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GameTalk: Tanks!

Brant Guillory, 24 November 2014 TANKSgiving game design discussion At a certain echelon, crew quality in More »

GrogHeads Reviews the CMBN Vehicle Pack

Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy Vehicle Pack, Developed and Published by Battlefront Inc. A screenshot review More »

GARPA 58 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

We kick off TANKSgiving with a GARPA full of tracks and turrets.  GUNNER – SABOT More »

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 9

CHAPTER NINE: YOU CAN’T UNSEE IT click images to enlarge The last time I saw More »

GrogHeads Reviews Rebels & Redcoats

Rebels & Redcoats by Hunted Cow, for iOS/iPad Review by Michael Eckenfels, 19 November 2014 More »

 

GameTalk: Tanks!

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Brant Guillory, 24 November 2014

TANKSgiving game design discussion

At a certain echelon, crew quality in individual tanks starts to matter less than mechanical reliability across the fleet of panzers.  Armor and resupply factors take over from vehicle sights and reload times.  Starting at the individual tank level, where the crew reigns supreme and eventually rising to the division level, where maintenance and resupply dominate the availability of your fighting forces, where do you start to fade certain factors in and out.  Where you start to care about the logistics tail and stop caring about the esprit-de-corps of the crew and platoon?  And how do you quantify those factors into numbers that matter in your game?


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GrogHeads Reviews the CMBN Vehicle Pack

CMBN-VP-SPLASH

tanksgivingheader

Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy Vehicle Pack, Developed and Published by Battlefront Inc.

A screenshot review by Boggit, 21 November 2014

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to field some of the rarely seen specialist Allied vehicles, or scratch built German armoured groups that fought in Normandy? Well now you can. Drawing heavily upon Hobart’s “Funnies” of 79th Armoured Division and the “Ersatz” units created by Major Alfred Becker – a rather unique engineer – for 21st Panzer Division – Battlefront have introduced a vehicle pack that brings new vehicles and weapons into the mix for their Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy game.

A Churchill AVRE supported by infantry advances in spite of nearby mortar fire. It also carries a breach team for when a 290mm round is just overkill. Reloading the Petard mortar on the AVRE is slow, but historically correct.

A Churchill AVRE supported by infantry advances in spite of nearby mortar fire. It also carries a breach team for when a 290mm round is just overkill. Reloading the Petard mortar on the AVRE is slow, but historically correct.

The vehicle pack requires the installation of the version 3.0 game engine, which is separately available from Battlefront. V3.0 brings Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy up to the same level of development as Combat Mission: Red Thunder, which provides a lot of improvements. You can check out some of these described in my Red Thunder review here .

GARPA 58 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

01-GARPA

tanksgivingheader

We kick off TANKSgiving with a GARPA full of tracks and turrets.  GUNNER – SABOT – PREORDER!

MBT (GMT Games)
P500 $65 (retail $95) – Made the cut

The Cold War goes hot in 1987 and the Reds are rolling West.  100m hexes hold individual tanks, infantry squads, and all manner of nasty battlefield surprises.  With a whole arsenal of tanks, helicopters, ATGMs, and close-air support at your disposal, combined arms warfare splays across a collection of geomorphic maps and into your game room.  Expansions are already on p500, and the mapboards are compatible with GMT’s Panzer to give you more to play with.  Check out their p500 page for a LOT more info, and get your order in now.

G58-MBT

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 9

BOTF-Splash

CHAPTER NINE: YOU CAN’T UNSEE IT

click images to enlarge

The last time I saw anything that disgusting was when a dancer named ‘Wolf 359’ bent herself so far over, she turned into a singularity and disappeared. I will not watch movies about people eating people any more. I have people to do that for me. The idea is sound, but there’s no reason the leader should be exposed to such trauma.

