No Sense of Strategy in Strategy Games

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Clearly... Someone has yet to play the My little Pony RTS

Problem clearly solved... your welcome.

Fat_Hippo:
Now, which Civ have you been playing?

Oh, I play Civ 3 a lot, but Civ 4 is my favorite. I often play the mod Realism Inviticus instead of regular Civ 4. Damn, I wish they would finish it.

I have played Civ 5, and there are a lot of things I liked about it, but from the brief time I did have it, it's not as good as the ones mentioned above. I don't have it anymore because I got rid of Steam, and as far as I know it requires Steam. But I don't think the 1 unit limit changed much in the way of combat. I always just had them in a large block...and then the enemy city would shoot them all down. The addition of City-States was interesting though as was the redone Civics tree thingy.

Headdrivehardscrew:
Nope, no recommendations out of my hat for now, as I don't quite understand your problem.

Let's drop the tanks and the modern stuff for a moment and let's go back to, say, Warcraft III.

If the strat of your enemy turns out to be to fast tech to mass flyers, you have to adapt your strat to contain the risk of being pummelled from above with no means of actually damaging the flying things. If your enemy comes tower or tree rushing at you, you better find a way to counter that, and fast. Every strategy needs to be identified and must be countered with a proper, viable strategy. A fast expansion is cool as more income boosts your game all around, but the resources you just put into said expansion are bound to leave a gaping hole in your army/defenses for a moment. If your enemy is aware of that, he/she better switches to offensive mode to even things out a bit again. Players that stick to their on-rails strat without adapting to current, real threats are bound to get their asses and egoes handed to them. Also, actual battlefield tactics tend to be quite fast-click dependent in RTS games - remove units from combat before the enemy kills them (and gains XP), kill your own weak units (to prevent enemy from getting XP), go all-in with your best/strongest/hero units or keep them safe? Pretty much everything is valid depending on the situation.

I think, the fact that you can name so many tactics and countertatics so quickly, is part of the problem. It doesn't mean that a game is actually deep, quite the opposite, it means that it has a rock-paper-scissors based combat, where there are only a handful of basic attack types, and obvious defenses against them.

These games encourage going through the motions with doing the obvious thing, based on your quick, instinctive thinking. This way, they are not much different from a football game, or a car racing game. You might call the decision on how fast to take a corner "strategic", but it doesn't actually require any intelligence.

On the other hand, in either a very stylized tactical game, like chess, or a very realistic battle simulation like the Total War games, you couldn't just list the handful of tactics that players go through, because they are all about emergent gameplay, about the millions of possible paths, and about thinking outside the box, not just about switching between defensive and offensive mode, and similar basic concepts.

I'm guessing that you have never played any of those strategy games in multiplayer? Believe me, the difficulty will get kicked up a notch once you start playing against other people. AI is never as smart as a human being, so if you want to find a hard, strategic experience you will have to search for it in the multiplayer section of the game that you want to play.

The way in which you state things makes me think that you don't really have the right mindset to look at a game strategically.

"Dudes with spears > dudes with horses > dudes with bows and catapults > dudes with swords > dudes with spears". You state that as though it is a simple format. Sure it looks like it is, but once you start applying it against a human being, you'll notice that formulating a win with just this format "dude A beats dude B" is much harder than it looks. The sort of questions you should be asking yourself are "How can I make sure my dude A will be able to attack his dude B without his dude C getting in between?" or "How can I make his dude A get over to location A so my dude B can kill his dude A".

As to what games I'd recommend:
Starcraft 2: Try doing this on a competitive level against other people. Difficulty is assured, but it's going to take a lot of dedication to become any good.
Total War: I'd recommend Rome, Medieval II, Empire and Napoleon. Shogun 2, eventhough it has been named, is perhaps the one that comes closest to rock-paper-scizzors and I found that one to be very disappointing. In the ones that I recommended, you're pretty much assured of a lot of a very complicated tactical system.

wookiee777:

NightHawk21:
I second Shogun 2, or really any of the Total War games (I can only personally recommend Shogun 2, since that's the only one I finished but I heard ROME and Medival are good). The battles are great and I think you'll like it. Also if you head to steamtrades you can probably get ROME for like nothing.

Shogun 2 doesn't require Steam does it? I like Valve and Steam does have great deals (really great deals), but I don't agree with their license policy thingy, I know there's an offline mode, but when I get a game off Steam, I want to own it, not own the permission to play it.

