GalCiv 2 - The 20 Day War

This is the most delightful piece of writing (within the sphere of gaming) that I’ve read all year.

This sounds a lot like how my 4X strategies usually wind up – I start out completely ignoring the military to expand and build infrastructure early on, realize too late how far behind I’ve fallen and in danger of being crushed I am, scramble to build a smaller-but-higher-tech defense force, hope for mercy from my enemies as I try to hold on to what I have, and pray for a miracle in the endgame as I either get crushed or manage to eek out a tech or diplomatic victory.

My motives aren’t nearly as involved though, so it’s nice to read someone else’s approach to it.

See, I start out in a similar manner, but 50 to 70% of my research goes into creating war awesomeness. I don’t build war machines until I have too, because I don’t like to create all of the first level bastards. They cost money and time I don’t to put forth until I absolutely have to. Then I’ll make a crush machine of war that will drastically outclass the others…usually.

Also, this kind of article brings me much joy. Well written, fun to read, and makes me want to play the game again. This is article and recent article in the Seattle Weekly about being a game tester are restoring my belief that there can be good game journalism beyond quick blurbs on things. Did this make it into the mag?

Well-written article, but could someone please explain to me what was with the author’s pathological aversion to negotiating? There’s roleplaying, and then there’s just being weird.

This article got me to pick up the expansion, and also sold two of my friends on GalCiv II. Stuff like this and Tom vs. Bruce in GFW helps me find games more than a lot of reviews; I’ve picked up Warlords Battlecry III, Age of Empires III, and Rise of Nations due to Tom vs. Bruce articles.


There’s a strategy I can get behind.

Lovely article. But shouldn’t “wreckless enthusiasm” be “reckless enthusiasm”? Or is that a UK thing?

I think most game mags/sites don’t get this. To really get a glimpse of a game through someones eyes as they play is about ten times the value of a few paragraphs and a score. Also, being able to make it interesting helps. :)

This would be a good tagline for a buddy cop action comedy starring Martin Lawrence and anyone else.

dammit to hell, how do i stop the images from getting resized. i have my about config set to resize image= false and yet firefox still shows the image at full size for a split second then resizes it so the text is all blurry.

Since you’ve instructed Firefox not to resize images, logic dictates that Firefox must not be resizing the image.

(and really, it isn’t. the web page is.)

Yeah, this is a feature of our site we like to call ‘sucking’. You can right-click the image and say “View image” to get it full-size.

I remember a preview I read for Total Annihilation along these lines that totally sold me on the game. I never had a game as ‘epic’ or ‘thrilling’ as the battle I read about, though, because I was pretty terrible at the game. But nevertheless, they’re fun to read.

This paragraph has me giggling helplessly for some reason:

ah, thanks for the tip. forgot to mention, great article. very funny. i liked how you stood by your principles and made the drengin look bad at the galactic council.

My favourite line is the moment where Tom paces his bedroom, in underpants, confused.

We’ve all been there.

Er… not in Tom’s bedroom in our underpants. You know.


I agree entirely. In fact, it’s almost enough to make me - oh, I don’t know! - go and write a manifesto about the importance of subjective experience in games writing that… oh, fuggeitit.


Er, yeah… a UK thing, that’s it. (Private aside to England: just play along, chaps). The awful truth is that because of the way it was updated, this whole thing went unsubbed. And I just discovered this week that I haven’t spelt ‘implement’ (v.) correctly in twenty-five years.

Tom that was an awesome read. Thanks for sharing your game and in such a funny manner. Awesome way to introduce folks to a game. We need more of this style reviewer writing.