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About Roke

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  1. That's interesting, thanks for sharing that Ilitarist. Really enjoyed this episode, having recently read a book on the Plantagenets (Dan Jones' book, highly recommend it if you're looking for a basic narrative history). I've been eyeing Becket on Hoopla for a while but it sounds like I really need to seek out The Lion in Winter.
  2. I wanted to love X-Wing Alliance back in the day, and I think it does get good, but a lot of the campaign was dreadful. Doing all the missions for your family flying around in a newer version of a Correllian Freighter felt like flying around in a bathtub. It gets good once you join the Rebellion, but it was such a slog getting there. Skirmish mode was awesome though and I even played online a few times.
  3. I only played Caesar II back in the day but I also really wanted to like the military game for the same reasons Rob did. Rome was neat, a military game was something I imagined but not reading the games press and always having a PC well behind the times meant that Caesar II was the only game I had for that. It's the same thing with wargames where I'd download WWI and WWII scenarios for Civ2. I can't think of the Caesar series without hearing the "Plebs are needed!" guy from Caesar II. What a great piece of audio, but that's 1995.
  4. Episode 417: 2017 in Review

    I think the only 2017 game I played was OOTP 18 so I don't have much to say about the year. But Rob, Troy, Michael, Fraser, Rowan, Bruce, and T.J. I hope 2018 is good to you. Thanks for making something I regularly look forward to.
  5. It sounds to me less like Rob completely screwed up the Blackhawks and more like he tried to be just a bit too clever cleaning up a core declining due to age and, in particular, the mess he inherited with the awful Brett Seabrook contract. The part of the discussion about what the games are simulating was particularly interesting and I feel like Football Manager's the most pure of the games I've played. It's becoming less the case every year with Transfer Committees and Directors of Football but the authoritarian gaffer in charge from everything from setting up (or personally) scouting, to buying and selling players, and the lineups and tactical system was how the sport was run for years. Football Manager's take on generalship feels more accurate than most strategy games out there. There's something particularly agonizing about watching your players (or dots back in the 2D engine) create chance after chance only to be stymied by Jussi Jääskeläinen when there's not much you can do but sit and hope one of the chances finally goes past him.
  6. Episode 405: Lords of Waterdeep

    Yeah, having a game going on while you talked seemed to work pretty well here. I still can't help but hear "work replacement games" whenever 'worker placement' is said on a podcast and I think that goes all the way back to when the cardboard version of Lord of Waterdeep was first talked about on Gamers With Jobs.
  7. I've always enjoyed these topic discussions that talk about a number of games and this was another great one.
  8. Aurora sounded interesting you guys introduced the game at the top of the show but Michael's description of the game made me progressively horrified. My God. Whenever I see a game with the Visual Basic aesthetic I actually get a pang of nostalgia for the freeware Eastside Hockey Manager. Rule the Waves looking like that may have been a positive for me getting into that game. I enjoyed the discussion about learning games because it's something I've struggled with. The question of when and why I would want to do something is the big issue I have. With Europa Universalis 3, Crusader Kings II, and Rule the Waves the only way I had got past that was I had recommended the games to a friend shortly after I bought them but before I stopped playing, he would tell me about all the cool things he was getting up to, and then I'd put my head down and power through so I could have a similar experience.
  9. Episode 375: Rule the Waves

    I've been looking forward to a show on Rule the Waves, thanks for putting one together. I hope you'll have Matthew back on in the future, he was a great guest. I think I agree with Bruce that the game is incoherent and the information isn't presented in a useful way, but I'm still enamored with it. The way it captures the era with the technology progression, the arms race, designing ships, and even the rudimentary rising tension levels hooked me when reading about it on the GWJ forums and I still enjoy that aspect of it. The battles generally leave me wanting. especially the small actions with cruisers and destroyers. The bigger battles can be a bit of a thrill but it's a bit of a slog going through those smaller battles. I like Matthew's comparison of the game with the early OOTP games and to me the first and lasting impression I got is that Rule the Waves is comparable to Eastside Hockey Manager: 2nd Generation. The interfaces both look like they're designed using Visual Basic and they have a nice strategic layer but the tactical part of the games are quite rudimentary (and in EHM's case you were better off skipping it entirely). Nonetheless I'm more fond of both games than I probably should be.
  10. Episode 374: Civilization VI

