Posts Tagged ‘Matrix Games’

Top-Down Troopers: Close Combat – Gateway To Caen

By Adam Smith on June 9th, 2014.

I’m expecting to be crushed beneath an avalanche of trailers at any moment as the E3 machine grumbles into action. There will be spectacle, there will be slaughter, there will be Molyneux Santa Claus. There is a trailer in this post but it has very little in common with the noise of E3, being the last of the veteran Close Combat series to utilise the ageing engine that has driven the tactical games for many years now. Gateway To Caen is out now and watching the video plucks at my nostalgia nerves as if they were a cherub’s harp.

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Wot I Think: Distant Worlds – Universe

By Adam Smith on May 30th, 2014.

No tease before the jump here, let’s get straight to it. Distant Worlds: Universe is my favourite space strategy game. Not my favourite space strategy game released this week and not my favourite space strategy game released this year. It’s the definitive version of the best space strategy game I’ve ever played and I want to share the excitement with everyone, starting with an old friend. The transcript below explains all.

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The Flare Path: Slitherincoming

By Tim Stone on May 30th, 2014.

On May 14th this year, Castello di Pavone, one of Northern Italy’s swankiest strongholds, was invaded by an army of conflict-obsessed game developers. Were the devs in question…

a) Laser-scanning the fortress for a level in the soon-to-be-announced Hidden & Dangerous 3?
b) Laser-scanning the fortress for a level in the soon-to-be-announced Commandos 5?
c) Laser-scanning the fortress for a level in the soon-to-be-announced Bella Cantarella*?
d) Attending Home of Wargamers 2014, a Slitherine Group press conference?

*Flare Path Soft’s debut project – a poison-sprinkled serving-wench sim set during the War of the Holy League.

If you crossed your fingers and answered a, b, or c, this week’s column may prove disappointing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dan Dare The Automator: Distant Worlds – Universe

By Adam Smith on May 23rd, 2014.

An exciting day. Even more exciting than an ordinary Friday. Even more exciting than an extraordinary Friday that marks the beginning of a long weekend (lot of those recently in this part of the world). Today is exciting because Distant Worlds: Universe has arrived, a standalone sequel/collection containing every previous release in the series as well as various improvements, new modding tools and a brand new storyline. If that’s not enough, take note of the fact that you can also build planet destroyers. Distant Worlds is one of my favourite space strategy games, mainly because it convincingly simulates conflict and empire on such an enormous scale while allowing for minimal micromanagement thanks to smart automation. Lovely.

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Don’t Mention It: Germany At War Demo

By Adam Smith on January 22nd, 2014.

There are several reason contributing to the fact that wargames have remained a niche hobby while comic books and Dungeons & Dragons have stealthily infiltrated the mainstream. Look at the image in this link. Perhaps your reaction is to spit axle grease into your hands, rub them together and wrestle with the hexes and stats immediately. Or maybe you think the whole thing looks like a particularly unpleasant piece of history/mathematics homework. The fact that publisher Matrix lists Germany At War as “Complexity – Basic” is one of the key reasons that wargames are in a niche. They think that basic training involves holding your breath underwater for two hours while completing an extremely difficult Sudoku. It doesn’t help that they’re pricey and rarely have demos, but Germany At war now has a trial version. So jump in and measure the complexity.

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Alpha Centaurish: Pandora: First Contact Out Now

By Graham Smith on November 15th, 2013.

This looks pretty hexy.

I first heard about Pandora: First Contact when an RPS commenter linked to it as being ‘maybe a bit like Alpha Centauri’. Except that’s not true, because I’ve since remembered that I first heard about the planet-settling turn-based 4X game when frequent RPS contributor and friend-o-person Dan Griliopoulos updated his LinkedIn profile to mention he wrote for the game. Now the game is out.

To prove that this relationship doesn’t impact on my ability to be a hard-hitting journalist, I put tough questions to Dan about the game, and I’ve included his responses along with the launch trailer below.
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Wot I Think: Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm

By Tim Stone on November 8th, 2013.

