Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-03-31 11:50pm

Honestly I have never held much interest in Michigan as a whole apart from gaining a vague understanding of why Detroit is the butt of so many jokes.

Hmm, I shall have to ponder which enemy I wish to fight I suppose.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-04-01 04:44am

In regards to Detroit... the key thing to know is that there's tremendous wealth of minerals and natural resources on and around Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Including some minerals that are genuinely rare (especially copper). And in our setting, just about the only practical way to move those resources around the continent on a large scale is by water. Conversely, if you want to ship manufactured goods to buyers far inland, moving them over water on the Great Lakes is among the best ways to do it. Therefore, there is an immense level of shipping traffic on the Lakes- easily many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ships operating on the Lakes, I would expect.

And a large fraction of all that commerce, including all the long-range commerce that passes between the Upper Lakes* and my empire, or yours, or the Atlantic in general... all goes past Detroit. Detroit is also one of the best places along the river it was built beside to have docks and shipyards, since there is a favorable navigation channel passing close to the riverbank. This gives Detroit an extremely strong strategic position.

*(Superior and Michigan, which flow into Lake Huron, form the Upper Lakes. The water then flows past Detroit along the Detroit River, through Lakes Erie and Ontario, and out the St. Lawrence through your territory)
___________________

Historically, Detroit was founded by the French as a fort to control travel by the natives and to prevent the British from sending expeditions in small boats into the "upper lakes" (Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior). Because at that time the dominant form of commerce in inland North America was the fur trade; the British already had a strong fur trade via Hudson Bay, and it would have been made vastly stronger if they started making inroads on the Great Lakes fur trade too. By holding Detroit, the French secured their access to many of the fur-trapping native tribes, blocked British access, and ensured that they could mobilize and move forces around on the Lakes more or less at will.

It was established at a time when there were almost no other European settlements within hundreds of miles, and for a long time was about as far out into the wilderness as Europeans ever traveled- because except in winter, the ability to travel by boat or small ship across Lake Erie meant that it wasn't "really" as isolated as pure distance would make you think.

There was intense (if small scale) fighting over Detroit and the surrounding area during the Seven Years' War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, precisely because whoever controlled Detroit had the means to strike at large areas of the continental interior by water. They could round up a few friends and a couple of hundred natives, hop in a bunch of canoes and sailboats, and go pretty much wherever they wanted on the Great Lakes, or (with a few short portages) into the Mississippi River valley. Raiders based out of Detroit could easily hit frontier targets hundreds of miles away. Conversely, the very profitable fur trade on the Lakes depended entirely on control of Detroit, as discussed earlier.
___________________

In our setting, of course, North America past the coastal belt isn't a howling wilderness. It's an interesting exercise to work out what the area would look like in terms of development and infrastructure. Owning Detroit here isn't an automatic license to mess with people far away, because even if you did have a big fleet based there, as soon as you try to send it to attack someone you'll run into shore defenses and organized armies capable of fighting back against a raid and so on. On the other hand, the level of trade and commercial activity is much higher on the Great Lakes than at any time historically prior to, oh, the late 1800s... and at that time in real life, a lot of the trade was on fast-moving, resilient steamships. Here, it's all going to be sail and oar-powered, which makes having a harbor you can stop in every couple of weeks more important... which in turn makes Detroit important.

It's all kind of complicated, and the net result is that:

1) This is a place the Ohioans have an incentive to seize, especially since at the moment their biggest strategic problem is that they've expanded to touch the Great Lakes in two different places and lack the ability to use one foothold to support the other, because transportation between the two places is difficult, because the Detroiters want it to be hard for Ohio to maintain a foothold in the Upper Lakes.
2) This is a place the Ohioans definitely wanted to lay diplomatic groundwork with, talking to the other major powers most likely to take an interest in the city's fate, which you may recall that they did, and
3) Detroit, even as an independent city-state, has enough economic power that it won't be a military pushover, even aside from whatever weirdness the city's wizards can whip up.