If you're not mad on steam than I would suggest Rome: Total War or Medieval II:Total War.

Neither require steam and are amazing strategy games.

SimpleThunda':

The way in which you state things makes me think that you don't really have the right mindset to look at a game strategically.

I disagree with that. Ultimately, all tastes are aquired, so yes, it would be possible to keep playing the most famous RTS games, until you get used to them, but when there are hundreds of different games with different mechanics, it makes more sense to look for the ones that are fitting your taste the most, instead of locking yourself in a box with Starcraft for a year, until you learn to appreciate it.

SimpleThunda':
I'm guessing that you have never played any of those strategy games in multiplayer? Believe me, the difficulty will get kicked up a notch once you start playing against other people. AI is never as smart as a human being, so if you want to find a hard, strategic experience you will have to search for it in the multiplayer section of the game that you want to play.

The way in which you state things makes me think that you don't really have the right mindset to look at a game strategically.

"Dudes with spears > dudes with horses > dudes with bows and catapults > dudes with swords > dudes with spears". You state that as though it is a simple format. Sure it looks like it is, but once you start applying it against a human being, you'll notice that formulating a win with just this format "dude A beats dude B" is much harder than it looks. The sort of questions you should be asking yourself are "How can I make sure my dude A will be able to attack his dude B without his dude C getting in between?" or "How can I make his dude A get over to location A so my dude B can kill his dude A".

As to what games I'd recommend:
Starcraft 2: Try doing this on a competitive level against other people. Difficulty is assured, but it's going to take a lot of dedication to become any good.
Total War: I'd recommend Rome, Medieval II, Empire and Napoleon. Shogun 2, eventhough it has been named, is perhaps the one that comes closest to rock-paper-scizzors and I found that one to be very disappointing. In the ones that I recommended, you're pretty much assured of a lot of a very complicated tactical system.

I agree that some of the RTS games have an element of strategy. But it is locked behind fast paced action gameplay. People who react slowly and think slowly will never get to the strategic gameplay. If you are facing 20 tanks with 5 spearmen no amount of strategy will help. Some players who like strategy will never be able to reach it in games like SC and AoE because they don't master the non-strategic aspects. One reason some people enjoy strategy games is the slow pace and having the time to consider the next move. For those people RTS games is the worst option.

Entitled:

On the other hand, in either a very stylized tactical game, like chess, or a very realistic battle simulation like the Total War games, you couldn't just list the handful of tactics that players go through, because they are all about emergent gameplay, about the millions of possible paths, and about thinking outside the box, not just about switching between defensive and offensive mode, and similar basic concepts.

Aye, but it still all boils down to this: What is your goal, what are the means available to you, and how far are you willing (and able) to go? Is your steely determination matched by your strategic and tactical mind? Are you able to position your units so as to gain the maximum momentum, the upper hand? Are you willing to sacrifice security and safety (and some of your units) for but a brief moment in the hopes of making a decisive strike that cripples the enemy and/or improves your own odds to achieve victory?

It doesn't really matter, methinks, if we're talking Age of Empires, Warcraft, Starcraft, Total War, Daisenryaku, Battleforge or Chess, as it's always going to be a bit of a rock-paper-scissors approach to things, give or take some. In chess, the basic rules, the knowing about how you are allowed to move the pieces are truly very basic indeed. The concept is a bit twisted/complicated/refined in 'Chinese Chess', but there are reasons chess, as we know it, is pretty much number one. Then, there's GO... oh my god GO.

No matter what game/program/simulation/graph/statistic tool you use, simulation of conflict is always an abstraction of the real thing and, as such, there's always a certain level of simplificiation or standardization, as representations of reality that are not, in fact, reality are always but models.

If you want to push forward, you need the means that allow you to do so. That's usually firepower, inventions, intelligence or the element of surprise.

If you want to hold a position, you cannot always do that no matter what.

Even if you have to retreat, you must try to do so in an orderly fashion, as randomness and chaos almost always mean finding yourself on the receiving end of defeat, death and mayhem.

