Currently Playing…

…Battle for Wesnoth.
Multiplayer, even. Usually I’m not good at any game played against people, but I’m turning out to be decent at this.

I’ve worked out my best tactic – read, the one I’m best at pulling off, thus far – is to be really annoying with quick units, and temporarily steal villages that I can’t keep, as it still decreases the opponent’s income for their next turn, even if they retake it instantly.
In the best case scenario, they don’t take it back, and I’ve got extra gold each turn.

The Undead, followed by Drakes, are probably best for this, as they have flying units mostly unbothered by terrain. The Knalgan Alliance, though it has a flying unit, is worst out of the ones that can reliably do this, as the unit is much more costly than most others available. The Undead flying unit (Bat) is very cheap at 13 gold, and as it’s still alive, it can pick up traits, unlike most of the other Undead units. Drakes are more expensive, with the cheapest flier (Drake Glider) coming in at 16 or 17 gold, but are much more durable than Bats, so they can sit on villages for longer.
There are a couple of methods to defend against this kind of tactic; leaving your own units on villages so scouts can’t just occupy them – scouts aren’t as capable fighters as others, so they don’t stand much chance of dislodging other units –  but this ties up a fair portion of your units, even if you restrict it to where enemy scouts fly. Keeping a number of high-mobility units around expressly for dislodging scout units is also a decent idea, but depending on what else the enemy is doing, this still ties up units and may prevent them from taking part in the main conflict.

Best-to-Worst Factions, when I’m trying to play them:

Drakes – formerly right at the bottom, as I just couldn’t ever win with them, but something must have clicked with them recently. Brilliant on deserts.
Undead – cheap units with very nice mobility, and handy resistances. Oh, and a glass cannon, too. No healer, though.
Loyalists – well, they’re humans.
Rebels – great in forests, sort of ‘meh’ elsewhere. Saurians get nearly the same bonuses in trees, too.
Northerners – no healer units, and somewhat fragile.
Knalgan Alliance – no healer units, again, and somewhat fragile, again. Plus their scout is horrendously expensive.

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Miniview: Soul Nomad & the World Eaters (PS2)

I love:
…the fighting system reminiscent of Ogre Battle; each of your units on a map is really a collection of four or more characters with set moves depending on where you place them. When you direct your units to fight, you see each character in the unit attacking the enemy unit in a non-interactive sequence. It’s pretty close to that old SNES game, as far as the actual fights are concerned, and on the whole the game is more army-like than squad-like than all the other NI games I’ve seen.
…being able to randomly bully, steal from or kidnap any NPC you can chat to outside of a cutscene. Or to randomly be kind, instead.

I like:
…the graphical style. Nippon Ichi games have always been an example of why pixel-based graphics aren’t necessarily worse than 3D models. The sprites are the usual nicely-drawn pixel pieces, whilst maps are… well, literally maps, drawn as something you’d unfurl on a table. I can’t say I love the change, but at least it looks nice, as usual. Disgaea 2’s maps were a bit ugly in places.
…playing in a mortal world, rather than a Netherworld. I don’t know why, but I always preferred the setting of Phantom Brave to that of Disgaea or Makai Kingdom. Maybe it’s actually having a world map? Netherworld games aren’t particularly supportive of those, taking place over one or more Netherworlds linked by dimensional gates. Pity there isn’t even as much to do on the world map as there is in any ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’-esque game.

I loathe:
…how this game is pretty much out-of-stock everywhere by now. I missed this game when it first came out, and ended up paying extra for the copy I just bought. Worth it, but… oww, my wallet.

Verdict:
Very worth picking up… if you see it anywhere. It IS different from the usual fare, like how Phantom Brave was, but like Phantom Brave, it’s not disappointing.