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Which game of the new "batch" of tacticools is the best?

Discussion in 'Tactical Gaming' started by Jimmious, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. Demo.Graph Learned

    Demo.Graph
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    :necro:

    I've been playing X-Com lately (the true one). And I've realised that I'm in a serious need of a modern reincarnation of it.
    The things I'm looking for from the tactical/wargame are:
    - focus on expendable/replenishable units/rookies instead of a limited number of named pawns, >10 units on a tactical map, high lethality encounters (JA, modern XCOM, Fallout tactics, Satellite Reign, and pretty much all tactical games do it wrong);
    - strategic layer with some economics and free form expansion, instead of a mission-based structure (Silent Storm does it wrong);
    - interactive and differing maps - X-COM has very different geometry between city, wilderness and insides of alien craft. All of that is expanded by terrain destructibility. It also has vision mechanics that effectively alter the way that a mission is played: day-night, flares, smoke screens (Battle brothers and Total War do it all wrong);
    - not strictly a puzzle or a boardgame by design (Into the breach and Solium Infernum do it wrong);
    - direct control (qudos to Dominions, but they do it the other way).
    - bearable production quality (COADE and Shadow Empire do it wrong).

    Is there any tactical game or wargame that fits these criteria? Setting doesn't matter.
     
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  2. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Filthy Kalinite Patron

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Maybe Xenonauts 1 (or upcoming sequel).
    There's also Strain Tactics, but it is a RTwP with a bit action game thrown in.
     
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  3. Fluent Scholar Patron The Real Fanboy

    Fluent
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    the Age of Fear series might be your thing. Very good RPG/wargame hybrids. Hope that helps. :)
     
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  4. Darth Canoli Arcane

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    Aside from Xenonauts, Warbanners (Med-fan) fits the bill, huge armies of expandable pawns (heroes are not though), variety of missions and interesting combat.

    It's not exactly medieval X-COM but it's good nonetheless.

    Did you try open x-com and its many mods?

    I like Xenonauts but it's not entirely satisfying if you're expecting something better than the original, it's not.
    It's good enough though, with some new aliens and a bunch of mods.

    Also Vigilantes but it doesn't check all your boxes, only 4 units on your side of the battlefield, not expandable and limited strategic layer but a tough economic management (just don't play the longer campaign, normal difficulty is alright) and good tactical combat.

    Also, not X-COM at all but take a loook at Sigma Finite Dungeon (SFD), it's a really good and re-playable tactical TB and party-based roguelike but it's a label, it's more like a tactical dungeon crawler than a roguelike, if you ask me.
     
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  5. Stavrophore Kalin was right all along. Patron

    Stavrophore
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    Strap Yourselves In
    Ive played strain tactics, it's your typical "android tier" game.
     
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  6. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

    Zboj Lamignat
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    The only "modern" game with tactical layer I can honestly recommend is AoW3, but it's not XCOM-like at all. On the plus side: it's nothing like nu-XCOM, either.
     
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  7. downwardspiral Learned

    downwardspiral
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    Since you include COADE, so I assume this is not limited to squad based game.

    You might want to check out Airships: Conquer the Skies if you haven't.

    - focus on expendable/replenishable units/rookies instead of a limited number of named pawns, >10 units on a tactical map, high lethality encounters (JA, modern XCOM, Fallout tactics, Satellite Reign, and pretty much all tactical games do it wrong);
    Checked.
    You could build cheap mass-product unit or few expensive battleship.
    There is no skill tree or trying to save your high level ship.
    Every ship you built is expendable, but some could takes 2 years in-game time to rebuild.
    Losing a high grade battleship will be a critical event but not as deadly as losing your high level soldiers with optimal skill tree in nuXCom or unique soldiers/merc in JA.
    Leaning towards high lethality.

    - strategic layer with some economics and free form expansion, instead of a mission-based structure (Silent Storm does it wrong);
    Checked.
    Simple strategic layer. Free form expansion. You could download economic mod if you want to build trade ship or economic building.
    The speed of your ship affect how quick you move on strategic map as well.
    Thus you usually have a heavy reinforced fleet and a fast respond fleet.
    There is also stationary building for regional defense.
    The strategic layer is simple but sufficient.

    - interactive and differing maps - X-COM has very different geometry between city, wilderness and insides of alien craft. All of that is expanded by terrain destructibility. It also has vision mechanics that effectively alter the way that a mission is played: day-night, flares, smoke screens (Battle brothers and Total War do it all wrong);
    Depends.
    The battle map is mostly empty, but it does have day/night cycle and weather.

