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Posted on Oct 29, 2008 in Stuff We Like

From Ancient Rome to Afghanistan – Top Forum Discussions

By Jason St. Just

The Roman Empire vs. the Han Dynasty? Speculation on this hypothetical clash is one of the hottest topics on Armchair General’s forums. Other subjects generating lots of discussion include the most decisive Napoleonic battle and the future of Afghanistan. The ACG Searchlight illuminates the shadow world of spies and espionage in this week’s forum wrap-up.

Hot from the Armchair General Frontlines
Most decisive battles of the Napoleonic Era
After the great success of the Most Decisive Battles tournament last month, the tournament debate is rising to a brand-new level, this time in the era of Napoleon. Out of a pre-selection of 75 battles fought between the years 1792 and 1815, only 24 still remain. The bayonets have been fixed to determine which one will be the most decisive. Round 1 has already started and the field of battle is now yours to win or to lose. High time to join the melee!


Roman Empire vs Han Dynasty: Two Ancient Superpowers Collide!
Two terrific armies of the Ancient Age oppose each other in the Warfare Through the Ages forum: Rome vs. the Chinese Han Dynasty. Who would win this imaginative onslaught, East or West? The weapons, cavalry, manpower and even such factors as the numbers of stragglers and desertions of both armies travelling to oppose each other are part of the discussion. Currently, the Romans have a tiny lead. Who knows, maybe you can turn the tide?

Chorus of failure grows ever louder over Afghanistan
Our members in the Current Events forum are pondering the future of Afghanistan. The increasing international resentment against the troops involved in safeguarding the new democratic government there is the subject of some lively debates. It seems that the Taliban still has a lot influence, like a six-headed hydra that grows a new head every time one is cut off. Members point to the Anglo-Afghan wars in the 19th century and the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s, and they wonder if this will not be the fate of Western forces today: an ultimate failure …

ACG Searchlight!
When someone mentions the word “spy,” James Bond immediately pops up in many minds. This fictional character, invented by Ian Fleming and franchised to death by Hollywood, is most famously recognized for his numerous action-packed missions, his ultra-modern gadgets that always seem to help him out of a tight spot, and the many beautiful women who are attracted to him like a needle to a magnet. The life of a real spy is far less “romantic” and much more tedious, but a secret agent who is unmasked in a foreign country runs the risk of being deported, imprisoned and even executed. And there are no secret toys to get spies out of this situation!

Espionage has been used through all ages and civilizations. Sun Tzu, the great military theorist, championed the art of deception and subversion in his “Art of War.” In feudal Japan ninjas were used to gather all kinds of useful intelligence. Francis Walsingham is considered to be the spymaster and king of intrigue in Elizabethan England, successfully uncovering numerous plots against the Virgin Queen. During World War I, Mata Hari gained lasting fame for using her charms in her role as double agent, ultimately paying the highest price for it. During the Cold War the use of intelligence, counterintelligence and espionage was greatly sophisticated as the US and the USSR attempted to gain the most influence over the globe. Today, intelligence services around the world focus on the war against terrorism.

The intelligence gleaned through espionage is of utmost importance to nations. In many ways, it is worth 10,000 men on the battlefield, for it has been able to tip the scales in war many times. Even in times of peace, it can be valuable when making coalitions and treaties.

ACG is proud to have its own Black Room, better known as “Spy Wars” in the Wars and Warfare forum. The espionage discussions there center around the various methods of deception, sabotage, intelligence and counter-intelligence used throughout history. Beware, however – you never know who’s watching!!!

To contribute your thoughts on the forums, you will need to register (no charge and we don’t spam our members; signup is required to allow us to monitor and maintain proper content). The instructions will walk you through. It’s a pretty simple process.


1 Comment

  1. Hello. I am Jenny. Im new to the forum and just wanted to say i welcome all of you and hope we will have some fun here together 🙂