Author Topic: BP: War in Heaven discussion  (Read 539791 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I just thought of something, given how effective GTVA ships are vs. the Fed counterpart, why didn't they just charge to Earth and blow everything to hell.  War's over in 20 min with a minimum of casualties.  I mean if the battlegroup from AoA is the spearhead, where's the rest of the fleet?  A spearhead is worthless without a shaft to push it through the enemy.

This is addressed many times; there's even a standalone mission in the techroom to explain why it wouldn't work. There are also numerous techroom entries to explain what the shaft behind the 14th Battlegroup's spearhead was (for example, check out 'The Reunion').

Which in this case as in many are excellent; when the battlespace is essentially contiguous and multiply connected and the limiting factor is number and accuracy of subspace jumps more than anything else, the last thing you want to do is centralize a function. Presenting a distributed target is as effective as presenting a heavily defended one especially because it gives your defense depth and reactivity.

Which ignores the logistical problems inherent. Logistical support is more effectively delivered via a few large ships rather than many small ones. Duplication of ships is duplication of effort. Many small ones opens the possibility of defeat in detail.

No more than having a single failure point. The entire point (this has been hammered home a few times now) is that defeat in detail is actually harder to pull off than taking out a single centralized target given the FS realities.

Remember the basic rule of thumb of subspace war: a ship not yet deployed is more powerful than a ship on the field. Defeat in detail by definition requires committing a large force to each of a chain of small targets in sequence. But as soon as you put that large force on the field you've tipped your hand, given up the advantage, and opened everything else you've got to the countermove. Whether it's an overwhelming response to your large attack or simply giving up the target and hitting the enemy in return, you're making a big mistake by committing more than you need to one target. Meanwhile the distributed enemy still has all the other fractions of their distributed assets free to respond (presumably by running for safespots or the coverage of something like Artemis).

Witness the Wargods, who concentrated too much force in one place. It's like pokerchess; the rules of the game are minimum possible commitment, concealed moves, uncertain dispositions and reserves and never giving away anything you don't have to.

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Everyone on the planet (except you?) learned the problem with small carriers back in the Second World War. If you want to design an effective carrier, you need a large embarked force. If you want to do that in FreeSpace, it has to be able to defend itself.

And in FreeSpace, distributed taskings have a huge advantage of their own - they're easier to defend than a single point, and said 'large embarked force' can exist from multiple points. There's actually no meaningful difference between nine small carriers and one big carrier in terms of their offensive deployments, though there would be on defense if all the carriers were stupidly in the same place - but carriers aren't at issue here; logistics ships are. Subspace means the battlespace is multiply connected. Put all the targets in one place like the Agincourt and, well, you get the Agincourt: a brace of Paveways to the engines and your war's in trouble.

Another advantage of attempting defeat in detail is that it exploits the enemy element's inability to mutually support. But with subspace, mutual support is easy!

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Laporte's commentary even goes against her own service's design of the Solaris, for chrissakes.

Not so; the Solaris is a pretty big ship but it's backed up by an enormous amount of distributed organic flight capability. Each one of those frigates is a small carrier. That said I'm not sure she'd disagree about the Solarises; her move from big deck operations down to a frigate seemed to make her much happier, and those things are Sathanas bait.

The ad hom above was low-quality. Either get better or keep it on the level. It's that or another thrashing and splitlock.

But if you are interested in learning more about an oddly similar and perhaps somewhat inspirational method of war, check out Goonswarm's grid-fu manual, which is a great read.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 04:26:04 pm by Jeff Vader »

 
Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Which ignores the logistical problems inherent. Logistical support is more effectively delivered via a few large ships rather than many small ones. Duplication of ships is duplication of effort. Many small ones opens the possibility of defeat in detail. They are unable to defend themselves, attack, and scout all at once because of their small number of fightercraft, they may not even be able to execute more than one of these tasks at a time. Coordination becomes more problematic.

Everyone on the planet (except you?) learned the problem with small carriers back in the Second World War. If you want to design an effective carrier, you need a large embarked force. If you want to do that in FreeSpace, it has to be able to defend itself..

I'm not too sure if that holds up in a subspace battlefield. In this, you are threatened by enemy ambushes all the time. Also, smaller ships have better subspace maneuverability.

Basically - one big central supply vessel means all your big ships have to jump to it to resupply, or it has to jump to them. Every jump of the supply ship makes it vulnerable if it's location is known to enemy ambushes as long as it's drive has to recharge, and every destroyer commited to resupply potentially gives away it's location (it's own and that of the supply). Also it is nailed down for some time as well before it could disengage from any ambush on the logistic vessel.

