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Master of Orion 2: the intensive course of galactic emperor.

A small desire for greatness? You find that Palpatine¬†is an amateur? This game is made for you ūüėÄ

Title : Master of Orion 2 : Battle at Antares.

Genre : Strategy (4X).

Date : 1996.

Developpers : Simtex, Microprose.

Master of Orion 2

Master of Orion 2

Master of Orion 2 is a game of strategy in turn by turn of 4X type (for ” eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate”, a whole program ūüėČ ). Among the games of economic and technological development, he proposes a wealth and a very particular style, science fiction directed.

Master of Orion 2 - Titre

Master of Orion 2 – Title

Master of Orion 2 places the player at the head of an empire which he is going to lead to the conquest of stars. The party begins after a great war between two advanced races: Orions and Antariens. The first ones having exiled the second in a parallel dimension, they are in their turn going to disappear and to make way so for the emergent races.

Master of Orion 2 - Race

Master of Orion 2 – Race

The party begins with the choice of the race. There we already find numerous pre-created races each resuming a different stereotype (warrior, scientist, spy, diplomat, etc.). We can again personalize her own race by means of a multitude of choices… From the racial feature¬†to the political system.

After that, it remains to configure the party… Difficulty, size of the galaxy, the random events, the quantity of resources, number of empires…

Master of Orion 2 - Map

Master of Orion 2 – Map

The main screen represents the galaxy map. We can see the various stars, the fastest roads there between these, the black holes, the fleets in travel, etc.

Master of Orion 2 - Map Detail

Master of Orion 2 – Map detail

And when we look in detail at a star, we can see the various planets, the gaseous giants and the belts of asteroids. For planets, there’s a big diversity: size, wealth, gravity, climate, etc.

Master of Orion 2 - Colonie

Master of Orion 2 – Colony

To extend the empire, it is necessary to establish new colonies. It’s a delicate stage because a new colony is not autonomous. The food must be often forwarded since the rest of the empire (cargo boats), its maintenance depends on the climate (the more the climate is hostile, the more the¬†maintenance cost is raised). Finally, certain political systems need in specific buildings…

Once developed, a colony can continue to build and to participate in the global effort (research, economy, polution cleanup, etc.), to produce vessels or spies, or simply to produce wealth.

Master of Orion 2 - Recherche

Master of Orion 2 – Research

The way towards stars is made as much by the economy as the research. Good technological choices are necessary to develop his empire because we cannot look for everything. At every technological level it is necessary to choose the only one in a given domain. The unknown technologies can be later acquired by other means…

Master of Orion 2 - News

Master of Orion 2 – News

From time to time, the news announces random events arising in one of the empires (treasure, resource, accident).

During his exploration, the player (or an other one) will discover Orion, the former capital of the eponym empire, and will face his guard. If he gains a victory, besides discovering a very rich planet, he will put the hand on advanced technologies.

Master of Orion 2 - Conception de vaisseau

Master of Orion 2 – Ship design

The ship design to build different type of vessels of various sizes and various utilities. There is for all the tastes and the more we have of technologies, the more we have the choice… Of the small vessel of exploration to¬†the Death Star ūüėÄ

Master of Orion 2 - Fleet

Master of Orion 2 – Fleet

Once produced, vessels are grouped in fleets. We can then move them from system to system, where the need is smelt.

Master of Orion 2 - Diplomatie

Master of Orion 2 – Diplomaty

The diplomatic relations are opened from the moment two races got closer enough geographically. The exchanges are then possible (provided that they are not restrained by a racial feature). Treated, pacts of non-aggression, technological exchanges, alliances, etc. There are many possibilities.

Master of Orion 2 - Espion

Master of Orion 2 – Spy

The spies are a counterpart of the diplomacy… Left in defense, they serve to counter the enemy spies. Moved in a nearby empire, it can sabotage installations or steal technologies…

Master of Orion 2 - Combat spatial

Master of Orion 2 – Space combat

Sometimes (often), it will be necessary to come to weapons there. Against a spatial monster or a nearby empire, to invade or self defense. We enter a local view¬†where every vessel is used in¬†turn by turn movements, shootings,¬†missiles launching, torpedoes or shuttles, collisions…

Master of Orion 2 - Combat au sol

Master of Orion 2 –¬†Ground combat

When the invader win the battle in orbit around a colonized world, a ground combat took place (after a potential bombardment).

