Rob Zacny

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About Rob Zacny

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    Host: Three Moves Ahead & Esports Today

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  1. Three Moves Ahead 441: Rob & Bruce & WWI This week Dr. Bruce Geryk, Sommelier of the Somme, guides Rob through several unconventional takes on WWI combat. Usually written off as "trenches are boring", World War I poses a challenge to the game designer. Bruce guides 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. Paths of Glory, The Lamps are Going Out, Fields of Despair Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  2. Three Moves Ahead 440: Cultist Simulator 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 Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  3. Three Moves Ahead 439: Cataclysm: A Second World War 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 Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  4. Three Moves Ahead 438: Procedural Content and Strategy Layers in Games 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? Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  5. Three Moves Ahead 437: Slay the Spire 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 Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  6. Three Moves Ahead 436: To Infinity Engine and Beyond 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. Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  7. Three Moves Ahead 435: Omnia vincit Roma 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 Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  8. Three Moves Ahead 434: Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 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 Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  9. Three Moves Ahead 433: Frostpunk 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. Frostpunk Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  10. Three Moves Ahead 432: BATTLETECH 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. BATTLETECH Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  11. Three Moves Ahead 431: Hearts of Iron IV: Waking the Tiger T.J. Hafer is our host with Rowan Kaiser and author April Daniels as we look at the latest Hearts of Iron IV expansion, Waking the Tiger. Released long with the major game patch "Cornflakes", Waking the Tiger adds all the usual suspects for a Paradox expansion: new game mechanics, skill trees, and enhancements for specific countries. Is Communist China the place to be now? What about alternate history packs, like Kaiserreich? Waking the Tiger extends the legs of HOI and gives us a positive outlook for the future of the game. Hearts of Iron IV Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  12. Three Moves Ahead 430: Classic Year in Review: 1998 The year is 1998 and the 500 lb. gorilla in the room is Starcraft. Blizzard creates the finest Warhammer 40K game ever made and changes the RTS landscape forever. Half-Life. Ocarina of Time. Baldur's Gate. Is 1998 the greatest year in history for gaming? Listen to Rob, Rowan, and Troy "Starcraft: The cutscenes were nice" Goodfellow discuss the details. Half-Life, Ocarina of Time, Falcon, Grand Prix Legends, Starcraft, Baldur's Gate, People's General, Star Wars: Rebellion, Seven Kingdoms, Battlezone, Mech Commander, Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, Anno 1602, Caesar 3, Railroad Tycoon 2, Suikoden 2 Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  13. Three Moves Ahead 429: Subterfuge Do you like submarines? Do you like being irrationally angry at your best friends? How about checking your phone at 2 AM? Subterfuge may be the relationship ender you've been looking for. Rob is joined by Kotaku's Heather Alexandra, PC Gamer's Philippa Warr, and freelance writer Nick Capozzoli to talk about Subterfuge, a game about being a jerk. Inspired by the long-form RTS gameplay of Neptune's Pride, Subterfuge is as much a game about relationships with other players as it is tactics. The panel discusses their emotional highs and lows when dealing with the hell that is other people, and you can hear the frustration as Rob demonstrates the most exaggerated sigh in the history of podcasting. Subterfuge, Neptune's Pride Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  14. Three Moves Ahead 428: Gary Grigsby's War in the West The Winter of Wargaming marches on with Gary Grigsby's War in the West. Bruce joins Rob and Troy "No, really, the Canadian military was actually very invol-" Goodfellow to talk about the the thundering behemoth that is War in the West. It's been long established that panel enjoys Gary Grigsby's earlier War in the East, but does that love carry over to War in the West? The eastern front may have certain qualities that make it the perfect candidate for strategy at this level, while the West finds itself pushing and pulling the player's attention in too many different directions. Listen in to find out what the panel thinks and why PC gaming is dead. Forever. Gary Grigsby's War in the West, Gary Grigsby's War in the East Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  15. Three Moves Ahead 427: Northgard This week Rob and Troy "Canadians are just as tough as Vikings" Goodfellow are joined by Waypoint's Ian Boudreau and Cameron Kunzelman to talk about Shiro Games' Northgard. A reasonably-paced RTS set in the time of Vikings, Northgard gives you a thoughtful, boardgame-like experience that isn't focused on APM. Northgard turns the tables on traditional RTS games by emphasizing a small number of precious units rather than throwing hordes at the player. The winters can be brutal, but Northard earns a strong recommendation from the panel. Northgard Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes