DIVING INTO STRATEGY GAMES
By - FishinSands
I love the Anno series of strategy games. They're real time strategy based around building up a city while making sure its needs are met by making products for the different levels of citizenry. There are loads of them now but I'd recommend Anno 1404 as the best, and 1800 not far behind it. 2070 is a good futuristic based one as well.
I found frostpunk was fairly similar and really addictive as well. I'd recommend looking into it.
Ooh I got that for free on epic recently but not played it yet. So glad to hear this news 😁
FYI Frostpunk is very emotionally draining. You're set up to fail, make hard decisions in lose-lose scenarios. Any time you think you're at a positive place with resources and providing for your citizens, the game tosses another curveball. By the end of the game you're exhausted.
I wouldn't call it fun, necessarily. Definitely engaging, and hardcore strategy gamers will see it through to the end. But I don't ever see myself playing it again. No desire to check out the DLC.
Oh god, thanks for the heads up, I didn't realise that. Sounds a bit like This War of Mine. Just bleak, no matter what you do!!
Frostpunk is a great game, but I find it less interesting than Anno. Depending on how you configure the AI (or just drop AI players alltogether) Anno is a relaxing game you can pretty much play at your own pace. It has big maps and you can spend countless hours on the same savegame to create your own little slice of paradise. Frostpunk on the other hand has you on a race against the clock on a relatively small map and eventually the cold will consume you.
Again, Frostpunk is a great game with a great atmosphere, but the constant battle against time does not lend itself well to a relaxing experience. Unlike Anno that lets you play indefinitely at your own leisurely pace. Also, I haven't played Frostpunk in years, so if new game-modes or mechanics have been added that allow you to hold off the cold indefinitely, this commentary is not valid.
As for OP, I recommend you try Men of War: Assault Squad 2. Much more in-depth and realistic than CoH and in single-player you can adjust the gamespeed to pause or slow down the game while you scout out the map or want to do some quick micro-managing.
Not played many strategy games but played Frostpunk on Xbox through GamePass
Can attest to what you’re saying, Frostpunk is STRESSFUL
Which to be fair fits with the whole depressing angle the game has but still not what I’d call relaxing
Really enjoyed it still
Stressful sure but so worth it
Ah no, I really don't enjoy games where you're against the clock. Like you say, Anno is such a relaxing, satisfying experience. Frostpunk sounds like the complete opposite!
1404 is a great game, but weird.
You can't make an army if your food is too bland.
Does it have wars or just city management?
It has some combat, where you build ships that can attack others but it doesn't go as far as wars. The focus is very much empire management. You don't just have one city, each map has different islands you can inhabit and build on. The game isn't just great to play, it's absolutely gorgeous as well.
Might try it, is it hardware heavy? I encounter lag on total war and civ towards late game.
As much as I like Anno the combat is very meh if thats what your after its not the game for you. If you did want to play it they all play very similar so you can pick up one of the older ones to avoid hardware issues. The one you like the most is probably with the one with the setting you like the most as they vary from medieval to space.
I wouldn't even call it meh, I'd call it crap! I had zero interest in that side of things so it's good you can still play the game properly without that aspect of things if you set the game up to your liking.
Yeah the combat has always been shit. The only reason why I like that it’s still included is because I think it’s cool to build warships and military buildings as “decoration” for your settlements.
I'm honestly not sure how hardware heavy they are but 1404 is pretty old by now so it should be fine. 1800 is the most recent and probably needs a decent rig.
Anno is quite hardware heavy, available on GeForce now though if you would want to give it a shot there though
Yeah I have to recommend the Anno series as well, I pick them up every now and again when there’s a new one out. The combat really isn’t the main focus, it’s very basic and more of an option for those that want more variation than just city/empire building. I mostly just build warships to have them sitting in my harbor and look cool. The gameplay loop of creating industries, infrastructure and ever-expanding supply chains is incredibly satisfying and there’s a reason why the series has gone on for so long and is still popular. There’s a wide variety of settings depending on your preference, all the way from the 1400’s to the 23rd century. My personal favorite is Anno 2070.
And as the other guy said, the games, especially the newer ones are absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know what hardware you have, but most definitely on the higher graphical settings many computers will struggle.
Anno 1404 still looks good but it's old enough that it shouldn't cause you hardware problems.
1800 is the newest one (also probably one of the best ones IMO), and it is hardware heavy. FSR might help, but still needs a good CPU.
I'd recommend 1404 to start with. It is a classic and very good.
See I love strategy games but never "got" Anno. I think it was 2070 I played but it just felt like there was 0 challenge or point to what you were doing.
Yeah I can't say I've ever found the game to be particularly challenging, ive always just enjoyed the city building aspect of it.
Have the older Anno titles (pre-2070) aged much compared to 1800?
Personally I wouldn't say so. 1404 is still my go to game from the series. As someone else has mentioned, the mechanics and gameplay are pretty much the same in each iteration so a lot of it will depend on what kind of era you enjoy and the aesthetics. I don't know if the gfx in 1404 are hand drawn but they certainly look it and I love that.