Master of Orion 2 - Capture de technologie

Master of Orion 2 – Technology capture

In this occasion, he can arrive that the soldiers capture a technology. Defy soldiers ūüėČ

Master of Orion 2 - Heros

Master of Orion 2 – Heros

In the course of the game, it will be possible to recruit or to discover heroes, characters¬†with special capacities, being able to be placed to the commands of a colony or a spaceship. It brings a small not insignificant advantage… Besides a small particular touch.

Master of Orion 2 - Antarien

Master of Orion 2 – Antarian

Antariens¬†is always in agu√™ts… Regularly, they come to attack a colony at random… To stop them is often very complicated, even impossible in view of their technological advance… And¬†until an advanced level of the game.

Master of Orion 2 - Graphes

Master of Orion 2 – Graphs

Nice graphs allow the player to compare his progress¬†compared with the other empires, it is always good to know where we are there ūüėČ

Master of Orion 2 - Concil

Master of Orion 2 – Concil

There are several manners to win a party: domination by elimination of the competitors, the eradication of the Antarienne threat or further to a vote of the council (diplomatic victory thus). Everything depends on the style of the player!

 

Conclusion :

Another very detailed, very fascinating game, of a big depth and endowed with an enormous re-playability… The whole for a correct graphic quality in the time ūüėČ Of what to spend hours there only or several during¬†multiplayers¬†prties¬†on the same computer (hot seat).

A game in the interplanetary scale which in spite of a certain complexity (mastered enough) can of “personal” aspects which put you in the skin of an emperor and not on the place of an abstract entity (heroes, ambassadors, interlocutors for various aspects of the management) ūüėÄ

The 90s were rich in cult games!

 

See you soon for new adventures!

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Dungeon Keeper, Evil is Good ;)

For once, we could play the evil ūüėČ

Title : Dungeon Keeper.

Genre : Strategy.

Date : 1997.

Developper: Bullfrog.

In 1997 Peter Molyneux¬†( Populous) brings out an UFO… In opposite of the period when the average player saved regularly the world, we passed on the side of the naughty boy, the donjon master (in reference to Donjon and Dragon), to trap brave adventurers, not without a certain humor.

Dungeon Keeper

Dungeon Keeper

The introduction does not deceive… A knight penetrates into a donjon, gets rid of some monsters and tries to seize a treasure. But the naughty boys stay up and here is the hero put on the ground.

Dungeon Keeper Introduction

Dungeon Keeper – Introduction

The objective of the campaign (succession of parties) is very simple: put in fire and¬†blood all the attractive provinces and their cute and frivolous tribes. The performance of your assistant is on the whole funny: the still free description of provinces depresses him… Conquered time, he paints cheerfully a dark picture. It adds to the charm of the game ūüėÄ

Dungeon Keeper Carte

Dungeon Keeper – Map

A party begins with the heart of the donjon (it is the representation of the power of the player on the map), an entrance and some sprites. The first task is to build the first rooms and to connect the set with a door so that monsters come to settle down at your home.

Dungeon Keeper Entree

Dungeon Keeper – Portal

The arrangement of caves is very important… The arrangement attracts more easily such or such monster, certain types of monsters fight between them, others need peace, halls, etc. It is also necessary to watch to feed all this small world. An unfortunate monster will go away…

Dungeon Keeper Antre

Dungeon Keeper – Lair

It is necessary, to be the best, to entrainer its monsters, to make look for spells to the magicians, make work the trolls in workshops, etc. So all this small world progresses and you (thanks to the spells) become more powerful. Every monster has its speciality which it is necessary to know how to exploit.

Dongeon Keeper Entrainement

Dongeon Keeper – Training

But the sinews of war, it is the gold. And the gold, that gets back by digging golden veins with sprites. They never dig rather fast and it is often necessary to stimulate them with small friendly slaps ūüėĬ†The gold is then stored in treasure rooms…¬†Never fast enough (slaps). And when arrives the fateful ” it’s pay day! “, your monsters stop on the field any activity and are going to recover them of.

