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December 3, 2022 Len and Rowan are joined by Brian "Chef Lu Bu" Smawley and Axe of the Blood God's Eric Van Allen to discuss Marvel Snap, the latest free-to-play comic book card battle sensation. We talk about how it sets itself apart from the likes of Magic or Hearthstone, what our favorite cards are, and which deck archetypes make you an objectively bad person if you play them.
November 26, 2022 Len and John are joined once again by UNC Chapel Hill's Dr. Bret Devereaux to finally, at long last, discuss Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. We have some mixed feelings about it. What did we love and what did we really not? How do the systems and battles stand up to a military historian's eyes? And at the end of the day, is it actually good?
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
November 19, 2022 Len is joined this week by a full squad of developers from Creative Assembly to talk about Total War: Warhammer 3's Immortal Empires beta launch, and what may be to come in the near future. DLC Director Richard Aldridge, Lead Designer Sean Macdonald, Lead UI Programmer Mikaela Lidstrom, and designer William Hakestad talk about everything from the challenges of getting this beast working to their personal favorite start positions, while Len only revels a little bit in the fact that she's the only one here allowed to say "Chaos Dwarfs" without being tackled by a PR handler.
Total War: Warhammer 3, Immortal Empires
November 1, 2022 The long-awaited steel and steam macroeconomics simulator from Paradox has finally graced us with its presence, and we've assembled a League of Extraordinary Lady and Gentlemen to discuss it. Len and Jon are joined by Kotaku's Luke Plunkett, PCGamesN's Ian Boudreau, and our good friend from UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Bret Devereaux to analyze this absolute behemoth of a game from every angle. Hold on tight and keep your arms and legs completely inside the podcast. We're about to leave the station for an epic episode.
Victoria 3, Just Victoria 3
October 29, 2022 Rowan is joined by Firaxis Narrative Lead Cat Manning and freelance writer Ruth Cassidy to discuss Crusader Kings 3, two years on. How do we feel about it after all the patches and DLCs? What's great about it, and what's still not so great? And what would our dream version of this game look like?
Crusader Kings 3
October 15, 2022 This week, Len and Jon discuss the concept of the Forever Game: the strategy game you could keep playing from now until the end of time. Do they even really exist? What has come closest for us? And has the trend of continuous development brought them into existence only recently?
Civilization, Dwarf Fortress, Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis 4
September 30, 2022 SPOILER WARNING! Skip from 44:00 to 58:43 if you want to experience your first playthrough blind to the truths behind the alien threat. Len and Jon take to the stars with Terra Invicta: a wildly ambitious, solar-system-spanning, alien invasion grand strategy games from the makers of XCOM and XCOM 2's Long War mods. The ambition is incredible, but with ambition comes hubris. Is this even a working video game? And if so, who is it for?
September 16, 2022 The promise of the Civil War game that does everything is enticing but elusive. Now that it's out of early access, is Grand Tactician: The Civil War that game? Is it even close? Rowan and Rob get into the weeds on its officer promotion system, AI, brilliant little touches, and missed opportunities.
Grand Tactician: The Civil War
August 31, 2022 Len, Rowan, Jon, and Kotaku's Luke Plunkett take the plunge into Total War: Warhammer 3's Immortal Empires beta. It's the fullest realization of the promise Creative Assembly made six years ago and one of the most ambitious strategy campaigns of all time. Did the madlads actually pull it off?
Total War: Warhammer 3, Immortal Empires
August 26, 2022 Len and Jon are joined again by UNC Chapel Hill's Dr. Bret Devereaux to discuss Farthest Frontier, a survival city-builder with an uncommon level of historical authenticity. From clearing brush to crop blights, the attention the devs have given to inflicting realistic suffering on our villagers captured our imagination. But does it hold up at this early stage of early access?
August 13, 2022 Len and Jon are joined once again by Fanbyte's Mike Williams to talk about their semester abroad in Two Point Campus. Is the humor a bonus or a drawback? How is it, really, as a management game? And what exactly does the Scientography machine... do? We have written a thesis on all of these topics and are ready to defend it.
Two Point Campus, Two Point Hospital
July 30, 2022 Len is joined by two special guests, Strategy Lead at Vortex Games Trent Murray and Head of Esports at Frost Giant Studios, Trevor "TorcH" Housten. From the glory days of Brood War in Korea to the modern era of "ded gaem", we go over the history of RTS esports, why it was overshadowed by other genres, and what the future may hold. In particular, Trevor has some insights to share on what Frost Giant is doing to create the first "social RTS."
Stormgate, Starcraft: Brood War, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm
July 22, 2022 Rowan, Troy, and Ian Boudreau dig into Strategic Command: American Civil War. Taking a very high-level look at the conflict, the focus is much more on the operation than individual battles. It's an ambitious approach for a relatively small studio. Does it pass muster from serious Civil War buffs? And what about Ian?
Strategic Command: American Civil War, Grand Tactician: Civil War, Gary Grigsby's War Between The States
July 13, 2022 Rob sits down with Company of Heroes 3 Lead Gameplay Designer Matt Philip and Senior Designer Will Ward to talk about the recently-released North Africa alpha, which you can play from today until July 19. The Deutsch Afrika Korps is the second German faction to be announced, so what sets them apart from the Wehrmacht? And how do you balance around player attention in a game where you're supposed to zoom in and admire the detail?
Company of Heroes 3, Company of Heroes 2, Company of Heroes
July 1, 2022 Len is joined by Sin Vega to discuss Starship Troopers: Terran Command, a bug-splattering RTS that happens to be the first licensed Starship Troopers game in far longer than you may realize. And there's a bit more to it than just StarCraft or Dawn of War with a cult hit sci fi license tagged on, too. I feel like I can't make the "Would you like to know more?" joke again so I'll spare you all that.
Starship Troopers: Terran Command