TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Dread Knight » 03 Sep 2013, 07:40

I'm trying to gather some essential feedback so I'll be making various topics to collect data, so please participate.

What are you top favorite TBS games and what did you liked about them?

What about least favorite ones and things that you hated about them?
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Julius » 03 Sep 2013, 08:56

Hmm, I like:
Battle Isle series, Age of Wonders, Tactics Ogre, Fire Emblem, Xcom (old ones), Battletech (board game), Civilization, Alpha Centauri, Master's of Orion 3, hmm can't think of more right now.

Somehow in between:
Battle for Wesnoth (good game, but I hate that there is no distance fighting over more than on hex)

I don't like:
RISK like (too grand scale, no tactics), HoMM (too simplistic, unit stacking), Advance Wars, Total War series, Crusader Kings 2 (not sure why I bought it in the first place...), Jagged Alliance, more I can't think of right now.
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Dread Knight » 03 Sep 2013, 09:14

Thanks for breaking the ice with your reply!

Julius {l Wrote}:Hmm, I like:
Battle Isle series, Age of Wonders, Tactics Ogre, Fire Emblem, Xcom (old ones), Battletech (board game), Civilization, Alpha Centauri, Master's of Orion 3, hmm can't think of more right now.

I'll look into Battle Isle, doesn't sound familiar. Only played Age of Wonders 2 and liked it a lot, had some cool features going on compared to HoMM3 and such. Some of the other ones I only got to study.

Julius {l Wrote}:Somehow in between:
Battle for Wesnoth (good game, but I hate that there is no distance fighting over more than on hex)

You have a point, it's like all units are melee...

Julius {l Wrote}:I don't like:
RISK like (too grand scale, no tactics), HoMM (too simplistic, unit stacking), Advance Wars, Total War series, Crusader Kings 2 (not sure why I bought it in the first place...), Jagged Alliance, more I can't think of right now.

Not much of a fan myself of the games you listed here besides HoMM, but I think the combat in it sucks and I really hate the unit stacks as well. HoMM3 is all about magic, most units being rather useless, so in Ancient Beast I sort of gave each creature a piece of the spell book, making more sense regarding strategy as you get to choose another creatures with each new round :)
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Julius » 03 Sep 2013, 12:04

Yes AoW2 (vanilla and Shadow Magic) were great. AoW3 is soon to be released btw. Battle Isle was really big in Germany, there is a spiritual successor now called Battle Worlds: Kronos (funded via Kickstarter) and an older open-source clone called Advanced Strategic Command ( http://www.asc-hq.org/ ).

I do like the HoMM series overall... but the battles are really something to skip.
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Dread Knight » 21 Nov 2013, 07:29

Julius {l Wrote}:Yes AoW2 (vanilla and Shadow Magic) were great. AoW3 is soon to be released btw. Battle Isle was really big in Germany, there is a spiritual successor now called Battle Worlds: Kronos (funded via Kickstarter) and an older open-source clone called Advanced Strategic Command ( http://www.asc-hq.org/ ).

I do like the HoMM series overall... but the battles are really something to skip.


Good to hear about an AoW sequel, I had the impression that series died, let's home the project is not a total fail like Disciples 3 was.
I'll check out the other ones you mentioned as well, I'm really trying to take a peek at least at as many strategy games as possible.
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby c_xong » 09 Aug 2016, 10:36

TBS is not one of my best or favourite genres; there's a few games I like but I like them for their other features and not the turn-based gameplay itself.

Also, isn't AB a TBT game in its current form? :P

Of the ones I like:

- Civ 2; I like the empire building part, the unit combat was adequate, but I hated the lack of paths and that "zone of control" thing
- Shining Force; the best parts are that it's an RPG with different characters and the different types of attack, like ranged units and AOE spells
- HoMM 1-4; I actually like the world / town parts best, collecting artifacts, planning when to attack certain guardians etc. 4 was very unpopular but I actually like it a lot, especially the campaign where you played with an army of heroes, that was pretty cool.
- Chess counts right? That's pretty cool
- Fallout 1-2, but mostly for the RPG stuff. Burst fire and sniping gonads is always cool though

