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  1. General Staff ( http://general-staff.com/ ) has finally started its Kickstarter Campaign! Dr Ezra Sidran is the genius behind The War College all those years ago and his new project looks pretty sweet! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1366362068/general-staff-game-of-military-tactics-and-wargami/description Naturally, I had to back it. I hope it realises its goals. https://youtu.be/bRf3mARKjmk
  2. Yeah, enjoyed the episode. It was mentioned that this wouldn't work without the IP, but as mentioned above, the BSG Deadlock game sort of evolved from Star Hammer Tactics/Vanguard Prophecy. http://www.starhammer.com/ Also, BSG 2003 TV show was mentioned, but this is before the First Cylon war, so I thought the ships are more relevant to the 1978 Original Series (or at least a nod in that direction). However this game does present the replays in the style of the 2003 TV shows stunning action sequences and it is real example on how to do WEGO game resolution in an enjoyable review format. Makes all the head-scratching and hand-wringing of the tactical decisions worth it, even if it didn't go so well, to just watch a battle you had a major role in play out cinematically before your very eyes. BSG just does Military Sci Fi well, and the Deadlock game supports that with its action pieces and tactical focus on fleet composition and combined use of tactical options.
  3. Episode 326: State of the RTS

    RTS Games.... "None were like Kohan". http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/11/06/kohan-retrospective/
  4. Episode 326: State of the RTS

    I'm amazed no-one mentioned AI War. (Mr Hermes!!) Some of the smaller indie RTS'es are worth a look-see. Nightside http://nightsiderts.com/ Etherium http://etherium-thegame.com/ War, The Game http://warthegame.net/ SunAge http://www.vertex4.com/sunage/ Meridian: New World http://meridian-game.com/ Machines at War http://www.isotope244.com/machines-at-war-3.html A historical series that I half expected Troy to mention was the Hegemony series by Longbow games. https://www.longbowgames.com/ Not sure whether the likes of Scourge of War, Gettysburg and Waterloo count as historical RTS'es. All the chat about Kohan, my favourite RTS series, had me wondering whether the likes of PantherGames series Command Ops was worth a mention here. Specifically because Rob said he'd like to see more RTS'es work on the macro-management scale. Command Ops 2 (the core engine is free!) http://store.lnlpublishing.com/command-ops-2-core-engine http://store.lnlpublishing.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=91 Command Ops takes a traditional chit type wargame, but in pauseable real-time with very detailed maps. It also allows you to construct/re-organise multi-type units, with leaders and plan their actions along a timeline to a quite high level of detail. Then once you have your formations how you want them, and with their orders the sub-ordinate AI leaders will execute your orders in real time. They may not do so exactly, or to your schedule, but your role as the Commander on the battlefield is to tweak and change your execution plan and react to situations developing. The AI is really good, and can be relied on to handle your orders. So you work at a higher strategic level, but can pause the game and plan down to timings of certain movements. This game (and its earlier incarnations) have always struck me as ideal for RTS players who want more control of the higher level unit formations, and the broader strokes on the battlefield - a bit like Kohan did. Factoring in Supplies and reinforcements etc. The game also has a number of victory locations, that need to be taken/defended by a given time frame to earn the points, which puts a whole level of organisational timing into the mix. The game is built with historical WWII OOB's and equipment details. Perhaps the game looks daunting from the outset, but really the traditional wargame look to it, hides away these unique real time macro-managed manoeuvres and higher levels of strategy. Theres a real sense of monitoring troop effectiveness/morale and holding units back to cycle into the front line to push through heavy defensive positions. Artillery plays a strong role too. Anyway, I urge any serious RTS player who wants to see something different and to experience a conflict at a higher commanding level to give it a go. Starcraft 2 may never seem the same again.
  5. Episode 324: Tower Defense

