RebelYell
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:54 pm

khbynum wrote:I agree with your historical point. Recovering supposedly loyalist east Tennessee was a pet project of Lincoln's and probably diverted far too much effort toward a goal that, at least early in the war, was unattainable. That's why I don't like such rules, including the Richmond event. Come to think of it, the Richmond event encourages the very concentration in the east that some find objectionable. If the game forces you to do it, might as well go all out.


But the events are the only way to bring the political pressure from the electorate to the player.
The leaders where not immune to it and it is big part of the war, the reason for the war.

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GraniteStater
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:01 am

Since we've wandered into this area, this is why I wrote in another thread that the Game is Ahistorical. I want to play the CSA more so to see what Industrialization can do. The game has to be ahistorical - to clarify some usage above, a simulation is not a game.

Look, go play War in the Pacific - that discussion goes on all the time in that forum. Due to its nature, WitP is a game that struggles with reality (it's an 'operational level' game - CW2 is a level or two higher, more abstracted)- PbeMs usually have HRs (no 4 engine Allied bombing below 10k feet is extremely common), etc, etc. It's very detailed and for most gamers, even some serious grognards - well, I love WitP for what it is; CW2 is a better game, though, imo.

If you live long enough to play the whole campaign, Japan gets hosed without workarounds. So, if you want a game (chess) as opposed to a simulation (Black starts without a queen side), you have to design it so that both sides are playable. There's different ways of doing this when you design a game - one is Loser does Better than Reality (WitP has different benchmarks, for example - Japan can win on 1 Jan 1943, if it has enough Places and Booty).

CW2 is designed so that the CSA can actually win in PbeM. This is so it's fun, as opposed to having You Lose tattooed on your forehead every time you play the South. Hey, I find ways to lose no matter what side I play - but I love it anyway, even though kids in the neighborhood taunt me in the street.

It uses a modelling of Reality to recreate the experience, the constraints, the concerns - but too much fidelity to history would preclude a balanced game.

CW2 is not a congruent facsimile - it is an agreeable and fun arrangement, to use a musical analogy. It's a variation on a theme.

I hope I'm clear, I've struggled with the writing here.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]
-Daniel Webster

[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]
-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898

RULES
(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.
(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.


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ArmChairGeneral
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:19 am

Nope, I think you nailed it. As a CSA player I would be bored with a game that I, by definition, couldn't win.

Just to take this thread further afield, I am increasingly convinced that CSA replacement throughput is the decisive advantage that gives the CSA a chance for victory (irrespective of rush-style techniques). The Union simply cannot maintain the field after losing a battle or two in a row.

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Mickey3D
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:00 am

GraniteStater wrote:CW2 is not a congruent facsimile - it is an agreeable and fun arrangement, to use a musical analogy. It's a variation on a theme.


I agree with you but this should not let you use completely ahistorical strategy : having all your forces in the East without anything to defend the West should bring a penality. As stated in another message : this was politically unacceptable.

One obvious penalty is that Confederacy will be able to conquer easily these areas but the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas are so powerful I'm not sure it will be enough to stop the North and moreover the CSA will have to wait for Kentucky to become playable and will be cautious at the beginning (where is the trap...?).

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soundoff
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:27 am

Mickey3D wrote:I agree with you but this should not let you use completely ahistorical strategy : having all your forces in the East without anything to defend the West should bring a penality. As stated in another message : this was politically unacceptable.

One obvious penalty is that Confederacy will be able to conquer easily these areas but the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas are so powerful I'm not sure it will be enough to stop the North and moreover the CSA will have to wait for Kentucky to become playable and will be cautious at the beginning (where is the trap...?).


Whilst at a personal level I try not to play 'gamey' although my opponents might judge differently I must admit to having altered my view somewhat with CW2. IMHO the introduction of event cards in such a major way has totally invalidated any reservations I used to have over the historical v ahistorical nature of the game. As far as I can see the game has definitely lurched towards ahistorical. Mind you its still fun to play :thumbsup:

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GraniteStater
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:32 am

ArmChairGeneral wrote:Nope, I think you nailed it. As a CSA player I would be bored with a game that I, by definition, couldn't win.

