Grognard Wargamer Thread!


Like the one depicted in the first screenshot here

Jagdtigers! Pershings! Nebelwerfers! Baltimore, the Stalingrad of alt-WW2 (that looks like a hexagonal impression on Maryland?).


My God, so much interesting stuff coming up…


And The Wargamer is drooling over it and doing backflips. Why am I not surprised? Ad copy dressed as an article.


What is the compulsion of beer and pretzel game designers to continually reinvent Panzer General? It was always a pretty opaque and unrealistic feeling system back twenty five years ago.


(Which is why I liked Unity of Command so much - a quick and abstracted system that feels more than a slow gamey grind with unrealistic unit scaling)


You got me Preachy. And for the article to refer to it as “Operational” is almost high comedy.


Agreed UoC is fantastic, and easily my most anticipated game of 2019. Even more so than the soon to release At the Gates.


I have always suspected that game kept track of how far ahead you are in an scenario with respect a set baseline and started throwing at you “Rugged Defense” events.


Sure, I mean we could just be grumpy all the time I guess, if that would make you feel better.


Well, it wasn’t an article, it was ad copy that looked like one. Breathless. Bet I wouldn’t read that sort of thing here.


I’m the Editor, it’s kind of my job, but It’s the way you say “ad copy” that kind of grates on me.

We’ve had this discussion already so I actually don’t mind that you think we’re too positive - it’s a very valid point and it’s something I can look at, but I find that kind of terminology professionally offensive. Taking money for positive coverage is a serious allegation in my world.


1.) Joe, if I heard more from you here than defenses of the Wargamer, I’d take convos with you more seriously. I’m done discussing things with you if the only time I hear from you is about Wargamer.

2.) And saying a game is “highly anticipated” and “Operational “ when it is dressed up Panzer Leader reads exactly like ad copy. That article reads like the developer emailed your author a blurb of taglines to release. I’m just riffing on my iPhone now, but I’ll be happy to really critique it later EST for you, but it looks blatantly freaking obvious to me.

Oh , hey!

“ Add to that an aggressive and adaptive AI that Maxim promises scales meaningfully for beginners and seasoned grogs alike, and Klotzen! has the makings of an exciting entry into the Panzer General pantheon.”

Reads like Ad copy.


1.) Can’t argue with that. I do try to participate in other threads but I find it hard to contribute meaningfully in this one.

2.) A wide range of examples so I’m not going address each of them, but I can guarantee you 100%, no-one talks to us when we put these things together.

The fact that you feel it reads like ad copy is probably down to the tone, which is generally positive (at worst, some hyperbole) and in many respects will be derived from what information is publicly available. The “highly anticipated” title was actually written by me, because why not - I like to get excited about these things.

If it turns out to be rubbish we’ll deal with that at review stage. Panzer Strategy was a bit naff so I don’t have high hopes for Strategic Mind (which is a rubbish name for a game).

Also UoC2 does look pretty. Sue me.


To be fair to editors everywhere, hearkening back to my days with the blue pen, preview coverage is almost universally positive, because that’s the nature of the beast. You get early access to unfinished product, access that is doled out by the publishers, with the expectation that you will take into account the, well, unfinished nature of the product. It’s pretty much true across the board that preview coverage will touch only briefly on stuff that seems “off,” because at this stage there is a general, shared agreement to assume that a lot of flaws will be fixed by the time the game ships. To assume otherwise not only makes your publication seem churlish, it pretty much guarantees you won’t get as good access, or any at all, for future products, even if you turn out to be correct. You save the hard-hitting commentary for actual reviews.

One can I think justifiably critique the choice of words or the tone of a preview, absolutely, and arguments of what is “operational” or not are perfectly legit in my view. Previews don’t have to be gushing, either; they should be upbeat but retain a sense of judgment deferred rather than judgment tossed out the window. That being said, terms like “highly anticipated” are pretty anodyne. Someone, somewhere, is jazzed about Game X, and it’s pretty much a trope now to call most things highly anticipated. Not my cup of tea, as an editor or writer, but I don’t find it offensive. And really, sometimes previews have to be based nearly totally on press materials rather than actual builds. God knows I wrote enough short previews way back when with little more than a spec sheet and a lot of imagination.


My issue, if you read the quote, was that it gushed. Period. It stopped just short of saying “You just have to buy it.”

That ain’t a preview it’s a softsell.

And @AGameOfJoes, publicly available statements to include descriptive qualitative adjectives from the developer themselves probably leads to breathless ad copy-soundling hype.


And my point is that “gushing” is in the eye of the beholder :). I fully get why their tone bugs you–I’m not a fan of the site myself, though I’m pretty hard to please anyhow–but I guess from my perspective “gushing” is pretty much what previews usually end up being. It is the nature of the beast IMO. There is a real art to writing a preview that is positive, not gushing, informative, but not a shill, and which reserves judgment while still implicitly encouraging the reader to get excited about the game. And most publications today, on the Web, don’t pay enough to get that kind of finesse.


Why I never read that site, unless @MiquelRamirez posts something. Then I get to see the breathless tone or the lovingly uncritical review and get reminded again. But this is the last time I will engage @AGameOfJoes in conversation unless he brings something else to the table.

It is not the last time I’ll have an opinion about his website’s content, if it gets posted here. But I certainly am not seeking it out. I don’t much like it, for the aforementioned reasons I stated and you mentioned.


This is actually very interesting, and @TheWombat touched on this as well. It’s not supposed to be a ‘preview’ in the sense that I know the word. We weren’t aiming to give actual impressions of the game to inform any kind of pre-purchase decision.

The only purpose of the article was to collect and highlight what games we know exist and are coming out in 2019. And yeah, we went with the positive tone because computer war games is an under-served niche and I for one am just glad these kinds of projects are still getting made.

All the genuine critique, in theory, is mean’t to happen at the review stage, although I take @Navaronegun’s criticisms on that particular point. I generally don’t go for many actual previews anymore because as Wombat pointed out, they’re problematic.

With specific regards to the use of “operational”… probably my bad, I don’t really fall anywhere on that particular debate so it’s likely I let too many mis-uses of that term slip through.

@Navaronegun Completely fair, and for what it’s worth I’m sorry. But on the other hand I don’t think it’s fair that you can expect to casually back-hand our content and our writers like that without some kind of response.

I know you don’t seek it out, but just like you want me to talk about something else, surely if your own opinions haven’t changed (because we haven’t fixed what you dislike), then do your opinions really need re-stating?


Your use of this term indicates to me that you may be being a bit too oversensitive in your reaction to criticism.

I’ll respond to your question about what would make me read Wargamer. One is a rewrite if that preview blurb here that I ‘ll do later; an example of how to do one without being breathless (part of that is not copy/pasting sentences from the developer’s site or whatnot). Another, which we’ve discussed would involve you having reviews that actually use critique and different methodologies (compare/contrast, etc.). But the last time you showed up here (once again, to defend content) it was expressed by you that doing so was in the too-hard-to-implement category.


Well SPQR charged two weeks ago and Empire of the Sun 3rd Edition charged two days ago. Anti-divorce measures will certainly have to be activated.