Military (Wargame) Spending Budget Slashed

By Kieron Gillen on April 16th, 2008 at 11:04 am.

Last time we made a joke about anything being turn-based there was a big ol' fight.

Putting on my Tim Stone hat, I noticed that strategy-specialists Matrix games have celebrated the US tax day by giving away the full version of their War Engine game. That’s very different to how RPS celebrates its tax day – that is, with a cheery bout of tax evasion. Don’t be confused by the fantasy screenshot – the War Engine is a general purpose wargame which allows you to construct your own turn-based military fisticuffs. There’s eight (Count ‘em!) campaigns included, though one appears to be a pure training one. They vary from fantasy turn-isms to Space-based turn-isms to Laser-squad-esque turn-isms to Paintball-turn-isms to… well, people who are into turn-isms are going to be as happy as when the international sanctions on the trade of turn-isms from turndondonia was lifted. This post is rapidly making no sense whatsoever.

The full download is just over six and a half peggles, and is available here. And after having a crack, I’m tempted to challenge you lot to make your own RPS War Engine campaign.

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26 Comments »

  1. Ben Hazell says:

    Because the mere mention isn’t a challenge in itself…
    Not that’d I’d ever finish it.

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    Well, a scenario may be doable!

    KG

  3. Jachap says:

    Speaking of strategy, today, completely out of the blue, I remembered a game from quite a way back called Warrior Kings. Anyone else recall it?

    Was it even any good?

  4. Andrew says:

    I remember Warrior Kings.

    I couldn’t stand it. It bored me.

  5. Okami says:

    I really rather liked Warrior Kings. It could be a bit boring at times, but it had a lot of really great game mechanics, that I’d love to see in other games.

    There was the whole supply issue. If you entered your opponents supply zone, you units would gradually loose health and your archers and siege units would run out of ammo unless you had them within range of a supply wagon.

    This made for a game were fast missile cavalry really had it’s uses. Strike your opponent’s baggage train and he had to break off the siege.

    Then there was the economy system. You could only build military buildings inside your city (the game tore down city walls and built them new automatically to accomodate your growing capital) and you could only build resource gathering buildings like villages outside of your city. But in order to use your resources, you needed to get them inside the city using resource carts.

    This meant that you could cripple your enemy’s economy by raiding the outlying villages and intercepting his resource carts.

    You could also zoom out the camera a long way. I think the only game that ever beat Warrior King’s zoom level was Total Commander. It was also one of the first games where you could order your units (which got experience points and could be trained at training dummies) to form permanent regiments, that would allways keep their formation. Clicking on a single unit inside the regiment allways selected all units inside it…

    Damn.. Now I really want to play Warrior Kings again.

  6. po says:

    I love how they give everyone ~$600 for tax day and say it’s to stimulate the economy. The kind of sum that will in most cases be spent on electronic goods, supporting the economy… in China.

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    I have several memories of Warrior Kings, none involving the game. The first was an advert which appeared which included a quote from PCG along the line of “The most intelligent AI ever”.

    And we blink, as we didn’t say that in the review. So we go back and we check the previews, which occasionally someone takes a quote from if they’re being dirty – which is why you shouldn’t be too hyperbolic in previews, randomly. Anyway, we eventually find it. It’s basically…

    “We talk to the lead designer, who says, “We’re trying to make this the most intelligent AI ever”.”

    They quoted us quoting them in their adverts.

    KG

  8. Okami says:

    @Kieron: You at least have to admire the sheer audacity of their marketing department.

  9. Okami says:

    On the topic of the RPS scenario: What were you thinking of? RPS staff members pitted against ravening fan hordes? pc gamers vs console gamers?

    Hmmm… How about you have a squad of game journalists and must survive the E3 or some other event with it? Mission objectives would be to secure exclusive previews of games, enemies would be other game journalists and random hordes of unwashed fans…

    Something along these lines?

