Red Alert 2 was a nice surprise.
Between the release of Tiberian Sun and Emperor: Battle for Dune, Westwood, quite out of the blue, announced the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed RTS games.
It turned out to be spectacular, and fans were not long after treated to news from Westwood that an expansion would be coming out, and would contain an entirely new side to boot!
Eagerly awaited, it finally arrived on shelves, and now that I have had the chance to play through it I can safely say that it is one solid expansion.
The title under scrutiny, Yuri’s Revenge, continues the story of alternate history begun in Red Alert 1, in which Einstein went back in time to kill Hitler and forever alter the balance of world power.
Red Alert 2 took the more serious tone of the first game and threw it out the window, instead of creating a corny but loveable game world that depicted every Cold War stereotype to the umpteenth degree.
Einstein was no longer an earnest, brilliant man, but rather an absolute loon.
Tanya was as voluptuous as ever, and the harebrained Alex Romanov had replaced the vicious Stalin as leader of the Soviet Union.
It seems appropriate then that Yuri’s Revenge focuses on the deranged psychic Yuri-arguably the coolest character in the series.
Yuri is back and his plans for world domination have been unveiled.
As the Allied Forces struggled against the expansionist Soviet Union, Yuri had been secretly constructing Psychic Dominators (big mind control devices) in key locations around the globe.
In the new allied campaign, one of them pops up out of the ground on Alcatraz Island.
The President declares war on Yuri’s forces and launches an assault on the Dominator.
The United States is thus spared, but the rest of the world comes under the mind control of Yuri.
Einstein just happened to have recently designed a time machine, however, and sends Agent Tanya back to prevent Yuri’s victory.
The Soviet campaign has the Reds going back in time to both stops Yuri and alter the course of the war against the Allies depicted in Red Alert 2.
Both of the new campaigns are satisfying if a little short.
Veteran players will have no difficulty completing them, but they are arguably more satisfying than the original campaigns.
For one, they take place in a variety of new locales, each one extremely detailed.
The map of Hollywood is brimming with personality, and even lets you take control of a few movie stars (shooting communist troops with Clint Eastwood is oh-so-satisfying).
Fighting takes place on the moon, complete with gravitational effects, and the Soviets even travel back to prehistoric times–forced to fend off stampeding dinosaurs.
The mission structure itself is a bit more elaborate in Yuri’s Revenge as well, requiring players to be more careful in their approach.
For instance, one mission in Sydney, Australia requires players to take over buildings to advance on Yuri’s position.
To accomplish this, I sent out fighter planes to level enemy-occupied structures, then had troops mop up the enemy.
Afterward, an engineer repaired the building and it was occupied by my troops.
This little game of cat-and-mouse was wholly satisfying and could have been approached in a variety of ways depending on the player’s style.
You may be asking yourself, “What?
Only two campaigns?
I thought there was a new side?”
My answer would be “Chill!”
The armies of Yuri, the third side introduced into the series, is playable in skirmish and multiplayer (insert groans here https://warpath.guide/).
I have to agree with the designers’ decision on this matter.
As they explained on the Westwood website, they wanted Yuri to be a seemingly unstoppable villain.
Granted, leading a villain to world domination is always fun, but towards the end of the game, I absolutely hated Yuri and could not wait to crush him once and for all.
I gather this is the emotion the designers want to evince in players.
After about a dozen threats and scalding remarks from Yuri, you’ll feel like dipping your arms into the monitor and wringing his neck.
His mind slave my foot!
Luckily, Yuri’s army is nicely balanced with the two existing sides and is an absolute pleasure to play.
Being a master of mind control, Yuri depends on psychic units to form the backbone of his assaults.
To that end, Yuri can create clones of himself to control enemy units and can even construct a gigantic brain on wheels, called the Master Mind, that assimilates all units in its path (when you see one of these approaching, run).
Even his method of collecting resources shows off his love of enslaving people.
Large transports drop off helpless drones to dig up the gold.
Destroying one of this transports-free of its mind slaves, of course–breaks the psychic grip.
You’ll watch in glee as they yell, “I’m free!” and start attacking with their shovels-consequently getting wasted rather quickly.
To deal with the mechanized might of the Allies and Soviets, Yuri can construct Lasher Tanks, the equivalent of the Soviet Rhino, as well as Gattling Tanks, which can fire .50-caliber rounds at ground and air targets.
