eXplore, eXterminate

We are die-hard 4X and strategy game fans interested in all things 4X and strategy. We’ll be featuring Podcasts, Let’s Plays, Reviews, Previews, Q&A’s and news of our favorite genres, 4X and Strategy!

See our Review Policy

Rob “DevildogFF” Honaker (Emeritus)

Rob is the initial founder, having decided that he really wanted to bring the 4X community together. He was responsible for the website, so if you love it or hate it, blame him! He was responsible for article writing, Let’s Plays, Twitch streaming and the Twitter and Facebook accounts, too. He’s on every 4X forum he can find and has been passionately playing the genre since the original Civilization. He’s also an avid beta tester and loves participating in any 4X beta he can get his hands on! When he’s not playing 4X, he’s usually making his way through a classic RPG or the occasional adventure game!

Nasarog on SteamNate “Nasarog” Lobos

Nate co-founded eXplorminate and has many responsibilities at the site since Rob left the group. Some of his responsibilities include: recruiting, brainstorming podcast ideas, Steam group managing, review writing/editing, website maintenance, podcast curation and all around general organizer. Nasarog is involved in all the administrative stuff. He’s been playing 4X games since he first discovered Civilization 1. He has been an avid fan ever since. His favorites include: the Civilization franchise, Star Control series, Master of Orion series, Ascendancy, Sword of the Stars 1, Galactic Civilizations 2, Endless Space, Endless Legend and Age of Wonders 3. He tends to focus on one or two games at a time and has accrued hundreds of hours on many of the best in the genre. He is currently eXplorminate’s native Mac gamer.

You can email him at Nasarog74 at gmail dot com or click his avatar above to find him on Steam.

MarloweMicah “Marlowe” Dutro

Micah is an eXplorminate word-smith, regular podcast contributor, and a budding Youtube Let’s Player. Micah began his 4X journey in the mid-1990s with Master of Orion 2. He enjoys good tactical combat and an immersive world in a 4X game. Micah is our resident retro gamer and  is our main Let’s Player for our Classics eXcavation series of videos, where we dive in to games from the first golden era of 4X gaming. When he is not playing 4X games, you can catch Marlowe enjoying his guilty pleasures: Adventure games, Action-RPGs, and Space Simulators.

Friend him on Steam by clicking his avatar above!

DaveyDave “Daveheart” Gywnne (Emeritus)

Dave is an eXplorminate reviewer, article editor, occasional podcast contributor, and the site’s token Scotsman. He’s a born and bred Scot, now living in the USA. During the day, he works as an educator and summer camp director, while freelancing as a writer/editor. At night, he becomes a videogame enthusiast. He also enjoys reading, talking and learning, all of which he has been practicing from an early age. Davey’s first experience with 4X gaming was with the genre-defining classic, Master of Orion 2. After that, he was hooked. Some of his favorite titles include Ascendancy, Imperium Galactica, Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, and Amplitude Studios’ Endless Space & Endless Legend.

Friend him on Steam by clicking his avatar above!

KearonDallin “Kearon” Holden

Dallin is eXplorminate’s youtube producer, twitch channel producer and Civilization franchise lover. He has always been drawn to strategy games of various types beginning with the original Warcraft and Starcraft. While he continues to enjoy RTS games to this day, his initiation into 4X genre began with Civilization III. Though the Civilization games were the extent of his 4X exposure until a few years ago, he hasn’t stopped playing the series. Kearon now bounces between many different 4X games, he is a sucker open world games and virtually anything by Blizzard. He’s also been able to sink a lot of hours in to both Age of Wonders 3 and Galactic Civilizations 3 and we consider him the resident expert of sorts on both titles.

Friend him on Steam by clicking his avatar above!

young-frankenstein_highresOliver “Mezmorki” Kiley

Oliver is a perpetual dabbler of all-things gaming. This includes: game playing, game theory-crafting, game designing, game blogging, game criticizing, and of course game gaming. His interests span from strategy to FPS games, from tabletop miniature and boardgames to PC and mobile games.  Oliver was first bitten by the 4X bug with Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, although other 4X favorites include Armada 2526, Starbase Orion (on iOS), and Age of Wonders III.

Oliver loves games where relative simplicity creates opportunities for deep and emergent strategic decisions. He considers immersion, challenge, and narrative to be central to enduring and memorable games. He does what we can to advocate against the dumbing down of games (and the dumbing down of everything in general). He combats this trend by writing extraordinarily lost articles whenever he can as a staff contributor to eXplorminate, on his own blog Big Game Theory!, and throughout the gaming communities he touches.

Friend him on Steam by clicking his avatar above!

