My list of the top 12 Strategy games (in my opinion)
I Love Lists! I don’t know why but I do, maybe its something about the order of things when written down in a neat list but whatever the reason I love them. Another thing I love is strategy games and I love all types; grand strategy, turn-based, squad based and real time. So I thought for a little blog update I should combine my two loves and create a list of my favorite strategy games. I am not sticking with one specific group of games instead I thought I would cast a wider net and say if its strategic in any way it could be in. Please remember that this is my personal list and I’m not saying these games are the best ever just the best for me and there retro so no modern games sorry.
12 Age Of Empires 3
Got this game for Christmas the year it was released and played it to death. For me, it was the first RTS I had played with an in-depth story that played out as you played and at times felt almost like an RPG.
11 Dark Omen
I originally played this on PS1 and really wish I still had the game as it has become rare to find in good condition. However, it is better on PC and runs great in 3dfx mode. A had game to master but once you have the control scheme down it gets very fun and even harder.
10 Frontline command
Just clinching the top ten spot is an RTS from the legendary bitmap brothers and sadly their last game. A great little RTS based in WWII and in my opinion ahead of its time. with each trooper being a key player in the battles you play this game rewards player who looks after their troops.
09 UFO Aftermath
The UFO games are spiritual successors to the Fables X-com games of the 90’s. Aftermath is set in the days after the alien invasion where the extraterrestrials seem to have gained the upper hand. You are forced to build up a task force from the ground up and defeat the Xeno scum. This titles feels far closer to the modern releases of Xcom than to its source material and plays great in time-based (like turn-based) or real time.
08 War wind 2
The second installment of war wind is not a fantasy RTS but a sci-fi. This game borders the line between RTS and RPG with your troops getting XP and upgrades and being able to bring them along threw out the game and even having the option to talk to non-hostile NPC on the map in a story mission.
An oldie and a Goldie. I only discovered max a few weeks ago but I am hooked, and it’s partly why I made this list. Its closes cousin is probably total annihilation but its turn-based and revolves far more around building your bases and resource management. Usually, I’m not a fan of the base building part of strategy games but seeing as its turn-based meant that I could relax and take it slow.
06 Laser Squad
If I’m playing games on my 386 and want a turn-based, squad tactical game I will load up Laser squad. Somewhere between Xcom and rainbow 6, it’s a great little game for an old dos game.
Top 5 now and grabbing 5th is a game from Bungee before they sold out gave up and churned out the same game for the last 10 years about some chief or something. but enough bungee bashing. This game is the perfect medieval fantasy RTS with spellcasting special abilities and a brilliant storyline and voice acting. The game has tons character with loads of hidden easter eggs and lots of mods available. while the second game is better supported for modern computers and mods. I own the big box of this game and its a must install for any retro computer I build especially to see if its tricky 3dfx mode which looks amazing.
04 Combat Mission Beyond Overlord
This is a great game that spawned a series of games that is still alive today and known mainly to the very hardcore strategy community. The way its played is in phases and there are two of these phases in each round. A planning phase allows you to plan your unit movement with lines and way-points. The next phase is the results phase, in which you watch your and your opponent’s troops attempt to execute the orders given in the planning phase. you cannot issue orders in the results phase which lasts for 60 seconds, I love this way of playing games as it results in terror when you spot a tiger tank 5 seconds into a phase and have to watch for 55 seconds while your troops alone attempt to deal with the threat without your input. I highly recommend the game and all its follow-ups are also great.
03 Sudden Strike gold (2)
Entering into the top 3 spot is sudden strike 2 or gold whichever. It’s a fantastic RTS set in WWII with tons of units and tactical choice. what sets it apart is that it seems like a typical RTS is that the soft squishy units and thinly armored tanks you’re given seem to throw away. In fact, they are the only unit you are going to get, so take care of them. Instead of an infantry platoon attacking a town it might be worth sending a scout and a sniper to deal with mg positions or call in arty/airstrikes to soften the enemy up. There is a lot of depth here too including medics, transport trucks bridging teams, steal-able cannons and vehicles and much much more.
02 Act Of War
Stealing second is Act of War an absolutely overlooked game. I played this at a time in my life where I wasn’t overly into computer gaming, in fact, I was more into party’s and console gaming with friends and a few beers to boot. However, I still had my old computer and this was one of the few games I played on it for a very long time. On the surface, it’s another modern-day RTS in the vein of World in conflict and other titles available at the time. However, I personally believe that it’s better than all the rest. Its depth is immense and while it doesn’t reach the like of soldiers of WWII or its later iteration men of war, it gets fairly close without losing the grand scope of a battle. The game has you evacuating casualty’s, capturing enemy’s which can be exchanged for Intel and retrieving disabled armor from the battlefield. In one of my favorite missions, you arrive in San Francisco during the Russian invasion and have to help local police and national guard units and prevent them being overrun. I like to play this mission like black hawk down by attempting to evacuating them with helicopters or rescuing them with a convoy of Humvees. The game has a storyline straight from a Tom Clancy novel and some very cheesy live action cut scenes reminiscent of red alert but more a little more serious. Overall a great game and well worth checking out. However, I can’t vouch for its sequels as I haven’t played them.
01 Close Combat A bridge too far
To me, if you say the words strategy computer game I think Close combat. If you say WWII computer game I think close combat, and if you say close combat I think bridge too far. It was the first strategy video game I played, at my uncle’s house when I was young and at the time I had no idea what to do or how to win but the maps and the tiny units moving around them was magical for me. Later in life, I played invasion Normandy and, while I understood the game better and loved to play against a friend I still wasn’t good at the game. Now going back to them I love to play all of them and I am fairly good at all of them but I mainly like to go back too a Bridge too Far.
The frustration, the hope, the joy and the pain of loss, all of these emotions can be felt in a single action on this game. For example, Order that ad hoc rifle team to attack that Panzer V that is parked just outside there concealed position with its back to them. At first they all mill around swapping guns and priming “gammon bombs” then one brave soul takes a bomb and slowly makes his way across the street. “Oh no,” terror strikes you as the turret slowly traverses toward your lone man, wait he’s even got a name! You can see his status bar goes from attacking to panicking to seeking cover as the turret-mounted machine gun opens up barking its deadly salvo, but slowly he crawls out and throws his bomb BOOM! He’s done it amazing but just as he stands to join his fire team an MG42 down the road Farts into life and cut’s the hapless man down in the road, only 2 feet from the door. A medal will be awarded to him on the results page and you sure as hell will remember his name!
The game Has you controlling several elements of the allied army during its attempts to hold the bridges in the market garden offensive and simultaneously pushing XXX corps down the road to bring your boy’s armor and munitions and eventually the victory. You can however play as the Germans also which is a nice change of pace and especially good in LAN multiplayer.
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