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Three Moves Ahead Episode 140 – Three Turns Ahead

October 27th, 2011 by Rob Zacny · 27 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


Jenn Cutter comes back for a discussion of F1 2011 with Rob and Troy. Learn about exciting rules changes, the difference between a racing game and a motorsports game, and some of Codemasters crucial fumbles that keep F1 2011 from being a clear-cut improvement over its predecessor. Also, tire strategy means F1 2011 is a strategy game, and is therefore a totally valid topic, and not pure self-indulgence from Rob.

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27 Comments so far ↓

  • Joe Montgomery

    Ok, ok, we’ll donate already. Just bring back our strategy podcast!

  • David

    I refuse to even listen to this. I drive and sell premium European cars for a living. I can’t imagine a more boring topic. As a professional, I’d rather discuss Japanese near-premium models like the 350-Z and Lancer EVO.

  • David

    To be fair, I was MOSTLY kidding above. I still don’t think ANY driving game could be considered “strategic.” This is the only podcast you have done that makes me ANGRY.

    I distinguish “twitch” and reflex games from strategy. Driving games are NEVER strategy. Again, take it from a pro driver.

  • phunkee

    I realize it must be hard to come up with a new strategy related topic each week, but F1? I will certainly not listen to this.

  • MikeO

    I am sure you will get some flak for this, but I am looking forward to listening to it! Thanks for stepping out for one show.

  • Rob

    I can kind of semi enjoy this just because of the panel, but man, this is really not what I hoped for when I checked for a TMA update. I guess it serves a niche, hope it won’t be too common though.

  • Troy Goodfellow

    I totally understand the resistance here, guys. We hardly ever do a non-strategy show and when we do, it’s usually a disaster. So if you want to skip a week, go for it. I know some people skip our board game chats, after all.

    But a few things here that will hope give you some incentive to listen anyway:

    1) This will not be a regular thing, so here’s a chance to see another side of our gaming lives. Julian isn’t the only one who doesn’t play only strategy games. I figure one show a year that isn’t about strategy or meta-podcast stuff isn’t a huge sacrifice out of 52. But no way will Three Moves Ahead ever become a general gaming show.

    2) I’ve pro/re-gressed from strategy to driving games for a reason, and I talk about why F1 racing in particular has some appeal for someone who likes to think about sports and gaming in terms of the choices they demand.

    3) Jenn was on in January to talk Paradox games so I thought it might be nice to have her talk about something she really loves. She knows this stuff inside out and makes it very interesting. The passion and knowledge is compelling and if you liked her on the other shows, you won’t hate her here. (If you didn’t like her, which is within the margins of possibility, then the topic won’t convince you.)

  • Matthew James

    I’ve listened to almost all of the TMA episodes, haven’t played a racing game since IndyCar Racing in the ninties, and still enjoyed the episode. Cheers!

  • Shane Leigh

    I have my own YouTube gaming channel. I play many different things but focus primarily on racers and driving games. I had not been familiar with 3MA before someone linked me this podcast and I couldn’t thank him enough. I really enjoyed the show overall and the personality in the panel. I can tell from the negative comments that you don’t normally discuss games in this genre on your podcast and I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate the solid thoughts and the bold decision to tackle more variety. I would not had found you otherwords.

  • Makai

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I whole-heatedly support this idea.

    Sure it’s a podcast about Strategy games, but the reason I actually listen to it is because of the people involved.

    I don’t mind have an episode outside of Strategy games every once in a while as long as the people involved are passionate and have something insightful to say about it.

  • pirimeister

    I fully concur with Makai, here.
    I’m a strategy gamer at heart, but I listen to this podcast because the panel always has some nice coherent thoughts about the topics discussed. I was actually looking forward to this podcast since Rob hinted at it, so I’m glad you guys went ahead and did it.

    But yes, Makai’s post made this one quasi-irrelevant. :-)

  • Anders

    This smells like a “payed topic”….I guess it was to be expected after all the donation begging.
    If you guys are getting more traffic, then money will eventually come.

  • Rob Zacny

    My thanks to those of you who have weighed-in on the side of this topic and episode. I’m very grateful for the support, and hope you enjoy the show.

    To those who don’t understand why we would do something like this, the simple answer is that I wanted to. More accurately, I like the way 3MA talks about games. I appreciate the comments that its the panel and the personalities that draw the listeners, but I don’t flatter myself too much.

    I think what really defines 3MA is *how* we discuss our subjects. It’s the reason I was a fan of the show before I became a part of it. We take niche games and treat them seriously, and give each other space to talk about them. If there were a podcast that treated racing games like this, I probably would not have been so keen to do an F1 show. But there isn’t. So I put together the kind of show I would like to listen to: a 3MA-approach to a good racing game.

    It’s not something we’ll do regularly, but I am glad we did it. We will probably do something like this again. I don’t expect everyone to like every episode we do, but I do hope that even if you don’t play these games, you get something out of this episode.

    I hope everyone understands, even if they don’t dig the topic.

  • David L

    Honestly, despite having only a passing familiarity with F1 I enjoyed this episode. Partially because there was some points of more general interest raised (particularly the one about realism and the willingness to not give the player relentless success and progress) and partially because sports games are unmatched at making the people talking about them sound charmingly obsessed and wonkish.

    A good podcast is always as much about the group dynamics of the people involved as the subject. To moan when the said group decides to indulge their idiosyncrasies and pick an unorthodox subject seems both petulant and to be overlooking what makes the format appealing.

  • Bruce

    Why wasn’t this episode called “Three Laps Ahead?”

  • Troy Goodfellow


    Petulant is a bit much, in my opinion. I mean, we set expectations for being one kind of show and this was not that kind of topic we usually do. As Rob said, however, it’s not like anyone else was podcasting about F1 2011…And I think if we had devoted an hour to flight or sub sims, some people who resist would be a little less likely to complain because of the natural overlap.

