Ancient Battle Hannibal from Hunted Cow

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Part 2 of 2

Review by Avery Abernethy, 31 August 2014 This review is split into 2 parts. Part More »

GARPA 52 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

It’s the last GARPA of the Summer, so here’s your holiday weekend bundle of goodness! More »

A Distant Worlds AAR – Part 3

By Brandon “Kushan” Johnson, August 27, 2014   Click images to enlarge Thats more like it, More »

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Part 1 of 2

Review by Avery Abernethy, 24 August 2014 This review is split into 2 parts.  Part More »

A Report From Connections 2014

Guest columnist Brian Train gives us a peek inside the annual premier gathering of professional More »

 

Tuesday Screenshot(s) – STORM: Frontline Nation

Sauron went on a screenshot bender!    Lots of coolness for you to check out, and maybe it’ll spill into next week?

Click images to enlarge

Time to buy some units!

Time to buy some units!

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Part 2 of 2

FE-LH-SPLASH

Review by Avery Abernethy, 31 August 2014

This review is split into 2 parts. Part 1 was last weekend.

Click images to enlarge

orderhex-FELE

Grogheads is proud to induct Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes into the Order of the Hex for the following:
1) Successful Integration of Role Playing Game elements into a 4x game
2) Environmental Threats (Monsters) as well as Enemy Kingdoms a challenge through end-game.
3) Excellent 4x game without overwhelming micro-management problems.

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes incorporates many role playing game (RPG) conventions seamlessly . The RPG side of the game has a profound impact on winning or losing. RPG elements include the ability to equip individual pieces of armor, individual weapons, individual miscellaneous magic items, and cast tactical and strategic spells from a spell book. Only the faction leader and champions have access to these RPG elements. The faction leader is the player’s initial champion at the start of the game. New champions are acquired when fame garnered by completing quests, winning battles and cleaning out monster lairs hits specific levels. Once fame reaches a certain level, another champion is made available. The total number of champions available to a faction during a game is quite limited. Even in a long game played on a large map, I had only eight champions at the end.

At the start, your faction leader is often your strongest single melee combat unit. Both offensive and defensive skills of your faction leader and champions can be increased with magic items, weapons, and armor. These can be purchased at a ruinous cost in towns, or can be gained as loot from conquered monster lairs. Armor, weapons, and miscellaneous items can be traded between champions – but only if they are in the same hex or in the same town. There is no “universal vault” which enables you to drop off a magic sword in city A and have your champion in city D immediately gain the weapon. This makes movement of your limited number of champion units an additional strategic component.

 

 

Lots of Items

Lots of Items

GARPA 52 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

01-GARPA

It’s the last GARPA of the Summer, so here’s your holiday weekend bundle of goodness!

Clockwork Wars (Eagle Games)
$50k of $25k goal, Ends 3 September 2014

Steam-powered warfare?  Check.  Fantasy races?  Check.  Tanks?  Hells, yeah!  Fight for control of a modular mapboard, in a 4X-ish game of conquest that mixes and matches magic and steampunk technology.  One nice touch are map tiles that can be used on an artistic side, or purely-functional “giant symbol” side not unlike the strategic hex-view in Civ5.  It’s an Eagle Games production, so you know that it’ll be over-the-top gorgeous, barely fit on a ping-pong table, be a ton of fun to play, and go out of print in about 11 seconds.  So truck on over to the site for the campaign, and plunk down your pledge, and maybe throw a few extra coins in for the expansions, which look equally cool and will not doubt be gone in a hot minute on the open market.

G52-clockwork

A Distant Worlds AAR – Part 3

DW AAR-SPLASH

By Brandon “Kushan” Johnson, August 27, 2014

  Click images to enlarge

DW Part 03 - 01

Thats more like it, every construction yard on both of my spaceports is full. These ships should go a long way towards helping transport resources from my new mining stations. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there is anything queued up when this batch of freighters is done.

