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Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 7:56:08 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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Original thread has a number of dead links and other clutter by now. So let's start a new thread with up to date info. Legitimate games & downloads only! NO ABANDONWARE!

Classic Empire
Back in the 1980's, Empire was award winning Wargame of the Century and one of the first computer wargames ever created. Released for a number of different computers by Interstel Corporation, game got a number of sequels which are still played today. Classic Empire is the free version for modern PCs from the original creator, Walter Bright. Game is very minimalistic, but still the same world conquest city by city with a small selection of different units. Careful with movement! If you move ground force army to water by mistake, you lose it! If you move ship/fleet to land by mistake, you lose it! If you try to load an Army onto Transport already in full capacity, you lose that Army! Simple but fun, and much recommended to newcomers to war strategy game genre.


Field of Strategy II

Grand tactical (is that a term?) scale square grid based wargame which covers great many historical eras. Game play isn't too hard: click on a unit, available hexes are highlighted, click on where you want unit to move, and it goes there. Combat is automated. Important things are maneuvering and unit positioning: enemy is crushed with concentrated attack of multiple units from different directions. Therefore flanking plays a crucial roles, as does proper use of terrain. Napoleon's cannons won't shoot through friendly units unless they (cannons) are on the higher ground.

Multiplayer SHOULD work directly between players, but I didn't get it to work; other player's firewall is to blame? But developer has a dedicated multiplayer server. When all the players (can be more than 2) are in attendance, game can be played in real time (still turn-based) between the players. Alternately players can play their turns when they feel like, and saves stay in the server. Log in to check is it your turn, play your turn, turn the game off, and log in the next day (or the next week) to check on is it your turn again. This is BRILLIANT!


Battle for Wesnoth



Now THIS is an excellent example of open source game. Wargames in general aren't winners of a beauty contest, but Battle for Wesnoth don't need to be ashamed of its looks. Game is fantasy strategy game. I haven't played Fantasy General but I guess it is good example for comparison. Available sides include humans, elves, orcs... standard fantasy stuff. Variety comes to play in form of attributes. Each new unit gets two traits which are assigned randomly. Traits may increase unit's attack, speed, hit points etc. When unit fights, it gets experience. When unit has enough experience, it can "level up" to a more effective unit.

Player(s) can spend gold to get new units. Gold is get from villages in form of tax. In addition villages and base (castle/fortress/camp) itself offers defense bonus and heal units which are located in them. Large number of units require gold for upkeep. "Army marches on its stomach" you know. In single player scenarios there are a number of objectives to be completed. Multiplayer seems to be traditional 'kill them all'.

But what really hits the eye is a very long list of available languages. I was startled when my native language was on by default and all I could do was stare at the screen and think "WTF!!?" Finnish translation isn't too bad, but there are enough errors and gaps (English mixed together with Finnish) for me to prefer English (UK version).


Advanced Strategic Command



It looks like Battle Isle and it plays like Battle Isle. Very similar to Panzer General & derivatives. But what REALLY makes a difference is that transport units are on the map at the same time with infantry! That's right: empty APC remains there to provide MORE DAKKA what I was sorely missing in Panzer Corps & WH40k Armageddon. What I remember from single player is VERY challenging. It felt so much like Chess, where 1 wrong move would cost the scenario. So when my infantry got hit by artillery beyond LOS and I had no idea where it was coming from, I couldn't think of no other way than charge blindly to locate enemies, then reload and play scenario again. Not my cup of tea.


MegaMek



MegaMek is based on rules of BattleTech and follows them almost to letter. Game has vast number of official BattleTech units from Poor Bloody Infantry (PBI) and submarines up to massive space WarShips and EVERYTHING between. In addition to the units, game includes number of maps and random map generator (RMG). Host player can define parameters for RMG including amount of water, woods, roads and so on. Game is open source and is in constant development. New elements are added and bugs squished on regular basis.

For those who don't know about BattleTech, it is tactical wargame on unit level. Main focus is in 12 meter tall walking war machines of mass destruction, commonly known BattleMech or 'Mech for short (in MegaMek called Mek becouse copyrights). Game is played in phases. Game starts with deployment phase where units are place to the map. It is followed by movement phase where units are moved and firing phase where targets are declared for weapons. Hit and damage calculations are made after target declarations. Next is physical attack phase where BattleMechs can use their own mass to make damage: punchs, kicks and push (to water).

MegaMek isn't most exciting game but it is tolerable with sufficient amount of cola and cookies. When something happens, it may happen BIG time. Expect shouts of joy and damaged keyboards when playing MegaMek.


MekWars



Earlier known as MegaMekNET, MekWars is online campaign game built around MegaMek. Short and sweet: players join to factions and fight over Inner Sphere ( = known galaxy). Players launch attacks against planets of opposing factions. Focus is conquering enemy. If captured planet includes factory, it is possible to use that factory to produce enemy units for own use. Other available task types include raids to steal units or components from enemy. Default server is based on year 3025 with level 1 introductory technology only. Available units include most level 1 'Mechs and ground vehicles that are detailed in Technical Readout & Record Sheets 3039.


