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  1. Episode 314: Massive Chalice

    Here's a review and here's a game diary! -Tom
  2. Episode 314: Massive Chalice

    It's a spoiler about the final battle, which is a really cool reveal about the gameplay mechanics. I was delighted to discover it for myself, and I'd encourage anyone interested in the game to just let it unfold like it's supposed to. I wonder if Normal is really just for figuring out how the game works. Once you know what you're doing, there's not much pushback on Normal. It seems to me once you know how the game works -- the long-term implications of keeps, the character development system, the tech options, the final battle -- you're supposed to be playing on Hard. That's where you're going to have to make harder choices, deal with occasional battle losses, and really sweat that final mission. By the way, 0% of the people who own this game on Steam have beaten it Iron Man at the hardest difficulty level. Yikes. -Tom
  3. Episode 308: Order of Battle: Pacific

    I don't know if I said this on the podcast, but the best game about the Pacific theater of World War II is Sins of a Solar Empire. I'm only 10% kidding about that. -Tom
  4. Episode 275: The Rise of Nations Show

    Excellent question, but difficult to answer. Although you can clearly see the Big Huge Games DNA in both Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, they're distinct beasts with distinct kinds of depth. The heroes in Rise of Legends give it more tactical detail along the lines of Starcraft. But the citybuilding is extremely streamlined compared to Rise of Nations. But then there's the power of the specific sites on the map. Then there's the tech tree, which has crazy amounts of gameplay put into it in comparison to Rise of Nations. And, of course, the EXTREME asymmetry among the three factions is like nothing you'll ever see in Rise of Nations. So is it more of less complex? I'm not sure I could say. It's a different kind of complex. -Tom
  5. Episode 275: The Rise of Nations Show

    Noooo! Do you happen to have a copy of the original? I have no problems running the original game on Windows 7. -Tom
  6. Episode 275: The Rise of Nations Show

    Yeah, me too. I loved Troy's series on national identities. Although I actually feel it's a weakness in Rise of Nations for the most part. The variety of gameplay systems swallows up most of the nations' unique identities as a match goes on. There are some great one, and some very important differences among a few of them. For instance, Rome, the Dutch, and Egypt are all favorites for me that very specifically inform how I play. But for the most part, the nations in Rise of Nations are among the power-user features I talked about on the podcast. Almost like the interplay of scouts and spies, or alt-rtclick, or river crossing penalties in combat, you can play dozens of hours of Rise of Nations and never get much mileage out of nation differences. -Tom
  7. Episode 275: The Rise of Nations Show

    Whoa, what? I never knew about that last one. Can you explain more what you mean? Shift-click an enemy to specify that target type? So if I select a bunch of cavalry and shift-rtclick an artillery piece, the cavalry will prioritize artillery? Is that what you mean? Do tell! Great comments about economy and build orders, Yalk. One of the things I *always* do, and I can trying to explain to the guys when we did our show, was the CV trick. C selects a city, and V is the hotkey to build a citizen. So every now and then, just hit CV, CV, CV, CV as many times as you have cities. Each city will spit out a citizen, who will eventually auto-work the closest job, or be available next time you want to use the period key to pick up a worker. This is especially important before you uncover oil to ensure you have enough manpower to get oil wells going. -Tom
  8. Episode 275: The Rise of Nations Show

    I can't tell if you mean "utterly humiliated" because I got up on a soapbox about Rise of Legends, but if so, don't feel bad. I have a real weak spot for that game's attempt at a crazy new fiction and some really superslick gameplay. There are things in Rise of Legends that no other game has done because I'm convinced so few people appreciate what Rise of Legends actually accomplished. But that's probably a topic for a whole other show. And if you're talking about the micro stuff you can do in Rise of Nations, don't feel bad about that. The level that most casual people play works just fine without that stuff. Heck, before the Thrones and Patriots add-on, I bet no one even built generals. They basically had to give you one for free before you even noticed them! -Tom
  9. Episode 247: Korsun Pocket

    I love this episode. It's way above my pay grade as an erstwhile wargamer, but it's really awesome listening to smart nerds talking passionately about a hobby I used to follow. -Tom
  10. Episode 245: Auld Lang Zerg

    I refuse to call those things "blow ticklers". That sounds way too dirty. "Fizoo" is a grand name, but unfortunately, no one would know what the hell I'm talking about. -Tom
  11. Episode 245: Auld Lang Zerg

    Ooh, look at those! Thanks for the links, hexgrid. -Tom
  12. Episode 245: Auld Lang Zerg

    I'm so glad to hear you mention this. I love the basic design, and the pacing, but the interface and artwork were really a tough pill for me to swallow. I also wish there weren't so many intricate little powers and upgrades. I'd rather have fewer broader spells and abilities and whatnot. Still, a Vic Davis design with bad artwork and an awkward interface is way better than most games with better artwork and easier interfaces. -Tom
  13. Episode 239: A Blizzard of Enthusiasm

    It's nice to see that Rob Zacny has let go of his mad dream to rebrand Lords Managements "lordly management sims", or whatever that godawful moniker was. -Tom
  14. Bless your hearts for trying to come up with something less odious than M O B A for the genre, and I could tell you guys were pushing really hard during the podcast. But I hope "lords management" never takes, and not just because it sounds clunky. I don't think I've ever played a M O B A where I felt like I was managing lords, much less managing anything. You might as well go with hero administration games, avatar herding games, or dude control games. I think I'm going to try to float "dude control games". -Tom P.S Ah, so you've gone so far as to implement a forum-wide find/replace where anytime someone types M O B A, you swap in Lords Managment, caps and all! Oceana has never been at war with Eurasia!
  15. I'm glad you brought this up, Mr. Finger. I know about Company of Heroes Online, but I didn't play it. And I think you're absolutely right about Company of Heroes 2 trying to apply some of the Company of Heroes Online model. Ugh. -Tom