The terrain around the city is also... kind of awkward for a military offensive. I'm going to talk to some friends about that in the near future.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Raw Shark » 2016-04-01 09:00am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Honestly I have never held much interest in Michigan as a whole apart from gaining a vague understanding of why Detroit is the butt of so many jokes.
OTL Detroit is the butt of so many jokes mostly because it's the most thoroughly-failed and abandoned city in the USA. It's the only one that has ever grown to more than a million citizens, and then dropped below that number, and they're in the process of bulldozing about a quarter of it just so they won't have to deal with it.

Michigan-related humor also includes the Upper Peninsula (aka: Da Yoop). I'm pretty familiar with it second-hand, because one of my long-term exes hailed from it, but will refrain from attempting to explain that shit-show except to display the following, which I really can't top:


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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-05-10 09:53pm

Michigan is proof positive that not all rednecks are from the South.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-11 01:44am

Oh hi!

While this game appears to have gone dormant, I for one never ran out of ideas and even have some partial drafts going.

Feel like joining? And should I call you Daniel, by the way? ;)
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-05-11 02:09am

Simon_Jester wrote:Oh hi!

While this game appears to have gone dormant, I for one never ran out of ideas and even have some partial drafts going.

Feel like joining? And should I call you Daniel, by the way? ;)

Well, I don't look like an Adele, that's for sure. :P

I'll get back to you on joining up. I'll have to read through the whole rules and story threads, before I decide.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2016-05-11 02:56am

I figured, due to lack of participation (and yes, I'm guilty there too) that this had gone dead, but if people want to start it up again, I'm game.

I've pretty much given up on trying to keep any kind of schedule, and if we kept the old rules on that I think we'd probably have to boot everyone out now, so... I guess anything's fair game.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by madd0ct0r » 2016-05-11 04:31am

Ive got a few drafts i never posted. Would be quite happy to start playing again
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Esquire » 2016-05-12 03:42pm

Same here - I've been ridiculously busy these last couple months, but things should slow down enough for more writing.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-12 07:15pm

Posted a bit piece I've had a draft of for a few weeks. This is intended for the siege of Detroit. Esquire, thanks for the live oak. E_F, thanks for the guns, they reduce the displacement of the Voix du Roi-class by quite a bit.

Runic needlepoint is so very typical of Ohioan magic, by the way.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-05-12 07:22pm

Good to see the guns will be getting some good use :)
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-12 10:11pm

Image
Voix du Roi-class floating battery (600 pts)
Displacement: ~1800 tons*
Length: 153 ft.
Beam: 58 ft.
Draft: 9 ft.*
Propulsion: Hybrid sail/perpetual motion; 8x 12hp impeller, twin-masted lateen sail
Speed: 4.5 knots
Armament: 20 24pdr (2 chase on bow and stern, 8 per broadside)
Protection: Reinforced hardwood hull ~5 ft. thick, much of it Turkish live oak, backed with runic cotton blankets that act as fire suppressant and spall liner.

Three ships of the type commissioning in the early summer of 224: Voix du Roi, Souverein des Lacs, and Tonnant with no plans to build more in the near future.

*Displacement not formally calculated. I may be overestimating, or underestimating.
_____________________________

[Errata, Lt. Leroy aboard Souverein des Lacs refers to one of the sister ships as Thunderer. Thundering would be more accurate, as I understand it.]
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-05-12 11:43pm

I thought you guys bought Orion's heavier guns, the 36 pounders?

Hell, if I'd known you were going for floating-battery weapons I might even have offered some of the 120-pounder monsters used by my Siege Regiment.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-13 12:48am

The Ohioans purchased a uniform caliber, I believe 24pdrs, for the sake of uniformity. I looked it up rather quickly and in passing, so I may have misremembered. It was intended that at least some of the guns be operated on land, or at least the option should be available. I may have thought "24pdr or 36pdr" and deemed the 36pdr excessive; I do not now recall.

By Ohioan standards (their navy is a large fish in a relatively small pond), 24pdr artillery IS a heavy naval gun caliber, and should be adequate to the tasks the Voix du Roi-class timberclads are intended for.

Those big ten-inch siege guns of yours, by contrast, would not work out well with the design. They're too heavy to be easily handled without shell hoists or sorcery, and Ohio didn't actually purchase your mass-altered ammunition or powder. And it's entirely possible that the recoil would be enough to cause progressive hull damage; I'm not sure.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-05-13 10:44am

Good points. Perhaps I should consider refitting some of my sloops with one 120-pounder as a bow chaser, to give them a mighty anti-ship punch. Hmmm.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-13 05:17pm

That's not really a good idea, in my opinion.

