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?
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 make it feel like it’s happen in the golden age of piracy, or about a hundred years earlier.
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 Luki. I was probably about 14 years old at the time and had no concept of the history behind the game. For me the Germans were some sort of parody from Hogans Heroes and the Russians just a generic bad guy. But man, I sunk some time into those scenarios.
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.
It’s kind of like sausage. You probably don’t want to watch. Getting the finished product is much better.
But, unfortunately, in our era of gaming we have a shitload of games in Early Access. As such, it’s worth taking a look and wading through the idea and getting to the substance.