Archive For The “Articles” Category

Classic Reviews: Harbinger

Classic Reviews: Harbinger

By Michael Eckenfels, 19 September

On #TBT, we bring you the occasional classic article – an older review or analysis piece we wanted to rescue

Harbinger
The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “harbinger” as “one that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.” If a game developer could tell the future, they could take everything that will go wrong with a title before it happens and create games with such ardor and primacy that awards would become commonplace – every developer would have such an award. This is, of course, as probable as making a good giant starship-simulator game in the year 3000 A.D., but nobody’s perfect. (more…)

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SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The AAR Index

SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The AAR Index

Armchair Dragoons Press Office, 2 September 2019

Here is the omnibus directory of all episodes of Michael’s SpaceCorp AAR.
Start at the top and work your way through.

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Classic Reviews: Empires in America (1st Ed)

By Brant Guillory, 29 August 2019

Designed by Joe Miranda for Victory Point Games

On #TBT, we bring you the occasional classic article – an older review or analysis piece we wanted to rescue

Victory Point Games is still considered by some to be a “small” publisher.  If so, I’m curious what the definition of “small” is.  These guys churn out a game a week – and excellent games, too.

A perfect blend of size, simplicity, and skill, Empires in America challenges players with an interesting variation on a tower defense scenario, well-blended with a nice dash of history.

One way they’re able to do so is by relying on some well-tested basic mechanics, such as the solo game rules known as the States of Siege series.  These card- and track-movement-driven games provide a player with a significant and well-balanced challenge, in a variety of genres, including the Israeli War for Independence, and the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Empires in America, the third entry in the States of Siege series, covers the French and Indian Wars in North America.  A precursor to the American War for Independence, the French and Indian Wars were the battles in New World as a part of the larger Seven Years’ War across the globe between various European powers.

eia16

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SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The End Of The AAR

SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The End Of The AAR

Michael Eckenfels, 26 August 2019

When we last let off, the Competition had pulled a LOT of “All Offers” cards, really making the end game approach quickly as my deck gets depleted faster than the Enterprise at Warp 10.

Now that the bad Trek reference is out of the way…last time the Competition took two turns in a row, but fortunately didn’t do much damage other than cleaning out Offers cards left and right. Now that it’s my/BanzaiCorp’s turn, I’m hoping to push my lead ahead just a little more.

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Cyrano’s Pulpit: A Defense of My Formative Years Against the Imprecations of Professor Marco Arnaudo, et al.

Cyrano’s Pulpit: A Defense of My Formative Years Against the Imprecations of Professor Marco Arnaudo, et al.

Jim Owczarski, 23 August 2019

I would like to get a few things out of the way before I become rant-y.

Ooh, that’s a rant.  It’s very rant-y. — Depending on the day, either my editor or Pikachu.

I like Professor Marco Arnaudo both as a game reviewer and as a voice within the wargame community.  I am a subscriber to his channel, a listener whenever he reviews wargames, and my family will tell you I have filled many hours between Origins and my home with extended listening sessions.  My son does a passable impression of his delightful diction and inflection.

Moreover, his tastes and mine often align and he has championed not just good games but good topics for games.  I have even gone so far as to adopt his definition of what is and is not a “wargame”, but that is another discussion.

Moving on, I want to be very clear that I am a fan and friend of David Thompson, game designer and all around good fellow.  In other circumstances full disclosure would have required me to mention that I was a playtester on his Undaunted when it had a different name and was in a different set of hands.  He has been a guest of the Armchair Dragoons at Origins and puts a great deal of effort and thought into his designs.  Nothing I write here should be taken as diminishing that.

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SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The AAR, XX

SPACECORP 2025-2300 AD – The AAR, XX

Michael Eckenfels, 19 August 2019

When we last let off, BanzaiCorp had founded Smith, an uninspired-named yet first Colony of mankind, among the stars. I also took the lead in scoring, 50-48. This game is like a tennis match when it comes to scoring – back and forth, back and forth, and it always feels like both you and the bot are in the game at all times. It’s very tense and immensely gratifying.

Now, it’s the Competition’s turn; let’s see what they’re up to.

I drew Gliese 1, another until-now unoccupied star system. A Competition team gets placed there right away. Gliese 1 is at the top center of the following image.

SC-AAR7-015

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