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Grogheads Interviews Emperor of the Fading Suns Creator, Andrew Greenberg!

In 1997 one of the greatest 4x strategy games in the history of PC gaming was released. It was called Emperor of the Fading Suns and my life would never be the same.  Somehow, this game managed to combine  strategic intergalactic conquest with planetary tactical turn-based combat and development, with a seamless transition from galactic map to planet surface for turn-based battles.  The game was simply epic in scale and scope, with complex and captivating lore to boot. To this day, EFS remains a fantastic and unique title and absolutely has withstood the test of time, like few other games from its era have managed. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to sit down with the developer of this masterpiece, Andrew Greenberg.

EFS

EFS

By: Craig H. Handler,

Grogheads:  Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!  At Grogheads, we are all huge fans of the Emperor of the Fading Suns games and universe and it is such a pleasure to speak with you about the history of the game system and your future plans for the series.  Why don’t we start by you telling us a little bit about your background in gaming, how Holistic got started and how the Fading Suns universe was born. What are your personal favorite games to play and how have they influenced your own creations?

Combat Mission Shock Force 2!

The wait for Combat Mission Shock Force 2 was long, but it has finally crossed the breach.  Now, fans of the series can fight it out over deadly Syrian sands with the benefit of all enhancements from Battlefront’s latest version of the Combat Mission engine.  There may not be any Russians lurking out there this time around, but with a coalition of American, British, German, Canadian and Dutch forces taking on a mixed group of Syrian and unconventional foreign Arabic fighters, there is sure to be plenty of chaos.  It’s going to take some time to push out a thorough Grog-worthy review, but in the meantime, here is an After Action Report to tide you over.  Covering the initial American drive across the Iraqi border and into the Syrian maelstrom, join Task Force Thunder and climb over the top with Grogheads!

stryker

stryker – Image may be subject to copyright

Craig H. Handler,

Task Force Thunder is the campaign from the initial release of Combat Mission Shock Force. It follows the U.S. Army in its drive across the Iraqi-Syrian border westward along Route Lightning toward Homs.  Tasked with the most critical objective of the campaign, the brigade-sized force of American Strykers, supported by heavy BCT elements, artillery and air support, will seek to slice Syria in half, seizing key urban centers in the area of the ancient city of Homs, some 160km North of Damascus.

Tyranid Invasion heading to Gladius Prime!

There goes the planet. Slitherine has really gone and done it this time. As if Gladius Prime did not have enough trouble with Space Marines, Astra Militarum, Orks, Necrons and all the man (and xenos) eating flora and fauna? Now, the Tyranids will be crashing the party and the planet will never be the same.

GladiusTyrannids mainart

By Craig H. Handler

Little is known about this DLC package set to be released shortly after the new year in January, but one thing is for sure, Tyranid are ravenous and nearly unstoppable. Will you be able to stop them from eating the planet?

Click below for some screenshots and a link to the trailer!

Anytime, Baby…!

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Here at Grogheads, we do more than push chits and NATO counters across digital and paper maps. Yes, sir, we absolutely love simulations of all kinds and we have a solid group of Grogs who take to the skies in aircraft starting with the wooden and canvas classics from the dawn of flight, through the famous war birds of the Second World War, and into the jet age and beyond.  When it comes to flight sims, few things will excite like strapping into a highly detailed aircraft that was the stuff of childhood dreams and legends, and the upcoming F-14A/B by Heatblur Simulations for DCS is shaping up to take the flight simming world by storm!

Craig H. Handler,

Coming in for a CASE III recovery right on the heels of the fantastic F/A-18C, Heatblur Simulations is preparing for a big announcement today on its eagerly anticipated F-14A/B. By all appearances, Heatblur is raising the bar on its fantastic AJS 37 Viggen, and is preparing to bring DCS to the next level with this aircraft.  We will be posting more details once Heatblur’s announcement goes live, but until then, click below to check out these absolutely stunning images! Seriously, I had to do a few double and triple takes to make sure these were not actual photographs…unreal! We’re about five hours away from the big announcement, so let the countdown begin!

Vox Machinae!

VoxM Date trailer Cover

Giant robots…who doesn’t love them?

By: Craig H. Handler,

The cratered battlefields of the future will no doubt be fought over by giant mechanized warlords.  These giant metallic behemoths, locked in fierce combat with lasers, machine guns and missile batteries, have captured my imagination dating all the way back to the earliest of my sci-fi memories.  My love for this genre of future war was encouraged by popular series like Battletech, Mech Warrior and Robotech.  As a gamer, I instantly buy any title that even remotely involves giant piloted robots.  This Fall, however, I will finally be able to pilot a 140-foot tall walker and engage in battle with my virtual reality headset!  Vox Machinae, the upcoming title by indie developer Space Bullet, promises to let players, “strap into the cockpit of a robot seven times taller than a Tyrannosaurus Rex!”  Although developed with VR specifically in mind, Vox Machinae promises to be the ultimate giant robot combat action-simulator for both VR and standard screens.

The guys at Space Bullet were kind enough to provide me with an early access code, and after playing around for a bit, I am entirely sold on the concept!  Several games have tried to create an immersive giant “mech” experience for VR, but to date, none have succeeded like Vox Machinae. In a word, its AWESOME!  The war machines of Vox Machinae, known as “GDRs” or “Grinders,” feel heavy as they lumber across alien terrain. The cockpit controls are functional and can be accessed using the motion wands of my HTC Vive.  Lasers zip across the battlefield and missiles corkscrew through the air. Armor shatters off of Grinders as cannon shells rip into targets. Arms and legs can be blown off causing a loss of mobility or firepower.  Pilots have to manage heat output as too much can cause a shutdown of systems, a deadly possibility in the thick of combat.  The battle experience of Vox Machinae is nasty, brutish and short.

Although the action is geared toward multi-player battlefields, each game mode can be filled with friendly and enemy bots.  Prior to heading into combat, the player can select one of a number of different Grinder chassis, each being separated by weight class. Generally speaking, a heavy Grinder will have thicker armor and more firepower, at a cost of mobility.  The lighter Grinders literally jet across the field.  Players can hop into battle with a pre-loaded Grinder, or they can create a custom Grinder with a powerful arsenal of lasers, rail guns, missiles, flak, cannons and more.  According to Space Bullet, there is no loot-box or micro-transaction “nonsense.”

So far, I have only tried out one Grinder class (a heavy) and fought on a single rocky martian battlefield.  The game promises to see players fighting over a “plethora of unique alien worlds” with a number of different objectives.

As noted above, although Vox Machinae can be played on a regular screen, it was clearly meant to be experienced in VR. It is very hard to convey the immersion of VR Grinder combat. It is one of those things that you just have to see and feel firsthand to appreciate.

A brief overview of features at release includes:

  • A weighty tactical VR simulator blended with responsive action.
  • Crossplay between PC VR (Rift/Vive/WMR) and desktops across Steam and Oculus Store.
  • Play offline, on a local network, or online with drop-in support and up to 16 players.
  • Be the pilot and immerse yourself with a full avatar body and motion control operations.
  • Pick from 5 customizable grinders and deck them out with an array of devastating weaponry.
  • Work with your team to recover and protect the monolithic Decker machine in Salvage mode.
  • Control the majority of 5 factories dotting the map and reap their benefits in Stockpile Mode.
  • Coordinate the battle plan with your team using unique visual VOIP comms, and look your best with an array of headgear.
  • Hone your skills with full bot support across all gameplay modes.

Stay tuned for more coverage as the release of Vox Machniae draws closer. In the meantime, feast your eyes on some killer screenshots!