Like Autumn, the forest alchemist, I’ve spent this week splashing hillsides with gold and crimson. In woods, fields and towns the length of West Germany I’ve been tirelessly turning earthy greens into vibrant reds and yellows. Hundreds of hurrying APCs, hastily dug-in MBTs, and hovering helo gunships have flared like frost-startled beech trees as I’ve fought to resist Red Storm’s irresistible red storm. It’s years since I witnessed such wholesale destruction in a tactical wargame, and years since I was so impressed by the rules and mechanisms underpinning hexagonal aggro.

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Wot I Think: Command: Modern Air Naval Operations

By Tim Stone on October 4th, 2013.

ACRONYM GLOSSARY (Please memorise before proceeding)

ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare. AEW – Airborne Early Warning. SEAD – Suppression of Enemy Air Defences. DICASS – Directional Command Active Sonobuoy System. SSN – Nuclear-powered submarine. ITWPWT – Innocent Trawler in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time. CMANOCommand: Modern Air Naval OperationsCHR – Compendious Harpoon Replacement. ESS - Essentially Ship-Shape. DSDDB – Despite Shoal of Disappointing Deficiencies and Bugs. ADPP – And Divisive Price Point. RRDAII – Refreshingly Responsive Devs Already Implementing Improvements. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Toad Array

By Tim Stone on September 27th, 2013.

Toady in Flare Path: brief thoughts on the latest Matrix Games/Slitherine pricing controversy, Ilya Shevchenko reflects on the DCS WWII Kickstarter campaign, the Foxer is renamed the Fuchser in honour of Steel Beasts 3.0, and ‘today’ and ‘misspelled’ are mispelled. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: A Fraud In Fredericksburg

By Tim Stone on July 26th, 2013.

Wargame publishing leviathan Slitherine held their 2013 press conference last Friday. Fredericksburg, Virginia was the venue and I was there! In spirit. Physically I was in a small room in Staines, Surrey eating fig rolls and reading Nevil Shute’s ‘Pastoral‘ but I’m determined not to let a minor detail like that get in the way of pithy reportage. With the help of half a bottle of Auntie June’s extra-strong sloe gin, enough press releases to wallpaper a Pickett-Hamilton fort, and considerable experience of events of this type, I’m sure I can provide a fairly accurate account of what went on.

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The Flare Path: Parleys With A Warlord

By Tim Stone on May 17th, 2013.

Every day is D-Day -1 for the busy Seabees at Slitherine Software. An Epsom-based outfit that started life constructing singular sword-and-sandal TBSs, is now, thanks to a slew of acquisitions and a dazzlingly dynamic approach to talent spotting/signing, the dominant force in PC wargame publishing. During the coming year, company chieftain Iain McNeil will be overseeing more than fifty releases. Realising I knew little about the firm’s founder, philosophy, or plans, I dragged Iain away from a red-hot field radio and a sand table crowded with 15mm Hoplites, Panzer Grenadiers, astronauts and Space Marines for a chat. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Reductions Reveille

By Tim Stone on May 3rd, 2013.

Wakey-wakey, rise and spend! Jackie is blowing her utility trumpet because she wants the world to know that three old wargames have just had their prices slashed. As conveying detailed sale information with valveless brass instruments is notoriously tricky, it will be left up to Jackie’s assistant Jean (Out of picture. Armed with a Glockenspiel 17.) to explain that the games in question are John Tiller’s Battleground Civil War, Forge of Freedom: The American Civil War and The Great Battles Collector’s Edition. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Indecent Proposal

By Tim Stone on April 19th, 2013.

In the summer of 2001 I bought a copy of This Blessed Plot at a village fête for 20p, never suspecting that the hefty tome was destined to sit unfinished on my bookshelf for the next twelve years. My failure to get any further than chapter 3 – ‘Russell Bretherton’ – I’ve always blamed on Hugo Young, Russell Bretherton, or Tim Stone (Perhaps I’m not as interested in Britain’s troubled relationship with Europe as I thought I was). A recent forum comment from the boss of the World’s busiest computer wargame publisher suggests another possible cause. Perhaps the book was simply too cheap.

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