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  1. #1

    Looking for some Strategy

    I've just read the excellent mini-series of articles on Sengoku, and it's put me in the mood for something similar.

    The thing is, I've barely played anything in the genre, RTS or otherwise. What appeals to me is the sheer depth and varied outcomes, as well as the decision-making, and I'm really looking for a change of pace after the year's biggest Action/RPG's and such.

    Turn-based strikes me as more relaxed, I'm not looking for anything like Starcraft or C&C. Other things that would help include -

    - Being somewhat cheap; I'm all but drained on being able to spend more than £10-15 on games for the rest of the year (Thanks to a number of pre-orders).

    - Potentially able to run on my 'netbook', which is actually a pretty decent netbook/laptop hybrid, the Asus 1215N. Dual core Atom N525, Ion2 GPU, 2gb DDR3 RAM.

    - Intuitive to a new user - I'm not an idiot with no patience, but my vast lack of experience with the genre suggests I'm more likely to become bored and alienated by something obtuse and overly complex.

    Games that come to mind, and that may or may not be suitable -

    - Europa Universalis III
    - King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame
    - King's Bounty
    - Civ 3 + 4
    - A Game of Thrones: Genesis (If it was better than it supposedly is)

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Network Hub grasskit's Avatar
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    jagged alliance 2
    that is all.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node
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    Civ4 is an easy one. A great game with a great catologue of mods that make it even greater. It's on sale quite often and you can easily pick up the complete pack for around £5.

    I like King Arthur, but it's a bit fiddly. M2:TotalWar (or Rome:TotalWar) is more solid and so probably a better suggestions.

    Or, go have a look on gog.com. There are loads of great old strategy games. I loveds Commandos back in the day. It's pretty hard, and maybe more of a puzzle games in some ways. Alpha Centuri is a true great.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    I have no actual experience with them, but the Heroes of Might and Magic series is supposedly very good. Number three seems to be considered the best one and can be purchased with both expansions on GOG for 9.99$.

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    Activated Node Jorum's Avatar
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    I'm gonna put a good word in for Age of Wonder series.

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    frozen synapse is fun and it has an excellent soundtrack too

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oak's Avatar
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    Start with Civ 4.

  8. #8
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    Originally I wrote a big list but realized that that wouldn't be helpful to someone who is just trying to get into the genre and has no idea what these games are. So here are three suggestions. You can't go wrong with any of these games:

    ALPHA CENTAURI ($6 from GOG)
    I consider this the best in the civilization franchise, and perhaps the best strategy game ever designed. An in-depth, intelligent speculation of what the competitive human colonization of another planet might be like. The game has deep strategy (including terraforming, unit design, and alien ecology management) but is straightforward to learn and has a solid interface. Highlights include the well-developed personalities of the different factions and the incredible flavor text that accompanies the technology research.

    RISE OF NATIONS: GOLD ($11 from Amazon)
    This is real-time, but the speed is completely controllable and orders can be issued while paused. It's a mash-up of Age of Empires and Civilization: a match encompass the breadth of human history but can be completed in less than an hour. The Thrones and Patriots add-on has very solid single-player campaigns, and the skirmish is always interesting. Beautiful graphics, incredibly good interface, and tons of strategy.

    MEDIEVAL 2: TOTAL WAR: GOLD ($10 from Steam)
    A straightforward campaign map melds with a fantastic real-time tactical battle map (with speed controls and the ability to issue orders while paused) to create a very engaging game. I was properly addicted to this when it came out: managing my generals and governors, expanding my kingdom, building up my cities -- it's all very simple, but it comes together to great effect.

    And a word of warning -- the Paradox games (Europa Universalis 3, etc.) are very interesting, but if this is true:

    I'm not an idiot with no patience, but my vast lack of experience with the genre suggests I'm more likely to become bored and alienated by something obtuse and overly complex.
    I'd stay away from them until you're more comfortable with the genre.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oak's Avatar
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    Wait, no, maybe listen to Giaddon.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    If Sengoku sounds up your alley, go for Europa Universalis 3, but it's a complex one to start with. Full of wonder and exploration though.

    Not enough people have played Titans of Steel, which is freeware since around 2004 or so. If you like some serious mech-battles, that's one of the top contenders for micro-turnbased action.

    Civ 4 is an entirely different but gorgeous beast, if Empire and city building and pushing stacks of armies around.

    King's Bounty is very light-hearted but has brilliant and very accessible mechanics - but it's quite tricky which may require some experience with Heroes of Might&Magic. Speaking of which, go for Heroes of Might&Magic IV which is fun and accessible and difficulty scales very nicely. It'll also run on your netbook and has horrible, horrible textures. Sorry for that.
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    Heroes of Might and Magic is the getaway dru...game to turn based strategy.

    For real time, Age of Empires 2.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Duckee's Avatar
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    Depends if you are looking for modern games or more classics too I suppose.

    I would recommend for a modern game: Company of Heroes and if that is to your liking check out the Men of War series.

    If you want an older game then check out any game made by Bullfrog, such as Dungeon Keeper, Populous the Beginning, Theme Hospital. Microprose games are also nice, such as Roller Coaster Tycoon 1-2 and the community remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe called OpenTTD.

    Also as some people suggested try some Total War games such as Medieval 1-2. Furthermore, heed the warning of staying clear of Paradox titles, they tend to be overwhelming.
    Last edited by Duckee; 06-10-2011 at 06:43 PM.

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    I am partial to Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI if you can find it. The English PC version is not the definitive iteration, but it's still a fun turnbased game. Its very straight forward and relaxed, but also quite atmospheric thanks to the art style. It's also based on the same history/stories as the Dynasty Warriors games, and after a few hours you'll be recognising important characters.

    The Elven Legacy games are based on Fantasy General, and are meant to be pretty tough. I played the first remake (before the series was renamed Elven Legacy) and quite enjoyed it. However, there's an overlying plot so you don't get to set your own goals and come out with a completely different experience from the next person.

    If you haven't already played them, Civ 4/Jagged Alliance 2/UFO: Enemy Unknown (né X-com) are all excellent turn based games, though the last two are not grand strategy. They're also perfect for a portable machine.

    EU III (Chronicles, with MiscMods) is also great but as with all Paradox titles it can be difficult to get into at first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vexing Vision View Post
    Not enough people have played Titans of Steel, which is freeware since around 2004 or so. If you like some serious mech-battles, that's one of the top contenders for micro-turnbased action.
    Titans of Steel isn't so much a game as an exercise in interface frustration. It was also based on Battletech. Megamek does the same basic game better, with fewer interface frustrations, but doesn't have any campaign or easy customisation options. Both ToS and Megamek require extensive background reading to understand at all, so I would not recommend them in this instance.
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    Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI is available on Gamersgate for $20.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nullkigan View Post
    The Elven Legacy games are based on Fantasy General, and are meant to be pretty tough. I played the first remake (before the series was renamed Elven Legacy) and quite enjoyed it. However, there's an overlying plot so you don't get to set your own goals and come out with a completely different experience from the next person.
    Really? I didn't know that! Cheers for ruining my next weeks of sleep as I grab the series. ;)

    Titans of Steel isn't so much a game as an exercise in interface frustration. It was also based on Battletech. Megamek does the same basic game better
    This seems to be a matter of personal taste then. I for one find the user interface extremely easy and natural to get into. With the sole exception of applying armor to mechs, which was a pain.
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  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Battle for Wesnoth

    Free game, available for several OS. Many user modules for SP or MP with additional units. Wesnoth is a lot of fun. Not the most head-scratching game out there in SP, but there are campaigns of varying length and difficulty. Heavily inspired by Master of Monsters.

    Really no excuse for nabbing it and playing the living junk out of it.

  17. #17
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    The Sengoku diary appeared just as EU3 went on sale in Steam - I took it as a sign. EU3's gonna take a while to learn though.

    I've only beaten the original Elven Legacy, no expansions, but from what I've seen it's reminiscent of a game like Fire Emblem mixed with Battle for Wesnoth. Very fun, also very challenging. I would vastly recommend Elven Legacy to Battle for Wesnoth, because the latter game's RNG-based combat will send one to the nuthouse.

    King Arthur: TRPWG is fun, feels like a more RPG-focused Total War game.

    King's Bounty is also fun, it's basically a more interesting take on the Heroes of Might & Magic series.

    Purchasing Civ4 + expansions is the best choice, I think. There is a plethora of fun mods at CivFanatics, at least one ought to scratch your strategy itch. Civ3 also has some great mods, IIRC. I liked what I played of the Warhammer Fantasy one.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nullkigan View Post
    The Elven Legacy games are based on Fantasy General, and are meant to be pretty tough. I played the first remake (before the series was renamed Elven Legacy) and quite enjoyed it. However, there's an overlying plot so you don't get to set your own goals and come out with a completely different experience from the next person.
    I'm going to be pedantic. Elven Legacy is the sequel to Fantasy Wars, which may very well be based on Fantasy General.


  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Sword of the stars is lovely but the startup investment is massive, Frozen Synapse's bar to entry is not too and its currently humble bundle too.

    Settlers 2 10th anniversary is peaceful elegant and easy to start,problem is its not available digitally.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnravThreads View Post
    I'm going to be pedantic. Elven Legacy is the sequel to Fantasy Wars, which may very well be based on Fantasy General.
    I don't see the error in my assertation?

    Elven Legacy is a sequel to Fantasy Wars, which was indeed based on Fantasy General. Elven Legacy is now also the effective name of the series which includes Elven Legacy and the 'expansions' EL:Ranger, EL:Siege and EL:Magic.
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