People's Tactics
Predecessor of Advanced Tactics from same developer. Build a battalion or a division size units from company size (?) pieces, take care of logistics, and conquer the enemy. If you like it, you won't go wrong with Advanced Tactics Gold.

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars
Post #: 1
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 9:01:23 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Thought I'd make a smarmy post about Steel Panthers World at War :)

And the 2 offerings from Shrapnel Games, their WinSPWW2 and WinSPMBT.

Both very free, and certainly great.

And of course the content from the Depot guys that ensures SPWaW cooperates fer ya.

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to Kuokkanen)
Post #: 2
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 9:05:41 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Not entirely meant to equal 'free game', but the software is indeed free, and it might allow you to get use out of a lot of games you might otherwise not be able to enjoy.

http://www.vassalengine.org/

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 3
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 9:13:19 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Joni Nuutinen of Android option through Google has a wealth of good wargames, most I think have a more than adequate demo release of each title should be given a look.

It should be noted that a tablet is NOT required, you can play them on a conventional PC using Bluestacks (an emulator) just fine, in Win10 too.

Some really well received and constantly updated battles.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Joni+Nuutinen&hl=en

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 4
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 9:35:21 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Because you might just not realize it's free...

Order of Battle here at Matrix Games, is actually free to play to a point. Want to know if you want that specific DLC, you can always try it.

Because free is free, I can also mention the well known Panther Games Command Ops 2 is a game where you can try the core game for Free.

Sort of is a wargame I suppose (pushes the term for some of us).
Free Civ
http://www.freeciv.org/

Open General has a good point of origins.
http://www.open-general.com/

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 5
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 10:35:25 PM   
Hanny


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Panzer leader,
X com available in open source.

_____________________________

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 6
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/25/2021 11:06:26 PM   
MrsWargamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hanny

Panzer leader,
X com available in open source.


Dear, your post seems a bit vague.

Can you elaborate a bit more about Panzer Leader?

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to Hanny)
Post #: 7
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/26/2021 12:33:00 AM   
cpdeyoung


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From: South Carolina, USA
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He is likely referring to this :

https://github.com/layagyasz/OpenPanzerBlitz

I do not know this project but I am interested. A lot of work here.

Chuck

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 8
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/26/2021 12:56:44 AM   
MrsWargamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cpdeyoung

He is likely referring to this :

https://github.com/layagyasz/OpenPanzerBlitz

I do not know this project but I am interested. A lot of work here.

Chuck


Hmm very interesting indeed


_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

(in reply to cpdeyoung)
Post #: 9
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/26/2021 4:35:56 AM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hanny

X com available in open source.

It's OpenXcom. And it requires a number of files from the original game (UFO: Enemy Unknown or X-COM: UFO Defense), so not truly free.

Links everyone! LINKS!

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to Hanny)
Post #: 10
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 3/26/2021 12:52:09 PM   
Hanny


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hanny

X com available in open source.

It's OpenXcom. And it requires a number of files from the original game (UFO: Enemy Unknown or X-COM: UFO Defense), so not truly free.

Links everyone! LINKS!


My bad, it’s UFO Alien Invasion on sourcforge I was actually thinking of, can’t do links as I’m on the I pad while moving house.

Steam has a whole lot of free to play games to chose from in one handy place to browse them.

< Message edited by Hanny -- 3/26/2021 12:55:27 PM >


_____________________________

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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Post #: 11
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 4/2/2021 6:53:12 PM   
gamer78

 

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Battle for Wesnoth is quite good. They still improve campaigns. Time to time I play rouge-like games such as Tales of Maj'Eyal. It has free version and very cheap Steam version with all the DLC'S. I don't do save&load in rouge-like games and now it my second preferred type of games after wargames.

(in reply to Hanny)
Post #: 12
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/15/2021 3:56:48 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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I'll bump up this thread up for our recent newcomers. Couple links to free strategy games. Should we go through some of them and post some recommendations?

https://www.gog.com/games?limit=48&genres=strategy&priceRange=0,0

https://store.steampowered.com/search/?tags=9&genre=Free%20to%20Play
Click on "Strategy" checkbox to narrow it down

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to gamer78)
Post #: 13
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/15/2021 4:03:42 PM   
mainsworthy

 

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https://iamnumber4.itch.io/war-battles-tactical-in-1920x1080-resolution

land battles tactical

love this thread


< Message edited by mainsworthy -- 12/3/2021 7:05:40 AM >


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RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/15/2021 4:05:20 PM   
mainsworthy

 

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https://iamnumber4.itch.io/british-redcoats-the-scots-rebellion


british redcoats the scots rebellion

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Post #: 15
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/15/2021 4:06:31 PM   
mainsworthy

 

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https://iamnumber4.itch.io/blitzkrieg-engine



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RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/15/2021 4:07:11 PM   
mainsworthy

 

