Firstly, let me share a few links.
I thought this article was hilarious. I got it off some friends.
"Tell a man that he's not "man enough" and he tends to overcompensate by acting macho."
I'm quite familiar with this concept of overcompensation. It's hilarious to watch. Am I prone to this too? Of late, no (I hope). But when I was a lot younger, I might have. Actually, I know I have.
What's up with boys and the strange reaction to not being "man enough"? I guess boys and men get insecure far more easily than they would care to admit. Don't ask me why it is so. But suddenly I smell a good opportunity for some militant feminist male bashing right here.
I would like to see in writing, what constitutes being "man enough" and "acting macho"? And if the stereotype holds, why do so many men behave in such a way despite the fact that so many women hate it?
Then again, what man has never been guilty of trying to "attract" a woman by doing and being the very thing that she detests?
Another thing I picked up recently is this NY Times article about "mercenaries" in Iraq. Or rather, "private security contractors". Very interesting.
And then, yesterday I downloaded a Rome:Total War mod called Rome:Total Realism. It's brilliant. More in depth, with an earlier start date and more than 200 new units, including new 3D models for each one. It even includes a new intro. RTR's got enough changes in it to make the game feel very,very different. Meaning to say, it's not just a cosmetic rehash of the original Rome:Total War.
I like the revamped playable factions which includes new ones like the Sarmatians, Bactrians, Illyrians and more. I like the fact that the number of cities have been boosted and the map pushed eastwards into Central Asia.
The battle engine's been changed too. Missiles (arrows, javelins, rocks) do quite a bit of damage now. I managed to kill war elephants in a test battle just now by using massed ranks of peltasts (javelineers) and concentrating their fire. I used to hate elephants in the original RTW because of their apparent invulnerability. I also noticed some improvement in battle AI and the overall pace of a battle's been reduced slightly.
The best new thing I noticed? New models. Troops are more historically accurate and the models for the new troop types look really good.
There's more changes in the mod. I'll write about them as I find them. Currently, I'm running two test campaigns, one Roman and the other Bactrian, just to see how the Hellenic-Eastern warfare model is handled in the game.
According to the lead modders, Rome:Total Realism strives to be closer to history instead of using the simplified (and inaccurate) historical timeline used in Rome:Total War. Whatever their aims were, I salute the modders. Considering the fact that they did all that work for free and considering the very high quality of that work, I congratulate them on a job well done.
I recommend it highly to all RTW fans out there. Please go and download it.
And talking about that, I can't wait for the RTW expansion, Rome:Barbarian Invasion. Oh yeah!
EDIT: Hey! Look what we have here!