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sockeatsock
11-02-2012, 11:26 PM
I'm interested in strategy games with interesting mechanics, but ones that would still be considered strategy. This means that the likes of Sacrifice and Battlezone are out; they too closely resemble action-adventure games. An example:

Battle Realms
Peasants automatically spawn at fixed rate until they reach a population cap. They are used to collect resources or are sent to one of three buildings which trains them in a particular 'art' of war. For example, the Dragon clan has the Archery Range, Spear Dojo and the Alchemist Lab. A peasant trained in the Archery Range becomes an Archer, in the Spear Dojo becomes a Spearman and in the Alchemist Lab becomes a Chemist. More interestingly, the Archer can then be sent to the Spear Dojo to become a Dragon Warrior, a swordsman with a ranged magic attack, or to the Alchemist Lab to become a Powder Keg Cannoneer, a ranged siege unit. All combinations produce a different unit.

Every unit has two special abilities which are gained by further training.

The economy is based on rice and water. Rice grows at a fixed rate but can be sped along by watering. This takes more peasants which means less military units can be trained.

Unit upgrades can be purchased with Yin/Yang points which can only be gained through fighting, encouraging aggressive play.

arathain
11-02-2012, 11:40 PM
I recall playing the demo of Battle Realms ages ago and liking the basic set-up to the whole thing, but finding that combat happened far too fast to really use any of the abilities my units had. Still, my RTS-reflexes were considerably worse then than they are now, and they aren't that great now.

The first game that leaps to mind is Perimeter. On top of the nearly incomprehensibly odd setting the game's building had a strong emphasis on very fluid terraforming- your energy generators worked better the more perfectly flat land you have available, so you have units that send lots of tiny digger-bots to level the land by digging out hills and filling in holes. Very fluid, and fascinating to watch.

Your units, of which you could only have a very limited number, were composed of different amounts of three basic units, which could be combined to make more advanced ones, and switched out when you wanted, if you had the right starting mix. For example, turn them into a flying unit, then back into a ground unit when you'd crossed rough terrain.

Your main enemies are giant insects, birds and other beasts. You can protect your buildings by covering any or all of them in a lovely looking forcefield (the Perimeter of the title) that drains your energy.

It's a fascinating title that any curious student of the form should try. It's very odd, and really quite hard.

lasikbear
12-02-2012, 12:15 AM
You should look up Netstorm. Its a strategy game that works sort of like a tower defense game, where you construct paths in the sky to build towers and ultimately capture and sacrifice your opponents priest. Its all weather themed in terms of powers and has a strong Pipe Mania meets tower defense meets Warcraft 1 kind of feel to it. I never really figured it out, but its at least an interesting concept.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cz_SkFrovA

Heliocentric
12-02-2012, 01:47 AM
I'm interested in strategy games with interesting mechanics, but ones that would still be considered strategy. This means that the likes of Sacrifice and Battlezone are out; they too closely resemble action-adventure games.
Sid Meier's Railroads! Buying out your opponents, sabotaging their routes by raising key prices, capitalising on your opponents key traffic, building chains of industry.

The Settlers 2 (10th anniversary is the best version DEMO LINK HERE (http://www.ubi.com/uk/downloads/info.aspx?dlid=1671)) might seem an extremely generic choice, but your units must be built a station (from tiny wood huts to massive stone forts)to be deployed, and may only attack other stations, so no rushing here. But unlike a regular RTS all builders and transports move upon your roads, and traffic and the flow of goods is key.

To build a woodcutters hut you set the blueprint and attach the building to your road ways by flag to flag roads on an effective hex grid, either directly or by way of multiple paths.

The one carrier (later joined by a donkey after the road has transported about 100 goods) will be positioned between each flag pair road. The builder will travel to the site and the goods will be ferried to the building site by carriers.
Once the builder and building supplies are both at the building the builder will begin building and then the builder will go back to your nearest storehouse after finishing.