In terms of air and sea power, Floating Discs (think UFOs) can hover above power plants or defensive structures and basically switch them off.
The Boomer Submarine is capable of attacking both sea and ground targets, making it a formidable weapon.
A very cool Yuri structure is the Grinder, which can actually dispose of unwanted infantry, turning them into raw materials to fund your war effort.
Fortunately, fans of the Allies and Soviets have not been forgotten.
Each side has 5 new additions to be exact, and each one does a good job of addressing the respective side’s weaknesses.
I’ll let you play the game to discover them all, but two of the best additions are the Allied Robot Control Center–which allows you to build Robot Tanks impervious to Yuri’s mind control schemes–and Boris, a Soviet hero that can snipe enemy units in addition to laser designating buildings for attack by MiG fighters.
Being a hero of the Soviet Union has its perks.
Yuri’s Revenge also sports a host of gameplay tweaks that are spelled out in the manual, as well as a new multiplayer mode, Team Alliance, which puts allies very close together on specially made maps.
But the most significant improvement is in the game’s skirmish mode.
The AI is much stronger, and playing hard this time around will put players’ skills to the test, as the AI will build a strong defense and continually assault your base.
Medium difficulty is still a little easy if you play the AI one on one.
But pit two or more AI teams against you and it will take some effort to win.
Being that Yuri is only playable in multiplayer or skirmish mode, this improvement is extremely important.
Look, if you liked Red Alert 2, you don’t want to be without Yuri’s Revenge.
The new campaigns are fun and creative, the skirmish mode is much more enjoyable, and the new units and structures are all rock solid.
In my estimation, if you are going to be a gaming slave, you might as well serve Yuri-it’s a blast!…
Everyone has an opinion on why their favorite hobby is the best. But for those who are looking for a new pastime, knitting may be just the ticket. There are some great reasons to give knitting a try.
Knitting is Easy to Learn
Anyone from young children to the elderly can learn to knit. You can have a knitting friend or family member teach you, get a book out of the library, or watch learn to knit tutorials online. Whatever learning style works best for you, there is a way to learn knitting.
Knitting only requires two basic stitches, knit and purl. Once you have mastered those, you can make anything you want. Cables, lace and color patterns are all variations on the simple knit and purl stitches.
Knitting can be Inexpensive
If you have extra spending money and a taste for fine materials like cashmere, you can spend a good deal on yarn, but even those with limited funds can afford to knit.
Yarn stores, craft stores and many department stores sell yarn. Often, huge balls of inexpensive acrylic yarn can be had for only a few dollars. If you like fine yarns but are on a tight budget, yarn stores often have discount bins where you can find unpopular colors or discontinued yarns for a cheap price.
Other than yarn, you don't need many supplies to get started knitting. A pair or two of inexpensive needles and you are ready to knit!
Knitting is a Portable Hobby
In addition to being able to find knitting supplies in many places, knitting can also go many places. My knitting has accompanied me in countless waiting rooms, meetings and even to the hospital when I had my children. Small knitting projects, like hats, scarfs and mittens are easy to tuck into a purse or backpack and take along wherever you go.
I generally take easy projects that don't require any counting or concentration when I'm knitting in public or while watching television, and save complicated cables for when my children are sleeping and I can give my knitting all of my focus.
Make Things for Yourself and Others
Nothing shows love in quite the same way as a handmade gift. People generally love knowing that a garment or accessory was made just for them. You can also make items exactly to your own specifications, which is one of my favorite things about knitting. For example, I love fingerless gloves. However, I'm fussy about just how I like them. I like neutral colors, washable yarn, and for gloves to be long in the arm and short on the hand. It's very difficult to find these type of gloves in stores, but I can easily make my own in a night or two.
Knitting allows you to customize items in exactly the way you want, which can be a big plus, especially if you are a hard to fit size or have particular standards in mind for clothes or accessories.
There are many benefits to choosing knitting as a hobby. If you're looking for a versatile hobby that is portable, inexpensive and easy to learn, give knitting a try.…
No matter how different they are, most hobbies have one thing in common – they require a ton of supplies or gear. Whether you are a photographer or a quilter, you need to figure out a great way to organize your hobby supplies. Organized hobbyists protect their investment by keeping gear and other stuff from being ruined and save money because they don’t have to go buy a duplicate of a misplaced item. They also get more enjoyment from their hobbies when they don’t have to root around in a jumbled mess for the things they need to use.
