Best strategy games for a beginner?

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ChangeTheL1ghts

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I have been wanting to get into the strategy game genre for a while now. Whenever I have tried - especially with more modern games - I have felt overwhelmed pretty quickly with the amount of management involved. Management, it turns out, is super stressful to me. Obviously management is inherent to the genre, but I feel like at this point so many new strategy games require some previous knowledge I am missing. I feel like if I worked up to more complex games I wouldn't be so intimidated.

Any advice when it comes to good games to start with? I played some Civ way back in the day and loved it, along with Into the Breach more recently.

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MeMonk

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It depends on what you want RTS, tactics, Grand Strategy? I would recommend new Xcom it is very good and not too hard on normal. Also if you like Into the Breach try their other game FTL.

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Shiftygism

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Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars for the 3DS

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Civ 5 is a great introduction to the series and to strategic gaming as a whole. It seems dense on the outside, but play it a few times on the easier settings and you'll figure it out very quickly. XCOM is a great itnro to modern squad based tactics games, but you also can't really go wrong with Heroes of Might and Magic III, which is very easy to pick up and learn.

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SilverSaint

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Strategy games vary greatly and even someone who loves strategy games can dislike certain styles. I generally enjoy the more RPG focused tactical games.

-Total War Warhammer 1 (2 is better, but more complex) is an incredible strategy game and much simpler then other total wars, its really all about taking over other settlements with lots of fantasy and RPG components (lords and heros) and minimal diplomacy.

-They are Billions is my RTS recommendation with the Survival Mode being the core (not the campaign) and offers incredible replay ability.

-XCOM gives you another avenue, its really a genre in and of its own.

-Battletech uses a similar style to XCOM if you enjoy mechs and pokemon (collecting mechs) instead of aliens and having limited time.

-Fell Seal: Arbiters Mark is a recent indie Final Fantasy Tactics style game that came out this year, so easily obtainable and overall simpler then FF Tactics.

-Darkest Dungeon is pretty simple to get into and an excellent game, albeit maybe too hardcore as the game expects you will fail (and even restart) a lot as its quite brutal and hard.

-Endless Legend is a more RPG esque Civ style game, bigger combat focus and more story going on then just being a sandbox.

-Stellaris is great from a broader sense of 4X largescale combat (fleets) and planet colonization / conquering. Its much more militaristic focused then say Civ.


Really there are tons of Strategy games with many different styles, from extremely hardcore (Hearts of Iron / Crusader Kings) to pretty forgiving (Halo Wars).

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doctordonkey

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If you have a Switch, Mario Rabbids and FE: Three Houses are great options for people new to strategy games. The harder modes are there if you want them, but their normal modes are great for newcomers.

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BaconHound

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The game that got me started on strategy games 2+ decades ago was Master of Orion II. I'm a little hesitant to suggest something so dated, but it holds a special place in my heart and I still remember it fondly. It has been years since I've played it, and I'm honestly not sure how it holds up, but the Steam reviews appear to indicate that it is still outstanding. It's currently $6 in case you don't want to spent too much money to experiment with the genre.

For something more modern, I'll echo some of the earlier suggestions. For 4X/empire building, Civ 5 (or 6) is great. For turn-based combat/tactics, it's tough to beat XCOM 2 War of the Chosen.

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csl316

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SteamWorld Heist is fantastic. It's 2D, which keeps it simpler but it's fun as hell. Usually pretty cheap nowadays, too. The SteamWorld games are uniformly fantastic, so Heist comes highly recommended if you're looking for strategy.

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Captain_Insano

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Civ V would be my pick. Depends on what you want.

Also couldn't go wrong starting with Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition. It's a classic but would ease you into the RTS genre.

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Forrester90

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#10  Edited By Forrester90

Rise of Nations & Rome: Total War both helped create my love of History so I gotta recommend them even though they're both over 15 years old.

For newer stuff I gotta say XCOM 1 & 2, Civ V, Company of Heroes 2, and Hearts of Iron IV. Total War: Rome II is another I can't recommend enough, either it or Total War: Shogun II are great for jumping into the Total War games if you want to give them a try

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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One I would definitely recommend is Total War: Shogun II.

It was when they reigned in the series after the bloat of a few previous entries so its pretty elegant and streamlined in design, as well as having a more focused and readable set of units to play with and face.

It has the strategy layer, which is like a simpler take on a Civ or something, and then the real time battles, which play out uniquely compared to other series in that they look more like a real battle playing out, scale and all. But the nice thing is it has a pause function and you don't have to be fast with all that or say check on multiple locations like in most RTS games.

You can jump into the Warhammer entries or even Kingdoms too but they're definitely more complex and newer, and thus pricier.

Another gem for me is Dawn of War II, which is kind of a mix between a tactical game and an ARPG. Not too much to keep track of since its like an RTS without any base building and very fun and unique.

