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Game recommendation for Newbie Strategist

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by sjclarkey, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. sjclarkey

    sjclarkey Chieftain

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    Hi, I really love Civ 4 but want to add a new game into the mix. I'm looking for the type of game that (like Civ) you spend all your spare waking hours away from the game deciding on your strategy - a game that consumes you. I'm not interested in FPS or games with random quests that let you decide to ignore them if you wish. I used to enjoy Commandos back in the old days.

    Any recomendations gratefully recieved with a description of why it fits the bill. Thanks
     
  2. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    This depends on how deep you want to dive into some niche gaming. Paradox Interactive games like Europa Universalis III plus the 4(!) expansions, Victoria II, and the Hearts of Iron series are fairly more detailed than Civ-style games. They have a fixed world map, and you lead your selected country through as many as a few centuries or as little as a dozen years (in HoI) of history. They are sandbox-style games kind of like Civ, but they use a pause-able real time system. Instead of managing cities with improvements in neighboring tiles, you have irregularly-shaped regions with various resources. Diplomacy is definitely more involved in these games than with the Civ series.

    If you are a fan of classical-style wargames, then AGEod is the studio for you. Not too popular on these boards, but I love them. They are fairly realistic wargames usually depicting a major war (i.e. Russian Civil War, American Civil War, Seven Years War, or a "Wars in America" pack that covers the F&I War, American Revolution, and the War of 1812). You appoint your generals, develop a chain of command, march your troops to their objectives, and make sure they don't starve. However, you don't fight the tactical battles, the generals you appoint do.

    It sounds like they took the most fun element (the tactical battles like in the Total War series) out of the game, but I find it builds up tons of suspense and it prevents you from using cheesy exploits. The real-valued units are also a plus, so instead of having generic battalions like you do in Civ you are ordering around regiments, brigades, divisions, corps, etc. with thousands of troops that you have organized yourself.
     
  3. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Paradox's games can be extremely engrossing, I have well over 300 hours of EUIII and I still pick it up and play it for hours at a time every now and then.

    I recommend starting with EUIII, but each game has a different focus. Crusader Kings focuses on building a dynasty, arranging marriages and plotting to gain more power as a medieval Noble. EUIII is about growing your nation into a major power and colonizing foreign lands (it is still somewhat Euro-centric despite the last expansion focusing on the Far East). Victoria is about growing your nation into a major power through economics and occasionally war in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hearts of Iron focuses on WW2 and is all about technology and managing troops and armies.

    Sword of the Stars: Complete is similar to the Total War games in that both have a turn-based campaign map and Real Time battles but has a number of improvements in that it is a true 4X game. You start out with a couple of systems (each one is marked on the map as a star until it is discovered, and has one planet that you can colonize) and explore out from there, colonizing suitable worlds as you go to expand your galactic empire. It has an extensive (and semi-randomized) tech tree and a wide variety of customizable ships for numerous different roles or strengths (and weaknesses). It is a great time sink too although its battles are a lot shorter than Total War battles (default is 4 minutes iirc but I change it to 6, while TW battles can easily last half an hour and can really drag out the game).
     
  4. CyberTyrant

    CyberTyrant Emperor

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    I also agree with EUIII. I would suggest Galactic Civilizations II as well. It's (sort of) similar to Civ but only in space.
     
  5. MoonFlare

    MoonFlare Prince

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    Nobody is recommending Civ5:lol:
    Try Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity. It's a great game and consumes a lot of time. Or better - wait for the new SoaSE:Rebellion.
    http://sinsofasolarempire.com/
     
  6. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

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    1) He's asking for something "like civ" (i.e. not civ)
    2) This is a civ forum so recommending civ would be derpy. We can safely assume he knows Civ, especially since, you know, number 1)
     
  7. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    Yeah, Sins of a solar empire. It's an RTS, but it plays like a TBS. Nice graphics and very fun. It's not overly complicated either, unlike those Paradox games.
     
  8. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    You might like the Total War series. My favorite is Rome: Total War. Their latest is Shogun Total War.

    It's sort of Civ-like but it's set in specific time periods and has RTS battles.
     
  9. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    Paradox all the way!
    I recommend starting with EU3 first, though.
     