Just to take this thread further afield, I am increasingly convinced that CSA replacement throughput is the decisive advantage that gives the CSA a chance for victory (irrespective of rush-style techniques). The Union simply cannot maintain the field after losing a battle or two in a row.


Hmmm, you start to think about it, replacement rate ratio, NM, War Weariness - probably all design decisions to emulate a Let's Quit factor for the North.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Mickey3D
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:44 pm

soundoff wrote:IMHO the introduction of event cards in such a major way has totally invalidated any reservations I used to have over the historical v ahistorical nature of the game. As far as I can see the game has definitely lurched towards ahistorical.


I do not fully agree with your view : yes the event cards are adding a less "hardcore" level of play but still the game try to put you in the shoes of the deciders and as such you have political constraints.

I follow you in that I try not to play "gamey" (at least not too much..) even if the game allows it.

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Gray Fox
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:13 pm

As I see it, two options exist. One can play "historically" and the Union wins every time. Or one can not do this and win a game of strategy by actually using strategic skills.

As the Union, I was able to assemble 33 Divisions by May '62 with three more in the pipeline for the summer. That was a Division entrenched in St. Loius, Cairo, Evansville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Ashland, Marriette, Wheeling, Pittsburgh, HF and Manassas. I also had a 3-Division Corps entrenched in D.C. and a 7-Division reserve in addition to the steamroller. I had a wall of gunboats from St. Louis to Cincinnati and a 35% blockade. If you choose to hold in the east and steamroll the west, then by all means, do so. A human CSA player has the option to move the capital to Mobile and thus frustrate an eastern campaign. You could even make a HR that the Union and of course the CSA too, must permanently entrench 12 Divisions in their capital, which would preclude most offensive action against these cities.

I'm telling you what I do. If you don't want Grant with Corps Commanders Franklin (5-4-2) and Kearny (5-5-3) in charge of 100k line infantry, 21k cavalry and 288 heavy artillery in high cohesion Divisions with an HQ unit, engineers, pontoons, supplies and hospitals in May 1862, then do something else. However, this is the challenge a CSA player faces.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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Mickey3D
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:26 pm

Gray Fox wrote:As I see it, two options exist. One can play "historically" and the Union wins every time. Or one can not do this and win a game of strategy by actually using strategic skills.

To play historically doesn't mean you have to do what the Union/CSA did but to be bound by the same constraints (logistic, politic, resources, ...) : ensuring security of States north of the Missouri/Mississippi/Ohio rivers is, IMHO, one of the political constraint.

As the Union, I was able to assemble 33 Divisions by May '62 with [...]


Ok,so you are not leaving the West completely undefended which was my initial understanding. It Could be really interesting to test this in a PBEM to see if there is a way to counter this strategy.

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ArmChairGeneral
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:45 pm

One nice thing about the cards as they currently stand is that they are optional. It is easy to set up house rules for using/not using any or all cards in multiplayer. In single player Athena does not use them effectively, so you can have a "no-cards" HR single player game if you choose to by simply not using any (this may change in the future as the AI gets fleshed out more fully).

I think the game currently has a very nice balance between historicity and playability. Many non-historical options are available if you want to try them, but historical strategies are quite viable also. Capitol-rushing is potentially an unbalanced strategy, I think it is still premature to say; just because no one has figured out how to stop it yet does not mean it is un-beatable. If it can't be stopped, then adjustments may need to be made, but until then I look at it as an in-game problem that remains to be solved.

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Gray Fox
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:08 pm

Move the Union capital to NYC and the CSA capital to Mobile and you probably get the long historical slugfest. Or actually defend your historic capital like it should be defended. Just don't pretend that your historic capital is off limits.