    Having not played Civ6 I don't have anything about the game. I did enjoy the conversation but I was struck by one thing. In the discussion about the things this Civ does well most (if not all) of what you enjoyed with minimal interaction with the AI. Exploring the geography, planning and founding cities, building up districts, and using Charles Darwin optimally on specific terrain. It's of course not anything new for the series to have that be the most enjoyable part, but other than racing the AI for goodie huts or city sites the interaction there has always been minimal. I also enjoyed Fraser anecdote about hunting for fun in his Rome game by making everyone angry. It was kind of reminiscent of the Rome II episode.
  11. This was another great developer interview. The only thing I feel like the question from the year-in-review is still unresolved. Is Endless Legend a good strategy game?
  12. Episode 371: 3MA After Dark

    I also enjoyed the more casual nature of this show, it was a nice change of pace. I'll definitely have to check out Occupied. I had it pop up on Netflix but I passed over it without so much as reading the description. With Bruce playing wargames over multiple sessions days or weeks apart I'm wondering how that works with following through on a strategy. Do you take notes after a session so you can kick off right away or do you need to take time to survey the board at the beginning of each session before starting to play?
  13. Episode 353: Twilight Struggle

    I didn't get to the halfway point of this episode before breaking down and buying the game, so well done. Twilight Struggle is a game I've wanted to play after reading Troy and Bruce's AAR years ago but I haven't gotten into board gaming. I haven't read the rulebook yet (I should, I don't understand how realignments are calculated) but I read a few things from twilight strategy and was on my way. The AI doesn't seem to do a good job of protecting Europe from control but maybe it's just getting bad hands or that's just really difficult for the American player early on.
  14. Episode 350: Aging Gracefully

    Great discussion. The point about well-aged games being often something that hasn't been done well more recently seems fundamental in my mind. In my case I've found that if I played the game back in the day I can often get back into it fairly easily. It's more difficult to get past the vestiges of the era jumping into an older game fresh. I played through Red Alert 2 for the first time in a long time and even though some of the controls were antiquated (setting waypoints being the big one) I was able to get through because it all came back after a while. When I played Tie Fighter again a few years ago (jumping through many, many hoops to do so pre-GOG release) my first thought was, "Oh my God, this looks awful" but somehow the visuals ended up getting out of the way in the first dogfight and it was like playing it back in the good old days. Soon after the Star Wars Rebellion 3MA I jumped into that for the first time. I can see such a good game there but my God, the clicking you have to do. I can see myself enjoying the hell out of that game but I just can't get past all the clicking. Empire Earth, wasn't the basic pitch for that "Age of Empires 2, but bigger with a lot more eras?" I think I remember reading a magazine preview of that and thinking it sounded awesome even though I hadn't played Age of Empires.
  15. Martin was a great guest, I hope you'll have him back in the future if he's willing. I'm a bit late, but Rob bringing up winning by warfare in Civ2 being really memorable got me thinking. I think in the Civ series warfare has gotten more tedious, or if not tedious time-consuming, if only in terms of movement. In Civ2 you could use enemy roads and railroads, which meant when I played I often gifted other Civs railroads when building up my later-game army to attack. You could really do some blitzkrieg stuff capturing multiple cities on one turn. I didn't like Civ3 and went straight back to Civ2, so I can't speak to that but Civ4 you can't use enemy roads or railroads. It means that attacking an empire with depth of territory is going to turn into a slog (which is historically accurate?) while attacking an empire with a wide border but little depth is easy because you can always hop back home and use your own roads. I only played vanilla Civ5, and not much of it (I went back to 4) but one unit per hex means you're taking time to move and then arrange units in the proper manner before attacking. Combat's become a bit more fiddly.