Recommend to me a grand strategy wargame (non RTS)

As said in the tittle, I’m searching for a grand strategy wargame, that would include if possible supplies, command and control, creation of new units, etc… Ideally also that would allow to play the tactical battles too (though I’ve only seen one such game, “Napoleon 1812”, that was bugged and generally worthless, so it might be difficult to find one).

As mentionned, I’m not searching for an RTS. The game doesn’t need to be very recent (in fact my computer is only middle of the road), just still relatively easy to find.
The era doesn’t matter much to me. Anything from the antiquity to WWII and beyond goes.

Of course, I’d like the AI to be at least acceptable. I played two such American Civil War based games that I won while still reading the rulebook, for instance. So, I’d rather have an AI that can win against a player acting mostly randomly :wink:

I’m going to mention that I already know both Hearts of Iron and the Operationnal Art of War.

Europa Universalis 3 is about as in depth grand strategy as you’re likely to see. It is not RTS, and focuses almost entirely on political and economic development. You don’t play tactical battles on it.

King Arthur, The Roleplaying Wargame sounds right up your alley, and it will play well on a middle-of-the-road computer. It has heavy elements of fantasy in it, so if wizards casting lightning bolts and such during tactical battles doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to skip it. Otherwise it’s exactly what you described. It includes resource management, economy management, research, political concerns, and lets you play tactical battles. The battles ARE rts, but you can issue orders while the battle is paused, so the flow of the battle is not rushed.

EU3 is pausable RTS, just to be clear.

There’s always the Strategic Command 2 series, if you want some old school WWII (and now, WW I) action.

Yes, but I know the EU serie too. I didn’t mention it because I didn’t thought of it as a wargame. Though in fact I could be interested too in games that aren’t strictly speaking “wargames”. However, at the moment, I’m not interested in an EU-style game (Crusader kings, etc…). I played them a bit too much :slight_smile:

I’m going to look into this one. Indeed, a pausable battle doesn’t bother me. What I mostly don’t like about RTS is the “click on the building to produce units, then move immediatly to the other side of the map to order around other units in the raging battle”, both because it’s totally unrealistic and because I don’t like being rushed.
Meanwhile, I was looking around and wondering if any of you had an opinion about the “supreme ruler” serie?

Try Master of Magic for some old school empire management/turn-based fantasy strategy that works on XP or later.

Unfortunately, I know this one too. One of the best games I played, despite having discovered it ten years or so after its release. The only game I ever bought a (useful) strategy book for. I plays it from time to time. It’s a shame that they didn’t make a newer, more visually appealing version of it (and with more ennemies too!).

Are you sure it runs on XP, though? I always plays it on DOS.
By the way, I also knows “Master of Orion 2”. Never tried Master of Orion 3 because according to posters here, it seems to have been a dissapointment.

That’s a Good Old Games link so it’s either been recompiled for a modern OS or it runs through DOSBox.

How about Mosby’s Confederacy?

The total war games maybe? You can play it from the turn based map only if you want, but you can pause the realtime tactical battles. The older ones will play fine on older PCs. I would recommend Rome, Medieval 2, and shogun 2.

Also civ 5 might be right up your alley, as well galactic civ 2

Have you actually played Hearts of Iron 3? The gameplay is not quite where it ultimately will be (typical Paradox game), but a second expansion is in the works and the ICE mod is excellent.

Sword of the Stars? It doesn’t have the level of micromanaging control that you asked for and it’s “only” pausable realtime battles, but it’s still pretty easy to acquire and a darn fine game (I consider it better than MOO2 which was too “Build a hydroponic farm on every colony” - which I dislike in the same way that you dislike clicking on buildings to build units. :wink: )

Gary Grigsby’s World at War is pretty good, theres a slight learning curve as any strategy game with depth will have. Similar to Axis & Allies but far deeper. You really have to be the Axis though otherwise the AI doesn’t stand a chance.

Crown of Glory: Europe in the Age of Napoleon is supposed to be really good. I purchased it, but haven’t really gotten into it as I’ve had other things on the docket lately.

There’s always the classic Panzer General II which is a steal at $10. Castles II on that list is pretty good too, not as deep as you’re looking for probably but a good time.

Korsun Pocket is supposed to be fantastic, but thats another one I still haven’t had time to learn.
This genre is my wheelhouse so I’ll be following this thread and adding more when I think of them.

Strategic Command is $5.00 on and has a very low educational entrance fee.

Strategy First


Matrix Games are great sources…the later I think has greater quality than the former.

Just letting you know that I tried EU3 and I was completely overwhelmed by it. There was just so much that I found the learning curve impossible to get over. You might be far better at it than I was but I’m just throwing that out there. And I’m not one of the 60-year old dopers who gets confused by cell phones- I love customization and detail in the games that I play and often think that the options in games like Civ are too shallow. But EU3 was… it was something else altogether.

