Tactical Combat games: Turn-Based awesome. — Penny Arcade
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Tactical Combat games: Turn-Based awesome.

MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNBREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
edited October 2008 in Social Entropy++
So, my favorite genre of game, and one that is sorely underused, is the tactical combat game. These games differ from a regular RTS in that they are normally turn-based, have you controlling a small squad of soldiers, and are pretty much always modern or fairly-modern.

Examples? Why thank you, I will provide some examples!

My personal favorite tactical combat series is, and will always be the Jagged Alliance games.

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JaggedAllianceScreenshot.jpg

Basically you hire a group of wisecrackin' mercenaries who you hired because you need to liberate this island (and its precious trees that produce medicinal sap or something) from the evil dude that currently holds it.

The game had a lot of cool features that I still admire today, but the main thing that I appreciate about it is that every character had personality. Some were complete assholes to everyone, some of them liked each other, and others would actually kill each other if you left them alone. Also, apparently sometimes if you left a guy alone with your money he'd take off in the middle of the night with it.

You'd have to bargain with them when they wanted pay raises, as well as work hard to gain a rep so some of the more competent mercs will side with you. It's amusing seeing Ivan, who is a hardcore badass in JA2, as a relative newbie in JA1.

Following JA1 was the pseudo-sequel, Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games.

JaDG.jpg

Keeping the same engine, the game added a few new mercs, ditched the sector-based world in favor of a mission-based storyline, and most importantly, added a fucking multiplayer mode and map editor!

After JA: DG, there was a silence for a few years, and then the crown fucking jewel of PC tactical combat games came out. Of course, I'm speaking about Jagged Alliance 2.

Jagged_alliance_2.jpg

Jagged-Alliance-2-screenshot.jpg

This iteration of the game added loads of new features - automatic weapons, different stances, many more mercenaries (including a competing mercenary agency to AIM, the only one you had in the first two games), the ability to make a custom mercenary, and just generally awesome action. Also, most of your favorite mercs are back, and the ones that aren't at least get a section on what they've been up to (hint: a lot are dead) on the AIM website.

Then came JA2: Unfinished Business.

Ja2UB.jpg

It was another standalone expansion, much like Deadly Games, right down to the box art. It didn't add multiplayer but it did add a map editor and a (relatively short, fairly disappointing) new campaign. It did have snow tiles, though, which were neat.

But the best was yet to come. A few years down the line, Sir-Tech started noticing that people were modding the game quite a bit. So with one of the last rereleases of the game, they released the source code as well. And this led to Ja2 1.13, arguably the best fan-made patch I've ever seen.

The thing adds loads of shit, from even more guns, to improved AI, to a completely revamped inventory system. Also, they externalized pretty much every item in the game into XML format, and they even include an editor with the newest patch, so you can easily make a Rapegun 5000 if you want. Also, there's like eight or nine different fucking types of ammo now - instead of just AP, HP, and regular ol' FMJ, there's AP, HP, FMJ, GLASER, Match, Depleted Uranium, AET, cold-loaded rounds, and at least one more that I'm forgetting. It's completely ridiculous but also totally awesome.

Seriously, if you can get past the admittedly dated interface and sometimes insane difficulty, the game is well worth looking for. I'm pretty sure you can find it for dirt cheap on eBay too.

Also, the 1.13 patch is located right here.

But this thread isn't just about Jagged Alliance, oh no. There are other PC tactical combat games too.

FalloutTactics.jpg

fallout_tacticsScreenshot.jpg

Fallout: Tactics, oh how controversial you were. Well, to the rabid Fallout fans at least.

FO:T is a pretty fun game. I mean, how can tactical combat in one of the most interesting game universes not be fun? I think they stumbled a bit when they decided to include a pseudo real-time mode, but it's kind of helpful when you're trying to hunt down one wounded straggler and don't want to go into turn-based mode every time he takes a potshot at you.

It's got loads of easter eggs and a ton of shit to do, as well. Also, the death animations are deliciously gory, in true Fallout fashion.

SilentStorm.jpg

Silent Storm is a World-War 2 tactical combat game. It's quite innovative in that nearly everything is destructible. Are there Nazis on a building that you want to kill without wasting precious bulllets? Well, why not just blow up the building and watch them come tumbling down?

