Review - posted by oscar on Thu 5 December 2013, 14:13:28Tags: Matrix Games; Proxy Studios; Tacticular Cancer
I try my hand at Proxy Studio's new sci-fi 4X strategy title, Pandora: First Contact, that bares more than a passing resemblance to an old favourite.
Read the full article: Pandora: First Contact review
Review - posted by Whisky on Mon 18 November 2013, 17:34:11Tags: Castles II: Siege and Conquest; Review; Tacticular Cancer
Tacticular Cancer member Jugashvili has written a review for Castles II: Siege and Conquest, a game little known these days, but notably difficult.
There are a number of military actions you can carry out in this game. The basic tasks include recruiting swordsmen (melee infantry), archers (ranged infantry) and knights (heavy cavalry), building siege engines, policing the realm (catches enemy saboteurs, but reduces happiness). Recruiting these troops requires iron, timber and gold, and they must also be paid and fed regularly with gold and food. You can also use military points to send saboteurs into enemy territory to poison their wells, kill their troops, ruin their castles or perform other kinds of mischief.Read the full article: Castles II: Siege and Conquest review/retrospective
Review - posted by Whisky on Mon 11 November 2013, 18:07:09Tags: Destiny; Interactive Magic; Review; Tacticular Cancer
World domination as a game is a simple concept, but one that is immediately appealing to all of us. It's a concept that we all thought would make a good game when we were young and dreaming of the possibilities of the medium. For most of us, the definite realization of this concept came about with the release of Sid Meier's Civilization. Through a strange twist of fate, I remained ignorant of Civilization's existence and kept on dreaming until the year 1996 came and I was given a gift.
Destiny: World Domination From Stone Age to Space Age
Destiny was published by Interactive Magic (Now known as iEntertainment), a company founded by Microprose co-founder “Wild” Bill Stealey. It was produced by Dagger Interactive Technologies, which also produced The Civil War and little else. Destiny was clearly meant to be a Civilization competitor, being in production around the same time as Civilization II was being made, and to give it credit, it offered a lot of features that were absent from Civilization. Destiny offered real-time, 3D graphics, and far more in-depth building, research, government, and religion options. What could go wrong?
Read the full article: Destiny: World Domination From Stone Age to Space Age review/retrospective
Review - posted by Burning Bridges on Sat 19 October 2013, 08:55:27
To the barricades, Comrades! let's immerse ourselves in La Guerra Civil. AGEOD's España 1936 awaits, and we will see how it has turned out.
Read the full article: A las barricadas! Burning Bridges reviews España 1936
Review - posted by Whisky on Wed 16 October 2013, 14:03:03Tags: Europa Universalis IV; Paradox Interactive; Tacticular Cancer
Our good friend Cenobyte has created a review for Europa Universalis IV.
Warfare went through a number of important developments during this time. First, the old medieval scheme of raised vassal levies got replaced by mercenary bands with often quickly changing loyalties. Later, the first professional standing armies were created, and the musket more and more replaced the halberd and other forms of melee weaponry. In the last decades of the game era, nations began to experiment with total mobilization and officer corps where ranks were awarded according to merit and not according to noble background. Thus, the warfare of those times saw a lot of development and has a huge potential for interesting mechanics. However, sadly, warfare is currently the weakest point of the game. In principle, warfare is done by simply ordering troops or ships into another province. If hostile forces are present there as well, a battle will occur. The course of these battles are influenced by a number of factors, such as morale, discipline, tactics and terrain. The loosing force will either be completely annihilated, especially if its size is much smaller than the opposing force, or auto-retreat into a safe province to recover. This can mean to retreat into a province on the other side of your empire, which is rather weird to watch. However, this means that a defeated force can often recover and later participate in the war again, which avoids much of the ping-ponging seen in EUIII and mitigates the effects of a defeat somewhat. On the other hand, this new mechanic means that manpower reserves play a huge role in the standing power of a nation. As long as you still have manpower left, you can nearly always recover from a defeat and bring back your force to full strength, able to engage the enemy again as if nothing had happened. This leads to very long wars, especially in the later stages of the game. This problem is also reinforced by the fact that warscore, the score determining the winner of a war, rises rather slowly through battles alone. If you want to get an edge in warscore, you have to capture provinces of your enemy. This is done via sieging. If you have enough troops in a hostile province, meaning more men than the defenders, you have to wait for some time until the enemy garrison surrenders the province to you. If you have a very high morale and achieved a breach in the fortifications, you can also order an assault, which will speed up things but exponentially increase your losses. For a defender, the only viable way to stop a siege is to send a relief force, otherwise you will almost certain loose the province after some time. All in all, this warfare model has little to do with the historical realities and offers not much of a challenge. It would be good to see a major rebalancing or reworking of the combat mechanics in one of the almost-certain future expansions of the game.Read the full article: Europa Universalis IV Review
Interview - posted by Whisky on Sat 5 October 2013, 22:21:16Tags: Kickstarter; Rimworld
Tynan Sylvester, the sole programmer of RimWorld, has taken the time to answer a few questions about his upcoming space colony simulator.