Set Up a Hobby Supply Area
Depending on your hobby, your supply area can be as small as one plastic storage bin or as large as a garage. The important thing is having an area where you can put all of your hobby equipment. I have what was a pantry before the kitchen was moved to the other side of the house back in the 1950’s as a mixed media studio supply closet. All of my supplies fit into that space or into the studio area set up directly outside the closet. I also have a one car garage sized space for my photography equipment and studio. My quilting and needlework stuff fits into half of a small chest of drawers. The important thing about all of these spaces is that all of my equipment, supplies and even my instructional books and DVDs for each of these pursuits are stowed together. I don’t need to spend half a day hunting through every room in the house if I need a filter for my camera lens or a large embroidery needle so I can embellish a tea towel.
Make a Decision About an Organizational System and Stick to It
An organizational system with pieces that belong together looks neat and streamlined. Twenty pieces from twenty different organizational systems look like a yard sale gone horribly wrong. Choosing one system and sticking to it will help you keep things looking nice. Of course, if you can’t afford to buy ten wheeled carts, fifteen baskets and five sets of drawers all at the same time, it can be a lot harder to do so.
If you buy storage as it goes on clearance or as you come across something inexpensive, but functional, you can still get a cohesive look for your storage. Stow rolling carts under a table or counter and hang a curtain in front of them or stick hodge podge containers into a closet or cupboard. Since the odd items are out of sight, everything will look as though it goes together at first glance.
Label Everything to Keep Hobby Supplies Organized
Label makers are a great tool for hobbyists. Putting labels on every container that list the contents means that a search for items doesn’t need to involve opening every single container in the storage area. Make sure labels stay up to date so the system doesn’t lose its effectiveness.
While it can be tough to keep supplies for some hobbies organized, there are a vast number of hobby storage options available that try to help hobbyists keep them as neat and tidy as possible. Look around and experiment with different systems and soon your hobby area will be as organized as a library book shelf.…
What car should I buy for a beginner?
There are several cars you can start with, starting with an economical small car towing a light trailer behind a truck.
It is best to find at least two cars that are affordable and will get you on the road.
Once you know how safe a car is to drive, you can work your way up to a more powerful sports car.
The type of car you should buy depends on your style of driving, safety concerns, your wallet, and your needs as a driver.
When you consider what cars to buy for a beginner, the first thing you need to consider is the safety rating of the vehicle.
Is it worth buying or should you stay away?
How safe is it?
This question is most important when it comes to four-door sedans.
If the car has a low rating, it may not be worth buying, especially if the car will be used for transporting children.
A safe driver can get good grades in school, but that doesn’t mean you can take your car out on the highway without knowing how to drive it.
In fact, some people who are involved in an accident don’t even know how to fix their cars.
That is why it is so important to purchase a safe car.
There are so many different makes and models available on the market today that finding one that has been well maintained can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.
Before you even begin thinking about what car to buy for a beginner, you want to think about what level of driving you plan to do.
Are you just learning to drive for pleasure or do you have a goal of becoming a safe, dependable driver?
Even if you want to become a safe driver, you can start by selecting a safe car from the beginning.
This is a great way to begin learning how to drive because you won’t have to worry about losing money if you get into an accident or have an accident that costs you lots of money.
The first and best thing you need to do is find out how safe the car you want to purchase is before you even begin looking.
You should first try to find out how much damage each vehicle has been through.
In most cases, vehicles that are sold for cheap are known to be unsafe because they have been abused.
Ask friends or family members if they can recommend any reliable dealers who sell cars for cheap.
If you don’t have anyone who can give you advice [click here] you can always check online to see what other people have said about various dealers.
Another way to find out about the safety of a particular car is to ask around your community.
People living around you will be able to tell you if a car is safe to drive or not.
Of course, you have to take their word for it, but it’s a good idea to ask around.
What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?
It would also be a great idea to find out from your local police force if they know of any reliable dealers in your area.
Ask them for advice.
What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?
If you are new to driving, you should get a vehicle that has a high safety ranking.
High-ranking cars are known to have a reduced chance of having accidents, which means that they are less likely to cost you a lot of money in repairs.
Now that you have found out what car should I buy for a beginner, you should make sure that you are ready to go out and drive it.