Games I tried but didn't like:

- Battle for Wesnoth; I can tell it's a well made game but it just didn't click with me. Having to keep veteran units alive - because you'll need them to survive the later stages - is too frustrating.
- Fire Emblem; I finished one of the games and enjoyed it but the thought of how frustrating it is to keep your characters alive prevents me from replaying it or starting another game
- Commandos; I guess the game was too hard for me, even the tutorial was too hard, I think the game doesn't tell you what works and what doesn't, and the game really punishes someone that doesn't know what they're doing

I think for people like me who aren't that good at TBS games, there should be a single player campaign that slowly teaches the game to them, which is true for strategy games in general. The RPG-TBS hybrids are best at this.

I think this topic should have been posted in General, to get more views.
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby eugeneloza » 10 Aug 2016, 11:53

Wow... this topic looks ancient :) TBS and turn-based RPGs are my favourite generes :)

What I like in general:
* Time to think over
* Easy to make a break to do something else
* Challenge your brain, not backbone (I also like the last one sometimes, but not always)
* Fog of war and explorations in general
* Research and (some amount of) micro-management
* Diversity. No games/battles are too similar. Each can be successfully solved in many ways.
* Many locations.
* Survival techniques.
* Creative approach to battles.

What I hate in general:
* Random - making the same actions can lead either to a shameful defeat or a scratchless victory.
* Slowness - sometimes turn-based game is unbalanced and many turns "flow" without any sort of actions, while even movements on long distances cannot be preformed automatic.
* Respawn - you never have an idea when you must stop grinding and advance to new location. In result the game is either impossibly hard if you don't grind, or too easy if you have grinded too much.
* Excessive micro-management. Excessive economics.
* Very few strategic patterns. E.g. in Realms of Arkania you had just a single strategy - surround one enemy unit, kill it, surround another...
* "Survival requires calculation, not creativity"
* "Gameplay requires constantly consulting wiki"
* "There is only one path to succeed, just keep failing until you guess it"

My favourite TBS are: X-Com 1 (not later parts or Xenonauts, not Jagged Alliance); Master of Magic (and not Civilization); King's Bounty and Heroes of Might and Magic 2-3, Might and Magic 3-5 (only these parts), Realms of Arkania 2-3 (RPG), Battle Bugs (not a TBS, but it has a fantastic "pause" button), Wizardry 7-8 (not strictly turn-based), Lost Colony: Mission in space...
I liked a little less these TBS: Heroes 1, Master of Orion 1, Lords of Magic (not strictrly TBS)...
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby toothbrush » 11 Aug 2016, 10:05

Julius {l Wrote}:Hmm, I like:
Battle Isle series, Age of Wonders, Tactics Ogre, Fire Emblem, Xcom (old ones), Battletech (board game), Civilization, Alpha Centauri, Master's of Orion 3, hmm can't think of more right now.

Somehow in between:
Battle for Wesnoth (good game, but I hate that there is no distance fighting over more than on hex)

I don't like:
RISK like (too grand scale, no tactics), HoMM (too simplistic, unit stacking), Advance Wars, Total War series, Crusader Kings 2 (not sure why I bought it in the first place...), Jagged Alliance, more I can't think of right now.


Hah, our minds are so likely. Almost 100% of similarity.
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Dread Knight » 11 Aug 2016, 16:51

c_xong {l Wrote}:TBS is not one of my best or favourite genres; there's a few games I like but I like them for their other features and not the turn-based gameplay itself.


What's your favorite genre then, or what games do you like the most?

c_xong {l Wrote}:Also, isn't AB a TBT game in its current form? :P


It is and it will stay like that for a long time, but the TBT acronym is not that popular, so I tend to go for the closest and most popular one in order to simplify things and not have to explain stuff.

c_xong {l Wrote}:Of the ones I like:

- Civ 2; I like the empire building part, the unit combat was adequate, but I hated the lack of paths and that "zone of control" thing
- Shining Force; the best parts are that it's an RPG with different characters and the different types of attack, like ranged units and AOE spells
- HoMM 1-4; I actually like the world / town parts best, collecting artifacts, planning when to attack certain guardians etc. 4 was very unpopular but I actually like it a lot, especially the campaign where you played with an army of heroes, that was pretty cool.
- Chess counts right? That's pretty cool
- Fallout 1-2, but mostly for the RPG stuff. Burst fire and sniping gonads is always cool though


