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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April 25, 2022 We explore our impact on the strategy game world as Jon sits down with creative director Kyle Kukshtel to talk about Cantata, an indie space tactics game directly inspired by a conversation we had on this very show almost a decade ago. So how exactly did our kvetching inspire the design of this project? How do you make a tactics game that isn't secretly just a puzzle game? And what was the thinking behind the very off-the-wall art style that got Cantata turned down by at least one publisher?

Cantata

April 15, 2022 Rob and Rowan are joined this week by freelance writer Ruth Cassidy, whose article, "Ethically designing unethical worlds" (https://www.gamedeveloper.com/design/ethically-designing-unethical-worlds) inspired this week's topic. From eugenics in Crusader Kings to choosing between fundamentalism and fascism in Frostpunk, the games we play often put us in the position of someone who has to make some pretty horrifying decisions. How can designers best depict these elements in a way that lends them gravity, but doesn't seem to implicitly condone them? Is it even possible?

Frostpunk, Crusader Kings 3, Darkest Dungeon, Alpha Centauri, Civilization, Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator, a bunch of other ones

April 1, 2022 This week, Rowan recruits Fanbyte's Mike Williams, freelance writer Kendal Erickson, and 3MA's Correspondent for All Things Three-Sided, Brian Smawley, to discuss Triangle Strategy. The Switch has had some sleeper strategy hits, and we're here to let you know if this one belongs among them. Beware of salt.

Triangle Strategy

March 14, 2022 Len and Mike are joined once again by Dr. Bret Devereaux (@BretDevereaux), Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of the blog A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry (acoup.blog). The topic this time around is Empires and Imperialism. What exactly makes an empire? How do strategy games model empires and the process of imperialism, and how could they potentially do better? Header Image: The "Ozymandias Collossus", Ramesseum, Luxor, Egypt by Charlie Phillips via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Europa Universalis IV, Victoria II, Civilization, Total War: Warhammer 3

March 1, 2022 Len, Rowan, Fraser, and Jon join forces on one episode for the first time in a long time to talk about Total War: Warhammer 3. With nine new factions, a new story-driven campaign, and a customizable daemon protagonist, it's an ambitious capstone to the trilogy. Pledge yourself to Podcast Undivided and find out how we think it stacks up.

Total War: Warhammer 3

February 22, 2022 Len and Ian take a look at the first full expansion for Crusader Kings 3, and it's a chunky one. Royal Court adds a full 3D throne room and the ability to interact with your subjects at eye level for the first time. Forging new family heirlooms and new cultures. Has it reignited our interest in CK3?

Crusader Kings 3: Royal Court

February 12, 2022 This week, Jon and Rob dig in to what Rob has dubbed "yet another entry in the crowded Lunar Lander Bullet Hell Naval Wargame Roguelike Visual Novel genre." It's not an easy game to get into, so how did our boi go from cursing its very name to absolutely adoring it? What exactly is this game, anyway? And why should every good fleet commander read the manual?

HighFleet

February 1, 2022 Len and Troy plunge gladius-first into the Late Republic to win victories on the tactical and strategic scale in Expeditions: Rome. The third installment in the series has more going on than ever before, but is it /too/ much? And what is the correct way to pronounce Cicero, anyhow? We came. We played. We did a podcast about it.

Expeditions: Rome

January 21, 2022 Len and Rowan come in for a low glide over 2022's calendar of strategy game releases to discuss what excites us, what worries us, and what smaller stuff we're keeping an eye on. Will Victoria 3 live up to the hype? Can Marvel's Midnight Suns satisfy our in-house X-Mean aficionado? Will Dwarf Fortress ever actually come out? We don't know the answers to any of these questions, but we can certainly discuss them over a few drinks.

Lots

January 15, 2022 Troy and Len are joined by PCGamesN's Ian Boudreau and Fanbyte's Mike Williams to look back on a year that's a bit hard to summarize. Why can't we find a theme to slap on 2021? What were some of the biggest surprises, good and bad? And what were our favorite strategy games in what was, if nothing else, kind of a weird year for them?

Lots of games I forgot to write down while I was editing it

December 24, 2021 Len and Kotaku's Luke Plunkett dig into the logistics-laden recent expansion and patch for Hearts of Iron 4 with No Step Back and the Barbarossa Update. How has it changed how we play, and how does HoI4 feel different now compared to launch? We also go into the joys of playing wacky scenarios with historical focuses switched off and making the dumbest tanks the engine will allow.

Hearts of Iron 4

December 4, 2021 Rob got to check out a pre-alpha build of Company of Heroes 3's multiplayer, and now he's sitting down with lead gameplay designer Matt Philip and map designer Will Ward. Among the topics on the docket are how the flow and pacing of battles has changed from previous games in the series, keeping familiar factions fresh without betraying their identities, and the challenges of creating maps that appeal to high-level competitive players as well as casual weekend warriors.

Company of Heroes 3

November 19, 2021 Rowan, Jon, and Ian Boudreau talk about Against the Storm, an early access city-builder that forces you to abandon your cities after a set amount of time. How do these shorter runs affect how we approach the genre? What does a beaver need, on a deeper level, to be happy? And why were we so eager to do an episode on this when early access city-builders are thick on the ground these days?

Against the Storm

November 12, 2021 Rowan recruits Fanbyte's Steven Strom and long-lost guest Jason Wilson to take a look at Darkest Dungeon II in early access. That's right, five years later we finally put out an episode with Darkest Dungeon in the title. How does it differ from its predecessor? And which of the changes do we actually like? How do we feel about the fact that they can kiss now? How do we feel about a sequel that is deliberately smaller in scope than the original?

Darkest Dungeon II

November 5, 2021 Len and Ian Boudreau discuss Age of Empires 4, the long-awaited return of one of the RTS genre's defining franchises. What's new and what's been kept the same? And where would we like to see it go in the future? Okay, okay, I'll say the thing: wololo. Get it? It's funny because I said a thing you remember. Humor is when someone says a thing you remember.

Age of Empires 4

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.