Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Rockstar Games hit it big when they released Grand Theft Auto. Back then the game was 2D, which is to say two dimensional, and popular on the PC and Playstation platforms. The first incarnation was buggy but they made vast improvements when they released Grand Theft Auto 2, another top down 2D game and my second favorite in the series. Along came Grand Theft Auto 3 and the whole world tuned in with an opinion on the game, its violence, its sex, and its ability to let gamers do whatever they wanted.

Vice City is my favorite because it is the first GTA with period music, and music I really enjoy, plus it offers some sweet features like a wider array of weaponry and the ability to fly helicopters and drive motorcycles.

I’ve played Vice City ever since it came out, many moons ago as far as video games are concerned, and yet I’ve never beaten it. The plot, from its Wikipedia entry, is as such:

The player takes the role of Tommy Vercetti, who has recently been released from prison in Liberty City. While attempting to re-establish himself within the Forelli Mafia family, local boss Sonny Forelli sends Tommy to Vice City to supervise an important drug deal. At the exchange, masked gunmen kill several of the people involved in the trade, stealing both the drugs and the money Tommy was charged with protecting. Vercetti narrowly escapes and informs Sonny, who demands that Tommy get back both the “product” and the money. Both Sonny and Tommy wish to kill those responsible for the theft.

Much of the action in Vice City concerns Vercetti’s burgeoning criminal empire, spanning drug trafficking, murder for hire, counterfeiting, and protection. The player progresses through the game narrative by performing a series of missions, most of which involve criminal activities. This takes Vercetti from being a small-time hood staying in a beachfront hotel to being the city’s crime kingpin, but Sonny is looming over Tommy until he finally comes down to get his stuff personally.

As to my being stuck in the game I am beseeching everyone for some assistance. I need to rescue Lance in the junkyard. Every time I race there in a car, drive through the the waiting guards, and shoot anyone in the hangar I end up getting gunned down by some mysterious shooter.
Great game though. Lots of different choices. I know from previous experience that once Lance is rescued and you kill Diaz a lot looks up. You get a cool mansion with a helipad and room for lots of cars in the garage. You start earning 50 grand from the mansion. You can then start buying more properties including businesses that’ll earn you lots of cash, once you complete their missions.

What has your experience with Vice City been? What’s your favorite GTA game? Why?

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Flames of War = WWII Goodness

I’ve been on the prowl for a good, new, miniatures game for some time. I play Starship Troopers, Babylon 5, 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Battlefleet Gothic, Warmachine and a slew of others but I’m cutting back and keeping just a couple of those. The money from selling off my other stuff will allow me to pick up one new game.

I looked around and considered Confrontation, expanding one of the other games, but then I came across Flames of War. Nick Payne, a pal I used to play BFG with several years ago, has gotten into FoW in a big way. He is an employee at Danger Planet Games in Waltham, Mass and last Thursday we got together after 2+ years of not seeing each other. We went to DP where I got to see its extensive FoW collection. I also had the pleasure of seeing a league final game between an American Armored Company and a German Panzergrenadier Company. We left before the end but I was hooked.
I’ve owned the core rulebook and the Hitler’s Fire Brigade book for quite awhile. Several years ago I considered a British Mechanized Infantry force but that died so I could focus on BFG. Games Workshop pulled the plug on that game shortly thereafter. This time around I thought I’d try a Panzerkompanie. I already own the book for it, Hitler’s Fire Brigade, so why not?

The game is put out by Battlefront Miniatures, which is an outfit based out of New Zealand. These guys really know their stuff. The rules are incredible, the models amazing, and they provide constant free updates. They have a series of books that tackle different types of armies and periods of the war. The game covers Early, Mid (the most popular), and Late War.

I bought my Hitler’s Fire Brigade, updated and balanced rules for using German Armored Forces, on eBay for a pittance. Since then an updated version came out but instead of forcing gamers to buy a new book the kind people at Battlefront give it to us for free. That’s right, they give us a free updated book in the form of online downloads. I downloaded and printed out the updates for HFB, 11 pages in total, in no time. Each page has updates for the entire book. Simply cut out and paste the sections over the sections in the book and you have the updated version. Each page tells you exactly where you need to paste the section. I had no trouble doing this and I spent perhaps 20 minutes on the entire process. Not bad since I saved myself $25 instead of buying the updated book.

Speaking of updated books I should mention that within a week or so version 2.0 of the game is coming out and that means a new, updated, core rulebook. Just like with their other books they are providing this updated core rulebook for free. If you already own the core rulebook, the old version 1.0 one, go to free, new, mini softcover rulebook to learn how to get this free updated book. Naturally, you may want the nice, new, hardcover version in which case you need to hit up your favorited retailer.

FoW has detailed models to accurately represent the different variations of vehicles for each period of the war. They have taken this care down to the smallest detail of even their infantry. Since this is a game where the models are smaller than those in say Starship Troopers this is even more astounding.

In closing here are some photos of the models taken from the official FoW website.

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CWF’s Rebirth

After a 2+ year and 37,000+ post run the Chromiates Wargaming Forums has closed its doors. It has closed them on its near 700 members with a heavy heart. A decline in activity and time has forced this decision.

But, out of its ashes the CWF Game Discussions Blog is risen. Why a blog? A blog format is easier to run and maintain from an administrative point of view. Additionally, it is quicker to update and relies less on a broad base of extensive user activity. Obviously we want you to post comments to our articles. But, it is up to our authors to make posts that are informative, fun, and regularly supplied.

Our motto is, “You play it, We discuss it.” That’s the truth. If you play it, we’ll discuss it. We have authors who will discuss the difficulty in getting in a game, the costs of gaming, mainstream miniatures game, online gaming, flash games, video games, and everything in between. We don’t claim to know it all but if we don’t have an answer we’ll find it out.

We brought along some of the gang from the CWF Forums and we’ll have some new friends along the way. We hope you’ll join us and that you’ll join in with comments of your own. Like CWF Forums, CWF Game Discussions is owned and operated by BLEE! Inc.
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