For one, even with magic weight reduction to the tune of 30-40% of base mass, a 120pdr cannon weighs something like three tons; that's a lot of weight to put in the bow of a ship. Especially a small one.

For another, your sloops are sailing ships, and because of their small size they are relatively lightly built ones. To bring a bow gun to bear, they have to sail directly towards their target. Depending on the geometry of the engagement and who has the weather gauge that may not even be possible, and it will severely constrain the sloop's maneuver options. If you try to turn a sailing ship in the wrong direction, it can stall out and be a sitting target for multiple enemy broadsides- because you have crossed your own T.

So while you busily punch one or two very large holes in the enemy with that chase weapon, they punch dozens of holes in your ship, ripping it apart lengthwise and gutting it.

The only time superheavy chase armament makes sense is if:
1) Your ship has an armored bow that can laugh off enemy gunfire (e.g. many 19th century ironclads)
2) Your ship is so fast and low-slung that it can reliably close with the enemy at great speed and evade enemy fire (e.g. a steam-powered ram, both ironclad and otherwise)
3) Your ship is explicitly chasing an enemy that is running away, or firing at a pursuer, and has to inflict the maximum possible damage with a very limited number of guns. Since the most interesting kind of harm you can inflict in a chase is rigging damage, and a thirty-two pound cannonball will take down a mast as reliably as one four times as heavy... I don't see the point, myself.
_________________________________

Also, Maddoc... out of curiosity, who lives to the south of you? What kind of people are they, what do they do economically and socially?
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by madd0ct0r » 2016-05-13 05:59pm

Well carronades were a thing. It makes sense if you want to close to board
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-05-13 06:23pm

Carronades are 40 odd years ahead of this setting sadly, otherwise I'd mount similarly upsized versions on my forecastles and poops.

Simon: Oh well. You just keep on ruining my fun don't ya :D
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-14 01:53am

Sorry.

I guess what it comes down to is that a lot of the joy and glory of portraying this stuff comes from understanding it. People fought as they did and operated as they did for reasons, and understanding the reasons is what makes their actions have that depth and verve"bl rather than just being dry "blah blah big guns."

It's like, I've thought for a while that maybe part of what makes your artillery and overall military technology special isn't just magically lighter guns, it's guns that are more resistant to corrosion, that don't overheat as readily, all sorts of the little things that make the difference between a good RP and a poor one. Artillery is clearly a thematic part of Orion civilization and its response to the supernatural... but 'good artillery' can take many forms, you know?
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-05-14 01:59am

Oh I'm not really complaining, in fact it's quite useful to have someone explain why an idea isn't as sound as it first seemed in my head. While I've read a fair amount on the subject it doesn't always come into play when I think "wouldn't this be neat?"

You make good points about Orion artillery being "better" in ways other than just lighter/more powerful, things I hadn't considered, so please don't let my token complaints stop you from pointing out why it's a less than sensible idea at times.

Also, I find it hilarious that "forge bigger artillery" is considered part of Orion's response to the supernatural. It's very DOOM-esque really, like that Terry Pratchett quote about how it wasn't until Doom came along that we thought a shotgun might be more effective than prayer or holy water when fighting demons.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-14 01:14pm

While there ARE things in the world that it makes more sense to hit with a thirty-pound cannonball than a thirty-pound one, they are not common. The incentive to build extremely large cannon mostly came from a few specific sources.

On the one hand, old-style hooped bombards can't handle much chamber pressure, so you need really big cannonballs to get the impact needed to take apart structures.

On the other hand, with the rise of explosive shells, you start getting really noticeable benefits out of larger-diameter rounds fired from a gun in the same situation- not just because of the bigger 'kaboom,' but because it's easier to make a large diameter shell than a small one (especially with 19th century technology). There are a lot of reasons the Paixhans gun, as the first high-velocity naval gun compatible with explosive ammunition, fired thirty-kilo shells.

