High Fleet : Review

High Fleet is a title from the phoenix reborn, Microprose, released on July 27th. It is many things all at once, like the desert and air ships that make up the core of the game. Diesel punk? Immersion shooter? Roguelike? It has a tactical layer akin to Command Modern Operations and a combat layer rather like Endless Sky. The immersion is where the game really shines, and if you don’t want the immersion it can be a difficult title to enjoy. Rain drops will streak your view as you struggle to land a wounded ship on a sand swept repair dock.

But it’s something more, it has a ship editor, a skirmish mode, and a fairly unique tactical mode utilizing comms interception, electronic warfare, nuclear weapons, and the potential for mutiny.

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Combat Mission Cold War : Review

Combat Mission Cold War fills a fairly wide open niche between the World War 2 titles and the ultra deadly combat of Combat Mission Black Sea. Built upon the same engine as the previous releases it is showing its age but also is very functional. With a few mods it can look as good as any AAA title. Of particular interest is the partnership with Matrix Games which is bringing us a new PBEM server system, a much needed improvement to the clunkiness that currently exists. Lets dive in to the world pre-Berlin Wall topple!

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TOAW IV Revisited

10/22/18 – RTFM has been spouted. I’ve RTFM. Am returning after reading some 3rd party guides that seem to be more helpful. My argument still stands, but I really want to like this game.

It started in Finland. June 29th 1941. A narrow peninsula was held by Russian troops threatening to drive on Helsinki. The scenario was for Finland to recapture what was lost during the Winter War. The game, The Operational Art of War IV.

To my east is a string of units from the Gulf of Finland all the way to the arctic ocean. But this little thorn… I decide to start there. It doesn’t go well.

TOAWIV is a hex-and-counter multi-theater wargaming simulation base. Upon it you can layer any conflict from pre-ww1 all the way up today. It’s a fairly lofty goal that aims for what CMANO does in the air-sea theater but also adding land units.

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Imperium Universalis : The Rome we Wanted

Rome.

So many PC games have sought to encapsulate the mammoth history, culture, and growth. A few have hit the nail on the head, notably Total War : Rome, while others have failed miserably, Total War : Rome 2. How do you successfully make a game that spans the moments from when Rome went from a city-state all the way to when it was landing on the British Isles and peering into the mists?

I think I might have found a game that does a damned good job of it. And it’s just a mod. A very, very well done mod.

Imperium Universalis.

EDIT April 2019 : Link to my review of Imperator : Rome.

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Moscow 1941 iOS Review

There is an unfortunately low amount of quality strategy games for mobile. This amount is about to get even smaller with the upcoming app store apocalypse where anything not 64 bit will be pulled from sale.

Yobogames is stepping in to fill the gap with a couple of titles. First up is Moscow 41, and they also have a Kursk game too. So how does it stack up in hex and counter land?

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Syrian Warfare : When is Too Soon?

Dan Carlin opens up one of his best Hardcore History Podcasts talking about the hatemail he gets whenever he covers a modern story. When he covers Nazi Germany there’s still people who can look down at the numbered tattoos on their arms and remember. It’s tough to speak when the memories are fresh, even 70 years later. You don’t get that from some ancient war. The cultures are too far gone.

So when I saw the game Syrian Warfare I kind of cringed a little bit. If 70 years isn’t long enough, how about something that’s still going on? What does it say about the conflict that there’s been enough time to come up with the idea, Steam Greenlight it, code it, and release it. And this war still continues.

This is a game I had to check out.

Edit : This has been getting lots of traffic and comments. Here’s my TL;DR version : If we took this out of the Syrian theater and instead stuck it in, I don’t know, Korea 1952, or Berlin 1945, it’d be a forgettable game. It fills a spot beyond what an average RTS player might want and not what a more hardcore strategy gamer likes. It’s not a bad game, it’s just not terribly good. Mechanically the game is lacking from what I desire in a strategy game and the context isn’t done in a tactful manner. Even if it was I’m not sure I’d have any interest in it. It’s just not my thing. But it still makes you think, and for that I have to give it some credit. Continue reading…