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August 11, 2017 This week Rob, Rowan, Obsidian's Josh Sawyer, and Troy "I told you, these leeches are medicinal" Goodfellow discuss Overhype Studios' Battle Brothers. It's been a while since the panel has been smitten with a game, but Battle Brothers seems to win everyone over with its smart tactical turn based combat. Taking a break from elaborate spells, this low-fantasy setting has your archers are melee combatants slugging it out in the mud and snow against brigands orcs.
August 4, 2017 Troy returns from vacation just as Fraser prepares to sail the wine-dark Aegean. But they pause long enough to talk about Kingdoms and Castles with Rob, a fun little medieval tower-defnse-city-builder that everyone wishes were just a little bit... deeper. But can Kingdoms and Castles' appeal be separated from its simplicity and shallowness?
Kingdoms and Castles, Anno Games, Stronghold,
July 22, 2017 Forgive us. The title was Rowan's fault. Rob and Rowan have been playing Ultimate General: Civil War and Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, and those games have got them thinking about what they really, truly want from a Civil War wargame. Rowan talks about how he wants to feel like a commander in the field, dealing with the same uncertainty and dynamics that Civil War generals faced. Rob agrees, but also wants a game that feels roughly true to the historical record, yet also wants the capacity to be surprised. In other words, we want it all. Rowan also proposes that Sid Meier's Gettysburg, at this point, casts too long a shadow and its influence is stifling other approaches to tactical wargame design.
Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, Ultimate General: Civil War, John Tiller's Battleground Civil War, Take Command, Scourge of War, Sid Meier's Gettysburg
July 2, 2017 Bruce sits down with James Crate, a former naval aviator, and discusses various efforts at designing and playing games about air combat. Crate discusses how a lot of Cold War era wargames reflected US military doctrine, but not necessarily air engagements as pilots would experience them in the field. How did the lessons learned from actual air combat match the expectations reflected in wargames? Also, prepare to learn that air-to-air missiles don't work like you think they do.
Tac Air, Flight Leader, Air Superiority, Check Your Six, Bag the Hun
June 25, 2017 Rowan, Sean, and Rob discuss what goes into a "satisfying" setback as opposed to something that sends one running to the quickload button. Rowan possibly solves game design.
Crusader Kings, Steel Division, Patrician, EUIV, Darkest Dungeon
June 16, 2017 Rob, Fraser, and Rowan look at the game outside the game. What are the ways that strategy and tactics games contextualize our actions and decisions, and which approaches do we tend to prefer. The conversation runs long but takes an exciting turn as the crew realize they've likely solved strategy games.
XCOM, Jagged Alliance 2, Total War, Endless Legend, Company of Heroes
May 31, 2017 It's a giant-sized gulp of Three Moves Ahead as Rob, Rowan, Fraser, and Sean "The Game Horatio" Sands discuss Endless Legend 2. Amplitude Games brought a competent - if not a bit bland - entry into the space 4X pantheon with Endless Space and followed up with the brilliant Endless Legend. Does Endless Space 2 continue their march toward greatness? Amplitude have expanded their writing and storytelling but unfortunately neglected the "QA" section of the tech tree in favor of ballistic weapons.
Endless Legend 2, Endless Legend, Endless Space, but not the movie Legend or the Neverending Story.
May 24, 2017 Dr. Bruce Geryk is back to host and talks to legendary game designer and author Jack Greene. Jack has contributed several seminal games over the years, such as Bismarck Second Edition, Iron Bottom Sound Third Edition, and Norway 1940. He tells Bruce about the old days of graphic design and publishing and lays down some practical knowledge about printing techniques.
Bismarck Second Edition, Iron Bottom Sound Third Edition, Norway 1940
May 9, 2017 When is a Viking not a Viking? When he's a farmer. Or a trader, maybe? Or maybe just a really sad dude that's down on himself. Rob and Troy "How hard can it be to build a farm, guys?" Goodfellow talk about Logic Artists' Expedition: Vikings and how there's a good game in there, if you can just pillage it out.
Expeditions: Vikings, Expeditions: Conquistadors
May 4, 2017 Rob, Fraser, and guest Ian Williams pick up their chainswords and head to the far-flung future to play Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III. The original Dawn of War remains a favorite of the panel, and Dawn of War II had its charm. Does Dawn of War pull the series back into greatness? Well, that entirely depends on how you feel about MOBAs. And multiplayer. Because if you don't like those things, you may be left in the cold, unfeeling void of space.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
April 24, 2017 Do you like wargames in Europe... that escalate? Do you like air AND land battles? Then Eugen games and their partners at Paradox have a game for you in Steel Division: Normandy 44. The creators of the perennial favorite Wargame series have turned their rivet-counting attention to World War II in their newest real time strategy game. Rob, Rowan, and Fraser give you the scoop on the latest game and why they have enjoyed their pre-release access.
Steel Division: Normandy 44
April 11, 2017 The stranger's arrival coincided with omens that the villagers could not ignore. A calf born with two heads. Flocks of crows circling the village green silently as the night, their voices stolen. Men disappearing for days at a time in the woods only to return stupefied, gibbering of bright lights and fairy rings. That stranger's name? Fraser Brown. And he's here to host this week's show on the latest expansion for Crusader Kings II - Monks and Mystics. CK2 Superfan T.J. Hafer is also on hand to talk about satanic cults, taking care of inconvenient spouses, and whether or not we've all hit the DLC fatigue wall.
Crusader Kings II, Monks and Mystics
March 29, 2017 Rob, Fraser, and Troy "No One Expects the Canadian Inquisition" Goodfellow return to the Total War series in a Patreon-patron chosen topic. Medieval II was far and away the most voted-for game in our options of the "middle" Total War games, and this week we return to what made the game so special. Was it the flavorful peasant models? The interesting DLC? The active modding scene? The galloping Scots? Find out as we blast back to 2006.
Medieval II: Total War, the rest of the Total War Series
March 20, 2017 Rob and Bruce wrap up this year's winter of wargaming by looking back at some of the games they played and some of the trends they've seen in the wargame space. From boutique games to the pros and cons of computer wargaming, they cover a wide array of topics on their favorite hobby. Does a narrow scope limit a game's design or does it open up new possibilities? How well can you really simulate a given scenario?
March 13, 2017 Rob, Rowan, and Troy "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster" Goodfellow talk about Scourge of War: Waterloo. Waterloo is the first departure for the Take Command series in which we travel to a conflict outside of the American Civil War. Rowan has concerns about forts and Rob has concerns about... a few other things.
Scourge of War: Waterloo