In 1861 as today, NO is the 5th largest port in the world. Everything manufactured in the midwest was shipped down the Mississippi and exported to the world. Everything the world sold the midwest was shipped to NO and back up the Mississippi. The game does not have a "blockade" of every Union City in the midwest until the Mississippi is cleared. So the Union player has no strategic reason to clear the river unless an event like this is added.
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RebelYell
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:29 pm

Gray Fox wrote:Move the Union capital to NYC and the CSA capital to Mobile and you probably get the long historical slugfest. Or actually defend your historic capital like it should be defended. Just don't pretend that your historic capital is off limits.

In 1861 as today, NO is the 5th largest port in the world. Everything manufactured in the midwest was shipped down the Mississippi and exported to the world. Everything the world sold the midwest was shipped to NO and back up the Mississippi. The game does not have a "blockade" of every Union City in the midwest until the Mississippi is cleared. So the Union player has no strategic reason to clear the river unless an event like this is added.


Very good point, I am sure the developers will listen to this idea. :thumbsup:

khbynum
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:44 pm

Why Mobile? It's on the coast and exposed to seaborne attack. Leave it at Montgomery or, even better, move it to a rail hub like Atlanta.

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soundoff
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:09 pm

khbynum wrote:Why Mobile? It's on the coast and exposed to seaborne attack. Leave it at Montgomery or, even better, move it to a rail hub like Atlanta.


AACW did provide an option to locate it in Atlanta.

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soundoff
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:17 pm

ArmChairGeneral wrote:One nice thing about the cards as they currently stand is that they are optional. It is easy to set up house rules for using/not using any or all cards in multiplayer. In single player Athena does not use them effectively, so you can have a "no-cards" HR single player game if you choose to by simply not using any (this may change in the future as the AI gets fleshed out more fully).



That's true but I hate having to introduce House Rules. I much prefer it when developers do not provide me with opportunities for 'sandbox' play. I know that's impossible for any game manufacturer to achieve as all of us players have an innate ability to push the envelope but I have no wish to be 'encouraged' to do so. Most of the cards by their very existence in game certainly do that - all IMHO. As I said before though CW2 is still a fun game :coeurs:

minipol
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Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:55 pm

I don't know if much political constraints existed but one would expect so.
If more could be modelled, it would add more historical use of troops to the game.
I also would like more choices of where to move the capitol. I don't like Mobile, too vulnerable

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Gray Fox
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Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:49 pm

IIRC the CSA player can move the capital to Atlanta if you do it early. However, it may then move to Richmond from the event. If you wait until the Union player threatens Richmond to move, then the default is Mobile.
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stegosarus_army
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Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:03 am

If the "steam roller " and abandoning the west wasn't the only strategy people could think of and or try, then I'd be ok with it. Personally, I think it makes the game boring. If people don't want to loose in a wargame, then don't play as the side that never had a chance of winning. It's that simple. Yes, its a game but railing everything East should be the equivalent of seppuku.

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GraniteStater
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Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:24 am

Gray Fox wrote:IIRC the CSA player can move the capital to Atlanta if you do it early. However, it may then move to Richmond from the event. If you wait until the Union player threatens Richmond to move, then the default is Mobile.


It's May 64 & havi just moved it to Atlanta. FY.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Gray Fox
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Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:31 pm

If you find it exciting to clear the Mississippi and get one or two NM points for a few of the cities along the way, then do so. I don't find it boring to take Richmond and get 50 NM points all at once, or force the CSA to eat 10 NM and move the capital somewhere else. If the CSA can't defend Richmond from an elite army, then moving their capital won't change the eventual outcome. This may not end the war by itself, however, when one side loses 50 NM their base unit cohesion drops to about 50-60. In battle, these units will withdraw from a clap of thunder. This also reduces the production of all resources, money/men/metal, much more than a blockade would. From a cursory analysis, I believe that the CSA should have about 30 Divisions by the summer of '62, so their defeat will still require skill on the part of the Union player. However, the CSA cannot afford to build an elite army like the one I described.
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GraniteStater
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Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:19 pm

And if I can always win by playing e4 (P-K4) as White, then the game is dead and uninteresting entirely.

