Strategy Games

Game That Pope!

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I have wasted endless hours of my life playing historical strategy games since 1970, first as board games and then on computers.  Troy Goodfellow at Flash of Steel has a fascinating look at games which involve the Papacy:

 

Popes are also generally not playable characters, and when they are, they come with major strings attached. Papal power is a spasmodic interference in play, either through the mechanics of being a Trump (a power that players compete for so they can use it against their enemies), a Vendor (a mechanic that distributes tasks and rewards to stimulate certain types of play and progress) or a Disruptor (a mechanic serves to keep games challenging or hasten resolution of stalemates.)

Medieval Total War II is probably the best exemplar here, and the one most familiar to readers of this blog, though certainly not the first. You can’t play the Pope in MTW2 – and you can’t even easily direct who assumes that role once the old pope dies – but he is always in your face, both in good ways and bad. First, as a Vendor, the Pope is one of two sources of “missions” for Catholic rulers (alongside local nobles). The Pope’s missions are connected to religious stuff, generally – build a church, convert a province, etc – and rewards for accomplishing his minor missions are on par with those nobles will provide. The Pope is a Disruptor by calling Crusades and then demanding your king or princes participate, drawing resources and armies away from where you would rather have them (you can always say no, but there’s a price). And the Pope further disrupts through Excommunication, putting leaders beyond the protection of the church and freeing you to act against them. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Defeat Don!

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When I am not practicing law, dealing with the joys and duties of family life, or blogging and browsing the internet, I can often be found playing strategy games.  I started playing strategy board games circa 1971 when my parents, at my request, gave me a copy of the Avalon Hill game Panzer Blitz for Christmas.  It was love at first sight, and I have been playing strategy games ever since, almost always with a historical setting.  Most of my gaming these days is done on the computer.

Recently I have been playing games on the Yucata website here.  Registration and play is completely free at Yucata, and they have some 77 games available for play.  One thing I like about Yucata, is that players do not have to be online simultaneously to play.  When you log in and go to the games that you are playing, you are prompted after clicking one of the games, to go to any game where an opponent has taken a turn.  You then take your turn, and when your adversary is online at the website, he will be prompted to take his turn, and the process repeats itself.  A fun way to play is to have several games going at once, so you have multiple turns to take when you log in.

A game I have been playing a lot of lately is A Few Acres of Snow, which deals with the struggle of France and Great Britain in North America in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Go here to read the rules of the game.  Below is a video review of the game:

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