You never know when you might have an accident, and it would be horrible if you had an accident while on your first trip with your new car.
You never know when something may happen that could have unforeseen consequences.
That is why it is important to make sure that you are insured because if you get into an accident without insurance, you could owe a lot of money and be unable to get any money to fix the car.…
You might have been saving zippers to sew into other garments, if those zippers go bad, but sewing zippers into clothing isn’t the only way to reuse them. Cut zippers up and use them in an unusual way to make embellishments for fashions and home decorating projects, rosettes for crafting, and other fanciful items. If you already have zippers, you won’t pay a penny for the rosettes, which can be used in many different ways.
Unzip a zipper and cut it, straight across, to remove the zipper pull, and to separate the two sides of the zipper. Since each piece has fabric stitched to it, it’s necessary to remove the cloth. Cut the stitches to remove the biggest part of it; use a lighter to burn off the rest. Remember to hold the zipper with a potholder because the zipper will get hot as you burn the fabric off.
When all of the cloth is off of the zipper it’s the easiest thing to turn it into a rosette. Simply lay it flat on a table and begin winding it around itself. Hold one end down, and wrap the other end around and around the stationary end. You’ll make a flat circle of zipper teeth, which is metallic and lovely. If you want the rosette to be larger than it is when you finish wrapping, use a dot of hot glue to hold the end in place, and start wrapping another zipper-half around it.
The rosette you make is a flat one but you can give it dimension by making another one on top of it. The top rosette should be a bit smaller than the bottom one. Add another rosette, and another, to create the depth that you want; make each rosette smaller than the previous one.
The zipper rosette will be easiest to attach if you glue a piece of cloth or felt to the bottom of it. Glue the finished flower to a purse, a garment, a lampshade, a mirror or picture frame corner, or even a hat. Attach it to a piece of fabric to make a curtain tie-back, or make a large zipper rosette, and turn it into a coaster.
Don’t like the metallic color of the rosette? Paint it! You can easily spray paint the zipper before you start, or paint the rosette when you’re finished. That gives you many options for coordinating colors on your fashions, or for your home decorating.
With close to 500 million users, and counting, Instagram is slowly becoming a leading social media site, and we will try to help you get your first followers.
Simplicity is a major part of success when it comes to Instagram, and as we live in the society where information overload is a normal thing scrolling through the pictures with short captions seems like a perfect combination.
Both major and minor brands are trying to capitalize on this fast rise, so you should consider start to buy followers for instagram and avoid missing out on this opportunity.
In the next few paragraphs, we will lay down a roadmap and try to explain how to get free instagram likes daily, whether you manage your personal or professional Instagram profile.
1. Figure out your strategy
Before going any further, you should answer these few questions.
What is your end goal on Instagram?
Creating a community of regular paying customers on you web page from followers while providing good service. This is a top priority!
How will your Instagram page affect your business?
Your best bet is to have few established Instagram users in your niche promoting your product in exchange for money or free stuff. This way, you can bring traffic to you web page fast and have a better conversion.
What are you going to offer to your followers?
Ask questions, research, ask your peers what kind of content would they like to see from you. Check what hashtags are your followers using and use them in your posts only if they are relevant, you don’t want to annoy them.
After you got this down, you are ready to move on.
2. Setting up your Instagram profile.
This one is pretty straight forward. You just need to fill some basic info and add your profile picture.
You should consider an image that is representing your product or your brand. Logo of your company is always a good solution.
If you are not an established brand already, then you need to utilize this feature as much as possible. Make it sound natural and positive; you can also use symbols.
Link to your web page.
If you use Instagram for business, then this one is really important. Add your web page address at the end of your bio. This will give your followers a chance to buy your product and turn them into your customers. Make sure that your web page is mobile friendly; most of the Instagram users are on their mobile phones.
3. Setting up your content plan.
Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators like shares, comments, likes) are essential. Set them and use them to track your progress.
Your next step should be schedule for content uploading. There are various apps that can help you with this like ScheduGram or Simply Measured.
Choose pictures that you are about to post very carefully. Use only pictures that are related to your brand and your brand’s story. Make sure that quality of a picture, description and hashtags are all on point.
When it comes to effectiveness, you should consider this:
Posting beautiful images with a powerful message can bring you a lot of exposure as people tend to react to the images that trigger emotions.