I played 1701 a few months ago and while it of course doesn't *look* anywhere as good as 1800, it plays really well still. I find myself wishing for the trade route management tools from Anno in pretty much all other resource management games I play now, which might be the worst part about getting into Anno...
Man I wish those games were more freeform. It's a "city builder" but there is an objectively best way to build.
Kinda wish the areas of influence were a LOT bigger so I could make more aesthetically pleasing towns without objectively gimping myself.
Tried your hand at the old interactive studios games? Zeus, Pharaoh and the one from China? IMO these are by far the most entertaining city builders, even if now they’re over 20 years old
Nothing will ever top Caesar 3 in my eyes
I have not. You don't have to cram things into such a small area in those?
Kind of, they’re based on that road mechanic but I feel like they’re lenient enough to allow for many building arrangements
Oh and when I play, I do some of campaign missions first to get a handle on the gameplay then stop and just go into sandbox mode and set myself some goals. I don't think Ive ever finished any campaigns. So if you aren't getting into the campaign, give the sandbox stuff a go, it's much less limiting and you can branch off in whatever direction you please.
Have you tried Xcom: Enemy Unknown or Xcom 2? Both are great.
I tried enemy unknown, hated it because of accuracy percentage fails. 80%? miss .30% , that maybe a hit.
The game is a bit different and requires a few different mindset. You ALWAYS have to have backups and contingency plans. People often make big choices, like a 95% chance to hit, but if the miss, that squadmate is very, very likely to die
Well if you make that choice enough times, then they are surely going to die over the course of a campaign.
It's really all about mitigation and planning for all scenarios, even if they are unlikely. The things that make you good at the game are how many bad things in a row it takes to break you. And you will be broken, but that's just how the game is. It's a different mindset.
I'm almost at the end when I've played XCOM before dropping it. Tried being patient throughout it, No dead squadmates except the tank thing which I think is disposable. Persevered by utilizing the save/load game so no one dies, encountered that accuracy shit again and again until I lost it and drop it.
Yeah I think if you're reloading anytime you lose a squadmate, I don't want to say you're not playing or right, but it's probably just not going to appeal to you in the same way.
People who really like xcom often play on Ironman mode, where every decision is permanent.
Not every game is for every person, but thought I would try and give some insight on why people like the system and how I approached it.
Your insight is appreciated. I can see the fun mechanics it have like the proper positioning, I enjoy it a bit like when I got my sniper with a very long range and double shot, makes me feel so OP.
So you're telling me XCOM is Fire Emblem with guns and aliens? Now I'm interested. What's the best one in your opinion?
I haven't played Fire Emblem!
I'd say they are different. The onboarding to XCOM is just that nothing is guaranteed and sightlines don't work like you think they might. When I first played the game, you just have to be ok that you can get hit behind walls/cover, they're just modifiers to a defence stat. It's a bit more like D&D in that regard where cover ups your AC, and different things like flanking up your attack modifier (if you've played D&D).
If I recall, Fire Emblem has some sort of rock/paper/scissors mechanic... XCOM doesn't have that to the same degree. You can get ammo and things that work better on certain enemies.
Also, XCOM is more like a puzzle. You have to use all the game mechanics. Big enemy is behind cover? Use 1 soldier to get close and throw a grenade to blow up their cover, then hit them hard when they are exposed.
You also need to learn the unwritten rules about exploring. Your whole squad goes, then the whole enemy squad. If, on your last units turn, you run across the map and discover 6 enemies, well now all 6 of them get a free turn to wreck your shit. If you let them come to you, the opposite occurs. So you learn that you only want to explore on early turns, and let enemies come to you as best you can.
It's a puzzle... more information is always better and more helpful!
I would recommend XCOM: Enemy Unknown to play first because it's cheap and still really good. It's $30 most places right now... but regularly goes down to like $10 tops.
Thank you! Still looks like a good game to me.
XCOM2 is decidedly a sidegrade. I personally like it, but it's almost more like a total conversion mod than the sort of direct upgrade you'd expect in other series.
They aged well enough, play Xcom: Enemy Within first and then mod and play it again. After that you play Xcom : War of the Chosen and then mod it again. Then you sleep.
nice. is there a mod to make everyone naked and look like anime girls?
Yeah, the thing about percentage chances in games is that the percentage shown is usually fake. A lot of game gives a guaranteed hit on a 95% chance, for example. This is supposedly done because our brains barely registers the risk of failure when there's a high chance of success. Xcom doesn't do that, which is why it tends to feel like you're missing more than you should.
The meme of course is missing on a 99% shot. I played Long War 1 a ton and XCOM 2 a bit and to my memory I've never had a 99 miss—though of course it's rare to have a short literally 99%. Definitely missed some in the 90s, but that's exactly what you'd expect when taking a shit ton of shots over multiple campaigns.
Our brains fixate on negative outliers. We don't remember a 25% shot with a 5% crit chance that landed. But we miss an 85% flanked shot and that's really going to stick out in our memory.
I realize that the "that's XCOM, baby!" meme is a fun part of the community, but I think that our biases exaggerate the issue.
Lol this is what the game is known for; it's the running joke about the series.
The percentages are accurate. There's nothing wrong with the RNG.
