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wargames


from the me-too-dept. :)

Don talks about his favorite wargames. While I am always interested in the technology involved in games (which almost invariably involves the most cutting-edge software development of the day) I am not a gaming fan. Or, rather, make that a PC gaming fan. For years I played RPGs (Rolemaster was my favorite) for many years along with strategy and tactical games (such as Warhammer 40,000).

cnc1.jpgOn the PC I played extensively a couple of games (including, of course, Doom) but the one PC games that I keep coming back are those of the Command and Conquer series. The last one I've played is Command and Conquer: Generals (see screenshot, click on it to see a larger image). The online play is good, but unless you have friends online who are willing to actually play for fun instead of playing to advance in the rankings, online battles end up being short-lived affairs where the focus is on "rushing" your opponent before they rush you, which is entertaining for about 30 seconds.

There's a big difference, of course, on "fantasy" wargames such as C&C and the ones Don mentions, mainly in terms of logistics and resource management, which is the biggest tradeoff games like C&C have to make, i.e., sacrifice realism for "playability". In the real-world, supplies and logistics are as crucial as anything you can do in a battlefield, and historically it's been the case that it is the stretching of the supply lines that has played a major role in defeats or changes in strategy (In fact, if I remember correctly, in the Iraq war last year the forward units of the US Army advanced so far so fast that they outpaced their supply lines, leaving them to cross long distances without enough protection, which created the well-known security problems experienced by the supply convoys).

Anyway, if you like wargames and have never tried C&C, give it a shot (heh). (There even is an OS X version available, but I've tried the demo and it was quite slow -even on my G5 with 1 GB of RAM- so I wouldn't recommend it.) I haven't played C&C: Generals for months now, but if you've played and would like to meet up online, let me know :)--no rushing though! :-)

Categories: art.media
Posted by diego on July 9 2004 at 1:26 PM

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