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Possibly the best strategy games of all time.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Drosselmeier, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    Possibly the best strategy games of all time.

    Since I know there are a number of people here who enjoy strategy gaming I thought I'd recommend a couple of games I discovered recently.

    The first game is Europa Universalis 2. It's a "grand strategy game" that lets you control a freely chosen historical nation (about 200 to choose from) through 400 years of history. The game is meant to be part simulation and part game, so even though you have complete liberty to make decisions about the direction your nation takes scripted historical events will influence the choices you make. You control everything from domestic policy and investment to diplomacy and war. The scripted historical events will sometimes give you a choice as to which direction to take. For example, playing as Sweden I could choose whether to break up the historical Kalmar union or not, did it and found myself in a wat with Denmark which nearly wiped me off the map. Some desperate fighting and political maneuvering later I managed to drive them off and annex Norway. Fun fun fun!

    There are variable starting dates to choose from, and since every nation's starting situation is unique no two games will ever be the same. The historical events are dependant on triggers, so some of them can be avoided (rarely happened to me though) or they can happen earlier or later than expected.

    The diplomacy system is one of the best I've ever seen. To declare war without your population and your neighbours going ape**** you need a casus belli. Even if you have one of those you need to be careful about going around declaring war on people who share your religious beliefs. Once you're in a war with another nation the aim is usually to occupy as much of their territory as possible and to destroy their war making ability, all to get yourself a good position when it's time to negotiate a peace. You can make different demands, like territory or that the country become a vassal, for example.

    The other game is called Hearts of Iron 2 and is even better in my opinion. It's basically the same game, only set in the 1930's through 40's. There's an expansion called Doomsday which lets you play right up to '53 (or even longer if certain conditions are met) and I highly recommend getting that. The differences between this and EU" is that there's far more detail to the combat and the technology research and it's a lot more fun (which I didn't think was possible). There's a million things to think about, and if your strategy fails in some respect you'll have to think fast and hard to avoid disaster. You have to speculate about the consequences of every action you take, both long and short term. It helps to know something about history too. For example, if you're playing as the Third Reich, make sure to let the Russians think Finland is theirs. If you don't make that consession they will not declare war on the Finns later on and you won't be able to use that to create extra preassure once you decide to invade, which you will.

    Plase note that EU2 got a rating of 9.0 over at IGN, and that HoI got 8.7. These are good games.
     
  2. Rabbitz

    Rabbitz IncGamers Member

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    Nice. I must have EU2 then.
     
  3. myleftfoot

    myleftfoot IncGamers Member

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    They sound good.

    Cheers Dross.
     
  4. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    Send me a copy will you Dross?

    :)
     
  5. WildBerry

    WildBerry IncGamers Member

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    Seconded. Good games, both of them
     
  6. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    Exactly. You must have it.

    Words can not express... and so on.

    No can do. I need mine to live.
    And everyone who read the ADOM thread knows that yours is a taste to trust.

    I got my copy of EU2 for 10kr ($1.50). EU3 will be out in ca 3 months, so they're practically giving #2 away. It's the understatement of the 21st century to say that the game is worth $1.50.



     
  7. Lord Nyax

    Lord Nyax Banned

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    There was a game I played a while ago, where your little minion guys were genetically engineered monsters. You got to combine animals in different ways, and depending on how you combined them they could do different things. It was pretty fun...my favorite part was determining the cheapest possible unit, then creating about 300 of them before my enemy (usually the AI, I don't have enough friends...) could get more than 10 out. I'd SWARM THEM!!! It was intense...

    Anywho...I might get the first one...sounds like fun to "annex Norway".
     
  8. BlueDogAnchorite

    BlueDogAnchorite IncGamers Member

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    I'll try this out, then give my opinion later on in the thread (if I like it)
     
  9. Omikron8

    Omikron8 IncGamers Member

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    civ 2 > all
     
  10. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    That's the only real competition. I can't think of anything else that can stand up to EU2 or HoI.

    EDIT: Two things I should mention...

    1. HoI is cheaper than HoI2 for those who intend to buy any of them, but #2 is worth the investment. The interface, tech research and mechanics of issuing orders are superior. The trade and resource management is way better as well. HoI 1 seems a bit clunky now that I've played #2.

