ilitarist

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  1. That episode was cool and thought-provoking. I watched both movies for the first time before listening to it. Those movies reminded me why Hollywood doesn't do a lot of slow thoughtful movies about law or journalism. When I watch a movie about badass cop who does what has to be done even if he has to lose his badge I can understand the motivation and morals of the characters. But those movies, while fascinating, feel deeply alien to me. At the moment in my Belarus people are killed on the street and instead of investigating police jails journalists who do investigate the murder. But everybody sees this as something temporary. Meanwhile, a lot of details in this movie seem insane. In Insider early on you learn that tobacco companies never lose a trial even though everybody knows they're in the wrong. Everyone understands that ex-researcher of tobacco company definitely knows some dirt about the company. And this is not a problem in the movie, it's not even regarded as something wrong. Maybe I should understand that this is wrong and judge character behavior accordingly, but I'm not sure what the movie assumes I know or feel. It's much worse in All the President's Men. I'm glad you guys have said that the plot is incomprehensible to you. Insider at least shows you some bad guys, here most of the characters are voices on the phone, most of the film they investigate people you never see. But the real issue for me was understanding moral and law framework everyone operates in. There is a clearly illegal break-in in this movie, but beyond that I don't know what's illegal, what's legal but amoral, what's illegal but everyone knows about it and does nothing, what's illegal but no one dares to prove it. Is campaign fund usage governed by some law? Is "rat-fucking" legal? The lawyer suggests it is but it's hard to believe. I still liked All the President's Men more cause it shows some real investigative journalism. Insider, like the recent The Post is more about presenting trolley problems instead of investigating them. Also Insider is weird to me. Crowe plays an unlikeable guy nicely, as you say. But it seems the movie really wants me to feel for him. And his great tragedy is that he has to leave a huge house he's been living in for years and go live into a slightly smaller house with a huge backyard?.. His daughter has asthma and what, in USA only rich people can get a treatment for it?..
  2. I was delighted to hear Rowan restoring historical accuracy by talking about Wizardry.
  3. Three Moves Ahead 505: Crusader Kings 3

    Yep, it was the same in CK2. Paradox games in general have very limited trade. I think only Stellaris gives you an ability to give something in exchange for other thing. And even there most of the agreements can't be traded. Two thoughts about it that may help: 1) The AI and the way it thinks is pretty open. So you can see that AI thinks, say, "I score this proposal of alliance/marriage -2. +10 cause I like you, -12 cause your army is small, +5 cause we have common rivals, -5 cause you're wrong religion" (not real numbers). Instead of paying for the privilege of alliance you can influence a lot of thing. Have an additional common rival, raise their opinion by throwing money at them, get bigger army etc. Yes, this approach means you spend a lot of time to get a deal instead of seeing what exactly they want. But on the other hand you influence the state of the game by a variety of tools to influence the deal instead of just taking options from the list. 2) See it as an indirect control element. I know that in EU4 many people don't like the fact that in addition to other countries having an opinion on yours, your country has an opinion on others too. If your country doesn't like another one you can't propose an alliance. And you can sometimes even see AI deciding they have to fight you and consciously working to lower their opinion on you so that they can attack with no stability hit. In CK3 it's not as direct but you can clearly see that you aren't actually your character, your character sometimes does things beyond your control. You nudge and influence everything. You create a world where alliance or marriage are created, not just writing a suitable terms of transaction.
  4. Now that players basically expect strategy games to have a long lifespan with a lot of transformations manuals don't seem relevant to me. With Age of Wonders Planetfall or Imperator Rome - both are relatively recent games! - reading a manual today might give me info about the setting, maybe explain developer intention and stuff but even the very basic definitions would all be wrong today.
  5. Love those shows. I've recently watched Troy Director's Cut and I was surprised about how... average it is. All of its subversion feel very much a child of its time. I'd like to see honest by the book recreation of Illiad, maybe Netflix TV show Troy mentioned is better. But here there are no gods and it's all down to earth. The siege is very short and it's really about geopolitics, not a stolen wife. I see everything Troy says about Achilles but I just can't take him seriously. My biggest issue with both Troy and Kingdom of Heaven is those films try to tell us that back then almost all people were just like us and people who seriously talk about faith and honor are either dumb or hypocritical. Kingdom of Heaven is a proud STEM master race, of course he doesn't really believe in holy wars and church in general, and so doesn't Saladin. He's like someone from the future. Same for Achilles, he's an edgy atheist and it's bizzare. I agree that Priam and Achilles dialogue is good but outside of it I don't see the emotions I expect from Achilles. There's little rage in him, he's always a modern bad cop archetype. Subdued emotions. When he fights it's a dance, his style is to concentrate on movements with no emotions. I don't get it.
  6. I've made peace with TW problems with balance between battles and strategic map mostly cause 3K got it right. I was optimistic about Troy cause I thought it would be just like 3K but with characters I knew before that game. But as you've said the combat is extremely confusing. Colors are very hard to read for a person with even light color blindness. Icons show you unit type except they don't; defensive shielded cannon fodder spear units have the same icon as elite striking force with two-handed spears. Shields and armor might be the most important qualities of a unit but you don't see it in icons. You have to mostly rely on the shape of an icon to know if the unit is heavy or light. I liked strategic map better but it has the same problems as all TW games before 3K: I actually win the game in a middle of the campaign, then I have to go around and auto resolve dozens of battles. And those are not curb-stomp battles, I still need to replenish my armies so I'm sitting there waiting for all the Greeks to move. Agent spam is back too. Your peaceful envoys have to spread influence just to get levelups for passive bonuses to resource production. A pair of spies can cripple both defending army and city garrison making it viable to be obliterated by a single army. Most of those battles are not enjoyable to play manually cause sieges are always boring in TW. Especially now that you can't shoot a hole in enemy wall. Another thing I've noticed is that since Rome 2 there's a deep contradiction in game mechanics. Empire added built-in garrisons to every city so that you can't send your hussars capturing towns behind the front line. However Rome 2 severly limited number of available armies. You can send a couple of units alone anymore. Especially in Troy having more than 3 armies means you're in endgame. So those big garrisons are somewhat moot. They only make sense when enemy army is present in the city. Otherwise they exist just to give you an easy autoresolve battle, something that would probably be better represented by attrition.
  7. Three Moves Ahead 501: Othercide

