Monthly Archives: August 2015

GrogHeads Reviews Colonial Conquest

Colonial Conquest has landed on our shores.  But how all-conquering is it?  Jim O takes a look.

Jim Owczarski, 29 August 2015

I love the moment in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” when Napoleon, having told the protagonists how he will conquer Europe with water slides, is gainsaid by them and proceeds to smack what I’ve always taken to be a “Risk” board with his sword declaring, “triomphe Napoleon!”  It’s not only wonderfully silly, but it reminds me of why “Risk” remains one of the best games ever designed — for all its faults.  It’s simple, it’s nasty, and when you finally do kick your opponent out of Australia (yes, it can be done), it makes you feel like a conqueror.  Lots of games since have tried to capture what it is that makes “Risk” special — there’s enough branded adaptations to fill shelves — and so Argonauts Interactive’s “Colonial Conquest” (hereafter CC) joins a crowded field.  It’s far from a bad game, and it’s nicely priced, but I can’t help but feel it was shipped a bit sooner than it should have been.

Much here will be familiar and I think that works in the game’s favor.  The learning curve is certainly gentle.  CC is played out over a map of the world divided into national areas and sea zones.  The board is more granular than “Risk” (although some familiar friends are present) which tends to lengthen play.  There are some strange geographic decisions relating to which territories are adjacent to which.  If I read the support forums for the game correctly, some of these were unintentional and are being fixed.  Others, like that below, remain and cause no small amount of frustration for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

Seriously?  Those 580 troops can't march into the Ottoman Empire?

Seriously?  Those 580 troops can’t march into the Ottoman Empire?

The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 3: How do we kill them?

How do you kill what’s already dead?

Jonathan Glazer, 28 August 2015

Z-ammunition-magazines-400x294The last column touched briefly on how to end the career of a Zed.  Now I will get more granular and detailed.  It is too simple to say something like “shoot them in the head”.  If it were just that simple, this column would not be necessary.  In reality, we tend to get overwhelmed by biters very easily.  During an outbreak, their numbers swell quickly and one’s position can be overrun in a matter of moments.  The problem is that they do not have a sense of fear.  Suppressive fire from heavy weapons makes normal people want to get out of the way and hide, which allows a flanking force to maneuver closer, set up fire lanes and lay down their own volume of suppressive fire.  This allows the first team to move into place and the process continues until both fire teams achieve their objective.  This is known as “Fire and Maneuver”.   Walkers do not respond to suppressive fire.  They simply wander into the withering wall of bullets and fall over (hopefully) allowing the ones behind them to do the same.  The problem is that the machine gunners eventually have to reload, or change overheated barrels or have a snickers.  And the undead hordes keep on moving closer.

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 14



We are exploring more and more of the vast galaxy we call home. And more and more systems are coming under our banner via colonization. So much so that I’ve stopped announcing each one, but because I’m a good person, I’m going to give you a bit of an overview of my systems and my fleet. Besides, it would be nice for me to know these things, being the leader of the Federation and all.

System-wise, the Federation (or more accurately at this point, the Terrans) occupy 14 systems, including Sol. Some are rather fat and bountiful; others are a bit thin, but not bad at all compared to the vanilla version of Birth of the Federation, where systems were sparse. It was like trying to find a free dollar in a whorehouse, or a surface without STDs in a Florida strip club. In other words, impossible. Just in case you didn’t get that.

Classic Reviews: Enchanted Locations

Brant Guillory, 26 August 2015

Flip through it, and compare your needs to the price tag. But don’t just drop $30 on a book full of maps, because the B&W maps aren’t as useful as you might think, and the supporting information is sparse.

Yeah, it’s several years old, but I got it one summer at Origins. And there’s no review of it in the archives (ed note: “the archives” of the original site), so for a lot of you, Enchanted Locations may be new to you, too.

This book is from Fast Forward Entertainment, and was put together by James Ward, one of the “grandfathers” of the game. It is d20 compatible.

First Impressions

This book looks good. It chock full of maps, which gamers love. In truth, that’s one of the main reasons I grabbed it. I’m a map geek – a seriously cartography-addicted gamester. These maps are black and white, but detailed. There’s no index, but it really isn’t needed, since the table of contents covers all the big entries. However, an index might have been helpful to find specific treasures and/or encounters.

Digging In

Reading through the table of contents, you notice an imbalance of maps and encounters. Although there are about 75 maps spread across levels 2-21, there are very few low-level maps. I happen to like lower-level games; the balance of survival and heroism to me is more entertaining than power-blasting your way through every encounter.

Tuesday Gaming Nostalgia – Combots

click images to enlarge

While the GrogCast is on Summer vacation, we thought we’d bring you some entertaining blasts-from-gaming’s-past with some classic print ads to conjure up some reminiscing.

Has anyone ever seen this actually on a game table, and not just in a discount bin?

Has anyone ever seen this actually on a game table, and not just in a discount bin?


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