ilitarist

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About ilitarist

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  1. Episode 405: Lords of Waterdeep

    That was a very nice work at the end by the Wizard in the end. Praise! Praise! I still play Armello from time to time with friends and it looks like a boardgame properly developed to be played on PC in multiplayer. LoW does not, so I'll listen to Fraser here.
  2. Funny how you say it's the first time TW factions feel really diverse. Because IIRC you've said something like that about Attila and it was an important selling point. There it was probably mostly in grand strategy, not combat. I.e. Romans start overextended, Huns can never settle, Eastern Empires know how to run a country. Later they've added some DLCs that felt very... forced. Like Picts who were guerilla fighters. Makes sense probably, they didn't use that blue paint for nothing, didn't they? But then there are Slavs who... Use poison?.. And build Wonders?.. And before that they really tried it in Empire with all that dynamics of Europe VS Natice Americans VS Indians. They even released special DLC about Native Americans, but when you played as Europeans those natives were doomed and you got that very experience of advanced armies with their pretty troop line smashing traditional armies. I haven't delved into Warhammer yet but even the best TW game I've played - Attila - felt relatively boring in combat even when strategic layer was fun. Mostly because inherently all those battles are won or lost before they've started. I rate this episode 10 out of 10 for mentioning Rise of Nations but subtract 3 for continuing bullying of brave game journalist Fraser for his subjective opinions.
  3. Episode 403: Survival Strategy

    You talked about colonization, but not about the actual Colonization game. Sad! I think it worked really well as player VS environment survival strategy. You wouldn't lose because of lack of food or anything but Natives could be more or less managed (they never attack first) and other contenders are rather passive. And then your country is put to the test in a giant confrontation. Maybe that last part was the problem because for most of the game you weren't properly challenged, only in the very end you realized how hard had you screwed up.
  4. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    And as far as I can see this podcast is American and about the situation in America. Developers are from Germany and they have a very different history of ethnic problems.
  5. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    Can't find it now. But anyway, the article itself was a political essay about modern Stalinism and not much else. It discussed young Russian Stalinists and it only used the term "gamer thought process" as a clear description. Of course it didn't imply video games are to blame for young people political views, he mostly blamed passing of times. Before recently Stalinism in Russia was associated with nostalgic old men. But as the article argued for younger people who didn't live in USSR Stalin's murderous industrilization is similar to Peter the Great's murderous militarization or Caesar civilizing France, just some statistics about deaths payed for the greatness and progress. Games only slightly help you imagine a dictator as rational and righteous figure who decides to make some sacrifice for the greater good. Also, Paradox (and other historical games) have this problem of really wishing you to do historical stuff even if it wasn't rational or realistic at the time. Ethnic cleansing is at least optional and rarely required. But, say, Hearts of Iron 4 has lots of things that happened in reality due to irrational thinking or dumb luck. Like Hitler's adventure in Munchen - it was a huge gamble in reality while in game it's almost automatic. Or AFAIK if you don't do Stalin's purges you risk civil war breaking USSR and leaving it ripe for the taking - so HoI4 basically agrees that Stalin was not a paranoid maniac but a wise politician. @Rob Zacny, I remember you saying you like when the wargame makes you think the way generals thought back then and forces you to go the same seemingly futile road (like throughing troops into the grind in WW1 Verden) but sometimes games portrait irrational decisions or unlikely coincedences as rational pre-determined events. Which feels wrong.
  6. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    Oh my, those Battle Brothers texts look like narrator from Darkest Dungeon is going through his edgy teen phase. About reactionary auditory: a funny thing. I've recently read some Russian political analyst who discussed political backwardness of Russia youth - all that USSR nostalgia and stuff. He explocitly called one of the reasons as a "gamer mentality". Strategy games often represent inhumane choices as valid and necessary measures. Totalitarian dictatorship is just a set of bonuses that is useful when you have to fight lots of wars. It's easier for modern young men to see Stalinism as "effective play" - the country lost several millions people but it helped to get ready for war, and most games like Civilization or Hearts of Iron try to represent this as a right strategy in those circumstances. Of course such influence can't be that important. But after playing dozens of games where liberal democracy is just some trade bonus and totalitarian dictatorship gives you more troops or something - strategy gamers are probably more open to idea of everything is "balanced" in reality as it is in a game.
  7. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    I remember ridiculous attacks on Witcher series for only having white European populace. This was dumb because those people missed how Witcher cleverly talked about racism between people who looked identical to us (Nilfgaardians and Northerners literally use the same models while hating each other) or racism against white European dudes with wrong shape of ears. AFAIK Battle Brothers do not do anything like that so it's not as ridiculous to ask them for representation. But if your position is that requests for representation are themselves ridiculous than the best course of action seems to be just ignoring it. Can't have a discussion when there's only a statement.
  8. Entertaining. Nice to hear Troy.
  9. Episode 390: Medieval II: Total War

    Why? What stops you from having single-player generals the way they were before? At least in Shogun 2 MP had big differences from SP and it was ok.
  10. Three Moves Ahead 399 - Air Combat

