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Combat Mission Red Thunder

Forums: Latest Threads - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 19:06
Very excited. With a whole host of new lovely features like flames, hit decals, AI triggers, AA shooting down planes etc etc.

This aswell as John Tillers Panzer Battles (after reading the 30 page thread about it over at The Blitz forum I am very interested) is good news for me and my wargame entertainment.
Categories: Forums

And now for something Completely Different - THAvajiz!

Latest Blogs - Sat, 01/25/2014 - 22:21
This post will be about a role-playing system I just digested, so any ASLers may want to just glaze over this one.

A local GM has recently been trying to get me to join his Savage Worlds campaign. I successfully resisted, but in the process, I got a good long look at the system.
Which had been an issue before now. I maintain an interest in state of the art of game design, which means I try to keep track of the mechanics of new systems. But every time I made inquiry about Savage Worlds to one of its boosters, I would get a lot of buzz words, but no actual answers.

Well, I have my answers now. And none of them are good. It's one of those situations where I say. 'Gosh, where to start?'
So I will start with a conclusion: The system is absolute Crap.
It's not even concealed crap. Lots of deadly warning signs. 'Exploding' dice (though admittedly a less odious version than most such), and playing cards as a randomizer (though the impact is mercifully mostly limited to initiative). ALways terrible signs.
And as you look closer, it just gets worse. Over compression of the system ends up making character generation a mess. Players are railroaded into "one big Disad and two little ones". Customization is touted as being accomplished through "Edges" . . . but most of the non-combat Edges presented in the "Test Drive" pdf have such high prerequisites that, by the time you are eligible to buy them, they are no longer particularly relevant. (I was reminded of D&D 3.0's "Prestige Class" structure here)
But worst of all, characters are pretty much required to be specialists, as it it is pretty hard to build a functional generalist character. A character I could buy for 50 points in Hero, or maybe 70 pts in GURPS (in both cases, a low enough number to qualify as a sidekick in either system), just can't be built in Savage World as a Novice character.

I reached out to a renowned game designer of my acquaintance to compare notes, and he shared this:
"I was talking to a game designer last year who'd been doing Savage Worlds and trying to make its superhero game work. He was having trouble making the system's superhero rules (there's
a supplement for that) do what he wanted, and ended up looking for something else. Another friend complained the gun rules were overly simplistic."
So, not just me.

One of the saddest things about this is I was able to identify a few easy fixes to the system, which would make it less awful for me, but the prospective GM was so enthused about the Received Gospel of SW that he would brook no changes, even character specific ones.

I see this game as yet another in a long line of works pandering to the enumeracy of American youth. "Math is Haard !"

Perhaps Pinnacle Entertainment, the keepers of this game, should change their motto to "Get on the Savage Worlds bus - it's even shorter than you think!"
Categories: Blogs

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Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 10:45
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Categories: Forums

New Middle earth game

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 07:38
Well started watching the vid with low expectations..and yes it does seem like Assassins Creed..however the vid dragged me right in and it does look pretty darn fun.
Categories: Forums

Candy Trademarked by the makers of Candy Crush Saga

Forums: Latest Threads - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:33
What.The.F***K. Who allows this to happen in the first place. Also, Apple is mentioned, and considering how Apple likes to do business... :hush:

I posted the video in another thread but in all honesty, I think this could warrant a discussion all on its own. And for the record, I don't play that stupid game.
Categories: Forums

Best places to post my cyberpunk, TBS\CCG Kickstarter project online?

Forums: Latest Threads - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:00
Hey all,

I've a game dev looking for strategy\tactics gamer communities and found Gamesquad.
I'm going to launch a Kickstarter for my turn-based, collectible tactics game this spring and was looking for ideas on where to start posting.

I'll certainly hit you guys up when we're ready.

What other sites \ forums do you guys enjoy?
What news outlets do you use most ?