I don't think Ageod is in the business of designing and selling uninteresting games which do not present a challenge. If you have found a No Kidding, You Can Always Win This Way approach, congratulations.

Have you succeeded with this against someone who can think, is experienced with AACW/CW2 and is an acknowledged good player, particularly with the CSA?

No? Then I'm not convinced. When you've demonstrated that it has a very high assurance of victory against good CSA players, then I'll be impressed with the strategy.

If you have found an assured win, then my hearty congratulations, sincerely. I need to see some over the board results against a player who can think, though.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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GraniteStater
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Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:20 pm

And I want to be clear, GF: I think you're very imaginative and could be a very tough opponent. God knows, I don't come up with things like you have suggested here and in other threads.

I'm still working on scouting before you land, for heaven's sake.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





Image

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Gray Fox
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Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:18 pm

From my analysis, the Union player might have an overall advantage by the summer of 1862 of a whopping 6 Divisions. Not much to go on if you are the aggressor against Robert E. Lee. One obvious possibility is to make really good Divisions with really good artillery and put them in a really good army with all the right stuff. This addresses that possibility. Either you can make use of this or not.

P.S. I would keep it interesting and use the Sicilian Defense (c5).
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GraniteStater
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Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:32 pm

FYI, chess is a dead game, we just haven't found the corpse and may never do so. There's a theorem in game theory (theorem's are true, class, I don't want to see any posts about, 'It's just a theorem') that states any n by n open ended game has a winning strategy (this includes mixed strategies, I believe) for one side. Chess is such a game - the number of moves possible, the number of positions possible, though, is so huge, it almost assuredly won't be found - ever.

CW2 is not open ended, it has imperfect information.

Nonetheless, the analogy holds true - if you found some method to always beat the game, Athena or human, then it is not an interesting game anymore.

AFAIK, you haven't played PbeM yet. Let us know when you do.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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ArmChairGeneral
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Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Don't discount the experience of those of us who only play Athena. Human opponents are as capable of making mistakes and bad decisions as she is, just different ones.

I advocate a wait-and-see attitude to most sweeping strategic pronouncements (I have not successfully capitol-rushed yet for example but do not discount the possibility) and we definitely need data from SP and PBeM games to render a judgement. But if multiplayer wins are the litmus test for these boards then none of us SPers have any place posting here....

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GraniteStater
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Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:17 pm

A useful reminder, especially since I am more than capable of making colossal mistakes.

And the comparison between AI, especially Lt/Col and human could be interesting - the AI can have advantages that a human doesn't get, period. To some degree, they're different games, which is really perhaps closer to what my viewpoint is.

To some degree, I do think PbeM is the acid test for a strategy, but that's personal predilection more than anything else, although not without reason, imo.

After all, Athena doesn't do amphib that much and certain other 'obvious' things that humans can, and will, do.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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GraniteStater
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Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:51 am

But this is what can be disappointing about Athena:

I have a CSA LT game going. McDowell deliberately walks into Harper's Ferry, Athena knows I'm there, should know very well with the Detection bumped. McD walks in with a HQSupp unit and a bunch of Leaders and a Supply Wagon or two, IIRC. That's it.

Not pretty. A human would never do that, not even close.

Athena's pretty good for an AI, I don't mind SP in CW2 at all, but...

but...

humans are just a better opponent. The game is more 'entertaining", I would say. In significant ways I would say harder, too, although the AI being able to amass OMG numbers can be daunting. Essentially, though, that's the main challenge of LT/Colonel, let's say - more enemies who can recover more quickly and move faster, see you better, etc.

These don't obtain in PbeM - but the opponent can think.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





Image

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ArmChairGeneral
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Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:44 am

Yeah, one reason I rarely build wagons as the CSA is because I usually capture several from the AI, some in battle, (legit) some shuffling supply unescorted, (semi-legit) some just wandering aimlessly (not legit). I think she has a problem with "naked" army stacks that only have support units and wagons; I have noticed those in particular going weird places, doing weird things and getting themselves in trouble.

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