SamS

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Everything posted by SamS

  1. Three Moves Ahead 476: Pericles

    This is my question also.
  2. Good episode. There are lots of little tidbits I love about this game – but there is one particular thing which I think is just brilliant that I love seeing. The responses from other leaders when you turn down their offers. In every other TW game, you get spammed with diplo requests and every time you refuse you get some snarky version of “well screw you too buddy”. When that happens I’m like “hey, you came to me, I’m the one dealing with this annoying shit every turn and you’re giving me attitude??”. But I didn’t realise just how much that grated on me until this game. It is such a delight now with diplomacy when you turn down Kong Rong or someone they just give you a “cool, no problems” and that’s it. On the shadow unit cards - there is an option buried in the graphic menu that lets you turn them into normal unit cards that have the actual troops on them - it's a million times better. One more point - Rob you didn’t “Hannibal” it over the mountains – you "Deng Ai’d" it over the mountains! Someone actually went and looked at what it took for Deng Ai to sneak an army into Liu Bei's kingdom in Sichuan https://bzdww.com/article/38005/
  3. Troy did just that on the Single Malt Strategy podcast last month.
  4. More Kiwis on the podcast please.
  5. I'll pretty much listen to Troy and Rob bang on about anything really, so 1 or 2 shows a year about other topics doesn't phase me. But I prefer listening to them talk about games.
  6. Wrong! The podcast was always called Three Moves Ahead. It was hosted on Troy's blog called Flash of Steel.
  7. What chess videos does Austin watch?
  8. Ha, I came here to post this - the podcast got sooo close when Bruno asked about games where the AI follows different rules to the player, but then it veered away again. Warlords Battlecry 2 is another game that was streets ahead of its contemporaries in relation to skirmishes and compstomps. You could actually take your hero out of the 'Total War' style campaign and go play a bunch of skirmishes with him to level up, and he would keep that experience when you took him back to the campaign game. Like AOE though, there were so many factions it was impossible to ever master.
  9. This podcast actually inspired me to fire up WitW! If you have the Operation Torch expansion there are actually quite a lot of separate scenarios – although it would have been good if they did a second expansion like they did for WitE and added some more. But I guess they’re too busy on WitE2 which from what I understand is going to be porting a lot of the WitW features back over to that front. Bruce was right that a lot of the gameplay elements like building up points for an invasion are lifted directly from War in the Pacific – what I wouldn’t give for a sequel to that! On western front strategic games, a very good recent PC release is Strategic Command 3 – aka Strategic Command WWII: War in Europe. It sits quite comfortably below the Grigsby games on complexity, but gives you a good mix of battles and simple strategic and production decisions.
  10. Episode 424: Command Ops 2

    This is easily one of my top 5 games of all time. I love making my own AARs and drawing up plans with lots of arrows across the map and then executing them. (and seeing the plans all fall apart). On the topic of games that have a fog of war for your own units - the only one that springs to mind is the HPS sims game Tigers Unleashed - although it is still quite buggy.
  11. haha this was a great episode, seriously you could just spend an hour every week talking about old sci fi TV shows and it would be totally fine. I always had a soft spot for Voyager because it was really my 'first' Star Trek show that I watched from the beginning. I had seen some TNG shows, but the 90s wasn't like now and you couldn't just go and get all 7 seasons of a show to binge watch (which would be something like 50 VCRs). But I did have Janeway and Chakotay every week and, yeah the first season wasn't crash hot - but I was looking forward to another 6 or 7 seasons of the show that established itself as its own chapter of the Star Trek universe. Unfortunately we never got that, and I went off to college after season 3 so I have actually never even seen how it ends. .
  12. After listening to this I went back and listened to the old Empire: Total War show (episode 3!) with Troy, Tom and Bruce (most notable for the coining of the term 'Chick Parabola' by Bruce that was much snappier than Tom's original name, the 'Bell-Curve of Fondness'). It's interesting how a lot of discussion in the show back then was about whether CA had been able to successfully marry the turn-based strategic layer with the real time battles, and whether the meta game imbued the battles with enough context to make them meaningful. Like Tom said in that show, why am I playing a crappy strategic game when I could just go and play Civ4 or EU3 (or Dominions 3 as Bruce suggests)? Since that time, CA have iterated over and over and done a lot of work on the strategic layer (especially with Attila and Total Warhammer) - indeed so much so that not only is this question not raised any more - but even with this retrospective - it's kind of glossed over that it was ever an issue. That's not a criticism of the show, but its always fascinating how the current state of affairs colours our view of the past.
  13. Episode 386: Steel Panthers