    A recent land on Steam, but is also out on mobile devices is the rather traditional Alien Robot Monsters http://www.kraftixgames.com/arm Been playing it and its very puzzley, but quite enticing with lots of interplay between the turrets and upgrades. Lots of boom-boom, zap-zap, pew-pew-pew. Normally I see the mechanics behind these traditional TD games, and I sort of lose interest, but this one is holding my attention - so thought it worth a mention here.
  6. Episode 324: Tower Defense

    I enjoyed the show, despite its popular PC based bias. But, I had to post my list, because I think TD gets a bad rep amongst strategy titles, probably because of the mobile explosion and the throwaway/monetisation of the genre. Designers cutting their teeth on a TD game, because its limited in scope. I just wanted to show that the TD mechanic is being pushed in different ways more in the Indie game sector than anywhere else, although there is always overlap with the mobile arena.3MA is primarily a PC based show, so it follows naturally that the titles looked at are from the PC. Iron Brigade is firmly in the Sanctum camp, but big stompy mechs are very satisfying. I forgot to post that wasn't Brutal Legend an RTS/TD hybrid? Then I thought well any RTS that has base defense in it could be loosely classed as a TD, and you more or less said that in the podcast. TD is basically an RTS Turtler's wet dream. In the mobile arena, I have major issues with what the higher powers that be call a "Strategy game". Usually anything that involves online content and blatant monetisation/microtransactions. The TD arena on mobile is overpopulated with guff, there are several really good ones in there, but finding them is difficult and not being duped into the "same old same old" is a pursuit towards futility. https://play.google.com/store/search?q=Tower+Defense&c=apps&docType=1&sp=CAFiDwoNVG93ZXIgRGVmZW5zZXoCGACKAQIIAQ%3D%3D:S:ANO1ljKHGFs However, if anyone has an Android device (even an old S3 Rob) I'd like to throw down the gauntlet (a rather weak floppy cotton affair) to have a go at Spira 2 (I think you can play it for free if you can put up with ads, but it is worth a few quid/dollars). I'd particularly like to hear from Sean Sands with his TD obsession, having a go at this one - he'll probably grok it in double time.. it's all about the mechanics and the numbers and not much else. But I've yet to find the exact synergies between the towers.. Spira 2 [Android] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.funqai.spira2 This abstract mobile Tower Defense game, might give you some balance and optimisation decisions, and hopefully will amuse you if you like to tinker with turret composition, with only 5 positions to fill. Here are some of my initial thoughts... The Rapid turrets are too weak, even when beefed up with damage and rate of fire. The Chain turrets are amazing early levels, with 5 or 6 chains on them, but their damage is very poor later on level 30+ The Nuke turrets are pretty good, if you can get their damage and their % Critical values up. Their damage is expensive, but you only need it to match a 12th of what you're hitting, and get it to Crit, because a Crit (at about 30% fire rate) will trigger a 3rd of the time and will do x12 damage! The Reaper turret is amazing, beef it up damage and %Reap chance as best you can. It's damage is expensive, but it climbs pretty drastically in numbers until much later levels 50+. Plus when it fires of a Reap it adds a +1 life to your central base. So get this firing all the way up the levels and you build health and more longevity into your base. The Gold turret marks enemies for killing with a gold bonus. It does work but you have to get it next to something that will kill it outright quick, because the Gold mark doesn't last long. The Plant turret is meant to trigger a boost in the power needed to fund your specials - its expensive and slow to gain power I've found. The defensive towers I've struggled with to use effective, because none of them have much poke when hitting the enemy. I've tried the Pusher, which shoves an enemy back out a bit, but theres usually too many enemies and it doesn't fire regularly enough, nor does it push far enough to justify the expense. The Stopper can be effective if you pair it with a fast killer like Reaper or Nuke. Because it holds an enemy in place for a number of seconds (beefed up), and thus your heavy hitter gets a couple of chances at it. If you pair up the turrets tactics (close enemies, or fast enemies etc.). The Slower, just slows targets 3 enemies at a time - I've always thought this one wouldn't work well... but have yet to try it out. My best yet, is Level 73 - anyone fancy seeing how they can do and sharing any possible strategies?
  7. Episode 324: Tower Defense

