Episode Archive

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Three Moves Ahead is the leading strategy game themed podcast on the internet. Every week a panel of knowledgeable gamers with strong opinions meets to talk about the strategy and war games of the day, design issues and games in the wider world.

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March 9, 2018 It's a full house as Rob, Fraser, Sean Sands, and T.J. Hafer talk about the large 2.0 update to Stellaris and its Apocalypse expansion. Do you hate planets? Do you often think about blowing them up? Would you prefer another target, a military target? Apocalypse adds big ships and explodable planets just for you. The 2.0 update has added several key features, such as the fleet manager and big changes to starbases. Have all these changes tightened up the midgame and turned Stellaris into a space hit? Listen in to find out.


March 2, 2018 The Winter of Wargaming continues with Panther Games' Command Ops 2. Released a while ago under a different name under a different publisher under a different moon, Command Ops 2 is real-time wargame that truly puts you in the shoes of a commander. The realistic order delay and beautifully tactical map make this a unique wargaming experience that can be played in a variety of theaters. Rob, Michael, and Troy "Even in my simulations no one listens to me" Goodfellow dive into what makes Command Ops such a gem.

Command Ops 2

February 23, 2018 Civilization VI is a complex game. Not in terms of its rules, or how it plays, but in the reaction it garners from fans and critics. Of course it's a good game. Is it a great game? What parts of it are great and what parts aren't? Does the latest expansion, Rise and Fall, change the things that are holding it back? That's a lot of questions. The good news is that Rob, Rowan, and Fraser take their sweet time answering them in this two hour episode that goes from the fundamental aspects of the game real-life politics. So, settle in for a long one as we go through Civilization VI: Rise and Fall.

Civilization VI

February 16, 2018 We kick off the Winter of Wargaming with a whale of a first show: Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations. CMANO is a simulation built for the military and played by you, the military enthusiast at home. The depth of the unit database, the scope of its missions, and the granularity of its control make one of the more intimidating games in our discussion roster. Bruce, Michael, and Troy "they call me the Nimitz of the sea" Goodfellow dive into what makes CMANO fun, or maybe not fun, but sometimes confusing, though usually entertaining.

Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations, Harpoon

February 8, 2018 Call me Zacny. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my Steam Wallet, and nothing particular to interest me on shore... you know what, you get it. It's Moby Dick. This week, Rob, Matthew Flanigan (thehistoricalgamer on Youtube) and Troy "No I don't have scurvy this is just how I look" Goodfellow talk about the debut game from Picaresque Studio, Nantucket. Nantucket is a strategy / RPG hybrid that has the player managing a whaling vessel and setting out to sea to earn their fortune in the trade of whale anatomy. Our whaling crew agrees that Nantucket is a beautiful and well-crafted experience with some room for improvement, but definitely a contender for Best Whaling Simulator of Q1 2018.


February 2, 2018 Rob, Rowan, and Troy "my arcology's economy is based on poutine" Goodfellow fire up the Wayback machine once again to visit the pixely past of 1993. It is a monumental year for games as Doom is unleashed onto the public in a swath of blood and gore while Myst is released in a swath of ambient music and confusion. Have you heard of this new-fangled contraption, the CD-ROM? What a time to be alive. Strategy heavyweights Master of Orion and SimCity 2000 hit the scene, establishing groundwork that gamers will know for decades to come. Join us in the hazy past that doesn't feel like 25 years ago but it is and oh my God I'm old.

Doom, Myst, NHL '94, Gabriel Knight, Master of Orion, SimCity 2000, Warlords 2, Merchant Prince, Clash of Steel, Fields of Glory

January 23, 2018 This week we return to an old friend, a stalwart companion, an evergreen delight that has been with us for years and years and years and years. Europa Universalis IV received several updates and expansions in 2017, and while the game has not changed radically it has matured like a fine wine that was traded from the Bordeaux trade node to Ragusa. In a 3MA first, T.J. Hafer is at the helm to host the show along with Rowan Kaiser and Gamers with Jobs' Sean Sands. Prepare yourself with a deep dive of finer details of EUIV as it exists in 2018.

Europa Universalis

January 14, 2018 This week Rowan, Fraser, and Troy "Why are you slathering me in zombie-q sauce?" Goodfellow talk about They Are Billions by Numantiam games. Zombies are back, but there are even MORE of them in this Early Access title. They Are Billions is a real time strategy game that has you manning the ballistae and defending your steampunk-ish city against relentless waves of the shambling dead.