But the wood and stone needed for the varieties of buildings is sourced all over the map.
Buildings workers need tools.
Tools need iron.
Iron needs smelting, iron ore and coal.
Iron ore and coal need mining.
Miners need food.
Food needs farmers(both pig and grain), butchers, fishermen, bakers and millers.
And all of the above been distribution on a single road network that an opponent can attack.

The Settlers 2 is actually a logistics game, its a rare genre.

agentorange
12-02-2012, 02:22 AM
The Cryptic Comet strategy titles - Solium Infernum and Armageddon Empires - both have interesting settings, the Inferno and a post apocalyptic wasteland respectively, and share a pretty strange method of resource gathering. With AE you get a set amount of 5 (I think) resource types each round depending on how many collectors of a certain type you have; but at the start of each turn you can choose to discard resources to acquire extra dice - dice rolls being the method of determining turn order.

In SI you can use one or more of your order slots to ask your minions to gather tribute (resources), which will be delivered to on the next turn. The Charisma score of your Avatar (Commander) determines the quality/number of the tribute and how many you are allowed to keep.

In both games the resources are used to "buy" cards: in AE you buy the cards you have drawn from your deck, and in SI you buy cards from the Infernal Bazaar; tribute can then be used to activate unit special abilities and items.

pkt-zer0
12-02-2012, 02:46 AM
Unit upgrades can be purchased with Yin/Yang points which can only be gained through fighting, encouraging aggressive play.
Maybe it's just because I was(/am) terrible at RTS games back then, but "turtle behind towers and built only Necromancers" was a strategy I never really figured out how to beat.

Anyway, Dragonshard! Half RTS, half dungeon crawler. Bases have a 4x4 grid you can build stuff on, and to get higher-level tech, you'll need to have multiple buildings of the same type in the same base.

riadsala
12-02-2012, 10:07 AM
RUSE is a fanstastic, and overlooked, RTS. The deceoption cards are a really neat idea.

sonson
14-02-2012, 03:41 PM
World in Conflict might not meet the ďstrangeĒ requirement but it is bafflingly overlooked/forgotten for some reason whenever great RTSís are mentioned.

Excellent, engrossing and quick gameplay, due to the fact that *everything* on the map is fully destructible the tactical situation is always changing and the front shifts back and forth and around like it does in no other strategy game I know of. Itís also beautifully presented and still one of the best looking games available despite the fact that itís five years old. More than anything though itís a joy to essentially have a massive fight in the most beautiful, interactive, fully destructible little model towns.

The single player campaign is an excellent story and very enjoyable to play through on the back of how well itís done. One could say that this is of itself innovation enough, an enjoyable single player RTS campaign.

As far as gameplay goes the key skirmish/multiplayer mechanic is that there is a showdown between one of the two Cold war sides, USSR or the US, and each team has up to four players who choose a specific tactical role which limits what other options they have available. So if you choose infantry armour is in short supply but youíll get access to drop paratroopers anywhere on the map, and so on.

Cooperation and communication is paramount, because of the other interesting mechanic; namely that itís pretty well realised in terms of being a simulation. Whole infantry squads will get wiped out if a tank rolls over them or if Napalm gets dropped on them, but Tanks will get torn to pieces if they drive into a neighbourhood with anti tank infantry occupying the various buildings. There is no one mega kill everything element apart from the Tactical support which everyone has access to, which includes naval bombardments, cluster bombs, bunker busters, units supplied by air lift, and the big daddy, a nuclear missile. However to get the points needed to use these you have to capture and hold key points, which is impossible without using the full compliment of all the unit types- infantry, armour, support and air- to shift the enemyís equivalent forces.


Itís also the only true post September 11th RTS, but thatís another story.

There is no other game like it to my mind. If you want a beautiful, tactically engrossing simulation of men fighting across a front of towns, villages and countryside several miles wide there is no better game. Men of War is as good a game in the round, but itís scope more focused and intense.

