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9th June 2019: Star Craftin' Across The Universe

It was also a Blizzard game that last had my attention back in March before my little hiatus from gaming, being the first ever Starcraft, which has been available for free on Battle.net for some time. It's a bit strange that I'd never played it before, but for some reason the classic Blizzard games always passed me by. Before playing this, the only games I'd ever played from that company were Diablo 2 and World Of Warcraft.

If I remember right, I got near the end of the Terran campaign, but I was really struggling to stay with it. I don't know what it is, but for the last couple of years I've really had a hard time staying interested in RTS games. Rewind the clock and at one point I'd have been all over this game. Maybe it's because I'm getting quite old and being able to concentrate is no longer a thing that comes easy to me. I don't know.

Anyway, this is a very typical classic RTS affair, which makes sense considering when it was made. It would be quite easy to never play it again, but I want to continue just to experience the story. I mean I've already got the basic idea of what goes on, and I know how Starcraft 2 ends as I watched some streamers play that final expansion when it came out. But it will still be cool to do it myself.

I'm sure I'll get back into it once all my painting is done and my love of computer games kicks back in.

Defending the area from the Zerg

Defending the area from the Zerg

My aircraft paint the town red

My aircraft paint the town red

19th December 2018: Give The PetaQ His Due

As I didn't really get into Fleet Ops either time I've tried it, I instead played a couple of games of the base Armada 2, just to see if I still liked it as much as I used to.

At first, I put on a 3v5, thinking I'd do that quite easy as I used to be able to 1v7 the AI back in the day. However, with my lack of practice, and two allies that did absolutely nothing all game, I was soon spanked by some very angry enemies.

Not wanting to be held back by stupid AI allies again, I immediately threw on an 8 player deathmatch. For whatever reason, none of the computer enemies really seemed to get up to speed in that game, and other than a cheeky attack on by base by some Romulans, it was a boring slog to wipe them all out.

Maybe this game is no longer for me, in any of its forms.

Engaging the Cardassians

Engaging the Cardassians

Enemy Klingons and Cardassians destroy my base

Enemy Klingons and Cardassians destroy my base

Cheeky Romulans make a run on by base

Cheeky Romulans make a run on by base

So I pay them a visit to sort them out

So I pay them a visit to sort them out

27th August 2018: Revisiting Fleet Ops

It's been quite a long time since I first tried Star Trek Fleet Ops, but just recently had another little hankering for it. I remember not really liking this mod when I first played it a few years ago, I think due to it not seeming like something that should be played single player.
For no other reason than just to check it out again, I did some skirmishes that unsurprisingly left me feeling exactly the same way about it. If I put on limited resources, the AI can build ships way faster than me. But if I use unlimited resources, I can go straight for big ships which the AI just doesn't do for some reason, and it's too easy.
Oh well.

Taking out a Borg enemy

Taking out a Borg enemy

The Dominion put up a fight

The Dominion put up a fight

Chaos ensues as me and my Fed allies take on six opponents

Chaos ensues as me and my Fed allies take on six opponents

17th March 2016: Rome: Total Bore

A while back I looked at the games I had finished in the last year or so, and saw that none of them were games that I had originally played years ago. Sure, there were a couple in the same series as games I played years ago, but when I went through them last year they were new to me.
In fact, the last such game I completed was Space Crusade in October 2014.

That has changed now with the completion of a game that I played a hell of a lot of around a decade ago, in the form of Rome: Total War. Like a lot of RTS games of the late 90s and early 2000s, I had only ever played the multiplayer and skirmishes rather than bother with the campaign.

I never expected it would take this long at all. Wow what a drag.

I played a short campaign at first, as I read you had to play as a Roman faction to unlock the other factions. As I wanted to use Pontus, who were my fave faction back in the day, this was something I needed to do. Problem was, when I finished that campaign, I found out Pontus weren't even a faction that got unlocked anyway, so I had to go ahead and edit some of the game's files so that I could use them.
Sigh.
But nevermind. I finally got into a long campaign as Pontus.

I quite liked it at first, going through some political wranglings with the Seleucids, Armenians and Egyptians, as alliances were formed and broken, with both the Seleucids and Egyptians stabbing me in the back. It fairly quickly got to a point where I immediately assassinated any diplomat that came my way, and went into full ass-kicking mode.
Once my immediate neighbours were defeated, I started the very, very, very long grind towards Rome.

This is where my problems truly started.
Because it takes so long to build up a city, and so long to train a full army, it took forever to get through this thing. I felt pretty much done with the game after taking about 20 towns, but I'd got to claim a total of 50 to be victorious in the entire campaign. How I managed to stick with it I will never know.

The long push across the map was not helped by all the rebellions I had to deal with, which was the one area of the game I think I hated most. Every few turns, one of my previously taken settlements would start rioting and giving me trouble, inevitably turning rebellious which meant I would have to go and take the town all over again. This constant struggle to keep order within my borders when all I wanted to do was expand really slowed me down and pissed me off no end.

The best bits of the game, which are the battles themselves, were also spoiled by the stupidly bad A.I. opponents. Unless they outnumbered me by a large amount, it seemed there was nothing they could do threaten me. Only early in the campaign, where I came up against elephants with nothing yet to fight them with, did I really have to try.

With the campaign map section spoiled by the very long time needed to build armies plus the rebellions, and the battles being spoiled by the bad A.I., I have really not enjoyed completing this game as much as I should have, as it was a staple multiplayer game for me at times in the past.

Taking a Carthaginian town in the short campaign

Taking a Carthaginian town in the short campaign

Marching against the Seleucids

Marching against the Seleucids

As the first faction to betray me, I gave the Seleucids no mercy

As the first faction to betray me, I gave the Seleucids no mercy

Pouring into a Seleucid town

Pouring into a Seleucid town

Spearing me a wild Parthian

Spearing me a wild Parthian

Lots of people in pajamas try and stab each other

Lots of people in pajamas try and stab each other

These fools think they are getting across my bridge

These fools think they are getting across my bridge

That's a lot of Romans guarding that city

That's a lot of Romans guarding that city

My first big battle against the Romans

My first big battle against the Romans

Three Pontic armies fight six Roman armies...

Three Pontic armies fight six Roman armies...

...and emerge victorious

...and emerge victorious

Attacking the walls of Rome

Attacking the walls of Rome

The S.P.Q.R. fail to stop my advance

The S.P.Q.R. fail to stop my advance

Seriously? Is this screen all we get at the end?

Seriously? Is this screen all we get at the end?

1st January 2015: Modding Dawn Of War

On a brain-challenging note, I've recently started looking into making mods for Dawn Of War. I knew this was possible years ago, but all I did back then was make maps, badges and banners. Rather than use Relic's own tools, I've started learning Corsix Mod Studio. It doesn't help that there are hardly any tutorials for modding out there, and no full manual for either Relic's tools or Mod Studio, but I have managed to get a few things worked out.

I originally wanted to make a mod where all races were combined into one "Apocalypse" race, so everyone would have access to everything in the game, but this baffled me. I have instead chosen to apply my own fixes to the races that currently exist, and make the armies slightly bigger. It's proving fun so far.

That's a lot of Land Raiders

That's a lot of Land Raiders

Much bigger armies make for more insanity

Much bigger armies make for more insanity

Yes, I think he's dead

Yes, I think he's dead

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