Dungeon Keeper Tresor

Dungeon Keeper – Treasure

During the party, you develop a donjon by making dig your sprites¬†(slaps), by making them strengthen walls so that the opponent does not drill them¬†(slaps) then by building various rooms (library, workshop, cave, keeps) food,¬†treasure room, the staff room, the prison, the room of training, etc.). You can put traps, doors, etc. At times, you result in natural galleries…

Dungeon Keeper Mini Carte

Dungeon Keeper –¬†Mini Map

At some point, you meet an opponent. Either it is a group of adventurers or a kind hero that attacks your donjon, or it is¬†a¬†rival donjon master, according to the level. And there… Dropping of monsters, spells, fight! It is a little bit vague, that leaves in all directions, it is good draft and very difficult to follow. This phase of fight draft is certainly one of only defect of the game, with a little bit whimsical IA. At the end of the fight, with the appropriate rooms, it is possible “to convert” your opponents so that they join your camp, a whole program ūüėČ

Dongeon Keeper Combat

Dongeon Keeper – Combat

Optional, you have the possibility of taking the control of one of your monsters (spell of ownership). You can then dig, fight, investigate your donjon by seeing through the eyes of your creature (seen to the first person, with the distortion which is well according to the type of creature). The interest is quite relative, even trivial, but it remains pleasant ūüėČ

 

Conclusion:

That to say another cult game ūüėĬ†A well built bestiary, certain charismatic monsters (black Mistress, Big horned, Dragon). Original, rich, with a small weakness level legibility of the fights and IA, but the pleasure to be a naughty¬† donjon master is there… Enhanced by the deep voice of your assistant, as well as a crowd of small funny details.

Even better if you appreciate the Donjon of Naheulbeuk¬†(French) ūüėÄ

http://www.penofchaos.com/warham/donjon.htm

 

See you soon for new adventures!

“Games Workshop”: some grams of fantasy in a world of brutes!

Well before the computing, their games put me¬†to English (and still there’s a lot of work) ūüėČ

 

Since young, I was always interested in mockups, in science fiction universe (Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, Galactica, Albator, Ulysses 31) and fantasy (Lord of Rings, Willow, Arthurian legend). While I was still adolescent (in 1991), I discovered the Games Workshop universe through three games:

Space Crusade

Space Crusade, a board game taking place in a hostile vessel (space hulk), inspired by the Warhammer 40k universe;

Blood Bowl

Blood Bowl

Blood Bowl, a simulation of fantasy “American” football;

Jeu de r√īle Warhammer

Warhammer, a classical medieval-fantasy role playing game.

These games titillated my imagination and led me to immerse¬†in these various universes, to play various games, to paint and to collect models. It also allowed me to meet new friends. At that time, the main part of the writings being in English, it forced me to¬†take it¬†more seriously (in particular Warhammer 40k “Rogue Trader”,¬†1987).

Games Workshop

The Games Workshop universe is very dark and violent. They have an proper style, a very strong identity which developed over the years by synthesizing science fiction classics, of the fantasy, the history or still the myths and the legends.

 

Universes:

The brand articulates around two universes, Warhammer¬†and Warhammer¬†40K. These universes are declined in two big games of eponym trays and¬†a multitude of specialist¬†games (Blood Bowl, Space Hulk, Necromunda, Inquisitor, Epic, Man O’ War or Battlefleet Gothic). The brand also exploits the¬†“Lord of the Ring” licence.

 

Flying over the principle of the games:

The board games allow to set up confrontations between two players (or more according to scenarios). Every player collects her army / team / gang on the basis of a point cost, the total of which does not have to exceed a certain value (defined beforehand). Every figurine has an appropriate value corresponding to its characteristics and its basic equipment, which it is possible to complete according to some options.

A party lasts a number of turns. A turn corresponding to the sequence of various phases for each of the players: movement, shooting, hand-to-hand fight, magic / psy (for the battle games). The resolution of the actions is based on dice result (generally in 6 faces) compared with a difficulty (function of the characteristics).

At the end of a defined number of turns, the winner is indicated, generally according to a score, reflecting the objectives reached.

Simple no ūüėČ

 

Models:

The sinews of war of these board games are collecting¬†models to build the armies which are in confrontation. The general conventions are that figurines represent the choices of troops, including in their options of Equipment…¬†Yes, Games Workshop is before any a seller of figurines ūüėČ

A consequent time is dedicated to assemble them, even to modify them, then to paint them according to plans corresponding to her army. The techniques of painting are numerous and often explained in the monthly magazine of the brand: White Dwarf.

