#1 Posted by Garronn (2 posts) -

I am looking for a turn based strategy game and it does not really matter too much for me what year it came out. I have done CIV 4 and 5 and the games were good but the AI really brought the game down too much for me to be able to enjoy it. I just want a game that lets me build a civilization and a good AI.

#2 Edited by Sanity (1906 posts) -

Endless Space is supposed to be pretty good, i own it but haven't dived into it too much yet, so cant say how good/bad the AI is. Also, XCOM Enemy Unknown is a blast if you haven't played that yet.

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#3 Edited by mason20 (157 posts) -

Galactic Civilization 2 is pretty good. It's got a similar feel to Civ and if I remember correctly the AI isn't nearly as greedy as Civ. I'd also suggest Sins of a Solar Empire but I haven't tried it myself.

#4 Posted by tourgen (4495 posts) -

I got endless space in the Steam sale and it seems really good. The AI isn't bad. Great tech tree. Nice presentation, background music and whatnot.

Fallen Enchantress is great too. It can be a bit hard but there are plenty of options to make it fun whatever level you feel like playing at.

#5 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11722 posts) -
@sanity said:

Endless Space is supposed to be pretty good, i own it but haven't dived into it too much yet, so cant say how good/bad the AI is.

The AI in Endless Space is supposed to be pretty brutal on Normal difficulty. Personally, I haven't moved beyond easy. I'll also second GalCiv2 and Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. Stardock is pretty good at programming AI that isn't stupid or random the same way Civ AI can sometimes come off as, and both of those games are neat and allow for plenty of flexibility in playstyle.

While I'm at it, maybe I'll say Warlock:Master of the Arcane. Haven't played quite enough to tell if the AI is smart or not, but it's pretty fun on its own merits.

#6 Posted by Gamer_152 (14077 posts) -

An obvious answer, but people really loved X-Com: Enemy Unknown. Actually, X-Com in general is held in pretty high regard, but I'm not sure how well some of that older stuff holds up. I have a bit of a soft spot for the Advance Wars games, but maybe that's just me.

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#7 Edited by Tennmuerti (8099 posts) -

If you find the AI in civ 5 to be poor then I'm sorry to say but it really doesn't get much better somewhere else. Most turn based AI is rudimentary and can only do so much, in pretty much ever turn based strategy once you figure out how it works that's it. Most TBS games increase the challenge in 1 of 2 ways: A) make AI unfair, either with more resources, or removal of restrictions, or free stuff, etc B) introduce hella randomness, which is more suited to more tactical games rather then strategic (ie smaller scale games).Or a mix of the two. Honestly if you want a long term challenge in a turn based game play against humans, AI only ever lasts so long.

AI in Endless Space falls into the exact same trap, it's hard until you figure out the systems, which isn't long considering it's a very very similar game to Civ.

There are plenty of decent TBS games to recommend:

  • X-com (tactical tbs but not a civ type)
  • Endless Space (kinda average, meh imo)
  • Warlock: MotA (kinda average, but interesting)
  • Total War series (Empire, Shogun 2)
  • HoMM3,5 (tbs but not a civ type)
  • Stardrive (empire building, but realtimey)
  • Sins of the Solar Empire (also galactic empire type, but realtimey)
  • Eador (fantasy tbs, a mix between civ and homm)
  • King's Bounty (more of a tactical tbs)

(by realtimey games I mean they run in realtime, but are clearly divided into time units and are derived from turn based systems)

Unlike others here I will advice against Fallen Enchantress, it's a bad game imo, with plenty of bugs and full of interesting design decisions that are never properly fleshed out, making for a boring and overall unbalanced system. It tries to do some new things but fails to do anything with them. I was honestly shocked that they released a standalone expansion, without addressing or fixing anything in the main game.

#8 Posted by Tennmuerti (8099 posts) -

@tourgen said:

I got endless space in the Steam sale and it seems really good. The AI isn't bad. Great tech tree

Don't lie :P

ES tech tree is the most generic, bland, boring tech tree i ever did see. With a bunch of near identical unlock techs filled with gibberish descriptions. It was the mind numbing equivalent of researching lasers +1, then lasers +2 and so on, and the non weapon trees weren't much better either.

(unless they have redone it in the dlc)

@sanity said:

Endless Space is supposed to be pretty good, i own it but haven't dived into it too much yet, so cant say how good/bad the AI is.

The AI in Endless Space is supposed to be pretty brutal on Normal difficulty.

Tho i agree the AI is fine. It's mostly ruthless to a new player just because it's efficient and expansionist.