Some of the biggest brands in the world are using this technique and investing money in the production of their photos so they can use the power of visual storytelling to their advantage.
Reactive storytelling is a great way of sparking conversation because when businesses use this technique, they can leverage a human truth or insight to generate instant feedback. This includes a cultural action, a brand relevant action or a niche action.
One of the best ways to create a viral buzz is to trigger a strong emotional response. If you can achieve this, there is a big chance that you are going to see more shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
You should start by preparing ten images; this will be enough for the next three to four days, depends on how you spread them.
A Track Maven released a report suggesting that major brands are getting thirty-seven likes and comments per thousand followers. That’s 3.7 reactions for every hundred followers you make.
4. Build relationships with influencing people
There are places where you can get exposure and more followers like FreeInstagramFollowersNow.com, but there are people that have a big influence, and they are available only through direct contact. You can offer them free promotional stuff for shares, or pay them for the shoutout.
Instagram Direct is probably the best way for you to get in touch with the person who can help you promoting your product. It is private so you can send your offer that only influencer and you can see.
5. Manage your profile
With you profile, your connections and followers in place, it is time to manage your account. You can find a lot of very useful applications that can give you a better overview of your activities and activities on your account and also give you statistic and charts. Always have content ready for deployment and use the schedule as much as possible, it will make your life a lot easier.
By now we hope that you realize how easy it is to have a successful Instagram page. Visual content is in high demand, and millions of users are already making a good use of it. Just remember to be clear with your ideas and always be in contact with your followers and respect them so you can see your brand grow and flourish.
Make sure to connect your Instagram page to your other social media accounts. This way you will be able to spread your brand and reach more people.
Leave your comments below and let us know if you had any success with the roadmap that we laid out for you, and how you managed to push your Instagram campaign to the next level.…
Set a night of the week that everyone will be home and available. Plan your family night for this night.
Tell each family member and post it on the refrigerator, calendar and anywhere else that you can think of that will help remind everyone.
Decide your plans for family night. Do you want to play games, go somewhere else, see a movie or something else creative. There are some tips and ideas at the end of this article.
Do any shopping that is needed for that night prior to the scheduled night. This will reduce the stress on you.
On the planned day be sure to remind everyone that that night is family night and what time it is planned for.
Enjoy the night with your family and have lots of fun.
TIPS AND IDEAS
For each family night, choose a different family member and make on of their favorite meals.
Choose games that everyone enjoys. Some popular games are Monopoly, Uno, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. If you don’t have any games you can do several things to get some. Go to www.freecycle.org and sign up. Once signed up post a wanted ad for games and activities. Search at garage sales and thrift stores. You would be surprised what you can find in these places. If all else fails, and you can afford it, go to the store and purchase new ones.
Family night doesn’t have to be indoors or about games. You can take it outside or anywhere. Go to the park, play volleyball, go swimming, go to a museum, go to a movie, etc.
Make sure that everyone feels included. This will make family night much easier on you and more exciting for everyone else.
Try to do something different each night. Don’t tell everyone what activities you have planned. This will heighten the enjoyment and anticipation. Repeating the same activity will bore them and discourage everyone from wanting to do it again.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect night. This will discourage you from wanting to plan and do this again. Remember this is supposed to be fun. Things happen and it is OK. Just pick it up and try again.
If you have little children, plan many different things. Remember that young children have a smaller attention span and will lose interest quickly.
Ideas for young children could be anything such as reading books, playing with blocks or legos, coloring, doing crafts (also good for older children as well), watching a movie, playing outside, going to the park, etc.
Remember that family night is not about what you do. It is about being together as a family and enjoying each others company and time.
If it doesn’t go great the first time, don’t give up. Use this time as an example and change the way you do things and what you plan for the next time.
Once you start having weekly family nights, sit down at the end of each one and ask for suggestions for other family nights. This helps everyone feel involved and helps you come up with new ideas.
Try having a themed night. This could include Hawaiian night, pajama party, camping or whatever else you can think of. This makes things fun and exciting and you can come up with some pretty creative stuff to do.
Have a night where you all make the meal together or instead of making a meal, everyone makes their favorite snack. (It’s OK to do this every once in a while.)
I hope these ideas have helped you come up with some activities and a great way to plan your family night. Enjoy your family and the time you have together.…