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Rob Zacny

Episode 457: A Look Back at 2018

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Three Moves Ahead 457:

Three Moves Ahead 457


A Look Back at 2018
We threw restraint to the wind with our 2018 wrapup this year, so you get TWO episodes for for the same great price. Session one has Rob, Troy "this is the year my musical theater career takes off" Goodfellow, and Jon Bolding talking about their favorite games. After that, T.J. Hafer, Sean Sands, and Rowan Kaiser go into their top picks including all the Paradox-y stuff that we don't let Troy talk about. It's a long episode for what felt like an incredibly long year. 2018 hit us with a lot of political, military, and economic turmoil, so sometimes it's good to kick back with a strategy game and focus instead on political, military, and economic turmoil that we can control. These are our top (and maybe not so top) picks of the year.

Total War: WARHAMMER II - Curse of the Vampire Coast, Dominions 5 (late 2017 but I'll allow it), Armored Brigade, Pike & Shot, Valkyria Chronicles 4, BATTLETECH, Northgard, Root, Brass: Birmingham, Into the Breach, Bad North, Circle Empires, Reigns: Game of Thrones, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind, Warhammer 40K - Gladius - Mechanicus - Space Hulk Tactics, Two Point Hospital, Frostpunk, Surviving Mars, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia - Dharma - Golden Century, Crusader Kings 2: Holy Fury, Stellaris: Apocalypse - Megacorp, Hearts of Iron IV: Waking the Tiger, Depth of Extinction, Mutant Year Zero, Banner Saga III, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battles: Donkey Kong Adventure, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Slay the Spire, Football Manager Touch

 

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That was very nice. Glad we had this meaty double episode. 

 

I also need to know transitionary and outro music name. I've heard it before and never knew what it is.

 

Funny how Pike and Shot sneaked into the list. Funny how Slay the Spire sort of did and sort of didn't.

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Another 2 hours episode? What a good way to begin 2019. 

 

I'm afraid that Michael may have forgotten to fill in the Troy " " Goodfellow this time.

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4 hours ago, ilitarist said:

That was very nice. Glad we had this meaty double episode. 

 

I also need to know transitionary and outro music name. I've heard it before and never knew what it is.

 

Funny how Pike and Shot sneaked into the list. Funny how Slay the Spire sort of did and sort of didn't.

 

That would be "Spanish Flea", most well known for this rendition by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. I haven't used that in a while, it's usually that or "The Girl From Ipanema", which was referenced once a long time ago by Tom Chick. I think I need to move onto something else like Yakety Sax. It was also one of the themes from The Dating Game.

 

1 hour ago, Khan Khomrad said:

Another 2 hours episode? What a good way to begin 2019. 

 

I'm afraid that Michael may have forgotten to fill in the Troy " " Goodfellow this time.

 

You know that's weird, it's embedded in the file and on the soundcloud page, but I must have pasted the wrong version into the thumbs CMS. Either way, I added it to the post: Troy "this is the year my musical theater career takes off" Goodfellow

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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. 

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Interesting take. I gave Rob and Troy a very clear task of relaying on the show that Into the Breach was my personal game of the year, but they both forgot.

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Thank you for that track, oh kind wizard.

 

I don't feel that the guys praised Into the Breach that much. Someone even said that it's a strategy game that is most enjoyed by people who don't play strategy games that much. You can compare it to Tower Defense games all of which are reactive by definition. The game being reactive means that you can have fun and feel clever from game #1. Rowan mentioned lack of RTS games as in base-building Warcraft/C&C style games and those are the opposite: you only have a real game when you know everything there is to know about the game. Most people would call this more strategic but it doesn't mean that Into the Breach lacks those planning and strategizing elements on higher levels of play.

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Great episode!

 

Only thing that continues to surprises me is the love for Two Point Hospital. I really liked Theme Hospital back in the day but TPH got so repetitive after a couple of scenarios and the simulation aspect didn't really seem to work either. Wish I could have enjoyed it more.

 

Meanwhile, nobody seems to be talking about Parkitect which came out this year too, has a very interesting, varied campaign and does the strategy / simulation aspect much better than PlanetCoaster did. Feels like a true successor to RCT to me.

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I have seen so many people rate Into The Breach on their own personal list of the year it’s a game I think I should be looking into. 

 

I thought 2018 was a solid if not spectacular year for strategy gaming. It certainly started well with Battletech being a hell of a lot stronger than I was expecting, while still having some very odd design choices in (do you still have to go through 500 different cut scenes every time you jump from one planet to another?) 

 

i enjoyed surviving Mars as a competent city builder as well. The survival mechanics were well thought through and added to the game, and they have done a lot to fix its limitation since release. It’s still screaming for a proper tourism and transportation system (MONORAIL!) but all in all it’s made some good development over the year since release. 

 

I’d also love to hear what the guys make of Mutant Year Zero; The Road to Eden. It somehow became my game of the year, probably because of the charm of its characters and how well it built its world rather than anything else, but it’s core combat was deeply satisfying - at least until you’d figured it out for each location. 

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Good show guys. The game that stands out to me is Kingmaker; must have a look. 

Happy New Year All

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On 1/5/2019 at 7:31 PM, Sorbicol said:

...I’d also love to hear what the guys make of Mutant Year Zero...

 

That's coming up late this week! We had to record it a little later than we usually do, so I hope to have it up by the weekend.

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