The original Stronghold holds a special place in my heart. You build a medieval barony, surround it with a labyrinth of impassable walls, and stave off waves of attackers while keeping the serfs living within happy, well-fed, and well-taxed. It had real character too, with a lovely soundtrack, snappy unit soundbites, and memorable villains.
Stronghold: Warlords feels a million miles away from that game. It’s the most sprawling entry series in the yet—largely abandoning the principle of building a feudal gauntlet for waves of enemies in favor of a more traditional RTS setup featuring larger maps and symmetrically placed enemy bases.
The warlords system is the twist here. Beyond your base and the enemy’s, there are several smaller estates on the map held by neutral warlords. Defeat these warlords and they’ll join your side, sending you resources on demand, offering mini-forts to shelter your troops, and even launching attacks on your enemies.
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PLAYING EASY MODE IN MOUNT & BLADE 2: BANNERLORD
The fine line between heroics and horror.
HAVING A NICE HOLIDAY IN FAR CRY
Is it possible to stay out of trouble and just enjoy the views?
INTEL CORE i5 12600K
This impressive bit of hardware shows how a little architecture can make a big difference.
INVISIBILITY IN GAMES
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CIRCLING THE DRAGONS
FromSoftware’s ELDEN RING is a fraught and fascinating balance between expansiveness and intrigue.
THE FINAL DAZE
FINAL FANTASY XIV: ENDWALKER goes big and brings it home
Watch this space, I’m pulling offsweet moves in spaceship RPG CHORUS
VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE— BLOODLINES
Troika’s last hurrah has aged like fine wine.
“I just never have any idea where I'm supposed to go next…”
All who wander are not lost in JEDI KNIGHT II: JEDI OUTCAST
“Out pops my head to take in the surroundings, and a wave of guilt hits”
Curiosity (almost) killed the dwarf in the excellent DEEP ROCK GALACTIC
Buzkashi: Afghanistan's Traditional Sport
The history of Buzkashi dates back to ancient times, and the name of this sport means killing goats, which is taken from the hunting of mountain goats by horse heroes.
WHY THE WINCHESTER PRE-'64 MODEL 70 STILL MATTERS
MOSTLY LONG GUNS
THE EQUESTRIAN'S CAVE
Recent discoveries in western Mongolia suggest that nomadic horsemen may have invented a revolutionary technology
CYBERSECURITY AND TRAVEL
Techniques to Keep Your Digital Footprint Safe, Both Stateside and Abroad
Chegg: Unique Online Learning
Chegg is an online learning service and app that offers students help in a few ways.
Anthony Ha and Sadie Mae Burns
Their Ha’s Dac Biet pop-up preceded the pandemic.
MIND GAMES: The Psychology of Board Games
What is the mind? For the ancient Greeks, the idea of the mind was synonymous with the concept of “soul.” Plato believed the psyche was immortal and became wiser and more perceptive after death. More recently, Freud and Jung refined the idea of seele (soul) as a subset of the overall psyche, that which governs thought and behavior — in short, personality. As a game designer and armchair psychologist, I am fascinated by what makes games tick. But even more, I love to discover what makes players tick. Games are products of the human mind, and the mind is the arena on which the contest is played. All the aspects of cognition — perception, thinking, judgment, language, memory, and more — play into the game experience.
It wasn’t in my power to mend a broken heart, but I sent needle and thread, with chocolates for good measure
Live & Learn in Lockdown
Just because you’re quarantining doesn’t necessarily mean your brain stops. On a screen near you, there’s a world beyond
This Marine veteran was tormented by memories of the Vietnam War. Learn how music was his salvation