Sunday, 28 April 2013

Playing with myself

I seem to have isolated the root cause of my lack of productivity over the past week. The offender is pictured below.

Viva la Revolution!

Tropico 4 is insanely addictive. It's a bit like the Anno games, only less obsessed with building delicate production lines and more about stopping rebels blowing up your palace while stamping out enough quality housing to stop people whining about having to live in their own filth.

But I digress. This post is not about single player city builders. I recently downloaded and printed a copy of Wasteland 3 from the Post Apoc Wargames forum. It seems to be something of an institution there, and I can sort of see why as I recently waded through 4 sets of indie rules for post apocalyptic gaming.

Scavenge, Skirmish, Survive (also from PAW) deserve it's own post to comment on.

The other two - Mayhem: Wasteland Warriors and a ruleset whose title page is missing - I found some time ago and have only just got around to reading. Unfortunately, they're both stodgy, poorly laid out and, at times, incomprehensible. The latter could have spent a little less time bitching about an unnamed international wargames company.

Wasteland 3 was a pleasure to read after the last two, it has a nice Action Point mechanic for handling a figures actions and a seamless way for integrating mutations that seem neither overpowered nor worthless.

What really got my attention, however, was the extensive section dedicated to the Single Player Campaign. Now, I've always been more than a little suspicious about people who play wargames by themselves (obviously playing them on a computer is completely different...) but the thing that really caught my attention was the strategic section which adds a little procedural worldbuilding and non-linearity that I haven’t seen in a strategy game before. It seems to bridge the gap between strategy game and RPG.

So in a way it's a bit like Kenshi, a 'free roaming squad based RPG' available in a very Alpha state on Steam, where you can build a functioning settlement or just roam the wastes being a badass...

It's all right lads, we'll build our own city. With hookers. And blackjack. In fact, forget the city...
All right, enough digital distractions. There is another benefit to the single player campaign aspect of Wasteland 3. Scenarios are generated randomly whenever the player tries to expand their territory, as are the enemies within those scenarios. This gives me an excellent bit of motivation to work through the old lead pile whenever I roll up a new scenario. This I like, as short bursts of motivation are clearly my thing.

I'll keep you updated.

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