Troy_AvatarTroy “TC” Costisick

 Troy is an eXplorminate reviewer, occasional podcaster, newest YouTube contributor, assistant administrator, and old-school gaming enthusiast who joined the team when he was called upon to help.

When Civilization 1 came out, Troy bought it on a whim due to his love of history. He became hooked on 4X games immediately and added Master of Magic, Colonization, Age of Wonders, and several other titles to his collection. He took some time off from 4X games during the MMORPG craze of the 2000’s, but is back now and loving games like Worlds of Magic, Sorcerer King, and Civilization 5.

Troy also has experience in developing tabletop role-playing games. To date, he’s self-published six titles, though with his 4X addiction returning, it is doubtful we’ll see much from him in the future.

 Friend him on Steam by clicking his name above!

BenBen “rogue_LOVE” Martin†

Ben is an eXplorminate editor and content contributor. He is also a self-conscious Minnesotan, reluctant hipster, and lover of puns. A lifelong gamer, he cut his teeth on Sega Genesis and early Apple classics (see? hipster), and discovered his love of strategy gaming with the release of Civilization II for Macintosh. He also enjoys games with strong narratives, particularly adventure and RPGs, with a special soft spot for Roguelikes (hence: name). Some of his favorites include Exile II, Alpha Centauri, Escape Velocity, Baldur’s Gate, Morrowind, Mass Effect, Distant Worlds, Tales of Maj’Eyal, and Dominions 4.

His other interests include theater, literature, anime, and classical music. He plans to graciously leave Nate’s claim on the title of resident eXplorminate Mac gamer uncontested.

Email him at bmartin2009@ gmail dot com or click his avatar above to find him on Steam!


Joshua “Gwydion” Jacobs

Joshua is an eXplorminate reviewer and editor. He has been playing 4X games since the days when it was all big grey squares and thin brown lines. He entered the genre through the gateway of Civilization (the original), but truly fell in love with it after Master of Magic (also the original. Sadly, also the only).  When Joshua isn’t taking over the universe in Civilization V or Endless Legend, he’s playing games like Mario Kart and Galak-Z on the consoles and Forbidden Stars and Splendor on the boards. When he’s not gaming, he’s writing. Usually about gaming.

His Steam name is a reference to one of his favorite book series of all time, The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander.

birdythumb tight crop

Brittany “BirdyBot” Chell (Emeritus)

Brittany is eXplominate’s newest and first female member. She’ll be focusing on Youtube Let’s Plays, but you’ll see her showing up in reviews and the occasional podcast. Brittany has been fascinated by 4X strategy games, ever since her first exposure playing Lords of the Realm II and the Heroes of Might and Magic series. She delights in the narrative that can be created between the player and the game. She’s also madly in love with the Roguelike genre and vertical learning curves. Her current list of favourite games includes Cities: Skylines, Distant Worlds, Crusader Kings II, Civ V and Dwarf Fortress. When she’s not staying up to the wee hours of the morning playing computer games, Brittany indulges in tabletop games and fantasy/science fiction novels.


Chris “sgtshaggy” Massey

Chris is an eXplorminate reviewer. He discovered the site through the podcast. After listening to Rob and Nate for a couple of months, Chris decided to knock on the eXplorminate door and offer his pen. Strangely enough, they opened the door and let him walk right in!

Chris has been an avid gamer since he was a wee tot, discovering 4x way back in the day when Civilization was rocking his 486 SLC50. However, it was the original Master of Orion that reeled him in. Nowadays, he plays most everything, on every possible system his thin wallet can afford, but the PC is still his bread and butter. Some of his current favorites include Heroes of the Storm, Destiny, Beyond Earth, XCOM ’12, World of WarCraft, Company of Heroes, Age of Wonders III and too much more.  

Email him at sgtshaggy@gmail dot com


Mark “Army Pea” Marksson

Mark has a videogame resume that reads like an extreme collage of different genres. Mark started out with games like Civilization, Warcraft, Doom, Wolfenstein, X-Com and King’s/Space Quest, leading to a life long appreciation of PC gaming.

In the succeeding years, as the industry developed, Mark found himself in competitive Starcraft ladder matches, playing (too much) Counter-Strike beta, and eventually allocated a rather scary amount of time to World of Warcraft. Through all of these different genres there was one that always remained constant throughout his life: 4X. Civilization (Including every sequel) started it all but what followed was a long list of classic 4X games like Master of Magic, Master of Orion 1/2, Imperium Galactica 1/2 and several others.

Mark eventually found his way to eXplorminate’s Steam page and discovered an amazing community that shared his passion for playing games that made you scream “ONE MORE TURN….” Army Pea now contributes to eXplorminate’s YouTube section and hopes to make great content for everyone to enjoy.


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