Amass your armies, send forth all legions, and don’t forget to say “Yes, milord?” because today, Day Twelve, we’re turning to the more actioney end of the tactical spectrum with Real-Time Strategy games. The RTS subgenre is just as involved and complex (and sometimes shambling) as Tactical RPGs, introducing time-sensitive actions into warfare, essentially turning the experience into an arms race for survival. Imagine a game of Chinese Checkers except there are ten times as many pieces to move and every dozen of them has their own special rules. Maneuvering units, harvesting resources, constructing productive buildings and fortifications, engaging the enemy all while racing against the clock and your opponent brings an extra degree of anxious urgency to the otherwise cumbersome world of strategy gaming.
“It is a good day to die.”
The Green Screen Mage
I guess Halo Wars. I played it because it’s Halo and that’s my favorite series. But honestly, I hate RTS games so much. They are not my favorites.
The Black Humor Mage
I don’t think I’ve ever played an RTS games. They’ve always looked a little boring to me. And it’s always disappointing to see the trailer for them. I remember seeing the trailers for StarCraft 2, and thinking “Wow! What a great looking scifi game!” and then I saw the over-the-head camera and commanding troops and ships, I just lost interest. It looks like chess! If I wanted to play chess, then I’d learn it because my father never taught me! I hate you dad!
The Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews)
Dawn of War. I can get specific with this one because I have only played one in the series so far. I was gifted a copy of Dawn of War 2: Retribution, and it is an incredible RTS game. I played through as the Tyranids and loved all of the rich Lore and the beautifully finished levels and upgrading systems. I have not been able to play Warhammer or Warhammer 40K on the tabletop yet but I am a big fan of the universe and all of the different races and their histories. (Honorable Mentions – Starcraft/Warcraft, Age of Empires, Command & Conquer)
The Spoony Bard Mage (Nerd Speaker)
While I actually enjoyed Warcraft III more, StarCraft was the one I played all through high school. Sure, I sucked at it, and always tried to rush to Carrier with Protoss, but it was good times.
The Final Fourteenth Mage (Cilla vs. Games)
Stelcon. I really enjoy DOS games which is fairly evident through some of my previous answers. Stelcon was an amazing RTS game where you versed an opponent (CPU or human) and took control of various planets on the map. You could then use these planets to attack neighbouring planets and take control of them. The enjoyment came from sitting next to the person you were playing with and knowing that you were about to take over their planet in your next turn.
The Hopeful Handheld Mage (Retro Redress)
I picked C&C3 not for it’s single player mode, but the excellent online Skirmish mode, where four players can fight each other online. There is no greater thrill than developing armies faster than your opponents…or greater fear than running away from a player with fully developed alien forces.
Unless EA’s servers crash…which is 9 times out of 10.
The Rage Mage
Nothing screams “opulent pretentiousness” like Magic: The Gathering, and the icing on top of that sweat-jello cake is MTG: BattleMage for PS1. An RTS on home console. Well there’s yer problem. The game reeks of hair and toenails with gameplay so confusing and monotonous, it might actually make you want to play the card game instead.
The Well-Red Mage
Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires II, Age of Wonder, Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat, Dawn of War, Warcraft 3, haha even Fat Princess are all RTS’s I’ve fond memories for but the ultimate real-time strategy experience in my life has been StarCraft: Brood War. I sunk so many hours into this game… entirely in single-player. I created my own maps. I played as Protoss so I could “whammy” enemy SCVs and Drones with Dark Archon mind control so I could build up a massive three-faction army on a custom map with billions of resources, amassing an invisible armada of Zerg, Terran, and Protoss aerial units guarded in groups by Arbiters floating above entrance points to my sprawling empire hemmed in by a three-layer wall of Photon Cannons. It took hours to max all this out but it was beautiful. My goal was always to create a self-sustaining army that could guard its base while I went afk, and it worked a few times when everything turned out just right. My favorite of the three races was always Zerg (Tyranids are the best!), especially with those delicious Lurkers. And the story missions weren’t bad, either. What a game! I grew up with Legos and Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys so building things was something that drew me into StarCraft,El and other RTS’s I’ve loved.
Tomorrow we’re going to open the door and explore a vast new world. Come back again if you’re the adventurous type! Thanks for reading!