PC War Strategy games suggestions

I would like to find a strategy based PC war game that doesn’t require the reflexes of a cobra. All the games my kids play seem to be designed so that teenagers can thrash us old farts. I would like something more “chess” like. Something that allows me to reflect on what is happening and allows rat cunning to beat hand-eye co-ordination.

Any suggestions?

Get ready; you’ll get dozens of suggestions, but first, a few questions.[ul][]Are you looking for games to play against your teenagers, or to play against strangers/friends online, or to play by yourself?[]How old is your computer? That is, if someone were to suggest a game that came out this week (e.g. Rome: Total War), would that be an option, or would you instead prefer older games?What games specifically do you dislike? “PC strategy games that require the reflexes of a cobra” sounds like a condemnation of real-time strategy games, such as Starcraft and that ilk.[/ul]

You might want to look into a turn-based strategy game then. I can’t fault you for your frustration; I’m only 24 but can’t possibly multitask/micromanage the way some crack players can at games like Starcraft :frowning:

The Command and Conquer games are a lot of fun if you’re willing to play an RTS. They also have great singleplayer modes as well.

The Heroes of Might and Magic series is a turn based strategy game that I had a blast playing. The last one I played was part III, but they may be up to part IV by now :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway, its worth looking into, very fun.

Of course, if you have a computer old enough to run it, Lords of the Realm II was a hoot and a half. The castle seiges are a blast. :slight_smile:

Up to IV with expansion packs.

Slaughter these villagers?

Oh, yeah, I definitely recommend Heroes of Might and Magic III. Turn based fantasy goodness.

IV was rather mediocre from what I’ve heard. Haven’t had the heart to try it myself.

I don’t know about the new Dawn of War game but the earlier Warhammer 40K games are turn-based. I still have my Final Liberation disc around somewhere.

I’m playing Dawn of War now, and while it’s not turn-based, it’s pretty dang fun; I may end up getting it.

Although Total War: Rome isn’t turn based, it DOES have the option to pause it at any moment to re-issue orders. If you’re playing single-player, that ames it almost like a turn-based game. It looks beautiful, but not quite my style.


Now, when you say, “Strategy-based war game”, what exactly are you looking for?

If you’re looking for a strict war-game: that is, a recreation of actual battles fought in a war- you’re going to have a hard time finding non-RTS games out there for that these days. They used to be exceedingly common, but RTS has pushed the old hex-based games almost out of the market.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a strategy game with war flavor- something akin to a turn-based StarCraft or Command-and-Conquer, then there’s a pretty good selection of games out there.

*Civilization III is the big daddy of them all. Take a culture from a stone age civilization all the way up to space colonization, assuming the damned Mongols don’t wipe you out, first. Extremely deep play and enough variables to keep you playing again and again, and generally considered one of the best turn-based games out there. And the latest version almost has all of the bugs out of it. The only real problem is that there’s a good bit of a learning curve, so expect to have your butt handed to you quite a bit.

*Rome - Total War or its predecessor Medeval - Total War are both very big turn-based strategy games. In Medeval, you can skip the RTS battle sequences and have them auto-resolved, which means no mouse skills are ever necessary (although you’ll also never pull out victory from a battle that should have overwhelmed you, so it’s a trade-off). Don’t know if Rome-Total War allows the auto-calc of battles in the same way.

*Europa Universalis and any of its successors- Europe Universalis II, Victoria, Pax Romana- are RTS, but RTS of the type where you speed up the damned game clock so that something actually happens rather than waiting around for the game to do something. But the learning curve is even higher for these games than for Civ III.
If you can find them in bargain bins, I also highly recommend Masters of Orion II: Battle for Antares (but stay far, far away from Masters of Orion III!) , once of the best turn-based galaxy-conquest games out there; and Alpha Centauri, a futuristic version of the Civ series taking place on a colonized planet.

Agreed. It’s digital crack. I cannot count the number of times I was playing till the sun came up when I thought it was still hours earlier. I cannot think of an overall better game ever made (that is, if you had to nominate Best Game Ever across all categories and time for the computer this would definitely be near if not at the top of the list).

Total War: Rome is great but splits between a turn based world map and RTS battles. The RTS part is not (usually) a manic clik-fest and you can pause the battle at anytime in single player and still issue orders. Occasionally a battle gets big and hairy enough you are zooming all over but the pause button certainly mitigates that to a great extent. You can also have the game autoresolve battles for you. However, it really needs at least a semi-beefy system and graphics card to run but if your system has the juice it is a very slick game to look at as well as play. As it stands I expect Total War: Rome will be Strategy Game of the Year to most agencies that make such rankings. If not it will certainly be a strong contender.

