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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Empire building/Games where you become powerful over time

    Hey guys,

    I know there's been threads about the best 4x games to play and so forth, but to be honest I'm not looking for anything that specific. I was wondering which games you'd suggest for someone looking for a game where you can, over time create an empire/kingdom/faction/whatever that rises to power. I'm a fan of the Total War series, and have given Civ V a decent go (though not with the expansion) but not really tried much else. I was considering CK2, but I'm not entirely sure of how big that game is in scale?

    Anyway, it doesn't have to be solely empire building, Empire At War is nice because it has the Galactic Conquest thing added on as a side, and works quite well, and I love Warband because of how powerful you can become. Any suggestions would be welcome, cheers.
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  2. #2
    It sounds like you might want Europa Universalis 3 over CK2. Same developer but larger in scale.

    I understand the Guild and Patrician games are about developing a dynasty as well but I've never played them.

    And there's Pharoah, where the background is that you're a member of a family who grows in power with each mission. That doesn't really affect the gameplay, other than the fact that you can collect a larger salary with each "level," but the cities you build do become grander, until you're building temples and pyramids and such. (Even if it doesn't quite fit what you're looking for, you should still play it. It's probably the best city management game out there.)

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    CK2 and EU3 definitely fit. Crusader Kings has you playing as a feudal dynasty, the map spans Europe and the Mediterranean. You can start as anything from a Count with little more than a castle and ambition, up to a King or Emperor ruling an entire nation full of not-so-loyal vassals.

    Europa Universalis starts after the end of CK, as the feudal system is being replaced by something approaching the modern idea of a nation. You can take control of absolutely any nation in the world, from 1399 to 1821. There's major powers like England, rich trading republics, tiny German states in the shadow of Austria, African tribes and Japanese Daimyos.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I couldn't help but think "games where you become powerful over time" is a net cast so wide that they could simply be called "games."
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I couldn't help but think "games where you become powerful over time" is a net cast so wide that they could simply be called "games."
    Well, it excludes most RPGs... Leveling up the enemies at the same speed as the player character is the stupidest idea ever and ruins all sense of progression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velko View Post
    Well, it excludes most RPGs... Leveling up the enemies at the same speed as the player character is the stupidest idea ever and ruins all sense of progression.
    Not all RPGs do that.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lordcooper View Post
    Not all RPGs do that.
    No real RPGs do it. People who think level scaling belongs in RPGs don't understand what an RPG is supposed to be. The whole point is that you start weak and become powerful over time. That's what makes RPGs fun for me. Blundering into the wrong place and getting the crap kicked out of me and then coming back later in the game and getting revenge. That type of thing is what an RPG is all about.

    And yeah, OP, your post could be interpreted as applying to every empire building strategy game ever but the Paradox grand strategy games would be a good fit. Also give Civ IV or Alpha Centauri a go. Civ V is the worst Civilization game ever made in my opinion.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    don't understand what an RPG is supposed to be.
    Yeah, ok, Wizardry.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    Yeah, ok, Wizardry.
    If someone says Wizardry one more time he will be summoned to this thread.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    It doesn't work anymore.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    Civ V is the worst Civilization game ever made in my opinion.
    Somebody has never played Call to Power.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-05-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Somebody has never played Call to Power.
    I actually did play it way back when it first came out but honestly don't remember much about it now other than that I didn't find it too terribly different from whatever main Civ was out at that time (Civ 2?) I certainly don't have the same dislike for it I have for Civ V but maybe I would feel differently if I played it now.

  13. #13
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    I think I get what you mean. I also like games which start you off small (Be it an empire, town, dynasty, whatever) and through a process of strategic thinking or clever planning you rise in power, abilities, options etc.

    So I will second EU3
    CK2 less so because it more about your family (Which is fine) but progressing your family doesn't always increase your power. It does better your score though.

    The Guild 2 is a great game to try. You start off as a lowly merchant in the medieval era and create more business's, engage in politics, engage in underhanded skullduggery, fight and generally simulate your character(s) life until you have several businesses with a team of thugs, workers and henchmen behind you. It really really gives you that feeling of reward for your work. I love this game. I should warn you that is buggy as hell and not supported. Your best bet is The Guild 2: Rennescance(Never been able to spell that)

    The expansions to civ4 are well worth it so maybe give them ago. I personally didn't like civ 5. The battling is better. The rest I think is a little stripped bare.

    Going to head back in time and reccomend UFO: Enemy Unknown (NOT the new one) and X-Com Apocalypse which both give you a very rewarding sense of growth in your operation and although a lesser game in most respects, Apocalypse does make you feel like you are growing in power really well.

    While we are on UFO's I think UFO: Afterlight also gives a great sense of nothing to everything and is certainly worth a try.

    Knights of Honour is a great indie, low budget strategy game with a fantastic focus on growth though the battles are about as strategic as a coked up game of hungry hippos.

