Happy Hour – July 21st

It is unspeakably hot here in Boston, and although my air-conditioner labors mightily to keep up with the heat, I’ve had to fall back on summer cocktails to maintain my equilibrium and cheery disposition. No matter what else, I can pretty much guarantee that this weekend will feature a lot of juleps, mojitos, and gin and tonics.

It will also feature a visit from MK, taking a break from her internship, and perhaps a visit with some friends for board gaming. I have a copy of Tribune that I’ve been meaning to finally play.

I’ve started Assassin’s Creed II this week, which I am only half-enjoying so far. I cannot quite get a handle on the controls. So much of what Ezio does is automated that I find the game interprets intention in many places where there is none. More problematic, however, is the sci-fi wrapper. It constantly breaks in to the Renaissance Italy setting to remind me of the boring “pirates vs. ninjas, Sharks vs. Jets” conflict the supposedly drives the action.

I’m also going to be checking out new time-traveling RTS Achron, and playing more Panzer Corps for work. Hopefully my friends will also find time to join for some Men of War.

Oh, and I appeared on the GWJ Conference Call this week, and I think Julian and I did a terrific 3MA with Logan Decker about that whole “strategy isn’t contemporary” kerfuffle. You should go listen.

    • Dan
    • July 26th, 2011 3:14pm

    How is Panzer Corp? I realize that you are probably writing a review as we speak, but a quick highlights or comparison to some other game would be nice.

    How hot is it out there? I don’t think it’s as bad is it was here, but that doesn’t mean much. We shattered all existing records for heat index. There was a place in eastern Iowa that hit 128 on the heat index scale. Fucking ridiculous. Drink lots of gin and tonic.

      • Flitcraft
      • July 28th, 2011 1:07am

      I am a total weathervane when it comes to Panzer Corps. Last night we recorded Three Moves Ahead on it and I walked back a lot of my earlier enthusiasm, and now today I find myself enjoying it a lot more. I’m turning in a review of it on Monday, and I have a lot more to play between now and then.

      Panzer Corps is a remake of SSI’s Panzer General series. It’s surprisingly difficult to compare to other stuff that’s out right now because it’s filling in a fairly significant gap in the wargame genre: the entry-level, turn-based wargame. At its heart is a rock-paper-scissors game balance, but there is a wide variety of units with different statistics that end up filling in the gaps between those extremes. So the 88mm artillery piece is murderous against tanks, effective against infantry in the open, and very vulnerable to direct attacks. But the Pak 37 anti-tank gun is, oddly enough, middling against tanks and infantry, but also not a pushover if it comes under attack. And so on, and so forth.

      Actually, one comparison might help. Have you played Civ V? It’s basically using a more complicated version of that system.

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