Casey

Gamer, Author, Engineer, Dad.

All articles by Casey

 

Command Modern Air Naval Operations : Custom Overlays & Campaign Overlays

Out of the box CMANO uses a map set known as SRTM 30 Plus. This is an open repository from the USGS with tiled data from across the globe. It’s great for CMANO on a macro scale, but what if we want to get right in and see individual target points? What if we want
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Command Modern Air Naval Operations : Lua Repository #5 Conditions

Using conditions in Command Modern Air Naval Operations can be kind of tricky. Unlike triggers, which are pretty obvious, or actions, which can be dead simple, a condition is more complex. In a nutshell we use Lua to check something and return true or false. If true the action will execute, and if false nothing
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Command Modern Air Naval Operations : Lua Repository #4 Random Traffic

Every so often you meet a script that’s beautiful. My first script moment was when I saw the differential equation for a moon shot rocket as it loses fuel, gravity drops, velocity rises, and… well you get the idea. The below script, courtesy of Apache85, is a script like that. This wonderful bit of poetic
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Command Modern Air Naval Operations : Lua Repository #3 – Weather

Weather in CMANO is one of those things you don’t think about until suddenly you can’t attack a target. Then you realize that the world is alive below you. As a scenario designer it’s one of those things that can really fill out your scenario and bring it to life. We’ll explore a few simple
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast #5 : Graviteam Tactics Mius Front

In today’s episode we’ll be discussing Graviteam Tactics : Mius Front. This simulation is one of the most detailed company-platoon level war games on the market. It features a tactical and an operational level that really set it apart. My guests for today’s show is Phi230 and TortugaPower. The game is available on Steam for
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Command Modern Air Naval Operations : Lua Repository 2

This is another entry in my Lua Repository for CMANO. (Find the first one here) I have a large and ungainly notepad++ document with notes, ideas, scribbles, and even a bit of Lua. To start with we’ll run down what I currently have, later we’ll look at other functions from the commandlua.github.io list and make
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Command Modern Air Naval Operations : LUA Code Repository #1

This is where I’ll be documenting each and every Lua script that I’m using for both my own simulations and for the Hired Goons LP. Most of these are shamelessly used and when applicable I’ll try to attribute the original author. Though in some cases it’s just a script off of Discord or the Matrix
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Graviteam Tactics : How to Use Artillery

Artillery is key in Graviteam Tactics Mius Front and this guide will show you exactly how to call it in. Graviteam Tactics Mius Front is, once you get past the UI, a really great game. Unfortunately the manual is lacking so it becomes extra difficult to track down things like calling artillery. We’ll go through
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast Future Episodes

Our first listener poll is mostly in and 34 of you have voted to see Graviteam Tactics covered first followed by Aurora. Thanks to everyone who voted! So far we’ve had really reception to the show and look forward to covering the less covered niches. Originally Aurora was in the lead so I’ve been living
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast #4 : Commands Ops 2

In Episode #4 we discuss the real time pause-able WW2 game Panther Games Command Ops 2.  My guest for this show is YouTuber TortugaPower. This game has one of the most innovative AI systems where instead of you micro-managing the units all you have to do is give an order to an HQ and watch as it’s
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast #3 : Rule the Waves

In Episode #3 we discuss the NWS Wargaming Classic Rule The Waves.  My guest for this show is The Happy Hedonist. This game is a masterclass in innovative design and fun game play that trumps those little details like UI design or modern flow. All kidding aside it really is a great game, as long
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast : Episode Poll

Do you feel a certain topic is neglected in the strategy gaming podcast world? Let me know which of the below topics look interesting. You can pick up to three. We’ll do what we can to find a knowledgeable stable of guests and convince them to talk about it for an hour or two. Is
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Imperium Universalis : The Rome we Wanted

Rome. So many PC games have sought to encapsulate the mammoth history, culture, and growth. A few have hit the nail on the head, notably Total War : Rome, while others have failed miserably, Total War : Rome 2. How do you successfully make a game that spans the moments from when Rome went from
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast Episode 2 : Europa Universalis 4

In today’s episode I speak with HerpicleOmnicorn5 about Paradox’s game EUIV. Herp is a long time EUIV player and a profilic Let’s Player known for his real time streams of game like Silent Hunter 3 and CMANO. Mods covered  MEIOU and Taxes v2.0  Imperium Universalis Recommended Reading The Thirty Years War : Europe’s Tragedy The
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The Strategy Gamer Podcast

Need something to fill the void between Hardcore History episodes? Check out my new podcast, the Strategy Gamer Podcast. Yes, what an original title, but hey, it gets the point across. In the inaugral episode I look at Combat Mission and also Paths of Glory. Please let me know what you think. Direct Download here
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Moscow 1941 iOS Review

There is an unfortunately low amount of quality strategy games for mobile. This amount is about to get even smaller with the upcoming app store apocalypse where anything not 64 bit will be pulled from sale. Yobogames is stepping in to fill the gap with a couple of titles. First up is Moscow 41, and
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Strike Command : The Commandering – A Cooperative Let’s Play

