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GARPA 17, 4/26/13

SimCity AAR Part 1, 4/25/13

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Second Look at Wargame AirLand Battle, 4/21/13

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AAR of Dark Age Minis Battle, 4/18/13

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GARPA 16, 4/12/13

Crusader Kings II AAR Part 16, 4/11/13

Book Review: Ninja: 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior, 4/10/13

Review of Bioshock INfinite, 4/7/13

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Civilization V AAR, Part 13, 4/4/13

Fire with Fire, 3/31/13

GARPA 15, 3/29/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 12, 3/28/13

Wheaton INterview, 3/27/13

March Mayhem Winner, 3/25/13

Warlock Multiplayer AAR, 3/21/13

WWII PTO Alternate Histories, 3/20/13

GARPA 14, 3/15/13

Crusader Kings II AAR, part 15, 3/14/13

Civilization V AAR, part 11, 3/7/13

Prezcon Convention Coverage, 3/2/13

Civilization V AAR, part 10, 3/3/13

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Screenshot features

garpaGARPA – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

by Dan Pinkham and Lloyd Sabin


Welcome to GARPA #2, brought to you by Dan and Lloyd. This installment includes games covering the war in Afghanistan, medieval conquest, and a zombie holocaust. And that doesn’t even count the PC games! Read on for coverage of the most intriguing new crowd-sourced projects that have currently caught our collective fancy here at Grogheads.

Boardgames, Cardgames and Miniatures

A Distant Plain by GMT Games

Orders to Date: 458 - “Not there yet”

The next volume in Volko Ruhnke’s COIN series, A Distant Plain, takes a strategic look at the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Using similar mechanics to Andean Abyss, A Distant Plain challenges you to make strategic decisions as the Coalition, the Government, the Taliban, or the Warlords. The game uses a deck of 72 cards containing events ripped straight out of today’s headlines. Each one of these events forces the player to make important strategic decisions for their faction. Combining political, cultural, economic and military matters makes this no easy task. Make sure to check out GrogHeads’ interview with the designers and then head over to GMT’s P500 listing and pre-order your copy today.



Medieval Mastery by Chaos Publishing Ltd.

$1,315 of a $8,000 goal, funding ending October 9th.

Using Indiegogo’s flexible funding option, (i.e. they will produce the game whether the goal is met or not, but everything pledged helps make the game better) Chaos Publishing Ltd. is producing a new edition of Medieval Mastery. As the title implies the goal of the game is to become ‘master of your domain’ in a setting based on the feudal system of Dark Age Europe.
As a player you are a feudal lord in a desperate succession fight for the throne. The game uses area control, hand management, and dice to consolidate your lands and bring your knights to battle. The modular battle board and included alternate gameplay variations promise a high degree of replay value. If you think you have what it takes to win the war of succession head over to Medieval Mastery’s Indiegogo page.




Quarantine Z: A Zombie Survival Card Game by Alloyed Creations

$10,888 of a $15,000 goal, funding ending October 13th.

Can you ever really get enough zombies? We submit that you cannot. No…no you can’t. Thankfully the guys at Alloyed Creations agree with us and are endeavoring to bring us a zombie card game.

Actually the game is already offered as a free download on their Kickstarter page. However, much like a zombie’s insatiable thirst for brains, Quarantine Z’s designers hope that you try the free version and aren’t satisfied. To that end they are seeking crowd funding to help improve the look and quality of the game.
The game is designed to for two to four people playing as survivors versus one player controlling the zombies. The survivors are under quarantine and must survive the hordes of undead, try to collect supplies and deal with one another. Sound like fun? Shamble over to Quarantine Z’s Kickstarter page and check it out.




Call of Cthulu Bicycle Playing Cards by Erik Dahlman

$45,827 of $7,500 goal, funding ends Thursday, October 11.

It’s a simple idea that has earned almost seven times the allotted cash that was originally planned – a 52 card deck of playing cards portraying monsters and characters from H.P. Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulu mythos. What more do you really need to know? OK fine, here are more details:
Every card in the deck is Cthulu-themed
Customized jokers
One-of-a-kind court cards
Gamer’s own likeness on one of the playing cards
Of course, the cards will also feature all of your twisted Lovecraftian gods of the underworld, including Azathoth as the King of Spades, Cthulu himself as the King of Hearts (naturally), Dagon as the King of Diamonds, and Nyarlathotep as the King of Clubs.
With donations far exceeding the initial goal it is obvious that Erik Dahlman knows what he is doing. Or he has made a deal with Cthulu himself? Time will tell.

PC Games

M.O.R.E. – Military – Organization – Research – Economy By IdeaLcenter

$34,250 pledged of $50,000 goal, pledging ends Sunday, October 28.

The creators of M.O.R.E. appear to know what 4x (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) space gamers want: traditional space strategy with a classically designed map, turn-based, 3D combat, and a good amount of new, non-traditional ideas thrown into the gaming mix to keep everyone from growing complacent. The developers (a team of about a dozen developers from Poland, Germany, and the United States) state on their Kickstarter page that they “want their game to become the next computer game addiction.”

They aim to do that by not neglecting any facet of the game, from graphics through the interface to the AI. A wide variety of space-based maps will also be developed, inhabited by an estimated 20 planned races. And, of course, a ship building component is also promised.

So far the M.O.R.E. team has garnered about 2/3 of the cash needed for their goal with over a month left to go, so it looks good for this team to create a worthy successor in the spirit of their inspiration, Master of Orion 2. Hopefully along the way they will come up with a more engaging title.


Blackspace – Plan. Dig. Defend. Survive. By PixelFoundry

$66,216 of $350,000 goal, pledging ends Thursday, October 18

Despite the above tagline, Blackspace is not a marriage simulator regardless of the fact that the player is mainly defending himself from a series of different enemies attempting to loot and destroy what he is trying to build. It is however, a tower defense-style game that centers around Asteroid-style gameplay set on an innovative, destructible, spherical play surface. Take that!

The game environment is changeable and malleable – every last object in the game can be destroyed. The terrain in the game also acts as a shroud. See something pop-up on your ship’s sonar? Go find out what it is…

Geological base building is also part of the game’s strategy. Bases can be built almost anywhere in the game environment, but keep in mind that dirt is not as solid as rock. The malleability of the game environment, coupled with physics modeling, results in interesting ways to destroy your enemies. Find something horrific buried in the terrain? Drop a rock on it and problem solved! Different defense structures beyond the usual towers can also be linked into defense networks, so it sounds like there are many potential combinations available to help protect your hard-mined assets in Blackspace.

The game has some great-sounding potential. For strategy and space fans, it’s definitely a title to keep an eye on.


Paranormal by Matt Cohen

$8,135 of $800 goal, funding ended on July 23rd.

Billed as a ‘paranormal simulator’ this piqued my interest immediately, as I love to be terrified in new and unique ways outside of my ordinary day job. Paranormal places the player in the shoes of…well, nobody special – just a person with a camera. It’s the phenomenon that the player will catch on camera that is indubitably the main draw.

The game is set in a randomized haunted house, and every time the game is started, the type of haunting the player encounters is randomized. There is a sleep system for the player’s avatar, and sleeping also recharges the in-game camera. Sound effects are highly touted and are at the core of Paranormal’s scares, and the game will also include Xbox controller compatibility.

Granted the game pays homage to The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity…if you did not enjoy those films it is safe to say you won’t enjoy this game either. But if you did…as I did…then completion on this project can’t come fast enough. Paranormal is expected to be released sometime in October.


That's it for now, but check back with us in a couple of weeks for our next round of research.


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