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January CGM

December 19th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

This months Computer Games Magazine arrived a little later than usual, and with a huge ad for Massive Magazine glued all the way around it. Though it’s great to know that I can get four issues of this wonderful publication for the low, low price of six dollars, I know that if I try to take it off, the whole thing will fall to pieces. And I like saving my magazines, because they make great research material.

It’s heavy with my words this month. Not only my usual column on obscure indie games (this month – Sword and Sandals, Winds of Athena and Toribash), but also my lengthy reviews of Caesar IV and the Warchiefs expansion for Age of Empires III. Also, the usual wargame stuff – WinSPWW2, Stalingrad ’42 and Defending the Reich. The table of contents promises previews of Carriers at War and Battlefront, but that seems to be a typo since you are treated to Dave Long’s views on Maelstrom instead.

Of the wargames, Defending the Reich is the clear winner. It reminds me a little of the campaign mode in Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe – there are turns in days, but then the battle unfolds in front of you. In SWotL you could jump into one of the planes and fight the battles, but here you just manage the air war. You set your priorities and hope that you can preserve/destroy enough bombers to last another day.

I’ll say more on my other reviews later. I want to do a big wrap-up on the three Roman city builders in a day or two, as well as emphasize that Warchiefs is the best expansion pack I’ve played this year, though I haven’t tried Dawn of War yet.

Other things to read? There is a great summary of board games you can buy, just barely in time for the holidays, as well as Brett Todd’s review of Thurn und Taxis, a really charming board game that I’ve mentioned before. This is amusing since the letters section also includes replies from readers about board game coverage in the magazine. I like it, myself. People complain about wargame coverage, too, I suspect.

Oh, and two letter writers think Kelly Wand is a girl. Well, one hedges his bets.


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