I guess I won't surprise you, but for the sake of the argument, let me make up my own simplified model of recent warfare to defend my stance why RTS/turn-based strategy games are not that bad. It's going to be rather silly, but I hope I can display how the rock-paper-scissors approach is valid for a number of situations and most ages of human conflict. Mind you that it still is a really simplified model, though. It's hardly ever all about the choice of units, but what you do with them that matters. You can make a decisive strike in chess with but pawns, and you can zerg rush your way to victory. With smart placement (and that bit of luck some people seem to be relying on so much) you can create choke holds and pressure points that put your enemy in a bad place with very little material effort, but they all tend to be rather tight, high-maintenance spots to find yourself in. Despair is always an actor in situations like these, be it in games or in real life situations.

Once upon a time, people invented planes. Planes brought with them significant costs and logistical issues, but they also allowed to bomb things and mow down plenty of enemies on the ground. How did people counter the threat of planes? With anti air balloons, explosives and guns, or pretty quickly with other planes.

Then someone came up with submarines. Ooh, nasty sneaky submarines. How can you fight an enemy you cannot see? Make him visible, by whatever means possible. Once submarines could be detected, the threat could, if not contained, but at least reduced to a manageable level.

The same thing happened when arrows and bows were invented and put to use against other humans. Animals can't adapt as quickly as we do, as their capabilities of solving problems are far inferiour to ours. In a way, a whole lot of our inventions are inspired by nature and animals that have evolved over millions of years, or stayed pretty much the same for millions of years because they were/are just that successful a design. Take cockroaches, for example. If we were as sturdy and resistant as cockroaches, that would rock, right? But who wants to be a cockroach, really? I cannot but adore and admire them, but I certainly wouldn't want to be a cockroach. So we need to keep inventing things to master life, contain the risk of death and defend ourselves against anything and anyone that might want to threaten us.

There are reasons we came up with big ass swords. There are reasons we came up with plate mail armor. There are reasons we abandoned these concepts and moved on. There are reasons we came up with drones not too long ago.

Another one that just popped into my head, mainly due to starting yet another multi of it, Solium Infernum. I'll wait while no one plays it........

Plazmatic:

wookiee777:

NightHawk21:
I second Shogun 2, or really any of the Total War games (I can only personally recommend Shogun 2, since that's the only one I finished but I heard ROME and Medival are good). The battles are great and I think you'll like it. Also if you head to steamtrades you can probably get ROME for like nothing.

Shogun 2 doesn't require Steam does it? I like Valve and Steam does have great deals (really great deals), but I don't agree with their license policy thingy, I know there's an offline mode, but when I get a game off Steam, I want to own it, not own the permission to play it.

it simply isn't how items bought in an information economy work.

Just a note, that isn't true. Manufacturers can commit to any amount of rights and support for anything they sell, and consumers have the right to want, demand and vote for action to provide any amount of rights and support for anything they buy. Tangible or intangible is irrelevant.

Software isn't even a true intangible, it's a control system for electronic devices that is proprietary to the physical architecture, so "licensing" it isn't even justifiable imo. It's not a work of art, or a creative composition, or a unique design for a functional item like a house that qualifies as a creative work, or anything else that was licensable before the massive Congressional sellout to the software industry.

Prior to that, software was in fact covered under consumer protection laws. You had the legal right to return a software product to the store you bought it from and get your money back if it didn't work, because the maker was responsible for their claims of functionality.

That was an information economy that worked too. And it had far fewer sleazeballs lying, cheating and stealing from consumers, because the consumer had a recourse. There were some, like in any industry, but it was only when consumers lost their rights that the parasite population exploded.

The Myth series sound just right up your alley. It's not about grinding resources and churning out bases and troops, but squad tactics, utilization of the environment and the great physics engine. Check it out:

The problem with treating most MP RTS as strategy games is they only really start becoming strategy games for the handful of top players. Everyone else just struggles to master playing a basic mechanical game based on strategies they copy from them.

And single player games have a problem in term of being either very narrow and proscriptive in terms of strategies you can use or having brain dead AI.

I actually think that this is a huge challenge for the people who make computer strategy games so I'm cautious about just saying that x or y game does it right because maybe the game that really does it right hasn't been made yet. But if you like risk then play more games like that on the computer I guess.

More Fun To Compute:
The problem with treating most MP RTS as strategy games is they only really start becoming strategy games for the handful of top players. Everyone else just struggles to master playing a basic mechanical game based on strategies they copy from them.

Well, strategy isn't really the key thing in those. They're something like ping pong in electronic form. There's room for different plays but if you can't mechanically perform it's not much of a game.

There are a lot of proper strategy games but they're a bit of a niche. Don't expect AAA products. For one interesting example you could check Balance of Power. I think it's free nowadays.