Supply through a decentralized fleet of fast and agile transports and freighters means, that they can jump fast, in and out, resupplying without endagering themselves as much (they recharge much faster), and also any attack on them is an opportunity for a counterattack - so the risk involved in attacking a small group of freighters resupplying a frigate may be unproportionally high when compared to the payoff.

The danger of losing the war by losing or inefficiently commiting all those small ships and independently workig frigates is much lower in a subspace battlefield, than having one big central logistic vessel.

The main reason the GTVA employs those large vessels, for all what I know or suspect, is to operate long times independently in systems under enemy control. That was never needed or intended for the UEF assets. Their frigates where made to police sectors of one solar system independently for some time.

Also, the more ships you have - the more pieces you have to react to opportunities. Absolute manouverability through subspace means that you can commit vessels very dynamically. It does not mean that your small ships will be eaten up without support being there in time, but it means that every small ship can be used to counterattack any offensive, as long as it isn't engaged otherwise. Positioning and dynamic tactics are even more important here than they ever were in any WWII sea warfare scenario. For that, a few clumsy ships that still don't hold up well under beam fire or long range artillery frigate bombardement or bomber commitment are always off worse than a fast and agile fleet.

Also, strike craft are not bound to their carriers that much. They can also jump in and engage anywhere, and then resupply basically anywhere as well if their carrier/frigate/destroyer were to be destroyed.

Of course, thanks to the passiveness of the UEF command, they aren't using this to it's full capabilities. Also, subspace warfare makes for some dilemmas much akin to trench warfare: If you attack blindly, the attacker is always the one getting slaughtered in unproportianally great numbers (here due to dynamic counterattacks, not due to fortification), for just a few "yards" of advantage.

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Laporte's commentary even goes against her own service's design of the Solaris, for chrissakes

I don't really get that one. The Solaris, I thought, was not a supply point for the frigates, which can act very independently but only, well, a large ship for deterrence. I may have missed something though.

EDIT: TL;DR: What Battuta said
EDIT2: "so the risk involved in attacking a small group of freighters resupplying a frigate may be unproportionally high when compared to the risk involved." - way to be redundant - wtf was I thinking...
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 02:59:10 am by SomeGuyWithAName »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Indeed, the Anemoi was designed to supply ships operating away from a coherent strategic command, like in a theater like the nebula.

 

Offline Ypoknons

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Bear in mind that the only beams that are significantly more powerful than Feds torps/mass driver/gauss cannon combo are the new-gen blue ones. Of the new ships all but Diomedes, Titan and Raynor have all their firepower directed forward. On the other hand you have Feds with torp launcher that have about 240 degree coverage. This means that Feds are more maneuverable in close quarters. Feds are dead if those new-gen ships catch them their pants down, but otherwise it may go either way depending on situation and what ships are in the engagement.

FS2-era Tev ships don't have enough firepower to ensure a sure victory over Feds. It takes less time for Feds torps to kill those beams than it does those beamers to kill the Fed ship. Engagements never are so static though, so this comparison doesn't hold water much. The new-gen BP-era ships have more firepower though and more often than not, can survive a direct confrontation.

More importantly, Tevs need to ensure that their ships stay alive for perform in the next operation. Managing to kill Fed ships in direct combat is fine and all, but getting your own ships killed when they can't jump out before Feds retaliate isn't smart. I'm sure you've seen this happen in WiH several times, for example two Diomedes corvettes in The Darkest Hour and Aristeia. Some may argue that those two corvettes died for nothing.
I meant many of the GTVA's advantages will fade away in a frontal assault, hence the Sehkr team example. Sorry, school's been intense and I haven't been proof-reading the way I should.

The Diomedes class is interesting, but it seems like it just doesn't have enough teeth to operate solo the way we've seen them deployed. There's wisdom in how the UEF operates its frigates in pairs, but I'm not 100% sure how the Diomedes fits into the GTVA battle doctrine. Maybe it's just more effective for peacekeeping a large number of systems with less powerful, internal enemies.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 08:19:27 am by Ypoknons »
Long time ago, you see, there was this thing called the VBB and... oh, nevermind.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
It is worth pointing out that in both cases the Diomedes showed up it was deployed as a coup de gras against what should have been a well-softened opponent; and in both cases it fell victim to a reactive counterdeployment. Damn those fighter screens, screwing everything up!

