Grand Strategy games

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DeathScythe
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Grand Strategy games

Post#1 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:11 am

Hey guys,

There's always been a crossover between strategy and RPG fans, in my opinion, as many games transcend both genres. Grand strategy is a sub-genre of the larger strategy genre which usually involves playing on a very large map and unbalanced (or, historically accurate) game play. They basically come from one developer, Paradox Plaza, although many games use some of the same elements (the Total War series comes to mind).

Games usually described as being part of this genre are the Hearts of Iron series, Victoria series, Crusader Kings series, Europa Universalis series, and Stellaris.

I was curious if anyone here played those games, what you like to do in them, etc.?

Crusader Kings sees the most play for me and it usually involves me trying to restore the Roman Empire, establish the nation of Israel (usually as Beta Israelis from Ethiopia), or more recently, both restore the Roman Empire AND destroy Christianity, replacing it with Hellenic paganism.

I know the game is controversial for the hundreds of dollars of expansions, etc., but if you got in early and bought the whole thing one piece at a time, there is ridiculous content and replay value and at times over the years I've played nothing else for months on end.

Also love the Victoria series, it's my favorite time period in history and the most impactful for my own country (the United States). In that game I'm usually trying to lead the confederacy to victory, maintain an independent Texas, or reform the Byzantine empire. In all cases, pushing towards socialism instead of whatever ideology is default.

Despite the subject, I'd be interested in people's habits with Civilization and other strategy games as well.

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Sephiroth9611
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Re: Grand Strategy games

Post#2 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:34 am

Started out with Shogun: Total War and moved on to Medieval and Medieval II. Rome too, though I never really digged into that. I definitely wasn't into the real time battle play. I preferred Campaign Mode, moving around the map, working on my dynasty and settlements.

Crusader Kings II is great for the dynasty stuff and working on characters and NPCs, but needing a cause for war all the time is a little tedious and the lack of real strategy when moving armies around on the map is something I miss from Total War. If those two elements could be melded, CKII's character stuff and TW's map and armies, that would be my ideal game.

I need to branch out more and try more games. The above is the extent of my experience, though I have read a lot of feedback on games like Victoria and HoI.
Since October 3rd, 2000 | "Quite a thing to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

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SOLDIERofficer81
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Re: Grand Strategy games

Post#3 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:46 am

I played and enjoyed Shogun, Medieval, Medieval II. I hated Rome when I played it, though I think I might like it now. Big if. I tried Crusader Kings II, but that was a bit much for my little mind.
"Let us never miss a step. May we never lose our friends. This is our home, our haven, our Citadel."
Citadel denizen since October 5, 2000 | SOLDIER's Final Fantasy VII Messageboard

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DeathScythe
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Location: Texas

Re: Grand Strategy games

Post#4 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:22 am

Seph, I always did the same with the Total War series. It was all about the map.

I actually LOVE RTS games; Age of Empires is really what stoked the fire in the first place, I recently replayed 2 and 3 and am looking forward to playing the recent remaster of the first for the first time....ever (I came in with AOE2). But for whatever reason, I never cared for how the Total War series did it. I think it's because you're forced to move regiments at a time. I generally like to micromanage individual units, send these 5 units this way, these five units that way, etc. Also the much loftier system requirements the Total War series has always had, while the rest of the RTS world is generally old hardware friendly, didn't help my willingness to playout those battles. "Let the computer determine the outcome of the battle." was my best friend.

CK2 is another animal. Love the dynasty work. Love that I still learn new things about it after so many years.

Regarding the need for Casus Bellis....I mean, there are so many Casus Bellis. I play a lot of Semien games where I aspire to form Israel, and I have the religious C.B. on anyone in the world, since no one else is Jewish. (I've never successfully formed Israel in the game, as you can only declare so many religious wars on the Islamic nations before you get stomped, but it's one of my long-time goals. Many attempts have been made.) All I have to worry about is my Bad Boy rating.

Same thing applies to the modern Roman Empire resurrection playthrough (where you're refounding Hellenism, latest exp.) since no one else is Hellenic. I think the old way of ressurecting Rome before this expansion though, it was a much bigger problem because Orthodox and Catholic can't declare Holy Wars on each other, even though the Byzantines are really the only Orthodox nation at the start of the longest campaign. Once you end the Schism though, and Catholicism becomes a heresy, the map of Europe opens up.

Now, if you're Catholic surrounded by Catholic it's a problem, but you can always adopt a heresy and those events always pop, just not for the heresy I want usually (I always go for Cathar for female priests and Absolute Cognatic succession).

And yeah, no real battle strategy outside of power in numbers and level of tech. Lack of naval combat, even in the sense that land combat exists, hurts worse though and there are a lot of expansions where it could have been added. I also have no idea how new people get into CK2, the full thing is like $500.

