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About Skyrider68

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  1. Three Moves Ahead 476: Pericles

    I have and very much enjoy Churchill. I have hesitated on Pericles, and I still do not own it to this day. That first plateau of fully grasping the mechanics of the game, without even considering strategy, seems a much larger step to ascend than does Churchill. Is this a fair assessment? You guys clearly seem to respect and admire the game design, but I don't know that I'm getting the sense I need to rush out and get this. I also feel restrained somewhat by my lukewarm sense for ancients-period games. With the exception of Fort Sumter, I really like the other Mark Herman games on my shelf, but something is holding me back with Pericles. Maybe it's just the reality of not being able to easily find 3 other players to have a full contingent for the way the game seems meant to be played. All that being said, what is your feedback on Phormio, the solo bot? Is the game enjoyable if one chooses to attempt solo play?
  2. I was pleasantly surprised that you devoted an episode to this fine game, and it strikes me as a game that has aged well and continues to garner more respect as new players discover it almost 15 years after its first release. There are literally hours of video and text devoted to the mechanics and strategies of this game on the internet. When a player conquers that first plateau of grasping the basics of the rules, he/she can begin to more fully absorb what an impressive game this is. I learned the mechanics of EoTS years ago, but I never had the time to soak up the many possible strategies. Despite this, I haven't lost an ounce of respect or enthusiasm for the game. I think it's the game I respect the most in my modest collection. It's definitely the game I most look forward to revisiting when life allows a little more free time than I have now. Gratitude to Mark Herman and GMT for continuing to support this game today. I noticed the most recent reprint supports a complete redesign & rewrite of a solitaire play system--an earnest effort to expand the audience and enjoyment factor of an already impressive game. Owners of older copies of the game have the option to download the latest version of the rules and improvements like the solitaire system without feeling pressured to shell out for an entirely new copy; a very respectful way to treat customers. Also, a thumbs-up to Francisco Colmenares, a skilled player responsible in part for the latest solitaire system improvements, and the current caretaker of the most-excellent VASSAL module of the game.
  3. I have long listened to the show, and I generally like Zacny's point of view in the strategy/war space........except where anything positive about Star Wars Rebellion is concerned. It may be the only title of which I seem to be in total disagreement with Rob. In 40+ years of playing board and electronic games, Rebellion for the PC is easily in the top two or three games where I walked away feeling the most disappointed: Terrible interface; terrible AI; terrible tactical elements and presentation (should have been left out completely); and "pause-able real time." Gag!! All of it poorly disguised behind a massive golden goose of intellectual property licensing. Of course, there are also bad elements about SW Rebellion, but this post has run long. I'm going to lie down, put a cool washcloth on my forehead, and hope Rob does not mention SW Rebellion in whimsical terms ever again. Otherwise, cool episode. ;-)
  4. Three Moves Ahead 399 - Air Combat

    Just the short listing at the top of page, that I can see. Here are links to the BoardGameGeek listings: Tac Air Flight Leader Air Superiority Check Your Six Bag the Hun
  5. Three Moves Ahead 399 - Air Combat

    Dr. Bruce: Great episode, highly credible guest; knew early-on it was to be a must-listen episode. While I have not played a large number of air combat games, I can appreciate the challenges/complexities of trying to make a believable game where the battle dynamics can change so rapidly. It was refreshing to hear your guest speak favorably of air combat games that look at the bigger picture of winning the air war instead of digging too deeply into the nuts, bolts, and mathematics of it all. Pilots, engineers, and diehard enthusiasts do love that stuff, but I've just never been sold on the idea that a heavy dose of simulation should be emphasized ahead of strategy where air combat board games are concerned. I've got Wing Leader on the shelf; hopefully on the table soon. Have you played this yet, Bruce? If so, do you have a favorable opinion of it?
  6. Episode 386: Steel Panthers

    Bummer to hear what sounded like an overall assessment of "hasn't aged well." Unlike Star Wars Rebellion, I've put Steel Panthers in a good place in my long-term gaming memory. It's yet another game I have been wanting to revisit in hopes of extracting maximum mileage. I own a copy of the current winSPMBT iteration along with all the yearly patches, but still haven't made the time to play. Alas, it's not the first time that Rob and Troy have reminded us that many of the fondly remembered games of our youth have not aged well. C'est la vie in the world of technology.
  7. I had been been playing PC games for quite some time, and I still have a distinct memory of how much I hated SW Rebellion on the PC. I thought the UI was so unsuited for a real time game, even for its era. I just remember it seemed like it took a thousand mouse clicks to do anything of significance. As a PC game, it's still on my short list of most disappointing experiences of all time. It's interesting to hear the positive buzz on the board-game incarnation of this this title, but like that spoiled potato salad that made me sick as a dog when I was a kid, it may very well be decades until I have the courage to try something similar again.
  8. Episode 387: Churchill AAR

