Baseball Mogul 2011 – toy of the week

I’ve been a big fan of the Baseball Mogul franchise for many years as I’ve always felt it married fun and complexity in the most user-friendly way possible. This year’s version added what I consider the last big piece to the puzzle: free agency bidding. [Continue Reading...]

Byzantine Empire in Europa Universalis, part 6

Several wars later, the Byzantine Empire (“New Rome” didn’t test well, according to our marketing department) secured the Balkans, wrapped around the Eastern Mediterranean coast, and stretched to Tunisia. I settled in to assimilating these new provinces and contentedly watching Europe devour its children. Spain thrashed Aragon and, unsurprisingly, Portugal. England tamed Scotland, Eire and Brittany. France pushed into Central Europe. Sweden conquered Scandinavia.

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Byzantine Empire in Europa Universalis, part 5

It’s difficult to explain to your 15th century kingdom what a crash to desktop error is. Needless to say, they learned a little French as we deja-vu-ed ourselves into Mamluk territory again. Things didn’t go quite as well this time. [Continue Reading...]

Byzantine Empire in Europa Universalis, part 4

I applied the same method of instigating internal revolt and waiting for the proper timing to my next war against the Mamluks. The proud history of the Mamluks is a long one–and proud, hence the adjective at the beginning of this sentence. They controlled Egypt and portions of the Middle East for almost three centuries. Their name echoes the sound one makes when accidentally swigging a gulp of sour milk, but don’t say that to them unless you’re prepared for war.

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Detroit Lions campaign in Football Mogul, part 1

I’m taking control of a team that is arguably more pathetic than the New York Jets, who last won the Super Bowl in 1969 and have only 2 AFC title game losses since. Who could that be? The Cleveland Browns? No, there are teams with worse modern records than the Browns. The Arizona Cardinals? They were just in the Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints? Let’s see what the Drew Brees era nets first.

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Byzantine Empire in Europa Universalis, part 3

Fresh off a (lucky) stomping of the Ottoman Empire, “Just barely!” became our new battlecry. Once my new territories had stabilized, I considered the future. The Portuguese cowardice really spoke to me. I could fight a costly succession of wars against the Ottomans, or I could let others do it for me. Others. Definitely. Man, the proud Empire was beginning to look a lot like Portugal.

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Byzantine Empire in Europa Universalis, part 2

I bribed a couple of Cardinals to take control of the Papacy. What can I say, I have a Pope fetish. First order of business was declare a Crusade against the Ottomans. I learned an important lesson while playing my dearly beloved (yet cowardly) Portuguese: don’t fight a war you can let others fight for you.

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Byzantine Empire in Europa Universalis, part 1

Preamble: I enjoy grand strategy games, particularly historical ones, but I don’t pretend to be a great player of them (see my Portugal campaign). I have my inspired moments as well as my bad. I sometimes like to modify a game file or two to reflect a radically unhistorical circumstance. I dig history, but these write-ups are more on the fun side. So if you get offended by something or think I’m a doof for making light of a “serious” game, go play in traffic, okay? I assure you it isn’t worth your getting flustered.

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Football Mogul 2010 kicks off the season

I’ve logged more hours in the Football Mogul franchise than in Madden.

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Portugal in Europa Universalis, part 2

Time to set out. I loaded one fleet and sailed them west to the New World. Ahem, I said I loaded troops onto a fleet and…what a bunch of laggards. Are they lazy, cowardly or both? I’d forgotten that loading troops on ships in Europa Universalis is a ‘process.’ You can’t actually click on the ship to load them. You can’t load them in port either. You have to move the ship into an unoccupied sea zone, then move the army not onto the ships but into the sea zone. Fifteenth century armies liked to swim, I guess.[Continue Reading...]