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About Akalabeth

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  1. I disagree that Moo1 is simply "civilization in space", the game's systems are so far removed from civ's that they don't really have a lot in common. Its sequel on the other hand, Moo2, certainly was a step from Moo1 into a direction more like civilization particularly in the way tech is researched and planets are managed. I loved Moo1 and only played Moo2 much later, but like some of the comments above, I really bounced off it. Planetary management, gaming pacing and fleet battles were all major steps down for me. I remain baffled as to why of the two games, Moo2 is the more popular and the more influential. I can only assume it is because the game and its successors are more civ-like in their execution.
  2. I can't say that game disappointed me, but it certainly didn't keep me playing either. While the strategic elements seemed okay, the battles were absolutely comical. I remembered trying to run a battle where I seemingly out-gunned the enemy but after about 10 minutes of the fleets trading shots, most ships were still at full shields and if anything my ships were getting the worst of it. So I hit "auto resolve" and am rewarded with a crushing victory over my opponents. Didn't make any sense to me at all but that's about the time I stopped playing. That said I don't connect with a lot of the speakers opinions. Rob for example is also a big Alpha Centauri fan if I'm not mistaken, but when I've tried multiple times to get into that game I simply cannot get into it. The visuals are weird, sound effects even weirder, and the backstory I just sort of bounced off. Only lasting memory is the sound of the mindworms attacking me with a sound effect that sounds nothing like an attack, but instead like some odd, alien vaccuum cleaner.
  3. Episode 432: BATTLETECH

    The comment in the episode about indirect fire is completely wrong. You don't need a Narc beacon to do indirect fire in the boardgame, and in fact, hitting a guy with a Narc beacon does nothing for indirect fire. All that a narc beacon does is increase the number of missiles that hit in a salvo, thereby increasing the damage. Indirect fire only ever needed a spotter and a firing mech with LRMs. It may be possible that Narc gave this benefit to # of missile hitting during indirect fire, whereas its competitor Artemis IV did not, but I don't think that's the case. The only piece of equipment that actually benefitted Indirect fire is the TAG laser which when combined with semi-guided indirect missiles could allow those specialized munitions to hit more easily. That said Indirect Fire was kind of trash a lot of the times because firing would take penalties of both the spotter's movement and firing mech's movement, so you'd have a much higher to hit number. It was mainly good when using infantry which didn't incur penalties at all. I personally appreciated his point of view, at least with respect to his declining interest in the board game. Having played Battletech for a long time, and seen its population decline heavily, his view confirms what myself and a lot of players are already thinking. Also his comment about the MW games being broken applied only to the first game, Mechwarrior, not its many sequels- though again its worth noting his inaccuracy since he mentioned the Atlas which is not actually in the game. The Battlemaster, also mentioned, certainly is though. All that said, despite kickstarting the game I haven't gotten too far in the game myself- when the opening mission took 90-120 minutes of real time, I decided to put it on hold while playing one of my other backlogged PC games instead.
  4. Episode 447: Tactical Management Games

    Yeah I don't think it's an exploit or anything of the sort. I just find it bad game design personally. I would rather give scores along the lines of Xcom and its ilk where the emphasis is on minimizing casualties. Or maybe different missions have different objectives depending upon the background to the scenario. And in addition to Scouts/Engineers being faster and essentially all-purpose troops, they also fire the furthest which means they can interrupt enemy troops beyond the range that they're able to respond (with the exception of snipers). So you'd often have one guy in a bunker let's say, and sometimes there are 3-4 enemy troops trying to advance and this one guy with a M1 Garand holds them all off because when they take interrupt fire, they stop dead in their tracks. If I'm not mistaken Scouts can also get a underslung grenade enhancement to deal with troops in cover as well. It all makes for pretty one-note gameplay after you realize it. I would take other troops but often just for flavour more than anything else. Which is a shame because the idea of the game, turn-based 3rd person team tactics seems great, and the execution even seems pretty good- just some of the fine details don't pan out. That said, other aspects of the game were a real disappointment. Notably the story, which is a vignette of war tropes bundled with teenage philosophy soapboxes typical of anime. And also the front-end interface where upgrading troops and researching gear took way too many clicks, with many of those clicks skipping past unnecessary and repetitive dialogue with vehicle mechanics and drill sergeants.
  5. Episode 447: Tactical Management Games

    Valkyria Chronicles still has the scout rush problem? After four games? I don't know why the series is so popular among the subset of people who enjoy it. I finished the first game, but with the poorly balanced classes, and banal story I wouldn't ever touch any of the sequels. One thing Heather doesn't mention is that not only is finishing a map quickly the best way to do VC, but that you can also power up scouts so that they effectively act like anti-tank troops and that sort of thing, making the other classes completely irrlevant. I only ever took tanks, engineers (scouts with tools) and scouts themselves.
  6. Episode 403: Survival Strategy

    No. This is habitual behaviour on this podcast. Recording from what sounds like a kitchen, eating while podcasting, if you don't have time to both eat and podcast at different times then don't podcast. You don't see news anchors stuffing their face on TV or radio personalities chewing while on air. This is the sort of thing that separates the podcasts worth listening to from the ones that aren't. Sound quality is everything and distracting or disgusting background sounds are a detriment to that quality. If a guest has a terrible mic, that's the breaks and understandable, but the inclusion of completely avoidable background sounds? No thanks. I'm actually starting to support a few gaming podcasts on patreon but as long as this sort of thing continues on 3ma I will never support it.
  7. Episode 403: Survival Strategy