Our own website isn't quite done, but you should get the gist of it here: CoreTechs Tactics

Cheers everybody,
Categories: Forums

Redemption of EGArena

Forums: Latest Threads - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 03:11
################################################## ###
Redemption of EGArena

Official webpage:
Official forum:
Official facebook:
Official Twitter:
SKILL EXP: 2000x
WEXP: 40x
PET EXP: 1500x
DROP RATE: 100x -> 200x
ITEM DROP: 1 -> 2
ALZ DROP: 50x -> 60x
ALZ BOMB: 50x -> 60x

Dedicate Server Information:
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-4770 Quad-Core Haswell
RAM: 32 GB
Connection: 1 Gbit/s UP/Down
DDOS Protected

Redemption Rapture features:
24/7 Up-time and professional Support
Cheats Custom Protection (Cheat Logger and BlackList activated so if you use cheats you will be listed on our logs and will get banned. Proof Image)
All the server's configuration has been re-modified in that way that all players can enjoy playing without any lag or any unpleasant encounters.

Leveling system removed and replace with Redeem Ranks
R.Rank max for the moment is 30 and each redeem ranks has 10 Redeems
The redeeming is based on the redeem coins that drop from the mobs.

In redemption we give you the possibility to start with class rank 20 and battle mode 3 among much more! Starting with class rank 20 means that you don't need to do those long and boring class rank quests anymore!
Mission War (TG runs at certain times, every 4 hours).
Saint's Forcecalibur Boss in LakeSide every week.
Daily Boss Raids with unique drops.
Auction house allows 3 slotted items to be listed.
Alz drop limit increased to 1 mil instead of the standard 30000.
EP 10 Skills.
EP 10 Archridium Sets + Custom Made.
EP 10 Archridium Weapons + Custom Made.
EP 10 BM3 Synergys.
YUL Event System Working.

Website features:
-Item Customize'r
-Rankings characters
-Characters manager
-Stats manager
-Nation manager
-Redeem manager
-Vote System with reward
-Convert Vote Tickets

Important Upcoming updates:
-Increasing the HP limit so players can have above 65353 so we will increase the R.Rank to have very strong characters
-New Gladiator Class(but not by replacing and old one,adding it like it should be as a new class)
-New Website that will be a lot faster and secure and with a totally new design

################################################## ###
Categories: Forums

The Black SS Counter Question

Latest Blogs - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 02:14
A few days ago, I noted that one of the regulars I follow on this forum was waxing eloquent on the impropriety of having special rules, and counters, for SS troops.

This kind of startled me, as the fellow in question is absolutely beyond doubt a bright guy, and not at all the sort of fellow whose thoughts I was comfortable writing off out of hand.

Now, I will cheerfully admit that early in the war, the SS was considered unprofessional by their Wehrmacht 'siblings', but later in the war, many formations demonstrated advantages in performance, especially in matter of unit morale that ASL puts so much effort into modeling. So surely rules for such are justified.

Back in my Old SL days, playing Crescendo, this was pretty much taken for granted, but the troops were so expensive, hardly anybody ever chose them, so it was mostly a theoretical issue.

But the poor opinion of someone I respect set me to checking my premises on the matter.
Guido Knopp, a German journalist and historian of considerable standing and esteem, put it this way:
“Had that marvellous courage and unflinching endurance, the blood so freely shed been devoted to a cause in any way honourable, the Waffen SS would have assured themselves of eternal glory".

"The number of those killed in action, both in the Waffen-SS and the German Army, correspond exactly to the ratio of their total strengths. The casualties among noncommissioned officers and enlisted men in the German Army and in the Waffen-SS were equivalent, but the casualty rate for officers was different. The deaths among SS officers were almost double that of officers in all combat units."
(sounds like something a tactical system might be forgiven for being tempted to model)

As far as I can tell, the later in the war, the more central SS units were to "fire brigading" defenses, and leading assaults. While their equipment was general much more similar to Wehrmacht than most seem to think, the morale (specifically, tenacity, which seems a pretty precise definition of what "morale" means in ASL) of many of the units seems to have been notably higher.

I am frequently told on these forums that I am a "novice" (and that's one of the kinder epithets), so perhaps my opinion must carry no weight, but it seems t o me there is Ample reason to grant at least Some SS units special moral rules.

And if we do that, why Not a special color to denote such units, since there were actions where they, and less august formations, fought side by side?