Missing a critical shot will often result in losing the whole team. Losing a team will often result in failing the campaign. That's why relying on 80% or even 95% chances is poor strategy in XCOM. Every now and then you *will* fail a 95% chance. Be prepared.
Heroes of Might & Magic 3 is a timeless classic imo. I'm sure anyone who tried it will have a great time.
Yup, will second this. It's definitely in my top ten all time best strategy games. Probably in the top five.
It’s in my opinion the GOAT of the strategy genre.
Have a look at rimworld and factorio ( it has a demo)
The two anti-patient gamer games :D (Never go on a sale)
Been wanting to play Factorio forever
Edit: Rimworld apparently does sometimes go on sale now, the developer previously said it was never going to be on sale, so my bad!
If you're holding out for a sale on factorio, you will be waiting a while. Developers have stated that they will never run a sale or be part of a steam discount.
If you enjoy the demo, the full price is 100% worth it. Hundreds and hundreds of hours for a thoroughly decent price.
20 bucks for a game of that quality is a bargain. The dev support and bug fixing speed is insane, if you even manage to find one
You must have gotten in early, it's been $30 for a year or so now. Of course that doesn't change the fact that it's a great deal.
Oh yes you are right, pre-release was 20$, with the 1.0 they changed the price.
I have played so many hours of Factorio that I would gladly give them hundreds of dollars more. It's the greatest game of all time haha
Have you tried out Dyson Sphere Project, or Satisfactory? The added 3rd Dimension makes for interesting gameplay. and turning the spiders into kittens is terrifyingly awesome, lol
If they were to include some sort of enemy in DSP, it would basically be a "pretty" Space Exploration Mod, in 3-d
I played Satisfactory way back when it first came out. They've added sooo much since then tho, been meaning to give it another go
I haven't had the time to try Dyson Sphere Program yet but it's on me wishlist
Yeah, I've heard, that's why I said it's anti-patient gamer. I thought I'd heard the same about rimworld but I think his stance on that may have changed slightly now.
I'll definitely think about it, I think part of me is just scared I will get horribly addicted!
Rimworld was 30% off on HumbleBumble store for a Steam Key recently. Hopefully it gets more people into such an amazing game.
I got rimworld at \*whispers\* full price, I did the dumb classic "Skip the tutorial and then not know what to do" but I fully intend to go back and put some real time into it, just been on a bit of a backlog clear for the past couple of years. Looks so immersive!
It is a massive time sinker. I got into it when I played Kenshi (another great game you should look into).
Both have incredibly steep learning curves that youtube helps for, both have insane worlds that treat you like you are not the main character. Your characters can very easily die.
It's good you are keeping it on the backlog because I promise you, Rimworld will take over your life.
I actually managed to get Kenshi for free for being in the NHS! That's another one I've deliberately steered well clear of because I know it will ruin my life. The entire concept of Kenshi is so cool to me.
These are games in my "Play when retired" folder on Steam so I can lose my life to them happily, got a little while to go unfortunately as I'm still in my 20's haha
RimWorld is "only" $35 at full price, and has an insane amount of content especially when you include mods. I'm at well over 100 hours and I've seen people with multiple thousands of hours
Oh yeah both Rimworld and Factorio are totally worth the cost, I was just referencing the fact they both have developers that said they'd never put their games on sale which kind of goes against the ethos of this sub, waiting for deep sales.
From a potential play hours perspective both are still a bargain, I've also spent a bunch of money on Total War Warhammer 2 but I've spent hundreds of hours playing that game so I don't care. :D
Rimworld goes on sale from time to time. Not by much (10% usually) but still that is a sale.
Yeah I believe it was that it wouldn't go on sale until it hit 1.0, which it now has... And has been for like 3 years. Shit, where's the time going? It didn't go on sale for like 5 years, but my bad, I'm getting old. :D
Two games I'm highly interested in (especially RimWorld from a storytelling aspect) but have been too intimidated to play.
Just jump into rimworld, you won't regret it
How much out-of-game research do I need to do in order to play it and know what I'm doing?
Bro I have no business playing rimworld. I’ve got about 10 hours into it and already made from page of the /r/rimworld subreddit. The community is just as amazing as the game.
Haven't any ideas about those games, is factorio about handling many factories? is it like a capitalism game? maybe it's not for me.
I highly recommend Factorio! Just be warned: its nickname is Cracktorio for a very good reason. Be careful to get enough sleep!
I had to stop playing it because i put in like 40 hours in maybe a week and a half and it was stopping me from getting anything else down outside of work 😅😅
I tried playing it once but the learning curve is so difficult at the start. Maybe its because Ive never played any RTS game before
My best advice and what helped me get through the difficult parts is to not let perfect be the enemy of good, or in my case not good but at least working. Just add more shit on top of your other shit instead of trying to optimise and you will progress just fine.
You can also just disable the enemy bugs that swarm you, many people play without them. That way you can take all the time you want to putz around and figure shit out, the game is still fantastic as a pure factory builder with no enemies (though it does make all the weapon tech useless)
It's not about earning money, it's about building a factory and transportation system, where everything works efficiently - and especially AUTOMATION. You mine resources, process them, so you can make more complex stuff and then turn it into something even more complex. Just try the demo. The game is extremely addictive.
