Posts Tagged ‘Matrix Games’

Don’t Mention It: Germany At War Demo

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

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

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

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 »

The Flare Path: Toad Array

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 »

The Flare Path: A Fraud In Fredericksburg

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

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 »

The Flare Path: Reductions Reveille

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 »

The Flare Path: Indecent Proposal

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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Patton Patrol: Close Combat – Panthers In The Fog

A forestry planning simulator, with tanks

Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog, AKA Close Combat: Normandy VIII, featured in last week’s Flare Path, announcing itself with what is surely one of the most underwhelming trailers in the history of moving images. It’s not even an honest trailer, the sort that shows the reality of the game in ‘action’ – that would be fine because at least it would be informative. The original Panthers in the Fog trailer is a dull orange background with some words on it. It’s fifty seconds long but it might as well be three seconds long because you could just read the words on a website instead. Thankfully, there’s a new trailer now, which does show the game. And, by gum, it looks like a Close Combat game.

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