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Tacticular Cancer Interview: Strategic Command WWI Breakthrough!

Interview - posted by Trash on Sat 24 November 2012, 18:54:32

Tags: Strategic Command WWI Breakthrough!; Tacticular Cancer Interview

Strategic Command WWI Breakthrough! is a turn-based grand strategy title that delves into WWI with scenarios and campaigns that range from the muddy fields of Flanders to the vast expanses in the east to the scorching African heat. We got to talk about all this and more with its Lead Designer, Bill Runacre of Fury Software.

There are a number of Strategic Command titles on the market now. How has the series evolved since the first installment?

Strategic Command games from 5-10 years ago just didn’t provide the range of options that players now have to control their war efforts and focus their activites on where they want to win. Anyone who last played one of our games from 5-10 years ago, and who now tries out either WWI Breakthrough! or our most recent WWII release, Global Conflict Gold, will immediately notice a big difference.

The first thing is the information we now present to players in the game, right from the start to help set the scene and provide advice.

Our aim is to put the player in charge, to let them see progress with their research, to be able to make choices, and progress towards victory understanding the situation and being fully responsible for their own mistakes.

The research system for making technological advances used to cause some frustration to players, but with the release of Strategic Command WWI we changed the system so that ultimate success is guaranteed, with the length of time it will take to advance varying between realistic parameters. This has been a major step forward in improving the game as the old system was a frequent cause of complaint.

It has always been our intention to improve players’ gaming experience, so we are continuously considering feedback from the playing community. Through them we must have introduced literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of improvements over the last few games.

One key concept is to give players more and more control over their strategies, and the most significant way in which we’ve done this has been through the introduction of Decision Events. With these, players are presented with strategic choices, frequently along with some guidance on making the right choice. This enables players to decide whether or not, for example, the British should sponsor the Arab Revolt, or whether to occupy the island of Lemnos prior to landing at Gallipoli.​

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Cardboard Mutilation: Titan: The Arena

Review - posted by Trash on Sat 17 November 2012, 19:09:05

Tags: Avalon Hill; Cardboard Mutilation; Colossal Arena; Fantasy Flight Games; Titan: The Arena

Our resident cardboard hero Ulminati returns to share more secrets of chits, dice and very serious people poring over abstract rulebooks. Todays Cardboard Mutilation introduce us to mythical beasts battling each other to the death with Titan: The Arena.
Obviously, each players basic objective is to keep his bets alive and killing off the creatures that other players have bet on. In the early rounds this mainly means playing high strength cards on your own monsters. But as the game progresses, gameplay shifts towards trying to assassinate other players creatures with low strength cards and trying to control the flow of cards so that the game ends on your turn, allowing to to decide who lives and who dies. Creature abilities can play heavily into this -- If you control the Ettin for instance, you may play another card immediately after you play a card on it. this allows you to both save the ettin and place a low strength card on another players creature. A final complication is that you MUST place a bet or a card on your turn. It is entirely possible to paint yourself into a corner where the only cards you have available are cards you really don't want to play.
Read the full article of Cardboard Mutilation: Titan: The Arena and keep an eye out for our extra spicey edition next week!

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Cardboard Mutilation: Small World Series

Review - posted by Trash on Wed 7 November 2012, 20:55:06

Tags: Cardboard Mutilation; Days of Wonder; Philippe Keyaerts; Small World; Small World Underground

Here's the first in a new series of articles concerning that lovely geeky hobby called boardgaming. Here our very own boardgamegeek Ulminati will shed some light on that dark world of grown men huddling over dices and counters while whispering about arcane rules. We'll kick this off with a look at the Small World series of games by Philippe Keyaerts.
Small World is, as the name implies, a world which is much to small for all the fantasy creatures that want to live in it. In true Darwinian fashion, they solve this problem by brutally murdering each other and taking over territories held by people who comitted the unforgivable sin of being born with a different skin color, amount of legs, scales or what have you. At the end of each of your turns, you score points depending on how much territory you've managed to sink your fingers/claws/fangs/tentacles into and after a set number of turns, whoever has scored the most points is declared the winner.
A case of easy to learn, difficult to master? Read the full article: Cardboard Mutilation: Small World Series

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Alea Jacta Est gets a Tacticular Cancer Review

Review - posted by Trash on Tue 25 September 2012, 06:40:09

Tags: AGEOD; Alea Jacta Est

Ageod's Alea Jacta Est has been released and our new reviewer Cenobyte put on his sandals to put this Roman era wargame through the paces.
Another interesting change from previous AGEOD games was done for the supply system. Instead of supply being produced, stocked and distributed in certain structures on the map, supply in AJE is never stocked inside a province or distributed to other provinces. Instead, forces in a province have to resupply every turn from the supply produced in the province they are in. Therefore, building a dedicated supply chain to supply large armies is very difficult (it can only be done by manually reshuffling supply units from supply-rich provinces to your armies in the field). If your troops become unsupplied through some unfortunate events, the effects are very severe. All in all, the changed supply system makes the maintenance of your forces much harder and limits your ability to field large armies.
Amateurs talk tactics while professionals talk logistics? Check out our review to learn more.