I'll give it a try!
You crash land on an Alien planet and just have to survive by automating things. Nothing to do with capitalism as far as I know.
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord. It has strategy elements, but focuses heavily on the battles. Sort of like total war, except youre on the ground fighting and leading troops from the vantage of a soldier. Still early access, but always improving.
Is it sort like chivalry 2?
Would have to say that if graphics aren't a big deal, the previous game Mount and Blade: Warband is probably currently better than Bannerlord. Some disagree, though.
It's better in some ways, worse in other ways
In the sense that you run around chopping people up, then yeah, but its not quite as in depth fighting. It makes up for that with a neat AI that lets you give lots of orders to your troops. You work your way up as a mercenary into a lord and then hopefully king, and if you do well, you can conquer the entire land. Highly recommended!!
Sounds interesting, Thanks for the recommendation.
Paradox games are the best that grand strategy has to offer.
Crusader kings 3 or EU4 are great games, but have a steep learning curve. But when you understand them a bit the games are great!
EU4 can be played with full expansions on a subscription fee too, so cheap to try out the full experience.
With one of the worst monetization models in the genre.
That’s necessary when games take upwards of 7-8 years to develop. One 60 dollar purchase isn’t gonna cut it.
It's a lot of DLC (that routinely goes on sale mind you) that isn't necessary. They're constantly patching and it's not like it's pay to play the base game has thousands of hours of content and enough variation you can't get bored. There are far worse models out there and even if you never spend a time after base you get rewarded by the constant updates/patches/mods.
I would disagree. There is a steep learning curve to play these spreadsheets wearing sandbox costumes.
Well I didn't say they are accessible but once you know games like Civ seem empty in comparison.
You could say that about the Sim Cities too. They're both just buckets and flows, with a bit of micromanaging heaped on top
While there is a steep learning curve, yes, you can still pick up EU4, fire up a game as Castile and have a really great time without really fully understanding what the hell is going on. It's not like we all just hated the game until we suddenly figured it out one day.
I'd recommend Command and Conquer Remastered especially if they remaster Red Alert 2. If you own any Nintendo console from the Gamecube onwards, try Pikmin
Does command and conquer has pause?
No, it doesn't. It's an RTS.
If you like Civilization, the designer of Civ4 - Soren Johansson - just released a new civlike game called Old World. It's set only in the classical era (so no nukes) and the AI is a lot better than civ's (making it harder to dominate them) but it's a fantastic game.
I've been really tempted on trying out Old World. The only reason I haven't is the fact Humankind comes out next month and I couldn't justify buying both.
Also I'm not really a fan of the Epic store so that actually kind of works out perfectly for me! I'm cheating on my patient gaming a little and picking up Humankind right away, so then I can just wait a year or whatever and snag Old World when it shows up on Steam. :)
This looks really interesting! I’m intrigued by the dynasty stuff.
The dynasty stuff good! It adds a nice bit of flavour to the game. It's not nearly as complex as Crusader Kings, but that's a good thing IMO.
You should definitely try some games from Paradox - Europa universalis IV, Stellaris, Hearts of Iron IV. You liked Warhammer, so I'd recommend the Age of wonder series (but it doesn't have the huge battles).
Crusader Kings 3 does a great job of lowering the walls of accessibility that previous games had. They have a robust tooltip system that explains literally anything in the game you highlight.
I have always been intimidated by the Paradox games. They seem interesting, but they also seem like they would be too much for me to handle.
Stellaris and Crusader Kings 2, I feel, are the most accessible. You'll have fun even if you have no idea what you're doing because you'll witness things play out. After a couple games of learning the ropes, it'll click and then the fun multiplies.
I played ~10 hours of tutorial for ck2 and still had no idea how to play the game. I would definitely recommend starting with ck3 instead of ck2. The tutorial is significantly better, and there are no large dlcs yet that add a bunch of complexity
But CK2 is freeee
That's fair. I did say it would take a few tries to get it.
Crusader kings 2 and 3 seems like they should be quite fun to play even if you don't understand everything that's going on and the mechanics behind everything, it should be possible to have fun while learning as you go along. The other paradox games probably require you to invest some sweat and tears before they're rewarding. I don't even remember how i learned the games... i started a long long time ago in a galaxy far away. Pretty sure i played europa universalis1, but the games kind of blend together and it's a lost memory to me.
I started with CK2 and then slowly got sucked into EU4, Stellaris, and HOI4. It's bad. I'm approaching 10,000 hours in EU4.
That being said, there's a very steep learning curve in the games. It can be overwhelming at first to keep track of so many different mechanics, but once you get the hang of it, they're not really that complicated. And once you have the hang of one Paradox game, the rest are easier since they have some similarities in the UI.
Hoi4 is a good starting place. There's a lot of depth, but playing a historical campaign can be finished in a few hours and the historic campaign is also railroaded enough that you can follow a guide on YouTube step by step.
Eu4 is probably the deepest Paradox game, but also one of the most rewarding in terms of replay and what you can do.
They definitely have a learning curve, and the only way to really understand them is through YouTube tutorial series and playing the game yourself. But when you figure things out they can be incredibly in-depth and entertaining.
Stellaris was a blast. I was the same as you and wicked nervous, spent too much time designing my "civilization" and all that, but on easy mode and with tutorials (plus the wiki/youtube has so much great content) it's actually so much fun and not that crazy. The best things happen when you just jump in and see what happens. On lower difficulties it's pretty hard to get dominated by the other races so it plays at your pace. Honestly, it's a lot of intermediate systems all bundled together that give it the intimidation, but a lot of things you can automate or aren't nearly as crazy as you'd think. Game is a lot of fun.
They are worth it and I completely understand that thought process. I still remember years later opening up EU4 for the first time and barely knowing what to do.
Stellaris the probably the easiest to get into, I don't like it as much (still 200+ hours) and would be a good start to how Paradox thinks and does things.
But, Hoi4 and EU4 are two of my favorite games of all time. Both would require reading forums or just googling 'how to start' or when certain things happening. Hoi4 can be picked up pretty quick I think.
EU4, I can still lose with coalitions, etc if you aren't careful. That one took the most time, watched handfuls of 20-45 minute videos and opening moves. But, 1500+ later, it is maybe the most fun game I've ever played.
Nothing quite like it, building a country/empire for 400 years of dynamic time
Disagree with that user. Strong disagree as Paradox fan since 15\~ years.
HOI4 needs over 100 hours out of game research to grasp the basic concepts.Anything below 1k hours is a newb.
DO NOT TOUCH THIS GAME, if you are new to strategy or do not have much free time.
Also it costs over 100 bucks, including biggest discount. Not enjoyable without DLC.
This game makes CIV 6 look like minesweeper
Hoi4 is currently £13 for base game + all DLCs on humble bundle atm, just for anyone interested after seeing these threads.
>HOI4 needs over 100 hours out of game research to grasp the basic concepts.Anything below 1k hours is a newb.
True, but Hoi4 is probably the easiest Paradox game to start. Historical mode railroads events and timing so you can pretty easily follow a guide on YouTube to success without any experience. You can follow cookie cutter 20w and 40w templates and do fine.
Once you know the basics of how to deal with the pre-war build up for focus tree, setup production, research, and use political power you can pretty much slide into any nation and do okay. That shouldn't take 100+ hours.
Now the naval system and ship designer in HOI4 - that might take 1000 hours.
>This game makes CIV 6 look like minesweeper
I'd say that's more eu4 or vic2.
Crusader Kings 3 is a good one, not only because of the improved tutorials, but because of the more personal stories and RPG-ish elements. I think it can be a good intro to Paradox games because even if you're not great with the strategy you can still enjoy seeing how the individual people you play with develop and change.
I looove the Age of Wonders series. For me its the perfect blend of strategy, combat, and a fantastical setting. Both 3 and Planetfall I really like and recommend.
Oxygen not included
Didn't notice the Caps at first. :)
Total War Warhammer is amazing, it's everything I ever wanted in a strategy game.
One of the really cool things about that game, is if you buy the sequel and own the first one, you can play both campaigns from each game in the sequel, and your DLC carries over.
The third one has been confirmed to have this feature too. It does become an expensive game, even if you wait for sales, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my hundreds of hours (and hundreds to come) and really think the developers deserve the money on this one.
You've listed some good ones but here's a couple of my favorites:
[**Crusader Kings 3**](https://store.steampowered.com/app/1158310/Crusader_Kings_III/) \- A day by day retelling of the European Middle Ages might sound boring until you play this game. Crusader Kings (and Paradox) games have a reputation for being complex but CK3 is a recent redesign with a focus on making the game more approachable for new players. Assassinating a relative to ensure your line thrives has never been so much fun.
[**XCOM2**](https://store.steampowered.com/app/268500/XCOM_2/) \- This is a remake of the classic game that essentially created turn based strategy games. Aliens have taken over Earth and you are chosen to lead a squad of fighters to fight back. As your personnel improve, you take tougher challenges to win back the planet. Be careful though -- if you get too bold, it's easy to lose a soldier you've grown attached to over many battles.
[**Ultimate General:Civil War**](https://store.steampowered.com/app/502520/Ultimate_General_Civil_War/) \- If you enjoy Total War, you might find this game interesting. The game design was led by a guy who created some of the best Total War mods and is a battle by battle retelling of the American Civil War. Over the course of the war you slowly improve your army and each scenario brings its own challenges.
[**Unity of Command 1**](https://store.steampowered.com/app/218090/Unity_of_Command_Stalingrad_Campaign/) \- This is a great entry point into hex-based strategy wargames. You control the German forces in their 1942 drive towards Stalingrad in a series of scenarios. In each, you send your panzers deep into enemy lines to cut off enemy supply but you need to be careful. The computer is quite good at counterattacking if you overextended.
[**Europa Universalis 4**](https://store.steampowered.com/app/236850/Europa_Universalis_IV/) \- This game is a bit like Civilization if it started in 1444 and ended in 1820. You can control any country in the world and change the course of history. This game is quite complex and DLC heavy but quite addictive if you can get past the long learning curve.