Is it essential to you to see the units on screen? Hearts of Iron has, historically, a much more rubust battle system, although still token based. (Haven't played too much HoI4). It covers air, naval, sea, and HoI2, which I did play extensively, would let you get down to setting hours of the days for your support air raids, etc. I feel like they appeal to different types of gamers, and Total War fans are more likely to play things like StarCraft or C&C, while CK2 players are more likely to play something like Civilization. I play everything strategy, so these categories don't apply to me. :P

SOLDIER, all grand strategies are intimidating and Paradox doesn't understand user-friendly. I think you'd have fun with CK2. You can always use cheats and just kind of sandbox scenarios; I do that sometimes. I still learn about this minutia here or there in the game that I had previously ignored or didn't understand, and it's 7 years in for me.

Best learning scenario in the game is to play as one of the lowly Irish counts (I think they have one Duke). You're relatively protected, can really interact only locally, have some goals you can accomplish (King of Ireland....maybe Emperor of Brittania?), and you'll learn the Catholic playing dynamics, and Tribal playing dynamics (although you can transition to Feudal) and basic income management. If you try to jump right into playing the Byzantine emperor, you're going to be overwhelmed. And yet, this is what people generally want to do.

So what else have yall played? Victoria 2 is much more politics-driven than the rest of Paradox' suite.
Last edited by DeathScythe on Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Sephiroth9611
Posts: 155
Location: Off-world colonies

Re: Grand Strategy games

Post#5 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:28 pm

Is it essential to you to see the units on screen? Hearts of Iron has, historically, a much more rubust battle system, although still token based. (Haven't played too much HoI4). It covers air, naval, sea, and HoI2, which I did play extensively, would let you get down to setting hours of the days for your support air raids, etc. I feel like they appeal to different types of gamers, and Total War fans are more likely to play things like StarCraft or C&C, while CK2 players are more likely to play something like Civilization. I play everything strategy, so these categories don't apply to me. :P

I like the map and the movement of armies because I can do tactical things. Sticking an army in a mountain pass or on a river crossing. I can pin an army in a narrow area and attack from both sides. CKII is reminiscent of first generation Total War when it was just put troops on a given province and then finish to turn to launch launch the battle or have the computer decide things and present the results.

I liked building armies, having them camp out and build temporary forts at strategic locations along the border, and daring anyone to attack in MTW2. It was nice to hold off the entire Mongol Horde because it could only attack with one of its super armies at a time.

So what else have yall played? Victoria 2 is much more politics-driven than the rest of Paradox' suite.

I should get Victoria 2. I have not played anything besides CK2. I got tired of reading about people enjoying CK2 and talking about the character interaction elements. :)
Since October 3rd, 2000 | "Quite a thing to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

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DeathScythe
Libertarian Socialist
Posts: 47
Location: Texas

Re: Grand Strategy games

Post#6 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:29 am

I like the map and the movement of armies because I can do tactical things. Sticking an army in a mountain pass or on a river crossing. I can pin an army in a narrow area and attack from both sides. CKII is reminiscent of first generation Total War when it was just put troops on a given province and then finish to turn to launch launch the battle or have the computer decide things and present the results.

I liked building armies, having them camp out and build temporary forts at strategic locations along the border, and daring anyone to attack in MTW2. It was nice to hold off the entire Mongol Horde because it could only attack with one of its super armies at a time.


Playing as the Mongols in CK2 is still on my list of things to do. MTW2 is also my favorite total war game, I think because it's my favorite period of history. Anything with E.R.E./Byzantine playability is my thing.

Still need to play Rome 2 and Atilla. I think Atilla actually has proper E.R.E. play with the word Byzantine not appearing. Will confirm later.

I should get Victoria 2. I have not played anything besides CK2. I got tired of reading about people enjoying CK2 and talking about the character interaction elements. :)


The last expansion for it, the U.S. Civil War one, came out in 2013, so the whole thing should be a bargain.

It also has the best trade in any of their games, simulatiing supply and demand for a whole plethora of different resources. Also diversifies the combat with Tanks, Naval, and Air.

The population management is really what makes it unique, though. You'll have population groups in each county of different religious, different political affiliations, etc.

Now here's something you might not know. Paradox has game save converters. What that means is, say you refound the Roman Empire as the Byzantines, starting in the ~803 year start, or whatever the earliest is now. When the game ends in 1300 whatever, you can then transfer that game save to Europa Universalis IV, and play that same nation, and same map/world, now in EU4, from 1400 - 1820~.

Then, you can transfer that EUIV save over to Victoria II, and continue from the 1800s to 1936. All as your Roman Empire that you started playing 1100 years prior.

There used to be a Vicky 2 to HOI converter, but I don't think it works for HOI4; it was for HOI3 I believe.

The community is eagerly awaiting Victoria 3, and the subreddit for 2 is still very active.

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