  10. araczynski says:

    at the risk of getting flamed, can i ask that official posts please stop using the stupid ‘peggle’ units? its f’n annoying as hell, about up there with the constant barrage of everyone introducing their own wannabe cool net lingo.

    how about we just stick to the metric system in terms of file sizes, before the cheeseheads in washington start to think that we need to change file sizes when referenced in the US to some new imperial format.

    at the least please include the real units in parentheses, so that the rest of us who don’t care to be ‘cool’ can still read the article.

    yes, i need more morning coffee.

  11. Will says:

    I like the peggles. It looks like you’re 12.3 peggles angry!

  12. brog says:

    cope.
    how much does the actual file size matter in this day and age anyway?

  13. Nick says:

    Only when its a gig or higher, really.

    At least to me.

  14. Okami says:

    I’d use the metric system for file sizes, if I’d knew how many metres are in one peggle.

  15. Jason Lutes says:

    I like the idea of the War Engine, and years ago, when it as known as the Wargame Development Kit, I even started a pulp adventure mod for it, but the underlying rules system is pretty damn clunky. I really wish someone would put out a construction kit like this with a solid ruleset, a little more polish, and campaign support, because that would be all the entertainment I’d need for a good long time…

  16. RobotLiberationArmy says:

    @araczynski:
    I don’t know what’s funnier, that fact that a recurring joke makes you so angry or that you apparently have no concept of how systems of measurement came about (protip: the ‘cheeseheads’ in Washington never invented anything).

  17. Alec Meer says:

    Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the war room!

  18. PleasingFungus says:

    MeestaNob, that was brilliant. It fooled me!

  19. Txiasaeia says:

    Fifteen metres to the peggle, but that’s at sea level. Now, back in *my* day, there were five stone and three centimeters to what you would call the peggle, but what we would call a horse’s head. That was just a figure of speech, of course, because real horses’ heads weighed somewhere around the neighborhood of an X-Com or so.

  20. Scandalon says:

    Doubly ironic as there was, indeed, a metric peggle. (At least proposed, not sure if it was ratified by RPS or not…)

    Brog – file size does indeed still matter for some people, in some circumstances. At work? No problem? At home? Yea, 43 peggles will download in a couple-several hours. If I’m going to DL something at work and bring it home on a (69-70 peggle) flash drive, then it matters.

    araczynski: – Peggles ARE the real unit. There is no other.

  21. twb says:

    The metric Peggle is actually known as the “Molyneux,” and is 6643KB, which is the size of a ZIP-compressed copy version of 1993′s Syndicate.

    Due to a quirk in the choice of the original measurement source, the calculated Molyneux inflates itself every year, to the point where in CY 2007, one Molyneux was said to require more storage than the combined hard drive space of every computer attached to the Internet. However, whenever the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures orders a reassessment, it’s found that the latest Molyneux just doesn’t measure up to Syndicate.

  22. Poki Mo says:

    Is there any manual for TWE?

  23. tsutek says:

    There is a manual for TWE, just install it and you’ll find one. The original manual was in a terrible .doc format, which OpenOffice managed to turn into a nice searchable indexed PDF. The manual is not the most logically segmented one I’ve seen but at least it’s pretty comprehensive (Not sure that it’s authored with v1.04 in mind though, there seems to be inconsistencies, like the manual says you cannot change a unit template instances’ graphic but in fact you can, at least in v1.04)

    I’ve been looking around the web for some TWE activity.. Every site/forum seems dead? If anyone knows of any TWE community that’s still active these days please let me know. I am constructing a TWE mod/campaing (sci-fi/man vs machine) and any external insights into the authoring environment would be welcome.

  24. tsutek says:

    Oh yeah, while I’m at it – If you know of something like TWE that is still in active development, please give us a link or name or something.. In the meantime, I’ll have to make do with TWE (Which I started using wayy back when it was still called Circa7000 BTW :)

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