Jon Shafer joins Rob, Troy, and Julian to talk about challenge in strategy games. What kind of challenges do we want from strategy games, and how does it get botched? Why are people still surprised when AI opponents aren't very clever? Why are they so hesitant to take on multiplayer? What's the difference between good scenario design and unfair scenario design? How amazing is Unity of Command? Seriously, you guys.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EST

PC Gamer staff writer Tom Senior and freelance writer Phill Cameron come to Rob's podcasting island, bringing with them rifles and steam-powered ironclads. Things swiftly turn violent as they discuss Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai, and some of the Total War series' longstanding contradictions. How does balance function in Fall of the Samurai, and how does the campaign structure let down the setting? Why does the AI behave as if it's not sure if it's in a game, or a history sim? How does Fall of the Samurai change the role of gunpowder weapons?

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am EST

We heard the people, and we brought Three Moves Ahead directly to the masses who gathered at PAX East. But what if you missed it? Will we punish you for your lack of dedication? Yes, but you can still listen to this episode. Listen to Rob forget to introduce himself or the panel, a panel that includes Troy, Julian, Paradox's Chris King (Victoria II), Stardock's Jon Shafer (Civ V), and Hasbro's Rob Daviau (Risk Legacy). Why is this such a good time to be a strategy gamer, and how can we make it better?

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am EST

Rob welcomes freelancer Rowan Kaiser and designer Jon Shafer to talk about Crusader Kings 2. They swap stories, discuss the impact of making a family-based strategy game, and question whether there's all that much crusading going on here.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51am EST