Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, April 27, 2022, or: We Now Return to Our Regular Program (Already in Progress)


Photo by Kellie Churchman on Pexels.com

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning in Lithia, Florida on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. It is a warm day here in the Tampa Bay area, and it’s bound to get hotter. The current temperature is 77◦F (25◦C) under sunny skies. With the wind becalmed and humidity at 81%, the feels-like temperature is 75◦F (24◦C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 91◦F (33◦C). Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies. The low will be 68◦F (20◦C).

Today I am taking a break from playing Crusade in Europe. I played the 2022 reissue of the MicroProse classic from 1985 that depicts the Allied campaign in Northwest Europe as a command level strategy game that lets a player refight the battles of Normandy, the pursuit to the Rhine, Operation Market-Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and the grand campaign, Crusade: The Battle for France.

I played Crusade in Europe for a while yesterday so I could write Old Gamers Never Die: A Player’s Guide to ‘Crusade in Europe’ (Part Two of a Series). I might have been able to create that post without playing, but I don’t often write “how-to” articles about any topic, and since I wanted to be as accurate as possible when describing specific actions, I played one variant – Clearing the Beaches – of one scenario The Battle for Normandy. That’s the shortest and simplest game in Crusade in Europe, so it’s ideal for a
“tutorial” article.

Here we see the “end of battle” screen. Note that I issued the T (Terrain) command to remove units from the map to see the various terrain features. Those areas dominated by green patchwork terrain symbols represent Normandy’s infamous hedgerow country, where Allied forces found themselves stymied not just by the German defenses, but by the dense, almost jungle-like vegetation of the “bocage.” (C) 1985, 2022 MicroProse/Atari

The upside of that was that I got to spend about an hour playing an old favorite from when I was in college. Sure, the graphics are rudimentary by today’s standards, but of all the games I own, it has a good balance between historical accuracy and ease of play. It’s certainly more fun – for me – and easier to learn and play than its closest counterpart in my game library, Gary Grigsby’s War in the West. And I had been wanting Retroism, Tommo, or Atari – the owners of the “old” MicroProse’s library of computer games – to reissue it for today’s PCs for the longest time.

The downside, from a blogger’s perspective, is that Crusade in Europe lacks a Windows-compatible save option, and you can’t easily minimize the game “window” while you do something else (such as, you know, write a blog post). So first I had to play Clearing the Beaches while I mentally recorded my observations on the progress of the game session and remembered specific keystrokes and decisions I made while playing.

And because I am not a lightning-fast typist – I am not glacially slow, but I’m not secretary material – it took me several hours to write, edit, and revise Old Gamers Never Die: A Player’s Guide to ‘Crusade in Europe’ (Part Two of a Series). So instead of posting the finished article in the early afternoon, I ended up hitting the Publish button sometime after 4 PM yesterday.

I don’t want to do that again today, and I also don’t want to burn out on Crusade in Europe by playing it every day, so I am going to take a hiatus from both the game and the Player’s Guide. I know I’ll get back to both sooner or later – just not any time soon.

Anyway, even if I wanted to play another session of Crusade in Europe or spend almost an entire afternoon writing about it, I am much too tired. I had one of those nights. You know, when it’s one in the morning, you have to wake up early – unless you want to drink café con leche when it’s so cold that it’s turned into an iced coffee – and you have things to do during the day, yet you can’t go to sleep.

I eventually fell asleep around two in the morning, but I was up by 7:33 AM per my computer’s clock, so now I am sleepy, headachy, and not in the mood to stay at my desk all day.

I obviously need a vacation. Or, at the very least, a case of Seagram’s Escapes.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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