/ http://www.buymeacoffee.com/gnerphk

The Autonomous Fighter Factory

There are very few Planets races designed to dominate the cluster alone. Those with the strongest ships are vulnerable to cloaking races; those with the weakest ships have secret weapons which, properly used, add balance. And every faction must be played differently, with a precisely balanced economic system designed specifically to support the advantages — and correct for the disadvantages — of each race. Continue reading

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ACTION NEWS: Enter The Space Duck

This is a Planets Magazine Action News Update, coming to you live with a special report: The Pisces War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite. We’ve just received word that a new commander has taken control of the war machine of the Fascist Empire. We go now to ace reporter Pat Patterson, currently embedded with the 7th Space Cavalry, on active duty on the Fascist-Rebel border. Are you there, Pat?

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Action News: Pisces Pandemonium

This is a Planets Magazine Action News Update, coming to you live from the Pisces War with a special report!

Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite. The top story tonight is the continuing chaos in Fascist State Headquarters, as more party members are being summoned for what has been announced as an “Emergency Quorum” following the unexplained absence of Supreme Commander Plumilol. We go now to roving reporter Pat Patterson, currently on location in the State Capitol. Are you there, Pat?

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ACTION NEWS: Election Night Special

Hello, good evening, and welcome to Election Night Special!  I’m Jim Chancellite, and this is a special edition of the Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you Live! from the Capricorn War!

There’s tremendous excitement this evening, and we should be seeing the first results any moment now.  We’re not sure whether it’ll be from Capricornus or Beta Zela.  I’m just getting… Continue reading 5

Action News: Divided Parliament Seeks Coalition

This is a Planets Magazine Action News Update, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite.  Reports of election returns have been coming in all evening from all over the Capricorn War sector, and it looks as though there is yet again no clear majority.  With us to discuss the political ramifications of this is retired Bird Man consul Ef Yu.  Thank you for joining us, Consul. Continue reading 8

ACTION NEWS: Military Coup Underway

This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Good evening; I’m Jim Chancellite. Breaking news is coming in from the Capricorn War. Moments ago, Action News staff received word that a military coup may be underway in the eastern Continue reading 7

ACTION NEWS: Colonel Corn

This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Good evening; I’m Jim Chancellite. There have been some major developments recently in the Capricorn War. Coming to you live with today’s top story is ace reporter Pat Patterson, broadcasting in secret from Continue reading 3

The Future Of The Planets Nu Merchant Marine

or, On Operational Mobility

There’s an old saying: that sergeants and captains think about tactics, colonels about strategy, but generals obsess over logistics. We here, safe in our virtual universe, we imagine logistics to be a matter of keeping diesel in the tanks, gas in the trucks, bullets in the guns, food in the kitchens — that sort of thing. But we have only the vaguest inkling what the problem must be like with an army in the field unless we’ve been there. Continue reading 10

On Grand Strategy

It is said of Hannibal that he won every battle but lost the war. The same has been claimed for other historical conflicts with more or less justification: the American conflict in Vietnam, the campaigns of Gustav Adolf den Store of Sweden, and even that Pyrrhus of Epirus from whose name the very phrase “Pyrrhic victory” comes.

But how is this possible? Is war not, more or less, a succession of battles which creates a metaphoric path over which the winner ascends to eventual victory?

As it happens, it is — and then again, it isn’t. Continue reading 14

ACTION NEWS: Spilled Hydraulic Fluid

This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Good evening; I’m Jim Chancellite. The top story for today is a reported combat in the long-static sector, as the Robot fleet, newly awakened from years of low-power maintenance cycles, engaged a Cyborg post vessel on its rounds. Ace Reporter Pat Patterson is Continue reading 13