The big stupid list of random Tactics/Strategy games I'd like to play someday, eventually, probably. Just you wait.

In the spirit of that RPG list I made at the end of last year, here is another angle to my depressing backlog and the things I would like to get to because I bought them "on sale" back when I was an idiot who bought a bunch of games on sale without playing them.

It's fair to say that I'm just as much of a fan of tactics and strategy stuff as I am of RPGs, with a similar list of games I've yelled about on the internet for years (See: Heroes of Might and Magic, Fire Emblem, Age of Wonders III, Eador: Genesis, X-COM: UFO Defense, etc.) and a similarly intimidating list of titles that I'd love to get around to one of these days, if not for the demanding time commitment a lot of them ask for.

Criteria is as follows:

  • I own all of these games, usually on GOG or Steam though maybe a handful on consoles as well.
  • These are all games I have an interest in playing. This discounts the number of random tactical and strategy games in my libraries that I know I have no honest intent to play. Sorry King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame, I don't really know what I was thinking when I picked you up.
  • Because a lot of strategic stuff is aimed around replayable matches rather than a single end-point, this also includes games that I have sunk some time into but have a vague inclination to sink more time into.
  • Some of these games could probably be put on my RPG list as well.
  • To be perfectly frank: some of these choices are pretty tentative/vague and reflect more of a curiosity than a genuine desire. Unlike my RPG list, which is filled with games I'd like to see to some sort of grand conclusion, this list has a few games that I want to understand more than anything else.
  • Most of these games are pretty old, by simple value of the fact that there are a lot of weird, obscure, and potentially Russian strategy games hanging around GOG and Steam that I've picked up over the years. Also, there isn't exactly a ton of modern strategy/tactics stuff that I want to play, y'know? Well, I'll pick up Might and Magic: Heroes VII one of these days out of morbid curiosity, but that doesn't mean I want to actually play it.

List items

  • "Vaguely Modern and/or Relevant"

    So I actually played more than a dozen hours of this game, mostly over Christmas break. I enjoyed what I played and would like to play more, maybe finish that Dwarven campaign I had going. I'll be the first to admit I'm not great at Total War, but man is it cool.

  • Disgaea 5 was the first game in that series I made any sort of headway with. Maybe I should actually get around to playing more of it one of these days.

  • I really liked the original campaign for Dawn of War II, so at some point I'd like to play the expansion, right?

  • I played a few hours of this and was vaguely impressed by its weird tactical combat and resource management.

  • Like a lot of modern strategy games, I bought Legends of Eisenwald because it looked vaguely like Heroes of Might and Magic and that was enough but of course I haven't touched it at all.

  • "Obligatory Paradox Grand Strategy Section"

    Of the two big Paradox Grand Strategy games I own, Europa Universalis is the one I think I grasped a little more.

  • But of course, Crusader Kings is the one I hear people raving about more oft than not.

  • "Old and Venerable"

    It's like X-COM but in World War 2 and with insane destructible environment tech. Also it's made by Russians and there are mechs at some point. Will use mods.

  • Also made by Nival Interactive. It's basically like Heroes of Might and Magic if you had to play Magic the Gathering every time you engaged in combat. I dunno, that sounds okay, if fraught with the usual jank and peril games from Russia endure.

  • Jagged Alliance 2 is honestly on the same level as something like Arcanum in terms of how long it's been a backlog white whale. It's been just long enough that I think I'll give it another try one of these days to see if I can overcome its daunting learning curve.

  • Played a decent amount of it like two years ago, thought it was a pretty neat, minimalist strategy thing with a distinct soundtrack.

  • This is a stand-in for all of the Heroes Chronicles campaigns, which are basically stand-alone campaigns for Heroes of Might and Magic III which follow a single story through-line. I dunno whose bright idea it was to sell campaigns for a game whose best aspects always came through individual scenarios, but hey, I figure it wouldn't be a bad place to go if I wanted to play more Heroes III.

  • "Old and Questionable"

    I dunno, it's like a mediocre X-COM clone with Spayce Muhreens or something?

  • I know Apocalypse is "The bad X-COM" but also I'd still like to see if I could get anywhere reasonable with it.

  • I honestly have little idea what the hell this is, other than vaguely being some sort of Russian RPG/Strategy hybrid thing. So basically like half this list.

  • See above, but this game is called "Rage of Mages" and I find that hilarious.

  • "Japan also makes tactics games"

    It's Fire Emblem in all but name from the guy who created Fire Emblem. You already know why this is on this list, especially now that it has a half-decent fan translation.

  • My problem with Final Fantasy Tactics has a lot to do with how damn slow everything is, combined with the part where there isn't a truly definitive version. The PSP version has additional features but horrific slowdown, while the PS1 original has a janky script.

    It's still on this list though.