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August 2, 2020 For our landmark 500th episode, Rob sits down with Rowan, T.J., Troy, and Bruce to discuss the formative games that made us strategy fans. Buckle in - it's a long one!
Warcraft II, Shogun: Total War, Warlords, The Operational Art of War, Harpoon, Eastern Front: 1941
June 30, 2020 USgamer's Mike Williams and Kotaku's Luke Plunkett join Rob to talk about Desperados III, the stealth tactics puzzler from Mimimi. They talk quicksaving versus flow, stealth tactics vs stealth immersive sims, and Desperados vs. Shadow Tactics, the previous game from this developer.
June 6, 2020 Rob and T.J. got some hands-on time with an in-development build of Crusader Kings 3, and they have a lot to say about it. Can the medieval strategy sequel live up to its now august predecessor?
Crusader Kings 3
May 29, 2020 Rob is joined by Cameron Kunzelman and Evan Lahti to discuss Gears Tactics, which adapts the familiar rhythms and dynamics of Gears of War to a turn-based, squad-tactics format with generally positive results.
May 13, 2020 Rob, Rowan, and Bruno Dias start working the mean streets of City 31 as they discuss XCOM: Chimera Squad.
XCOM: Chimera Squad
May 1, 2020 With the sports world mostly on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sports games have emerged to take their place in some of the oddest ways. Rob discusses this weird moment for sports sims with Troy, Jenn Cutter, and Kat Bailey. They chat about why sim motorsports seem to be working well, but most console sports sims don't seem to have the same resonance. Rob accuses Troy of being the target audience for beat reporting based on Out of the Park leagues. Troy denies the charge, then describes the travails of his Expos dynasty in detail.
Out of the Park Baseball 21, Probably some others
April 23, 2020 Rowan, Jon, and T.J. are joined by Waypoint and Friends at the Table's Austin Walker to once again ask the immortal question: Is Stellaris good now? On the heels of a diplomacy rework and four years of expansions, what has become of Paradox's oddball 4X space child?
April 16, 2020 Fraser is joined by Jon Bolding, Dia Lacina, and Philippa Warr to discuss Animal Crossing: New Horizons, from the ways it connects to the city builder genre to the oddities of the game's premise.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
April 9, 2020 Rob is joined by Cameron Kunzelman and Ethan Gach to return to the world of Frostpunk before the frost as the panel considers the game's latest DLC, The Last Autumn. In some ways it's an expansion the reveals some of the worst traits of Frostpunk, but in some other ways it reinvents and reimagines the game as a trickier and more credible management game.
The Last Autumn (Frostpunk)
March 25, 2020 This week we are going all the way back to 1994 to discuss Master of Magic. MoM, though not quite as popular as its bovine counterpart, was a very forward-thinking game. It offered many levels of customization not yet seen in gaming and inspired classic modern series like Dominions and Age of Wonders. Listen in as Rowan Kaiser, Jon Bolding, and Troy "Do you like what I've done with my hobbit hole?" Goodfellow discuss Master of Magic, sci-fi vs fantasy, and why generic magic isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Master of Magic, Elemental, Dominions, Age of Wonders
March 2, 2020 Not every novel must be Inifinite Jest, not every RTS game must be Starcraft 2. Sure, sometimes you need to hold your copy of Starcraft 2 with the cover facing out so people at the coffee shop KNOW you're playing Starcraft 2, but sometimes you just want to play a quick game of something and get out. This week, Rob and Cameron Kunzelman discuss three RTS games the can be played in less time than it takes to listen to this episode. So once you are done loudly asking if the barista has a second bookmark you can borrow for the footnotes, take a listen to our discussion on Circle Empires, Escape Dead Earth, and Death Crown.
Circle Empires, Escape Dead Earth, Death Crown
February 13, 2020 Rob, Brian "Chef Lu Bu" Smawley, Rowan, and T.J. discuss the Mandate of Heaven expansion for Total War: Three Kingdoms. Brian has been radicalized the populist vision of the Yellow Turbans and feels like only Zhang Jue has put in the work to lead China to a glorious new age. Rob and T.J., meanwhile, feel that incremental reform is the way to go. Rowan is out for themselves, but is also starting to wonder if that old Total War campaign inertia might not be settling in.
Total War: Three Kingdoms, Mandate of Heaven
January 20, 2020 Rob, T.J., Rowan, and Fraser gather to consider the last ten years in strategy games. There is a stark division about what happened to the RTS, as well as how the concept of a game being "finished" mostly disappeared. Then Rob tries to wrap up the show and it goes for another hour as everyone tries to choose their favorite genre game from the last ten years.
January 9, 2020 Rowan, T.J., Jon, and Rob look back at 2019 and the games that most delighted or dismayed them.
Games of 2019
December 29, 2019 It's Christmas at the Plantagenets as Rob and Troy watch the superb Lion in Winter and the less superb Becket. What do these movies have to say about history and politics, and is any of it related to historical fact? How good is Hepburn? What is O'Toole doing across these two films?
The Lion in Winter, Becket