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.
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.
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 niche, handle this?
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.
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!
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, you get to handle it in all the gritty details. It’s not a bad game, but it’s definitely a totally different one.
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.
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.
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 the route like some sort of funfetti cake gone wrong. And, to top it all off, buildings are burning down while my firetrucks wait in line.
This will not do.
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 a totally unrelated city builder, all share some interesting features, and are all also totally different. Are they a simuation, a puzzle, or a game? (Parent note, my son found it terribly funny when people catch on fire and run about like mad in GTMF so due to mom anger he doesn’t watch that one anymore)