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February 12, 2019 It's rare, but sometimes companies that aren't Koei make a game about the Three Kingdoms. During the runup to the new Total War game, we thought it would be fun to talk about the Three Kingdoms as a setting and the games from that past that have portrayed it well. Are you ready for a deep dive into Three Kingdoms history? No, like, a really deep dive? This week T.J., Rowan, Austin Walker, and guest Brian "Lu Bu" Smawley talk about their favorite factions, historical tidbits, and video game adaptations of this rich period of history.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty Warriors, Dynasty Tactics, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Kessen II, Strike Force
February 2, 2019 2018 has come and gone, its crusty remains pushed to the side for new buffet plate (always get a new plate) of games coming out in 2019. Rob, T.J., and Ian Boudreau talk about the games they're excited for, the games they're cautiously optimistic for, and even some that they're dreading.
Grand Tactician, General Staff Wargaming System, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Star Wars Armada, Phoenix Point, Xenonauts, Imperator, Bannerlord, Tropico 6, Iron Harvest
January 22, 2019 In the grim dark future there is only war. No, really. In Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War, there is no diplomacy system. All of that nonsense has been put aside in lieu of 40K chainsword murder. Gladius manages to be a chimera of strategy games. Is it a 4X? Part of an RTS? Grimdark Civ? Whatever it is, Rob and Fraser generally like it.
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Tyranids
January 12, 2019 This week Rob, Jon Bolding, Giant Bomb's Alex Navarro, and Troy "I can't find the bard class" Goodfellow take a look at Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden by The Bearded Ladies game studio. Mutant Year Zero combines XCOM-like tactical gameplay with a post-apocalyptic setting that's a joy to look at. Its boardgame roots are evident in its sharp gameplay and rich setting.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
December 31, 2018 We threw restraint to the wind with our 2018 wrapup this year, so you get TWO episodes for for the same great price. Session one has Rob, Troy "this is the year my musical theater career takes off" Goodfellow, and Jon Bolding talking about their favorite games. After that, T.J. Hafer, Sean Sands, and Rowan Kaiser go into their top picks including all the Paradox-y stuff that we don't let Troy talk about. It's a long episode for what felt like an incredibly long year. 2018 hit us with a lot of political, military, and economic turmoil, so sometimes it's good to kick back with a strategy game and focus instead on political, military, and economic turmoil that we can control. These are our top (and maybe not so top) picks of the year.
Total War: WARHAMMER II - Curse of the Vampire Coast, Dominions 5 (late 2017 but I'll allow it), Armored Brigade, Pike & Shot, Valkyria Chronicles 4, BATTLETECH, Northgard, Root, Brass: Birmingham, Into the Breach, Bad North, Circle Empires, Reigns: Game of Thrones, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind, Warhammer 40K - Gladius - Mechanicus - Space Hulk Tactics, Two Point Hospital, Frostpunk, Surviving Mars, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia - Dharma - Golden Century, Crusader Kings 2: Holy Fury, Stellaris: Apocalypse - Megacorp, Hearts of Iron IV: Waking the Tiger, Depth of Extinction, Mutant Year Zero, Banner Saga III, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battles: Donkey Kong Adventure, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Slay the Spire, Football Manager Touch
December 26, 2018 It's been a minute since we've talked about Crusader Kings 2, so why bring it up now? Holy Fury - the latest major DLC - is one of the most significant changes to date, moving CK2 even closer toward RPG than grand strategy game. Is this the expansion that restores Fraser's interest in the game? Is this really the last expansion? What is the future of CK2? Why does T.J. go on and on and on and on about succession laws? Can you really be a duck? T.J. and Fraser answer all these questions and more.
Crusader Kings 2, Holy Fury
December 20, 2018 From the dizzying highs of the Frozen Throne to the baffling lows of Master of Orion III, 2003 was a darn good year for games. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time became a hallmark for many gamers, and Rise of Nations came onto the scene to become the "other" kind of RTS. Korsun Pocket (recipient of its own 3MA episode) showed us what amazing AI could look like, and Knights of the Old Republic grew T.J. into the person he is today. Rob, Rowan, and T.J. hop into the Wayback Machine to go to 2003, when invading Iraq seemed like a cool idea. In and out war, Morty, 20 minutes tops.
Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, Civilization III: Conquests, Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion, Rise of Nations, Homeworld 2, Korsun Pocket, Combat Mission: Africa Corps, Simcity 4, Master of Orion 3, Galactic Civilizations, Victoria, Disagaea, Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance, Onimusha Tactics, Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Academy, Freelancer, Call of Duty, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Deus Ex: Invisible War
December 14, 2018 If the notion of the modern RTS makes you break into a cold sweat as you think about APM and wrist pain, we have good news for you: Veitikka Studios has created a more elegant weapon for a more civilized age. Armored Brigade puts you in command of cold war-era equipment in an impressively generated battlefield. The excellent scenario generator and impressive AI turn this game into something special, much to the delight of our panel. Rob, Ian Boudreau, game designer Rod Humble, and Troy "You've given me a heart and a brain" Goodfellow explain why Armored Brigade turned out to be an excellent game to round out 2018.
December 6, 2018 We're trying something different at Three Moves Ahead this week. Rob and Troy "am I Siskel or Ebert?" Goodfellow take a brief respite from gaming to to discuss two historical military films: Zulu (1964) and Black Hawk Down (2002). Let us know in the forums if you enjoy this discussion of movies, imperialism, and interventionism.
Zulu, Black Hawk Down
November 22, 2018 Every once in a while we like to kick back, pour a drink, and check in with the crew to see what's going on. This week it's Rob, Rowan, and Michael on the air to discuss what they've been playing - strategy or not. Michael bares his soul to share the things that bring him joy, only to be mercilessly mocked by the two jerks that aren't writing this episode summary. Rowan describes his love / hate relationship with Pathfinder and Rob details his love / love relationship with Steel Division. We also touch on the new Civilization VI expansion announcement and discuss some upcoming plans for the Winter of Wargaming.
Opus Magnum, Caves of Qud, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Steel Division, Civilization VI, Command Ops 2
November 16, 2018 Cities: Skylines has continued to grow, adding expansions like so many strip malls to suburban hell. The latest DLC, Industries, shines a light on the utilitarian but necessary underbelly of any city: the industrial zone. But does Industries really capture the economic importance of production and mining? To answer this and other important questions, Rob and T.J. are joined by Justin Roczniak (donoteat01 on Youtube), who offers a comprehensive breakdown of the city building genre from an urban planning perspective.
Cities: Skylines, Simcity
October 24, 2018 Are you down with PPO and dyslexia treatment? If so, this week's show may be for you. Rob, Jon Bolding, and T.J. Hafer dive into Two Point Hospital, a spiritual successor to the U.K.'s favorite sim, Theme Hospital. Two Point Hospital endeavors to lighten up the otherwise serious business of health care, illess, and piles of corpses with a light sense of humor and a clean (an)aesthetic.
Two Point Hospital, Theme Hospital
October 12, 2018 Frozen Synapse 2 is here, bringing combat that is an intricately planned and delicate ballet that ends with a shotgun to the face. Rob, Jon Bolding, and Troy "Wait, you said we were just going out to ride Tron bikes" Goodfellow plan and shoot their way through a cyperpunk collection of hallways and doors.
Frozen Synapse 2
October 4, 2018 Sega's not-really-World-War-II set in kinda-Europe returns in Valkyria Chronicles 4. Valkyria Chronicles marries tactical military gameplay with anime style and story. This extra long episode of 3MA, which features Rob, Heather Alexandra, and Austin Walker, covers a wide range of topics: Austin's definitive thesis on anime, Rob's complex feelings about Cowboy Bebop, problematic butt pats, the first episode of The Shield, and occasionally Valkyria Chronicles 4.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
September 21, 2018 This week features a veritable smorgasbord of strategy games as we try and define the Tactical Management Game. It's not quite a management sim and not quite a tactical strategy game. We're looking for games that include a deep strategic or base building layer that also allow you to call some of the proverbial and literal shots. From sports management games to ironman-roguelike-procedurally-generated-party-combat romps, there's a lot of ground to cover. So listen in as Rob, Rowan, Heather Alexandra, and Boudreau get into defining Rowan's white whale of genres.
XCOM, FTL, Darkest Dungeon, Battletech, Massive Chalice, Battle Brothers, Football Manager, Endless Legend, Mount & Blade, Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Jagged Alliance, Invisible, Inc.