I’m really like getting e-mails. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike junk mail just as much as anyone, but I like e-mail. I suppose it is the same feeling some people used to get when they got a letter through the post, back in the day when people wrote letters. Instead I get e-mail, which are no doubt shorter, and subject to much worse prose than the letters of old, but I like them anyway.
This is why Laser Squad Nemesis (LSN) is the ideal game for me, as you play it by e-mail. LSN is written by the developers behind the X-Com series, and is the latest incarnation of the old classic Laser Squad. The game operates on both a turn-based and real-time model, and the game involves squad level tactics with each unit being one man, alien or droid. You take your turn and then you e-mail it to the servers, you opponent obviously does the same. When you get the results back you can play the results out, the real-time part, and then you take you next turn based on the outcome.
LSN seems to be one of those games that are easy to learn, but very hard to master, the signature feature of all good strategy games. There are three sides to play (Marines, Spawn and Machina), and each unit has unique features. You also have a mixture of standing orders that can be applied to each unit. In short, the tactics that can be used are numerous. A good guide for new players, such as me, can be found at The LSN Strategy Guide. The game is being constantly developed (a fourth faction to play, The Grey Collective is in development), it is free, though you have to subscribe for a relatively small amount to schedule games, and it has been voted 4th best strategy game of the year by PC Gamer. Also, if you were a big fan of the Space Hulk board game, just play LSN with one side being the marines and the other being the spawn and you can now play that game via e-mail!
So I’m playing my first game now, and will no doubt die very quickly at the hands of my opponent but, what the hell, it means something might appear in my in box every day or so that does not seem to involve teens and their web cams.