With round shot fired from well made guns, it doesn't usually make very much difference, simply because a high speed cannonball a few dozen pounds in weight isn't likely to hit anything tough enough to stop without being seriously damaged. This isn't the Victorian naval arms race with warships routinely being armored against small-caliber gunfire, forcing escalation in caliber to allow the shells to penetrate. If the gun's going to punch holes in the target anyway, how big the holes are often won't matter.

You recover some of the advantage of superguns with big, short-barreled pieces designed to fire broad arcs of grapeshot, but that has limitations too (having to quadruple the weight of shot to double the effective range or lethality of the pattern fire, plus at some point a gun loaded with canister will kill virtually everyone in front of it and making it bigger doesn't really help).
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by madd0ct0r » 2016-05-15 05:58am

What's the range difference between the 24 pounder and the 36 pounder?
The Orion sloops might be just about bombarding shore defenses (for island empires in the south), with the logic that a cross mounted cannon puts a lot more roll and stress on the ship hull.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2016-05-15 10:17am

The range differences tend to be relatively minimal for practical purposes because what matters is accurate range. Virtually all smoothbore cannon can fire out to far beyond their own accurate range, and you have to really dial down the muzzle velocity before that ceases to be true.

When bombarding a fortress with wildly inaccurate weapons, you still hit the fortress, of course- but just beating on a shore fortress with round shot is a losing proposition. It's made out of rocks and dirt, you're made out of wood. Even if they don't do anything cunning like start lobbing heated shot at you to set your ship on fire, you're still likely to lose a pounding match at long range, because you cannot sink an island and the island can totally sink you.

So what really matters is being able to sail up to close range (which puts you in danger of running aground if you don't know the waters) and deliver accurate gunfire to knock out the actual gun emplacements themselves. Thing is, doing this on a sailing ship with bow guns is difficult because you don't have absolute control over which way your ship is allowed to move. You can't just say "I want to park the ship two hundred meters fromt he coast, pointing THAT way," and get there in a timely manner, unless the wind happens to be blowing in a direction that helps you do that.

[Side note, there are probably Orions agitating for the metric system, even if nobody actually uses it. :D ]

If battering down fortifications with cannon-armed sailing ships were easy, I wouldn't have been forced to resort to filling the hold of my Voix du Rois with X hundred tons of runic perpetual-motion clockwork to make them capable of doing their jobs.
_______________

As to the doctrinal aspect, dedicated light warships intended for siege bombardment in this era tended to be armed with mortars, which had major advantages over conventional direct fire cannon (such as being able to lob exploding shells). These are called "bomb ketches." Ohio has a squadron and gets good use out of them (most of the rest of the Ohioan navy on the Great Lakes is actually oared galleys). Orion no doubt has similar ships.

But most 'sloops' are simply lightly armed ships of war, equipped with, oh, 12-30 cannons instead of the 30-50 you find on a frigate or the 60+ on a "man of war." Sloops are absolutely indispensible for things like antipiracy work, enacting reliable blockades of hostile ports, ensuring that messages are delivered efficiently in enemy-infested waters, and providing a dense and reliable overall network of patrols and naval presence throughout the seas your fleet occupies. They are generalist vessels deigned to perform a wide variety of tasks, and optimizing them for the relatively rare task of siege warfare is counterproductive, especially when sieges by nature take time and it's easy to bring up dedicated bombardment vessels should they be needed.

But even though there was really nothing stopping people from building light sailing ships with (comparatively) huge-ass bow cannon, nobody actually did that much, which suggests it was probably not a good idea.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2016-05-15 01:29pm

Indeed. Orion sloops are used the same way the Nelson-era RN used them, patrol, escort, scouting etc.

The difference is that my sloops have enough firepower to stand up to a RL frigate, but that's an odd quirk of my mage tech not any doctrinal change. While they can stand against frigates they aren't meant to, just how my frigates can theoretically stand against a RL 74-gun 3rd rate, they aren't meant to and that's only something to do if there is no other choice.

And yes, Orion does have some bomb kettches for shore bombardment.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Esquire » 2016-05-23 06:40pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Esquire, thanks for the live oak.
You're very welcome.

Anyways: wow, what a crappy couple of weeks - hopefully the madness is over and I can get back to something resembling a regular writing schedule. There was talk of a partition of Texas, are people still interested in that?
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