Strategy Video Game Thread!


#1

Hay everyone, I searched the forums and only found a thread for tabletop wargames, so I hope it’s okay that I started a thread here. I think video game stuff like RTS, turn-based wargames, and so on deserve their own. These genres tend to contain the games that hold my attention the longest. I’m big into military stuff, mostly World War 2 era stuff, but boy is it hard finding communities who are into it without also being creepy about it (you have no idea how many capital-N nazis and nationalists I’ve had to deal with in this hobby).

I guess a good place to start would be: first games you played and anything you’re currently playing, and anything you’re looking forward to playing in the future? My first strategy game was a shareware demo for Total Annihilation, and then I got into Command & Conquer and Starcraft. Then I started getting really into WW2 history, and around that time there was Company of Heroes and then Men of War. That’s not all the games I played but they’re the ones I remember most fondly. I’ve played a loooot of these games.

These days I play a lot of Unity of Command mostly, though from time to time I jump into Company of Heroes 2 to mess around in custom games with mods on, and Planetary Annihilation comp stomps. I tried the Dawn of War 3 beta recently but it did not click with me, especially since I’m not a big PVP player anymore. Currently I’m most looking forward to Sudden Strike 4 if that ever comes out…


#2

Now that you mention it, I miss Command & Conquer! I was super into the Red Alert’s, actually, but I’d sooner hope for a Tiberian Sun remaster over anything else, if given the choice.

I got super into grand strategy more recently, though. Basically everything Paradox has racked the most hours for my strategy consumption, lately. Especially Crusader Kings, the character drama you get on top of the strategy is what I think has kept me on it for so long!

I’m super bummed about the reception of Dawn of War 3, but I am also not one for PVP in strategy games.


#3

I think a major part of the problem is having a PVP-only beta that only teaches you the basics of one faction and then having to learn the rest getting smashed in matches that just last way too long. Even with lopsided differences in skill, it just by default takes a while to push a match to a conclusion, and after a while the game turns hopeless and unfun to try to swing. Most people I’ve talked to formed their opinions of the game on the open beta. After playing in it, I myself felt like I wasn’t interested in the full game either.

I also don’t really enjoy the addition of micro-heavy MOBA elements into the game. I like the micro in MOBAs because I can concentrate on my microing my single hero really well, but Dawn of War 3 just demanded so much micro from me at all times to be effective in battle that it was exhausting and tedious, rather than rewarding the way landing a skillshot in a MOBA is. Especially so for the Eldar, where you really have to get those Banshees moving all the time to have any hope of survival, ime. Dawn of War 2 was moving in this direction already, and I wasn’t thrilled with it there either. Dark Crusade was the height of the series for me.


#4

I’m really interested to see how Steel Division (the new Eugen game) turns. I really liked their Wargame series but Act of Aggression was apparently a not great game so I never tried it out. Also, SCBW Remastered coming out this summer has me really tempted to try to get into Brood War, but I know this is a terrible idea that I will regret. I haven’t played Starcraft in so long that I may as well be new to the series. My RTS skills have been kept sharp by MOBAs, but my game knowledge is lacking, to say the least.


#5

the only strategy game i’ve played is the magical girl tank one


#6

Wait, you aren’t talking about “War of the Human Tanks” are you?

I actually put way more hours into that game and its sequel than I probably should have, but it was oddly appealing!


#7

i’m talking about valkyria chronicles. sorry to disappoint. i didn’t realize the strategy tank genre was so well worn…


#8

Not disappointed, Valkyria Chronicles owns.


#9

I also spent a ton of hours on Valkyria Chronicles but I definitely should have put hours into that one so it’s totally OK! Valkyria Chronicles deserves hours put into it!

That reminds me, there’s a sequel coming out this year (I think it’s already out in Japan), I think it’ll be called Valkyria Revolution over in the Western world, but I was hearing the sequel was going to be less strategy-ish and more RPG-ish?


#10

This seems to be the case from what I’ve heard, it’ll be a more standard JRPG and at the very least does not seem like it will be using the BLITZ system for battles, which is a shame. (It’s also a steampunky world war 1 thing which I really don’t care for aesthetically compared to the World War 2 style setting of the original series).


#11

I used to love “Real Time Strategy” games, then one of them hit me so hard it I haven’t quite recovered from its demise. When I was quite young I was introduced to Populous 2 and the original Syndicate, both of which I played to completion. After the original Warcraft I started playing some of these games competitively online, from Red Alert to Age of Empires to Warcraft 3 to Rise of Nations and so on and so forth. I’ve been around the block a couple of times when it comes to traditional RTS games but all of a sudden, out of nowhere, one game showed up that broke everything else for me: Supreme Commander.

For those of you who haven’t played, Supreme Commander wasn’t about flashy visuals or wildly diverse unit types between factions, or even elaborate tech trees. It was the first RTS I’d personally put my hands on that went out of its way to provide players tools to simplify macro that went beyond simple hotkeys. In most RTS you’re constantly monitoring your resources and attempting to optimize your technology advancement or unit production by keeping those resources as low as possible all game. This often requires a player to memorize hotkeys and spend as much attention on his base at home and resource counter as he puts into his combat units. Supreme Commander said, “Nah, son. Why would you want to be staring at your base instead of these awesome battles?” and allowed you to queue up anything you could possibly want as far ahead of time as you want. Oh, you want this little engineer to go off and slowly build 75 point defenses? All right. Just tell him where to go. We’ll even put a timer next to every one of those point defenses to tell you, to the second, how long it’ll be before it’s finished. Oh, you want to make a factory, then upgrade it, then make a plane come out of it that flies in a specific loop around the map and then lands? Click a few times and then you never have to look at the factory again.