I studied CIv / Fallout games, really cool stuff but never really got into them because of bad timing. Shining Force seems nice, has quite a lot of humanoid characters, should do that for Ancient Beast more next set, mostly for cosplay reasons.
Played a lot of HoMM 3 myself, and tried 4th and 5th as well for a while, from the last 2 I definitely prefer 4th, I really digged the dwelling options that you have when building your castle, planning on using that in Ancient Beast at some point when the castle building & siege mode will be the development focus. In HoMM3 I hate the unit upgrades and in HoMM 4 I kinda hated the combat system overall, as it didn't used big hexagons or squares, only thing redeemable about it for me was that ranged attacks were nerfed, so you would hit the first encountered unit usually (big inspiration for AB). Regarding chess, love the idea behind it, but kinda hate the implementation and flaws.

c_xong {l Wrote}:Games I tried but didn't like:

- Battle for Wesnoth; I can tell it's a well made game but it just didn't click with me. Having to keep veteran units alive - because you'll need them to survive the later stages - is too frustrating.
- Fire Emblem; I finished one of the games and enjoyed it but the thought of how frustrating it is to keep your characters alive prevents me from replaying it or starting another game
- Commandos; I guess the game was too hard for me, even the tutorial was too hard, I think the game doesn't tell you what works and what doesn't, and the game really punishes someone that doesn't know what they're doing


I tried liking Battle for Wesnoth, but it's too chance based (avoided that 100% in Ancient Beast regarding gameplay itself). It's like worse than playing dice and I recall time of day and terrain also affect those hit chances, making things even more awful. In some ways I find that it had similarities with Disciples 2 regarding chances to hit and the way units upgrade. It was kinda interesting that the adventure map also had the combat aspect on it. Tried the online multiplayer a few times and chances are other players would simply quit before the end of the match, ruining the whole experience. Haven't played Fire Emblem myself, but researched it a while back, I think it had that typical jrpg (Final Fantasy) combat system, which I really dislike, only a bit more interesting compared to Pokemon's combat system, as it involves more units at the same time, but utterly crap regardless imho. I kinda liked the idea behind Commandos, but that game was too hard overall, you needed to do a lot of things in short time and often fail, so you had to repeat the whole thing and it was getting rather annoying, similar to it I even played Desperados, but quite a few years later.

c_xong {l Wrote}:I think for people like me who aren't that good at TBS games, there should be a single player campaign that slowly teaches the game to them, which is true for strategy games in general. The RPG-TBS hybrids are best at this.


Yeah, initially wasn't planning for any sort of AI / bots for Ancient Beast, as I wanted full player vs player interaction, but like you said, figured that some people could be awful players at first and there's no point polluting the player base with people that are just figuring things out. I really hate it when I used to play moba games, even though they had bots and such, a lot of the noobs would end up ruining the experience for veteran players, as they would join games to quit/afk or even feed.

c_xong {l Wrote}:I think this topic should have been posted in General, to get more views.


Perhaps, but wanted to get more activity going on in the project subforum, hopefully getting more attention towards it :)

eugeneloza {l Wrote}:Wow... this topic looks ancient :) TBS and turn-based RPGs are my favourite generes :)

What I like in general:
* Time to think over
* Easy to make a break to do something else
* Challenge your brain, not backbone (I also like the last one sometimes, but not always)
* Fog of war and explorations in general
* Research and (some amount of) micro-management
* Diversity. No games/battles are too similar. Each can be successfully solved in many ways.
* Many locations.
* Survival techniques.
* Creative approach to battles.

