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Doom Machine Review

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Episode 60 - Critical Strike

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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× For those who like to push chits.

Imperial Struggle, follow-up to Twilight Struggle

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14 Feb 2020 13:29 - 14 Feb 2020 15:16 #307120 by Sagrilarus
Somebody call Mark Mahaffey.

This has "don't learn how to play me" written all over it. Might have great usability, but it's a User Perception train wreck.
Last edit: 14 Feb 2020 15:16 by Sagrilarus.

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14 Feb 2020 18:53 #307126 by Msample

Sagrilarus wrote: Somebody call Mark Mahaffey.

This has "don't learn how to play me" written all over it. Might have great usability, but it's a User Perception train wreck.


Thankfully Mahaffey isn't involved. Truly the enfant terrible of wargame graphics.

I agree that the map is a bit hard to take in. But in skimming the rules, there are four different regions that function akin to scoring areas in TS. So breaking them out like this may have been ( in a sort of hamfisted way ) an effort to more clearly delineate them to players since adjacency between areas doesn't seem to matter as it does in TS.

This game has spent a long time gestating; I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I know the developer; he's got a solid head on his shoulders. Its gotta be daunting trying to follow up one of the best selling games in recent years; its as high bar to be sure. Personally this subject matter has more appeal than TS. I agree that it looks a bit deeper/more complex. I always found TS a bit bland mechanically, so I am willing to take on some more overhead.

Looking forward to seeing this.
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15 Feb 2020 01:01 #307131 by Gary Sax
I don't think the visuals are that bad, but I'm a wargamer historically so I put up with a lot of shit. I do agree that some of the physical map detail is unnecessary and muddies the waters visually.

I'll need to read through the rulebook, I'm pretty excited about it.

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15 Feb 2020 07:55 #307133 by Sagrilarus
I'm just saying that a gamer walking up to this for the first time is going to feel pretty intimidated.
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15 Feb 2020 08:57 #307134 by Msample

Sagrilarus wrote: I'm just saying that a gamer walking up to this for the first time is going to feel pretty intimidated.


Perhaps, but given its lineage they’ve got an extremely large pool of people who will take the plunge. I’m pretty sure it holds the record for most pre orders for a GMT game.

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15 Feb 2020 10:00 #307136 by Gary Sax

Sagrilarus wrote: I'm just saying that a gamer walking up to this for the first time is going to feel pretty intimidated.


This isn't some sort of challenge, but would you say the same about Twilight Struggle?

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15 Feb 2020 10:22 #307137 by Sagrilarus

Gary Sax wrote:

Sagrilarus wrote: I'm just saying that a gamer walking up to this for the first time is going to feel pretty intimidated.


This isn't some sort of challenge, but would you say the same about Twilight Struggle?


Nope. Twilight Struggle has a map I've seen a thousand times, uses color to visually connect different parts of the board. It's a single image. It's not an amalgam of rounded sections that break up a greater picture and change scale. This is a map you need to accommodate yourself to. Twilight Struggle's map is an old friend. I've played a dozen different games on Twilight Struggle's map, all doing similar things.
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16 Feb 2020 02:46 #307155 by mc
It's pretty clear they are going for something like this:



Which is kind of cool - I like what they are going for. The boxes all look clear enough to me.

I think the biggest problem is the India map which is unrecognisable at a glance and is split into two sections with different scales, both unrecognisable as well. I'm sure they had their issues but I think they should have gone for the one map there that was clearly the subcontinent.

It's kind of the issue with the others - a slightly larger scale just to see the recognisable shapes would do wonders.
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16 Feb 2020 14:38 #307165 by jeb

Gary Sax wrote:

Sagrilarus wrote: I'm just saying that a gamer walking up to this for the first time is going to feel pretty intimidated.


This isn't some sort of challenge, but would you say the same about Twilight Struggle?

TWILIGHT STRUGGLE gets a pass, largely because the subject matter is at least directly relatable to a lot of its players. I literally remember some of the stuff they have on cards, and the map aligns with at least my childhood understanding of the world. This map has to introduce me to mid-to-late 18th century geopolitics, and the game needs to teach me that Prussia matters and shit like that I don't have any intuition for. That's where the disconnect is most profound for me.
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23 Jun 2020 11:28 #311316 by Gary Sax
Anyone get their copy yet? Impressions?

Seems like a great TTS candidate, I know the module is being worked on with GMT blessing and the VASSAL is just about ready to release as well.

Waiting for mine, they have like 6000 to send out with a reduced staff so I sympathize with their pace.

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23 Jun 2020 13:22 #311324 by jpat
I think GMT just started to ship domestically to the P500 orders. I haven't gotten any notice yet (or the package, since I tend to get that first). I agree that the immediacy of IS is less than for TS or 1960. I guess we'll see how it goes. My wife's played TS twice and 1960 a few times, so maybe she and I can try it out.

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23 Jun 2020 14:07 #311327 by Gary Sax
This'll be an online game for me, too conflictual to play with the spouse.

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24 Jun 2020 18:56 #311364 by Gary Sax
Latest GMT update says their sell has been insane on this game despite printing a huge batch, won't last more than 2-3 months before needing a reprint which takes time.

Who knows if the game is good, but sounds like you need to decide quickly or wait for second printing

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26 Jun 2020 20:10 #311421 by Not Sure

Gary Sax wrote: Anyone get their copy yet? Impressions?

Seems like a great TTS candidate, I know the module is being worked on with GMT blessing and the VASSAL is just about ready to release as well.

Waiting for mine, they have like 6000 to send out with a reduced staff so I sympathize with their pace.


Mine got here today. Going to crack it open and peek through it.

(with the lag, me not getting much GMT stuff anymore, and their office being closed I almost got two due to credit card expirations and their site being wonky).
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26 Jun 2020 21:29 #311424 by Msample
Mine is due next week, hope get get a FtF play in that weekend.

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