Into the breach is really good. Total chill and planning each turn is a wonderful puzzle.
Are there any other similar games? Absolutely love it but haven't been able to find anythign similar. Normally I get recommended something like Fire Emblem but I am not really into the RPG and story aspects or something like X-Com but I get annoyed by the RNG. I basically just want a Into the Breach 2.0 lol.
Is it like xcom? I hate xcom because of the accuracy percentage bullshit.
It has no accuracy percentage, you actually know where the enemies are going to attack, and you can plan accordingly.
I'll give it a try then, I think I've saw a dunkey video about it.
Into the Breach is one of only 3 games I've ever bothered to 100%... the other two being FTL and Hades. It's a lot of fun, and very little randomness in the game.
As far as XCOM... it's random, but you can plan for that. For example, if you know something has a 40% hit rate, plan on having 4 guys shoot at that target to take it out. As you go further in the game your guys get more accurate and better, but you can certainly mitigate low percentage shots by just dedicating more resources to making the kills you need.
The best description of the game is that it's like chess, but the enemy usually has enormous advantages, in either numbers or firepower, and you have to use tactics like pushing them into different squares or using the environment against them.
Yes it has a tactical pause, and you can reset turns, as well as reset the game (into the breach literally means breaching into a parallel universe)
I like strategy games. I rarely get good at them, but I enjoy them.
The original Age of Empires and Command & Conquer games were my introductions to the genre, though I gained a preference for turn-based (or real-time but infinitely pausable, like Europa Universalis).
Civ III was probably my personal highlight. Cultural expansion was immensely satisfying. I played a lot of Civ V, but never managed a King victory.
I recently (I'm 25 turns in) started Endless Legend, and I'm really struggling to get a handle on it. It all feels very unclear. I'm never sure what to do next, and there are so many things to look at that are easy to miss.
I'd recommend Rise Of Nations. It's more focused on wars, but the Conquer The World and historical scenarios mode are a lot of fun if you're into that sort of thing.
Try some 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) game, Civ can be counted as one. I'm into SF so I'm in Stellaris by Paradox now, but there are more like Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings, older but classic Master of Orion and some more
Endless Space 2 is also a pretty great 4x if you're into SF themes.
If you're playing the first TW:WH I definitely recommend playing the 2nd as soon as you can. It has so many great QoL improvements over the first and it treats the entire base first game as one massive DLC for the combined Mortal Empires map. And once 3 comes out everything up to that point will work with that as well
I encourage you to try out some of the other victories in Civ 6. Religion is way more fun that it appears at first. Peter is probably one of the best civs for this. Science can also be really fun. I enjoy cultural victories but I find them to be the most confusing in terms of mechanics.
Check out the game **FTL**. I see a lot of people in here recommending **Into the Breach** which is made by the same guys, but FTL is superior imho. Very simple but also very deep. Take a look, you can usually get it for like $2 on sale
I agree that FTL is better than ITB. I tried hard to get into ITB, beat a few runs, but never get that itch to play like I do with FTL where I unlocked every ship layout.
ITB was a great concept but FTL just has so much more depth, flavor and replayability. It's a masterpiece imho
I've played strategy games very sparsely in my life and came across a couple that couldn't hold my interest at all, but the ones that stuck with me were Age of Empires, C&C Tiberium Wars and WH40k Dawn of War Dark Crusade.
I've played age of empires on Java phones back then. Really enjoyed it as I remembered but it had no some sort of tactical pause right?
I think they were all real time, not turn based, so you had to gather resources and build units quickly in the beginning.
I'm bad at those games so I might not enjoy it now that I'm old. :(
If you want something smaller in scope, try Into the Breach.
I'm surprised that no one talked about Starcraft (both iterations), which is the first name I have in mind when anyone talks about strategy games.
Starcraft 2 is actually free, now. No reason not to try.
But can you pause it to execute commands? I don't remember that being a possibility and that makes it stressful for us old people lol.
No, you can't. But there are several forgiving difficulty settings. I really think a very new player with the reflexes of my grand father could finish the single player campaign of Starcraft 2 in the easiest difficulty. The down side being that it won't be extremely strategic as almost any strategy works.
I still think the game is awesome and offer a deep single player experience. The multiplayer part is kind of weird, with the rank part being hardcore, the special map where I have never understood anything, and the cooperative 2 v AI which is probably one of the best thing I've ever seen in a RTS.
Highly recommend you give the Heroes of Might and Magic series a try. Specifically HoMM2 and HoMM3. Easy to learn but hard to master mechanics, with great turn based combat. HoMM2 has lovely pixel art and a gorgeous soundtrack, while HoMM3 refines everything and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series.
Dawn of War and Dawn of War Soulstorm (a standalone expansion for it) are both with playing as is the command and conquer series specifically the first game, red alert, Tiberian sun, red Alert 2 and the expansions for each one.
Empire Earth is fun and is basically a lighter version of Age of Empires.
Finally the there's Constructor which i used to play a lot when i was younger, it's recently had a HD remake but the original happily runs on Windows 10.
Recommend XCOM 2
Go into the Civ 6 options menu and turn on fast unit movement and fast combat.
