From: MN, USA
A mllion programmers, a million opinions
My two cents are that C++ is a good adventure but go open source if you can stand it. Something like GCC (compiler) + Eclipse (IDE) + wxWidgets (buttons, lists, etc.) allows you to develop in pretty much the same code across Windows, Linux, and OS X. The flexibility of being able to jump from the MS ship is nice, and the cross platform is really handy as well. If your game runs natively on a Mac you instantly gain quite a few friends, and in this low volume business of wargames that might make a big difference in sales!
The sad thing is that the above configuration isn't easy to set up and there are few people to turn to for kind help. So that's where one says, "learn the language essentials with the free MS tools, when you get the hang of it, go to a more advanced solution like the one above."
What route do I take? Well, I'm one of those wacky Delphi programmers at heart and I love the speed at which I can develop a program thanks to the work of component (add-ins, want a GIS system, grab www.tglobe.com, want any pretty control, go to www.tmssoftware.com, etc.). Delphi for years was the only programming tool to really get RAD right (imho of course); now the MS .NET platforms do a good job but the components are much more expensive than the Delphi equivalents. There is a slow moving but working open source port of Delphi called Lazarus (and a free limited version of Delphi called TurboDelphi) again allowing Linux and OS X development with one codebase.
For the record I detest .NET as Microsoft centric (yes mono exists but it doesn't keep up) but the idea of including so many useful libraries in the core language is impressive.
Eddy probably has it right for most, "The one which you are most familiar with ".
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer HarpGamer.com