Oh and the Diomedes was designed to provide flank security for Belles and Chimeras.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 08:26:02 am by General Battuta »

 

Offline -Sara-

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I wonder though how lethal an accurate beam shot is when hitting one of the Fed torpedo tubes while it's about to fire or reloading. I assume canonically there is some sort of containment for such breaches, such as torpedoes being unarmed and not lethal until fired or otherwise properly detonated (as opposed to being randomly destroyed)?
Currently playing: real life.

"Paying bills, working, this game called real life is so much fun!" - Said nobody ever.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
If you look in-game you will see that UEF torpedoes do not arm until within a set distance of their targets. If you shoot one down right after it leaves the tube you'll generally just get a little 'poof'.

 

Offline Delta_V

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
One possible reason for the Tevs to use larger logistics ships could be that they can be deployed on longer operations (like what happened in AoA).  While several smaller ships could carry the same number of supplies, the endurance of each ship might be less.  These ships might not be meant for supply of the entire fleet, but of specific elements that are isolated from easy resupply.  The ships deployed in Sol were on the other side of the subspace node bottleneck, and they couldn't guarantee a continuous flow of supplies through the node.

Another reason could be that, for a given volume of supplies, a larger ship might be more efficient than multiple smaller ones.  Multiple smaller ships might result in more ship tonnage per ton of supplies than one larger one.  For instance, if you have two smaller ships that can each carry half the supplies of another ship, the ships themselves might be more than half tonnage, half the cost to operate, etc. than the larger ship.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Definite possibilities. And as I think was mentioned the Anemois were designed to serve in areas beyond the umbrella of standard logistics, like in Shivan-infested systems (or when driving your battlegroup right into the heart of the UEF and demanding its surrender.) They're not necessarily a bad design, and heck you could make an argument for keeping your logistics in one place, but to Laporte of the UEF, in the context of the ongoing war in Sol, it's not a decision she respects.

 
Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I think large logistics vessels make sense, if you employ your forces across several systems, as the GTVA has to. As has been said: In enemy territory, you need something like that. Especially since BP established that nodes can work as bottlenecks for supply and forces commited away from home systems have to account for that.

If your battlefield is a single system though, and you never expect to operate aggressively in enemy territory/systems - a decentralised system is much more efficient in subspace warfare.

So both strategies have their place, and they are actually pretty characteristic for the UEF and GTVA respectively. Laporte's criticism is therefore also a reflection of the unresolveable schism of philosophy - both on and outside of the battlefield, of the two factions.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Yeah soooo... its been nearly a year since I've been around and played FS2. I remember when I first discovered HLP I was seeking out a means to recover the enthrallment I got when I played FS1 and 2 from their retail launch days. To my amazement and wonder I discovered HLP and low and behold they've gotten the source code and omg they're revamping the graphics and models and everything! It was truly a happy day.

Then I discovered the community projects... Babylon 5, Silent Threat Reborn... to name a few I was blown away by the detail and attention thrown into the projects. It really made my return to the Free Space universe all the better.

So I kept hearing chatter on IRC about this "Blue Planet" mod and some intersting ships available for download. I monkeyed a little bit with some of the ships, they were beautiful... So I took the plunge and downloaded the full mod. From the get go, I was yet again blown away... I didn't think it would be possible for the mod to top ST:R and the like, yet... there it was, in all its glory... A very interesting and riveting story with some fantastic game play. Could it possibly get any better than this?

The question was answered upon my recent return to the Free Space universe with War in Heaven... I was expecting some brilliant work with the follow up to AoA but this exceeded my wildest expectations.

You guys have really outshined yourselves... Not since Final Fantasy 7 have I ever been so drawn into character development, game play, and story. You have brought a very human and realistic aspect. To quote myself from #bp its one of those "have your cake and eat it too" moments that I find are so rare yet highly sought after.

You guys have my sincerest thanks for releasing something of this quality and magnitude for all of us to enjoy. Major kudos to you folks. I can't wait for part 2!

Merged this in.

 

Offline Arcalane

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Battuta was asking in #hard-light for some BP2 screenshots yesterday (presumably something to do with the ModDB stuff) so I got a few snaps. I don't think they made the cut, but I'm pretty pleased with them.

