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Ask HN: What are some good strategy games?
25 points by icompetetowin 20 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 39 comments
I've been playing action-oriented games (diablo 2, cod2, l4d2) for the longest time and would like to try out some strategy-oriented games.

AOE2 (Age of Empires 2) is _still_ going strong some twenty years later. Active reddit, youtube, and twitch communities. Still releasing new civ expansions on Steam. I think it's success is due to just how balanced the game is. It's like a really fast moving chess game.

I like factorio as well, but honestly it started to feel like work after I got the hang of it (needing to refactor etc).

Played a lot of Age of Empires 2, fantastic game. Been spending more of my time playing 'Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance'[0]. It has a community lobby system over here[1] that's pretty active (over 1400 simultaneous players at time of speaking).

I got infuriated by some of Age of Empire 2s limitations (e.g. limited selection size, awful pathfinding, games tending to stalemate). The extra ~decade SupCom had seems to have helped.

The Steam version often goes on sale for a few dollars once a month or so[2].

[0] https://store.steampowered.com/app/9420/Supreme_Commander_Fo... [1] https://www.faforever.com/ [2] https://steamdb.info/app/9420/

Thanks! I'll get Supreme Commander during the next sale. I plan to try out most game recommendations in this thread then stick to the one I like most.

Thanks for the recommendation! I've tried AOE2 a long time ago (15 years ago) and I kind of enjoyed it, so I'll give the definitive edition a try.

Never heard of Factorio, so I'll have to check it out.

Factorio? You might enjoy Mindustry

For videogames involving strategy I recommend Hell Let Loose (on Steam, and the only game I keep W10 around for). While it is first-person action, there is a commander who has an overview and can spend resources accrued by placement of nodes by other players. I mostly play with two others as a tank crew, and it is the best co-op videogaming experience we’ve had; each an important third of a whole, working together as a cog in a larger strategic effort.

HLL players are generally supportive and helpful to me when I ask for help or advice; it is the first multiplayer game in which I’ve felt at ease using the proximity-voicechat and mic in general to talk with strangers. I recommend using a mic, especially if winning matches is important.

Highlights: coordinating with two other armor units to prevent breakthrough; protecting infantry squad during advance; asking for and getting repairs in the field; getting useful orders from commander; and blowing up with a Stewart (light tank) a Tiger from behind, much to the relief of those pinned down by the Tiger.

The game looks amazing! I won't be able to try it yet with my current setup but I added it to my steam wishlist.

Quick question: Do you recommend trying out the game with a few friends or should I just jump in alone?

Power Grid is pretty fun and is a board game if you're looking to change it up - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2651/power-grid

Thanks for the recommendation! I don't usually play board games (except Monopoly with family) but I'll check it out.

Age of Empires II. After 20 years, and a few rereleases, the entire series is currently seeing a renaissance. Lots of strategy, developed meta, and still evolving balance.

Thanks! Quite a few people here recommended the game so I'll definitely play it.

Advance Wars, Joan of Arc, Hyperdevotion Noire, Fire Emblem...

And Nobunaga's ambition -- which I didn't start because the setup screen (in English) looked so complicated I figured it would be easier to just play the game in Japanese (or for that matter, play Assassin's Creed with Slovenian voices and Cantonese subtitles... Doesn't make it any harder to make the fall off that tower...)

Thanks for all the recommendations! I've seen Joan of Arc on PSP, lots of really good reviews. Same thing for the Fire Emblem series.

Out of Advance Wars, Joan of Arc, Hyperdevotion Noire, Fire Emblem and potentially Nobunaga lol, which would you recommend to a beginner in the strategy genre?

Platform choice.

Advance Wars and Fire Emblem are based on the same game engine -- but Advance Wars units have fixed strength while Fire Emblem units gain experience as an RPG. Thus you can grind your way out of situations you might need to think your way out of.

I like Fire Emblem Fates on the New Nintendo 3DS, the parallax graphics makes it a unique visual experience.

Joan of Arc deserves more fame.