    Enjoyed your revisit of Churchill, one of my favorites of the past year. I like the big-picture scaling of the game, the want-to-play-it-again feeling at game's end, and the feasibility of 3 familiar players completing a full-length game in an afternoon. I always look forward to bringing this game back to the table. It will be interesting to see how the system evolves with Pericles, which is going to start arriving on preorder doorsteps in the next few weeks. One part of the game you discussed that left me puzzled: You referred to a coordinated strategy of swapping the Theater Leadership issue(s) between the western allies each turn. Were you referring to TOTAL control of both theaters, so as to get the additional 2 bonus offensive support points? Otherwise, I wasn't clear as to what the benefit would be of a theater leadership changing sides each turn. Winning a leadership issue marker when you already control a given theater still gets you the 1 support for holding it from previous turn, plus 2 more support for successfully "defending" your claim to the leadership. I couldn't figure what you guys were getting at when you talked about swapping the leadership each turn, unless it was the aforementioned bonus. Also, I'm surprised that Uncle Joe didn't take away your other toys for what sounded like a lot of focus on those leadership chits. :-) Do you recall what the final score was for all 3 sides? Is it a game that everyone is eager to revisit, or is it a checked-that-box, time-to-move-on experience? Thanks for another good episode!
  9. Episode 366: Modern Warfare

    Enjoyed the episode. Any chance of some reference links to the books on the Falklands conflict that Mitch and Bruce were discussing?
  10. Episode 363: Sid Meier's Pirates!

    Rob, Troy, and Fraser, thanks (not!) for reminding some of us in the listening audience that we have become "old" in the world of computer gaming. If the shoe fits....I guess. Played the original Pirates! on the venerable Commodore 64 with its awe-inspiring 16-color palette. (It looked so good in 1987!) Despite the limitations of home computers of that time, the game was very immersive: Aside from the countless hours I remember enjoying the game, I recall several friends--many of who were absolutely *not* computer gaming people--getting totally sucked into the time sink for hours at a time with this game; truly a lot of replayability with this game. Pirates was not a turn-based game per se, but it definitely had that similar 'just-5-more-minutes' feel like the best of the turn-based games. On more than one occasion I had to kick people off the computer and send them home so I could get a decent night's sleep for work the next morning. Seems like it was always Pirates or Ultima 4 running on that old C64 whenever somebody was home. Those were the days.... Truly an all-time great and very worthy of legendary status. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
  11. Episode 350: Aging Gracefully

    A nice, albeit somewhat melancholy episode from my perspective. As I type, I look into a cabinet of games, some of which were mentioned in this episode. Many of them have sat patiently collecting dust over the years, but I've always held in the back of my mind that someday I would find the time again to enjoy them more fully. Maybe the reunion won't really be all that enjoyable after all. C'est la vie.
  12. Episode 351: Weekend of Wargaming

    Acck ! Bruce, you inadvertently snubbed Liberty or Death in the COIN lineup. I've been enjoying that title lately. Nice to hear the show chat about Triumph & Tragedy. I continue to hear really good things about this game. I am playing my first T & T game next week.
  13. Episode 250: More Than a Box

    Congrats on #250! Great outtakes!
  14. Pacing back and forth on the buy/don't buy line for this game. Traditionally, I am not a big fan of RTS, though I have given it a try on and off over the years. On the other hand, I am into wargaming, and I especially like modern-era themed games such as Harpoon, Falcon, Steel Panthers 2, etc. Admittedly, these are not RTS games though, so I feel kind of stuck. Anyone else out there in my demographic? Not totally in love with RTS but ultimately happy with your experiences with this game?
  15. Episode 221: Binding With Iron

    A little late to respond, but I did enjoy your discussion of train games. Of the games you mentioned, I have played and do still dabble with Railroad Tycoon 2, Rails Across America,and Ticket to Ride. I think each of these games are very good at what they are trying to be. Of course, no single game is everything to all game players. Tycoon 2 was the more hardcore of the bunch and was most appreciated by players who wanted a deeper railroad/business strategy game. I remember feeling that it was a game that took some time to learn, but was ultimately satisfying to those willing to make the investment. Lots of scenarios available with the subsequent gold and platinum packs. Still deserving of praise, all these years later. I agree with the panelists completely in their comments about Rails Across America. It really was a game that seemed like it should have done a lot better than it did with people, but it just couldn't gain any traction with players and many game reviewers--Bruce excepted. I still remember reading his write-up of the game, and I think that was the reason I went out and bought it. I still dabble with it a bit even now and I'm trying to get my daughter and some of her friends who are Ticket to Ride junkies to expand their strategy horizons a bit by giving this game a fair chance on the home LAN. Jury's still out on the experiment. My take on why the game was not a critical success is that it got lost in the polarized space where most RR game fans were at the time. It was too simplistic for the more hardcore players (e.g. RRT2), while also being a little too complicated for the light strategy crowd (e.g. Ticket). A real shame this game sunk quickly into obscurity. The classic game that has eluded me as a gamer all these years is 1830. I don't know how I allowed this one to slip through the cracks. I do intend to do something about it, but Bruce is right: the old DOS version has definitely not aged well, to the point of me uninstalling it years ago. Although I understand Mayfair has reprinted the game, my perception is that the barrier to entry on this game is kind of high, given that the crusty old dogs who still play the tabletop (or emulated) version are a pretty hardcore batch after all these years. Not trying to slight 1830 players, but are there really any "casual" players of 1830 out there after all these years? If so, drop me a note, as I would love to learn how to play this game well someday.