Posts Tagged ‘Matrix Games’

Wot I Think: Distant Worlds – Universe

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

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 »

Dan Dare The Automator: Distant Worlds – Universe

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

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 »