On that note, Master of Magic, the old medieval fantasy version of Civ. You can fight battles in turn-based combat or have them auto-resolved.

Boy I wish they’d make a sequel. I loved that game! Couldn’t get my Windows 2000 computer to run it for the life of me though. Warlord II was also a great mid-90s game.

Ask and ye shall receive, sport. Came out about a month ago.

Rome: Total War is totally amazing, and doesn’t require cat-like reflexes at all. Highly recommended. If it’s too much for your computer, the predecessor Medieval: Total War is similar in flavour, though the strategic parts aren’t as deep or as well executed. The tactical simulator part is nearly as good, though.

I can’t really say that the Civilization games should be counted as war games. They’re grand empire builders, true enough, but if you’re playing them for the war game aspect, you could do better. The same goes for Master of Orion II, which I still drag out occasionally. These games are great fun, but they’re about resource production, not about military strategy.

The Panzer General games. I’m not very big on that particular subgenre, but it seemed like a good game from what little I played of it.

Any of the civilization games should give you that. The only problem is if war breaks out then you are SOL. I like the civ games but I hate it when I have to go to war because I can’t build infrastructure anymore.

What also sucks about civ is tha after you learn a few good tactics the game becomes very repetitive.

Sim City is another game that you may like. But its not really multiplayer. I’m out of ideas beyond those two.

Of course that depends on what you want. Your question seems like you are jsut asking about non-first person combat games. There are tons of those. Age of Empires is another one but it is not as in depth as civilization.

Galactic Civilisations is one of the best turn-based 4S strategy games I’ve played.

There are a number of very good games listed here, but if what you’re after is a “more chess-like” war game (a special note about Europa universalis, one of my all-time favorite games. And Master of Orion II is great too) then what you’re probably after is a classical turn-based wargame (where you play one of the side in a normally historical battle or war, with general few or no “ressource management”.

Unfortunately, as mentionned by some posters, these are rarely (if ever) produced anymore, with the success of the Real Time Strategy (the kind of games that require cobra-like reflexes).You should probably look in the “oldies” bin in your PC games store, or even search for abandonwares. For instance I was playing recently again “Civil war Generals II” which is a good wargame including several campaigns during, of course the civil wars. Or before that, "the Operationnal Art of War, which is IMO one of the best wargame for the modern era, including battles from WWI to the Gulf War, but with a quite steep learning curve. But there are plenty of others, the most common taking place during WWII, the american civil war and the napoleonic era.

Someone mentionned the “Panzer’s general”, “people’s general”, etc… serie. They’re certainly good games, and if you never played a turn based wargame you might want to try these. They have a flaw, for people like me who played a number of wargames, which is that the scale is undetermined (you don’t know if your basic unit is say, a platoon, a regiment, a division) . It shows, and I find it an annoyance. But they’re fun.

By the way, I recently noticed to which extent the turn-based wargames have slipped out of the radar. Reading the “player’s comment” about some old wargame on some site, I came across one such comment where the player complained about the game, saying that it was boring, with no nice graphism, and it was more similar to some boardgame than to a real PC strategy game. He added that in his opinion it was some kind of failed attempt to imitate RTS games. Obviously, he never had heard about turn based wargames, and had no clue they predated by far RTS. That floored me.

By the way, I don’t like much RTS myself, either. I had some pleasure playing “cossacks”, for instance, but nor the management, nor the battles look realistic, and more imortantly, I like to think, plan and take my time, and you can’t really do any of this with RTS. I don’t like being rushed that way, clicking everywhere as quickly as I can. A real time but slow-paced and realistic wargame would be great but I don’t know about any of these.

Of course, there are good and poor turn-based wargames, like any other game. For instance, during the recent years, I have a very good experience playing the virtually unknown “Divided Ground” (a tactical wargame about the arab-Israeli wars) while “Napoleon 1813”, that included all the features a wargamer could dream of (playing both the battles and the strategical moves and recruitment, taking seriously supplying into account, etc…) was a total failure due to bugs and more importantly to a completely incompetent AI.

Thanks a lot! Although I see the customer reviews have generally panned the game, so further research may be required to see if it’s worth purchasing.

I know you’re looking for a PC game, but … .

Get yourself a Game Boy Advance SP and Advance Wars 2. Don’t be put off by its slightly cutesy look. It’s got lots of depth. I’m a professional game designer and I’ve probably logged more hours on AW than any other game in the past 12 months.

Like chess it’s deceptively simple. You only have about 20 different unit types, but they’re extremely well-balanced. You get to deal with the fog of war, indirect fire, logistics, air support, amphibious assault, submarine warfare … I can’t recommend this game highly enough. It’s even got it’s own scenario editor.

GBA SPs are going for about $80.00 now, and you should be able to pick up AW for $20.00.