    Distant worlds to a degree is like that. I love the game but for me, you start with too much. I prefer to start with nothing and grow from there but Distant Worlds does tend to start you with a small empire already. However, if you can get passed that, it is one of the most tactical, intense and most enjoyable 4x games I have played. (Despite it being real time)

    Elemental: Fallen Enchantress allows you to start with literally one guy and build an empire. It's not the best game in this list but is very entertaining, oozing with atmosphere and very replayable.

    Anno 2070 is a very difficult game but it's rewards are many. It's stunning to look at and really gives you a feeling of growth. Sometimes it does get a bit bogged down by it's own mechanics but IMO this is the best city building game out there for the current generation. (Not that that's saying much). But I do highly reccomend this one.

    Going back in time again for a game called Empire Earth (DO NOT get the sequals). It is a real time straegy game so faster than the other games in this list but it spans all of time and I LOVED the rise to power in this one. Really worth it.

    I should probably stop there before my fingers fall off but I hope that helps. If you need more, let me know :)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Somebody has never played Call to Power.
    Call to Power would be all right if the AI knew how to play the game competently. It has a lot of fun mechanics. And it has the bonus of being, I think, the last Civ game that was completely happy for you to build huge empires.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Call To Power had some fun ideas (eg: the omniscient AI that sets all happiness to a permanent "content" state where dissent is impossible, but so is joy. Brrr. And it can revolt and overthrow you, too), but it was broken as hell.

    f'instance, if a neighbouring civilisation built a lawyer unit before you (seriously), they'd lock you out of the game by just disabling your cities, and there's nothing you can do about it unless you already have the right technology and the counter unit already built. That and the constant fucking about with trade routes, dreary, spartan UI... blugh.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I couldn't help but think "games where you become powerful over time" is a net cast so wide that they could simply be called "games."
    Well I had hoped that the Empire building part sort of gave some nuance as to what I meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    And yeah, OP, your post could be interpreted as applying to every empire building strategy game ever but the Paradox grand strategy games would be a good fit. .
    This is kinda what I meant. I'm not really looking for anything especially specific, just games in this sort of genre where you do build an empire type thing. I'm not really fussed if it's turned based etc. so that's why I left it so wide.

    As to everyone else, thanks for the suggestions EU3 I think I actually picked up in a recent sale and forgot about it, so that's certainly one to try. I've heard such good things about CK2 as well that I may as well try it out even if it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

    @Dariune, thanks especially for all those suggestions. Regarding 2070 how would you say it compares to 1404? Would you recommend it over that? I've played a bit of 1404 and enjoyed it but, not for long enough to fully see all it has to offer.

    Can anyone remember that game RPS recently previewed? It was the next in an established franchise, but reasonably unexpected I think. It looked sort of like Civ but in a fantasy setting. Don't think it's out yet.

    Also, does Rise of Nations have this?
    steam: sketch

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    f'instance, if a neighbouring civilisation built a lawyer unit before you (seriously), they'd lock you out of the game by just disabling your cities, and there's nothing you can do about it unless you already have the right technology and the counter unit already built. That and the constant fucking about with trade routes, dreary, spartan UI... blugh.
    Can't you just kill the lawyers? I can't remember lawyers, but I definitely remember you could kill most special units just by attacking them.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    The Guild 2 is fun, I can't think of another game quite like it, but ultimately it does lack depth and suffers from bugs.

    It's a game about building up a trading company/merchant dynasty, but on a scale closer to an RPG than most management games. You start with a single character and a basic business. You can upgrade your buildings, buy or build new businesses, equip your character or employees with weapons or other items, court a wife and have babies to play as after you die. You can play it purely as a sandbox, trying to amass wealth and titles, or you can compete against AI dynasties and employ more ruthless tactics like attacking and robbing their shipments. Or neglect legitimate business entirely and become a bandit.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Can't you just kill the lawyers? I can't remember lawyers, but I definitely remember you could kill most special units just by attacking them.
    They're invisible if you don't have your own one.

    Sketch - the game you're asking about was based on Master of Magic (which itself is available on gog, and has aged well - I first played it only six or seven years ago and love it). I can't remember the name of the upcoming one it inspired, though.

    I enjoed the Guild 2, but never really saw the point of it. I seemed to spend all my time doing the same stuff over, and acquiring more businesses just meant doing the same stuff with different items. Maybe it only makes sense if you become a criminal bastard, iono. I kind of like it though, and I'm not sure why. It's oddly pleasant.

    I think it's the lack of characters that does it for me. You play as a person rather than a business, sure, but there's no player avatar or meaningful personal stuff to do or have happen to you.
    Last edited by sinister agent; 16-05-2013 at 01:27 AM.

  20. #20
    Activated Node ColdSpiral's Avatar
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    Not exactly a 4x or RTS but have you looked into Kenshi? You start off as a single, underequipped pleb - weak to the point that kiting bandits to the city guard and then looting the bodies is a reasonable starting strategy - but can build up your control until you're running a faction, building outposts, manufacturing weapons and the like.

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