Now you might wonder how it’s possible for a game to allow you to queue up buildings without resources and I’ll tell you- It used income instead of on-hand. You have 10 mass coming in each second? Well you can build at a rate of 10 mass a second. Go nuts. Building too much? It’ll all slow down but nothing stops. The game handled all of this brilliantly and I played it into the damn ground. Planning out my infrastructure 20 minutes in advance and then spending my attention scouting and shuffling units where they needed to be made me feel like I was, in fact, a commander, organizing an offensive. I didn’t need 600 APM just to keep my resources bottomed out. The macro options weren’t the only draw to Supreme Commander, which also had the ability to zoom out seamlessly until the entire map was visible and had giant awesome experimental mechs that could fire across the smaller maps and a faction with awesome radar cloaking technology and so on and so forth. The macro options were just amazing and could have fit neatly into any other game half as ambitious, even though none of them tried it. It was glorious. Then, one day, Supreme Commander 2 came along, and tore the entire system out to replace it with your basic Starcraft style build-with-your-on-hand-resources system and I died inside as I watched the Supreme Commander community wither away.

A spiritual successor to Total Annihilation was kickstarted by some of the team from Supreme Commander called Planetary Annihilation. It was fine. I supported it, installed it, tried to get into it, and failed. I’ve tried a handful of games since then but nothing clicks with me anymore. I spent a few months following Starcraft 2 before I just couldn’t be bothered with the APM management I felt I needed to stay competitive against people who knew what they were doing. Nothing excites me anymore! I miss that game! I even bought another copy recently and reinstalled it but it’s been too long and it isn’t the same anymore, either. I know I need to move on… I need to find something new, find a new reason to be excited… One day, I am confident, a proper spiritual successor will arrive to rekindle the fire that did burn so very brightly in my heart. That day will be a good day. That is the game I am waiting for!

One day!


#12

Supreme Commander was really fun, I agree. SupCom2 was a letdown in comparison.


#13

My first strategy game is the one I still love the most: Age of Mythology. It’s SO GOOD!

I also loved Age of Empires II, III never got to me and I didn’t have a PC when I came around. RTS is a genre that I’m very sad about. It used to be one of my favorites, but now it is pretty much dead. I was really hoping DoW3 would be a revival, but, well, looks like that ship is on the bottom of the ocean now :frowning:


#14

Hoo boy.

Age of Empires II was my first video game ever. My mom brought me over to her friend’s house, and I pulled an extra chair up beside the computer watching their kid play for hours while they chatted. That same first session with video games was also my first experience with cheatcodes. HOWDOYOUTURNTHISON ad infinitum, spawning a fleet of Cobra Cars because even the Easy AI is too difficult for a 7-year-old playing their first game. Pretty sure being introduced to cheats right away also planted a fascination seed for god games (sim games, Black & White, or just messing around in RTS editors).

Age of Mythology, perfect for a god game addict since you’re literally a god - the god power mechanics felt so satisfyingly game-breaking to use (and the actual cheats were proportionately more intense). It was the first game I ever played with a person I knew irl and I happily gave up the rest of my games for it.

Long nights on Battle.net custom maps in Starcraft / Warcraft 3, tower defense or meandering roleplay, cat-and-mouse style games, the original DotA, Balin’s Tomb & Helm’s Deep, or just a dirty picture minimap for the hormonal adolescents.

Age of Empires 3 had “cards” so I loved it… but it stank.

Always been interested in the Total War series, but never knew anyone who raved abt it enough.
Oh god and Mount & Blade for that best-of-both-worlds delicious personal combat participation + army building & management.

Dang, video games are great.


#15

I am not good enough at video games to play RTS, but I love turn-based strategy games and tactical RPGs. I play Age of Wonders, Civilization, Paradox’s selection of games, Distant Worlds: Universe, and I’ve been getting into Galactic Civilizations II recently, only a decade late.

My ex-girlfriend is really into Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and she’s moving to Canada soon, so I might go sit on her couch and try that out once she’s settled in. I know a couple of the more recent ones are on Steam, but she’s very insistent that the old ones are better, and those are either in Japanese (which I can’t read) or they’re over $100 on Amazon.ca.


#16

Total War: Rome (the first one) is probably one of the best games ever made. If you are in it for the history lesson, well… It’s really bad at that, but everything else is so good! The attention to details is beautiful, the gameplay is challenging, the AI is not that dumb (especially for a game of its age), the graphics are still pretty and it is just so much fun to play!

Shame no other Total War game came close to Rome’s greatness. Medieval was great but not as much as Rome.


#17

God, I wish I had the time in my life to get really into Romance of the Three Kingdoms. There’s something about those games that’s really compelling for me, despite them having a pretty profoundly harsh difficulty cliff to even begin to engage with.


#18

I’ve only played RotK XI, so I don’t know about old or new ones, but I really liked what I played. It’s a supe rfun game.


#19

I’m really big into StarCraft/StarCraft 2 (the latter, mostly), especially for the PVP aspect. Folks who have a passing interest in StarCraft should try out the PVE co-op in StarCraft 2 since it lets you play with 3 different commanders for free (absolutely zero purchase required). Also Brood War is also free too now; I might be able to help people get started on that.


#20

Greetings strategy game folks,
Nobunaga’s Ambition Game Boy Version was my first strategy video game, but since I was only about 10 years old and didn’t have the manual I always lost half way through. Civilization I was the game that showed me that strategy games weren’t literally impossible for me and I’ve been enjoying them ever since. I tend to prefer the breezy and mechanics light end of the spectrum. Right now I’m in the middle of both Ghost Recon Shadow Wars and Stella Glow. The latter has turned out to be half tactical combat and half visual novel, which is the first time I’ve encountered that mix.