The game gets a bit goofy about halfway through when they introduce giant mech-suits that every enemy ends up suited up in. Also, the leveling is gimped and the translation of character dialogue is goofy at best (and not goofy in a funny, B-movie way either). Still, it's a fun game. Oh yeah, and you can play as the Axis as well as the Allies (although they make sure to tell you that you are NOT a Nazi).

SilentStormSentinels.jpg

Silent Storm: Sentinels is the standalone expansion to Silent Storm. Taking place after WWII, you no longer choose a faction, and the character pool is both sides combined together. Sadly, I haven't played this, as it only came out in Europe, and the Gold edition of the game was sold out on Gogamer when I actually had money.

Xcom_1.png

X-Com.gif

And then of course there's X-Com, or Ufo: Enemy Unknown as you dirty Euros call it.

I must ashamedly admit to very little experience with this game - it was a bit before my time, but I can at least appreciate the amount of things it brought to the genre. Also, even I'm afraid of fucking Chryssalids.

You know who knows X-Com, though? Motherfucking Fishman, and it just so happens he's doing a kick-ass LP of the first game here.

X-Com was followed by two sequels:

TerrorFromTheDeep.jpg

Terror From The Deep, which is basically a underwater reskin of X-Com but also even more difficult...

X-comApocalypse.jpg

And X-Com Apocalypse, which answers the question "What if X-Com was a shitty game?"

Oh, also, I guess there's some Japanese games that are also tactical too. If you're a weeaboo faggot.

Final_Fantasy_Tactics_ntsc-front.jpg

disgaea.jpg
I've actually been playing Disgaea on the DS and enjoying it and I did enjoy Jeanne D'Arc when I had a PSP

So let's talk tactical, guys.

Moriveth on
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Posts

  • CrackedLensCrackedLens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    well huh

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  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I hope those images aren't too big, this monitor has a shitty resolution.

    Moriveth on
  • CrackedLensCrackedLens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    the monitor im on here sucks as well

    CrackedLens on
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  • CrackedLensCrackedLens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    the guy in that Jagged Alliance box art looks like Jeff Daniels with a bitchin mustache

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  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    All the characters in the game are basically cheesy-ass B-movie action hero stereotypes. It's awesome.

    Moriveth on
  • 2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    If Shining Force and Fire Emblem count, that's about the sum of my experience with the genre. But all these games with guns and mustaches and Rank's av (I believe) look so much more awesome. Looks like I'm going to be broke and then some thanks to you.
    Asshole.

    Edit: Also, since money is kind of an issue, got one or two out of here that I super duper must play?

    2 Marcus 2 Ravens on
  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    I ave a raging boner for the Front Mission games. It's tactical turn based gameplay, only with big stompy mechs.

    Like MechWarrior for patient people.

    Einhander on
  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Edit: Also, since money is kind of an issue, got one or two out of here that I super duper must play?

    Honestly, I'd say JA2. The game can be a bit obtuse at first but once you get into it, it's super fun.

    However, lemme see if I can dig up the demo from somewhere so you don't waste your money and end up getting something you hate.

    Moriveth on
  • Pagan_CyCPagan_CyC Registered User
    edited October 2008
    If you have any interest in squad level games that are a little less 'gamey', check out the Close Combat series.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_Combat_series

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  • 2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Why thank you kind sir. If it's anything like Fire Emblem but with more guns and violence and badassness, I'm pretty sure it'd worth a purchase.

    However, I'm off to school.

    2 Marcus 2 Ravens on
  • GoatmonGoatmon Property of Amara_P Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    So that's where that one guy's avatar came from.

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  • lostwordslostwords Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    i must say, this is my favoritest genre of vidjagames. It started out way back in the day when somehow, i started playing both shining force and x-com at the same time, and oh my god, they blew my mind.

