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January 23, 2017 The title of the patron backer poll was: "What two (2) inscrutable games do Rob and Troy have to explain to each other?" We found the most incrutabl-iest games we could for our list and the backers voted: Distant Worlds and Aurora would be the games to play. Unfortunately, Troy's head exploded during his valiant effort so this week Rob and Michael will talk about these two behemoths of space strategy. They won't cover everything and won't get everything right, but maybe - just maybe - they'll sell you on what makes these challenging games worth your time. Or not. Probably not.
Distant Worlds: Universe, Aurora
January 14, 2017 The Winter of Wargaming is upon us once again, and to kick things off we look at a different kind of wargaming - the first person shooter. Battlefield 1 tackled the often-neglected first-person arena of World War 1, and to everyone's surprise it turned to be a damn fine game. Several other recent releases have also featured the grim realities of WW1 so Rob, Fraser, and guest Evan Lahti go through them this week to discuss whether historical accuracy is something we need or even want in a WW1 game.
Battlefield 1, Verdun, Valiant Hearts, Arma
January 7, 2017 Rob, Rowan, and Troy "My favorite civil war documentary was F Troop" Goodfellow get together to talk about Ultimate General: Civil War. Game-Labs had an impressive debut with Ultimate General: Gettysburg, putting out a game that was lauded by the community at large as well as our panelists. With UG: Civil War, they take on a much larger task by adding persistent units, more battles, and a grander scale. But are they up to such a daunting task? Can they overcome the focused genius of the first game? As it turns out: yes. Yes, they can.
Ultimate General: Civil War
December 30, 2016 Hey there, friend. How's it going? Have a seat here next to your Uncle Rob. You can have a sip of my brandy old fashioned if you don't tell your mom. Why the long face, ace? 2016 got you down? Yeah, it's been kind of a shit year. But that's okay, I've got good news: regardless of what's happened in the rest of the world, 2016 was one of the best years ever for strategy games. The number of quality releases is enough to keep anyone busy for the next decade. But Uncle Rob, Cousin Fraser, and Wacky Neighbor Rowan are here to guide you through the best games of the year and give their definitive, not hesitant at all lock-in picks for Strategy Game of the Year.
Hearts of Iron IV, Total Warhammer: Warhammer of War (tm), Civilization VI, Darkest Dungeon, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, Banner Saga 2, XCOM 2, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, Fire Emblem Fates, Ashes of the Singularity, Civilization VI, Europa Universalis IV, Stellaris, Rimworld, Ultimate General: Civil War, Offworld Trading Company, Atlas Reactor
December 23, 2016 Our Patreon patrons have spoken, and the winner of our "Let's talk about an online CCG that's NOT Hearthstone" poll was Duelyst. Rob and Julian have a very un-3MA discussion in which all parties agree that the game at hand is pretty rad. Duelyst takes the best parts of Hearthstone and adds its own mechanics and flavor to create a satisfying game that has kept Julian occupied for the better part of the year. Good job, Patreon backers. Good job.
Duelyst, Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering
December 19, 2016 Nothing is certain in this world except death, taxes, and Paradox expansions. Time marches on and EUIV, the elder statesman of the Paradox stable, the well-rounded workhorse, the stalwart representation of all things Paradox...ish... has continued to grow and improve. Guest host Sean Sands talks with Rowan Kaiser and T.J. Hafer about Rights of Man and the current state of the game. Where does EUIV go from here? Does Paradox just keep adding features forever? Would that be a bad thing? Why are estates so lame? Why isn't Victoria III a thing yet?
Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings II, Hearts of Iron IV
December 12, 2016 This week Rob, Fraser Brown, and Jonathan Bolding get together to talk about the Warhammer universe. There has been no shortage of Warhammer (both 40K and non-40K) games lately, with Games Workshop throwing the proverbial spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. Amidst the vast swaths of mediocre to bad games, however, there are gems that accurately capture the macabre gravitas of the Warhammer universe.
