EDIT: Tom v Bruce lives on from time to time in their verbal skirmishes at this blog’s official podcast, Three Moves Ahead. From time to time, we’ll play games and relive some of that rivalry as well.
CGW/GfW’s Tom verus Bruce has probably done as much to amuse me as any single game has, and is, in many ways, a pioneering form of “New Games Journalism” though both men would probably slap me for calling it that. The idea is simple – two guys play a game against or with each other and try to make the description both amusing and enlightening. I’m not sure if Chick and Geryk were the first to do a collaborative competitive AAR, but they’ve clearly perfected the form. It’s an experiential review, and even when the two are justing making fun of whatever they are playing, there are often little design philosophy nuggets in there.
So it’s great news that 1up will be uploading each and every TvB, beginning with the original Age of Mythology article. You’ll note that the first bunch of TvB’s were less funny and more instructive, with the feature designed as a hints and tips piece as much as entertainment.
First, it’s usually good to distribute the cost of your military units. The gold cost for Hathor’s petsuchos would have been a nice counterpart to the food cost for Bast’s sphinxes. Second, the roc, a flying transport, is one of Age of Mythology‘s most underrated units. It can quickly carry 15 units across the map, regardless of terrain. On this Mediterranean map, where Tom seems to have me hemmed in on two sides, I could have loaded up a roc and sent it across the water to the middle of the map to ambush him. Now that I’m in the third age, I can start to build new town settlements.
No way that 2008 Bruce would spend so many words on the gold cost of myth units when he could be insulting Tom’s patriotism.