I have heard it said here, by people I respect, and people I don't, that having special counters for the SS is inherently a bad thing, because it glorifies the bad ideas that motivated them.
It seems to me that this is special pleading.
Let me present a concrete analogy:
The peculiar nature of Japanese military culture of the time moved them to, in the words of another Forumite, "do things that would make the SS throw up".
Said peculiar military culture also produced behavior that moved the designers of ASL to have special rules for how they would respond to fire (reduce instead of break).
So, we have bunch of guys, many of whom did terrible things and we have special rules for them. And special counters. I have heard no shrieks of indignation over this.
So WHY is it okay for them, and not the SS?
My respected commenter used the word "political" as a justification for not having special counters for the SS. But we have special counters for Commissars, who were responsible for plenty of atrocious killings . . . just mostly of their own team.

In sum, I find these stated positions re the SS, and counters for same, inconsistent and indefensible. They (or, at least, some of them) Should have special rules. And they would benefit from special counters. In an already crowded counter front, color would be the simplest way.

Besides . . . they look real cool ! :D
Categories: Blogs

Top 10 F2P Games

Forums: Latest Threads - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:17
This is an interesting list:

Quote: Crossfire, $957 million
League of Legends, $624 million
Dungeon Fighter Online $426 million
World of Tanks, $372 million
Maplestory, $326 million
Lineage I, $257 million
World of Warcraft, $213 million
Star Wars: The Old Republic, $139 million
Team Fortress 2, $139 million
Counter-Strike Online, $121 million Never heard of Crossfire. :)
Categories: Forums

The Last Federation

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 01/17/2014 - 23:24
Arcen's AI War is one of my favorite sci-fi 4X games of all time. So I am thrilled to learn that they are finally returning to the genre with The Last Federation! Details are finally starting to leak out:

Quote: Remember, You Are A Mercenary
This game is very different from other strategy games, in that you are not remotely a Major Power in the solar system. You are puny. By the end of the game, you might be 1/100th the strength of one of the factions on the map.

This might remind you somewhat of AI War, but unlike AI War I would not classify this as a David vs Goliath situation. In AI War, you are directly facing off against the AI -- in TLF, you don't really have any "opponents," per se.

You have various people trying to kill you at various times, sure -- and you may anger some race to the point that they hate you forever, sure. And yeah, okay, there are pirates, assassins, and Anti-Federation Alliance people that might specifically be sent to kill you. But those last three are more on your scale, they aren't major planetary powers.

Your role is to run contracts throughout the solar system, which typically involves combat of your fleet versus another fleet or in some cases fleets. Through your actions, you either coerce, convince, or bargain with the major powers to do what you want. And you exploit holes in their forces to do so, as they war against each other, and try to become more powerful, etc. It's amazing what you can do as the little guy. The combat details in that preview are also quite interesting:

Quote: Now let's use the awesome combination calculator. Since we have 10 different kinds of ships, out of which you can choose up to 10, repeats allowed, that is a whopping 92,378 possible fleet makeups you can have. But then you have the pilots added on -- 8 different choices, applied to 10 kinds of ships, again with repeats allowed. That's a further 19,448 different ways that you can choose your pilots. To get the unique number of squadrons+pilot combinations, you multiply those together and get... 1,796,567,344.

1.8 billion? Not bad for variety, I'd say -- you have some room for creativity. ;) If my math is wrong, someone please correct me and I'll update the post. Those numbers seem egregiously high to me, to be honest, but I can't find fault with my formulas, so... Anyway, one way or another, the numbers are really big.


The Goal Of Combat
In most types of combat, the combat ends when one of the two "centerpiece" ships is destroyed. When talking about military fleets, that's always a flagship of some kind. If you're doing something like raiding a freighter convoy or a spy squad, though, then the centerpiece would be a freighter or an armed spy drone, respectively.

Once the enemy centerpiece is destroyed, you win the combat. Or if they destroy your flagship, then you lose. The entire game, because you just died -- not just that one battle. Sometimes retreating from a battle that is unwinnable is the only thing you can really do.


This isn't a twitch game, but at an advanced level of play, adjusting your trajectories in response to enemy actions is a good thing to be doing. I should also mention that both your ships and enemy ships "lead" their targets (again unlike AI War), so you may be wondering "why the heck did that ship just shoot over there at that empty space?" and then the shot collides with something that was on a trajectory to be there at the time the bullet arrives. This is one of those cases where, if the shot from the enemy is slow enough and from far enough away, you can change trajectories of your ships to get out of its way. And lots of other great stuff!