    I have a thing for Tower Defence games. I couldn't even finish the podcast without coming here to mention a few of my notables over the years... Immortal Defense - (storied surreal vector based participatory plan and shoot-a-thon) http://immortaldefense.com/ Defenders Quest - (RPG where your "towers" are developing team of adventurers!) http://www.defendersquest.com/1/ Rymdkapsel - (abstract tetris based space build and defend with timed peril) http://rymdkapsel.com/ Iron Brigade - (3d Mech stomp-a-thon) http://www.ironbrigadegame.com/ Anomaly series (Tower offense - escort and kill) http://www.11bitstudios.com/games/14/anomaly-2 Spira Defense/Void Defense [Android] - (abstract pure numbers & mechanics orbitting spiral shootdown on mobile devices) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.craigahart.android.spiradefencepro https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.craigahart.android.voiddefencepro Infested Planet (squad based tower offense) http://www.rocketbeargames.com/infestedplanet/index.html Atom Zombie Smasher (zombie quell and evac game) http://blendogames.com/atomzombiesmasher/ Gratuitous Tank Battles (tanks and trenches) http://gratuitoustankbattles.com/ Creeper World III (land grabbing, base building tower stemming the flow of the creep) http://knucklecracker.com/creeperworld3/cw3.php Iron Grip Warlord (3d steampunk FPS, tower and base defense) https://www.isotx.com/the-games/#www_igwarlord_com Freaking Meatbags (tower defense, population genetic hybridisation and robots) http://www.wildfactor.net/StaticPage/FreakingMeatbags/FreakingMeatbags.htm I hope these gems give you a glimpse at the often esoteric edge of TD gaming. But many of them are worthwhile pursuits in their own right, and for me really take the genre past the likes of Kingdom Rush/Defense Grid style stalwarts. What I'd like to see, is a TD game where your turrets/emplacements are moveable to react to the creeping hordes - so you can pause, plan and then run simultaneously, checking your timed movement plans. It might end up a complicated game, of patterned movements, but I imagine it to happen as a large scale military battle would where advancing the right kit to the right place and right time is crucial, and pulling them back to rest and recuperate with reinforcements plays out a complex dance of offense and defense and perhaps even supply. Maybe a little too complex for TD, but its a dream of mine. Battle of Waterloo TD.
  8. Ideas for 3MA shows

    Because of the rapid rate of development and integral feedback/modification loop with dedicated Arcen Games players, TLF has come on a lot in a very short space of time. Its development is following a similar course that AI War did in that its rapid, ongoing, and the game beds in quickly, but also is constantly pushing the boundaries. In May, Chris announced that the first expansion to the game is in development its called Betrayed Hope. http://arcengames.com/summer-2014/ And in the comments Chris reveals how TLF has done (he's never been shy in opening his whole strategy and business up for public scrutiny) Michael, definitely put some time aside and delve into the game. It's really quite gentle and paced in its approach, much more accessible - if you're a strategy gamer - than the likes of AI War. The tactical combat can now be auto-resolved if you don't find the space battles intriguing, and you can just work on the higher grand strategic level. Once you click with what its trying to do, essentially a balancing act between all the races diplomatically, perhaps singling out a particular race for anihilation and bonding with the others, creating a united federation it really becomes quite engrossing - with each of the races having a totally different attitude, government and way of managing their empires. Swap tech, manipulate racial opinions of each other, sabotage, spying, aid in building infrastructure, defending against pirates, lots of options all at the Grand Strategic level. Plus you can pewpewpew spaceships if you want I'm sure Troy and Rob would be keen, and no doubt Tom would be positively effervescent. Perhaps.
  9. Ideas for 3MA shows