    2. These are real-time strategy games (pausable, thank god) but they have far more in common with civ or one of those ridiculously complex board games for nerds than they do with StarCraft or C&C. If you think the Total War games have strategic depth chances are you'll be overwhelmed and frustrated by these games. They're not the most complex thing out there but they're not exactly action oriented either. Do not get these games unless your idea of a good strategy game actually involves strategy.



     
  11. stoutewolf

    stoutewolf IncGamers Member

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    Starcraft is fun, between two good player.......
     
  12. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    Strip Poker - play well and you'll get rewarded :thumbsup:
     
  13. Matt

    Matt IncGamers Site Pal

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    My favorite would have to be Age of Kings (or Age of Conquerors). Its diplomacy system is lacking, but it more than makes up for it with gameplay and the strategies involved, not to mention stellar multiplayer.
     
  14. Module88

    Module88 IncGamers Member

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    I've been looking for a good comp game for a long time, and this looks like it fits the bill. Tell me more. You say 400 years- does that mean you essentially have a time limit? How about the economy? How do you develop a military/micromanage them in battle? Etc.
     
  15. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    Yes. The game stops on december 30th 1819. That's a big drawback.

    The economy... You make money by taxing traders and manufacturers. You can send traders to centers of trade, thereby getting a piece of the total worth of the trade in that center. Once you reach a certain level of development you can for monopolies which raise your income further. The success and efficiency of your traders depend on your domestic policies (free trade vs. mercantilism). Hostorical and political events also cost or make you money. You split your incomes between payments to your treasury and investments in infrastructure and military technology. Money in your treasury can be spent on specific improvements in your cities, sending missionaries, diplomatic actions, building armies, sending out more traders, et cetera.

    There are three land unit types. Artillery, cavalry and infantry. Artillery becomes available once you reach a certain technological level. There is very little micro managment to the warfare. It's mostly about making sure your armies are not without reserves, are not encircled, are not caught in the middle of Russia or the Alps in the dead of winter and such. At the start of the game your armies will be fairly small, but closer to the end you'll have millions of men spread over the world and that will make managing and positioning your armies quite the hassle.

    Since you have limited manpower, i.e. a limited number of men you can recruit every month regardless of money, losing armies to attrition in some Polish or Russian hellhole can suck even if you're a fairly large power. Unless your military policy is focused on mass armies instead of a smaller, more elite force. Political and economic decisions play a huge part in the whole thing, and that's where much of the managing takes place. There's not much micromanaging though, aside from deciding where to build fortresses and recruitment centers.

    I could go on and on. It's way more complex than it first seems, and everything you do has consequences. It's all connected.



     
  16. Module88

    Module88 IncGamers Member

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    Bleh. What about HOI II? That seems more like the game I'd buy.



     
  17. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    It's pretty much the same, only the trade is restricted to resources, the armies are much more varied (everything from militias to nuclear ICBM's) and there are three major alliances (Allies, Axis & Comintern) which means the diplomatic choices are limited in some situations. Another thing they've added are ministers. You can switch ministers to get different economic, military and politicval benefits. Another major difference is research which is tons more complex in HoI and has even more depth in HoI2. There's also intelligence operations in HoI2. You can steal blueprints, assassinate ministers, fund partisans, engage in counter espionage and much more.

    Unless this sounds like total crap I urge you to buy this game. It's impossible for me to explain how brilliant it is.

    Oh... if only one major alliance is still in the game at the end of 1953 you can continue playing for as long as you want to in HoI2: Doomsday. There are also lots of shorter scenarios (battle of the bulge, finnish winter war &c). Nothing beats the grand campaign though. Playing the entire grand campaign as one of the major powers is what it's all about.



     
  18. Module88

    Module88 IncGamers Member

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    It does sound interesting, but I'm in college. I'm not going to shell out money for something that might not be worth it. Guess I'll try the demo first. Oh, and if you're the only major alliance left in the game, what exactly CAN you do? There's no one to fight. -_-



     
  19. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    Try the demo for a day or two.

    "Only major alliance" means only one of the big three. There are hundreds of nations aside from the ones in the Comintern, Axis and Alliance. There are plenty of people to fight if you're after total world domination.



     
  20. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    The best strategy game ever was Myth: The Fallen Lords, for my money. Mind you it's in kind of a different category, I believe they're called "wargames" - there's no resource management, just tactics and troop placement etc. I haven't played the ones you mentioned.
     

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