There is moreover an official competition, Golden Demon, which takes place during Games Day, grouping of the fans of Games Workshop games.

 

Warhammer:

Warhammer

Warhammer

Warhammer is a universe transposing the Earth in a medieval-fantasy period. It resumes historic elements (Middle Ages, Revival), incorporates it elements of the classic fantasy (Elfs, Dwarfs, Orcs, magic) and of legends and myths (Arthurian legends, vampires). An originality is the presence of the Chaos, the powerful strength dedicated to the destruction of this world.

The game stages battles whrer good-sized armies are in confrontation. These battles can be isolated or become integrated into campaigns or be reconstructions of big events taking place during the ceaseless wars that are engaged the various nations. Extensions allow even to lead siege.

This universe, although at war perms, leave a certain place for interactions between certain races, thus to¬†role playing¬†game¬†and to fantasy stories in the same vein as the Lord of Rings or Donjons¬†and Dragons… But brutal ūüėÄ

 

Warhammer 40k:

Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K

Warhammer¬†40k is an (apocalyptic) vision of the future of the Earth in the 41th¬†millennium. We find the same elements as in Warhammer, but without family ties (Human beings, Dwarfs, Elfs¬†/ Eldars, Orks, Chaos) and many other futuristic elements there. The peculiarity comes here from Warp, a parallel universe populated with devils allowing fast interstellar journeys, although dangerous. For the rest, as describes¬†by Games Workshop: “In the grim darkness of the far¬†future there is only war.” Everything is said ūüėČ

The game himself stages battles where two camps or more are in confrontation. These battles are either isolated, or integrated into a campaign (chain of various battles), or in reconstructions of big events. The size goes of the confrontation of patrols to the large battle. It is even possible, with certain extensions, to lead urban wars, gigantic battles or campaigns to the planetary scale.

This universe is in permanent conflict and its factions are extremist as one pleases… What makes it very rich at the level of conflict but limited at the level of the interactions… Therefore, what can get the most¬†closer to the role playing game¬†(Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch) turns around Imperium (human beings).

 

Space Marines:

Space Marines

Space Marines are a strong image of the universe of Warhammer¬†40k and a full army. Futuristic warlike monks, genetically modified and indoctrinated, they are an elite force¬†dedicated to the protection of Imp√©rium. They keep however a certain independence face to face of “politics”¬†power and act according to a code dating of the emergence of the human empire.

Organized¬†as “Chapitres” of thousand warriors, restricted in their heavy armors, over equiped, they live in¬†fortresses of which they go out only to go to defend the humanity of the dangers which threaten it.

Since the beginning, they are my preferred, very certainly because they are the image of the futuristic knights, the hero without fears and inflexible ūüėÄ

 

Conclusion:

Games Workshop produces complex and convenient universes not only in board¬†games, in the “literature” (Black Library) but also¬†in the video games. We count among the adaptations: Space Crusade, Space Hulk, Firewarrior, Final Liberation, Chaos Gate, Warhammer¬†(several episodes, of which Mark of Chaos and Battle March), Blood Bowl, Dawn of War, Warhammer¬†40k: Squad Command, Warhammer¬†Online, Warhammer 40k:¬†Space Marines… And it’s not finished!

Having stopped¬†board games, I always appreciate to paint a¬†model or to¬†assume the role of Space¬†Marine in a video game (there is no denying, I love the futuristic knights). It’s not generally very fine, but that lets off steam ūüėČ

 

See you soon for new adventures!

¬ę UFO, Enemy Unknown ¬Ľ and insomnias.

There are games which mark you.

Title : X-COM : Ufo Defense (or Ufo : Enemy Unknown in europe).

Genre : Strategy.

Date : 1993.

Editor : Microprose.

This one landed at my home in 1995, a little time after my first PC. It was an enormous shock. The invasion of the small grey men coincided with a television series which we followed regularly with my group of friends: “X Files”. The theme was fashionable ūüėÄ

Being in student¬†residence the week, I spent my weekend almost complete there. I also remember it because we played with friends (in¬†“hot seat” mode), around “drinks of¬†cola”,¬†small cakes, even pizzas! Lots of good memories ūüôā

 

To part be the reference quoted by almost all the amateurs of¬†turn by turn games of this period… What X-COM?

