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.  Look More »

A Report From Connections 2014

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

The Scramble for Africa – A Civ 5 AAR (Part 11)

Scrambling in Africa By Brant Guillory, GrogDude Click images to enlarge Last time we planted More »

 

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.

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A Distant Worlds AAR – Part 3

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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.

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Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Part 1 of 2

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Review by Avery Abernethy, 24 August 2014

This review is split into 2 parts.  Look for part 2 next weekend.

Click images to enlarge

 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

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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.

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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.

The Scramble for Africa – A Civ 5 AAR (Part 11)

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Scrambling in Africa

By Brant Guillory, GrogDude

Click images to enlarge

Last time we planted a city where we could piss of the maximum number of people. This time? Just trying not get into another war.

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The Brits. Always the Brits
They keep pushing units right up to my borders, and then backing away. You’d almost think they’re being run by some bald weenie named “Vlad” or something.

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My folks are not Happy
And looking into it, it appears to be mainly driven by population. I can’t stop my Boers from birthin’ babies, but I can try to distract them with luxury goods and entertainment buildings. Hey – it’s been working for the US for 50 years now!

GenCon – A Report From The Floor

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Cyrano ventures south (from him!) to Indianapolis, to file this report from GenCon

Somewhere, amidst all the other detritus I’ve gathered, I have this angry pin. It was made the year after Those Who Make Gen Con (TM) chose to take historical miniatures gaming and place it in a dark basement (I neither jest nor exaggerate) of the Milwaukee Auditorium. It reads simply: “I found the miniatures games at Gen Con”.

Gen Con left my hometown for the center of Indiana over a decade ago, and historical gaming of all kinds has fared little better since. Cards and clicks may have been replaced by cards, anime, and cosplay, but it still takes a dedicated grog to find something appropriate to his or her tastes.

Role-playing, of course, can be found in abundance

Role-playing, of course, can be found in abundance

And Gen Con this year took real patience. It’s fairly well known that the hotel block reserved by convention organizers was significantly increased this year but still sold out in less than an hour. The on-line “wishlist” event registration system resulted in large queues and, at least anecdotally, gamers not getting into their first, second, or third choices. The exhibit hall was expanded yet again and yet, according to the folks to whom I spoke, sold out in near record time. I’ve long made it my habit to hit the convention hard Wednesday through Friday in the hope of avoiding the worst of the crush of humanity that arrives on Saturday. This year the crowds came on Wednesday night and never seemed to let up.

In all this, though, there were those flying the wargaming colors and I write this to honor them.