Slitherine’s Field of Glory franchise is supposed to be great too.
OK, I’m done. For now.

I looked at it, but despite seeming interesting, it rather looks like a tactical level game (with individual soldiers)

I played Shogun 1. It has the inconvenience (for me) of real-time battles I’m not really good at (and don’t enjoy as much as many people do. I feel stressed instead of relaxed when I play this way). However, it’s also the only game I ever played on line in multi-player mode. I’ve noticed the current thread about Shogun 2, and might buy this game and try again the online multi-player mode. But at the moment, I’m rather thinking about a non real-time game (or a with a pause feature)

Regarding Civ, I only recently began to play Civ 4 (and have a ton of issues running it on windows 7. Currently, I again can’t start it), so I’ll probably buy Civ 5 when Civ 6 will be released:D . I bought once galactic civ (don’t know if it was 1 or 2), but got a defective disk (the game crashed after some turns, and no technical solutions could be found) , and since I tried to play it several months after I bought it, I couldn’t get a refund or exchange neither from the seller nor from the distributor. I’m irrationally unwilling to buy again a game I paid for and couldn’t play :mad:

No, I’ve only played HoI 1 (the version modified by the community). I will probably someday upgrade to a newer version, but I’m more searching at the moment for a new game than for a new version of a game I already know. In fact, I was envisioning to buy HoI 2 or 3 when I decided instead to start this thread to fish for something new.

I don’t mind building hydroponic plants everywhere, that’s a civ-like feature I’m accustomed to. In fact, what I liked the most in MOO2 were the very customizable ships. I enjoyed as much creating new models as actually playing the game, I think.
Reading the reviews, it seems that Sword of the Stars also has a similar feature, which is a plus. But at first glance, my understanding is that battles are very quick and non-pausable. Which is a minus. Could you tell me if there’s a pause feature?

Also, I notice that “Sword of the Stars 2” is soon to be released. Shouldn’t I wait for the new version?

Since I’m looking at reviews for the games proposed, I haven’t yet looked into the games mentioned in the most recent posts.

Shogun 2 lets you pause combat indefinitely to consider your moves, or play at half speed for that matter. The AI is pretty good, but there are of course some strategies that pays higher dividends. There’s no rush and you can easily make mistakes and recover. Hell, even losing a “field stack” (I.e. your biggest army) can be recovered from as long as you play it smart. And with the saving system (which lets you quicksave right before any combat and autosaves every turn) you can replay battles as often as you like, if you get it wrong.

If it feels a bit hectic, you can always go back to one of the previous games, like Empire or Napoleon, which were set in the gunpowder era (American revolution and, well, Napoleon’s campaigns respectively). The pace is a lot slower and more considered in those games, since it was rarely about rushing your troops around the field and more about slow envelopment and proper placement.

Both games feature big “real time” battles (that can be paused for digestion) as well as a properly strategic meta-game with diplomacy and some trade aspects.

I have 20+ years of wargaming in my blood but the Total War series has never done anything for me.

I like all types of war games and can appreciate each different one for it’s unique focus, depth and period. Personally I just don’t see any of those games scratching the ‘tactical itch’.

No matter how often you pause or slow to half speed the interface is still highlighting groups and then pointing them at something. I like StarCraft and Warcraft too, but I’d hesitate to call them war games either.

To each his own I guess, but to me a war game should feel like chess + poker and TW doesn’t.

I’d say that’s a gross oversimplification and the comparison is doing both the Total War series and the War/Starcraft games a disservice. True, the formula of Grand Strategy is diluted to make room for more accessible gameplay, but battles really are as complex as you want them to be. And the last two games’ drop-in combat functionality ensures that if you find the AI to be unrewarding to fight against, there’s a very good alternative.

Having a bit of a roleplaying bent and really getting into the spirit of things helps, too.

Back to the OP, have you looked at King’s Bounty? It’s a kind of Heroes-esque hex-combat quasi-RTS. You might like it.

I’m in about the same position as the OP — considering getting HOI 3, but looking at other options.

I’ve been following the SA Let’s Play War In the Pacific, which is unfolding in “real time” - one turn a day. It’s been going on for over a year now. It’s making me want to go for something like that, where I could play about 15-30 min a day and feel like I’m not lost each time I head back in. Possibly not quite as lengthy a game, but I don’t mind a broad scope.

One thing I really dislike is the standard “move one piece at a time entirely” turn-based procedure. It’s a holdover from the tabletop days, and IMO makes it terribly tough to plan moves. So I’d prefer either a slow/pausable RTS, or something with a better turn-based option. Planned simultaneous, or moves like Atomic’s V for Victory series are more of what I like.

I tried the TW Medieval but it left me feeling a little cold. Some of what Sitnam said, in that the interface didn’t feel like I could easily understand what my troops are doing. I’m considering giving Shogun 2 a shot, but at 6 GB for the demo alone, it better be worth it.