Come on, Arcen! Make another brilliant strategy game!
Categories: Forums

Free Steam Weekend Games

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 01/17/2014 - 12:16
Free to play this weekend are Saints Row IV and Company of Heroes 2. Wish I had more time. :(
Categories: Forums

Paradox Hints at Two New Games

Forums: Latest Threads - Thu, 01/16/2014 - 02:36
My new favorite developer of all time, Paradox, is hinting at two new games. Here are the hints:

Project Nero:


Project Armstrong:!


Awesome artwork! Any ideas? Attached Images
Categories: Forums

TikiOne Steam Cleaner

Forums: Latest Threads - Thu, 01/16/2014 - 02:01
Saw this funny comic:


LOL! Anyway, one of those internet thangs where one thing leads to another...and I found this in the comments section of this comic's thread:

Quote: The good old time:

When you installed a video game from a CD or a DVD, you installed some redistributable packages too: DirectX, Games For Windows Live Redist, VC Redist, Rapture3D, NVidia PhysX Redist, etc. They were installed from the CD/DVD, and those installers didn't stay on your hard drive.

Now, Steam, the problem:

The Steam application allows you to download games from the Internet and install them, but what about these redistributable packages ? You probably saw they are installed the first time you launch your game, OK, but what happens to these files when they go wasted ? The answer is very simple: Steam doesn't delete them. An example: install the first complete season of Sam & Max (6 episodes): every episode is about ~300MB. For each of them, you can count 100MB for the DirectX redistributable package. Yes, it is about a third of the game files size, and they are not removed by Steam. For 6 episodes, you could save 600MB. Imagine what you could save for 10 or 20 games.

The solution:

A little tool that is able to list every redistributable package stored on your Steam directories, and allows you to remove them. This is the goal of TikiOne-Steam-Cleaner. This is a very simple program: set the Steam SteamApps folder (this is a sub-folder of the Steam application), click "Search", you choose what file or folder you want to remove. I gave this program a try and it recovered over 1.6 gigs of HDD space by deleting redistributables! No detected problems so far.

Here's the link: Attached Images
Categories: Forums


Latest Blogs - Wed, 01/15/2014 - 04:50
As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am an equipment guy. SWs, and especially Ordnance – blasting away at things with a heavy gun, over open sights . . . ah, that's the life for me! And so ASL's Appendix H is a godsend to me - a well researched and detailed compilation of Equipment. That Appendix's existence, to me, justifies by itself all the blood sweat and tears shed over the development of the system to date.

Now, ATRs can't hump themselves about the board, any more than DCs can throw themselves, so that means I have to have some sort of system for dealing with the targ . . . er, Infantry. And ASL certainly has that.

But I will not pretend I think that ASL in general, and especially its infantry system, is especially good.

First, credit where credit is due:
The penetration system in old SL was solid , having every sign of being based on real-world math, and ASL's version seems pretty close to what I remember. To hit #s seem reasonable, so that combines to make a good direct fire system.
Infantry movement rates are likewise acceptable.

Neutral items:
The turn structure is acceptable. I could quibble in the corners, but it'll do.
I much doubt the IFT is based on anything in particular. Since both the Firepower values of squads, and the entries on the IFT table, are likely abstractions, mutually fudged in the early stages of design to match the designers' expectations, I don't imagine they bear any objective relationship to historical firepower output. It seems to usually give results that most players are okay with, and that'll do.
Likewise, the Morale system is a compromise imposed by the chosen scale, a mechanism for units to be disabled by fire, but giving them a chance to recover, without attempting to "count the fall of every sparrow". It'll do.

The Bad:
ASL is mostly set in the era before the general deployment of radios to the squad level, and thus the ability of squad to telepathically just Know when the should move, and to where, is kinda silly. Excusing this by some imagined network of sniper-proof runners is only slightly less dopey. ASL, like most tactical games of its era of origination, allows entirely Too much command control. In WW2, such control should be exercised on the platoon, or even the company level.
Mechanics to deal with this would not be hard - they are literally lying around, all over the gaming world, in more evolved systems. Command points to activate untis, based on range. That sort of thing. But I doubt there will be any demand for them. People would rather learn cave rules than add a good command control suite.
But that pales . . . just pales before the silliness that is the Leadership system. A single leader (in fact, only one leader) can descend on a group of squads distributed over a 40 meter hex, and exhort/direct their fire so well as to turn them all into marksmen. This 'emanation of competence' is like a mantle he enfolds his charges with. It is like some magical ability from a role playing game.
And I think it pretty clear that that is no accident. The Squad Leader leadership concept is a thinly veiled insertion of role playing into a tactical board game. Hell, in Old SL, the CG system was enTirely based on getting your leader promoted! The evolution of the concept is obvious - and it's sources have Nothing to do with simulating infantry combat. But they are legacy now, and like a professor with tenure, they won't be touched

And ya know, I can actually live with that. But it does rather thoroughly immunize me from any notion that ASL's mechanics are, in general, notably superior. They're not. They just happen to be the system all that good research, and several good rules, are attached to. So there is reason to put up with them, but not to worship.
And by the way, remember that Appendix H is only unique to the system until someone goes to the trouble of coming up with translation of the crunchy hardware stats therein into some other system. And in this, the information age, such 'ports' are getting easier and easier. THAT is what I mean when I say that MMP should "look to their laurels" - their very best bits, greatly neglected on their watch, could be copied, and the result employed to better buttress a competing system, with Better mechanics.
Categories: Blogs

DYO terrain

Latest Blogs - Wed, 01/15/2014 - 03:50
I have already addressed corrections to ASL's pricing system for DYO. But that still leaves terrain set-up, and VC/objectives.

The Kibbler system had a pretty solid terrain generation system, but more boards have come out since then, which may make that system unsatisfactory for some player's purposes. I can't begin to update that system on my own, but I may be able to offer the outline of a minimalist alternative.

The simplest functional terrain setup system I've ever seen is from a highly compressed variant of the DBMM miniatures system, called "DBMM 100". The defender sets up the enTire (square) board, and then the attacker chooses which of the 4 sides he wants to enter on (the defender sets up opposite). This model might be a useful jumping off point.

I also recall (though from where, I cannot say) seeing a terrain generation mechanism that allows a terrain feature placed by one player to be rotated or incrementally wiggled by the other player. Since ASL terrain boards are geomorphic, this sort of mechanism could be translated into ASL by, for example, allowing the attacker to rotate a board the defender had placed, or perhaps even transposing two boards. He might have to sacrifice a percentage of points from his force pool for this privilege, or increase the difficulty of his VC by a similar percentage.

This is the point where a group of similarly minded souls would be helpful to play through various permutations of this. But it's just me, so this is about as far as I can take you with this.
Categories: Blogs

Catlateral Damage

Forums: Latest Threads - Tue, 01/14/2014 - 15:47
I think cats are starting to go supernova on the popularity front:

Catlateral Damage is a free game about being a cat who is also a jerk

Quote: That headline is misleading, of course. All cats are jerks. Even that one you really like. Especially that one you really like. Still, it's hard to blame the little fluffy bundles of destruction. I mean, if you went through your entire life with deadly weapons attached to your hands, you'd probably be a bit psychotic too. Just look at every FPS protagonist throughout the history of games. :D

The thing the game needs the most is better dynamic destruction. When I knock a TV to the floor, I want fireworks! :D And a meow of victory! :bite:
Categories: Forums

Duke Lucidio The Ripper

Latest Blogs - Tue, 01/14/2014 - 03:20
Somebody alert Rock Paper Gloria Steinem: we have a bona fide misogynist on our hands. :D And he started out as such a nice guy. Duke Lucidio was the heir of the Portucale duchy, having inherited it from his father Vimara, a rather mediocre, if just, duke. And, yes, he is an actual historical personality:

Lucídio Vimaranes was the second Count of Portugal within the Kingdom of Asturies. He was the son of Vímara Peres. Following his death, the county passed out of the family, but he is thought to have been ancestor of Count Alvito Nunes, who in the 11th century initiated a second period in which the family controlled the County of Portugal. The Kingdom of Asturies was divided internally into several provinces called "counties". Portus Cale was one of these asturian counties after it become part of the asturian kingdom as a new land conquered from the moors. Be that as it may, Duke Lucidio got off to a rough start. After being invited to a kingdom-wide knightly tournament, Lucidio embarrassed himself with a spectacularly bad performance due to his lack of military skill. Being laughed off the field, Lucidio made it his personal ambition to rise above his limitations and become a great warrior. With that in mind, he ultimately tracked down a famed martial instructor from the Orient and, after having paid off this gentleman's hefty pub tab, hired the fella to train him over a period of months. When his period of instruction was over, Lucidio had greatly improved his martial skills to the point where his liege made him his preferred general, if not his marshal. Lucidio still wasn't the best general on the field and suffered more than his fair share of setbacks, nonetheless he did establish his bravery in battle, as well as successfully laying siege to many a Moorish holding at the behest of his king.

But it was on the domestic front where things started to go wrong. Particularly with women. This was somewhat unexpected seeing how Lucidio was quite successful in his two marriages which produced eight children. Then again, his first wife did suddenly die from "pneumonia"....

But his first overt act of misogyny occurred due to a mishap over the bishopric of Braga. It turns out the bishop of Braga had embraced a heresy. Upon learning of this, Duke Lucidio immediately had the errant bishop arrested and thrown in the dungeon. After a brief stay, the bishop agreed to renounce the heresy and re-embrace his Roman Catholic faith. This he did, and was so released back into the world...and back into the bishopric of Braga. The idea of a former heretic retaining his post as bishop did not sit well with Lucidio, so he immediately stripped the bishop of his title and sent him packing. But now there was a vacancy to fill. So, the duke decided to appoint his trusted marshal to the role, figuring the man could be both the baron mayor of Viana do Castelo as well as bishop of Braga [this was an error on my part. I assumed one man could wear two hats, but the game told me that it was an improper arrangement in red, which usually denotes a penalty of some sort]. So now the duke had a problem. But seeing the advanced age of his marshal, the duke figured he could suffer through any adverse effects for what would be an undoubtedly brief period of time.

Well, not many years later, the good marshal died...but his wife inherited his title to the bishopric of Braga. Now there was a problem for the duke as he could not afford to suffer through another lifetime of being a proper vassal short. So, with this in mind, he kindly [in my mind!] explained to the good widow that while he had no interest in removing her claim to being the baroness of Viana do Castelo, he would be requiring the title to the bishopric back due to a clerical error that rendered the whole thing void (ahem :whist:). The duke figured this wouldn't be a problem seeing how she still had her primary title anyway. It would be a win-win for everyone involved (what is a woman going to do with a bishopric anyway?!?).


The widow tore up the letter and promptly barricaded herself inside her two holdings, with a declaration that was probably similar to a "molon labe". :D This was now not an inconsiderable problem as Duke Lucidio had invested quite the amount of money in improving the fortress levels of all his holdings! [I actually give the AI a LOT of credit here. It didn't do the stupid thing and meet me on the battlefield where it was sure to lose, rather it stayed behind its formidable walls! Nicely played! :clap:] The widow's holdings were so strong that the duke didn't have enough troops to conduct a proper siege! So he was forced to hire expensive mercenaries to bulk up his forces. After doing so, he laid siege to the city of Viana do Castelo first, something that took a long, long time to break. So long, in fact, that the duke's coffers were beginning to run dry from having to pay the mercenaries! In desperation, he was forced to call on his brother-in-law for reinforcements, a most embarrassing turn of events (the duke hated to think about the dinner table conversation that coming harvest festival! :o). His brother-in-law took his time arriving, but when he did, Duke Lucidio cut the mercenaries free with just pennies left in the treasury, and used his brother-in-law's forces to continue the siege. Shortly after, Viana do Castelo, and then Braga, fell. All in all, it was a largely bloodless siege...which was fortunate for all seeing how this was basically a civil war with no real "bad guys". The widow was captured and put in the duke's dungeon, and the bishopric was assigned to a nice, if wet-behind-the-ears kid who just arrived at court [I could imagine his flummoxed look when he was greeted with a "Welcome to the duchy! Oh, and congratulations! The duke made you a bishop! And, no, we don't hand this stuff out like candy." :laugh: Interestingly, he has become quite the successful bishop, with a good chance of becoming a cardinal!].

But the duke was a compassionate man. Seeing how this whole mess was partly his fault, he agreed to let the rebellious widow go free if she would pay for the damages done during the siege. She agreed and was let go. But she never forgave the duke and seethed with hatred for him from that point on. Which was a problem for the duke. How could he allow one of his vassals to be so disrespectful to him? After all, she was the one that made a mountain out of a molehill! No, something needed to be done.This is when the duke took a decidedly immoral course of action, one that would set him on a very dark path. He set about plotting the death of the baroness of Viana do Castelo.

To his surprise, he had no problem finding co-conspirators! A chance to grab a rich title was too tempting for many, and they literally lined up for a crack at her. Poor gal. :bite: The first attempt involved the duke's marshal putting a viper in her chamber...but she escaped, leading to an amusing attempt to locate the viper afterwards! :laugh: But the second attempt was far more successful...and direct. A bomb placed at the inn where she stayed when travelling.


Got her...and I suspect a lot of other people, too. Seeing how the baroness had no heir, the title to Viana do Castelo fell back into the duke's clutches, which was fine with him. It was win-win after all! :D

The duke did feel guilty afterwards, so guilty that he immediately begged the pope for a papal indulgence to wipe away his sins. And he got one. And...the pope DIED THE NEXT DAY after granting the indulgence! Seriously! What an omen!:eek:

Indeed, the following years would become quite...disturbing. One woman was dead, but she was not the last. As mentioned earlier, the duke's first wife would suddenly die from "pneumonia". That was the official COD, but in retrospect I am suspicious. Next, the duke's daughter-in-law would find herself in his clutches. Duke Lucidio's spymaster detected a plot where his son's wife, Anna Makedon, an Iconoclast Greek, was planning on killing the duke's nephew! So the duke sent out his guards and arrested his daughter-in-law, placing her in the dungeon. This was, understandably, a sticky situation, seeing how the duke had to tread carefully since this was the wife of his heir. The duke let it be known that he was considering forcing Anna to convert to Catholicism and renouncing her sins in exchange for a pardon. That was the official plan. But it never came to be because a mere three days after her capture, Anna Makedon was found dead in the dungeon. THREE DAYS! DEAD!

Again, the official COD was that she suddenly died from an "illness", but people began to whisper, especially after it was learnt that she died while pregnant. So, that was what? Three dead women now? Three women who had been associates of the duke? Surely it was just bad fortune! Still, the whispers continued.

If there was any doubt as to the duke', predilections, those came to an end four years later with what has become known as the "Karling Incident". Echive Karling was the duke's son's second marriage (interestingly, both marriages were arranged by the Duke Lucidio). Not long after their marriage, the duke's spymaster also supposedly detected this woman in a plot, this time against the duke himself. So, once again, the duke sent out his guards to arrest her and deposit her in the dungeon. And, once again, she would not last long. She did last about a month or two in all, but around the third month of captivity, the duke gave in to his darker impulses and had Karling put on the wrack just to relish the feeling of power [I am not kidding - this was an actual pop-up event!]. Karling did not last long, she was horribly maimed and died within a day or so of her torturing at the hands of the duke.

Notice the scar on her face from the torture
Now it was official: Duke Lucidio was a serial killer of women, a ripper. :skull: Tongues were really wagging now! Also noted by the pesantry and nobility was how, despite losing two wives in the dungeon of his father, the duke's son was not at all displeased with his father! In fact, their relationship was closer than ever!This was a seriously disturbed family. :D

Okay, with the exceptions of the deliberate, undeniable murders of both the Baroness of Viana do Castelo and Echive Karling, the above story of serial misogyny is admittedly woven together from lots of circumstantial evidence. But what criminal case isn't? If this was a true story, I don't think any serious person could reach any other conclusion other than that there was something sinister afoot within this duchy. In fact, add in the death of the pope - again, the DAY AFTER granting the duke an indulgence, and you could even say there was real evil here.

I confess to this disturbing me. I am not one to play "the bad guy" in a game, so this is pretty dark fodder for me to handle. :D Downright creepy! I think when I get a chance to get back to the not so good duke, I am going to send him on a pilgrimage, and not to nearby Santiago, but all the way to either Rome or Jerusalem. Something needs to be done to save this guy's soul!

Just another interesting tale of medieval terror, brought to you from the dark recesses of:

Categories: Blogs

NorbSoft's Next Game: Waterloo

Forums: Latest Threads - Sat, 01/11/2014 - 16:04
I have to be honest, this makes me very sad:

*vid removed* [watch vid here:]

NorbSoft makes great wargames, so I will probably buy this. Heck, I haven't played a Napoleonics game in about two decades, so it will be a change of pace if nothing else. But I am still very disappointed. Scourge of War was the premier ACW wargame franchise...but now we are moving on to a different conflict already. :cry: Disappointed, especially seeing how many great ACW battles remain to be explored. Well, I can hope we get some ACW mods for the new engine at least.

With that one (big) disappointment, the game sounds great. The screenshots show a much improved graphics engine, and the new features they are endeavoring to add, especially to the campaign, sound fantastic.

The game is still in concept stage, but they are shooting for the anniversary of the battle as a release date.

EDIT: It seems like the vid has been suddenly marked private. I'll keep it there in case it was a mistake and/or they are holding it for a later announcement.

EDIT 2: Getting further into the vid. Norbsoft have said that they will be returning to the ACW, but not until after Waterloo is released and the new engine has been fleshed out. So that reassures me a bit. :)

EDIT 3: Just got to the end of the vid where Jim said that they are considering a new business model where they will make and maintain the engine, but the community will make the battles with the powerful mod tools they are planning on releasing. In others words, Norbsoft *might* (Jim said they were still figuring out how this will work) be moving from selling discreet battles as expansions to selling a highly moddable battle engine that the community can use for other battles. At least that is the gist I got.
Categories: Forums

Ultimate General: Gettysburg

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 01/10/2014 - 17:29
This looks fantastic:

Quote: Ultimate General: Gettysburg features

Initially on PC, we don’t have resources yet to provide top quality 3D graphics. But we will definitely offer something unique in gameplay making graphics a secondary concern, especially for the hardcore strategy gamers. Lower system requirements will make Ultimate General: Gettysburg playable on any PC (Windows and Mac OS).
On the tablets however, with Ultimate General: Gettysburg we aim to revolutionize the strategy gaming. We will offer real time gameplay similar to Total War games, meaning that you will see hundreds, even thousands of soldiers fighting in the battlefield. This is not an easy task for a tablet so this is why we try to reach the best compromise between quality of graphics and game performance. Since we are still researching this matter, the current promotional images do not represent the final graphics of the game, but surely give a good idea on how the game will look.
Now lets talk a bit more about the main features:

Dynamic campaign: You can fight the Battle of Gettysburg as a Union or Confederate general and attempt to rewrite history through a chain of historical and “what if” battle scenarios. Gettysburg Battle is divided into time parts and according to the outcome you progress to the next engagement with the enemy. Your performance in battles is crucial for your future missions. If for example you lose too many soldiers to capture Cemetery Hill on the 1st day you may trigger a speculative scenario battle which you will be unable to win. Those who remember old times favourite Sid Meier's Gettysburg will understand the above mentioned campaign logic.

Battlefield full of soldiers: Each unit represents a brigade scaled to hundreds of men. Infantry, cavalry and artillery move in line or column formations, exchange gunfire or melee and generally fight realistically, resembling real troops of the American Civil War era that you observe from high altitude.

Intuitive and easy controls: By creating movement paths with the mouse on your PC or by finger gesturing on your tablet, you can command your army with ease. Furthermore, there are only a few buttons to issue additional orders, because your units have a self-awareness system that makes them to react to threats without the need of micromanagement.

Realistic Morale and Fatigue: Demoralised troops become irresponsive, devastating volleys cause havoc in your lines, flank attacks can rout your strongest units, tired troops fight less effectively and many more similar tactical aspects require your deep strategy planning.

Terrain Advantage: High ground provides realistic bonuses such as increased weapon ranges, accuracy and morale bonuses. Capturing hills will be crucial especially for artillery, giving significant advantage to range and line of sight.

Challenging AI with no cheats: Ultimate General will be one of the few games where AI will not use traditional game cheats or hidden tricks to fight player. The innovative Ultimate General AI, represented by AI characters such as "Careless", "Indecisive", “Defensive”, “Cautious”, “Cunning”, “Aggressive” or “Dynamic” will be sufficient enough to defeat you on medium or higher difficulty levels, if you are not careful enough. I believe this is a pre-alpha screenshot:


According to a recent forum post, the release is going to be "early 2014"! :hurray:

I am glad to see game devs are finally offering some new titles for the 150th anniversary of the ACW. I just wish this was a different battle, like Shiloh maybe, because Scourge of War already did a great job with Gettysburg. Still, I'll take it! Attached Images
Categories: Forums
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