Welcome to the Electron Dance Advent calendar. Each day will bring another post from the archives.

Armageddon Empires Map

Have you read the incomplete Armpit Empires posted between 29 April 2010 and 1 April 2011?

I didn’t want this Advent calendar to just be all the “best bits” of Electron Dance. Today I’m linking a curiosity from the very beginnings of the site: Armpit Empires!

After a recommendation from RPS that Vic Davis’ Armageddon Empires was fun, if you could just get over its bastard GUI and learning curve, I bought a copy. I think a few empty nights on a business trip is when I found the time to break the back of the game – and I was sucked into it. I had no history of deckbuilding games so I couldn’t be bothered with any of that, so just relied on the default decks that came with the game.

Soon I became too good at Empires and the game lost its challenge. I decided to turn my knowledge into a series of tips with a humorous edge to them. I also referred to myself in the third-person back then and used the pseudonym “HM” – some old-timers still use this handle or “Harbour Master” out of habit. I planned ten short posts but only wrote nine of them. For at least two years I still thought I would go back and finish the series but I didn’t want people to unsubscribe from the RSS feed after reading Part X of a series they never heard of.

I still find it amusing; it’s not aged in that sense. That whole episode where I lost the game to a spider-drone – a miniature unit used for surveillance – was actually true:

If even the most pathetic excuse for an enemy unit arrives at your unsecured base, such as a relatively harmless spider bot, it will slip in and heat laser every man, woman and child to dead death smouldering crisp. All your base belong to them. And it will be your fault.

But unless you’ve played the game, probably no one knows what the hell I’m talking about. My intensely happy memories of Armageddon Empires made me buy Occult Chronicles but I always get hung up on the rules. One of these days you will get that brilliant piece I’ve wanted to do for a long time which compares Occult Chronicles to Elder Sign: Omens.

(You know, I’d probably lurvvvve Netrunner if I knew anyone in the reals world who played it.)

Go read it!

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