"Thank you, Tynan, for taking the time to answer our questions. Tell us a little about RimWorld. What would you say is its main appeal?"
I think people really find it compelling when original stories happen in a game that weren't written there by some designer. It's a story created for you, personally, involving you. RimWorld is designed around this concept. On the surface, it's a sci-fi version of Dwarf Fortress. But in the details, and what we're doing with the AI Storyteller, the central goal has always been to create a game that generates awesome stories.
Read the full article: RimWorld Interview - Tynan Sylvester
Interview - posted by Whisky on Tue 10 September 2013, 13:35:25Tags: Ground Pounders; Kerberos Productions; Kickstarter
Martin Cirulis, CEO and developer for Kerberos Productions has been kind enough to answer a few questions about their Kickstarter for the game, Ground Pounders. Along with that, producer Chris Stewart sent us a batch of new screenshots.
What differentiates the Human, Tarka, and Hivers from each other? Will they have different focuses and specialties?Read the full article: TCancer Interview - Ground Pounders
In very broad terms, the Humans in Ground Pounders are about the sustained breakthrough of enemy lines through combined arms. The Tarka are the fast break specialists looking to cause as much damage in as short a period of time as possible while the Hivers are committed to broad front advancement and containment of any breakthroughs.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of units and attributes, each side has units, and the values for those units skewed towards those priorities. Tarka units tend to be a bit faster and hit a bit harder and can sustain longer supply lines. On the other hand they are less resilient than their Hiver counterparts and often carry less dice than their Human analogs. When it comes to defence, the Hivers are as tough as one might expect with units specialized towards mutual support instead of speed. Specialty units like tunnelers compliment their unique play style.
And of course the combat cards add to all of this by including race-specific abilities that you would use when building a deck to work with a specific species. So between the units themselves, their stats and unique cards, Ground Pounders maintains the SotS tradition of making each race play like a different game.
Preview - posted by Burning Bridges on Sun 8 September 2013, 07:31:28
Matrix Games offered us a preview build of Civil War 2, the upcoming sequel to Ageod's American Civil War. I gladly accepted the opportunity and feel that the game is shaping up nicely. Civil War 2 is almost complete and will release in a couple of weeks or months.
Read the full article: Burning Bridges takes a look at Ageod's Civil War 2
Information - posted by Burning Bridges on Wed 4 September 2013, 17:24:40
TacticularCancer has received a preview version of Ageod's Civil War 2, the upcoming sequel to Ageods American Civil War. I am already playing around with it and will give a summary of my findings in a few days.
In the meantime, should you have any questions about the game, you can submit them in the news thread and I will try to answer them either directly or in the preview.
Read the full article: A TCancer preview of Ageod's Civil War 2 is in the pipeline.
Editorial - posted by Trash on Mon 5 August 2013, 15:13:34Tags: Historicon; Matrix Games; Slitherine Ltd
Recently there was a massive collection of warnerds and neckbeards at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Yup, it was once again time for the annual massive neckbeard wargaming conference Historicon. Wargames everywhere, legendary designers such as Gary Grigsby on a couch next to you, warnerds and more Civil War reenactors than you can shake a stick at. As the prestigious magazine that we are we simply couldn't pass this one up. Getting invited by Matrix Games also helped. We send our plucky fresh reporter Absalom into the fray. He rolled dices, he watched long press conferences and he mingled with some of the best wargaming designers in the business. Here's the first part of what he learned concerning the Matrix Games/Slitherine Ltd new line-up.
