Tag Archives: Turn-based

GrogHeads Reviews Eschalon Book 3

Hop on GOG.com and pick up some old-school RPG action.

by Avery Abernethy, 6 July 2014

Eschalon Book 3 (EB3) is the final release in the Basilisk Software trilogy. It is a single person, turned based role-playing game. This review is based on more than 25 hours of game play and the completion of all major quests. Although the game developers were kind enough to offer me a review copy through Steam, I purchased a copy from www.gog.com. I bought a copy because I like having the game in DRM-free mode, in a form easily playable on the road when I lack an internet connection. The www.gog.com download was fast. I did not have any technical problems with the game crashing, freezing, or similar problems.

EB3 follows the conventions of the previous two releases which are common to many computer role playing games. The player has the choice of four different types of starting characters: a melee fighter, an offensive magic specialist, a defensive/healing magic specialist, or a missile weapon oriented fighter. Your character starts very weak, with poor armor, weapons, or a few weak spells. Your initial opponents are also weak.: your first enemy encounters are against rather large roaches which you beat to death with wooden clubs.

start out weak

Start out weak

Avadon 2: The Corruption – PC Game Review

Author: Avery Abernethy

Avadon 2: The Corruption is the latest RPG from Spiderweb Software.  You are a “Hand of Avadon” which translates to trouble-shooter, ambassador, and brute squad for Redbeard, the leader of the Pact.  Avadon 2 is a turn-based party of characters role playing game (RPG) with a top-down perspective.  The setting is mostly swords and sorcery.  This review is based on many weeks of play and I have completed 90% of the game.

In Avadon 2 you select a primary character at the beginning of the game who is accompanied by two other characters.  The primary character must be present during all missions.  The main player can add up to two additional characters to the adventuring party.  All three party members are 100% under the control of the player.  The two accompanying characters can be selected based on the mission you are trying to accomplish.  Every character levels up and gains experience points at the exact same rate if the go on a mission or not.  This game feature removes the worry about getting each member of the group enough battle experience to be useful.  The character classes are roughly equal to fighter, ninja, wizard, shaman (mix of priest & wizard), and a tinker.  Only the ninja, wizard, or tinker can disarm traps or unlock doors and chests.

Avadon 2 Review-Picking a character

Picking a character.

Tinkers are quite unique to the fantasy setting.  The tinker is a relatively good fighter with both melee and missile weapons.  But the primary usefulness of the Tinker is their ability to erect “turrents” which can launch missile attacks, area of effect attacks, operate as snares, operate as blessings/curses or which heal friendly party members.  The turrents act as immobile missile units, immobile healing/cursing priests, or immobile area of effect wizards.  They can be damaged, but are quite hardy.   Better yet turrents are 100% resistant to mind attacks which are challenging to defend against for most character classes.  I’ve never encountered a “tinker” type of character in an RPG.  When employed properly they are very powerful and enable the use of tactical strategies during battle that are unique to the game.

Avadon 2 Review-Battle with Turrent

Battle with a turrent.

Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm AAR Part 2

Last week our TANKSgiving AAR was Part 1 of my Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm game. In Part 1 I discussed the scenario, how I’d played it before, what I expected and what I expected to be surprised by, and we got as far as the first turn, where unsurprisingly, not much happened besides the rain lifting earlier than expected.

Part 2 promises to be more interesting. Let’s pick up the game as Turn 2 unfolds and see what happens.

Turn 2 – 26 minutes elapsed

The Soviets trip more mines. Good. I detect mines going off in the north but am blind as to what kinds of forces might be scouting around there. Time will tell.

16 minutes into the turn I can tell several of my minefields have been cleared – even as others continue to slow the Soviet advance and inflict casualties. I’m not sure if this is a feature or a bug (knowing that the fields have been cleared). It doesn’t have a bearing on my game, but is interesting to know.


The yellow hexes indicate cleared minefields.

The turn ends. I know they’re coming. The suspense builds.

Turn 3 – 25 minutes elapsed

Note that my decision cycle has decreased from 26 minutes to 25. It’s a small change, but it’s going in the right direction.

I check the LOS of my recce platoon. We’ve got a nice bead on the road. This is excellent. I’m going to assign one of my M109A2 to direct support them, that way they can (hopefully) call in some thunder on the unsuspecting Soviet units. And with that I start the turn.

Checking the LOS. With the rain lifting early this gives me an advantage.

Checking the LOS. With the rain lifting early this gives me an advantage.

Drat! Just a couple of minutes into the game the Soviets take the 800 point VP south of my recce units. They should have been able to see those units. That means despite their enhanced scouting abilities they’re too far out to do anything. I still believe they’re in the right spot to cause some havoc, but clearly it won’t be this turn.

Suddenly a scout unit appears out of the woods on the approach to Weiskirchen. My mechanized units immediately fire on it. This is one of the great things I enjoy about Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm – the action unfolds almost like a movie. I issue orders but I don’t fire each shot. The game resolves each turn like a video and I get to sit back and await the results. The probing unit weathers several rocket shots but then an M1 takes it into its sights and it is blown away.


