Rob and returning guest Jenn Cutter discuss what they saw at the Paradox convention in New York. The Escapist's Greg Tito helps out with some good questions and pro-tips on how to make a game presentation awkward for journalists. Troy Goodfellow just can't quit you, and refuses to leave until you understand how great Crusader Kings 2 looks. Games discussed: Naval War, Magicka, Pride of Nations, Salem, Pirates of Black Cove, Gettysburg Armored Warfare, Crusader Kings 2

Production: Michael Hermes

Greg Tito's previews from the Paradox Convention:

Jenn Cutter's previews from the Paradox event:

Rob's thoughts for Gamers With Jobs.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead101.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT

Oy. Troy breaks his computer and therefore sounds like he’s calling in from a submarine. But the rest of show is a long discussion about Games Masters experimenting with RPG and miniature mechanics. Julian and Rob discuss a fascinating game session before the team digresses onto iterative learning in game design and whether games do a good job of teaching through systems at all.

Promised images will have to wait until I have a computer that can resize them properly. Stupid netbook.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead067.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:02pm EDT

Good Old Games has made the classic SimTex games Master of Orion, Master of Orion 2 and Master of Magic available for low, low prices. So Troy, Tom, Bruce and Rob spend an hour talking about what made SimTex special. What do we mean by personality in strategy games? Does the UI hold up? Which of these games has aged the most poorly? When is tactical combat an impediment in a turn based 4x game?

We answer these questions and more in this new analysis of classic game design.

Troy’s Revisionist History on SimTex
Tom’s Retroview on Master of Orion II
Buy Master of Orion 1 & 2 and Master of Magic at Good Old Games.
Master of Magic Intro

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead066.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:04pm EDT

Tom Chick returns after a month away from the podcast to join Troy and Rob in a discussion about designing tutorials for strategy games. Is the failure of tutorial design a root of the decline in strategy gaming? Can you really integrate a tutorial into a story based campaign? What are the responsibilities of the gamer to learn what he/she is doing on a battlefield?


Dave Perkins’s tutorials for Solium Infernum

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead065.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Just Troy, Julian and Rob again as they ad hoc a podcast about types of games and settings that they would like to see in the strategy arena. Is there a really good Tolkien strategy game? Where is our fort game? Can we fill in our history a little more? Pack the comment section with your own suggestions.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead064.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14pm EDT

Tom and Bruce are absent again while Troy, Julian and Rob dissect the still in beta Frozen Synapse, a small team tactics game from Mode 7. Troy finds it too difficult, Rob loves the potential for story telling, and Julian digs the puzzles. Listen as we talk about tactical games, the union of art and design, indie game marketing, a digression on Ancient Trader and an apology from Troy on his terrible mailing skills.


Frozen Synapse
Rob Zacny on The Hunter (Escapist), Sins of a Solar Empire (Game, Set Watch) and Birth of America (UGO)

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead063.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

Another wargame show! Troy, Julian and Rob are joined by NorbSoft’s Norb Timpko and Jim Weaver to talk about Gettysburg: Scourge of War. Learn more than you ever wanted to know about how to make a civil war game. Why is the AI so recalcitrant? What are the lessons of leadership here? How do you make a map like this? And where do history and gameplay collide when the AI hasn’t read the books you have?



Scourge of War: Gettysburg
The Maps of Gettysburg : An Atlas of the Gettysburg Campaign, June 3 – July 13, 1863
Buy Take Command 2nd Manassas

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead062.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:34pm EDT

Troy, Tom and Bruce look at the classic Frog City/SSI games Imperialism and Imperialism 2. What makes this series one of the greatest grand strategy experiences of all time? Can a game this difficult and time intensive be made again? Bruce has a theory, Tom keeps calling Colonization the wrong name, and Troy is focused on diplomacy.



Bruce’s Revisionist History on Imperialism
Troy’s essay on Imperialism’s maps
Tom vs Bruce: Imperialism 2

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead061.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Troy, Rob and Bruce participate in the wonkiest Three Moves Ahead ever, as Dr. Geryk makes up for weeks of absences with another tour de force rant. How does Achtung Panzer compare to Combat Mission? What do we expect from a WW2 tactical game, and how do these expectations mesh with reality? Turn based, real time and replay – how do they fit together? Bruce also recommends a bunch of books.


Achtung Panzer
Tom vs Bruce: Combat Mission
David Glantz’s BARBAROSSA DERAILED: The Battles for Smolensk, July-August 1941
David Glantz’s Armageddon in Stalingrad: September-November 1942 (The Stalingrad Trilogy, Volume 2) (Modern War Studies) and To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942 (Modern War Studies)
David Glantz’s The Siege of Leningrad: 900 Days of Terror (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
John Erickson’s The Road to Stalingrad (Cassell Military Paperbacks)

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead060.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

Troy, Tom and Rob talk about Code Force’s Distant Worlds, a 4x Space RTS that tries to tackle the challenge of ceding control. How can a game get past player paranoia about letting the AI handle things? When does a player choose to intervene? How can the AI failure at basic tasks undermine your confidence in everything else? Why and when does Distant Worlds work?

Also, last chance to win one of two copies of Making History.



My first crack at the virtual viceroy problem
Distant Worlds at Matrix Games

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead059.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT