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September 20, 2017 Rob, Rowan, and Kotaku's Luke Plunkett pull up a space chair and talk about Battlestar Galactica Deadlock. In addition to the admirable lack of colons in the title, Deadlock manages to take a licensed IP and turn it into a faithful and satisfying gaming experience. If the term "broadsides in space" gets your solar sails at half mast, this may be an episode for you.
Battlestar Galactica Deadlock
September 8, 2017 This week's Three Moves Ahead stretches the boundaries of the podcast medium to bring you LIVE audio via recording. Rob, Rowan, Fraser, and Troy "always a bardsmaid, never a bard" Goodfellow share their thoughts on the Steam port of Lords of Waterdeep while playing a game together. Lords of Waterdeep started as a popular worker placement board game and eventually made its way to mobile platforms. It recently arrived on the PC via Steam and quickly found a place in Fraser's heart. It's not a good place, but it's firmly embedded there. Like a valve blockage. EXPLICIT CONTENT WARNING: many curse words are uttered, even more than usual.
Lords of Waterdeep
August 26, 2017 It's episode 404hammer and Rob, Fraser, and T.J. Hafer revisit Total War: Warhammer. With the sequel fast approaching, Rob had the itch to play some morehammer and see how the series has evolved. Far from being a borehammer, the newest races and expansions seem to have expanded the gameplay and embraced the lorehammer. Rob's enthusiasm is infectious and everyone on the panel feels the esprit de corpshammer as this game turns out to one of the finest Total War games in the lineup. Warhammer.
Total War: Warhammer, Total War series
August 18, 2017 Survival: it's what separates people from animals. How far we've come from punching a tree until it explodes into logs that we can craft into workbenches. What began as humble topiary assault spread through time, Asia, and eventually into strategy games. This week, Rowan, Critical Distance's Zach Alexander, and Troy "Surely I can trade my encyclopedic knowledge of show tunes for food" Goodfellow get together to talk about survival strategy games. From half-RPGs to city builders, game devs like cramming a food clock into any game orifice they can find and the result are normal strategy games with the added fun of starvation and disease.
Rimworld, Banished, Dwarf Fortress, Oxygen Not Included, Rogue, Nethack, Skyrim, FTL, Sunless Sea, Minecraft, Spelunky, S.O.S, Survival Kits, Jurassic Park: Trespasser, Rebuild, Atom Zombie Smasher, Impressions Games, SimCity, The Settlers, Children of the Nile, Majesty, Tropico, Aven Colony, The Sims, Baldur's Gate, Crusader Kings 2, Fallout Shelter
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