    First episode I'm listening to after a decent break but turning it off after hearing cutler scraping plates at 18minutes. Will never understand why people think that eating while recording a podcast is a good idea.
  8. Uh, well I'm pretty sure more people enjoy boardgames than computer strategy games. Boardgames are huge right now. But that aside, yeah content is better than no content. I guess another reason is that I usually listen to these sorts of podcast either to discover new games, or to hear some analysis of game mechanics, so hearing about the same game a few times kinda nixes the discovery aspect of things
  9. Yeah I realize I'm the odd-man out when it comes to Paradox games, but I just don't see the appeal and I find they're a pretty frequent topic on the podcast. 4 out of the last 15 episodes if you count the 2016 wrap up, about 25%. I like listening to the opinions of both you and the other guy on the podcast but can't bring myself to care about a series of games which appear to be little more than a map with a bunch of menus. That's an unfair oversimplification of course, but when I skim a YT Let's play and the screen at the 2 minutes mark looks the same at the 45 minute mark- yeah, just doesn't do it for me. I need more of a visual experience.
  10. Too much paradox. Surely there are some smaller, strategy games out there that deserve a little more coverage? Could just be my bias showing through though since my only experience is with EU3 and I completely bounced off it. CK2 looks much the same, an over-world, with a couple of large soldiers endlessly swinging at each other and the occasional detailed menu popping up from time to time. If I need to imagine the experience to such a degree I would rather just read a history book.
  11. Episode 358: Battlefleet: Gothic Armada

    Heresy Rowan! The best battle in Babylon 5 isn't a fleet battle, it's the comparatively small battle in Severed Dreams. Great action, flow, all the characters involved, drama, etcetera. Can watch that battle endlessly.
  12. Episode 348: Civilization at 25

    Please don't eat while recording the podcast. Man alive . . .
  13. Episode 286: Valkyria Chronicles

    I'd heard great things about this game, and after picking up a ps3 late in the cycle I'm finally getting around to playing this game. About 75% of the way through but already have some concrete thoughts about it. I think overall the game is good and I like the painterly-looking art style, but that said it has some major problems. Foremost among these is just the soldier classes themselves. Rob and his guests didn't use the orders much at all it sounds like. For me, I use them all the time, or one in particular. An order that gives a damage boost for soldiers against Anti-Tank. The order basically makes the anti-tank guys useless, because instead of using an anti-tank guy who is slow as molasses and doesn't do reaction fire and requires 4 shots to destroy a tank from the front, can instead just use a scout which moves twice as far, has the longest range reacton fire and with this damage boost order can destroy almost any tank in 4-5 hits to the radiator. I basically only ever use Scouts and Engineers, I'll have a few shocktroopers and maybe a token lancer or sniper sometimes. But Scouts and Engineers move the furthest, react fire the furthest, and with orders can do pretty much anything. Snipers or Lancers are completely hit or miss, with Snipers particularly useless because even if they're elevated and see a guy in cover they often cannot one-shot kill the guy. Sometimes however the game will screw with the player, like in my previous mission where suddenly attacking the weak point on a special tank had no effect at all from either boosted-scouts or the gatling on the Shamrock. Had to hit it with an anti-tank cannon to do anything. Why? Who knows. Game decided to change the rules and didn't explain why. Speaking of cover what good is a grenade when I can't lob it over a wall? What good is a lancer when I can't be up against a fence and fire at something beyond it? The terrain system is in some ways atrocious. The grenades are nigh useless and its only the addition of rifle-launched grenades when they become worthwhile at all. The story likewise is typical blase anime faire. I like anime, but I'm tired of 16 year old philosophers talking about the meaning and life and war. They're not characters, or even archetypes, they're just mouthpieces for a much older generation who is unable or unwilling to portray a youthful individuals. The story chapters in general have too many cutscenes between individual battles and the loading times are frequent and annoying. Worse still is the constant need to upgrade your guys after every battle. A person isn't making interesting choices, just return to HQ, buy this upgrade that, repeat ad-naseum. Each time needing to skip through the same repetitive an inane dialogue. Overall though the system has potential and forces some tough choices, even if my choice is between "do I activate Scout A, Scout B or Scout C?". The characters can be fun and humorous, like Ted. I've heard Xcom The Bureau uses a similar system, I'll need to check out my copy sometime to see how it plays out. Could be totally wrong though
  14. Combat in Civilization to me will never really be that great because the railroads are fundamentally broken. I remember launching a massive amphibious invasion in Civilization 2 or 3, with 6+ transports loaded with armour and mechanized troops and after quickly capturing a coastal city and digging in, two countries worth of Dragoons which were located on the same continent attacked me the next turn. Basically every unit in the enemy empire that was available for combat could be instantly transported to the front lines via railroads with no loss of movement, completely devaluing any concept of strategic positioning. I then focused on destroying the Railroad infrastructure to slow their approach, but with 3 movement the Dragoons could easily and instantly get into combat the turn they were built. Meanwhile my own ships had to sail back to my continent for 3 turns both ways, load up, etcetera before bringing another load of troops. Conversely, the AI in Civilization has never been able to launch any sort of meaningful amphibious invasion. At best in the older games you'd get a few troops in transports, like 2-3 in a ship that holds 10 and they'd get trounced. That tactic works in the age of sail, not in the age of world wars. I've heard they've ignored that in recent civilizations by giving any unit the ability to become a transport once it hits the ocean. Civilization was great fun in my youth, but recently when trying to get into the newer games it no longer appeals to me.