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Tacticular Cancer Interview: Alea Jacta Est

Interview - posted by Trash on Fri 21 September 2012, 21:13:31

Tags: AGEOD; Alea Jacta Est

With the imminent release of Alea Jacta Est, we got a hold of Ageod founder Philippe Thibaut to ask him some questions about this small but influential wargaming development house and their latest game.

Wargaming is a rather niche genre, and yet there are quite a few studios active in it. What makes this niche so attractive, in your view, and how do you feel the genre is doing at the moment?

Well, this has been a key issue in the last years. Only a few companies believe in those games, mostly because these games tend not to reach those volumes high enough to make huge profits, worse, you may even lose money. It happened to us twice on games we had the highest expectations for, but failed to meet a large enough public to make a small profit, barely covering cost. This has moved all majors to leave the field, or to concentrate on FPS genre. The good thing in our opinion is that the crowd is here, faithful, and always hungry for more… our main worry is not the great customers that we have, it’s how to make us live decently while developing those long and costly projects (lol)​

Apart from the setting, what makes Alea Jacta Est unique compared to other wargames and what makes it stand out to you personally?

We believe that we shall show, when the whole series will be complete (.i.e. after quite a few packs) that Rome was not made in a day, but, most important, managed to self-destroy herself. I mean that players will see that defeat comes mostly at the hands of other Romans, and I always felt that internal issues cause the Fall of Rome…in that sense, I believe the game and its expansion is here to tell this aspect of the story that is largely unknown.​

Read the full interview for more about Ageod's future plans, the wargaming genre and a look into what the first and second expansion packs for Alea Jacta Est might hold!

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Tacticular Cancer Interview: Eador: Masters of the Broken World

Interview - posted by Trash on Thu 20 September 2012, 07:38:15

Tags: Eador: Masters of the Broken World; Snowbird Game Studios; Tacticular Cancer Interview

We've had a chance to talk to Vladimir Tortsov of Snowbird Game Studios about their upcoming Eador: Masters of the Broken World. A game that has taken inspiration from such genre staples as Master of Magic, Civilisation and Heroes of Might and Magic III. Naturally that piqued our interest so we set out to get as much out of Vladimir as we could. Here are a few snippets to wet your appetite.

Could you tell us a little bit about Eador: Masters of the Broken World, its back story, inspirations and gameplay elements?

Eador. Masters of the Broken World is a 3D-remake of an earlier 2D-game, originally released in Russia in 2010. The game looked nice and the press ratings were great, but, of course, these days you can’t expect too much in terms of sales from a 2D turn-based strategy not even featuring any animations. Development of the 3D Eador was started in 2011 by newly established Snowbird Game Studios.

The original 2D prototype of Eador was developed by one person (with a little help of his friends) – Alexey Bokulev. Alexey has worked on that game for 3 years; it was his ‘dream game’ combining many cool features from his favorite strategy titles – Sid Meier’s Civilization, HoMM III and Master of Magic.

Alexey has joined Snowbird to work on the international release of Eador. Masters of the Broken World as lead game designer. Our goal with this game is to preserve the best features of the original while improving the gameplay experience by introducing new elements and adjusting game mechanics.​

There seem to be quite some rpg aspects to Eador, could you elaborate on these? Will there be apart from leveling up for instance also quests? Shall we be able to send our heroes into dungeons for loot and experience?

Role-playing element lies in almost everything you do in the game - the way you conduct politics, economics, how you approach to dealing with other Masters. Your individual strategy will personalize your presence in the world of Eador, and will eventually lead you to an ending that befits your behavior.

That being said, nothing is fully predictable and each play can be unique.

There are no specific quests for you as a Master, but you are always able to order your heroes to explore the provinces you control. Eventually they’ll discover different places of interest, such as ancient crypts, forgotten temples and monster lairs. By commanding your heroes to enter these locations, you trigger a battle between their armies and the guardians of the place. If your heroes triumph, they’ll gain some experience and often find some hidden treasure.

Then there are monasteries of the Lord of Light, always hell-bent on mass genocide of those poor zombies or imps, magic shop owners ever looking for rare and grisly ingredients for their craft, non-human races demanding some kind of service before they consider joining you in your struggle - your heroes will have little rest between all these tasks.​

The original Eador had a huge campaign. Is the campaign for this sequel comparable to that one? How long should the campaign take for new players? Will you be able to play random games or skirmish ones as well?

