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 years later. You don’t get that from some ancient war. The cultures are too far gone.

So when I saw the game Syrian Warfare I kind of cringed a little bit. If 70 years isn’t long enough, how about something that’s still going on? What does it say about the conflict that there’s been enough time to come up with the idea, Steam Greenlight it, code it, and release it. And this war still continues.

This is a game I had to check out.

Edit : This has been getting lots of traffic and comments. Here’s my TL;DR version : If we took this out of the Syrian theater and instead stuck it in, I don’t know, Korea 1952, or Berlin 1945, it’d be a forgettable game. It fills a spot beyond what an average RTS player might want and not what a more hardcore strategy gamer likes. It’s not a bad game, it’s just not terribly good. Mechanically the game is lacking from what I desire in a strategy game and the context isn’t done in a tactful manner. Even if it was I’m not sure I’d have any interest in it. It’s just not my thing. But it still makes you think, and for that I have to give it some credit. Continue reading…

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?

Continue reading…

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 politics by different means.

Continue reading…

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 you’re looking for some oddball era or theater. It’s worth noting that if you buy a game from Matrix, and it’s available on Steam, you can get a Steam key from Matrix. (Note, you actually need to log in at Slitherine’s website to get the Steam Key.)

So, here we are, the Matrix Games Sale List of Good Games.

Continue reading…

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 the battles fought on those little squares and circles, and tracing history one page at a time.

My initial drive to get this book was actually from a video game. Sure, I’d read some basic books about the Eastern Front but my knowledge was pretty slim. I’d always been a Battle of the Bulge kind of guy. Then I started playing Gary Grigsby’s War in the East.

Continue reading…

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 set it all in an MMO-like universe. That’s one hell of an offering right?

pixels2

Continue reading…

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 ancient battles is pretty narrow, but luckily HexWar has a few offerings for those ancient gods of war.

Continue reading…