#1 Edited by madman356647 (235 posts) -


So I'm a big tabletop gamer. In recent months, I've been getting into minis games like Dust Tactics, Malifaux, and Dystopian Wars.

Unfortunately, I'm not good at strategy, so I figured maybe playing some strategy games might help. For those unfamiliar with these games, they're pretty much turn based games.


I have a 3ds, PC, and PS2. Please suggest games for these platforms if possible.

I'd like to play something on the lines of accessible/newbie gentle.

I'd prefer turn based if possible, but will consider RTS if on a lower level than Starcraft. Last time I tried it, it wasn't pretty.

Aside from that, I look forward to anyone's suggestions.

#2 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

Galactic Civilizations II - A turn based space strategy game, which IMO is really good. Has lots of mechanics and features, but not so much or so complex that they'd overwhelm a new player.

Men of War - A tactical RTS that IMO is one of the finest ever made. No base building, just controling soldiers on the battlefield, but very in depth.

Total War - Very player friendly mix of turn based and RTS games, as a tabletop gamer you'd probably be most comfortable with one of these games.

Civilization V - Of course also almost goes without saying.

#3 Edited by BBAlpert (1429 posts) -

@inkerman's suggestions are all solid (thought maybe a little higher level than you're looking for). I thought about being a dick and recommending something like Hearts of Iron II, but I'd feel bad if you tried that, got completely discouraged, and gave up on strategy games altogether.

If you want a straightforward, turn-based strategy game to get your feet wet (and that can be played on the systems that you have), I can't think of a better option than Advance Wars: Dual Strike. One downside is that it's not super deep, but that's probably more of a benefit in this case.

Also, I don't know if this would be of any interest to you, but Blood Bowl might be something to look into. I only suggest it because it's the most direct video game adaptation of a tabletop game. You can get the "Legendary Edition" on Steam pretty cheap, I believe. Just stay away from the DS version, it is an absolute mess, and I'd recommend not getting Dungeon Bowl (I bought it, thinking it was some kind of expansion for Blood Bowl, but it's a multiplayer-only standalone release).

#4 Posted by SerHulse (685 posts) -
#5 Posted by Kaiserreich (690 posts) -
#6 Edited by madman356647 (235 posts) -

Thanks all for the suggestions. I've been looking at Advance Wars and Fire Emblem (got the demo on my 3DS). Keep em coming duders!

#7 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

Some great suggestions so far, but I would also recommend Age of Empires II, Dawn of War, Valkyria Chronicles, and Final Fantasy Tactics. The latter two are turn-based.

#8 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

Hmm, do you mind older games? If you're ok with games that aren't so pretty any more then I would recommend Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (my personal fave 4x game ever) and Jagged Alliance 2 (my fave squad based tactical/strategic/rpg of all time). A newer one would be Xenonauts, it's a remake of the original XCOM. It's still in beta at the moment and the enemy Ai is being implemented but it should be out this year. It's much more realistic sim as opposed to new XCOM's boardgame style. So there are no arbitrary restrictions on your dudes like only having one grenade etc. All the games mentioned above are also great, especially the Total War series, Medieval and Empire being my favourites, Shogun2 being my least favourite.

#9 Edited by Veektarius (4749 posts) -

Dawn of War 2 and its first expansion. Small squad-based combat. The multiplayer never made any sense to me, but the single player is a blast.

#10 Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6141 posts) -

If you're looking for entry level games into the turn-based tactical genre, you can't go wrong with the latest XCOM. It's got enough depth to still be fun, but there's an easy mode that lets you learn the ropes and acts as a good primer for most turn-based strategy games of its kind.

If you're willing to go a little old-school and ramp up the difficulty, I cannot recommend Jagged Alliance 2 and Silent Storm enough. In both games, you recruit a squad of mercenaries/soldiers and fight it out with increasingly difficult soldiers. Jagged Alliance 2 is definitely the more polished and fun of the two, but Silent Storm has a lot of great touches, like destructible buildings. Both are available on GOG.com and regularly come up on sale.

I'd also recommend Civ V as a turn based 4X game. These typs of games don't necessarily focus in on turn based combat (though that's certainly an option if you want to try to pursue a victory that way). You're essentially building a nation from the ground up and have to deal with many other countries trying to rule the world. It looks complex at first, but Civ V is remarkably accessible, particularly on its easiest settings. It's still supported and has a new expansion coming soon, but I'd recommend starting with the base game and then picking up the expansions once you've learned the ropes.

On the PS2, I really enjoyed Front Mission 4, which is a turn-based strategy game featuring mechs (or robots, if you prefer). It has some complexities, and frankly, it's not the best looking game, but I think the gameplay is solid as hell.

Gladius, on the PS2, is a freakin' awesome turn-based strategy game featuring a Greco-Roman theme. I wish this game had a modern sequel, I really do. It's pretty darned accessible, and at around $15 on Amazon, it's a good deal, too.

On the 3DS front, I'd recommend looking to the DS catalogue, particularly for Final Fantasy Tactics A2, which is both accessible and really fun. It's got more of a juvenile look and feel to it, but don't let that stop you from giving it a shot. There's enough content here to last you dozens of hours, and it's one of my favorite handheld games of all time.

#11 Posted by Clonedzero (4198 posts) -

X-com: Enemy Unknown is fantastic. Its easy to learn, yet still complex and deep enough to be really challenging and interesting. It won GOTY at GB without much of a fuss for a reason. It's really good.

#12 Posted by casper_ (903 posts) -

Crusader kings 2 is great

#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Fire Emblem is always the right answer.

#14 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Civ 5 is great and really easy to pick up.