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dercomrade

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Battletech is real good! I was familiar with the tabletop game going in so that really helped me in understanding it but even with a bit of a learning curve it is a fantastic game.

But yeah, if nothing else start with XCOM. Its influence on the gaming space alone is worth giving it a shot.

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Sweep

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#13 Sweep  Moderator

Civilisation Revolution was exactly this, it was an entry level simplification of the civ formula.

Rabbids is cool, if you have a switch, though that game difficulty definitely spikes in certain areas.

Into The Breach is a good one if you like short turn based strategy. Battletech and Xcom are both fantastic, though Battletech is not a beginner level strategy game and unless you want to learn how a bunch of different weapons work straight out of the gate you might find it a little overwhelming.

Armello is a very cool online turn based dice game you also might enjoy!

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clush

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Have to second both Civ5 and Into the Breach. Civ is pretty handholdy in terms of making sure you're not overlooking anything while still providing a lot of depth. Into the Breach has very simple mechanics and can sometimes feel more like a puzzle game than anything else, but I guess that's the essence of most strategy games anyway.

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Rasrimra

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I would look into the Red Alert remakes that are coming soon by EA.

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Ginormous76

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I have been wanting to get into the strategy game genre for a while now. Whenever I have tried - especially with more modern games - I have felt overwhelmed pretty quickly with the amount of management involved. Management, it turns out, is super stressful to me. Obviously management is inherent to the genre, but I feel like at this point so many new strategy games require some previous knowledge I am missing. I feel like if I worked up to more complex games I wouldn't be so intimidated.

Any advice when it comes to good games to start with? I played some Civ way back in the day and loved it, along with Into the Breach more recently.

I hated the strategy genre until I played XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

I also hear Wargroove is really easy to get into.

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ValorianEndymion

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My suggestions would be:

- Ultimate General Gettysburg (Real time) : Its focused on single battle, but its fairly simple and easy.

- Ultimate General Civil War (Real time): it´s the sequel, unlike the first, it has other battles, but still easier.

- Age of Wonders (Turn Based/4X) - Any of the games would be good entry point, think they as a civ with magic and heroes, or kind like a spiritual successor to Master of Magic.

- Heroes of Might and Magic (Turn Based): Any of them tend to be good entry point, but most people would recommend more II or III, but I think, despite everything, V is good game.

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Bonbonetti

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Here are my suggestions:

- Age of Wonders 3. It is much less "hardcore" than the early games, and made for a broader audience (in terms of difficulty choices and balancing). I think it has a really nice balance of micro-and macro-management.

- Sudden Strike 4. Again, they've made the game much more approachable and customizable in terms of difficulty, without loosing the core nature of the franchise. The previous games were in my memory rather difficult. Typically, you group your units into bigger chunks and move them around.

- Anno 2070, 2205 or 1800. The campaigns are really good and chunky, but will also teach you how to play the game, in preparation for the sandbox mode.

- Tropico, any game in the series really. These games are quite known for having a great and fun level of complexity.

- Jurassic World Evolution. Quite easy to learn, rather forgiving, and absolutely excellent in my opinion.

- Endless Space 2 or Master of Orion (2016). These are 4X games that can be customizable to any level of challenge really. In Endless Space you don't even have to manage the planets, you can set the AI to do that.

- Surviving Mars. It's like Tropico but in space in many ways, in terms of difficulty.

- Nantucket. An Indie game where you hunt for whales. It's a cool game that's tricky to describe; you manage your crew, upgrade your ship, explore the seas, hunt. It's one of the most unique Indie games I've played; very immersive and memorable.

- Ancient Frontier. A space strategy game, that's more about tactics than management. Like chess in space.

-Bounty Train. A railway strategy game that mixes in combat elements. It's not that complex, instead it's the fusion of strategy and combat that "makes" this game.

- Dungeons 3. Very similar the classic Dungeon Master games, but made a for a broader audience, with more difficulty options.

- Settlers of Orion. A 4X space game that plays very much like a tabletop board game, I thought it was very intuitive to play.

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Onemanarmyy

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Strategy games are so broad, it could be turn based, base management, real time.. And all those play different. That said, as a beginner i'd play a game that mostly keeps the strategy turn based & limited to the pieces you have on screen. Something like Invisible Inc or Into The Breach should do a decent job.

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bmccann42

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@valorianendymion: Master of Magic is probably my absolute favourite strategy game of all time, and can still go back and play it today without any real issues.

That said, I am terrible at strategy games and play any of them on the easiest setting.

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pweidman

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Civ Rev, 4, 5, or 6 are all pretty easy to learn and acclimate to actually.

But also, XCOM 2 is a must play and you can start on easy and learn the game before attempting the harder/more challenging diffs. The game is so good and addictive, it won't matter that much as it's hooks will get in ya, and you'll be playing, watching, and reading about it for months. Additionally, WotC is a ridiculously great DLC for XCOM 2, along with some smaller fun add-ons that just add more great content and depth to an already awesome experience.