One of the goals we originally had when we started this project was to condense the campaign, making it shorter but more interesting and involving. We didn’t want to see the players getting burned out barely midway through the campaign. So, comparing to the first game, Masters of the Broken World proceeds faster but still feels epic in scope. Our rough estimation is that it would take about 60 hours for a new player to complete the campaign successfully. To fail it though, he would need significantly less time :)

And sure, you’ll be able to play skirmish games too. The random map generator is able to build shards of immense size unheard of in the campaign, pitting all 16 Masters against one another.​

Read the full interview for more about the gameplay, a possible release of the original game on GOG and more!

Read the full article: Tacticular Cancer Interview: Eador: Masters of the Broken World

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Launching our new site design!

Community - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sun 5 August 2012, 04:33:53

Tags: Tacticular Cancer

Thanks to FeelTheRads for our awesome new site design. He won our recent contest by coming up with what you now see.

He's the proud winner of +10 years ad-free browsing and a $50 game of his choice.

Our thanks goes to all those who entered:
  • damicore
  • Fens
  • lefthandblack
  • Zed
You can follow the link to see their entries. They'll each be getting +5 years of ad-free browsing.

I hope you enjoy our new design!

There are 7 comments on Launching our new site design!

Our very own Crusader Kings II preview

Preview - posted by Trash on Thu 1 December 2011, 09:36:52

After all the usual plotting, backstabbing and ruthlessly invading unsuspecting neighbours of another Machiavellian day Trash also found some time to preview the upcoming Crusader Kings II

What made Crusader Kings great for me was the fact that a playthrough invariably provided Shakespearean drama in spades. Crusader Kings 2 upped the ante with the improvements regarding character interaction and the plotting mechanism together with an AI that's constantly fighting to get ahead. In a single playthrough my first noble was assassinated by an unknown party, my heir was excommunicated through the machinations of a vassal, a brother tried to usurp an important title and my wife killed my spymaster because she wanted the office for herself.

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BB reviews Panzer Corps

Review - posted by Burning Bridges on Mon 29 August 2011, 11:08:18

Read my Panzer Corps review and find out why I love my Opel Blitz so much.

There are 19 comments on BB reviews Panzer Corps

Sengoku Preview

Preview - posted by Trash on Thu 28 July 2011, 08:16:21

Sengoku is around the corner and our very own Trash has been given the chance to play around for a bit with a preview build. Here are his impressions of Paradox Interactive's latest.

One of the first things I noticed in playing the game is how beautiful the map of Japan looks and how fluid the game runs. It seems Paradox really have gotten the hang of their Clausewitz engine. Gameplay itself lets you start out as part of a clan or as clan leader. As part of a clan you will have to spend quite some time in trying to topple the current clan leader through a plot or a civil war. If that's not your style you can always try to become powerful enough to separate and start your own clan. As a clan leader you command your vassals and get to improve the stature of your clan so you can one day make a bid for the Shogunate. Meanwhile you're keeping an eye out for plots within your clan and making sure none of your vassals become powerful enough to challenge your rule.

 Read on for the full preview.

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Atom Zombie Smasher Review

Review - posted by Trash on Wed 13 July 2011, 07:31:29

Back from raining down death on little unsuspecting purple and yellow dots Trash returns to bring us his review on Blendo Games zombie holocaust simulator Atom Zombie Smasher.

It's countless zombies (or zeds as the game calls them) against you, your mercenaries and your nuclear powered orbital battle station. And yes, that means that the old Vietnam war quote 'we had to destroy the town to save it' is the key gameplay element. Well, that and having choppers swoop down to rescue as many people as you can from the ravenous horde. It's all very Apocalypse Now meets the fall of Saigon with quite some oddball narrative comic style sequences thrown in for good measure. 

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RPG Codex Top 10 Strategy Games

Information - posted by Jason on Wed 23 February 2011, 04:33:13

Forum dweller and amateur accountant Grunker polled the RPG Codex/TCancer crowd to determine the most loved (or least hated) strategy games of all time. Will Sid Meier destroy all challengers? Will a japtactical make its way to the top ten? Will Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor finally get its props? I don't know! Read the whole article:

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Trash reviews Close Combat - Last Stand Arnhem

Review - posted by Trash on Thu 10 February 2011, 07:50:42

Trash gets some train tickets to Arnhem and reviews Matrix Games' Close Combat - Last Stand Arnhem.
Combat takes into account the individual and entire force morale of your troops, as well as training. Your troops will be equipped with different armaments and supplies for these weapons. Alongside infantry you'll have tanks, APCs, mortar teams and field artillery. You'll see soldiers rout, surrender, go berserk, scavenge for weapons and ammo and perform brave deeds. The more experience they have, the better they fight and the less likely they are to break under pressure. To help your troops along you'll have units containing commanding officers which usually boost the performance of the troops around them. It's quite fun to see a battalion grow from a group of soldiers with some basic training to hardened and decorated veterans and makes losing them to enemy fire all the more painful
Read on for the full review.