The loss of an 800 VP hex in the south and the appearance of a scouting unit in the north tell me the Soviets have arrived.

But now there’s some trouble just slightly further north. 21 mechanized units approach and threaten the other 800 point VP. I can’t worry about the VP right now – the pressing concern is to crush that unit before more of its friends show up.

That's a lot of Soviet armor up north. Could be a recon-in-force or the main thrust of the Soviet line of advance.

That’s a lot of Soviet armor up north. Could be a recon-in-force or the main thrust of the Soviet line of advance.

Now things start to get interesting. A FIST starts firing on the mechanized unit to the north, dropping it from 21 vehicles to 12; I think – a second unit shows up and it’s difficult to follow exactly which unit is taking what damage. A second unit appears and now there are 12 in one stack and 19 in another. The game has some built-in ambiguity so variations in the reported size and composition of the opfor is rarely certain this early in the game.

More Soviets up north.

More Soviets up north.

But that’s not all. 16 units have appeared in the south. A mouseover indicates there are some tanks but also a number of HQ units. If that’s true, it’s too good to pass up. I think I know where my MLRS is going to introduce itself.

But wait! There's more!

But wait! There’s more!

Even more interesting – five tanks appeared near my recce team, which immediately fire on them. That’s bad, as I would rather have had them scouting than revealing themselves. The good news is that after firing they immediately start to withdraw. Unfortunately they are withdrawing to a location that can be spotted by the southern unit. Hopefully they won’t be seen.

In any case, I’m going to bring the rain. The MLRS is ordered to saturation fire on the units to the south. If those really are HQ units, I need to take them out, or at least degrade them severely. Probably the sighting is spurious, but it’s the best I have for now, so I let ‘er rip. I also order on of my artillery units to use neutralizing fire to drop on the tanks in the middle. In all likelihood that’s also an HQ unit and I’d rather give them a bad day if possible, too. If I’m correct and these are HQ units I should see a change for the worse in their decision cycle, which is estimated to be 34 minutes.

Hey kids, can you spell MLRS?

Hey kids, can you spell MLRS?

Well, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Let’s see how this goes. I start up the next turn.

Turn 4 – 25 minutes elapsed

The stack of 17 units in the middle takes a hard right and disappears heading to the north. They’re about to have a bad day.

To the south the recce guys aren’t concerned with stealth – they start firing on the unit that’s about to get some saturation fire. I’m of a mixed mind there. On one hand it’s good to just get some shooting going. Hopefully they’ll draw some other units closer who may get wrapped up with the saturation fire. On the other hand, I’m afraid that recce team is about to pay for their ferocity. The only assets they have right now are artillery. That may not be enough to save them.

A feisty recce company announces that they're ready to play.

A feisty recce company announces that they’re ready to play.

Next I see the 12 units turn right and head north. This is bad. My engineers are not likely to survive that kind of pounding. I may need to send some units up there to bail them out – assuming that I don’t have my hands full next turn.

Then the artillery starts to fall. The four unit of tanks in the middle takes no damage. They appear to have moved. That reinforces my suspicion that they’re an HQ. Down south we have a bit more luck. There are several explosions on the 800 VP hex as well as some damage to the stacks I can see. Excellent. Next turn I have to wait for the MLRS to move (they’ll automatically shift position after firing unless I interrupt them with an order). Then I’ll order them to resupply so we can rock some more worlds. This will take a couple of turns but will be well worth it.


When the artillery is called, Mr. MLRS is not anyone’s friend.

Then a double stacked unit appears in the center. I can see 21 units. I can’t see beneath it, but it’s clear that I’ve got some action going on in the center. Then three recce units appear on the southern road in the middle. That’s a juicy target, too, but we’ll see how the guys on the ground prioritize their fire. I sit back and watch the fireworks.

Juicy recce units in the middle.

Juicy recce units in the middle.

From the north suddenly some units appear. It looks like they decided to take me head on. I can’t be sure that is all the units I saw moving north but I’d rather they bunched up as they are now. (image 34)

Then the fireworks break out. The action is too busy to call every shot. There is a ton of fire in the center and it appears as part of the process the recce team is taking out. Down south I see lots of movement and the loss of another VP as the Soviets move west. That’s fine – I have a warm reception committee waiting for them. Another piece of good news – my recce team is doing an excellent job of shoot-and-scoot. They fire, then bug out so they don’t get trapped by any ground units taking them under fire or by artillery. This is perfect. Looks like they’ll survive a few more turns.


The reception committee down south.

With the round over it’s far too early to take stock of what’s going on. My own artillery has shifted positions. Now I’m going to order the MLRS to resupply. At the end of the turn I don’t have any enemy units in sight, but I know there are a number of them around the middle objective. Figure 37 shows the number of crosses on the map designating destroyed enemy units. There are a lot, but we’re nowhere near finished.

I start the next turn – but you’ll have to tune in next week to see how it unfolds…

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