Lunar City Approach, Lunar Surface (One Perfect Moment)
UEFg Katana #1, lit by an exploding Deimos (The Blade Itself)
UEFg Katana #2, lit by an exploding Deimos (The Blade Itself)

Chronologically the #2 shot came first; it's easy to tell because of the brighter glow. Getting HUDless screenshots from The Blade Itself was a pain in the ass because some of the targeting brackets (the orange and yellow ones, I think) are not hidden by the "hide HUD" control - as a result I couldn't get snaps that had any of the Deimos Corvettes in until they were quite thoroughly dead.
Don't think, Mechwarrior. Find out.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Pre-emptively cleaning up the inevitable splitlock. NGTM-1R if you want the post for your files let me know.

 

Offline Killer Whale

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I changed my mind, I am going to bother with spoiler tags.
I hadn't played freespace in a while, my last post was January and I often spent time listening to stuff about things I hadn't played. But last week I updated with Turey's and got really excited seeing BP2. Re-did BP AoA on saturday. After getting confused a bit before changing my engine to SSE2, I finished BP2 on sunday, and monday afternoon. I just wanted to point this out as my reply was several months after the release and for all you know I could have spent months playing it.

Freespace 2 Open Blue Planet: War In Heaven is the best video game I have ever played. In the short time before I started really comparing it to other stuff, it was also the best fiction I've ever seen. After thinking about it a bit more its more like the third best fiction (I'm sorry, but the Bourne two-part trilogy and El Goonish Shive top it. Maybe after the Karuna's cleaned up and you get voice acting). To expand, I preffered BP:WIH to: Lord of the Rings, Avatar (the $2.8x10^9 one), Halo: Combat Evolved, Age of Empires II Conquerors, The Inheritance Cycle, The Seventh Tower, Peggle, Casino Royale, World Of Warcraft, The Keys to the Kingdom, The Order Of The Stick, Doctor Who, The Matrix, The Hilltop Hoods, The Herd, British India, Freespace 2 retail, Descent: Freespace, Ender's Game, Artemis Fowl, Battlefield 1942, Fringe, The Alamo, Big Fish, any of the English lit things I've done (Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, The Catcher in the Rye, Macbeth, To Kill a Mockingbird, Oedipus Rex, Lord of the Flies)(But I don't really like them anyway), The Chronicles Of Narnia, Derelict, Transcend, Star Wars or Temeraire (in no particular order) just to name some of the best I can name off the top of my head! (some other big ones could go in there, but I haven't actually seen them.) Not to say I think these are worse then BP:WIH, just that BP is better. (Know what I mean? (You here what I'm saying? (If you do, get your ears checked, because no one said a word. (Sorry, couldn't resist (Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics (woah, bracket pyramid)))))))
Why?
Spoiler:
First of all is minor characterisation. In Halo, for example, marines say things like "get up so I can kill you again" (less funny when they oblige), "hey, that was my kill", grunts scream hectically (sp?) and about the only a couple of scenes touch on the tragedy of so many dying (one was only to show how badass and scary the badies were). Blue Planet: War In Heaven had pilots asking for forgiveness for both themselves and pilots once they killed someone. There wasn't so much "good kill", rather it made you realise that this was a war. This was horrible, people were actually dying here. ("I can see the bodies. Oh my god, some are still moving!" For the win). Very little fiction, and almost no video games (not any I've played at least) have actually made the point that your killing people. Your just killing avatars and getting more and more dulled to the violence around you. Or for fiction, faceless mooks whose only name is "Enemy Soldier" and only mention is they died with the rest of their squad when their magician got killed by Eragon. Nobody cares about them, not the reader, not the protagonists, not the antagonists. But you care for them in BP2. And getting recommended to see the psych constantly is right on the money. I've killed whole squads of soldiers because I got bored in Halo. I've gone traitor in FS2 retail for kicks. But I killed one enemy pilot in BP2 because no-one was paying attention to her and I didn't think the mission designer or the crew of the relief forces would notice her. And I felt ashamed.

Crowning Moments of awesome. You start the game with You Shall Not Pass and it works. Again and again you put in Epic moments and make the player realise that they're in an influencial turning point in history. Play "The Battle of the Bulge" or "El Alamein" on Battlefield 1942. It's not an influencial battle. Its you running around killing AIs and having them respawn when they lose their HPs. Blue Planet had events in them that made you realise, they were events. Freespace 2 was a bit too big, a bit too unrealistic. It broke my Willing Suspension of Disbelief when the sun went nova. The sun going nova is an event so momentous, I can't get it. But you made me realise that the officers and crew on that frigate were real, and they just lost their lives in an important battle. Bravo BP team. Bravo.