    I like how they start hesitant to discuss first boss mechanics because spoilers and then proceed to discuss the ending "without spelling everything out".
  8. Three Moves Ahead 500: Origins

    Troy Goodfellow, Tom Chick, Bruce Geryk, and Julian Murdoch record the first 3MA episode, 2009.
  9. Three Moves Ahead 500: Origins

    Tom Chick has his own podcast. Plus he has some health issues probably limiting his availability.
  10. Three Moves Ahead Episode 495: Sports

    As a sociologist would say, a crisis doesn't change things, a crisis accelerates things. Interesting to see how "real" sport is eager to share with e-sports.
  11. Rowan speaks the truth. It's fine. It's not great. I too tried Stellaris after this update. People speak about boring endgame but they talk about it as if it's about events and exploration coming to an end. It's not just that. Before you hit midgame and see big alliances and wars you get all the traditions and all the technology. This choice between early traditions (or Civ5 cultural ideas or whatever they are called) is only there to affect early game. By the time you bump into other empires and run out of space to expand you finish them all. And offensive wars are limited by the same resource you use to expand peacefully, so if you conquer you don't expand peacefully, it's hard to combine the two. With technologies it's the same, it's worse than any other 4X: in midgame you only get "+5% to mineral production #6" tech and the like. That midgame comes after 20 hours of play but the game itself says it's midgame, you're supposed to play long after that to bump into an endgame crisis. The economy has something interesting going for it, but all the rest is still boring. Endless Space 2 is mentioned and I'm puzzled why isn't it regarded as a better 4X game. It has an elegant design, it's not bloated with boring nodes like Stellaris. When it has a unique star system you care about it because you don't have 200 other star systems. When you have a choice in planet development it's something interesting and important instead of building housing district #12. ES2 AI doesn't know how to play the game but neither does Stellaris AI. Then again I rant about how ES2 is a much better game yet I don't launch it from time to time to check out if it's good. I come back to Stellaris too. Paradox has me.
  12. Episode 491: Master of Magic

    Wasn't MoO just more popular than MoM thus spawning more successors? Also yeah, there are plenty of great successors. They've mentioned Age of Wonders but it seems like they aren't that found of the series. Both AoW and Heroes do what Troy talks about - through all the fantasy stuff into the mix. Heroes more so before 5, since 5 they are more similar to AoW in world building. Before Heroes 5 every fantasy creature is its own unit. If there's an elf it's a specific unit (elf archer). Since Heroes 5 they have an elf with swords, an elf who casts spells, an elf with a bow and so own, much more similar to AoW. Still, AoW3 has a lot of types of units. Plus there's great commander customization both with stats and appearance. I still agree with Rowan and Sid that they shouldn't have made a separate tactical battle but that brings me to the love for Total War Warhammer. For some reason all those reviewers like it more than AoW3. It's clear they've played AoW3 too. They saw it has real tactical battles while TWWH are pretty straightforward. They saw how you can play the grand campaign without waiting for end turns for hours. Still AoW3 is a footnote in discussions like this and TWWH is one of the most discussed games on 3MA.
  13. Fun episode and an interesting dive into the genre. Usually, when there's talk about microstrategy I think about something like Into the Breach and other turn-based games, but those seem to be different beasts. Also a great guest. His Baldur's Gate epic is worth a watch!
  14. I'm late to the party but let me add my two cents. I think movies put you in the right mood for the setting. Red Cliff happens 20 years into the campaign so a lot of characters are in much more established positions but you still see Cao Cao and Lu Bei gang. It's also seems to be one of the biggest inspirations for the game as almost all characters from the movie got unique assets and the final battle from the movie is a historical battle in the game. There's also a long Chinese tv show Three Kingdoms. It's available on youtube for some reason. It's ten years old but production levels are insane. You can watch just a few episodes and you'll know the main cast well enough. You can also watch a letsplay of one of the Dynasty Warriors games to learn why the setting is associated with anime battles and hard rock guitar solos.
  15. The industry is oversaturated now. And they have forgotten about many games that were released just this year, like At the Gates. They've barely talked about huge remasters that were very important in RTS genre (Rise of Nations, Age of Empires, Homeworld), or most strategy JRPGs like Disgaea (they've only mentioned Valkyrie Chronicles), or revived tactical RPG genre with Pillars of Eternity and Pathfinder Kingmaker and Divinity Original Sin. Did they mention Galactic Civilization 3 or Elemental or Sorcerer King? Or the rise of digital board games like Armello? What I mean to say it's fine. They can't cover everything.