A is for Abbreviated A2Z. My mammoth monthly news round-ups are on hold, but short, scattergun versions like this will appear from time to time.
B is for Buckley’s next battle book
D is for Diesel diversity
‘Diesel’ no longer implies ‘diesel-electric’ in Derail Valley. Since this month’s massive, free ‘Simulator’ update, users of Altfuture’s easy-to-recommend Early Access rail sim have had access to diesel-hydraulic and diesel-mechanical workhorses too. Because the latter, the DM3, features a car-like manual gearbox, it should be a good option for those who find their fingers fidgeting and their mind wandering during long train sim sessions.
G is for Gunsmith Simulator gripes
Gunsmith Simulator has garnered relatively few red thumbs thus far, but as many of the complaints seem to come from World of Guns afficionados or folk with real-world gun maintenance/repair experience…
“The rest is a hodgepodge of nonsensical mechanics (cleaning rust off aluminium parts, milling a slide then not having to reblue it, but needing to blue parts that aren’t even made of steel, having to schlep a gas tank across the whole workshop every 4-5 bluing sessions…), horrendously bad UI decisions, needless animation transitions that cannot be turned off, and a very limited set of skills and guns to progress through. Did I mention the disassembly UI sometimes glitches out and you need to reload to get it working correctly again?” (Orcinus)
…it sounds like Noble Empire Corp still have rug underfoot.
J is for Jagged Alliance judgement call
Amiral Crapaud, the driving force behind Task Force Admiral, had to take drastic action recently to keep development of his groundbreaking PTO wargame on track. Finding himself head-over-heels in love with Jagged Alliance 3 (“Don’t believe what downers say in the forums, most of them haven’t gone far enough to realize that it is so much closer to its roots than it seems.”), he decided he needed to uninstall Haemimont’s creation in order to keep his mind on his own.
I know the feeling. Of the games I’ve reluctantly cold-shouldered for productivity reasons in recent years, Football, Tactics & Glory was probably the hardest to abandon.
M is for Misplaced colon?
Hopefully, my first taste of SGS Battle for: Stalingrad (sic) wasn’t a sign of things to come. I romped to victory in the game’s shortest scenario (Mamayev Kurgan) despite skipping the tutorial vids and playing somewhat haphazardly. Most of the Steam reviewers who’ve assessed earlier SGS titles seem content to overlook weak AI and dodgy balancing. Wearied by similar weaknesses in engine donor, Wars Across the World, I find I’m less forgiving.
O is for Orel outing
My penchant for cosy conflict sims means I’ve little experience of Wargame Design Studio’s 28-title Panzer Campaigns series. The demo-blessed range relies on one-kilometre hexagons and two-hour turns, and is set to grow later this year. Orel ’43 will be…
“…focused on Operation Kutuzov, the Soviet response to Army Group Center’s attack at Kursk in July 1943. Like Operation Rumyantsev against Army Group South, the Soviets viewed the attack as the continuation of the Battle of Kursk with the Russians moving to the offensive. The battle resulted in the fall of Orel and retreat of German forces, but not before a blunting of the Soviet armies involved.”
Judging by screenshots like the one above, a few of the 50-odd scenarios will be monsters.
R is for Revenge is sweet
A day after Curly lightened my Virtual Pool 4 wallet by ten grand I returned to the beach house for a rematch. This time Big C found himself sharing a table with a less intimidated, cagier, and luckier foe. Amazingly, I needed only three frames to secure an extremely gratifying win. Having proven myself as a pool shark (admittedly only at ‘normal’ difficulty level) I think I’m now ready to tackle VP4’s most challenging cue sport.