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8th August 2013: A Settlers Story

Not long back I bought Settlers 3 from GOG, which gave me more stuff to play with than the normal version I had previously. This collection gave me the Amazons, extra missions, and a groovy map editor, which I had to jump right into using. I wanted to make a map that promoted massive battles but also could be played in a much shorter time. To that end, I set up everyone's guard towers, mining and food industry as part of the map, leaving players the simple tasks of building their smiths and residences and getting stuck in. At least that was the plan. I tested the map out with CPU players, and it didn't go quite as I hoped...

As reds, I teamed up with blues and yellows against greens, cyans and oranges. It did not take long for all 6 teams to build up a considerable force of soldiers. Then I played a waiting game. A very loooooong waiting game. All I wanted was for something to happen, for either my allies to attack or the enemy teams to attack. I knew if I went in at the enemy alone I would be wiped out. But nothing happened. For hours. Literally.
Eventually, I couldn't be bothered any more. As all 5 CPU armies shuffled around nervously, I grabbed all my little guys (by this time around 1000) and sent them forward. Seems like the blues had also been waiting for the chance, deciding to follow me in, and we crashed into the enemy defences. Unfortunately, the yellow team defiantly sat in their territory, and the enemy armies battered myself and the blues into submission in short order. The sheer volume of soldiers on the screen during this engagement was something I'd never seen before in this game.

Now things had kicked off at last, the enemy counter attacked. With all my soldiers gone, and few blues remaining, the yellows finally had to step up and were able to hold them off. After the first crazy engagement, every attack that followed from the CPU players were small ones, easily defended from both sides. I wasn't quite sure how the game was ever going to end, but then I realised to my concern that both the blues and yellows had stopped creating soldiers. They had used up all their stone supplies building dozens of buildings they didn't need, most of which I'd already supplied them with by default. Stupid CPU players. This meant they couldn't build any more residences. By contrast, I'd not even used half of my stone yet.
I realised this was probably true of the enemy players as well, so built up another large force and sent them in. Joined by the remaining yellow soldiers, I was finally able to punch through the enemy forward defences, and rolled through the entire cyan settlement. My final army was then easily able to take out the oranges and greens with little resistance. Phew.

Working in the editor

Working in the editor

The initial defences stand ready

The initial defences stand ready

My boat spies on the enemy

My boat spies on the enemy

Charge!

Charge!

Oh bum

Oh bum

The enemy counter attacks

The enemy counter attacks

Stomping into cyan territory

Stomping into cyan territory

The last big push begins

The last big push begins

Eating the greens

Eating the greens

The map definitely promotes huge battles, but needs more tweaks in order to be played faster. Oh, and human players. Always helps, that.

In other news, pretty much still just playing LoL a couple of times a week, but no other gaming has happened for a while now. I gave up Star Trek again. Game is just too much of a dull grind fest. MMOs I guess.

17th June 2013: All Stop

Yet again the wargaming wheels have come grinding to a halt. After finishing the first Blood Bowl Season 6 knockout tournament we only did one more game, this time in a little 4 team league. Hopefully we will get around to finishing that off soon, and then see where we are. Unfortunately Scoob and I were left to do the games on our own, and that hasn't helped.

I actually managed to do a little painting though, getting all the new teams undercoated and their base colours on. The Crocoviles are going red, the Grog Guzzlers are going brown and bronze, and the Ladies Of The Might are going dark grey and dark blue. I want the Undercity Cheese Thieves to have some kind of yellow as their team colours, but I reckon that it will be a biatch to paint.

Converting players

Converting players

My new teams must be Man Utd fans

My new teams must be Man Utd fans

17th June 2013: A Little Bit Of This And That

A couple of weeks ago, me, Scoob and JIK stepped up to trying a PvP game on LoL, though because we're cowards we went with the ARAM map. Luckily me and Scoob were dealt champs we'd used before in the forms of Nunu and Vayne respectively. But JIK, the least experienced member of us, was dealt Syndra, who is supposed to be quite difficult to use, for his first ever PvP game. We went in to it intending to just have a laugh, fully expecting to get destroyed, but things went quite differently. The game swung back and forth, but we played much better when our base was under pressure than their team did, helping us come away with a fairly comfortable win. And JIK played admirably with the least deaths and a stack of assists.

Overall, I really need to stop playing this game so much, or grow a pair and dive into some proper match ups.

I must have done something right for a change

I must have done something right for a change

Victory!