CoH is an extremely good strategy and tactics game. Lots of tiny flanking movements going on. And room for a variety of strategies. Fast tank push. Psychological warfare with heavy infantry for ambushing. Mechanized infantry to ride into the enemy base with missile launchers to drop as many buildings as you can. Early pio/engi flamethrower push? Or do you go for a jeep/motorcycle push with engineers to repair?

When properly applied there's plenty of strategies that work. The munitions resource tends to even any unbalanced unit matches when properly applied. Infantry weak against tanks? Get some panzerschrecks. Fast cars and half tracks avoiding and outrunning your infantry? Place some mines in strategic locations. Enemy massing up too many infantry? Force a retreat to their HQ and then time a v2 missile launch to hit and kill them all. Or you know, grenades as well.

Naeras:

SL33TBL1ND:
Real-Time Strategy is a bit of a misnomer. Most, if not all, of these games are actually about tactics and not strategy.

I disagree. Most of the RTSes I've played don't involve tactics at all before you've reached a fairly high level, and before that the most important part is the build the player picks, and the execution of said build. Games are usually decided by which order you make the units in and how many of said units you manage to build and how well you control those units(strategy and execution) rather than making tactically solid decisions in your engagements.

Then your definitions of military tactics and strategy are off.

Military tactics, the science and art of organizing a military force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.

The father of modern strategic study, Carl von Clausewitz, defined military strategy as "the employment of battles to gain the end of war." B. H. Liddell Hart's definition put less emphasis on battles, defining strategy as "the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy". Hence, both gave the pre-eminence to political aims over military goals.

Empire at War. The UI is shit, and the lore is all over the place, but it is still fun.

Well since you said you would be willing to look outside the usual genres of RTS and TBS then you could always try a MOBA, I would recommend LoL.

When you start out in may not seem like much but once you get better and get into higher levels of play then it becomes pretty strategic. That said it's multiplayer only and you are really reliant on getting good teamates, the community is also one of the worst in gaming.

SL33TBL1ND:

Then your definitions of military tactics and strategy are off.

Military tactics, the science and art of organizing a military force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.

The father of modern strategic study, Carl von Clausewitz, defined military strategy as "the employment of battles to gain the end of war." B. H. Liddell Hart's definition put less emphasis on battles, defining strategy as "the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy". Hence, both gave the pre-eminence to political aims over military goals.

You're confusing the terms "military strategy" and "strategy".
Your overarching plan and strategic decisions, and technical execution of the build you choose, is what decides most games before you (and your opponents) actually get really good at them and understand when and how you should be picking engagements and using your units properly in conjunction. Before that, the most important thing in an RTS is almost always your build order and how many units you're capable of producing(i.e. strategy and execution).

Unless, of course, you're playing single player, in which case none of the elements really apply since you're just spamming zerglings and attack moving them towards something, or building a million defense structures to defend the sacred artifact for 30 minutes. Which, incidentally, is why you don't play single player RTS.

SL33TBL1ND:

Naeras:

SL33TBL1ND:

Then your definitions of military tactics and strategy are off.

You're confusing the terms "military strategy" and "strategy".

Because RTS games are totally not military in nature.

No. They're games. The overarching goal isn't to gain military influence, it's to win the match you're playing.

Battle for Wesnoth (FREEEEEE)
Frozen Synapse
The Total War games. (there's a whole bunch, I've spent many an afternoon playing Shogun:Total War(the original one))
Company of Heroes can be quite good if you get into enough to get skillful and get both the expansion packs. Set that shit on the hardest difficulty and have a fun hour or so duking it out with a half dozen AI, or palyers from around the world.

Mycroft Holmes:
CoH is an extremely good strategy and tactics game. Lots of tiny flanking movements going on. And room for a variety of strategies. Fast tank push. Psychological warfare with heavy infantry for ambushing. Mechanized infantry to ride into the enemy base with missile launchers to drop as many buildings as you can. Early pio/engi flamethrower push? Or do you go for a jeep/motorcycle push with engineers to repair?

When properly applied there's plenty of strategies that work. The munitions resource tends to even any unbalanced unit matches when properly applied. Infantry weak against tanks? Get some panzerschrecks. Fast cars and half tracks avoiding and outrunning your infantry? Place some mines in strategic locations. Enemy massing up too many infantry? Force a retreat to their HQ and then time a v2 missile launch to hit and kill them all. Or you know, grenades as well.