    - not strictly a puzzle or a boardgame by design (Into the breach and Solium Infernum do it wrong);
    Depends.(or checked if I understand your meaning correctly)
    Leaning towards simulationist. But not as simulationist as COADE.
    The game is not designed as a puzzle or a boardgame style game by my understanding.


    - direct control (qudos to Dominions, but they do it the other way).
    Checked.
    Direct control of every ship.

    - bearable production quality (COADE and Shadow Empire do it wrong).
    Depends.
    Personally I found the production quality is high.
    Satisfying grahpics and combat.
    Interface is easy to understand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
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  8. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
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    I don't play anime games usually but Troubleshooter is amazing. The people who pass on it because of the graphics are really missing out. It's the best squad tactics of the past decade, AT LEAST.
     
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  9. Demo.Graph Learned

    Demo.Graph
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    I've tried it today. Looks ok, but something seems to be off. Can't put my finger on it, though. I've played for a month and a half and the things I've noticed so far...
    Air battles got expanded, but it wasn't thought through very well. Manually they're boring and on autoresolve they're too random (two planes can shoot medium scout no problem, then you load a save and they both get shot down by the same saucer; why that happens is a mystery). So they basically demand savescumming since losing $200k Mig early game is a no go, you probably won't recover from that.
    A need to play from 2+ bases from the beginning is probably a plus. I'm not sure, since it seems like the bases would probably turn out to be almost the same. The only thing you get from them is, basically radar coverage and a runway. And their placing is a brainless process since the base in Switzerland covers all the Europe, Texas covers all NAm, etc.
    Tactical maps have significantly less interactivity than in original: squad size is almost twice as small (copter carries 8 pops max or 6+car, transport plane in UFO had 14 or 10+tank).
    Some things look like they were added for "novelty" sake. Medical bay is a nobrainer and a useless addition from design point of view. Same goes for the shotgun - it exists, but has no reason to. Shields are a nice addition, though.
    Also some loot after the mission gets autosold. Looks unintuitive and gamey/unrealistic. Combat in general is less profitable compared to XCOM.
    Also, I'm playing the last GOG version and it has typos and bugs (rookie jumped over the bush and got stuck in it :salute:).

    I'll look at it later. Watched some videos and from the first glance it looks like a lesser brother to Battle for Wesnoth.

    Again, I might be wrong, but it looks like simplified Battle for Wesnoth.

    Nope, I didn't. I've managed to completely forget about it. I've looked at it several years ago and it seems they've improved substantially. Gonna try it, thanks.

    Now that's definitely something different)) Thanks, I'll try it.

    Anime isn't an issue.
    Can you elaborate, what's the appeal of it?
    I've briefly watched some youtube letsplays and it looks too much like nuXCOM: number bloat, small squad size, no terrain interactivity, etc.
     
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  10. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Troubleshooter has intricate character customization systems, but these are based around a smaller number of pre-determined characters, so it's the polar opposite of your desire for a game utilizing expendable units. Although the tactical combat systems are more complex than new-XCOM, this game did serve as the fundamental basis for Troubleshooter's systems. Furthermore, Troubleshooter has a mission-based system with only the barest shreds of a strategic layer. A great game, but not what you were asking for in the opening post.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Darth Canoli Arcane

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    The only thing Battle for Wesnoth has over Warbanners is the evolving units, i played it a long time ago (and i know it's still adding campaigns, a lot of them) but i think Warbanners level ups offer a little more options though.

    And the winning point is the siege battles on both side with ballistas and ladders to climb the walls, the big battles with allies and the map/encounter design which are way superior in Warbanners.




    Also, Battle for Wesnoth is a simplified version of Fantasy General... (the first one, the recent second is an oversimplified version with mui graphics for the dumb masses)

    Fantasy General on GOG.


    Also, i forgot to mention Incubation (Battle Isle phase 4 which you can get on gog through a battle isles bundle), you get a limited number of units but you fight aliens.
    Combat are puzzly though but the atmosphere makes up for it, this, the mercs and weapons and skills upgrades.

    Gog store link ( 75% off right now: 2.5€)


    Also, about Age of Fear, grid-less tactical combat feels weird but the tactical compbat is really good nonetheless, way better than in Battle for Wesnoth which couldn't live up to Fantasy General's standard.
    Also, character dev and itemization is quite good.
    At some point, i thought you were controlling/fighting too many units though, making the combat less manageable with more losses.