What I hate in general:
* Random - making the same actions can lead either to a shameful defeat or a scratchless victory.
* Slowness - sometimes turn-based game is unbalanced and many turns "flow" without any sort of actions, while even movements on long distances cannot be preformed automatic.
* Respawn - you never have an idea when you must stop grinding and advance to new location. In result the game is either impossibly hard if you don't grind, or too easy if you have grinded too much.
* Excessive micro-management. Excessive economics.
* Very few strategic patterns. E.g. in Realms of Arkania you had just a single strategy - surround one enemy unit, kill it, surround another...
* "Survival requires calculation, not creativity"
* "Gameplay requires constantly consulting wiki"
* "There is only one path to succeed, just keep failing until you guess it"

My favourite TBS are: X-Com 1 (not later parts or Xenonauts, not Jagged Alliance); Master of Magic (and not Civilization); King's Bounty and Heroes of Might and Magic 2-3, Might and Magic 3-5 (only these parts), Realms of Arkania 2-3 (RPG), Battle Bugs (not a TBS, but it has a fantastic "pause" button), Wizardry 7-8 (not strictly turn-based), Lost Colony: Mission in space...
I liked a little less these TBS: Heroes 1, Master of Orion 1, Lords of Magic (not strictrly TBS)...


Lulz, you made a pun xD Those are some really valid points and I agree with them. Took serious consideration of them when designing Ancient Beast, to the parts that apply, of course. There will be a new version out soon (probably end of the month) and I'll make an announcement, also looking for more testers. Since this game genre is your cup of tea, perhaps you would be interested in playing a match against me in the near future?
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby c_xong » 19 Aug 2016, 05:34

Dread Knight {l Wrote}:What's your favorite genre then, or what games do you like the most?

Shooting games probably (includes FPS), followed by RTS, beyond that I don't have much of a genre preference.

Even though I played a lot of RTS games, looking back I was pretty bad at them, at least at the macro level. I never really bothered thinking about things like build orders, which if you think about it are long term economic decisions based on calculating the NPV of various choices. This is why newbies need a lot of help because these tradeoffs aren't intuitive or obvious. (Maybe strategy games should all have economic forecast graphs? hahaha) A lot of strategy games help players a bit using prerequisites, e.g. Starcraft makes you build a bunch of unrelated buildings first before letting you make air units, because they are expensive, fragile, and only useful in a few situations, so harder for newbies to use. The downside is that maybe letting expert players build air units quickly makes the game more interesting. But in general taking away choices that are "newbie traps" helps them learn the game. I used to do the capitol rush in HoMM3, a big newbie trap :o
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Re: TBS Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Postby Dread Knight » 19 Aug 2016, 10:08

c_xong {l Wrote}:
Dread Knight {l Wrote}:What's your favorite genre then, or what games do you like the most?

Shooting games probably (includes FPS), followed by RTS, beyond that I don't have much of a genre preference.

Even though I played a lot of RTS games, looking back I was pretty bad at them, at least at the macro level. I never really bothered thinking about things like build orders, which if you think about it are long term economic decisions based on calculating the NPV of various choices. This is why newbies need a lot of help because these tradeoffs aren't intuitive or obvious. (Maybe strategy games should all have economic forecast graphs? hahaha) A lot of strategy games help players a bit using prerequisites, e.g. Starcraft makes you build a bunch of unrelated buildings first before letting you make air units, because they are expensive, fragile, and only useful in a few situations, so harder for newbies to use. The downside is that maybe letting expert players build air units quickly makes the game more interesting. But in general taking away choices that are "newbie traps" helps them learn the game. I used to do the capitol rush in HoMM3, a big newbie trap :o


I play those genres a lot myself. I know what you mean, it's only recently that I started figuring out the economy properly in HoMM3. Anyway, a lot of the times I rush some good units that can help me properly clear out the area and get all the gold and resources I actually need to develop / expand.
When it comes to RTS games, I kinda hate microing too much, but having unit groups (Ctrl + 1 to define, 1 to select) or hotkey to select all units of the same kind from area are really helpful. I was more of a Red Alert 2 player rather than StarCraft and it didn't had an unit limit xD Most of the times I would end up finishing all players using just 2 upgraded (veteran or whatever) Apocalypse tanks :-)
I've heard that there will be a StarCraft HD released soon from Blizzard, that will work on tablets. Seen a demo of SC on tablets years ago, but it wasn't optimized for multi touch, I wonder how this remastered version will do, I might be tempted to get more into it as well.
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