Monday, October 15, 2012

Playlist: Oct. 15 through Oct. 21

A personal goal for me this year was to add one more publication to my freelance portfolio, and I've overachieved by adding two. ArsTechnica earlier this year was kind enough to let me put up some articles there, and most recently Garrett Martin at has given me some space to put out board game reviews. This lead me to a unique achievement last week by having two pieces show up at on two different sites, one at Armchair General and another at Paste. Do check out the Paste piece especially, where I talk about a game called All Things Zombie. Quite a treat that one. 

Anyway, pretty exciting time for me so pardon if I gush a bit. On to this week's business.

I'm continually amazed at how well this latest version of XCOM is holding up. I'm into my fifth Iron Man mode game and it is kicking my ass. The balance I have to reach is between putting more satellites into orbit (thereby getting at least a few continent bonuses in my back pocket), and equipping my soldiers with potent enough arms. Either I lose too many countries before I can get my eyes in the sky and my funding dries up precipitously, or my soldiers' weaponry is too weak to punch a hole in and escape an ambush. I'm feeling the same pressures as I felt in the higher-level games of the original, and on a more accelerated schedule. I'm putting 8-10 hours into a save instead of 12-20 before the jig is up and I restart, and I appreciate the expeditiousness of the game play to allow for that. I think I've hit on a solution, oddly enough the same that came to me in the original: bypass lasers. I'll be experimenting with that goal throughout the week. 

I'd also really like to field a SHIV support vehicle, so I might revert to my Normal save for a while just to give myself a break.

This week I promise to have an update for my Combat Mission game. Lots of maneuvering, lots of retreating, and all of it fairly exciting.

This week I'm also going to be playing a bit of War of the Roses. I've heard mostly bad things, but we shall see.

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