    If you want to buy one, i'd suggest Age of Fear: The Undead King, very good campaign with interesting mechanisms and units.
    It's on sale right now and it's dirt cheap, the gold version with expansions is on sale too 75% off (less than 7€)

     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
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  12. Silva Arcane

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    Into the Breach. Better than all this trash.
     
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  13. Licorice Arcane Wumao

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    Are any of these new games difficult in any way or are they all just larpy going through the motions to feel good and watch the numbers go up type deals?

    And yes difficulty does usually mean puzzle-like so if they're puzzle-like that's a good thing IMO.
     
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  14. Grauken Arcane Patron

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    No, its not, its retarded
     
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  15. Licorice Arcane Wumao

    Licorice
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    Puzzle-like just means you have to think and come up with a solution as opposed to "anything I do wins)))))"
     
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  16. Grauken Arcane Patron

    Grauken
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    You clearly have no idea how a good tactical game plays like
     
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  17. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    reasons for not playing templar battleforce:
    ???
     
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  18. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
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    How is Urtuk not part of the op
     
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  19. Licorice Arcane Wumao

    Licorice
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    Turn based tactics I've played:

    Western:

    Panzer General
    X-COM 1 (1994)
    X-COM 2 (1995)
    Fantasy General
    Jagged Alliance 2
    X-Piratez
    Into the breach

    Eastern:

    Nectaris
    Langrisser 2
    Neo nectaris
    Final Fantasy Tactics
    Advance wars
    Fire emblem 6
    Fire emblem 7
    Advance wars 2
    Advance wars 4
    New mystery of the emblem
    Covenant of the plume
    Valkyria chronicles
    Gungnir

    These are off the top of my head, I probably missed a few and didn't include ones I dropped fairly quickly e.g. Shining Force.

    I've also played a bunch of turn based strategy e.g. Civilization (2, 3, 4), Alpha Centauri, Master of Orion (1, 2), Master of Magic etc.

    I've put cumulative hundreds if not thousands of hours into these games.

    But anyway, I prefer the more puzzle like ones (e.g. Fire emblem, Advance wars, Into the breach) because they are more intellectually stimulating than larpy ones like the original X-COMs (which I loved when I was a kid but don't care for much as an adult). You might disagree with this "autistic" (but ultimately, correct) point of view, but that's not what I was asking. I was asking if any of these new tactics games are actually difficult i.e. require you to stop and think about your moves rather than just mindlessly going through the motions.

    Again, I am not into larping. I am into low turn counts, efficiency and difficult tactics puzzles.
     
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  20. Grauken Arcane Patron

    Grauken
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    Here, just play Sudoku. You can thank me later
     
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  21. Licorice Arcane Wumao

    Licorice
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    I wasn't even asking for recommendations, I was simply asking if any of the mentioned games ITT fit my criteria.

    So, do they?

    Also N.B. I'm not the only tactics game player in the world with this preference, otherwise Into the Breach would never have been made, nor would have it done as well as it did and had as much critical acclaim as it did.

    Into the breach is very constrained and carefully thought out. I don't mind something sloppier. The important point is your brain has to be active while playing.
     
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  22. Grauken Arcane Patron

    Grauken
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    You assume it's tactical game players who like Into the Breach when it's really puzzle fans finally allowed to say they like tactic games. They're obviously wrong about the game and what makes a good tactical game.
     
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  23. Van-d-all Liturgist

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    Because it's a buggy, janky & boring off brand Space Hulk clone. It pretty much has nothing to offer over older games. Uninstalled it in <3h.
     
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  24. Nostaljaded Savant

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    Licorice
    Invisible Inc fits your criteria if you haven't played.

    Ping if want some standalone UI improvement mods (no gameplay changes & doesn't require the unofficial mod manager to work) to further enhance the vanilla game flow.
     
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  25. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    I totally disagree about your assesment about puzzle games, and I found Into the Breach much easier than ironman X-COM.

    But you should definitely try Incubation, 40K Deathwatch, and maybe the newer Panzer General clones (Elven Legacy series, Fantasy General 2, Panzer Corps), as they are considered puzzly and tactical. Same for Unity of Command.

    The commando series too has a definite puzzle element to it(Commandos, Desperado, Robin Hood, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun).
    You also have a few solid match 3 RPG (Puzzle Quest, Heroes of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes), but that might be really too puzzly territory.

    You also have Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest, which was heavily inspired by Into the Breach (but I found ITB better).

    I don't agree, but it is pretty different indeed. I don't like that it relies too much on knowing the maps.
    The previous Templar RPG on android was much closer to Space Hulk (and felt more focused).
     
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