    @spacerumsfeld, perhaps it's about a lack of English language background. I've enjoyed your comparisons to reality but I had to understand basic rules of tabletop air combat by tidbits. Like the fact that changing course works in specific ways and hit calculation involves heavy math. I also didn't know what is trick-taking game. It was still interesting to listen a real pilot talking about tabletop air combat.
  11. Three Moves Ahead 399 - Air Combat

    When Bruce said they'll explain things for people not familiar with air combat games I hoped it wouldn't fly over my head. But it did.
  12. Three Moves Ahead 398 - Taking the L

    Sad to see Game King to be so objectively wrong. Constant progress in a strategy game is boring. It's not so bad in EU4 cause gameplay changes with new unlocks; in the beginning you're looking for any way to grab some land and by the end you manage truce timers for another war with your rivals as well as grabbing all the smaller countries with Imperialism CB. But still EU4 becomes boring if you had mastered it; I treasure setbacks when they happen. Civ is bad in that regard as you guys have said, if you don't progress you just lose, especially on higher difficulties where AI gets a head start instead of greater boosts to contend. Good strategy gives you stories and comebacks, let's you deal with a bad hand, allows handling new unexpected threats. Even Stellaris is good about it presenting you with an end boss scenario, powerful guardians and other things like that. When you talked about XCOM and Dankest Dungeon I had Battle for Wesnoth pop up in my head. It had a bad case of save-load syndrome: most of the time your hit chance is around 50% and even the most perfect setup can result in 0 damage to the enemy. Losing high-level units may cost you a campaign - so, just like in Panzer General you can reload till you get what to do and dices roll your way. Games like that feel like an excercise in patience. XCOM in theory has lots of tools to help you deal with bad situations - upgrades that can save a dying soldier, improvements to a new rookie soldiers etc. Still in practice it doesn't work as an Iron Man experience unlike, say, Massive Chalice (underrated game! Though it has a problem with a spoiler final battle that should have been explained before it started) where your people are supposed to die of old age after 3 battles or something. Good episode, by the way.
  13. Three Moves Ahead 397 - Meta Campaigns

    One important point: very many people hate timers for some reason. I often see reviews for some games mention that timers ruin the game for them. You can often see it in Panzer General style wargames, where AI is a passive defender and your ability to just bomb it with long range attacks is limited by turn limit. I even see mods sometimes to remove those limits. Good example is Fantasy Wars/Elven Legacy series: the game is a series of missions, sometimes you have side missions or choice between the two. Each mission has an objective and a turn limit, and it's usually pretty low. Plus there are always optional objectives: some ruins to explore to get gold and artifacts, some allied units to save or just simply towns to capture for gold. The game turns into a puzzle where you have not just to understand how to capture an objective (usually siege a town or travel to a specific point) and not just to do it in time but also to visit all the locations with artifacts and units to stay on curve, or at least those that are useful to you. Obviously there's no way to complete a map properly on your first try cause you have to know what locations you have to visit in what order. So if you look at negative reviews for the game - very, very many of those mention turn limit as if it's something that harms the game instead of turning it into a beautiful puzzle. Naturally there are many other issues people find but it's the most repeated besides "it's a bad game". I think for many people XCOM2 had the same problem even if they are lost in other criticism - XCOM2 is much bigger game so people have many other things to complain about. Indeed. And there's where the game lies to you. It's structured as a game you can complete on your first try, it has all the fancy movies and drama and stuff. As Rowan said it presents itself as a grand adventure, more like Dragon Age than Civilization.
  14. Three Moves Ahead 397 - Meta Campaigns

    I'm too intrigued. Couldn't ever get into XCOM2 even though I quite liked XCOM1. Lacked some sort of emotional connection - I'm no longer defending Earth, I'm fighting in some sort of sci-fi land. And the difficulty is turned up to eleven, it's like I'm supposed to already know all the system beforehand if I'm playing on Normal. Or maybe I'm too attached to Iron Man as it seems to be the right way to play a game like that. And now I'm waiting for the expansion. Have some warm memories of Massive Chalice which was a simpler and shorter game but still felt right on Normal Iron Man first try.
  15. Three Moves Ahead 397 - Meta Campaigns

    There's another type of meta-campaigns which are more of an RPG system: linear ones with optional side missions. Often see those in wargames like Fantasy Wars. The idea is you get an opportunity to get an advantage for main missions. It was done really well in Infested Planet - you had a clear set of missions you have to complete to win the campaign plus you had various side missions, more like skirmishes, where you could switch to a more straightforward mission structure and get some resources for the next mission. I think it's a perfect system for a singleplayer campaign as it offers dynamic difficulty that doesn't feel cheap: when the campaign is too difficult you just do some of easier side missions, start the next main mission with some advantage and you win. Meanwhile hardcore players can ignore those sidemissions. Another point: metacampaigns are often a result of players thinking they want more. Every damn RTS forum has lots of people moaning they want bigger maps, more contenders, no unit limit. Obviously, it breaks most games - it usually destroys balance by turning late-game advantages into most-of-the-game advantages and turning everything into a multihour slog. Meta-campaign gives this gigantism some sensibility. Especially the one like Rise of Nations which seems to exist to give you a feeling of one long map with a constant cyclic development.