Did you know it's not actually CoH? That's Call of Honour, or some other terrible FPS. CofH is the proper one apparently. Kinda weird, but yeah.

On a second, and less retarded note, THAT GAME IS SOOO GOOOOD. I always preferred to entrench the living sod out of strategic points while my allies ran around killing things. I'd just wait patiently with my corp of engineers and giant howitzers until the enemy tried to mount an assault, then I'd blow them to pieces by dropping artillery on their heads while they get pinned down with machineguns and anti-tank guns. Sure, they can launch their own artillery strikes, then they go up against my SECOND line of defense. Such a good game...

Naeras:

SL33TBL1ND:

Naeras:

You're confusing the terms "military strategy" and "strategy".

Because RTS games are totally not military in nature.

No. They're games. The overarching goal isn't to gain military influence, it's to win the match you're playing.

Which is why strategy is generally not involved, but tactics. You are using various tactics to win a particular battle. RTS games are set in military situations, that's why the tiers of tactics, operational and military strategy are more applicable than the general term.

SL33TBL1ND:

Naeras:

SL33TBL1ND:

Because RTS games are totally not military in nature.

No. They're games. The overarching goal isn't to gain military influence, it's to win the match you're playing.

Which is why strategy is generally not involved, but tactics. You are using various tactics to win a particular battle. RTS games are set in military situations, that's why the tiers of tactics, operational and military strategy are more applicable than the general term.

Again, RTSes are games, not military simulations. You're applying game strategy, not military strategy. You've got a set of starting options that you expand upon depending on your overall game plan in terms of how to spend time and resources. These are strategical factors, and this is what decides the vast majority of the games in an RTS, because how smartly and how effectively you spend those resources will be more important than the battles themselves. When the actual fighting starts, the game is usually already decided. The exception is if either the game is very even, in which case tactics actually start to matter, or if it's a very tactical RTS(like Company of Heroes).

Please explain how tactics are more important than strategy and execution for the regular player in StarCraft 2. Deciding how to approach engagements will for most players not matter. The amount of units, and type of units you decided to build in what order, will be the big factor most games. None of these things have much to do with tactics.

maxmanrules:

Did you know it's not actually CoH? That's Call of Honour, or some other terrible FPS. CofH is the proper one apparently. Kinda weird, but yeah.

Google says Call of Honour is not a thing. Did you mean City Of Heroes? Which is the only other abbreviation for CoH in gaming I've seen. Anyways I've never seen anyone use CoH to refer to anything other than Company of Heroes, So I'm sticking to my guns on that.

But agreed on everything else. It's easily the best RTS I've ever played and here's hoping the sequel will be as great.

Naeras:

SL33TBL1ND:

Naeras:

No. They're games. The overarching goal isn't to gain military influence, it's to win the match you're playing.

Which is why strategy is generally not involved, but tactics. You are using various tactics to win a particular battle. RTS games are set in military situations, that's why the tiers of tactics, operational and military strategy are more applicable than the general term.

Again, RTSes are games, not military simulations. You're applying game strategy, not military strategy.

These are military scenarios within games.

The exception is if either the game is very even, in which case tactics actually start to matter, or if it's a very tactical RTS(like Company of Heroes).

So what you're saying here is that unless both opponents are of an equal skill level, the one who's better is going to win?

Please explain how tactics are more important than strategy and execution for the regular player in StarCraft 2. Deciding how to approach engagements will for most players not matter. The amount of units, and type of units you decided to build in what order, will be the big factor most games. None of these things have much to do with tactics.

Firstly, what you've just described is covered under military tactics. From my earlier post:

Military tactics, the science and art of organizing a military force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.

In other words, choosing and using the various units in Starcraft 2 to their fullest ability. Know what units counter what etc.

Secondly, considering the micro-heavy nature of Starcraft 2, a large chunk of that game is about manoeuvring your units quickly and efficiently on a small scale to surround a chunk of your opponent's units, ie. a tactical manoeuvrer.

Unless your sense of scale is off and you're counting each individual engagement as a battle and the match itself as a war (which I would say is preposterous) tactics are more readily used.

Dawn of War 2 definitely requires strategy, It is all about counter attacks and choosing what points on the map are worth defending or if limited resources should be spent on building an army instead.

Its small scale compared to most strategy games but it is a challenge.