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https://iamnumber4.itch.io/tomestone-wyatt-earp-and-the-cowboys-v101

now with sheriffs office

< Message edited by mainsworthy -- 11/25/2021 2:23:37 PM >


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RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/16/2021 8:02:08 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius
Tactical space combat from Japan. And because it's from Japan, fighters got replaced with mecha. At least game is turn-based on hex grid. Otherwise game play isn't anything too convoluted: armed carrier and accompanying mecha move and shoot within a limited number of points per turn. Few things stand out. Missiles have range and power, but numbers are very limited and can be shot down, possibly by multiple units along the way. Some units carry energy shields which can be used to cover other friendly units to reduce damage, and I make a guess multiple shields stack up. Player's mechas aren't identical rank & file carbon copies, but each is unique and irreplaceable (I haven't lost any yet, so I don't know what that would mean). Some of the mecha are equipped for electronic warfare to temporarily shutdown entire enemy unit, or (with smaller point cost) some of its systems (shield or flak). Unit damage is seemingly only hit points and weapons or other stuff don't break down. Scenarios aren't necessarily "kill them all", but usually have an objectives, like destroy the base/leader. In addition reinforcements can appear on either side. Attacks are animated (for every attack, maybe it can be turned off?), possibly along with a character portrait and 1-liner from voice actress. Between scenarios equipment can be upgraded and weapons (like missiles) bought. Game has also a visual novel element, where player can go around the ship by clicking on hot spots on the floor plan to chat with the crew.

Available on:
Good Old Games
Steam

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to Kuokkanen)
Post #: 18
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/18/2021 10:17:42 AM   
Mobeer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius
...


If I remember correctly, any mecha ("ryder") that is defeated in a battle will be repaired so long as the battle is one - it would break the storyline otherwise.

The other fun things is that the more kills a unit gets the more it is targetted by the enemy, which makes it hard to stick with just one tactic throughout a whole battle.

(in reply to Kuokkanen)
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RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/18/2021 11:46:59 AM   
bayonetbrant

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: cpdeyoung

He is likely referring to this :

https://github.com/layagyasz/OpenPanzerBlitz

I do not know this project but I am interested. A lot of work here.

Chuck


it's a digital adaptation of the 1970s-era Avalon Hill classic PanzerBlitz (WW2 East Front tactical, and one of the first; a lot of groundbreaking ideas in that box for its time), later expanded with PanzerLeader (WW2 West Front) and Arab-Israeli Wars (you can probably guess)

It's been expanded a LOT by the board game community with print-&-play variants for Vietnam, WW3-in-1980, and a crap-ton of WW2 variants, expansions, etc.

Here's a bunch of home-made mapboards + counters for a division-level game being played at Origins one year (reminder: the counters are indiv platoons)



(in reply to cpdeyoung)
Post #: 20
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/18/2021 1:50:10 PM   
cpdeyoung


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From: South Carolina, USA
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Yes. I first met PB/PL as a tactical game from SPI. I was stunned when I played a friend of my brother. I had never seen anything like it, and loved it.

The game at Origins looks like fun. It looks like the Soviets and Allies are, well, allies.

I became a lifetime subscriber to S&T, but my issues seem to have dropped off.

Chuck

(in reply to bayonetbrant)
Post #: 21
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/18/2021 7:01:18 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: cpdeyoung

Yes. I first met PB/PL as a tactical game from SPI.


It was Avalon Hill, not SPI.


quote:

ORIGINAL: cpdeyoung

The game at Origins looks like fun. It looks like the Soviets and Allies are, well, allies.


IIRC, the green / red were just 2 different formations for some house rules around comms / radios. Not necessarily a nationality thing, but that would certainly be the default assumption.


quote:

ORIGINAL: cpdeyoung

I became a lifetime subscriber to S&T, but my issues seem to have dropped off.



You can blame TSR for that one, but you need a time machine to do so.

(in reply to cpdeyoung)
Post #: 22
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/25/2021 7:52:21 AM   
candymika

 

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Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part I care for such information a lot.

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RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/25/2021 11:45:42 AM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant
You can blame TSR for that one, but you need a time machine to do so.


Actually TSR returned from the grave some months ago.

https://comicbook.com/gaming/news/dungeons-and-dragons-tsr-inc-gary-gygax-returns/

I know that it was at once surrounded by some brouhaha regarding gender identity, gun violence and other topics stunningly unrelated to gaming. I'm also happy to report that I don't know anything more.

_____________________________

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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

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RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/28/2021 1:29:08 AM   
bigus


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Not sure if this has been posted but how about TripleA?
Grand Strategy.

https://triplea-game.org/

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Post #: 25
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 11/28/2021 11:49:54 PM   
cpdeyoung


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From: South Carolina, USA
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@bayonetbrant

About the Avalon Hill vs SPI.

This was the game I was referring to, Tactical Game 3. This was my introduction to the game that would be marketed by Avalon Hill as panzerblitz.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/162734/tactical-game-3

(in reply to bigus)
Post #: 26
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