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Ageod stays in America

November 4th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Ageod, the developers of the excellent Birth of America, have announced that they are working on a Civil War game. It will allow players to recruit regiments as include political and economic elements that were absent from the earlier Revolutionary War title. AMERICAN CIVIL WAR – Our Hearts were touched with Fire will obviously be a strategy game, not a wargame.

The interesting thing here is Ageod choosing to remain in the Western Hemisphere. Philippe Thibaut’s past is all European.

Is it the subject matter? Maybe. But I think it’s more a commercial impulse. Think about it. Though his board game Europa Universalis was eventually made into a monster PC strategy hit, Thibaut’s Euro-games have been failures. Pax Romana was ten great ideas that failed under publisher pressue and basic design confusion. Great Invasions had one or two interesting concepts but was too bloated and confusing to really work.

Then comes Birth of America. Almost out of nowhere. This is a very, very good game, primarily because of its simplicity. It also scratches an itch because it covers 18th century warfare in a frontier environment. While it’s hard to tell how big a hit it has been, it was picked up by Strategy First after strong critical reception and great word of mouth. All of a sudden, Ageod and Thibaut have an American audience.

And Americans love the Civil War. Brother versus brother, industrial might versus Southern “gentility”, freedom versus slavery. Most importantly, lots and lots of battles.

No news on a release date or development schedule. When I interviewed Thibaut last year, he said that he was working on a number of other games, but the only one that I knew about wasn’t a Civil War game. Has this been in development for a while? Will we see it soon?

I’ll try to get some answers. But for now, I have something else to look forward to in the new year.


7 Comments so far ↓

  • Bruce

    So after over a decade without a strategic-level Civil War wargame, we’re about to get two: one from Ageod, and one from Western Civilization Software. Based on their previous games, I’m looking forward much more to the Ageod product.

  • Troy

    Has it been that long? Wasn’t there a time when we were lousy with these things?

  • Bruce

    I don’t think so. There have always been plenty of tactical Civil War games, including SSG’s Decisive Battles series, Sierra’s Civil War Generals, and all the stuff from HPS. But as far as strategic games go, I can only think of Frank Hunter’s Sumter to Appomattox, The awful Blue & Gray game from Impressions, and one more from the guy who did The Napoleonic 1813-1814 game. And, of course, there was North & South for the Amiga. But great as it was, that wasn’t a wargame. That’s all I can think of: three games since 1993 or so.

  • Troy

    And there was No Greater Glroy from SSI in 1991. So yeah, there weren’t many strategic level games. Just a spate of them when I was in college, so it looked like there were more than there were. Memory is a funny thing.

  • baby arm

    2 By 3 Games has one in the works. And so does Frank Hunter (or so the rumor goes). The ACW is going to be the new WWII eventually, mark my words.

  • Bruce

    Frank Hunter needs to finish some of his other games, like Guns of August and Black Powder Wars, before he starts thinking about making a new Civil War game. While I would welcome a lot of new ACW games, my guess is that it can’t become the next WWII because it doesn’t have enough cool things, like tanks and machine-gun teams.

    The irony is that the standard these games need to meet is not a computer game, but GMT’s For the People, which is a boardgame but nevertheless is the best game about the American Civil War I’ve seen yet.

  • Michael A.

    Promising news. Having had some discussions with Pocus (the Age0D developer) on other matters, I am already looking forward to this.