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The Barbarian’s War in the East Review

Review - posted by Jason on Thu 6 January 2011, 06:02:50

The Barbarian, a local wargamer and Hyborian Age dweller, has been spending some serious quality time with Gary Grigsby’s War in the East.

Considering the scale of this game, the systems above are difficult to criticize. They function as well as one would hope. There is a tenuous, delicate balance here, between the nightmare of managing a thousand separate units individually, and accurately simulating this conflict in all its glory and horror. The following needs to be reiterated, however: a turn in the Grand Campaign can take upwards of an hour. This is not a criticism of the game; it is simply the statement of a fact. For once, the developer has erred on the side of fidelity to detail, rather than ‘streamlining’ features in order to reach a wider audience. The beer and pretzel crowd will not appreciate the nuances of WitE.

Read on for the full review

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Taking the shipping experience to the X-TREME

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 20 December 2010, 05:07:08

Every once in a while, we get a game that stands above all othes in its genre. Today, that game is Ship Simulator EXTREMES and we give it a whirl :

I click next and get presented with the weather screen. Our options here are pretty intense. You can choose from a number of presets like "Clear Sky" (STALKER lol) or "Windy". Because I'm pretty intense, I decide to forgo the preselects and go with a custom setup.

I make the temperature a freezing -20 and set precipitation to its maximum right hand value: Hail.

Because this is X-TREME, we ramp it up with FOG as well.


Clouds I decided to leave on Nimbostratus, with middle clouds off and high clouds set to Cirrocumulus. Yeah, have you ever gone boating with Cirrocumulus high clouds? No. No I bet you haven't.

We were going to ship all right. We were going to ship in the X-TREMES.

Read what is perhaps one of the most intense gaming experiences I have ever had in my entire gaming career.

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TCancer reviews Revolution under Siege

Review - posted by Burning Bridges on Thu 2 December 2010, 16:01:39

As we all know, games are opium to the people. All the same, I could not resist when this attractive new game 'Revolution under Siege' came around, which promises to simulate the whole Russian Civil War.


Revolution under Siege (RUS) is the sixth installment in AGEOD's series of strategic wargames, including previous titles Birth of America 1 & 2 , American Civil War, Napoleon's Campaigns and Rise Of Prussia.

After previous AGEOD games played out in North America, and a foray into Europe (Napoleon, Prussia), this probably represents their largest project to date: the Russian Civil War, depicted on a gigantic map of the vast stretches of Russia, and split into several major campaigns between 1918-1921.

Revolution under Siege was created by a second team (SEP REDs), and the project has been in preparation since as far back as 2008.


Revolution Under Siege

Playable demo

AGE Online Distribution (AGEOD)  

You can read the review here.


There are 54 comments on TCancer reviews Revolution under Siege

Firefight at TCancer

Review - posted by Jason on Tue 14 September 2010, 13:21:49

Never one to back down from a challenge (as long as it involves sending other folks to their doom), our man Trash took to the field with Sean O'Connor's Firefight.
It seems Sean O'Connor adheres to the school of "easy to pick up but hard to master" gamemakers. You'll pick up the basics of this game within minutes, especially if you ever played something like Close Combat before. Mastering this game is another matter entirely. Your little troops die quite easily under enemy fire and the AI seems quite adequate in defending and attacking the objectives given. This is one of the few games in which I've seen the AI consistently being able to mount an overwhelming assault on my positions.

Read on for the full review...

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Ageod's World War One Review

Review - posted by Trash on Thu 10 June 2010, 16:42:44

After spending what seems like an eternity in the trenches Trash finally went over the top to deliver us this review of Ageod's World War One. 


Read: Ageod's World War One Reviewed

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Scourge of War � Gettysburg Preview

Preview - posted by Burning Bridges on Tue 16 March 2010, 04:58:20

With Scourge of War - Gettysburg, the first offering from Take Command veterans NorbSoftDev, nearing its release date, TCancer took a preview build out for a ride.

Like its predecessor, SOWGB features a unique chain of command system. You can play the game on exactly the level that suits you best, and are allowed to take command of everything from a single Regiment (a few hundred men) to full Corps (very large formations of 8.000 to 20.000 men). Commanding a Brigade is easy, a Division is already much harder, but Corps consists of such a huge number of units that commanding on this level poses special difficulties: you can jump directly into the shoes of Generals Lee or Meade, but don't expect it will be an easy job. 

Read the full article here.

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King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame Review

Review - posted by YourConscience on Wed 13 January 2010, 09:00:52

Neocore's King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame was poked and prodded by our own YourConscience to find out if it's worth your time and money. Read on to find out his conclusions...

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