They Are Billions

January 4, 2018 Another year of strategy gaming has come to a close. Rob, Rowan, and T.J. are here to tell you what they liked, what they didn't, and what left them vehemently ambivalent. Rob doesn't bury the lede and jumps out with his GOTY right away and Rowan fulfills his duty of making people feel bad for liking certain things.

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Stardew Valley?, Tooth and Tail, Hearts of Iron IV, Ultimate General: Civil War, Total War: WARHAMMER II, Steel Division: Normandy 44, Endless Space 2, Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, Crusader Kings 2, Stellaris, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock, Battle Brothers, Europa Universalis IV, Expeditions: Viking, Dawn of War III, Divinity: Original Sin 2, The Long War 2

December 20, 2017 This week Michael, Bruce, Jonathan Bolding, and Troy "I've never met a succubus I didn't like" Goodfellow talk about Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith. Illwinter Games continues their long-running master class in world building and fiction in games with the fifth entry in the series. Dominions combines wargaming with a diverse fantasy setting that has attracted a loyal fanbase over several versions and decades. The panel talks about what is new in the series, whether the graphics really matter, and why it's fun to be a monolith.

Dominions 5, Conquest of Elysium

December 12, 2017 We put the call out to our Patreon backers: What game would you like us to circle back on? The winner of a heated battle was Amplitude's Endless Space 2. Released in May of 2017, Endless Space 2 took some of the learnings of a 3MA favorite, Endless Legend, and applied them to their original dust-using space 4X Endless Space. How has the game fared since launch? What is the Academy? Do we really need it? What does Amazon buying Whole Foods mean for hero availability? And, seriously - where are these pirates getting all this tech?

Endless Space 2, Endless Legend, Stellaris

December 4, 2017 1997. Garry Kasparov loses a monumental chess match against Deep Blue, changing the state of chess forever. Troy Goodfellow acts as a body double for Leonardo DiCaprio in the recently released Titanic and the Notorious B.I.G. informs us that more problems are inevitable when one experiences a sudden increase in liquid assets. Also, a whole bunch of really great strategy games came out. This is the first in a series of (nonconsecutive) retrospective episodes in which the panel goes back in time to review what were some really standout years. This week Rob, Rowan, T.J. Hafer, and Troy "Did you know I had a bit part in the Fifth Element?" Goodfellow discuss all of the best titles from 1997. We award titles for Best RTS, Best Grand Strategy Game, and Best Wargame for this most auspicious of years.

Age of Empires, Total Annihilation, Dark Reign, Sid Meier's Gettysburg, Myth: The Fallen Lords, Imperialism, Warlords 3, Panzer General 2, Battlegrounds series, Final Fantasy Tactics, Dungeon Keeper

November 16, 2017 It's time for another patent-pending Three Moves Ahead Classic Game Analysis as Rob, Gamers with Jobs' Shawn Andrich, and Rock Paper Shotgun's Adam Smith discuss Bungie's Myth series. Myth holds a unique place in strategy's gaming pantheon: in an era of clones and remakes, there's still nothing quite like it out there. Its grim and dark (but not grimdark) fantasy setting and early physics engine set it apart from other games of its day. Take a trip down memory lane before Destiny, before Halo, and into the glory of Myth.

Myth: The Fallen Lords, Myth II: Soulblighter

November 10, 2017 Rob, Rowan, and David Heron take a deep dive on XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. XCOM 2 received a tepid welcome from the Three Moves Ahead panel when it first came out in early 2016, and Three Moves Ahead gave its expansion a good long time to simmer before diving in. War of the Chosen adds more of almost everything, but is that a good thing? The crew also discusses ubermod The Long War.

XCOM 2, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, The Long War

November 2, 2017 Are you ready for morehammer? Nah, just kidding, we won't do that bit again. Guest host Rowan Kaiser talks to T.J. Hafer and Kotaku's Luke Plunkett about Total War: WARHAMMER II. The Warhammer train keeps on hammerin' as the dark elves, Skaven, and other grimdark beings storm across the battlefields in the Total War engine once again. This sequel comes hot on the heels of the original game and improves it in many ways, but is it worth picking up? Tune in to find out.


Three Moves Ahead

The leading strategy game themed podcast on the internet. Every week a panel of knowledgeable gamers with strong opinions on strategy and wargames meets to talk about games of the day, design issues and games in the wider world.