Published on October 21st, 2014 | by Tony Odett0
Strategy Games Not to Miss: Fall 2014
The fall gaming season is that wonderful time of year when publishers release so many triple-A titles that you can’t possibly play them all. And yet, included in that deluge, are often a large number of strategy games which you may miss in the flood of information. Fall 2014 hasn’t been light on the strategy, and while you can’t play everything, these are some titles you definitely want to take a look at.
Crusader Kings 2: Charlemagne
Release: Out now
This is the game I currently find myself lost in. Crusader Kings 2 has been around for a while now, but each expansion/patch has taken the effort to new heights. This particular release moves the game’s start date even earlier, allowing you to play as the eponymous ruler and his underlings. It includes a number of significant changes, the most compelling of which (in my mind at least) is the addition of a chronicle feature. The game will track the year-by-year happenings of your house, and give you a wonderfully produced record. It’s really quite something and will really help with AARs. Think of the potential Christmas gifts! (no… don’t do that)
To End All Wars
Release: Out Now
2014 marks the centennial of The Great War, and what better way to celebrate than with AGEod’s simulation of the conflict. There aren’t many games out on the subject, and fewer with the AGE engine’s unique simultaneous turn-based resolution to highlight the fog of war. The game has a beautiful map with a board game feel, but don’t be fooled- this is a hardcore strategy game with sophisticated logistics and weather models. This is the type of game grognards have been waiting for.
Europa Universalis 4: The Art of War
Release: October 30
I am a huge EU4 fanboy, and the release of a new expansion focusing on the 30 Years War specifically and the game’s military conflict systems more broadly makes me want to dive right back in again. And while the ability to sortie during sieges, mothball fleets, and build armies in one click are exciting enough, the update includes huge, sweeping changes to the game’s map, in Asia, North American and beyond.
Supreme Ruler Ultimate
Release: Out now
This release nicely ties all of the Supreme Ruler games together, allowing you to take your World War 2 era nation and continue your world conquest well into the 21st century. This also allows all the updates and improvements from 1936 to be applied to all the games in the series, and to purchase them all simultaneously, with one big bow of “I’m never going to have free time ever again” on top.
Total War Rome 2: Emperor’s Edition
Release: Out Now
Numerous patches to Total War Rome 2 have taken it from a game that was merely playable at launch to an effort that’s much more worth your time. Improvements to the interface and to the combat model have significantly increased my enjoyment of the game. The Emperor’s Edition adds an entirely new campaign to the game (The War of the Second Triumvirate), and, if you already owned TW:R2, the upgrade is completely free. This is a lot of content, for exactly the right price.
Gary Grigsby’s War in the West 1943-45
Release: December 2014
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include at least one hardcore World War II simulation on this list, and War in the West fits the bill better than any. I’ve awaited the Western application of Gary Grigsby’s system from War in the East for a long time, and a hardcore simulation of Overlord, Market Garden, and a number of other famous campaigns will make this a game to lose many, many hours in. It’s a complex system, but definitely worth the time to learn.
Civilization: Beyond Earth
Release: October 24
I end with the obvious one that everyone (even non-core strategy gamers) has been anticipating. Civilization V has evolved significantly and in wonderful ways from its original release, and now Firaxis applies those lessons to civilizations among the stars. New planets, relations with alien races, and entirely new development trees to explore- my excitement grows!