Strategy games with very complicated battle systems that are worth learning

The strategy genre is one of the oldest pillars of the gaming community and tests the higher cognitive abilities of the players. Instead of just mashing buttons, strategy game players will have to think on their feet and plan ahead for all sorts of scenarios. Logistics and resource management are key fundamentals of the strategy genre, just like combat.

RELATED: Games That Deconstruct the Strategy Genre

Battles within strategy games can take a variety of forms. Sweeping military moves are common, smaller and more tactical battles feature as well, and even political diplomacy can feel like waging war. Since smart battle systems are crucial to the success of a strategy game, here are several strategy games with the most complicated battle systems.



6 Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition

Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition Poster

As a remake of the original 1999 game, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition it does some things differently to increase its level of difficulty. One of the main changes to the game was its AI system. In the original version, many players found that the AI ​​needed to cheat to provide a real challenge, but the newer AI certainly doesn’t need to stoop as low.

The battle system age of empires 2 it has a lot of intricacies for new players to learn. Firstly, the hotkey system can be crucial in saving valuable time and keeping up with enemies. Maps, weapons, resources and knowledge must be carefully considered to be successful. But even with all of this in mind, when it comes to multiplayer, players may find that all their preparation is useless in the face of the game’s experienced player base. However, if you’re willing to spend the time, the battle system is certainly worth mastering.

5 Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection cover

Another remastering of a strategy game classic is Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection. The game itself is a compilation of the first two titles of command and conquer and Red alert, as well as its expansion packs. He command and conquer The series was one of the first real-time strategy franchises and is known for its punishing gameplay.

RELATED: The Best Free Strategy Games on Steam

Things like money, power, and armor matter a lot in command and conquer battle system Having a large infantry may seem like a winning tactic, but they can easily be broken through with enough tanks. There’s also naval combat to consider, so players may find their attention divided.

As age of empires 2However, even talented players who have put hours into the game will find themselves in a crushing defeat from a veteran. For those who don’t mind a steep learning curve, it’s worth checking out all the ins and outs of the battle system in Command and Conquer.

4 Europa universalis 4

Cover of Europa Universalis 4
  • Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux

When talking about the complexity in the strategy genre, I would be remiss not to mention Europa universalis 4. Widely considered one of the most difficult strategy games of all time, Europa universalis 4 it has a more strategic sandbox-style approach than many others in the genre. The depth of the game is often its most lauded quality, due to the sheer number of options available to the game’s players.

Ground combat is the main battle system of importance in the game and involves moving different specialized units onto the battlefield. Variables such as terrain, enemy leadership, combat phase, and morale influence the success of the offensive. Players will need to make sure every variable is under control, as raw power is not enough to ensure victory.

3 frozen synapse

Frozen Synapse Combat

frozen synapse is a standalone strategy game that works on a simultaneous turn based system. With control of a small team of combatants, players will have all the time they need to draft their orders for their unit. These orders can be simulated so players can see how the round might go before both teams’ turns are resolved simultaneously.

Sounds simple enough, but what it does frozen synapse just as challenging is its impressively intelligent AI, as well as the ability to play against others online. Each five second round may not turn out quite as players expect, as even the best plans can be outplayed by a talented foe. The battle system is somewhat easy to learn but impossible to really master.

2 hearts of iron 4

Hearts of Iron 4 generals pose next to the Hearts of Iron icon
  • Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux

As complicated battle systems go, iron hearts 4 it may be the most complex pick of the bunch. Even seasoned strategy game players have trouble blasting their way to victory. Set in World War II, iron hearts 4 it allows its players to choose any nation in the conflict and order them to succeed, if they can.

RELATED: The Best Strategy Games on Xbox Game Pass (April 2023)

Very similar Europa universalis 4, iron hearts 4 requires its players to take into account a large number of variables for each battle. Characteristics such as equipment, doctrines, terrain, and leadership all have a role to play in the success or failure of combat. The biggest armies aren’t necessarily the best either, as tactics will ultimately win the day.

1 Total War: Shogun 2

free for now
  • Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux

Set in Japan during the iconic feudal era, Total War: Shogun 2 it is one of the few titles in the strategy game genre that does not feature a European setting. Instead of focusing on opposing nations, Total War: Shogun 2 instead, he instructs his players to become the most dominant clan and fight their way to rule all of Japan.

In addition to the need to ensure the correct balance of combat variables, Total War: Shogun 2 it also involves a great deal of diplomacy and other political factors. Weather conditions also have a huge impact on battles in the game.

That Total War: Shogun 2 it is best known, of course, for the unique event Realm Divide. In this event, all surviving AI-controlled clans will declare war on the player to prevent him from dominating the country. Realm Divide will require all of a player’s tactical knowledge to survive and can be one of the toughest and most rewarding experiences in gaming.

MORE: Great Strategy Games On Steam That Deserve More Attention