#9 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

I would give the following a try

  1. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (my favourite Civ game).
  2. Crusader Kings (not technically turn based but played very much in that style).
  3. Empire Total War or Medieval Total War (mod them for improved AI, I think Shogun was pretty bad, way too boring and had too much rock, paper, scissors style game play).
  4. Galactic Civ 2 (never finished it, played it a few times and found it pretty tough)

If you want tactical turn based

  1. Jagged Alliance 2 with the 1.13 mod (the best tactical squad based game I have ever played, it's fucking awesome).
  2. X-Com (the original, the new one is a fine game but it's a bit dumbed down and I find the way they cheat for the alien player is annoying. The whole thing where they get a turn when spotted, the fact that flanking and exploring the map are actively doscouraged by magically appearing enemies etc. It's fine but it's not great). You need to mod it so that you can fix the bug where it resets the difficulty to normal after the first crashed ufo. This bug exists on nearly all versions including the steam one. I have a feeling that there is a mod for the UI as well but I am not 100% sure
#10 Edited by BBAlpert (1468 posts) -

If you want to go down a deep, dark rabbit hole, check out Europa Universalis or one of the other Paradox grand strategy games. There's a monster of a learning curve, but if you can force yourself over that hump... so many dozens of hours of my life, gone to EU3...

#11 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1584 posts) -

Civvvvvvvvvvv

#12 Edited by MocBucket62 (1224 posts) -
  1. Rome Total War: The campaign mode is turn-based, but there are real time battles in the game as they are in every other Total War game. You can sim through the battles if you don't want to control the battle in the campaign.
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown: An obvious answer, but this is truly a fun and challenging TBS that's hard to top.
  3. Any Fire Emblem title: If you have a 3DS, Fire Emblem Awakening is the way to go, but if you happen to have any old Nintendo systems such as a Gamecube, Game Boy Advance or a Wii, there is a Fire Emblem game out for those systems. Kind of like XCOM in terms of difficulty, but much more story based.
  4. Advance Wars: Again, you're gonna have to dig back to older Nintendo systems to find one of these, but if you have a GBA, DS, or an emulator for any of these, go grab Advance Wars if you haven't. Those games are fun!
#13 Edited by Disconnect (68 posts) -

I'd like to second Jagged Alliance 2. It's a thing of beauty.

#14 Posted by L33T_HAXOR (281 posts) -

Frozen Synapse was 3 bucks on iPad a couple days ago. Not sure if the sale is still on. Great damn game, worth much more than three bucks! It's on Steam too of course.

#15 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5456 posts) -

@tennmuerti: Heroes V has pretty good AI/scripting on harder difficulties; granted it's absurdly difficult. Heroes VI is also quite solid with some mild simplifications of the formula. Heroes doesn't let you build a civilization but it does have vastly superior combat compared to almost every other turn based strategy game (Note: King's Bounty is almost identical combat with some mild simplifications as well)

#16 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11722 posts) -

@tennmuerti: From what I played of the Legendary Heroes expansion to Fallen Enchantress, they seem to have fixed some of the issues I had with that game. I'll agree that it isn't nearly on the level of GalCiv, but when I was on my 4X bender it fit in with the rest just fine. I'd recommend Heroes over all of them personally, but that's just me.

#17 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11722 posts) -

@tennmuerti: From what I played of the Legendary Heroes expansion to Fallen Enchantress, they seem to have fixed some of the issues I had with that game. I'll agree that it isn't nearly on the level of GalCiv, but when I was on my 4X bender it fit in with the rest just fine. I'd recommend Heroes over all of them personally, but that's just me.

#18 Edited by believer258 (11897 posts) -

An obvious answer, but people really loved X-Com: Enemy Unknown. Actually, X-Com in general is held in pretty high regard, but I'm not sure how well some of that older stuff holds up. I have a bit of a soft spot for the Advance Wars games, but maybe that's just me.

I was going to say this and Fire Emblem, but I think he's specifically looking for 4X games.

But, yeah, play Fire Emblem Awakening and X-Com Enemy Unknown first.

#19 Posted by Garronn (2 posts) -

Wow thanks for all the suggestions for games. Though I think I should make myself a little bit more clear about the AI issue. In the CIV 4-5 games that AI is decent, the problem lies in the fact that if you do too much in war or wonder building and your score gets too high, then all the other AI civs will start to treat you very poorly. In one game I had the most wonders built and was lacking a little bit with my military but I was friends with most of the AI civs. Then one civ goes to war with me and he gets one of his allies to help him, I am beating them both and now have the most cities than any other two civs. That is when all the other AI civs see me as a warmonger and covet my lands and a few other negatives. After a few turns they all go to war with me. That is the issue with the AI I don't like, its designed to team up against the Player(s) if they start winning and if they are near or at the bottom for strength then they start bullying you (which I don't mind too much). So don't me wrong about the CIV 4-5 game, without the AI issue I love the game, with it...

XCOM is a great game, I just wish it lasted a bit longer before I end up winning...

#20 Posted by Lord_Xp (602 posts) -

Chess is a good turn based game I hear

#21 Edited by ryanwhom (290 posts) -

Skulls of the Shogun just came to steam and its interesting, kind of reminds me of NIS from back in the day. Shadowrun Returns is pretty interesting too but short, especially compared to a Civ session.

#22 Edited by shinjin977 (758 posts) -

Shadowrun Returns is pretty good. If I am understanding it correctly, it is build with user created campaign in mind so it should be great in the long run.

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#23 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

I'd like to second Jagged Alliance 2. It's a thing of beauty.

My man :D