    But yeah, the group dynamics are important here. Rest assured, we’re never going to let this become a show where one of us just talks about a game we want to talk about irrespective of the show themes; 3MA is a strategy podcast – we might stray once or twice but we owe an obligation to our audience not to stray more. Still, the great thing about doing a show like this with Jenn is that she’s been on before, we know the group dynamics are excellent and we can guarantee some level of quality on a topic that’s out of our usual sweetspot – we’ve done worse shows with guests who just could not interact with us in a meaningful way.

    If you put something out in public though, and want public comment then you have to take the well meant criticism seriously and I do. I hope people listen, but if they don’t because they don’t care then I can’t make them. Still, we respect our audience too much to just do a show like this on a whim. We planned and organized and did it. And I’m proud of it.

  • Strangeblades

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I come here to hear Bruce Geryk yell out something crazy, like ‘Goaaaaaaaaaallll!’ or some such thing.

    Well, I don’t think that’s gonna happen in this episode will it? *storms off in a huff*

    Psst. I’m kidding. I love this show and whatever you guys wanna discuss is cool – like others have said I’m here for ‘how’ the topic is rolled around – not necessarily what the topic will be ‘about’.

  • Skyrider68

    Aww hell. If 3MA wants to take a rare detour and talk about something different in the gaming world, then go for it. Moaners and groaners need not listen. How awful that your bandwidth was comandeered for a couple minutes to download something you can delete with a couple mouse clicks.

    I know nothing about car racing or car racing games, but the discussion was decent enough to hold my attention. Rob and company need not backpedal in any way.

  • MikeO

    So, I listened to this, and enjoyed it. Most of my racing experience has been with Shift/ Shift 2, which I love, except for the ultra aggressive AI. It’s not bad on the lower end cars, but it gets really annoying at B and above. I like the fact that the game virtually never gives you an advantage for collisions, but the AI seems to delight at knocking the player off the track, and seldom seem to suffer enough for the advantage they gain.

    So Rob’s comment about the AI not playing by the same rules as the player in F1 struck home with me.

    I have been intrigued by F1 due to the career mode. I am far from a hardcore F1 follower, and I don’t know all the arcana to the sport. If I were to buy either F1 2010 or F1 2011, which would you guys recommend? It sounds as if Rob believes they are kind of a wash.

  • Troy Goodfellow


    I play a lot of Shift 2. Really like the driving model, but you’re right on about the aggressive drivers. Lost many a good lap because some ass rear ended me.

  • George Dudas

    I started F1 2010 last year with the new F1 season, and tried to learn each track in the game before it went live in real life. I did this until Shanghai, which was a very difficult course when you are playing with a controller. And I could not master that tracks for 2 weeks playing a couple of hours a week… I stopped playing (on the 360) because of this. I loved the game, but the controller is too hard to use on those longwinded curves… until recently. I discovered the Microsoft Speed Wheel, bought it and I was able to improve on Shanghai after a few hours… You have much more control when turning and braking… What I love about F1 is that you have to learn the track and that you don’t do 3 lap races… I have the game setup to 20 lap races (which takes about 30-40 minutes to complete if I do not restart)… there is no other racing game that let me do that. I think it is essential that you can drive more than 20, 30 laps per race. That is the race experience (I would recommend everyone to go to a kart course and try it)… thanks for this episode, looks like quite a few strategy gamers love their F1 racing…

  • tareq

    Well, I am not a racing fan but I have bought a logitech G27 about a month ago becuse I really wanted to get into racing games after playing some shift 2 and dirt games using a 360 controller on my PC.

    Now, I am not going to say that I have enjoyed this episode as much as i enjoyed and liked some of the other episodes. However, I am happy to listen and learn about something new from you guys. I think a flight sim/submarine sim episode (as Troy has mentioned) every now and then is cool, and i’ll be more than happy to download and listen to even though im not a big fan of either genere.

  • Mike Klaas

    I rather enjoyed the episode despite the last racing game I played being F-Zero.

  • Shaun

    David should consider a career in stand-up. A ‘pro’ driver that thinks there is no strategy in racing and the concept that 350-Zs and Lancers somehow establish motorsport cred? That is comedy gold.

    Well I like the episode a lot. Definitely something to be done sparingly, but at the same time interesting to hear 3MA-style discussion about something that isn’t strategy.

    However I was APPALLED that the entire episode passed and none of our astute hosts even hinted at the best turn (Eau Rouge) at the best track (Spa-Francorchamps). For shame.

    Rob/Troy/Jenn – any plans to step up to the more dense sims like GTR2/rFactor/iRacing? You can’t shell out the cash for a wheel and not take it to the logical conclusion. Right? ;)

  • Troy Goodfellow

    Jenn has some iRacing experience for sure.

  • Arckon

    I am glad 3MA did this podcast.

    I basically play 3 genres, strategy (turn-based), racing and rpg. While rpg can often be included in strategy podcasts, granted racing can not, but I would not have any objection to any future podcasts tackling a different genre on rare occasions.

    I do stress Rare though as I would prefer the majority of podcasts be on strategy, there are other podcasts available for general gaming.

  • Owen Macindoe

    Although I’m not a racing game fan and have only really played the arcadey variety I still found this podcast really interesting. As more of a core gamer I very rarely hear what it is that sports game fans, motorsports included, are really looking for in their gaming experience, so I don’t really have a framework for understanding what’s going on with them. This show helped give me the context for understanding why racing sim games are the way they are, what differentiates them from arcade racers, what makes one better or worse, and why anyone would care. For that alone I found it a fascinating episode, even if it wasn’t speaking directly to my gaming interests.