My tram-tastic experiment continues. Last time I built up Tramtown into a small city, and had begun the process of bringing everyone together with trams. My plans at the end of the last session were to build a large new residential area on the north bank of the river, to construct a second tram bridge and tram lines to allow people to travel around the whole city with only trams, and to ban cars from all commercial and industrial zones. Step one is establishing the new residential area.
Can you build a city that runs almost entirely on trams? That's the question I plan to answer with my latest Cities: Skylines production, inventively named 'Tramtown'. Tempted by a recent sale, I bought the Snowfall DLC - mainly for the trams. Unfortunately the snow part of the DLC comes as a new environment type to choose when making a new city, meaning that you must choose between snow forever or snow never - I chose no snow. There are a few snow specific mechanics like snow ploughs, but honestly the DLC seems a bit overpriced for what it offers. During a sale though, it felt reasonable given how much entertainment I've got out of the game overall... and I really did want those trams.
It seems that every time I get round to doing another post about Cities: Skylines, they've released a new patch or expansion. This time it was the After Dark DLC, which I haven't bought... yet... but we'll see a big visual difference in this AAR anyway thanks to the devs very generously including the day/night cycle in the free patch accompanying the game, very wisely helping to not split the player base and the modders between those who own the DLC and those who don't. Last time covered the slow start of my city - the concept being a big focus on public transport, and having all the main industrial and commercial areas in one big urban space, while everyone lives in smaller towns and villages spread across the rest of the map.
In my previous post about traffic management I said that I wanted to try building a city in a different manner to my usual dense grids, and decided that I might as well try both of my ideas at the same time - a city focused heavily on public transport, and also one with a lot of smaller villages and towns surrounding the central urban area. In game terms, this means I'm going to class residential areas outside the city centre as villages (low density residential only, usually no services) or towns (mostly low density but maybe some high density residential, low density commercial, some smaller services). All my industry and offices will be in the city centre, along with most of my commercial. We'll see how it goes.
The early 20th century naval management and combat game Rule the Waves (and their earlier combat only game Steam and Iron) was first brought to my attention through one of Tim Stone's excellent Flare Path columns on RPS. I tried and enjoyed the demo of Steam and Iron, but the talk of designing, building and organizing your own fleet of ships was what really enticed me, so I settled down to wait for Rule the Waves. Another Flare Path column (which also captures what's so exciting about the game wonderfully) alerted me to the release, and so here I am in charge of the Italian navy from 1900 to 1925.
Since my last Vietnam '65 AAR back in March, there has been a large update which looks like it might address the concerns I had about difficulty - there's a new level of AI, fog of war, and bad weather, along with various other small changes that look good. So I'm going back for another engagement.
After going through the summary graphs, now is a good time to talk about how I felt while playing the game. You could be forgiven for thinking that I had to force myself through it, and at times (particularly early on) I would probably have quit if I hadn't committed to doing the AAR. The worlds of Endless Legend are full of unusual resources and ruins, but very little that really felt exciting to me. Too few of those resources really resonated as interesting or important - they provide extra bonuses when you're building or expanding cities, but there are so many I tend to just place cities where they'll catch the most special features in their area of influence without worrying too much about the details. While there were a few important mountain formations (like those near the coast where we fought an important early battle with the Broken Lords) I couldn't remember much else - the bottleneck piece of land we fought over in Saradh as well. Both areas defined by battles, which Endless Legend does very well. Depending on your army and faction, you'll be looking for different things. Playing as the Wild Walkers with a bonus in forests, I was keeping my armies to the woods, circling enemy cities to strike from a side with trees, and that was very cool. When you are moving an army or looking to start a fight, then I think the map becomes interesting. But in terms of general exploration, not so much.
My Endless Legend AAR (starts here) ended with a wonder victory as I constructed a huge temple after completing my faction quests. In the end I had no serious competitors, despite a few uncertain moments earlier on. I was classed as weak by the score charts, but felt fairly safe. Did I enjoy the game? Yes, though I wasn't fully enthused in the earlier stages, and I'm glad it didn't take much longer to earn my victory, to be honest. But that's a harsh summary, and there's far more contributing to those feelings than just the game itself. More below the line.
In the last entry I had fought my way to the Necrophage region of Saradh, destroyed the city there, and converted a local village to complete a stage of my faction quest. My armies were returning victorious. The next stage involved searching some ruins, which would be easy enough - but I need Palladian ore, a rare resource that I currently have no production in, even with my many converted villages. Time to head to the diplomacy screen to see if anyone has some they're willing to part with.
In my first attack on Glandeh, I'm a little cocky and just charge straight in, ignoring the fortification bonuses. The fortification level of a city can be reduced by a siege, but if you just attack then it provides an extra layer of armour on top of all defending units which must be cleared before you actually start dealing damage to the unit. In addition, I was a little surprised to see the Necrophage militia prove moderately effective against my units (in past experience city militia has been utterly useless, but maybe that's because I wasn't investing in city defence upgrades and neither were my opponents).
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.