As for HDN it depends on how you feel about the "Neptunia" series. I think it's a solidly good SRPG with extreme replay value (both the Japanese and English voices are worthy of a playthrough.) If you think the jokes in "Neptunia" are funny then you should run not walk to play it; if you don't like that sense of humor, try something else.

Give Rimworld a try.

>A sci-fi colony sim driven by an intelligent AI storyteller. Generates stories by simulating psychology, ecology, gunplay, melee combat, climate, biomes, diplomacy, interpersonal relationships, art, medicine, trade, and more.


Chess. Not your typical videogame (not a videogame at all really) but there's a huge online community an endless amount of content

I second chess. I've played many, many other strategy games, but modern chess (especially with all the bots) has so much more depth and it's something you can enjoy in half a minute. It's strange how chess has become the exciting game and mobile strategy has become so bland and watered down.

I highly recommend 0ad https://play0ad.com/ It's a popular free RTS with a passionate development team and an active player community. I can see plenty of AoE2 recommendations in this thread too and 0ad is very similar!

Thanks for the recommendation! Read a bit about the project, it's amazing what a group of passionate people can accomplish.

Starcraft/Starcraft 2 Among Us Chess Poker

I sorta like Rimworld too, but more of a resource management with a bit of strategy.

Have you tried Wesnoth, the Open Source game? Also Hearthstone is great. How about Final Fantasy Tactics? Roller Coaster Tycoon (I heard Factorio is similar)?

If you liked Diablo 2 you should research "rogue-like" games.

Wesnoth! Yes, Battle for Wesnoth is worth a look; it’s been around awhile, runs on Linux, has additional community input for the maps/modules/art/?, and doesn’t have the slot-machine quality that Blizzard has polished in its games...

Hearthstone is indeed great, and I fell too hard; while it got me of World of Warcraft and replaced nostalgia for Magic: the Gathering, the daily-quest nature of the game had me by the brainstem for years. I’ve since sworn off Blizzard games, but I understand others may be better-able to find balance.

To scratch the cardgame itch I like Pinochle, Canasta, Euchre, and others.

Is it still possible to play Final Fantasy Tactics?

You can buy it on Google Play. Also on PS Vita. Or even with the PSP emulators if that's legal in your planet.



The appeal of Majesty is simulation, and the passivity of the player character. You're ruling a fantasy kingdom but rather than directing every small affair yourself, you set broad instructions and watch as they're carried out.

Personally a fan of the Fire Emblem series (on various Nintendo platforms). It's lasted since the early 1990's, so there's a variety of consoles you can choose to jump in.

Three Houses (the newest) is probably the most strategically complex one if you're into the gameplay, but I've been a long-time fan of the series for the characters and surprisingly deep story turns before the gameplay. For an incredibly rich story/cast, I'd try Path of Radiance & Radiant Dawn as a duology - my favorite.

Have you tried slay the spire? It is a remarkable card game that is simple to learn but hard to master. Also available on mobile devices so you can play on the go :)

Civilization for sure

Civilization series. I've been playing them since last century mid 90s and still enjoing them. I play mainly Civilization IV but V is also good. Don't like VI though.

Thanks for the recommendation! Which CIV would you recommend to a beginner?

I think for beginner V would suite the best.

Planetary Annihilation. While difficult, each game can span a system of moving planets, has no unit caps, which means unit numbers can get in the thousands.

Supreme Commander Forged Alliance with the LOUD mod.

Stellaris for grand strategy.

Sins of a Solar Empire for a 4x game a bit smaller and less complicated than Stellaris.

absolutely love warcraft 3

Did they ever sort out all the launch issues with Reforged?

Europa universalis iv

Tried and true list:

1. Side Meier's Alpha Centauri

2. Heroes of Might and Magic 3

3. Age of Empires 2

4. X-Com

5. Jagged Alliance 2

6. Crusader Kings II

7. Civilization IV

8. Master of Orion II

9. Dwarf Fortress

10. Rimworld

11. Homeworld


Not a strategy game.

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