Troy and Julian welcome freelance writer and co-proprietor of the Shut Up, Sit Down Show, Paul Dean, to talk about house rules and modding in board games. Why do we do it? What counts as a mod of a board game? And how do you get other people to play them? Creativity, design, drinking - Troy is good at one of these things, but a fine chat is had.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39pm EDT

Rowan Kaiser rejoins Rob and Bruce to talk about War in the East, while Bruce has been busy with the Don to the Danube expansion. Rowan has thoughts about approaching the hardest of the hardcore wargames from a newcomer's perspective, while Rob is laboring under the most epic misconception in 3MA history. Bruce is a little bit disappointed in the new scenarios, and he and Rob discuss their ideal Eastern front scenarios. Then the panel talk about Matrix prices, and what they mean for the genre.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12am EDT

Troy and Bruce welcome original panelist Tom Chick back to the show to talk about solitaire boardgames, starting with the new Phantom Leader for iPad and then roaming through Nemo's War, Levee En Masse, some Lovecraftian thing and Ambush. What makes a solitaire board game distinct from a computer game played against an AI? When do theme and production values matter? Plus the return of the Geryk outro tunes.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

Rob is joined by Shawn Andrich, Evan Lahti, and Phill Cameron to talk about Planetside 2 and the past and future of the large-scale shooter. At what point does the scale start to turn a shooter into a strategy game, and does Planetside hit that level? Everyone suspects that Planetside would be more strategic if only there were a commander role, and Rob and Shawn are reminded of the old Battlezone games. Evan is impressed by how diverse the experiences and battlefields are in Planetside 2, but everyone has doubts about the F2P economy and the progression system. The group also talk about the ArmA series and Natural Selection 2's blend of RTS and FPS.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24am EDT

Rob and Troy welcome freelancer John Peter Grant to the show to talk about one of the greatest real-time strategy games ever made - Ensemble's Age of Mythology. The art, the story, the balance, the structure -- everything is examined in a deep and wide-ranging conversation about why this game still stands as a landmark title with a lot to teach the modern RTS developer and player.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT

Last seen way back in Episode 37, Chris Park from Arcen Games returns to the show to talk to Troy, Michael Hermes and Shannon Quesnel about AI War: Fleet Command on the occasion of the release of Version 6.0. Chris talks about how theme and vision dictate patching, the particular skills that a hardcore niche audience can bring to an indie game and how Steam is the best promotional tool they have.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm EDT

Rob Daviau joins Rob and Julian to talk about components, game enchancements, and theme. How does component quality factor in design decisions, and how much should they support theme? Why do we get so attached to the sensations that accompany a game, to the point where it can profoundly affect the quality of our experience? Why did War of the Ring nearly get Rob Zacny pulled over at the border?

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

Derek Paxton comes back to the show to talk with Tom, Rob, Bruce, and Troy about Fallen Enchantress, his massive revision of 2010's Elemental: War of Magic. He explains how he started reshaping Elemental, and how the project grew along the way. Tom is already a big fan, and even suggests that Fallen Enchantress may be close to Master of Magic-levels of greatness. Rob and Troy are a bit more reserved, and some arguments break out over diplomacy, the early game, and the tactical combat. Derek details his thinking on each of those points, and goes a long way to explaining why Fallen Enchantress works the way it does.

Direct download: Three_Moves_Ahead_192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18pm EDT

In a perhaps dangerously detailed discussion of League of Legends, Rob and Julian talk to Rhea "Ashelia" Monique and Julian Williams about the recent League of Legends championship. They talk about the new ways pro teams are playing the game, and the connection between the pro game and the regular ranked play. They also talk about the importance of casual play and bringing in new players, and discuss the different ways StarCraft 2 and League of Legends approach that issue.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

Dave Heron and Jon Shafer return to the show to talk about XCom: Enemy Unknown with Julian and Troy. They talk about the streamlining Firaxis has done to the franchise and how it has paid off. How do the strategic and tactical levels meld? Is the voice acting any good? How replayable is it? And listen to their inevitable list of nitpicks. Apologies for the sound quality - internet kicked out making the master recording a bit of a jumble.

Troy's thoughts on XCom, Rob and Joe Robinson talk XCom and Rob argues in favour of its simpler design

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EDT