Those 2 options make the game so, so much faster overall. Particularly if you choose to use planes in the late game.
Just wait till he finds the good total war games....
Empire total war is a masterpiece. One of the Rome total wars is also very good.
The supreme commander series is one of my favorite real time strategy games.
I keep trying to get into Total War Warhammer, but I've played the tutorial like 3 times over the years and quit soon after, planning to come back later but never do.
Any advice for starting out with it? I really want to give it a try, the battles with large creatures look fucking amazing.
I've also failed so may times at the beginning. Play empire first, that's what I did to familiarize yourself although you won't encounter any monsters at first at the earlier turns only other human factions. I think don't Confederate and just focus building your main settlement first. For battles, there's a pause button so you can focus more on placements of troops, you can search in youtube some army formation guides and movements, that what I did. If it's boring, try to watch some cinematic battles in youtube, you'll get motivated .
Can I recommend Door kickers ? There are two - first one is swat team based, and the second more of a Middle East / US army setting.
It’s like the planning phase of the original rainbow six games that you then watch play out. Very easy to pick up and put down but has a lot of maps and ways to play. Should be quite cheap too
I reccomend fire emblem especially the old ones
These recommendations are all over the place!
The original company of heroes with Blitzkrieg Mod is the most amazing WW2 RTS game you can get.
What's the blitzkrieg mod?
Blitzkrieg makes the game less cartoonish and more realism. Infantry get ripped up by tanks. Heavy tanks are almost invicible vs low level tanks etc. Its a hell of a lot harder to get to grips with but a little slower imo.
Sounds a bit like Men of War
While you're not wrong, CoH requires less micro-managing.
Yea, I really really wanted to like Men of War, and while I have put some time in it....holy smokes the amount of clicks to do almost anything that isn't walking lol
Can be downloaded via Steam and works on top Company of Heroes 1.
Much more realistic units giving a better experience, but a bit more complex units and "power ups", but you can still press pause and execute all commands to units, which works well for me (I think I'm very much the same gamer type as you 🙂).
Highly recommended. COH2 is bad.
Total Warhammer is really great. I was never a big fan of the historical TW games. I thought the battles were boring and all factions were basically the same. Red dudes with swords hitting blue dudes with swords. But the Warhammer license really improved the franchise. Battles are actually interesting now and every faction plays differently, greatly increasing replayability.
I recommend getting Warhammer 2 when you got the time and the money. When you have both 1 and 2, you unlock the Mortal Empires campaign in 2 where you can play all the factions from 1 but with improved mechanics. For example, the Empire in 2 has new mechanics where you have to do special diplomacy events with all the other rogue Empire states, negotiate with them, prevent wars or join one side in a conflict, and eventually you can fuse with them, which grants you access to cool new unit variants.
Maybe the r/hegemony_series might be up your ally? Hegemony Gold has an awesome historical campaign about Philip of Macedon, father of the great Alexander. Hegemony 3 has a good sandbox and generally better, more refined mechanics. The strong points of this series are the strategic zoom and well-implemented supply and logistics management. It's all in real time but rather slow-paced and with pause.
Not a fan of city management focused games although Civilization is one, just want the domination aspect of it but might try it. Also, I'm looking up City Skylines, is it the same?
The Hegemony series would be like a lighter, real-time Total War. So no turns, less complex combat, more focus on logistics and managing the supply for your armies.
You might like it but it's giving you a Hellenistic setting like Total War Rome does.
Hearts of Iron IV might be good for you. It's a grand strategy game by the legendary Paradox Interactive set in World War 2. It's entirely combat focused, as opposed to their other games, but also unlike their other games you don't need £50 of DLC just for a complete game (and another £200 for the full game), since the base Hearts of Iron IV is good on its own.
One thing though: it's pretty overwhelming if you're new to strategies, and the in-game tutorial is horse shit. Prepare to watch at least a few video guides. Luckily you can load earlier saves in the game, and whilst it does run real-time it does have different speed settings and a pause (and I know many who play it as if it's turn-based, choosing to pause it whenever they make a decision).
I think this is on humble bundle at the moment with all the DLC also (Don't take my word for it, haven't fully looked it up but it was a "Hearts of Iron Bundle") so might be worth checking out!
Crusader Kings 3 is a top class strategy game. Combat is more like Civ than Totalwar but there is a bigger focus on realm/character management.
Frostpunk is one of my favorite games! Not sure it is exactly what you would be looking for, but I like the games you mentioned and I think you would enjoy frostpunk
When you say minimum input is what you want tactical RTS games aren't what you want. As you can see with COH2 there is a lot to take in. Total war is a good medium between turn based and RTS. Another fun game you might enjoy is any of the paradox games
Hearts of Iron
These are all large scale grand strategy like total war games
I love me some XCOM.
In the real time category in the early 2000's , my ranking was :
- Best space-based strategy game : Homeworld
- Best ground-based strategy game : Ground Control .
Those had impressive ( for the time ) 3D battlefields. Total Annihilation had probably a better gameplay than Ground Control, but wasn't as good looking.