Strike Command : The Commandering This will be a cooperative Let’s Play where you, the reader, vote on actions, procurement, and strike missions. It’ll be in the soul of Strike Commander using the CMANO engine. Interested in being a jet plane mercenary? Take a look!
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CMANO : Submarine Vs Submarine Search Patterns

Defining a search pattern is a damned difficult thing to define. Am I moving too fast? Too slow? What is my detection range? So I made up a little scenario and did some statistical analysis. Lets see how it all looks!
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CMANO : Barents Sea Boomers

Command Modern Air Naval Operations is a unique wargame unlike anything else out there. Instead of fighting an arcane interface or poorly designed structure we have a fairly simple interface overlaid on top of a deep and vibrant simulation. CMANO is agnostic to a theater or area. In fact it is very friendly to scenarios
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Land Doctrine : Like Rule the Waves with Tanks

Rule the Waves stuck you into the role of an early 20th century Naval bureaucrat who helped steer the design and future of your nation. Land Doctrine is this, but with tanks. But how does it compare to the venerable WWI Naval Simulator?
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Steel Division : Normandy 44, A New Paradox / Eugen Game

Finally. Steel Division. The info is still pretty sparse but it looks like Paradox Interactive, the studio who developed Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Stellaris, are publishing a Tactical RTS WW2 strategy game developed by Eugen Systems. You might remember Eugen from RUSE and the Wargame series. This is gonna be good.
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Syrian Warfare : When is Too Soon?

Dan Carlin opens up one of his best Hardcore History Podcasts talking about the hatemail he gets whenever he covers a modern story. When he covers Nazi Germany there’s still people who can look down at the numbered tattoos on their arms and remember. It’s tough to speak when the memories are fresh, even 70
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Strategy Games Discord Channel

I’ve started a new Discord Server specifically to cover board games, computer wargames, tabletop wargames, and any other strategy game. (Hearts of Iron to Revolution Under Siege to Stellaris to Civ 6) Discord is not only a fully functional chat server but also a voice chat server as well. No more Skype, Teamspeak, Ventrilo, or
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War in the East : Map Mods

There’s a frantic moment where you try to find something only to realize it’s gone. Keys maybe? Or a credit card? Or, god forbid, your passport! This happened to me when I reinstalled War in the East and realized that Jison’s WitE mapmod is no longer on his website. Uh oh.
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Stars in Shadow Review

Stars in Shadow has exited Early Access and is on sale for 25% off right now. (~$18) This 4X-MOO2 Like-Spaceship Dictator game is the newest in a rather crowded playing field of space games. One bummer about Early Access is the ratio good to bad is pretty low, so how does Stars in Shadow compare?
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Cogmind Major Update #13

Roguelike and ASCII plus game Cogmind just got a very major update. What was already a very interesting game just got even more so with new plot points, items, opponents, and tons of other goodness. Haven’t played Cogmind? You definitely should as it’s unlike any other roguelike out there.
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Rome to Charlemagne : A Different Wargame

Lately I’ve been getting my gaming fix away from prodigious hexes and even more prodigious spreadsheets. My evening reading has been Mary Beard’s excellent SPQR, and Bernard Cornwell’s the Last Kingdom. So I sought out games to cover me between pre-republican Rome all the way up to the the reign of Alfred the Great.
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War in the West : Operation Husky Husky

I was quite pleased to see that in WitW the introductory scenario is actually fun. One big complaint I had about the Velikie Luki tutorial in WitE is you don’t actually get to conquer any territory, just watch everyone freeze to death. Road to Minsk made a much more compelling learning experience.
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Strategy and Grognard Games : The Most Popular Niche

The folks over at Battlefront games just released an update for the Combat Mission games. This update, known as V4, covers the latest BF games. But there’s a bit of a storm brewing over what a lot of people consider a patch, not an update. So how does a niche game, in the most popular
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Washington’s War [Review] by GMT Games

Washington’s War, reprinted by GMT Games in 2016, and designed by Mark Herman, is an exceptional game on the topic of the Revolutionary War. At first glance it’s a wargame, but, it’s not. In fact it is a political game with a wargame layer. As Clausewitz said, War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of
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A Very Grognardy Christmas

With a touch of Christmas Magic and a 1914 style truce between the dogs and cat, we find a very Grognardy Christmas here in the Great White North. Lest you think Santa just brings me games from Matrix and Steam, here we have some fresh new offerings!
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War in the West : And Now for Something Totally Different

Gary Grigsby’s War in the West is not in the same vein as his other monster, War in the East. Where War in the East is firmly an Eastern Front game, War in the West is a Strategic Bombing game with a ground combat layer. Where air power is mostly abstracted in WitE, in West,
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Matrix Christmas Sale 2016 Highlights

It’s that time of the year again where we finally get some time off and decide to spend it playing video games. Matrix has released a fairly massive PDF list of what games are on sale, I’ve culled that a bit and provided my own list of what’s worth buying. Now it’s still worth browsing if
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Book Review : Atlas of the Eastern Front 1941-1945

Give me a map, a moment, and I’ll wander the world. Ok, so I’m actually kind of biased here. My Brother-in-Law, an awesome dude, happens to be a professional cartographer. So I’ve spent many a good hour browsing through high-end map coffee table books. Beyond that I spent hours of my youth studying maps, imagining
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Cities Skylines : No, you can’t drive.

