Ralph Trickey takes a break from updating and improving The Operational Art of War III to talk about the series with Rob, Troy, and Bruce. They discuss how the game is changing through patches, and then debate whether TOAW is a game so much as it is a set of tools. They also talk about how scenario designers have put those tools to use, and what shortcomings afflict the system. Everyone shares his favorite scenario, but Rob cannot contain himself and names three. Ralph mentions plans for The Operational Art of War IV, but it'll be hard to sell that if he keeps making TOAW III better and better.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26am EST

Elemental and Civilization V come in for a follow-up appointment with Julian, Troy, and Rob. Have the major changes that have been patched into these games translated into major improvements for the player? How much post-release support should players reasonably expect, and what can developers accomplish with it? What flawed games have become great with patching?

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am EST

Here come the creeps, led by Rob and Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Quintin Smith! Fortunately, they encounter a maze of discussion and towers of topics. Inspired by first-person tower defender Sanctum and tower attacker Anomaly: Warzone Earth, Quinns and Rob explore how these games change the tower defense formula, and what about that formula needed changing? Are we doing a disservice to a neat mechanic by insisting that it is a genre? Why are we continually drawn in by games we often find shallow and unsatisfying? Is tower defense really about destruction, or is there an under-served creative aspect to these games?

A lot of games and pieces come up for discussion here, so brace yourself for a link attack.

Quinns' Sanctum Wot I Think

Troy's reactions to Anomaly: Warzone Earth

Rob, two years ago, on tower defense games

Quinns on Ace of Spades 3MA on AI War

Rob's "excessively positive" Dungeons review

The Verdun game Rob couldn't remember is The Trench

Kieron Gillen on Warfare: 1917

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27pm EST

Rob is pleasantly surprised by Revolution Under Siege and rounds up Troy Goodfellow and Broken Toys' Scott Jennings to talk about it. What is the context for a Russian Revolution game, and how does Revolution Under Siege communicate that? Is the AGE system a good one for this kind of game, and why is it such a turn-off for some people? Most importantly, how the hell does an armored train work? Why wouldn't you just stay away from the tracks? Seriously guys, what the hell?

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm EST