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September 13, 2018 Phantom Doctrine promises a combination of tactical combat and sleuthing with cold war-era spycraft and compelling procedural narratives. Its delivery on those fronts is charming but ultimately falling short of the goal. Join Rob, Evan Lahti, and Xalavier Nelson Jr. as they dive into Phantom Doctrine and end up talking about Hard West.
Phantom Doctrine, Hard West
September 5, 2018 Bruce is joined once again by noted game designer Mark Herman to discuss Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-61. Fort Sumter is a short-form card driven game that highlights the tumultuous time leading up to the Civil War. In this wide-ranging discussion Bruce and Mark talk about the high amount of wargames coming to market, crisis dimensions, and the invasion of Japan.
Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-61, Empire of the Sun, Pericles, Churchill, The Peloponnesian War
August 31, 2018 King of Dragon Pass, a longtime cult favorite, is one of gaming's best storytelling platforms. In a fantasy world older than Dungeons & Dragons, King of Dragon Pass combined elements of choose your own adventure, strategy, management and council politics that went unrivaled for almost twenty years. The developers at A Sharp have now returned to deliver a new entry in the world of Glorantha with Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind. Featuring the same unique play style of King of Dragon Pass and similarly gorgeous art, Six Ages allows players to manage cows, the Gods, magic, and more cows. Six Ages recently debuted on iOS exclusively, but will be available for PC next year. Join Austin Walker, Jon Bolding, and Troy "I hope this time I can marry a goat" Goodfellow in talks about trolls, raiding, and praying to all the right deities.
King of Dragon Pass, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind
August 24, 2018 The future will not be pretty. Advances in AI and robotic mobility makes it clear that we are only years, if not months away from Skynet becoming self-aware. When it does, it will look back on what humans have wrought and it will rain fire upon us. Consider: the videos of Boston Dynamics mercilessly kicking robot dogs. Consider: the subjugation of the wild Roomba. Consider: the term "comp stomp", in which a team of human players collaborate to battle, mock, and ultimately defeat a computer opponent. Join Rob, Sean Sands, Bruno Dias, and Troy "I always say 'glhf' to the AI" Goodfellow as they examine the real time strategy games that make beating up robots fun.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, Rise of Nations, Starcraft II, They Are Billions, Sins of a Solar Empire, Age of Empires 2, Wargame: Red Dragon, Total Annihilation, Steel Division, Korsun Pocket
August 16, 2018 Ever since Troy Goodfellow founded Three Moves Ahead in the mid-60s, the same question has been asked over and over: When will you cover a Mario game? Your emails, faxes, and mimeographed tracts have been heard, and we are proud to present our first Mario-based episode: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch. Rowan Kaiser took over the studio along with guests Danielle Riendeau and Ben Bertoli to talk about Mario + Rabbids and its expansion, Donkey Kong Adventure. Referred to as "Mario XCOM" since its announcement, Mario + Rabbids combines tactical gameplay with the character and charm one would expect from a Nintendo + Ubisoft game. Is this the first Mario game we've covered on 3MA? We believe so. Is it the last? Not likely, given the strategic depth and Cold War undertones of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Into the Breach, XCOM
August 10, 2018 This week: Dr. Bruce Geryk, Sommelier of the Somme, guides Rob through several unconventional takes on WWI combat. World War I poses a serious challenge to the game designer, but Bruce takes us through several examples of how to do it right. Get ready for talks about "historicity", which should not be confused with the classic Police album, "Synchronicity". Some say it's their greatest album, but I'm more partial to Ghost in the Machine, myself. Anyway, let's talk about Paths of Glory, The Lamps are Going Out, and Fields of Despair.
Paths of Glory, The Lamps are Going Out, Fields of Despair
August 2, 2018 Cultist Simulator is a game - maybe - that revels in its own vagueness. Not knowing what it's about or what you're supposed to be doing at a given time seems to be the point. There's a story in there somewhere, but will you be able to find it? Rob, Cassandra Khaw, James Persaud, and Troy "A hedonist club is a good place to spend money and meet people, but the bookstore is better" Goodfellow dive into the eldritch horrors of neatly arranging cards on a table and wondering what it's all about.