These days, this ranking becomes :
- Best space-based strategy game : Homeworld 2 ( For the engine. Homeworld 1 campaign was still better )
- Best ground-based strategy game : Supreme Commander Forged Alliance.
Not much games use huge maps, ressources limited by throughput not maximum quantity and physical projectile paths like SC:FA . Watching FAF matches as more fun than sports .
Not sure if it'd what you're looking for because it's Nintendo consoles (or emulators) only, but the Fire Emblem games are pretty fun.
Tried emulation on Android years ago for fire emblem, I think they're good. I think there's also one I play on a Java phone.
You played Total War Warhammer, so I'd suggest some other TW games. **Rome Total War** is maybe my favorite TW game. The remaster version just came out too. **Medieval Total War 2** is also a great game. I personally don't care for the newer TW games since I find them weaker on the world map campaign part, but plenty of people enjoy them and TW games are easy to get into. Once you've played one, you pretty much know the UI and controls.
If you liked Civ 6, maybe look at **Civ 5** which many fans consider to be a better game. Personally **Civ 4** is my favorite in the series. 4 was very different from 5 & 6 - it included unit stacking instead of one unit per tile.
Paradox games have been mentioned, but I whole heartedly recommend **Eu4, Hoi4, Ck2-3, & Stellaris** - yes there's some steep learning curves, but they're all fantastic.
I see nobody has mentioned games like Slay the Spire which is a different kind of strategy game, and if you like that then you might like Monster Train
Out of left field, there's a game "Caves of Qud" which is less "strategy" but turns happen when you move your character and there's a ton of things that can happen. I'm only suggesting this because you liked Divinity Original Sin 2.
If you're looking for non combat type of strategy games, I have a few
|OpenTTD |Free|[OpenTTD](https://www.openttd.org/)|You have to build a transport network using trucks,trains, boats and planes. Nothing more relaxing than sipping some coffee and tinkering with your tracks. You can have a profitable business with freeform spaghetti tracks. But there is a complex curve with intersections if you look into it. (I don't for the most part)|
|Roller Coaster Tycoon (1/2/OpenRCT2)|$5.99 RCT1/$9.99 RCT2/ Free OpenRCT2 (Needs a copy of RCT2)|[RCT1](https://www.gog.com/game/rollercoaster_tycoon_deluxe) / [RCT2](https://www.gog.com/game/rollercoaster_tycoon_2) / [OpenRCT2](https://openrct2.org/)|The evolution of Transport Tycoon from the original developer was Roller Coaster Tycoon. (RCT2 was considered the best of the original trilogy). A lot easier on the design front for the overall map/park, but rollercoasters can be as simple/complex as you like. OpenRCT2 is an opensource recreation of RCT2, giving it modern resolutions and multiplayer. You can also play RCT1 scenarios in OpenRCT2 if you have a copy of RCT1. I believe RCT1/2 are also available on Steam|
|Oxygen Not Included|$24.99|[Oxygen Not Included](https://store.steampowered.com/app/457140/Oxygen_Not_Included/)|Build a moon base by issuing commands to your people. You will have to balance a lot of resources (Oxygen, Water, Electricity, Food, and many more). The main crux is each process or interaction always produces waste. For example, you can mine coal and build coal generators. The generators introduce heat and carbon dioxide as waste. Eventually you have to deal with that. Getting your base to last 100 days is a difficult early milestone. Very addicting once you get the hang of it.|
Starcraft 2 is amazing rts and the campaigns are Free
I’ve gone off the deep end with turn based strategy games lately. Ones that I’ve enjoyed have been: the Xcom series, Slay the Spire, Monster Train, and Star Renegades.
Divinity 2 my bro. Game is rad.
Already played it, loved it except for the climax of the story although the final battle is good , reminds me of dragon age origins.
Dammit that's fair lol. Starts strong but finishes weak. Still awesome though but yeah, agreed.
It's 5:55 in the morning and I start my shift in 5 minutes so I'm scimming the post and not reading other comments.
That being said, I think Stellaris might be cool for you. It's a space RTS but it has a pause feature to pause the game and make decisions at any time you like. It has a good amount of civ management, and the battles are essentially build a fleet and let it do its thing. You don't have to fight, similar to civ. It's a good game check it out.
Okay, I'm gonna go die now. I'll drop by later if I think of anything else, assuming I live through this grand opening.
If you like turn-based, you could also try some of the games from Slitherine. They make historical strategy games of various types. I personally like Panzer Corps 2, but they've got a lot of other time periods as well. (They also have fantasy stuff like Warhammer and Starship Troopers).
I think there's a humble bundle of a selection right now. There's also a humble bundle of Paradox's Hearts of Iron 4, which others are mentioning. Hearts of Iron is real time, but you can give orders when paused.
Another series you might want to check out is the Total War series. Shogun 2 is a really well balanced mix of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics.
You should try trails in the sky series
try men of war if you are looking for a bit of real strategy instead of company of heroes
Not sure if this is what you want but into the breach is a blast and you should give it a go
Have you / anyone tried Shadow tactics ? Is yes how good is jt?
For me Frostpunk was a “fresh” addition to the genre. I would categorize it under the “immersive” subgenre of strategy games.