Akalabeth

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  1. Episode 457: A Look Back at 2018

    Played ITB a bit more, I warmed up to it after I realized I could unlock other squads and that they were not achievement dependent. I think the game's limitations really show when you're using the same squad all the time and continued enjoyment is heavily dependent upon taking different combinations of mechs, pilots & add-ons. But after taking about 12 tries to win with the first set of mechs, I won the game first time every time with all the other squads save Zenith which took two goes. This is on normal with four islands. Apparently paying to upgrade mechs, not buy expensive non-class items, is the way to do it. Didn't bother with the secret squad. That said, the game is enjoyable in the sense that you can do a battle quickly, and a campaign is fairly short. But it does still feel quite simple and when your whole squad gets webbed up it's really frustrating. Also as a minor quibble, I don't get why I can't judo throw a bug into another bug, you'd think that would be an obvious tactic.
  2. Episode 457: A Look Back at 2018

    Once again will disagree with the 3MA podcast. Into the Breach simply didn't hit with me, it's a game where contrary to how it appears, the player is "losing initiative" mostly all the time and on the defensive 100% of the time. Thinking that the player has the advantage for knowing enemy attacks before they happen and moving and attacking in response falls apart when you realize that the player's team isn't just the mechs, it's also all of the buildings. And all of those buildings effectively "move first", thereby allowing the enemy to have his way with them. In tabletop, it sucks to lose initiative all the time and in the game Into the Breach it's no different.
  3. Homeworld Emergence is the re-released expansion for HW1, previously called Cataclysm, but Cataclysm no longer because of World of Warcraft. Though I don't understand why they need to re-name it when HW: Cataclysm came first. It's on GOG. Not sure about other stores.
  4. Episode 453: Black Hawk Down and Zulu

    I gave this episode a pass. Movie discussion is fine and all but should probably be a separate podcast.
  5. Episode 413: Myth

    This podcast helps explain why Halo was originally going to be an RTS. Though I thought the best bungie game was Oni?
  6. Episode 415: Endless Space 2 Revisited

    Funny that the one guy says he's sick of single tech slots and wanting sliders and yet that's exactly what the original Master of Orion had. Six techs researched at the same time with sliders denoting how much goes to which. This single tech stuff comes from Civilization, and its unfortunate that MOO2 decided to copy it or go that way because it's laid out the structure for games decades on.
  7. Cool to hear VGA Planets mentioned in this episode. Played that game quite a bit back in the day. Speaking of which that game does have websites, or had websites, which ran games- both vanilla and modded. Like circus maximus. Why wouldn't Dominion have something similar? Also funny how Troy says he doesn't have any final thoughts and then proceeds to give a bunch of final thoughts.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.