10 votes

Ask ~games: what strategy games has a big focus on terrain tactics?

I really like playing Civ5, when a city is behind a mountain, if properly guarded, it's nearly impenetrable.

A strategically placed city on choke points can be a shield of your whole empire. Enemy settlers or scouts can't access a vast majority of land. Also people have fun with canal cities with trading routes shortcuts, etc.

However games like civ5 only have mountains, the river tactics is weak, historically many battles were carried over river and controlling a bridge is vital.

Are there any games that focus on terrain tactics? I think combined with some aspects from Tower of Defense, the game can be quite fun.

I know games like Total War where terrain plays an important role, but it's more campaign focused. RTS is too short-lived.

5 comments

  1. [2]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Endless Legend has a pretty neat terrain system that can make or break battles. The combat system is hard to explain, and I recommend just going and watching a video of it, but I'll try to...

    Endless Legend has a pretty neat terrain system that can make or break battles.

    The combat system is hard to explain, and I recommend just going and watching a video of it, but I'll try to explain.

    When two opposing units meet, one obviously attacks and the other defends. The unit stacks, which usually take up one hex on the game map, then get broken down into the individual units of their stack, and each unit gets to take a space on a nearby hex tile from the one where the two armies originally met.

    So when combat starts, the unit stacks break down, and their individual units occupy the surrounding hex tiles. Tile height, as well as the turn based nature of the games combat, makes geography a really important part of defending and attacking, with choke points, envelopment, and generally trying to maximize or minimize your units exposure to enemy units.

    It's a really fun system, especially since you have ranged units of different kinds, who do drastically different things, and the same goes for melee units too. It's also just a damn good 4X game. The graphics and art are beautiful, the game mechanics for managing population and minor factions is great. Custom factions are fun to play around with.

    If you have the time, check Endless Legend out. Endless Space 1 & 2 are also great, but play differently than Endless Legend, in a way that less relevant to your post, but still.

    Also Endless Legend and Endless Space 2 have Steam Workshop support if that matters to you.

    3 votes
    1. est
      Link Parent
      thank you. I will definitely check them out!

      thank you. I will definitely check them out!

      1 vote
  2. [3]
    determinism
    Link
    Zero-K is an RTS that I play that has a decent physics engine (Spring RTS engine). It has real-time projectile motion on all bullets and things that aren't laser-type weapons. Because of this,...

    Zero-K is an RTS that I play that has a decent physics engine (Spring RTS engine). It has real-time projectile motion on all bullets and things that aren't laser-type weapons. Because of this, terrain elevation can impact how well units perform (not by applying a damage modifier or some statistical "miss" chance but by making it mechanically easier for the unit at the higher elevation to hit the one that is lower). This impacts range and also accuracy when the units are actively dodging one another.

    Some of the builder units can modify the terrain elevation to build ramps or walls.

    There are a variety of modes of motility, tracked vehicles, wheeled, walking robots. Each of them have their own properties as far as their ability to traverse slopes in the terrain.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      First up, if you (or anyone) haven't played Total Annihilation, which Zero-K was originally based on, you should totally pick it up off of GOG when you get the chance. It may be a 20+ year old...

      First up, if you (or anyone) haven't played Total Annihilation, which Zero-K was originally based on, you should totally pick it up off of GOG when you get the chance. It may be a 20+ year old game but it scales to 1080p very well and is genuinely still one of the best RTS games. You'll find the controls and mechanics of Zero-K to be the same or similar in TA, and the whole thing is just an all around blast.

      Second up, I'm so glad that Zero-K has come a long way as a project and I think it's one of the better examples of open source video games, alongside Cataclysm DDA.

      3 votes
      1. est
        Link Parent
        That's cool man. I a not a RTS guy because I spend lots of time thinking about the situation. But I gotta try TA & Zero-K out!

        That's cool man. I a not a RTS guy because I spend lots of time thinking about the situation. But I gotta try TA & Zero-K out!

        1 vote