TL;DR – The goal is to create a carless city in the game Cities : Skylines. It happens, but not like you’d expect. Blame it on the bouncy houses. Calville has a traffic jam that stretches nearly 2 kilometers. Delivery trucks wait patiently next to sports cars. The psychodelic flashing of police cars and ambulances pepper
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A Game, A Puzzle, or a Simulation?

My daylight gaming lately has been spent playing a lot of Cities : Skyline with my son. When I haven’t been watching graveyards fill up, or buildings burn down, I’ve been alternating between Combat Mission : Black Sea (CMBS) and Graviteam Tactics : Mius Front (GTMF). At first what seems like two similar games, and
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Combat Mission : Black Sea – Run Away!

In a game with imperfect information threats seem… extraordinarily threatening. Especially this game, we have no drones, our forward recon element is only about 100 meters ahead of some tanks, and an entire US armored column lurks on the other side of the treeline. We can hear them. Our recon dudes have taken some fire
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Combat Mission : Black Sea – First Contact

We finally have our first contact in the cooperative Let’s Play of Combat Mission : Black Sea (From now on – CMBS). Read more about it here : http://thestrategygamer.com/2016/10/04/combat-mission-black-sea-double-blind-game/ A brief recap, our entire Russian Motorized Brigade is moving into position to block an incoming NATO force. This isn’t just me and an opponent, this is a
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Combat Mission Black Sea : Double Blind Game

One of the greatest problems with wargames is the perfect knowledge issue. I see the entire battlefield while you also see the entire battlefield. The fog of war is, for the most part, non-existent. Card Driven Games add a new element as you may not know what abilities your opponent has or whether or not
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Wargames on the Table / Screen

Lately I’ve been working on a few new games that are pushing my strategy gaming boundaries. Yes, the Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa campaign is done. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I binge played through to the end of the war. I had a few sudden breakthroughs and, well, I kind of ended the war. So I took a
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Rimworld – In-Process Review

Rimworld In-Process Review I’m a sucker for a game where I can lay the groundwork and watch the chaos run. In years past I loved making a stable SimCity and then watching as it slowly grew from one disaster to the next. The pace was nice, it was my pace, I could control the growth,
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Granularity in Wargames

Lately I’ve been thinking about wargames. Particularly the design of wargames, not so much layout, but how we actually receive the information from the game. I’ve realized that a great deal of what we deal with today is simply an effort to use the hex-and-counter of the 1970’s and 1960’s. Is this ideal or is
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Let’s Play Decisive Campaigns : Barbarossa – Suddenly then Slowly

The first month was definitely the goldilocks days. We had plenty of fuel, short supply lines, a steady blitz, and the encirclements were epic.
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Do I need more Eastern Front? Conflict of Heroes : Awakening the Bear

My son asked me, “Dad, why do you like to play games with guys in grey jackets fighting guys in brown jackets?” Which I thought was pretty observant for a 6 six year old. And I really didn’t have much of an answer. So I explained it that he likes to play trains, I like
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Let’s Play Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa : Where’s the Juice?

Here we are! Turn three and our Panzer divisions are finally starting to show some wear and tear. Plus I have to define some cards, as my Aide de Camp is proud to remind me of.
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Let’s Play Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa : Onwards to Minsk!

The Assault Begins Hello and welcome back to Turn 2 of our invasion of Russia. Our first turn had us encircling Brest-Litovsk and also making pocket big enough to trap a whole bunch of Soviet units around Bialystok. Up North things are heating up and on the Romanian front we are just getting moving. For
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Let’s Play Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa : Invasion Time

First off we’ll set out some ground rules for the game. The first round will be a single turn. After that each of these posts will represent two (2) in game turns or eight days. If this pace seems too slow then we’ll bump it up and see how it feels. As far as strategy
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Total War : Warhammer Formation Guide

Total War : Warhammer drops you into a realm of magical and martial violence without much of a tutorial on how these units actually fight. That Orc warband should be easy, those undead should die, hell, the little orange bar says so. Then, lo-and-behold you get stomped. Well we’ve got some options. Lets go over the hows
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State of the Strategy Games Market

2016 Strategy Games How exactly are Strategy Games doing? How many people are actually playing these games, right now? This very moment? Steamspy and SteamDB both offer us some unique insights. All in all, it’s pretty good. Plus we’ll look at some of last years titles, and then on to the niche of niches, Grognard
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Review : Pixel Starships

Pixel Starships was released in January of 2016 and designed by Savy Soda. Originally a Kickstarter project, it was funded on June 25th, 2015. They asked for $20,000 and just squeaked by with $22,000. From the Kickstarter offering you really get a great vibe. Take FTL, mash in the graphics of a NimbleBit game, and
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