WIC is somehow vast but accessible, smooth and intuitive, and really, I cannot stress this enough, just the most sumptuous display of little men fighting that there is. Itís more like appreciating the gears inside a fantastical clock, or watching a massive model railway display or two wargamers battling it out with their painstakingly painted figures - the little details, the craft, the love and devotion to the whole facade that lifts into something else, the sense that youíre watching an actual little world unfold in front of you- ooh, itís lovely.

DaftPunk
14-02-2012, 05:04 PM
Is World In Conflict still populated online ?

Grizzly
14-02-2012, 08:05 PM
Is World In Conflict still populated online ?

If it is not, we should start a WiC game club!

But I imagine it still is. I played it... last year, and it was still quite a bit of populated. Since games like Battlefield 2 still get played even though BF3 is out, and since no substitutes exist, I predict that it is pretty populated.

Jiiiiim
14-02-2012, 08:25 PM
Perimeter, possibly. I never understood what the hell you were meant to do in it but I think it was pretty well-received critically at the time.

Anthile
14-02-2012, 08:39 PM
Metal Fatigue.

Bhazor
14-02-2012, 08:50 PM
As a big fan of Ground Control I couldn't stand World in Conflict. Having respawns in a strategy game is just wierd and completely negates the whole point of picking off key units because those fuckers will just reappear a minute later at zero cost to the player.

On topic I'd say Dawn of War 1 does unique races better than anyone. Special mention should go to the orc Warrrrghs who become more powerful as you let your Boyz charge heedlessly into battle. Or the Necrons whose major racial ability is jumping back to life after a few seconds. Nothing like having your guardmens refight the same battle now with half their squads decimated.

Moraven
14-02-2012, 08:58 PM
Metal Fatigue.

Metal Fatigue is awesome. Who does not like giant robots as units which get it on 1v1 robot melees and can use the arms from the defeated robot to exchange weapons.


Dark Reign was good, tho hard to remember anything more so unique. Distinctive game tho.

Bhazor
14-02-2012, 09:20 PM
Another couple I just thought of and they're a pair of weird 'uns.

Original War. Essentially every unit is a named character from the story who level up and stay dead when they go get deaded. The game has a healthy emphasis on harvesting dinosaurs and riding them too.
http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/original_war

Very strange, pretty unique and sadly a whee bit crap.

Theres also Achron that time travel rts from a few months back where you could send units back in time to destroy an enemy tank before its built by destroying the builder unit that would build the factory that would build the tank. Again a bit crap but it led to some wonderfully incomprehensible replays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bve7T29FlRQ#t=4m00s

Heliocentric
14-02-2012, 10:05 PM
Perimeter, possibly. I never understood what the hell you were meant to do in it but I think it was pretty well-received critically at the time.

It's mechanically beautiful but the campaign is hideously incompetent. Playing it against another person is a work of wonder.

World in conflict is as near to a literally opposite game as I can imagine.
The campaign is beautiful, the multiplayer is so ineffectual despite its beauty, unless you can get all of the players synchronised nothing will resemble strategy, just a never ending unorganised skirmish

Bhazor
15-02-2012, 11:46 AM
Perimeter in multiplayer or skirmish is like psychically controlling an army of fire ants.

DaftPunk
15-02-2012, 01:26 PM
If it is not, we should start a WiC game club!

But I imagine it still is. I played it... last year, and it was still quite a bit of populated. Since games like Battlefield 2 still get played even though BF3 is out, and since no substitutes exist, I predict that it is pretty populated.


I would rather want people to start playing SWAT 4 online again haha :c

Grizzly
15-02-2012, 04:44 PM
As a big fan of Ground Control I couldn't stand World in Conflict. Having respawns in a strategy game is just wierd and completely negates the whole point of picking off key units because those fuckers will just reappear a minute later at zero cost to the player.

Reinforcement points in WiC do not just fill up over time: They fill up faster when you have none, and a lot slower when you already have lots: You have to choose between waiting and having a stronger force or not waiting and having a weaker force.

Waiting can be a serious cost to the player. Consider SupCom, where time is your greatest enemy.