 

DW Part 03 - 02

An Interview with Hunted Cow Games

As you can imagine, the emergence of a wargames shop that’s built on the Apple Mac/iOS platform set hearts aflutter (OK, maybe just one heart, but it’s mine, so it counts!) here at GrogHeads.  So welcome Hunted Cow Games and let’s get to know these fine Scotsmen

Interview by Brant Guillory, 27 August 2014

huntedcow_previewFirst things first – what cow are we hunting?

That most glorious, most stately and above all hirsute example of the bovine race: the Highland cow.

What happens when the cow gets caught?

Sadly, the cow has thus far eluded our grasp. However, when we do finally get our hands on it, it will end up the way most food does in Scotland – coated in batter and deep-fried.

Why a cow and not, say a Vietnamese water buffalo?

The Highland cow is the most famous beast of the Highlands of Scotland, and given that we’ve always been based here, it seemed like a good fit for us. We did actually consider flying a water buffalo over to Scotland, but the cost was ridiculous. It also seemed a little cruel.

For our readers that might not know who you are (bastards!) what’s the ‘TV commercial’ pitch for Hunted Cow Studios.

We are a team of 30 zealot gamers. Based in Elgin in the Highlands of Scotland. Most of the games are a co-operative between the guys at HexWar (who are just a few miles away) and Hunted Cow. We focus on making great games that are aimed at the wider gaming community. Most of our games are pitched at entry-level prices where we think we have managed to get to a lot more players than any other wargames company.

Tuesday Screenshot: Someone Got Lost On Their Way To The War

Sometimes you get something just… weird.

My Shoshone were allied with some militant city-states, and among the units ‘gifted’ to me were a unit of Norwegian Ski Infantry.  The disconnect of Shoshone Norwegian Ski Infantry in the plain of Shoshonia was just too amusing.

civ5ShoSkiInfantry


Share your screenshots here >>

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Part 1 of 2

FE-LH-SPLASH

Review by Avery Abernethy, 24 August 2014

This review is split into 2 parts.  Part 2 is here.

Click images to enlarge

orderhex-FELE

Grogheads is proud to induct Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes into the Order of the Hex for the following:
1) Successful Integration of Role Playing Game elements into a 4x game
2) Environmental Threats (Monsters) as well as Enemy Kingdoms a challenge through end-game.
3) Excellent 4x game without overwhelming micro-management problems.

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes released by Stardock, is a turn-based 4x strategy game. In 4x games the player controls an empire and eXplores, eXpands, eXploits and eXterminates the opponent. 4x games were made famous with Sid Meier’s Civilization series and have been translated into space (Master of Orion) and fantasy (Master of Magic).

This review is based on 70+ hours of gameplay on a 3 year old Falcon Northwest computer. I completed two games to victory and played several other games short of completion, and I also lost a couple of games.

Fallen Enchantress takes elements of traditional 4x games, role-playing games (RPGs) and simplified tactical combat games to build a challenging world environment. All three game structures are combined to build on the strength of each design element, yielding a whole that is superior to the individual sum of the parts. I will start by discussing each major game element in turn, and conclude with a discussion of how the various game elements combine into a deep, addictive, and amazingly fun whole.

I love 4x games. I have been playing 4x computer games since the 1980s and have purchased and played almost every major 4x game ever released. And I was very impressed with the execution of Fallen Enchantress’ 4x elements.

A Report From Connections 2014

Splash-PMW

Guest columnist Brian Train gives us a peek inside the annual premier gathering of professional wargaming practitioners.

Once there was an Air Force Captain named Matt Caffrey who realized that commercial wargame designers had a lot to teach and learn from military and government analysts, planners and other subject matter experts. So in 1993 he organized the first CONNECTIONS conference, for the purpose of bringing these two worlds together to talk, for a few days at least. Now retired, Lieutenant Colonel Caffrey has worked to make this conference happen each and every year since then. The 21st annual CONNECTIONS conference on professional wargaming was held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, August 4-7, 2014, and I attended.

Connections14-39

Monday, August 4, was a half-day featuring presentations and discussions by individual speakers. Matt Caffrey spoke on the history of wargaming using information from his upcoming book, the engaging Dr. Peter Perla, author of The Art of Wargaming spoke on analytical wargaming, and Dr. Joe Saur and Chris Weuve spoke on the basics and pitfalls of wargame design.