Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Part 1 of 2

Review by Avery Abernethy, 24 August 2014

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

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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

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.


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)

Scrambling in Africa

By Brant Guillory, GrogDude

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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.


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.


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 2014 – A Report From The Floor

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.

Tuesday Screenshot – Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein has been around for decades.  The newest one is the most beautiful.

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This isn’t quite how I remember the future past. Even so, if you enjoy a quality dieselpunk shooter with interesting level design, frightening enemies and some great weapons modeling, try out Wolfenstein: The New Order. Or don’t and be labeled a wimp…however you say it in German.

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