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Tag Archives: Modern & Near Future

Tuesday “Interview”: The Grogs’ Favorite Tank Games

We asked the Grogs to give us their favorite tank-heavy game ~

The GrogHeads Team, 21 November 2017

Cyrano

This one’s not even close:  Combat Mission in its various iterations.

These are games played with a merciless physics engine that feel every bit as gritty and grand now as they did nearly two decades ago.

I remember getting hooked on the WEGO gameplay and the ability the 3D environment gave you to peek over the shoulders of your digi-troopers and guess at what war must have been like for them.  Multi-player randomized battles to the wee hours of the morning were pretty great too.  What made both x1 and x2 really special, though, was the incredible variety of, yep, AFVs.  I’m not an WWII rivet-counter — I save my O.C.D. for Napoleonic games — but the fellows who designed Combat Mission are and it shows every time you pan around their products; not to mention the remarkable array of modifications available on-line.   There are no CRTs or bog charts here.  These are games played with a merciless physics engine that feel every bit as gritty and grand now as they did nearly two decades ago.  They’ve let me play with some of the most famous tanks of the war and some I never even knew existed.

Others have come for her throne, but CMx1 and x2 are still queen of the battlefield for me when it comes to tank warfare.

TANKSgiving – Steel Beasts, an AAR

What better way to kick off TANKSgiving than a look at a mission with the leading commercial digital tank simulator ~

James Sterrett, 18 November 2017

Scenario: Platoon Attack in Winter by Zipuli, download here – requires a free account

The outcome of Steel Beasts missions varies. Sometimes you saw through the opposition:

Battle Lab: Why Logistics Sucks

Why logistics so rarely shows up in wargames ~

Brant Guillory, 25 October 2017

Here’s a logic puzzle for you.

You have 4 snakes that have to get through a maze. They each have a destination, but there are only 3 start points and only 3 endpoints. Oh, and the routes through the maze cross in several places, which means you have to sequence your snakes through the maze. And by the way, there is a certain sequence the snakes need to depart and arrive.

Does your head hurt yet? What if we started putting some obstacles in the maze? How about if the snakes stop off for a bite to eat? What if we start including snakes going the other direction, too? Some passageways are too small for some snakes, do you route them through those pathways to free up space for other snakes even if the smaller ones now take longer to get where they’re going?

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum

Downtown Fayetteville showcases the history of these twin elements of the US Army ~

Mike Orwick, 21 October 2017

click images to enlarge, and read the plaques

Last week I was in Fayetteville, NC.  Fayetteville is the home of Ft Bragg, where the Army’s 82nd Airborne division and the Army’s Special Operations command are home based.  Located in downtown Fayetteville is the Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Museum.  This museum tells the story of the evolution and history of these two arms of the Army.  On the last day there, a co-worker and myself had an opportunity to visit the museum.

Before going to the museum, we walked to the opposite side of the parking lot, and visited the North Carolina Veterans Memorial.  There are pillars there with each of the county names on them, with molds of hands.  The hands represent the raised hand while taking the oath when joining the military.  The two most interesting items at the memorial was a chandelier make of over 33,000 dog tags and a table setup for a member of each branch of the military for those that are POW or MIA.

Tracer Rounds: What Do You Buy, Read, or Play?

Rapid fire thoughts about your game acquisitions ~

Brant Guillory, 11 October 2017

Plenty of us have a stack of wargames that we haven’t played yet. And quite frankly, there’s a not-insignificant portion of that stack that is, in all honesty, unlikely to ever get played. Occasionally, we’re just holding onto something in unpunched condition (ie, “investing”). Sometimes we got it, read thru it a bit, and decided we weren’t going to play it after all. But how many of us bought something with the express purpose of studying the game more than playing it?

What do you buy? What do you read or study? And what do you actually play?

That brings up a very interesting three-part question: What do you buy? What do you read or study? And what do you actually play?

In my case, I buy a lot of games from designers and companies I like to support (that said, I’m a bad comparison for “what do you buy?” because as the editor at GrogHeads and a regular reviewer of games, I don’t spend nearly as much on games as it might appear). But the games that I study and the games that I play do tend to diverge quite a bit.

GrogHeads Reviews Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Revisiting a classic and telling new tales ~

Avery Abernethy, 4 October 2017

Gabriel Knight is a point and click adventure game. Gabriel attempts to solve the Voodoo Murders in New Orleans which are occurring in the early 90s. Psychological and physical horror abound. Gabriel is a slacker rogue who wrote several unsuccessful mystery novels and owns an almost bankrupt rare book store. Gabriel is also amazingly vain and attempts to seduce most young females crossing his path.   Gabriel is haunted by a terrible dream sequence which becomes more detailed with each passing day.

New Orleans itself is a main character. New Orleans history, geographical highpoints, and the history of voodoo are all worked into the story line. Gabriel visits the Voodoo Museum, Tulane University, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, St. Louis Cemetery #1, among other locations. All existed in the 1990s and most are relatively unchanged today. The idiot destroyers of history have not pulled down Andrew Jackson’s statue yet!

GrogHeads Reviews Pulp Cthulhu and The Two-Headed Serpent

A two-for-one look at the horror RPG ~

Avery Abernethy, 13 September 2017

Pulp Cthulhu is a rules supplement to the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. Pulp Cthulhu adds weird science, psychic skills and much stronger player characters to the traditional Call of Cthulhu system. The rules focus more on pulp action and less on quiet investigation. The player characters have far more points to work with when building characters and have pulp talents allowing players to survive more deadly encounters.

Pulp Cthulhu resembles the “Indiana Jones” school of fighting the mythos. Characters have more talents, heroic archetypes, and a lot more fighting skills than your average Call of Cthulhu game. A major premise is fighting against cultist masterminds with lots of low level “mook” cannon fodder. Multiple secret cult societies are suggested to oppose the players.

GrogHeads Analyzes Aftershock: A Humanitarian Crisis Game

Professional development through better gameplay? ~

Brant Guillory, 12 August 2017

The first tremors hit Carana around 415 in the morning, local time. The capital was just stirring as many laborers were hurrying through their pre-dawn meals before shuffling out of their small houses to arrive at work by sunrise. The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.” The nations tenuous infrastructure, barely a patchwork to begin with, had no chance against the fury unleashed by the Earth’s shifting tectonic plates as bridges crumbled, roads buckled, water pipes tore apart like paper, and the electrical grid shut down, ending any communication that was out of shouting distance.

The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.”

Help was slow in arriving. Certainly the help wanted to arrive, but the routes into the country – the limited airport, the ramshackle seaport, and inland border – were never ideal under perfect circumstances, and these were not perfect circumstances. The local population certainly had a will to survive, but lacked critical supplies for medical care, safe water, and food & shelter. The world mobilized to help.

And the help began to arrive, a multi-headed hydra of organizations, services, expertise, and agendas. Usually cooperative, occasionally antagonistic, and always under the steady gaze of the worlds’ TV cameras, the various organizations rolled up their sleeves to start the long, hard slog of restoring the basic necessities of life to Carana.