Cultist Simulator, A Dark Room, Candy Box
July 23, 2018 In a rare live and in-person episode, Rob joins Dr. Bruce Geryk in his mountain lair to talk about GMT Games' Cataclysm: A Second World War. Cataclysm is a board game that offers a deep political system along with standard military fare, succeeding at the former and passably presenting the latter. Players have to adapt to the dynamic early 1930s political landscape and steer their nations to success in an atypical pre-WWII world.
Cataclysm: A Second World War, Triumph and Tragedy
June 23, 2018 It used to be enough for mainstream games to claim they had "RPG elements". Now we see games with base-building and "strategic layers" - what does that mean? Can one truly take two disparate genres and combine them in a meaningful way? And does procedural generation of content ever live up to its promises? State of Decay 2 ends up being the whipping boy as Rob, Steven Strom, Rowan, and Fraser discuss all of the above.
State of Decay 2, Ni No Kuni 2, Little King's Story, Suikoden, Stronghold, Shadow of War, Pillars of Eternity 2, Yakuza 6, Fire Emblem Warriors, Bladestorm?
June 14, 2018 Slay the Spire, a deckbuilding game that won't require you to take out a second mortgage on your house, has captivated the members of our panel. Its crisp gameplay and tight design has the internet abuzz, and it's quickly becoming the darling of the deckbuilding scene. It's so good it even got Julian back on the show! Listen in as Julian, Sean Sands, Austin Walker, and Troy "The rarest card in my booster was a swamp mana" Goodfellow as they talk about what keeps them coming back to Slay the Spire.
Slay the Spire, Magic: The Gathering
June 7, 2018 Games like Baldur's Gate cast a long shadow but, like a racist grandparent, come along with too many caveats of being a product of their time. There have been many attempts to capture the magic of early CRPGS while adding modern accoutrements, and the financial success of games like Pillars of Eternity and Dragon Age: Origins are clear indicators that the public is looking for such a product. But have any of these attempts actually nailed the CRPG formula? Is a modern CRPG truly worth pursuing, and were the originals as good as we remember? Join our host T.J. Hafer, Rowan Kaiser, and Cameron Kunzelman as they travel from the Gold Box to the most recent iteration of Pillars of Eternity in search of the perfect CRPG.
Gold Box games, Baldur's Gate, Pillars of Eternity, Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Suikoden, Dragon Age, Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale... you know, all those games.
May 28, 2018 This week we explore Rome. Not the Total War game (though it gets mentioned), but Rome itself - as a historical interest and as a touchpoint in gaming. If you've listened to the show in the past, it's no secret that several members of our panel have a strong interest in the Roman empire and the fascinating history that surrounds it. In this episode we finally let everyone loose to talk about the period without worrying about a specific game review to guide the discussion. Listen in as Rob, T.J., Rowan, and Troy "I wear socks with caligae" Goodfellow dive deep into their collective knowledge and discuss ancient Rome.
Centurion: Defender of Rome, Rome: Total War, Crusader Kings II, Annals of Rome, Defender of the Crown, lots of other Rome games
May 16, 2018 Rob, T.J., and Fraser sharpen their berserker axes and talk about Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia. This new offshoot of the main series changes the scope by zooming in on the British isles at the time of Viking invasions. While the game has its high points, Thrones of Britannia misses the mark quite often, not unlike the hordes of anonymous archers found within. It's not necessarily that-first-episode-we-did-on-Rome-2 bad, but apparently it's all the same to Fraser.
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
May 8, 2018 It's the most Hobbesian Three Moves Ahead ever as Rob, Jonathan Bolding, and Xalavier Nelson talk about Frostpunk. This episode covers all of the pillars of Three Moves Ahead's moral compass: Megalomania, child labor, Dune references, and the knowledge that the death of faceless numbers will always be preferred if advancing the common good. Or the tech tree.
May 1, 2018 Harebrained Schemes' BATTLETECH is here and it has stomped its way into our hearts. The strategy game based on the PC simulations based on the RPG based on the tabletop game (or something like that) appeals to the more modern tactics fan and the Gen X supernerds that were there at the beginning. Rob, Rowan, Rob Daviau, and Jonathan Bolding discuss the merits of the game and come up with a strong recommendation for it despite some launch-time technical problems.