Just append WARHAMMER or WARHAMMER 40K and a (tm) to all of these: Dawn of War, Fire Warrior, Shadow of the Horned Rat, Relic, Armageddon, Vermintide, Space Hulk, Deathwing, Space Marine, Total Warhammer, Corsair, Eternal Crusade, Naval Action, Eisenhorn, Mordheim, Battlefleet: Gothic
November 28, 2016 Rob, Bruce, and Troy "I was named after a siege" Goodfellow get together to talk about battles that just don't get enough love. Our Patreon donors voted and decided that this week the panel was to discuss theaters, battles, and conflicts that haven't been given a fair shake in the strategy gaming community. Rob and Troy have their hobby horses but Bruce takes exception to the question itself.
November 18, 2016 Bruce and Troy "Bury me with the HMS Niobe" Goodfellow welcome Matthew Flanagan to this week's show as they talk about 2015's Rule the Waves. Rule the Waves is a game about designing post-dreadnought battleships in the context of World War 1 great powers. Part budget manager, part ship designer, and sometimes a combat simulator, Rule the Waves is a game that has all the detail that simulation grognards expect and all the trappings that come along for the ride. Troy loves it, Bruce has his reservations, and Matthew tells us what makes the game so appealing.
Rule the Waves
November 12, 2016 Troy "I hate that jerk-ass Montezuma" Goodfellow is joined by Rowan Kaiser, Fraser Brown, and David V. Heron to talk about one of the biggest strategy games of the year: Civilization VI. A new Civilization game is always a cause for celebration. But what has changed? What has remained? Is it a revolution or an evolution? In this case, it turns out to be more of the latter. It's a fun game, it has some great ideas, but at its core it remains the same Civilization game it has been for decades. But... is that a bad thing?
November 7, 2016 This week Rob and Fraser welcome special guest Jeff Spock, Narrative Director at Amplitude Studios. The Endless Series has garnered a large amount of praise with its impressive debut in Endless Space, the unique gameplay in Dungeons of the Endless, and the master class of 4X gaming in Endless Legend. Jeff goes over the challenges of writing for 4X and strategy games and how the universe has changed from Endless Space to Endless Legend. Endless Legend has changed quite a bit since launch and Jeff explains how the series has evolved and where it might go in Endless Space 2. This topic was chosen in a poll by our Patreon backers.
Endless Space, Dungeons of the Endless, Endless Legend, Endless Space 2
October 20, 2016 This week, Michael and Troy "Benevolent Dictator for Life" Goodfellow welcome Chris Park of Arcen Games back to the show. Arcen has recently posted their Kickstarter for AI War 2, followup to the original cult hit from 2009. Featuring asymmetric gameplay and unique strategy, AI War: Fleet Command was the first game to highlight Park's unique vision for gaming. Chris talks about the challenges Arcen has faced, the evolving game market, and what it means to make games with integrity. Also, be sure to stick around after the show for some brief announcements from the gang.
AI War 2, AI War: Fleet Command, A Valley Without Wind, Shattered Haven, In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor, Stars Beyond Reach
October 2, 2016 Three Moves Ahead is serious business. We spend weeks - sometimes months - planning stimulating topics and tantalizing shows. But this week it's time to unwind. It's time to pour some scotch, dim the lights, and talk about whatever's on our minds. For the first time ever, the Three Moves Ahead team is all on the show at the same time: Rob, Bruce, Michael, and Troy "I keep bookstores in business because I don't trust technology and hate trees" Goodfellow. Also, be sure to stick around after the show and get a glimpse of professionalism at its finest.
Scythe, Dominions 4, Board games
September 24, 2016 Bruce welcomes award-winning game designer Dean Essig of The Gamers to talk about his long history of designing wargames. Dean's experience in the military and attention to detail have helped him create long-lasting series that model combat on several different levels. Dean and Bruce discuss the process of playtesting, the challenges of tactical, battalion, and operational level games, double-blind gaming, and why Illinois is such a great state.
Tactical Combat Series, Operational Combat Series, Standard Combat Series
September 16, 2016 WARNING: The Banner Saga 2 is a story-driven game. Certain plot points will be talked about. Major plot points from the first game are discussed. Such is life in a podcast where the point is to talk about what happens in video games. This week Rob Zacny and Fraser Brown talk about Banner Saga 2, the sequel to the Kickstarter darling that made a splash with its gorgeous graphics and brutal gameplay. The decisions are harder, the battles are more interesting, and lots of people still die.
The Banner Saga 2