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Three Moves Ahead Episode 108 – Three Men of War

March 17th, 2011 by Rob Zacny · 12 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


Julian and Rob are at death’s door following PAX East and a week of cruel beatings at the hands of Men of War: Assault Squad. Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Jim Rossignol, author of This Gaming Life, comes to their rescue, and together they try to figure out why this genre-breaking, rule-defying battlefield simulator exerts such a tremendous fascination.

Wot Alec Meer Thot of the original Men of War

Jim, in The Escapist, on Men of War and heroism

Jim on Men of War: Red Tide

Jim on Assault Squad

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • ian

    this isn’t showing up on itunes

  • Troy

    Ian, will look into that. This is weird.

  • Paul

    Showing up for me.

    Anyway, so glad you’re covering MOW as I’m glad you guys have finally gotten around to the series. What was said on the GWJ Conference Call I’m sure is a prelude to this, so I’m glad to see you brought in Jim, who is the reason I ever gave the game a shot in the first place.

  • Three Moves Ahead Is A Strategy Podcast | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    […] do know anyone who does then they can tune into the latest episode of the Three Moves Ahead podcast right here. We talk about Men Of War. A lot. I think I repeat myself, and probably lose the thread a bit, […]

  • Tareq

    Yes, MOW games are great and I love RPS. I think Rob should host Jim and the other staff at RPS more often. I got to know the MOW series because of Jim’s extensive yet joyful coverage at RPS. Thanks for this great episode.

    On a different note, does anyone know of any worth while podcasts to listen to? something a little more mature than IGN’s or gamespot’s etc..
    I really enjoy listening to gamers with jobs podcast and I’ve been listening to jumping the shark podcast since they have hosted troy on several occations.

  • Hell-Mikey

    Mr. Rossignol’s argument that the deep detail in MOW allows for meaningful randomness and creative flexibility strikes me as an interesting counter to Dr. Geryk’s desire to abstract that detail away (see 3MA episode 99). I recognize that Dr. Geryk draws a sharp distinction between detail that is actionable versus detail which is not, but Mr. Rossignol’s description of the detail in MOW reminds us, that, as in so many other cases, attention is a resource to be managed in all strategy games. Inventory management is a matter of attention, which the real-time nature of MOW puts at a premium, and which becomes an active trade-off against the other resources *in* the game. Attention in a monster like War in the East is certainly a resource (I have not spent 30 years reading about the Russian front, and have no bookshelf from which to pluck a volume advising me how to pass around the marshes), but because the resource of attention is managed external to the game, and is balanced only by career, family, and physiological needs, we feel that it is not sporting to bring extra attention to managing it.

    Is the cranky doctor demanding that the game remain self-contained for it to be fair to both players?

  • eot

    @Tareq you could give this show a listen:

    It’s not done by game writers, but I enjoy it more than the ‘professional’ podcasts. It can be hit or miss but sometimes they have some really great conversations.

    Also, buying Men of War now =)

  • KRA1D

    Been playing the “Men of War” series since Soldiers Heroes of World War 2. It’s an incredible franchise, very stoked for MoW: Vietnam.

    Great podcast, guys!

  • Quinten

    Great podcast. You guys, especially Jim, covered exactly why I think the Men of War series is great.

    Hell-Mikey: I would say that Bruce’s thesis is “anything not in the players direct control should be abstracted out.” Men of War gives you control of the units and their inventories. Men of War is all about direct control, which requires more detail. Imagine you made an RTS, designed it with no theme, and then had to apply WW2 elements to it. Don’t imagine, Company of Heroes already exists. Men of War creates a sandbox where you can do anything that seems possible within. Abstractions would take away from the experience, the “touching of history.”

    Also, my viral marketing campaign to get Men of War covered on Flash of Steel/Three Moves Ahead: Accomplished.
    Now we need an episode devoted to MoW: Vietnam when it comes out.

  • Javier-de-Ass

    Very good episode!

  • MFToast

    Nice. I’ll be grabbing Men of War on Steam ASAP. It looks like something between Dawn of War II and Combat Mission.

  • Bruce

    Hell-Mikey, that was a great comment. Quinten, you got my position exactly right. I’d love to reply in more detail but just can’t right now due to time. I love the throw down. Will have more at some point.