Wanna know what game he's talking about? Check out the article.
Interview - posted by Whisky on Wed 31 July 2013, 05:07:00Tags: Kickstarter; Privateer Press; Tacticular Cancer Interview; Warmachine: Tactics
Matt Wilson, one of the co-founders of Privateer Press and a member of the design team for Warmachine: Tactics has been nice enough to answer a few questions about the Kickstarter and the game for us:
"What kind of difficulty can we expect from the AI? Will the single-player present a challenge to new players and veterans alike?"Read the full article: Interview: Matt Wilson - Co-founder of Privateer Press and design team member of Warmachine: Tactics
That's certainly the goal with the AI. The WhiteMoon Dreams game design team includes veteran designers who worked on the original Fallout as well as the Myth series, so we're expecting them to bring us a great challenge!
Preview - posted by Trash on Tue 23 July 2013, 20:46:12Tags: Intermarum; Kickstarter; Race to Mars
Intermarum's Race to Mars is a new spaceprogram simulator in the same vein as the venerable Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space. They're aiming at letting you set up a commercial space agency, fight for funding, go from trying to reach orbit to getting to Mars and handle competitors at the same time. Quite ambitious and just for that they're trying to get funding through Kickstarter. Unfortunately it seems to be stalling a bit, which is a shame. So, to spread word of the game Intermarum has send out a very early Alpha version to the media. Absalom got to play around with it and shared his impressions with us.
Check out a little pre-alpha Race to Mars gameplay while you're at it.
Read the full article: Absalom previews an early build of Race to Mars
Interview - posted by Whisky on Sun 14 July 2013, 16:08:40Tags: 5 Lives Studios; Satellite Reign
Chris Conte, designer on Satellite Reign, has been kind enough to allow us to ask him a few questions about the game and its Kickstarter.
On the Kickstarter page, it describes Satellite Reign as a strategy game. Would you consider Satellite Reign to be more strategic than Syndicate or Syndicate Wars? If so, how? Will Satellite Reign have a strategic layer to it, such as research in Syndicate?Read the full article: Interview: Chris Conte - Designer of Satellite Reign
Satellite Reign will have a lot more depth in all aspects of the game. Everything in the world will be simulated and intertwined. If you assassinate scientists and doctors of the opposing organisations you can cripple their weapon and augmentation output. Or, if you decided to bribe them instead of killing them you could get benefits on your own research and development.
The player will be able to research weapons and augmentations, do deals on the black market, raise propaganda and steal money and gear. Satellite Reign will have a complex web of simulations that all feed into each other creating some very deep strategic options for the player.
Editorial - posted by Trash on Sun 14 July 2013, 10:30:56Tags: A Bridge Too Far; Atomic Games; Close Combat; Microsoft; The Russian Front
Tacticular Cancer is proud to present our very first combined retrospection article and accompanying video retrospective. Sser braved the ardeous trip to his attic and gaming history to bring us his thoughts on the Close Combat series and its arguably best installment; A Bridge Too Far.
Read the full accompanying article: Close Combat gets both a video and written restrospective in this Tacticular Cancer Special
Review - posted by Trash on Fri 5 July 2013, 14:24:26Tags: Forced March Games; Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War; Matrix Games
Oscar donned his sandals to walk all over Italy and give us his review of Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War.
A decent AI that actually displays character? Can't say I've seen anything like that in pretty much any recent strategy game. Go check out our indepth review to see if there's more the game succeeds at.
Preview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Thu 27 June 2013, 03:13:00Tags: Prison Architect
Ever wanted to design and run your own maximum security prison? Want to get in early on a developing game? Well, in Prison Architect, you sort of can:
Your prisoners will try to fulfil their needs as they can, based on their daily regime and the facilities you have available. Finding our what specific needs are unmet for any prisoner is as easy as hovering over them with the mouse. Their list of current needs appears along with an indicator telling you how much they want something. These needs will change depending on what facilities you have available and how well your prison runs.
