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Everything posted by SamS

  1. Designer Notes 17: Ananda Gupta

    Great show. On the topic of making the player think like their historical counterpart I would recommend R.G Collingwood's The Idea of History, that sets out his theory that the job of the historian is the 'recreation of an historical thought'.
  2. Episode 350: Aging Gracefully

    Well this prompted me to fire up Age of Rifles again - (or more accurately, faff around trying to remember how to execute command lines in DOSBOX until I found the top reply in this page where some enterprising chap has put the whole AOR package together, user scenarios and all, in a simple, executable file). Before you could say 'Chinese Gordon' I was in the Soudan at the Wells of Abu Klea with 'The Square that Broke' against the Mahdist hordes. Has it aged well? It certainly looks like a game from 1996, but the hex-grid, turn based combat is not that different to what I have been playing recently in Order of Battle: Pacific. I would say it has aged OK, a bit like Jeff Bridges - looks rough but can still put in a great performance.
  3. Having tried a bunch of these types of games, the only that has really grabbed me was Rimworld. No small part because of the fantastic soundtrack by Alistair Lindsey.
  4. Episode 342: Satellite Reign

    Picked this up on the sale after listening to the show. Was a bit disappointed to see that 7 months after release there are currently 0 mods for this game since as far as I can tell, the devs are working on co-op multi-player rather than the modding API.
  5. I always find the first dozen or so hours of the Hegemony games to be the best part of the game. The part where you only have a few cities, don't have long supply lines and are engaged in a long war of attrition with your neighbours until the balance finally tips in your favour. This stage in H3 in particular was incredibly difficult, but really rewarding. Once you get up to 10 - 15 cities however Hegemony becomes a chore in economic management and - as you note in the podcast - never ending whack-a-mole. I'll happily play the first part over and over with different cities, but I could not think of anything worse than trying to conquer all of Italy.
  6. This is free this weekend so I've been playing a little. I was thinking when playing that I really wanted was for Koei to put out a new RoTK game. Lo and behold, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII is being released on 10 December 2015.
  7. For those who have tried to read the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and have been defeated by the millions of names, I cannot recommend highly enough the retelling of the story that is currently underway by John Zhu at
  8. Episode 322: Wing Leader

    Great show! I kept waiting for someone to slip up and call it Wing Commander but you all did well!
  9. Great show. I was so excited to hear about the upcoming China game - particularly the decision to make the 4th faction the warlords - not the allies. I have a copy of Leonard To's War of the Suns sitting at home which is far too massive to ever play that also includes the KMT cliques and warlords as an important part of the design. A COIN game will be much easier to play - looking forward to more updates. edit: Research shows Brian considers Thunder from China to be 'years' away. Gah!
  10. Taking Questions for next Q&A Show!

    Just put it on a separate map so you don't have to deal with Romans in Europe. Otherwise the setting is perfect - warlords with their own territories and feudal systems, shifting alliances, inheritance wars, bromances, betrayals. It would be great.
  11. Taking Questions for next Q&A Show!

    Troy, when is there going to be a 3 Kingdoms expansion for Crusader Kings 2?
  12. For most of the game China is a quagmire that does nothing. It does come into play in late '43 and '44 when you re-open the Burma road and it gets better supplied troops. If you can re-take Shanghai, that airport is close enough and large enough to base a strategic bombing campaign against the home islands. But by that time you have an enormous carrier advantage anyway. Great real-time AAR of the game here that was written up daily over 4 years
  13. I have a picture in my head of Gary Grigsby making War in the Pacific as Gary Oldman in The Professional. 'I want to model everything in the Pacific Theatre' 'What do you mean, 'everything'?' 'EVERRRRYYYYYTHIIIIIING' I think Grigsby agrees with the design principle to only focus on what is important. However the thing he thought was 'genuinely important' about the Pacific War was logistics, which is a fair enough assertion. But if you're going to build a game about logistics, then ships, planes, shipping lanes, supply dumps, port sizes, factories and all the other parts of the logistics chain need to be expressed separately in the game rather than 'factored in'. Once that has all been modelled, there isn't much left. That said, there are two parts of the game I wish had been abstracted. Firstly - China. A landwar stalemate that doesn't really have anything to do with the Pacific War except tie up Japanese troops. I would have been quite happy to just have that represented by an off map box. (Although to be fair, the game does come with a 'Quiet China' scenario where the AI ignores that theatre). Secondly - pilot management. Technically pilots were a resource that had to be managed as part of the logistic chain, but this part of the game is just terrible. I've been playing the game for years and still don't know exactly what I'm doing with pilots. Happily the game does not need to be 'min-maxed' and is forgiving of players bumbling around.
  14. I'm going to come to the defence of War in the Pacific. Yes it contains absurd levels of minutiae that are hidden behind an opaque interface, but it gives you exactly what Tom says a Pacific War game should give you. The IJN's roving KB carrier group is a constant terror that will obliterate any Allied ship it comes across - including the Enterprise and the Lexington - forcing you to engage in a constant game of cat and mouse. (There is nothing worse than watching the end turn report cycle through battles and then you suddenly see 100 Zeroes roll up on your precious battleships - RIP Prince of Wales). As Bruce points out, the game excels at explaining why certain islands were important and island hopping naturally evolves out of the game's supply system. OK, you may spend 50 turns building up to an attack, and only 5 turns attacking. But boy howdy, those 5 turns will be 5 of the best goddamned turns you have ever played. If you can get to that point (and granted, it requires some patience), your investment in time is well rewarded.
  15. Episode 307: Roguelikes

    What is a good guide for coding your own roguelike for someone who does not know how to code?
  16. This show has piqued my curiosity too greatly not to pick up a copy. They're under $100 on ebay.
  17. Did someone say they wanted to see a hard core wargame with good graphics? Good news, Histwar 2 is in the works!
  18. Episode 180: Thinking Machines

    Dear Vic Please, please, please port AE to the iPad. TIA.
  19. This was a Good episode. Great work by Troy coming in with an early statement of definitions to stop the show falling down the semantics wormhole and then a late game home run with the observation on lack of starship engineers in popular culture. One game though that I wish you guys would have played and been able to talk about is Aurora. It's a real outlier that would make a good reference point for discussion. It doesn't quite model the plumbing as Cliff says, but it does go into insane levels of minutiae regarding customization, yet still holds together.