  10. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

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    If you haven't worked it out from the chorus of recommendations above, you really ought to try EU3. With its ten thousand expansions, it's remarkably complete and all-encompassing and deep while still being relatively accessible. And probably the Paradox game that comes closest to the civ sort of model. Plus by this point it's very well-polished and pretty decently balanced (and there's hundreds of mods if you don't like the balance).

    The rest of the Paradox stable are also very good, but you may come up against brick-wall-like learning curves, and they're....errrrr....not all as well-polished and balanced as EU3. With the new expansion pack, Victoria 2 is now very good, and Hearts of Iron 2 or 3 are both now good as WWII military sims. I'd recommend Crusader Kings/Deus Vult, except the sequel is coming out next week and it's sounding like it may not even be an utter disaster at launch like they usually are, so maybe hold off a little while there. Anyway this forum is full of Paradox game AARs, so maybe check out a few of them if these games sound interesting.

    If you don't mind going a little more classic, Master of Orion 2 is also very very hard to top. Alpha Centauri has dated pretty badly but it's just so full of amazing stuff that it's still very much worth your while.
    Not trying to start anything here, but I'm going to go on record as saying that I think Civ V is considerably better than Civ IV now, and also worth a look-in if you're keen on your civ-gaming ;)
     
  11. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

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    I recommend Starcraft 2. It doesn't require enormous amount of time and dedication to begin playing properly and understand what your doing like Paradox games do, (no manuel provided with these games either!). It's a real time strategy game and completely different from civilisation, you can't sit back and admire your handywork at any point of the game and think about stuff. "Strategic" games, is quite a broad definition and SC2 moves quite far away from CIV in that regard. SC2 is a far more intense Age of Empires, Command + Conquer those types of games.

    Of course if you love medieval European history and you want to start out as tiny Corsica in 1347 and plot your way to world domination by 1600 through a combination of careful diplomacy, machivalian plotting, military engagements, marrying off your daughters to tyrants and economic tinkering then you would love these games the others have mentioned above.
     
  12. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    The truly "strategic" elements in most RTS-type games are minor compared to the tactics involved. Kind of a misnomer, but we stuck with it because RTS apparently sounds better than RTT.
     
  13. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    I never felt that at all about Sins - not saying it was a bad game at all, I liked it, but it was just a Dune 2 style RTS on a different type of map...
     
  14. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

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    I did consider this, then I thought ah but "RTS"! S!!!!
    There is a strategic element to the game but I admit it's minor compared to the strategic decisons you have to make in paradox games.
     
  15. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    I'm not disagreeing or picking a fight with ya, it's more of a comment on the game industry as a whole. The strategic elements are usually limited to the allocation of a couple resources (depending on the game) to different unit and building production.

    I've never liked RTS myself because as the skill level increases, it becomes a matter of reaction time and micro-ing your offensive troops.
     
  16. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    While I've appreciated how well designed many typical Starcraft/AoE style RTS games are, I've never enjoyed them because of this:
    The reason I play a game is because I want to watch the combat and gameplay, not clicking as fast as a I can all over the map and not being able to watch the FUN! Also having one unit sneak around your guys and rape half your base before the game notifies you is not fun.
     
  17. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

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    The only RTS I really enjoyed honestly was Age of Empire 2. I also enjoyed Warcraft 2 back in the days, but as soon as I discovered Heroes of Might and Magic 2 I just stopped playing.

    The feeling I get when playing RTS is similar to the feeling I have when I have 10 minutes to finish an exam and too many questions to answer. Or half an hour to submit a report at work and not enough time to make it good enough for me. It's some kind of annoying tension inside that I'd rather not feel during my entertainment hours.
     
  18. sjclarkey

    sjclarkey Chieftain

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    Many thanks for all your suggestions. I have just bought and loaded Rome Total War so really looking foward to my weekend! Will probably try EU3 next at some point. I'm enjoying the discussion on RTS as I was thinking about trying Starcraft - so let the debate continue...
     
  19. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    You will NOT regret Rome: TW. While the vanilla game plays fast and loose with history, and I always hated the three/four Roman factions it is a lovely game with some amazing mods.
     

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