I’ve decided to give Angola ’86 some space. Publicly grumbling about bugs and interface imperfections a week into its Early Access puberty, feels a tad unfair, and I don’t want frustrating situations such as the one I described yesterday to cool my ardour for 2023’s most unconventional wargame.
Instead of a diary entry, how about a quick competition and some very early impressions of Last Train Home?
MicroProse have just announced the signing of Boat Crew, the briny Bomber Crew-like with the unexpectedly fancy campaign engine. As I already own it, I asked them if I could use the Steam activation code they sent, as a prize in a foxer-style brainteaser. They agreed, hence…
To be in with a chance of winning the action-packed and admirably dynamic BC, send me (tim at tallyhocorner dot com) the sum of the three numbers obscured by red rectangles in the above Street View images by Sunday night. On Monday morning I’ll draw one correct answer from THC’s albino deerstalker, and send the lucky provider of that answer the activation code.
Steam trains, warfare, Czech history… on paper, THC’s proprietor and Last Train Home should get on like a slivovice distillery on fire. Odd then that three hours in, I’m seriously considering pulling the emergency cord, jumping down onto the ballast, and legging it into the nearest les.
The game’s premise – entrained Czech troops forced by the turmoil of the Russian Revolution to return to their homeland via the Trans-Siberian Railway – is every bit as fresh and colourful as it sounds, but the early emphasis on fussy character cultivation and tedious resource gathering isn’t exactly electrifying me at present.
I guess I was expecting more pauseable Men of War-esque scraps, less clicking on icons, waiting for timer icons to fill, then hearing that my away team had managed to find X fuel in that abandoned village or catch Y fish in that lake.
Unless a Cornerite much closer to Vladivostok than I am, can persuade me to press on, the last side mission I undertook may prove to be my last.
Slightly implausible in nature (Like bob-a-jobbing cub scouts, the Czech Legion stop to assist the residents of a village near the railway), said mission exemplifies LTH’s
problems idiosyncrasies. On reaching the village my hand-picked squad discovered they would need to complete a set of prosaic tasks in order to earn a reward. One of those tasks – repairing fences – turned out to be beyond them, because, I assume, no-one possessed the magical ‘engineer’ role necessary to demystify hammers and nails*.
* Or maybe I’d forgotten to tell my engineer to ‘be an engineer today’
Another – shifting crates to a warehouse – was so monstrously mindless I refused to play ball.
The wolf slaying sounded vaguely promising. However, sending my party to a spot precisely marked by a minimap icon then watching as they riddled a pack of charging lupines, failed to boost my fast-flagging enthusiasm.