    Does the HoMM series count? Or disciples? because oh my god, i love those games

    there's tons and tons out for the psps and ds nowadays (luminous arc, warhammer 40K, FFT, wild arms xf, advanced war series, etc etc), which is perfect. I'm looking forward to Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3 the most though, everythign about it looks amazing.

    lostwords on
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  • CrackedLensCrackedLens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    check this shit out


    jaggedal.gif
    jeffDaniels.jpg

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  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Now that Mori has covered the fluff, here are great tactical war games. These are some of the most complex and challenging games I've ever played.


    The ProSIM series (Brigade Combat Team, Armored Task Force, The Falklands War, Raging Tiger, The Star and the Crescent and the most recent being Air Assault Task Force) is pause-able real time. A Captain in the Army developed these games by himself based on the JANUS system used to train real-world commanders.

    aatf_artillery_planning.jpg

    929458_20050818_screen003.jpg

    Then there are the Combat Mission games, the latest being Strike Force. This one is turn-based with the option of pause-able real time, are less complex and much nicer looking than the ProSIM games, and have great multiplayer modes, including play-by-email.

    a25%20_1__0001.jpg

    CM-Shock-Force-107-(29).jpg

    My first experience personally with these games was with SSI's Gettysburg: The Turning Point on my Dad's Tandy 1000.

    983201251-00.gif

    Amazing game system, where your actions could affect the mood of your Generals, which added modifiers to different actions.

    Probably one of the top games in this genre has always been the Panzer General series:

    panzer_general.jpg

    And last but not least, we must remember our roots:

    Picture011.jpg

    That's Advanced Squad Leader. It seriously took me a solid month to get the rules straight in my brain. This is why we have games for that stuff, but it's still fun. If anyone else besides myself and Curt Schilling still play it, I'd love to set something up.

    NotASenator on
  • CrackedLensCrackedLens Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    does Full Spectrum Warrior for xbox fall into this category?

    cause that was pretty fun

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  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Full Spectrum Warrior is a tactical combat game, not necessarily in the vein that mori was thinking of, but then again, I sort of ignored that too.

    NotASenator on
  • OmegaTofuNinjaOmegaTofuNinja Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I need to play FFT, I've only played FFTA and FFTA2

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  • CliffjumperCliffjumper Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Shining Force and Advance Wars are the best IMO.

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    Cliffjumper on
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  • MeissnerdMeissnerd Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah I guess I am more of a weaboo fag when it comes to tactical games, but I've never had the chance to play Jagged Alliance and the like.

    That being said Final Fantasy Tactics is my favourite game of all time.

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  • DynagripDynagrip Rattlesnake on the trigger HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2008
    i never really played Jagged Alliance but my brother was all bout it

    Dynagrip on
  • DynagripDynagrip Rattlesnake on the trigger HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2008
    I played DS Advance Wars: Days of Ruin and really enjoyed the thing.

    Oh, as long as we're talking about this sort of game, Military Madness is a great example.

    military_madness_front.jpg

    It was originally released on the Turbo-Grafx 16 and is available on the Wii's Virtual Console (I think).

    screen10.jpg

    It used hex-based tiles, which I've always preferred.

    The storyline revolves around a war on the moon

    Dynagrip on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    UFO Defense owned my childhood. I got it in a pack with TFTD, UFO Defense, Master of Magic, and Master of Orion.


    Best childhood ever.

    Khavall on
  • JigrahJigrah Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Anyone else play Desert Commander for the NES?

    First turn based tactical game I have ever played (similar to Advance Wars in style). So awesome, so unbelievably awesome I think I need to play it right now.

    Jigrah on
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    Butters wrote: »
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    Mysst wrote: »
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    Fire Truck wrote: »
    Jigrah, please, I have a headache
    Jigrah, please. Just the tip, I promise.
    jigrah please let me have your babies
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    Mysst wrote: »
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    jigrah please invite me next time you watch robotech.
    Druhim wrote:
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    Well Jigrah, maybe if you said please.


  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    This kind of game is a kind of game that I don't like to play

    #pipe on
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    It wasn't turn based, admittedly

    But:

    FFtitle.jpg

    Straightzi on
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    lostwords wrote: »
    Does the HoMM series count? Or disciples? because oh my god, i love those games

    Oh my god I love Heroes of Might and Magic so fucking much

    So much

    The disciples game I played was good too I think

    Straightzi on
  • Synthetic OrangeSynthetic Orange Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Finish your LPs dammit!

