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Rob Zacny

Three Moves Ahead 522: Suzerain

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Three Moves Ahead 522:

Three Moves Ahead 522


Suzerain
Rob is joined by freelance writer Sin Vega to discuss Suzerain, a branching narrative head-of-state simulator that asks you to make complex decisions about the politics of a small, Cold War nation. Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/3ma

Suzerain

 

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There was some understandable ambiguity over what countr(ies) the game is based on by the GOG description at least suggests it is based on Turkey (which makes sense). Though I definitely see how it also relates to many other countries...

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3 hours ago, chanman said:

Unfortunately, I'm finding Sin's audio to be quite garbled

Yeah, unfortunately there were some issues with the audio file and I had to clean it up as best I could. My pipe dream is to one day have a studio we can invite people to and play board games so I can standardize the recording process. There's only so much you can do if there are issues with the source file.

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I have really enjoyed playing this so far. Like any semi-scripted game there is the odd time when the dialogue options don't allow you to finesse things the way you might like to or the game seems to "forget" your actions (I tacked centre-left on most things but my lefty VP seems to think I won't get socialist votes. But once in a while there's a real whopper - like this:

 

image.thumb.png.301087fb5fa5df400a7ae4ad136f1c48.png

 

A drop of 2/3 in GDP over three and a half years? My head would have been on the end of a pike months ago...

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Finished a playthrough. Thanks for encouraging me to try it out. I can understand the temptation but you should have tried harder to avoid spoilers - the podcast was full of them by the end - or at least put a warning up front saying "if you want to play through this and you should we will be talking about a number of key plot points"...

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Like Rob this game is definitely going on my best-of-year list.

 

I've played it through twice. The first time I met with utter disaster. The second time I was all like, I know how to overcome this disaster and instead met with another utter disaster. It is the best game about politics I have ever played because it does so much to humanise the players in the political system. It lets you know where they are coming from and what compromises can be made and where people can get their hands dirty or where they will draw the line. And It never feels railroaded, which is a crazy achievement considering how many directions the game can have you take your republic.

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I just finished my first playthrough - I managed to revitalize the economy, keep the aggressive neighbours in their place, contained a polio outbreak... but drove my VP to suicide, failed to get my reforms through the assembly (by one vote! Is that scripted that any narrow margin becomes a single vote?), was unable to see off a party leadership challenge by 5 votes, and spent the rest of my life in prison after impeachment.

 

The reactionary elements are tough to bring to heel.

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15 hours ago, chanman said:

failed to get my reforms through the assembly (by one vote! Is that scripted that any narrow margin becomes a single vote?)

 

No, I think it needs to be pretty narrow before you get that. There's also an achievement for winning with one vote that I noticed.

 

I've had a couple of playthroughs. If you do get it through the assembly the next step is getting it past the supreme court. Which is also challenging but it's a different kind of political challenge.

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