Tom and Troy spend the hour looking back at 2009, including insight into how to make a Best of the Year list, why Tom finally joined Facebook and the state of the genre in the last year. Dawn of Discovery, Brutal Legend, Heir to the Throne, UniWar, and even Evony.

Bruce is also there, in body if not spirit, but he finds time to complain about why Uniwar is the worst game ever.

Tom Chick’s RTS Round Up at Crispy Gamer
Tom’s Top Ten Games at Fidgit
The Flash of Steel Year End Summary
HPS Squad Battles at NWS Online Store

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead045.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

A subtle shifting of the guard as Julian Murdoch is back after hiatus, but Troy Goodfellow is off for a week, leaving Julian at the mercy of the far more stable Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk. The topic is religion: does it work in a strategy game as a mechanic? Has anyone done it better than Civ IV? Bruce argues for Dominions and random boardgames about the reformation nobody's ever heard of. Tom revisits the Sims and Europa Universalis, and Julian goes off-topic and spoils all of Assassins Creed 2 (You've been warned.)
Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead044.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

This week, Tom Chick makes the case that strategy gamers need to have a console to truly appreciate the range of games out there. He calls Bruce and Troy “dinosaurs” for clinging bitterly to a fading gaming platform, even though it is at the moment best suited to the deep games that all three love. What is the present condition of strategy gaming in the console arena? Are independent strategy game designers making a mistake by focusing on the PC?
Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead043.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

Rob Zacny comes to the plate as a pinch hitter, but we still manage to get three original panelists together for a long discussion about strategy games gone wrong. Ascendancy, MOO3, Road to Moscow, and other favorites.

Road to Moscow preview at IGN
Bruce’s Review of Squad Leader
Tom’s review of Axis and Allies
Troy’s Diplomacy Review
Rob’s love of the old Total War games
Troy’s review of SupCom for the 360
Chris Remo’s Top 5 PC Games of 2009
Jim Rossignol on ArmA
Tom’s Review of Empire: Total War

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead042.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

Our first ever guest, Vic Davis, returns for an episode that will not be lost to the ether. Solium Infernum gets invited to a love in as Tom, Troy and Bruce try to explain why it is one of the best games of the year. We can an inside look at game design, how an game about unbalancing your opponents stays balanced and what Vic has up his sleeve for the expansion.

Ameritrash Games
Cryptic Comet
Quarter to Three Games Forum – Full of AARs
Penny Arcade’s Tycho loves Solium Infernum and links to Tom’s Fidgit diaries so I don’t have to

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead041.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

Troy, Bruce and Julian deal with a few questioners listeners brought to the panel. Can noobs and experts play together? What is the place of AI in current game design? Why do we keep doing this? And where is Tom?

Thanks for your questions, and keep them coming. We might do this again some time soon.

<a href="">Bruce Geryk on MOO3</a>
<a href="">Julian on Populous</a>
<a href="">Rob Zacny on Black & White</a>
<a href="">Solium Infernum Live Blogging</a>

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead040.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27pm EDT

Another guest this week as Ntronium Studios lead Bob Smith talks to Troy and Tom about the imminent release of Armada 2526. Bob is a veteran of Creative Assembly and has been making games for over a quarter century. Is there room for another 4x sci-fi game? And how do you differentiate one title from another?

Armada 2526 at Ntronium Studios

One week left to send in questions to the TMA crew at troy DOT goodfellow AT

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead039.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:43pm EDT

This week’s show begins with a business chat as we talk about the changing revenue models in all gaming as downloadable content begins to supplant or supplement the traditional retail expansion pack. Be sure to stay tuned for Bruce’s Nietzsche moment in which he declares that gameplay is dead.

The last half of the show is spent celebrating expansions that were good, denigrating those that were bad and mourning those that never happened. Lots of Big Huge love – kind of standard operating procedure.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead038.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

Chris Park from Arcen Games joins us this week to talk about independent game development and how his sci-fi RTS AI War: Fleet Command saw the light of day. Park talks about the design process, the challenge of modeling risk and reward and the difficult part of difficulty levels. It’s also one of our longest podcasts ever.

Arcen Games
Tom’s column on AI War: Fleet Command
Feature Series: The Decade
Quarter to Three, where you can find Tom’s movie podcast

Send your questions for Episode 40 to troy.goodfellow AT

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead037.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17am EDT

We try to make up some ground this week with a little chat about Panzer General: Allied Assault (via Julian), Eufloria (via Tom) and, our main topic, Tropico 3 (via me). When is a remake enough? Am I trust too critical of a game that I actually like parts of? Can you cautiously recommend a game with major gameplay problems?

Tom’s Dragon Age diaries
Troy’s Tropico 3 review (link to come)

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead036.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT