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Three Moves Ahead 348: Civilization at 25

In this very special Three Moves Ahead, Rob is joined by Civilization designers Jon Shafer and Soren Johnson to talk about Civilization. The venerable strategy series turns 25 this year, and Rob already took the one joke I had about how it can now rent a car. Oh well. Jon and Soren give their takes on the other entries in the series and give some insight into their design decisions for Civ IV and V.

Three Moves Ahead 344: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan

Rob is joined once again by David Heron as well as the elusive Julian Murdoch to discuss Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan. Sekigahara fills a fascinating niche in the wargame space by giving a lengthy game experience that is light on rules. It's easy to teach and learn yet still gives the impression of a much beefier experience.

Three Moves Ahead 342: Satellite Reign

Satellite Reign is more cyberpunk than anything has a right to be. It deftly combines quality gameplay with all of the hallmark features of the often overplayed or misinterpreted genre. Giant Bomb's Austin Walker joins Rob to talk about Satellite Reign and why they enjoy it so much. Also, Rob finally fulfills the prophecy of someone on the show using the word "panopticon".

Three Moves Ahead 341: Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

It's a full house as Rob, Rowan, Fraser, and guest T.J. Hafer get together to talk about Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. The original Homeworld games were in space. Deserts of Kharak, believe it or not, takes place on the ground. This type of out-of-the-box thinking appears to have paid off as our four panelists have taken quite a shine to the game.

Three Moves Ahead 336: Star Wars: Rebellion

In an episode that is in no way a cross-promotional marketing tool funded by Disney - but call me if you are interested in cross-promotional marketing - Rob, The Verge's Rich McCormick, and Idle Thumbs' Nick Breckon revisit Star Wars: Rebellion. Rob originally hated Rebellion. He made a big stink about it, we all remember it, and nobody wants to talk about it. But years later with the wisdom of old age and the context of modern strategy games, he now realizes that Rebellion is a gem worth...

Three Moves Ahead 332: Chaos Reborn

This week Rob, Bruce, and Troy "I'm not playing unless I can summon a unicorn" Goodfellow discuss Chaos Reborn. In 1985, game designer Julian Gollop released Chaos: The Battle of Wizards for the ZX Spectrum. He would later go on to be the designer of the venerable XCOM series. Chaos Reborn is a new game in the tactical gaming space made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Three Moves Ahead 330: Churchill

Bruce sits down with renowned game designer Mark Herman to talk about his latest offering, Churchill. Combining historical personalities with the tension of negotiation, Churchill is not a wargame in the traditional sense. Rather, it puts the players in the shoes of Churchill, Stalin, or Roosevelt as they plan the Allied attack against the Axis.

Three Moves Ahead 328: King of Dragon Pass

It's another Classic Game Analysis as Bruce, special guest Jon Shafer, and Troy "But Being One With the Cows IS My Religion" Goodfellow talk about the venerable King of Dragon Pass. This essential entry in the strategy/roleplaying/management/cow trading sim genre has inspired and delighted gamers since the 90's. The game is now available on modern platforms with updated content, so what better time to go back and discuss the finer points of negotiating with duck people?

Three Moves Ahead 327: Kingdom

Rob, Rowan, and Fraser apparently got into the catnip this week before getting together to talk about Kingdom. Kingdom is a game about chasing rabbits, usurping monarchies, and losing your hat. It caused Rob to enter a Howard Hughes-esque fugue state, shuffling about in his apartment with tissue boxes on his feet while mumbling about forgetting to bring coins into the woods.

Three Moves Ahead 326: State of the RTS

This week Rob, Fraser, and Troy "More Than a Phalanx" Goodfellow take a look at the RTS genre. Rob has concerns about the health of this stalwart of the strategy space, where innovation seems low and quality titles are few and far between. Troy wants more elves and less aliens.

Three Moves Ahead 325: Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence

Rob, Gaslamp Developer Nicholas Vining, and Troy "Notice me, senpai" Goodfellow sit down to talk about Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence. Koei has a long history of strategy games that dates back to console gaming with Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Their most recent offering, Sphere of Influence, is newly available on Steam. It's a beautiful game, but is it good? Is interesting better than good?

Three Moves Ahead 324: Tower Defense

Rob, Sean Sands, and Troy "I play Plants vs Zombies for the lore" Goodfellow hunker down to defend their glowing orbs and talk about tower defense. The genre is still alive and well, but did it ever really die? Or has it been the Samwise Gamgee of genres: consistent, comforting, and good at gardening?

Three Moves Ahead 323: Company of Heroes

The true measure of a game's greatness is how many game developers play it during their lunch breaks. This week we learn that Company of Heroes validates this universal truth with its compelling gameply and lasting appeal. With the recent addition of the British army to CoH2, Rob Zacny, Blendo Games' Brendon Chung, and CoH product Shane Neville look back at the original game and the state of the sequel. The first entry in the series still holds strong while the sequel continues to improve.

Three Moves Ahead 322: Wing Leader

Bruce and Troy "I really made a Messerschmitt" Goodfellow are joined by noted game designer Lee Brimmicombe-Wood to talk about Lee's new game, Wing Leader. Wing Leader is a side-view aerial combat game that allows players to simulate different weather conditions and air combat scenarios.

Three Moves Ahead 321: Act of Aggression

This week is a full house with Rob, Troy, Tom, and Fraser all weighing in on Eugen Systems' Act of Aggression. Tom stands alone as the half-hearted bastion of defense for a game that underwhelmed the panel. An unintuitive UI, questionable ethnic portrayals, and general crappiness had Fraser "so angry he punched a child", a deed which is now forever rendered in text.

Three Moves Ahead 320: Game Designer Brian Train

This week Bruce sits down with prolific game designer Brian Train. Brian's games span a wide range of conflicts and scenarios, including Greek civil war, fighting in Algeria, and Special Forces actions in Vietnam. His predilection for asymmetric warfare and non-traditional combat modeling have brought his games to the attention of US military simulation experts and wargame fans throughout the world.

Three Moves Ahead 319: Armello

Rob, special guest Paul Dean, and Troy "Blue Balls Appear Irregularly" Goodfellow talk about Armello, an Early Access game available on Steam. Armello combines charming graphics and design with a game concept that is unapologetically a board game. The PC translation of this is full of potential that has time to be realized by the time the game is ready for release. We learn that Paul is lukewarm on the game, Troy is a fan, and Rob doesn't like Talisman.

Three Moves Ahead 318: Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat

Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat (1995) is a gem of a game that has recently been made available again through the magic of digital publishing. The game was ahead of its time: the 3D tactical combat would serve as an inspiration for the gameplay in Shogun: Total War. (The Total War series would eventually meet up with Warhammer later in Total War: Warhammer.) The dark fantasy setting and special hero combat would eventually "inspire" Warcraft 3. Join Rob Zacny and special guest Dan...

Three Moves Ahead 317: Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords

TJ Hafer and Rowan Kaiser joing Rob Zacny to discuss the latest expansion to CK2, Horse Lords. Horse Lords allows the player to assume the role of the eastern hordes, galloping across Europe and the CK2 interface. Has CK2 finally been stretched to its limit?

Episode 317: Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords

TJ Hafer and Rowan Kaiser joing Rob Zacny to discuss the latest expansion to CK2, Horse Lords. Horse Lords allows the player to assume the role of the eastern hordes, galloping across Europe and the CK2 interface. Has CK2 finally been stretched to its limit?