 

On the basis it’s a¬†strategy game¬†designed by the Gollop brothers. The player is put at the head of a multinational organization, X-COM (eXtraterrestrial¬†COMbat unit), to counter an extraterrestrial invasion. This one is financed by the various¬†states depending on the¬†results.

X-COM - Titre

X-COM – Title

The game associates a phase of real time (Geoscape), a phase of management (Base) and a phase of tactical intervention in turn by turn mode (Battlescape). The management of the soldiers have a back taste of role playing game (statistics and progress).

X-COM - Geoscape

The Geoscape part allows essentially to advance the time between two actions which consist of the arrival of staff and equipment in one of the bases, the outcome of a research or a production, even the detection of an UFO!

X-COM - Base

X-COM – Base

Bases are the nerve centers of the fight against the invaders. They serve as center of detection (radars to spot vessels), of operational bases (sheds for interceptors or¬†transport), of training centers (soldiers), research and production. Additionally, they can be attacked ūüėČ

X-COM - Recherche

X-COM – Research

The research is one of the sinews of war. The¬†main thread of the game is to study and to assimilate the extraterrestrial technology, to learn to use it and to develop solutions to put an end to the invasion. To assimilate in next to no time a superior technology… They are too strong these human beings ūüėČ

X-COM - Interception

X-COM – Interception

Once an UFO¬†was detected, it’s necessary to intercept it. Sometimes a formality, sometimes impossible… Everything depends on the size of the UFO,¬†the interceptors models and the available eapon technology. We attend then a track race on the globe…

X-COM - Tactique - Debarquement

X-COM – Tactical – Landing

When a UFO is shot down, or if¬†one¬†landed to accomplish a mission, it’s necessary to send a carrier with an intervention team to get back of the equipment, the technology, the extraterrestrials or still protect the population (Terror). The landing is always a delicate moment because¬†you never see the¬†surrounding ground…

X-COM - Tactique

X-COM – Tactical

Gone down from the carrier, it is necessary to deploy, find the extraterrestrials and neutralize them before they can respond. The tactical part takes place in turn by turn mode. The player moves his troops according to a principle of action points. Then it’s the turn of extraterrestrials… And so on.

The lines of sight (orientation of the soldiers) play an essential role. Exploration, shooting, explosions… It’s necessary to reach the goal: protect the civilians (Terror) or neutralize all the extraterrestrials. Folds is possible almost always…

X-COM - Tactique - Destruction

X-COM – Tactical – Destruction

One of the big strengths of this game¬†are the destructible grounds… Almost everything can be destroyed, burnt… It is practical to get free of lines of sight towards a target. On the other hand,¬†you are never really shielded from an explosion…

X-COM - Tactique - UFO

X-COM – Tactical – UFO

When it comes to¬†capture an UFO, a delicate moment is the entrance to the vessel… It is very often the ideal opportunity for an ambush ūüėČ

 

Altogether, the game consists of a multitude of balances: incomes (monthly balance assessment of efficiency) in front of maintenance cost, radar cover with regard to the target zones of the invaders, the level of research with regard to the level of the extraterrestrials (over time they become more and more powerful, bigger and bigger UFO), management of the space of storage and the supply, capacity of the carriers, etc.

The¬†big strength of the game is in the Tactical part. Even with a good equipment, an intervention can turn to the disaster (ha the¬†blaster blow¬†or the inconvenient mental control). The tactical possibilities are infinite: choice of the equipment, the destruction of the ground, the lines of sights, mutual covers, explosives with delay… The tension is always present.

The game is not without weaknesses: it is necessary to re-configure the equipment of his soldiers in every mission, the configuration of planes X-COM would have been able to be more detailed, is lacking intermediate equipment between the equipment of departure, that of the extraterrestrials and the ultimate armament…

But globally, all the old players have anecdotes to be told on their games… As an isolated extraterrestrial chased away only having completely shaved a floor of a building… “Failed” shootings which hit the bull’s eye¬†on another not visible target (the importance of certain noises in this game)… Or a shooting of the last chance made a success on a target at the other end of the map ūüėÄ

 

Conclusion:

X-COM is a fascinating game, globally balanced well (except toward the end, and still), by the kind which captivates you until the next event: another last research… Another last UFO… Who allows you to move forward… And another last one… To find you to go to sleep at two or three o’clock in the morning ūüėČ

Fortunately, I had no PC in the student¬†residence ūüėÄ

 

See you soon for new adventures!

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