    I'd have thought The Last Federation would have caught the 3MA panels attention by now, its a sort of Grand Strategy in space game with diplomatic concerns that adds a Babylon 5 style twist to it. You know Chris Park, Arcen's main man, would probably be up for a show.. I think a lot of listeners would really appreciate this topic, and hopefully you can eek some more info about future Arcen projects from Chris himself. http://arcengames.com/the-last-federation/
  10. It's interesting to note that since the game discussed way back in Episode 27 - Lock N' Load's Heroes of Stalingrad is due out for release tomorrow over at Matrix, a mere 5 years later! It was a particularly heated discussion and I doubt the flak taken had anything to do with the 5 year delay, but you never know. https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/episode-27
  11. If its Wargaming on the Android, I have a short list of titles worth looking at, its well over a year old though and a number of major players in the PC wargame arena have started migrating titles to the 'droid (namely John Tiller and Battlefront's Combat Mission). I try to maintain a list of games worth considering over at Playboard.me Wargames worth considering Boardgames worth considering Strategy games worth considering. Hope you find something in there.
  12. Episode 247: Korsun Pocket

    Ah ok Tim, I thought it was a good scenario to craft my understanding, but it seems to be very harsh on the soviets at least. I just wanted to make sure I could assemble an attack and a decent defense before moving on to more complex, larger scenarios. However, eeking a win as Soviets seems to be beyond my skillset as yet. I assumed I was doing something wrong. I'll try the eastern side scenario as you suggest.
  13. Episode 247: Korsun Pocket

    Its really special to have knowledgeable folks talk about older wargaming titles and bring them back to life - theres so few quality conversations out there, to be had on PC wargaming, its what makes TMA so invaluable. Perhaps its time to revisit some of the major PC wargaming titles - if TMA can schedule it in, under the Winter of Wargaming banner? In depth analysis of these landmark games, along with where similar ones are headed in the future would be very welcome indeed. I'd like to see a knock about with Dave 'Arjuna' O'Conner from Panther Games about their Command Ops series, or Ron Dockal and his Scwerpunkt stuff, or even Vic Reijkersz and his Decisive Campaigns series. You don't even have to get the developer in, just delve deep into the design, mechanics and overall play of any wargame and I'm sure you'll have a captive audience. I know most episodes of TMA have me reaching for the games discussed and it truly is fuel for my appetite for the hobby. Now, then how do you become proficient at this SSG stuff?
  14. Episode 247: Korsun Pocket

    This episode has ignited the SSG flame of enthusiasm under me, and I have been seriously hammering away at Korsun Pocket. I've never been able to click with SSG's games, no matter how many times I've tried - but this time, I'm determined to root out the love for the game, and its very specific boardgame mechanics. I've been running the Wiking Whitewash scenario, as the soviets, over and over again (as recommended by Tim above), trying to cement how to play effectively, and I've been getting beasted. Just when I think I've got it, I land in a situation where the AI (even on the newbie Computer- setting) hammers home with the SS Leibstandarte and SS Wiking division. I've sort of gleaned that Cities are Victory Point locations, but are not the be all and end all of the win. They are to be taken and protected, but are not the sole objective on the map. You need to destroy units as well. Cities afford you a small boost in VP's and Alert Points (funding your re-inforcements) but even holding all 4 key cities on the map defensively, will only net you a draw if the Panzers roll over you in the process. So I try to be offensively defensive, and wallop, I get chopped up like fried liver. I realise the key to slaughter is the Overrun, stacking the odds so that you can hit again and again - but I never seem to have enough units to organise a relentless barrage of Overruns, however the Axis forces handle this under the AI's command very easily. I get the supply system, I get the terrain modifiers, artillery seems to be very passive - in that you have to place it, and then use it in the combat calculations where you can (but not in Overruns). I guess my issue is that I usually "feel" my way through these sort of Operational games, and with such stringent boardgame mechanics, you can't really use the "feel" method. You have to know all the calculations behind it. I'm struggling to connect my head to the mechanics and be able to mount any sort of successful offensive. So any advice, from the SSG guru's that might be listening in would be most appreciated!