Monthly Archives: September 2013

Tuesday Screenshot – Europa Universalis IV

click to enlargeMonty Tuesday Screen Sept

 

Woe to the world when, through luck, shrewd marriages, and a small war, the great overseas Spanish and Portuguese Empires merge under a single crown.

Strat Chat: Rome II

By Jim Zabek

Playing Total War: Rome II can be a challenge. Although there is an in-game encyclopedia it’s fairly limited when you get into the game. It can tell you What things do, but you have to figure out the Why and the When on your own. If ever a game could use a Strategy Guide, this would be it.

I’m now about fifty hours into the game. It’s 79 BC and this is my first campaign. I’m playing the Suebi, northern European Germanic tribesmen, and I’ve managed to conquer most of continental Europe playing on the easiest game mode. Almost universally (at least on our forums) gamers have concluded that even the easiest game setting for Rome II can be challenging. With fifty hours of gameplay into the game, I’m discovering that it finally is relatively easy to play now. I’ve got a surplus of 50,000 gold in my coffers, am making 13,000 gold each turn, have a surplus of about 50 food, and have several large armies trampling about the continent taking provinces by storm at will.

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My empire thus far.

So how did I do it? With only one game under my belt – and that only half completed by my estimate – I cannot claim to be a Rome II guru. However, with some reasonable success I think I can sketch out some basic strategies that may help folks struggling with the campaign. Because there are so many factions and each has their own building I am making a large assumption here: I am assuming that no matter which side you play, infrastructure plays a similar role. I could be wrong on this. If I am, I would urge folks to discuss it in our forums where we all as a community can learn from each other and improve our gameplay. Again, I’m not claiming to be an expert, just a guy with some time to share some thoughts on what I’ve learned so far. With that, let’s begin.

It’s Not All Total War

For a game entitled “Total War” I have found that Creative Assembly has been particularly good about creating games that go well beyond war. The strategy portion of their games has always been the most satisfying to me, and part of my enjoyment comes from the fact that these games incorporate economic and social aspects of empire building along with the military. Rome II is no exception.

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Commerce, culture, and agriculture. These buildings are typical of most of my provinces.

A Review of Card Hunter

Reviewed by Brant Guillory, 23 September 2013

Developed and Published by Blue Manchu Games

So I have a confession to make: I’ve been too busy playing Card Hunter to really write a good review of it. I wanted to write an article about the beta, which I was graciously given access to by a fellow GrogHead[1], and I’d even worked up an initial outline. Then I got sucked back into playing it, and that went out the window. After that, the game released to the public, and my “preview” lost the “p”.

But here’s the truth in the matter – as much fun as the game is to play, it’s damn hard to review. It’s not hard to describe mind you, but it’s tough to review. And honestly, I think it’s a testament to the genius of the game that such simple gameplay was wrapped up a package that defies an easy set of comparisons and still manages to satisfy the gamer’s itch for simple jump-in-and-play addictive fantasy gaming. And oh God, is it addictive.

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Everything about the visual style is designed to evoke a tabletop gaming experience

 

The Easy Part – Describing the Game

Card Hunter is a Flash-based game that requires a computer with an internet connection to play. There is nothing to download to your machine, but you will need your web connection to stay live during the game. It is free-to-play, with no need to purchase anything to succeed, but there are offers available to upgrade some graphical elements, as well as the equipment available to your party, through in-game purchases. The economy of the game uses a generic “gold” for the in-game economy with the characters, and a clever and mood-setting “pizza slices” medium of exchange for players to use for their purchases.

As a player, you have a three-member party, picked from a relatively small set of class / race combinations. There are fighters, mages, and clerics, and they can be humans, elves, or dwarves, with all their obligatory plusses and minuses that you’d expect. Your initial kit options are minimal, and are limited to a simple weapon, maybe some armor, and a pair of boots. You might pick up a stray option here or there, like wizards having an “arcane item” slot.

Allied Corps – AAR Part Four

So now we arrive at the fourth and final part of our Allied Corps AAR. Readers may recall that Part 3 left off as I made a mad dash to capture victory objectives in the Netherlands. I had successfully captured objectives due west around Leiden, decided not to try and crack the nut to the south in Rotterdam. But that meant I had to walk into the teeth of the German defenses around Amsterdam and this was going to be a tough fight. By ignoring Rotterdam I was committed to capturing all of the objectives around Amsterdam. Go big or go home. So we open with Lucky Turn 13:

 

Allied Turn 13

Allied Corps AAR-Sept-2013-119During Turn 12 I managed to box in an armored train to the west of my main force. Unable to move off the rails it had nowhere to go. Because it was at a junction boxing it in required three units. Two infantry units I could afford to spare, but the tank would be useful in Amsterdam. I didn’t need it yet, but the clock was ticking and I was hoping I wasn’t going to need that tank before I destroyed the train. Being armored it’s as tough as some tanks. To be safe I also had two aircraft loitering for extra fire power. That’s a lot of assets for one unit, but it was in my rear and I had no idea what kind of nasty surprise it might deliver if I left it to its own devices.

I first move the British Engineers behind it to block it from retreating any further. They don’t attack because they and the train are about the same strength and it won’t turn out well for the Brits. I move the Chaffee up from Utrecht and take it under fire. I inflict two points of damage and the train is now low on ammo. Excellent. US Engineers attack it and its strength drops from five to two – then, with nowhere to retreat, it surrenders! Perfect.

Down by Den Haag my Firefly needs to be resupplied so I do so and it rests a turn. The Cromwell fires in the V2 for fun and does three points. The loitering Wellington drops bombs and takes out the remaining point on the V2. I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave these tanks in Den Haag in order to prevent the Germans in Rotterdam from retaking it. The force I have up north will have to do.

I have some 7.2 inch artillery shell a 37mm Flak gun protecting the airfield to the east of Amsterdam. Three points of damage!

Tuesday Screenshot – War! Age of Imperialism

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The nation of Languedoc longs to stretch to the sea from their base in southern North America, and is slowly building up their forces in the Republic of Texas in anticipation of an expedition into California.  While Atlantis has significant forces south of Mexico, the oddity is Outremer’s colony in Cuba, as their power base is far away in Asia.