    A Command Ops 2 show would be great. The modules on Steam are basically all of their old games updated to work in the new engine - but for some reason have been given new names. 'Foothills of the Gods' and 'The Cauldron' are the Conquest of the Aegean maps. 'Ride of the Valkyries' and 'Bastogne' are the Command Ops 1 maps. 'Westwall' and 'Knock On All Doors' are new maps created for CO2.
  14. I thought this was one of the best TMA shows in a long time. Dissecting the game in the context of an after action report gave the show a narrative depth that, to be honest, is kind of a novelty with the often wide ranging and discursive conversations TMA usually involves. More of these types of shows would be great.
  15. There's been no official 'announcement' of DW2, but it's been confirmed in the Matrix forums that it is being worked on. No other information.
  16. I was really hoping CMANO would make the cut for this show - hopefully you can do another show on it some time. The one thing I hope for Distant Worlds 2 is something of an economy that actually means something - it's so barebones in DW:U and so trivial to be rolling in funds that its the main reason I've stopped playing it. On Aurora, Michael hit on the point that it's very much like War in the Pacific - it's not about getting through the minutiae to get to the game, the game is the minutiae. If you can embrace that you'll love it.
  17. It may have been accurate to say that Australian politics was two party dominated 20 years (or even 10 years) ago, but that was not because of "Instant Run-off Voting" or "preferential voting" as we call it (general social and cultural norms together with a lack of viable alternatives were more important). In the most recent election, only 75% of voters cast their first vote for the two major parties. The other 25% were for minor parties. This has had a profound effect on Australian politics where parties on the left and right of the spectrum have significant influence in the parliament. As Rob mentioned in the show, at the very least it means the centre parties do spend quite a lot of time having to shore up their base to stop votes drifting off to the fringe rather than fighting their opponent. While it is true that many votes that go to the fringe parties will come back to the major parties through preferences, the reduced primary vote for the majors (which are predicted to go below 70% in a few years) has already produced one minority government in the last few years and looks like it will lock in permanent minority governments for a long time to come where coalitions with third parties are mandatory to form government. All with IRV in place.
  18. Gallipoli the movie totally holds up as well by the way.
  19. The only computer game that does the Boer war on an operational scale that I know of is the Ageod title 'Pride of Nations' which has it as a discrete scenario. Although it is strictly military and does not go into the political aspects of the war Rob was talking about. The game also has an Indian Mutiny scenario which is another forgotten theatre. The representation of the China theatre in WW2 bears out Bruce's theory that there are actually quite a lot of Chinese games that represent this part of the war (as well as innumerable Chinese TV shows and movies). Language and unfamiliarity mean there are fewer English language productions, which usually need some kind of non-Chinese hook or reference to get the punters into it ( the most recent example I saw was a book on the battle of Shanghai that has the subtitle 'Stalingrad on the Yangtze'). Which is unfortunate as there is a fascinating setup there along the lines of a COIN game where you have two strained allies, the KMT and the CCP who have to co-operate against the invasion, but also have their own agenda of eliminating the other. There is a board game War of the Suns that does look at this tension to an extent and represents the different sides, but goes into terrifying detail on different warlords and cliques that would benefit from a degree of simplification for ignorant western audiences.
  20. Once you get over the hump of learning the game, I find big, complex games like EU4 or RimWorld are actually perfect for playing in small chunks. I think the main reason is that the gameplay in those games is just 'systems management', tweaking something here, changing something there, and watching it tick along. You can watch it tick for one hour or seven hours, it doesn't really make a difference. There is no checkpoint or endgoal you need to reach, its just busywork you immerse yourself in for as long as you want/can.
  21. Your Pacific War link above points to Empire of the Rising Sun - the correct link to Mark's (1985) game is https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/5622/pacific-war I actually have War of the Suns sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read Rana Mitter's 'Forgotten Ally', Peter Harmsen's 'Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yantze' and Jonathan Fenby's 'Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China he lost' (and probably a host of others). It is certainly a conflict where you need to wrap your head around a lot of the internal politics to get a good grasp on how that all translated onto the battlefield. Leonard To, the designer has put an incredible amount of research into this over the last few decades (he would be an interesting choice for an interview!) As you point out, the War in China was a colossal conflict that has almost sunk without a trace outside of China, but to be honest it is not much better inside China with the hagiographic treatment the CCP gets for its involvement. Interestingly though Chiang Kai-shek (or Cash My Cheque as FDR called him) has undergone, if not a rehabilitation, at least a re-evaluation on the mainland as a patriot (if misguided one) for his efforts against the Japanese. I was in Nanjing last year and Chiang's headquarters there from pre-1937 are still preserved (including some disturbing life sized mannequins of Chiang).
  22. Episode 355: Stellaris

    My favourite part of Stellaris so far has been the enforcement of different techs between races (which by the way seems to be what Civ6 will be doing as well). Paradox games have always been two armies of identical dudes mashing up against each other. But when the enemy in my first war (which happened in the first 3 hours) turned up with torpedoes and shields when all I had were railguns it really gave the impression that 'whoah, these guys are really alien to me'.
  23. 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'.
  24. 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 http://www.myabandonware.com/game/wargame-construction-set-iii-age-of-rifles-1846-1905-2e2 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.