Flash of Steel header image 2

Three Moves Ahead Episode 119 – What I Did for My Rabbitcon Vacation

June 2nd, 2011 by Rob Zacny · 13 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


An exhausted Julian and Rob welcome Cory Banks back to the show to go over what they played at Julian’s board gaming retreat. Could Agricola’s position be threatened by young up-and-comer 7 Wonders? Why is Battleship Galaxies the best space game since Sins of a Solar Empire? Is Castle Ravenloft a baby game, or an appropriate introduction to strategy and wargaming for children and novices? On the other hand, why would you play that when Last Night on Earth and Invasion from Outer Space are so much better? All these questions and more will be answered for those who are… Three Moves Ahead.

Listen here.
RSS here.
Subscribe on iTunes.


13 Comments so far ↓

  • Jon Gad

    Is episode 119 the proper time to finally introduce a tag line? I dunno, it seems a little late in the day for that.

    Battleship Galaxies does sound pretty cool, though.

  • Rob Zacny

    Julian’s “Masterpiece Mystery” reference reminded me of how Diana Rigg would introduce Mystery! on PBS. She would give the camera this arch look and say the name of the show, “But risks are what Creegan must run when he is… Touching Evil.” So this just felt right.

  • Edward Damon

    Having played more than my fair share of Dominions, I agree about the lack of interactivity being a big weakness in a number of modern board games.

    On the other hand, the lack of interactivity helps with players who have a bit of analysis paralysis, as they can have extra time to think during other people’s turns.

  • Strangeblades

    Castle Ravenloft is a difficult game to grasp – for an experienced DnD person. I kept expecting the rules to allow for more complex actions or demand more tactical thinking. I still enjoy it however as it does deliver that knock the door down feeling of old dungeon crawling AD and D.

  • skshrews

    Agree with Rob’s comments about command initiative in Ageod’s Civil War game.

    Gary Grigsby’s “War Between the States” uses the same concept, and nothing dampers fun more quickly then seeing the commanders leading your carefully planned attack not gain initiative-even worse if it’s turn after turn.

    Once you see you don’t have the initiative, you know the rest of the turn will be nothing but administrative work.

    A combat or movement penalty, rather than a complete inability to move, would at least allow some chance to generate action.

  • Eric

    What you failed to mention was Ravenloft’s biggest strength – namely solo play.

  • mutait

    Another fun ep, guys. I have to say though, I’m a little dismayed that it looks like there’s no plans (at least in the next month) for any coverage of Combat Mission Beyond Normandy. I remember a few of you guys saying you pretty much wrote off Battlefront after the weak initial release of CMSF. That’s fine, but with CMBN, you’re missing out on a really fantastic game that feels more important in terms of strategy gaming’s ongoing evolution than many of the titles you’ve been giving a lot of attention to lately. I think you’d have a lot of fun with it (if Julian can get over his WW II game aversion), and it would provide plenty to talk about.

  • Rob Zacny

    We absolutely have not written off CMBN, and we will get to it. However, I will be doing CMBN 3MA around the same time I do a review of it, and I want to have time to really go deep on it. The next month is way too packed to allow me to do that. Trust me, we’ll get to it. And I’m sure I can put together a kick-ass panel for it.

  • Bruce

    We will do CMBN. I have it now, and am playing. We will do it.

  • Severian

    Hi guys —

    Another fun pod-cast, thank you. A couple questions/comments:

    1. Do you guys have another podcast where you (more) regularly talk about boardgames? I think you referenced something in this podcast that made me wonder.

    2. I was hoping you’d dig deeper into the tactical decision-making of LNOE. I recently got it in a trade, and haven’t played it yet – but after reading through the rules and even setting up a sample game so I could learn it before trying to teach to a group of my friends – I was left wondering… is this it? As a player, you… search or move. As a zombie, you… play cards, move & attack. Can you give some examples of interesting tactical decisions that come up? Also: any suggestions on what scenarios are the most interesting?

    3. I have to admit to being a big fan of both Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon. I play it weekly with a gaming buddy (we’re both in our 30’s and love old-school RPG’s), and it seems like we always have awesome cinematic moments and are engaging in tactical conversations nearly every single turn. You mention in your podcast that you like it when boardgames remove certain options from you. These games do that in spades. In Wrath, for example, you can get Dazed by monsters which means that on your next turn, you can either move or attack but not both. That makes for really interesting decisions, esp. if by not exploring, you have to draw an Encounter card. But to each his own.

  • David Brake

    Thanks for the boardgame roundup. I am relieved you will be covering CMBN – I have to confess that after waiting for it for years I find myself addicted more to the quick fix of Frozen Synapse so it’s good to hear you’ll be discussing that soon too. Your brief kid discussion made me ask, though, whether you could talk in more detail about “gateway games” for kids, whether board or computer. Mine is five but already curious about what dad does with his friends. I thought I would introduce him to strategy via a city-builder – Sim City/Settlers-like on the web thinking there must be something he could play but I found I couldn’t find anything but maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough? You’ve talked about gateway games before but not, I think, explicitly with reference to kids?

  • Chris Richardson

    Julian claims War of the Ring can be had used for $70 which was the cost of the game new. I’d love to have his link. I just lost a bid on Ebay @ the $150 mark. The one guy listing it for sale for $75 on Boardgamegeek isn’t returning messages. Are there used game sources I’m unaware of?


  • Julian Murdoch

    Well, I do know a few auctions have gone off in the 70-80 range for WotR in the last few months. However, I think the game’s been on a bit of an upswing. I saw it getting played at PAX east a bunch, and I know it’s goign back into print.

    The BGG marketplace is your best bet, especially if you’re willing to wait for shipping from Europe. I saw it for 60 pounds a bit ago.

    But used stuff is gonna go up and down. Just no way around it.