Victory!

Stats n stuff

Stats n stuff

A couple of times over the last few weeks I've tried in vain to get into Battle For Middle Earth. But I have unfortunately come to realise why I never played this thing that much back when I first bought it. The game lacks pretty much anything I enjoy in the RTS genre.

Number one problem is without doubt the limits on army size. In the missions I played I could never build more than about 6 or 7 units of 5 men each. That's not exactly an army is it?
Then again, if you could build a bigger army, it would become very difficult to manage, as the game lacks in this area as well. In other RTS games, if you select a bunch of units, you get a visual representation of that via the use of icons on the UI or something, so you can see exactly how many units you currently have selected. In this game, other than the heroes who all have their own icons, there is no such function.
I also hate that you are forced into building your bases in certain places, and are limited to how many buildings you can build. I felt like that game was constantly telling me this: "What's that? You wanna put a tower or barracks here as it seems like a strategically sound or useful thing to do? Well you can't. Go build it where we say you've got to build it! Idiot!"

I know it's an old game, but the graphics are shoddy, and many times I could even see the join where two really crappy textures didn't even match up.
The combat is dull, uninspiring, and sometimes a little difficult to follow. There's not a great deal of visual feedback to help you see what's going on. Exactly just who is attacking who?
The two-tone minimap is also a problem, and doesn't really give much detail about the surrounding terrain at all.

It'll be no surprise to hear that I don't really have any intention of forcing myself any further through this pile of garbage.

Dodgy graphics

Dodgy graphics

Gandalf frazzles some Goblins

Gandalf frazzles some Goblins

Poorest excuse for a base ever

Poorest excuse for a base ever

Where things have been moving forward a bit are on Star Trek Online, where I've joined a fleet at last: The Liberty Task Force. Things have been going well so far, but there's no doubt the game is an absolute grind fest. This is even more true in a fleet than in solo play. Hey, MMOs, right?

Vizna puts her opponent on his ass

Vizna puts her opponent on his ass

That's one tiny woman

That's one tiny woman

Mining for the Fjords

Mining for the Fjords

Arrrggh, where's my arm?

Arrrggh, where's my arm?

Fire phasers!

Fire phasers!

Glass floors. Bad news for acrophobes.

Glass floors. Bad news for acrophobes.

Fleet flagship the USS Liberty attempts to eat the Arquina

Fleet flagship the USS Liberty attempts to eat the Arquina

Dirty Macan, probably thinking about sex on the beach

Dirty Macan, probably thinking about sex on the beach

All hell breaks loose as we defend our Starbase from the Orions

All hell breaks loose as we defend our Starbase from the Orions

I've also just bought more games in the form of old classic Duke Nukem 3D, and sequel to another game I've barely touched yet Witcher 2. I'm not sure why. It's unlikely at this stage that I'll ever get around to them. Hopefully I can shake LoL's grip and get working on something else.

25th May 2013: Boldy Going Where I've Been Before

It's been nearly a year since I last engaged my warp engines and travelled the various quadrants of the galaxy in STO, but I thought it was time to have a few more adventures in it. Learning the game again has been a bit awkward, especially as I never really knew fully how to play it before. It's helped that my bro has also joined to give it an evaluation. He's created the pretty beasty looking Damascuss, who has already been promoted from the U.S.S. Ess to the U.S.S. SlipperyNipple. Travelling around with him has helped me pick up the basics again, and also let me get some use out of my own early ships like the U.S.S. Yasui and the U.S.S. Terrinak.

Sitting down often proves problematic for Macan's officers

Sitting down often proves problematic for Macan's officers

Arrrrrrrgggggh, bright light!

Arrrrrrrgggggh, bright light!

Macan's first mission back on duty is to go back in time and rescue the Enterprise C

Macan's first mission back on duty is to go back in time and rescue the Enterprise C

Macan is lost as usual

Macan is lost as usual

Macan is so brave that even balloon starships do not scare him

Macan is so brave that even balloon starships do not scare him

JIK joins the game as engineer Damascuss

JIK joins the game as engineer Damascuss

The Ess and the Yasui get stuck in

The Ess and the Yasui get stuck in

Nobody is impressed as Damascuss boogies on down

Nobody is impressed as Damascuss boogies on down

The Terrinak and the SlipperyNipple

The Terrinak and the SlipperyNipple

So we meet again. Do you have my bananas yet?

So we meet again. Do you have my bananas yet?

Who farted?

Who farted?

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