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Wesnoth Crushing: Battle for Wesnoth V1.6 Out

I'm the best at hex-based games. In fact, you could call me - Hex Luthor. Ah! Ah! Ah!

I used to love Amiga Power. They had a splendid letters page, which they kept splendid through a variety of methods – like giving occasional guidelines about how to write ’em letters. Of course, some people got uppity about that – but they wrote rubbish letters, so who cares, eh? Anyway, one of them was to not write “I bet you won’t print this”, because – really – that guarantees they wouldn’t. In a similar way, there’s a series of CODE RED phrases which make RPS scowl at their letterbox. For example, “Why no love for [Game I quite like]” or “Shame On You”, which makes us print out letters just to get the pleasure of lobbing them in the bin, cackling all the while. Just don’t.

Of course, I’m a big old hypocrite, because when Pedro Lopes’ asked about the location of Battle for Wesnoth’s love, I took it as a reminder that I always wanted to give it a shot. You’ll find Love below…

And enough that. Battle for Wesnoth, just in its latest stable edition, also manages to be pretty lovely, despite a total absence of Arthur Lee. It’s a turn-based Strategy/RPG game in the vein of Age of Wonders, Fantasy Battles and Advance Wars. It’s a long-running Open Source game so it’s impressively developed. If you haven’t been there before – like yours truly – it almost doesn’t matter what they’ve added in this new just-released edition. Yeah, there’s a whole new campaign to play. Yes, the prose has been improved. Yeah, there’s new multiplayer stuff. Yeah, there’s more animations and unit stuff. Yeah, the map editor’s been improved. Who cares? It’s already got more content than it knows what to do with. I played the Tutorial and started the beginners campaign, and soon found my turn-based instincts clicking in. I’m aware that it’s the sort of thing I’d lose the rest of the day to if I didn’t just stop now and get on with what I’m meant to be doing.

When that’s over though, I look forward to returning. Anyone who doesn’t shiver at the sight of a hex-grid should go keep Battle for Wesnoth company when I’m away.

Oh – here’s a trailer from 2006, which is before all the graphical updates and changes, but should give you a sense of what sort of the cut of its jib.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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