I’m staring at a pretty decent fleet, though it’s very civ-heavy. Meaning, more Troop Transports and Colony Ships than actual ships that can ‘bring the pain.’ Since we’re all flower children more or less, having a gigantic fleet-in-being is not only not conducive with Federation aims, it’s also a huge drain on the economy. It’s still early yet and I need to do some more colonizing so I can do some more taxing and graftin’ (daddy gotta get HIS) to support a large fleet. For purely defensive purposes, of course. And so far, my expansion is small, though that will change soon. I don’t like the idea of being spread out and having no good ships to defend myself should big ol’ greenie meanies come sniffing around my people like they’re sides of beef (Soylent Green was MY idea, after all).

Thing is, in Birth of the Federation, the Federation gets huge penalties for being war-like. Doing things like bombing planets into dust will piss off the population at large, so a little alien cleansing…IF we actually find aliens, that is…is not on the to-do list. But, I like to bring it up during the staff meetings every so often, just to see how many shades of pale I can make everyone sitting around the table.

God, it’s good to be the king.

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GrogHeads Reviews Rebels & Redcoats

RaR-SPLASH

Rebels & Redcoats by Hunted Cow, for iOS/iPad

Review by Michael Eckenfels, 19 November 2014

Click images to enlarge

I’m no stranger to Hunted Cow’s games…in fact I wrote a review recently for GrogHeads that covered the game Ancient Battle: Hannibal. Hunted Cow games tend to be the same window with different curtains, and while some might think that is a negative view, it works very well if you like their games and stylization of combat. Simple move-and-fire interfaces (or move-and-close combat) and objectives make their games usually quick and easy to get into.

The title screen.

The title screen.

Is Rebels & Redcoats any different? The short answer is, no; no, it is not, with a few exceptions.

The ‘curtains’ here, of course, is the Revolutionary War, pitting the British Army against the fledgling American rebels. The game offers five scenarios for each side in two different campaigns (giving essentially twenty total scenarios to choose from), along with a string of tutorial missions that give you a feel for the game before you dive in and fight out a scenario.

Tuesday Screenshot – Field of Glory

18 November 2014

A big-time Field of Glory butt-kicking.

 

Slavs Rule OK! (Even if my C-in-C was killed in the battle!)

Slavs Rule OK! (Even if my C-in-C was killed in the battle!)

 


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GameTalk: Firing the Commander

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Byron Grant, 17 November 2014

More game design discussion

There have been plenty of times in which incompetent commanders were sent packing from the battlefield – preferably before their guys get killed. GEN Marshall fired damn near every US general at some point during WWII. And yet, they were being fired for a reason, and their replacements were almost universally better. How do you fire a general from division command in the middle of a game of Third Reich? How do you swap out commanders in an OCS game, or AVL/AVD? When President Lincoln had a revolving door on the Army of the Potamac, how do you swap out commanders, especially when there are a limited number of counters in the mix to reflect changes in the units? What mechanics can you use to change leadership on the battlefield in a wargame?


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GrogHeads Reviews Wings! Remastered Edition

Wings-SPLASH

Lloyd Sabin, 15 November 2014

Wings! Remastered Edition by Cinemaware

Lloyd takes to the skies and finds…

Humming in the Shower

I talk about my gaming childhood all the time around here – games that I grew up with, that introduced me to the hobby, that left an imprint on my personality, and whose theme songs I still hum in the shower 25 years later. Moreso than Gunship!, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Impossible Mission, Archon or Winter Games, or two dozen other titles from the 1980s and 1990s, memories of Wings! have been with me, branded into my gaming soul, since it was released almost 25 years ago.

The original is one of my favorite games of all time, probably in my personal top five list, because of the game’s perfect World War I atmosphere, generated by a combination of music, art and mood that really placed my impressionable brain in the Great War. Combined with the [albeit] linear campaign, the authentic sounding names in the pilot roster, the unit journal of the 56th Aerosquadron and the goings-on of the unit while off duty, Wings!, while not realistic by any measure other than a human one, grabbed my gaming brain and never let go.

 

Some of the game's intro screens are shown so many times it will drive you insane, like this one.

Some of the game’s intro screens are shown so many times it will drive you insane, like this one.