However, despite being an alpha, the game is kind of fun - if you're into those building management type things. The graphical style is also quite nice and suits the game well. Rather than going for a fully 3D and bloomed up the wazoo environment, the 2D works well. Characters are simple shapes with basic facial features and they go about their tasks with appropriate tools in hand. Plus it's kind of cute to see Guards beating prisoners into submission this way.
Read the rest in our look at the Alpha.
Read the full article: Fooling around in Alpha with Prison Architect
Review - posted by Trash on Sun 9 June 2013, 16:57:29Tags: AGEOD; Matrix Games; Rise of Prussia Gold
With the recent announcement of AGEOD and Matrix Games entering a partnership also came the re-release of Rise of Prussia in a Gold version. Our very own Cenobyte went to see what the new Rise of Prussia Gold is all about.
The game is not only advanced by the campaigns between the two rivals. Instead, the course of the game is further shaped by events that unlock allied troops and represent the warfare in the colonies. Short flavor texts provide some information about these historical events and add to the immersion of the game. Some of these events also offer choices to the player, such as deciding whether to mobilize the forces of Bavaria in Bohemia, close to the Austrian front lines, or rather in Nuremberg at the camp of the Imperial army, which would please France. Most of these events are not random and will happen at their historical date. Random events include events providing additional officers, which is especially important for Austria with its rather weak starting commanders, and events affecting your troops in the field in some – usually negative – ways.
Read the full article: Tacticular Cancer Review: Rise of Prussia Gold
Review - posted by Trash on Tue 28 May 2013, 13:56:07Tags: A House Divided; Heart of Darkness; Paradox Interactive; Victoria II
We put new staff member Absalom in the shoes of a budding capitalist and let him loose to see what he would do. Turns out he went on a railroad building spree and forgot all about importing coal. Yes, indeed, it was about time we paid some attention to Paradox Interactive's industrialisation sim Victoria II. Especially now that it's all patched up and has recieved two mayor DLC expansions with A House Divided and Heart of Darkness. Check out his comprehensive review.
Read the full article: Victoria II with A House Divided and Heart of Darkness gets a Tacticular Cancer Review
Interview - posted by Whisky on Sat 4 May 2013, 19:08:55Tags: Full Control; Jagged Alliance: Flashback; Kickstarter; Tacticular Cancer Interview
Thomas Hentschel Lund, the CEO and founder of Full Control has been kind enough to answer a few questions about their Kickstarter for Jagged Alliance: Flashback.
Will Jagged Alliance: Flashback's difficulty progress steadily as the game continues? What difficulty options will there be in the game? Will Ironman mode make a return?
Ironman is a must.
The classic game theory is to use the magic number 3 in terms of number of difficulty. Easy, default, Ironman.
Difficulty HAS to ramp up as you move forward. The exact method to use will be part of detailed game design to look at. We have tried to use different options earlier in our previous games - from hardcoded spawn (a bitch to balance, but it gave an ultra tight experience) to a point based system similar to Warhammer 40k, where each unit and weapon has a value that the AI balances the enemy team upon.
Which to use for JA:F is to be playtested and decided later. Since we want to add multiple factions to the game, here is a place we cannot (only) use the JA2 system and need to tweak it to be enjoyable to play and still pose a challenge.
Read the full article: Tacticular Cancer Interview: Jagged Alliance: Flashback
Competition - posted by Trash on Fri 19 April 2013, 09:51:47Tags: A House Divided; Heart of Darkness; Paradox Interactive; Victoria II
Well, the response to our recent Victoria II Map Painting Competition has been overwhelming and the artistry, well, interesting.
The full gallery of entries can be seen here. Finally, after much deliberation and several stiff drinks the following participants have won a copy of both Victoria II and it's first expansion A House Divided.
Hellraiser, Kalin, Fowyr, Telengard and BlackAdderBG. WhiskeyWolf gets a honorouble mention for despiting not being eligible due to being staff still producing a rather kewl map.
Those lucky five winners will each be getting a copy of Victoria II and A House Divided for Steam. They will be contacted shortly with details on how to download their game.
Thanks to everyone for participating and especially to Paradox Interactive for giving us five Victoria II and A House Divided copies to give away! Do check out the recently released Heart of Darkness expansion if you can't get enough Victoria II.