Comrade Opposes Imperialism

Last night EVE Online went down with database problems (and looks to have just come up as I am writing this… no… wait… it just went down again, never mind) so Potshot and I weren’t able to do anything in New Eden, like try out his shiny new covert ops ship.

So it was suggested we forgo outer space and return to the Age of Kings.

And on the subject of suggestions, it was suggested in a comment on my last post that we try GameSpy’s game matching service which is called Comrade.  We’re all for retro Soviet chic, which Comrade seems to have in abundance, so we thought we would give it a chance.

Unfortunately Comrade seemed much more interested in overthrowing those capitalist running dog lackeys over at X-Fire than helping a couple of techno-kulaks like us play our little imperialist games.  After another round of configuration, adjustments, and failure we consigned Comrade to the dustbin of history.  The high point of Comrade was that it let me make a “Microsoft .Nyet” joke.

Which brought us back to GameRanger.

I can say nothing but good things about the people who designed GameRanger.  They get it.  You install it.  You create an account.  You log in.  It works.

Seriously.  This is important.  If you’re running a game matching service and part of your configuration includes something like, “Now open up ports 2300-2400 on your firewall,” you’ve lost a good chunk of your potential audience right there.  And don’t say, “But you have to open those ports for us to work.”  (And when I do open all those ports as recommended and your service still doesn’t work….)

Go look at GameRanger.  That is how it is done.

In case it is still not clear who I am now recommending for Age of Empires II: Age of Kings internet game play, let me make it clear:

Endorsed by The Ancient Gaming Noob

Endorsed by The Ancient Gaming Noob

So we opened up GameRanger and started a game.

And now we had to remember how to play!

We set up a game on a small coastal map, I drew the Vikings and Potshot drew the Turks.  I used to know what strategy worked best for all of the empires, but all I could remember about the Vikings was… um… nothing.

While completely lost on combat, I at least remembered how to get my economy going.  Potshot beat me to the feudal age, getting there before I even started training it, but once my gathering was in gear I hit both castle and imperial ages first.  He began to harass me in the castle age, but at imperial I build a castle on his doorstep and started burning and pillaging.

And, in the grand tradition of the game, I had to hunt down his last unit before victory was mine.  I am so glad you can train a skill that lets you see enemy units in the castle.  I remember games of the original Age of Empires where we spent long stretches of time trying to find somebody’s lone peon hidden away somewhere.

So we had our first successful over-the-internet game of Age of Kings!  Go us!

Now I have to get out on the net and see if there is a nice guide to the strengths and weaknesses of each of the empires.

8 thoughts on “Comrade Opposes Imperialism

  1. rcurrie

    I’m sorry for leading you astray with Comrade. I’m glad you finally got up and running with GR though!


  2. smakendahed

    “play your friends online”

    So… you’re not playing as you, you’re playing as one of your friends? :)


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    That was certainly better than the other service that let you “play your wife” online. (cue Biggles quote)

    Ambiguity is such a rich source of humor.


  4. syncaine

    Is this the same GameRanger that started as a Mac-only game match server? I use to play Majesty multiplayer all the time over that service, and it was indeed really great in it’s simple yet effective style, and the only service of it’s kind back then for the Mac.


  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    In reading their little “about” blurb, they do mention that they started as a Mac-only service and then expanded into the Windows market.

    I am not sure what their revenue model is, but they appear to have been around for a while, so they have to be making money somehow. I am going to guess that they license their technology to other companies and that this free service is their tech demonstrator.


  6. Dorgol

    Re: EvE –

    I started a trial account at the insistance of a buddy last weekend. Now I’m getting kicked off the server every few hours. I enjoy ribbing him on how unstable his game is… :)


  7. Melf_Himself

    I’ve been playing this with my girlfriend lately (hence using LAN and avoiding your problems). My tactic consists primarily of going British and cranking out / upgrading longbowmen til the cows come home :)


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