    Synthetic Orange on
  • sponospono Mining for Nose Diamonds Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I feel like a terrible person for never playing any of these games

    spono on
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  • As7As7 Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I should really play Disgaea...

    So...I actually really enjoyed fallout tactics. I still have the game and would love to play a similar game.

    But I hated that you HAD to use the realtime mode in some situations.

    For example, anytime you hopped into a vehicle, it was pretty much BORING AS HELL to not use the real time mode.

    I just thought it was a pain in the ass to have to judge when you should and should not use it.

    Also: I played and enjoyed the latest HOMM game but man is it a chore to play in multiplayer.

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  • cadmunkycadmunky One hand on the bottle, The other a shaking fist.Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    never played this genre in video games. looks like fun tho. especially after getting this tidbit of info.

    but that board game reminds me of games we used to play, richthofen's war and luftwaffe. good times.

    "when i was a kid we played our vidya games on cardboard!"

    cadmunky on
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  • Burning OrganBurning Organ Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    payback time 2 is a simple, free and open source tactical RPG.
    It's best played with a friend. Every player has his own team that he can customize, and the game comes with a level and equipment editor.
    It can be fun as hell.

    Burning Organ on
  • J3pJ3p Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Disgaea (the PS2, PSP, DS one) is my favourite SRPG of what I've played so far but the grind towards the end ugghhhh

    J3p on
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  • JigrahJigrah Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Straightzi wrote: »
    lostwords wrote: »
    Does the HoMM series count? Or disciples? because oh my god, i love those games

    Oh my god I love Heroes of Might and Magic so fucking much

    So much

    The disciples game I played was good too I think

    I got HOMM V off of steam, and man it was disappointing. Setting up a four player map with bots and it's taken 3 minutes from one turn to another.

    Jigrah on
    jigrah please. pass the pipe
    Ruckus wrote: »
    Jigrah please. take my hand.
    Butters wrote: »
    Jigrah please! You'll wake the children
    Mysst wrote: »
    jigrah, please, we won't have this moment again.
    Fire Truck wrote: »
    Jigrah, please, I have a headache
    Jigrah, please. Just the tip, I promise.
    jigrah please let me have your babies
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    I'm going to name my next global pestilence "Jigrah"
    Mysst wrote: »
    jigrah, please don't stop
    Tasteticle wrote: »
    jigrah please invite me next time you watch robotech.
    Druhim wrote:
    Jigrah, please, our dinner is getting cold
    Well Jigrah, maybe if you said please.


  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    cadmunky wrote: »
    never played this genre in video games. looks like fun tho. especially after getting this tidbit of info.

    but that board game reminds me of games we used to play, richthofen's war and luftwaffe. good times.

    "when i was a kid we played our vidya games on cardboard!"

    But I'm not good at Halo at all!

    NotASenator on
  • DynagripDynagrip Rattlesnake on the trigger HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2008
    are there any browser based tactical strategy games?

    Dynagrip on
  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    CHRYSALIDS







    also, disgaea makes me feel so immature but I love it

    PiptheFair on
  • MeissnerdMeissnerd Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    The only problem I have with disgaea is that you can upgrade any dude into anything you want

    that's kinda boring

    Meissnerd on
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  • MistaCreepyMistaCreepy Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Pagan_CyC wrote: »
    If you have any interest in squad level games that are a little less 'gamey', check out the Close Combat series.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_Combat_series


    I love close combat <3

    Also Steel Panthers. Its fucking free these days. TOAW 3 is going pretty cheap too.

    MistaCreepy on
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  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I really enjoyed FFT on my psp even with the performance issues it had.

    I'm sort of playing Jeanne D'arc now and Disgea but it's hard go get into another one so soon.

    At least Jeanne D'arc isn't supposed to have grind. I managed to grind my main char in FFT to a dark knight and the game became trivial at that point.

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  • Stormin JoeStormin Joe Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Dynagrip wrote: »

    screen10.jpg

    It used hex-based tiles, which I've always preferred.

    The storyline revolves around a war on the moon

    is that on a palmpilot?

    Stormin Joe on
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