Main Characterisation. To be fair, characterisation has been done much better. It was pretty basic. My much love El Goonish Shive goes into some very deep and heart renching (sp?) moments. There is one very important thing that brings this up though. This is a game. A first person shooter flight sim. Games are for fun, games are to fill time when your bored, they serve as engines taking you to another world where you can be a psycopath and people will thank you for it. Plots are an afterthough. You made this game, not a hobby, not an addictive money-making waste of time, but a medium. Sure, books go deeper and have far deeper characters than WIH, but that's what they're meant to do. With luck you just created the first proper (keyword: proper, others have plotlines, but they're plot<fun.) gamic narrative (definitely not a word) where fun is equal to or less than story. That's probably completely false, but its the first and best I've seen.

FSO. Freespace is over a decade old. It's [insert preferred curse here] awesome. That has got to be an incredibly rare trait. Tetris and space invaders are incredibly old and still kicking (tetris moreso), but that's not thanks to their graphics. How did a game maintain cutting edge graphics over an 11 year period? It's all thanks to you Source Code Project.
Edit:
Honourable Mentions to (understatement):
Mission where you team up with GTVA to help Vasudans. I didn't fire a shot during or after negotitations and flew around horrified by their deaths.
Hostage. As I already mentioned, I felt ashamed for killing her.
Steele's plans, I loathe him for the vasudans thing, fear him for Delenda Est, and respect him as a brilliant GTVA operative
Last mission, the saving was predictable I'm sorry to say, but the simms thing and montage... gold. How the heck did you make me empathise with a random bridge officer with only a few lines better than other fiction's protagonists?!
The Elder dies, nothing new, i didn't know her or her importance, there's more where she came from. Wait, my character's fuming about it. I should be to! Hey, you killed the elder, come and take this you [censored]. etc. The reaction by the characters caused me to shift from indifference to fury, just because I learnt I should be, which is odd because it could have so easily have gone the other way and made me feel manipulated by putting words into my mouth. Soon I was hoping that the whole planet would rise up against the atrocity, prove Steele a liar to the vasudans, and kick some GTVA butt back to Delta Serpentis (or wherever the Sol Gate leads to).
How did you have nebula and non-nebula in the same mission?! Must be some new fso thing.
You showed me how awesome battles can be without huge cap-ships hanging around.
I thought that a hull repair support ship would be unbalanced. It wasn't.
Subspace missiles. Oh my god we are so doomed. In hindsight I think if you destroyed the right fighters they couldn't fire though. Missed that.
Music
Kittens
Edit:In short, if you [BP team] feel unhappy with what you've achieved. Don't be.


Because it is...








Epic

« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 04:17:16 am by Killer Whale »

 

Offline The E

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Thank you muchly for that review. We just hope we can get R2 to live up to those standards.

Quote
In short, if you [BP team] feel unhappy with what you've achieved. Don't be.

We don't. Sure, there are always areas where we feel it could be better, but that's unavoidable in any creative effort that is finished.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Darius

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Epic review is epic :D

Thank you for your multitude of words. I have stopped being unhappy with what we've achieved and become awesome instead.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Okay, enough is enough. With something like a 100% report rate on this issue and no sense waiting for a code change, I'm gonna try to hotfix Pawns to get rid of the Uriel hugging issue.

 

Offline MC_K

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Darius and team,

it might be a bit of a blasphemy to the original FS2 fans, but I'm afraid that Blue planet : war in heaven is even better than the original campaign. As far as the story goes, if I take Blue planet minus age of aquarius (so only war in heaven), I really loved it. I was a bit surprised by the choice of main characters ( I thought a woman came up with this - yeah I'm being a bit chauvinistic here  :D ), but what I also felt was that BP played as an interactive movie. Maybe even because of the music :)

You're on the right track and I'm glad I could played this fantastic sequel to FS2. I don't have anything better to say and you probably have even higher standards that which you've achieved with WiH, so keep on keeping on :) You've done a good job!

Spoiler:
I wondered where Samuel Bei was and for a while, it really felt like I'm playing a different campaign whatsoever, than the sequel to BP1 :D. The choice of characters was surprising, I thought that a woman must have came with that idea :)

Last, but not least...

BoE!!!! Whooo :)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 02:51:51 pm by MC_K »

 

Offline MC_K

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Oh, and a small doublepost,

when music is really good, I tend to put it on my mp3 player. And I did it with WiH music ;)

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.