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

 

Posts: 3416
Joined: 4/2/2004
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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


Posts: 1614
Joined: 6/18/2014
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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


Posts: 1614
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline
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


Posts: 1614
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline
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


Posts: 1614
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline
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


Posts: 426
Joined: 7/5/2011
Status: offline
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


Posts: 1614
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline

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


Posts: 5345
Joined: 7/17/2007
From: South Carolina, USA
Status: offline
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


Posts: 1614
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline

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

 

Posts: 3416
Joined: 4/2/2004
Status: offline
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


Posts: 426
Joined: 7/5/2011
Status: offline
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.

(in reply to Kuokkanen)
Post #: 11
RE: Free war strategy games thread gold - 4/2/2021 6:53:12 PM   
gamer78

 

Posts: 359
Joined: 8/17/2011
Status: offline
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
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