Casey

Gamer, Author, Engineer, Dad.

All articles by Casey

 

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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Hexes, Counters, and Death Defying Slot Cars

The track is a monstrosity, each section is roughly three foot by three foot, dense MDF, routered lines and copper wires. At each joint is a meticulous melding of wood and slots. I’m staring at the largest slot car racing track I’ve ever seen. Sweat pours off of us as each piece is carefully positioned
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Let’s Play Decisive Campaigns : Barbarossa AKA Time To Piss Off The Train Nazi

Decisive Campaigns : Barbarossa is VRDesigns take on the War in the East. Actually, it’s not, it’s just Barbarossa. That’s a huge distinction we need to get out of the way right now. This is not War in the East. This is a different game on the Eastern Front. It models not only the movement
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Battles of the Ancient World I : Review

After listening to Dan Carlin’s latest Hardcore History podcast on the Persian Empire I had a hankering for some phalanx’s and good old fashioned ancient battles. This is an era that gets overshadowed by, well, just about every other genre. How many games do we really need about World War 2 Tank Battles? The niche for
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Twilight to Glory

Recently I’ve taken an interest in some board games made by a company called GMT Games. They specialize in niche, almost bespoke, historically accurate boardgames. This isn’t Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne but an attempt to model a conflict or situation in as accurate a way as possible.
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Rule the Waves : Oddballs

I didn’t intend to make Jackie Fisher roll over in his grave. Sure, commonsense told me to make warships like, well, like they’re supposed to be made. Instead though I’ve been using Rule the Waves as a test bed for wacky ideas and horrible tactics. Did it work? Absolutely.
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H1Z1 to Split

These days most of my gaming time has been spent in binge runs of XCOM 2. While taking a break from stressing about my sharpshooters latest injury, I noticed that Daybreak Games, the publisher of H1Z1 is splitting the game into two parts. For those of you not into the current survival game craze, think
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Naval Action Preview [Early Access]

Fans of Patrick O’Brian rejoice, now you can channel your inner Captain Aubrey and take command of an 18th century sailing ship in the early access game, Naval Action. Creaking sails, strained rigging, and the rush of water all set the stage. The time period is probably around 1800, though some of the games features
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What’s Coming? February 2016 Edition

February is bringing some really awesome looking games. For the shortest month of the year we are getting a full load of games. The one that’s topping my list is Crusader Kings II : Conclave. But Xcom 2 is right behind it. To make choices even more difficult, the sequel to Pillar of Eternity’s White
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Nostalgia : V for Victory – Velikiye Luki

There’s rose covered glasses, and then there’s DOS emulated screens. Memories tend be an odd thing, especially very fond memories of video games past. As we grow, and the games we’ve played grow, how do the old ones stack up? One of the first war games I ever recall playing was V for Victory : Velikiye
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Review : Stonehearth [Early Access]

Initially I wasn’t going to step foot into reviewing Early Access games. It’s a realm of great ideas, marketing, fluff, and little substance. An idea for a great game is significantly different than a great game. Now we get to watch the process from shitty early access game all the way to shitty released game.
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Flashpoint Campaigns : Red Storm [Review]

Flashpoint Campaigns : Red Storm Review was developed by On Target Simulations and released by Slitherine Ltd in 2013. You take on the role of an all seeing Commander for either the NATO forces, or the incoming Warsaw Pact forces. As the game lays it out, the Warsaw Pact has struck while NATO was woefully
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Rust : Herp, Derp, and the Russian Hunter

I regain consciousness on the sandy shores of some distant beach. Waves lap gently against the shore like some long lost summer vacation. It takes me a moment but finally I get up. The sea stretches out beyond me. Turning about I get my first shock. Naked men. Lots of them. This beach has more
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Lifeline Review [iOS]

It’s not often that I get sucked into a game on an emotional level. A level where I’m actually genuinely curious about where the path of the protagonist leads. In most games you are a bystander, you’re separated from the choices. As visceral the graphics, as intense the story, you’re still just a person clicking
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War in the East : Support Units

Support units are essential in the War in the East. They are your artillery, engineers, rocket battalions, and anti-aircraft. By abstracting these units it saves you a ton of time shuttling them about. But there’s still some things to know in order to maximize your effectiveness. “Nebelwerfer and Land Mattress”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5
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War in the East : Aircraft Basics

Air, and Air to Ground, combat in War in the East can be quite tricky to learn. Half of what happens is abstracted, the other half has an odd interface. We’ll get into the basics and soon enough your IL-2 will be out and flying.
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War in the East : Supply Basics

Supply in the War in the East at first seems incredibly complicated but is actually much simpler than it seems. Though like almost everything in WitE, it’s as complicated as you choose to make it. In Road to Minsk, a 3 turn scenario, you don’t have to worry about supply at all. You can get
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War in the East : Fog of War Basics

In War in the East you have several options regarding Fog of War. You can play without it and see the entirety of the battlefield. You can play with it, or you can play with it and with the Movement Fog of War. We’ll get into all of that below.
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