I personally feel like there's more strategy in games like Fire Emblem rather than Starcraft 2. Given that there's still not an awful lot.

I like Fire Emblem because you have to put some semblance of thinking into what you do, and when you play hardmode it's hard as hell to train up that level 5 unpromoted unit you get 30 chapters in the game.

Tuesday Night Fever:

wookiee777:
Would it help if I mentioned that one of my favorite board games ever is Risk?

Goddamn Risk. Talk about a great game to make you absolutely despise the guts of your closest friends. We used to play games that would last full weeks... full weeks in which no one would so much as talk to each other. Good times.

Anywho, yeah, I tend to agree with you. Though I admit I've been finding the strategy genre somewhat lacking in strategy for a real long time now. I still find it fun, don't get me wrong... but yeah.

Granted, I tend to play the sort of RTS games where this-

image

-is the most common type of strategy.

I refuse to play risk. I swear, those dice hate me and the best strategy doesnt help if i keep rolling low numbers.

Most games that fit into the RTS or RTT genre's actually do have strategic elements; what they lack is a tactical element. Strategic choices common in such games include build orders, expansion base placement, and organization. In most games where people complain about the lack of some element, it usually is in the form of "all you do is build units - when the fighting starts, there isn't much you can do to affect the outcome".

Unless such games are fundamentally broken, usually this is because the games rely largely on strategic planning rather than tactical command. Those games that do have tactical elements tend to be focused on a relatively small number of units so players can actually focus on efficient and effective maneuver. To use Dawn of War 2 for example, choosing to build banshees early in T1 is a strategic choice. Maximizing on that choice tends to involve using flanking maneuvers to get the fragile banshees into range where their swords work best - a tactical problem.

SL33TBL1ND:

So what you're saying here is that unless both opponents are of an equal skill level, the one who's better is going to win?

I'm saying that out of the strategy-tactics-execution-trinity of competitive games, tactics is the one that comes into play the latest of the three. Execution and strategy are far more important until you have those two down, then tactics eventually starts to matter as well. This is universal for the genre. Even in CoH, a game with heavy emphasis on tactics, suffers from this. In my years as a replay reviewer on the largest community site for the game, if I see a game from someone relatively new, it's almost always the unit composition, or lack thereof, that lost them the game.

Firstly, what you've just described is covered under military tactics. From my earlier post:

Military tactics, the science and art of organizing a military force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.

In other words, choosing and using the various units in Starcraft 2 to their fullest ability. Know what units counter what etc.

No, that's strategy. Planning out which units to use and produce depending on your opponent isn't tactics. Utilizing those units would be tactics. It's no different from the way units are produced in, say, Total War. The strategic and the tactical parts of that series is completely separated, though, but if you had to build buildings, and produce units from them, in real time in TW, would that be less strategic than having a pre-deployed force you built on the map? No. Of course not.

Secondly, considering the micro-heavy nature of Starcraft 2, a large chunk of that game is about manoeuvring your units quickly and efficiently on a small scale to surround a chunk of your opponent's units, ie. a tactical manoeuvrer.

Except that up until diamond league, you don't need to micro at all. If your macro and game sense is solid enough, you can literally make your way up to diamond by getting the correct unit composition, attack moving with that, and following it up by building more units and expanding behind it.

And no, I'm not exaggerating here. Micro and tactical maneuvering isn't important before you've spent 50+ hours on the game(probably more). Before that, it's higher level decisionmaking(i.e. strategy) and executions that matter, because that single engagement where you get to apply tactics will be won because you had five times more stalkers and a better economy than your opponent.

Unless your sense of scale is off and you're counting each individual engagement as a battle and the match itself as a war (which I would say is preposterous) tactics are more readily used.

How many times do I need to repeat myself here? It's not a goddamn war, it's a game. The definition of game strategy is what applies here, not the definition of military strategy. The match being played is the only frame of reference that you have, and the highest level of priority is winning that game, or "the war". It's your overarching plan for the match and the higher level decisions that you make in the game that make out the strategy in a game, while tactics apply to how you apply that plan on a lower level, i.e. once you have your units and need to use them.
You should read the entire wikipedia article you linked to on tactics, which actually supports my point.

Naeras:

SL33TBL1ND:

So what you're saying here is that unless both opponents are of an equal skill level, the one who's better is going to win?

I'm saying that out of the strategy-tactics-execution-trinity of competitive games, tactics is the one that comes into play the latest of the three. Execution and strategy are far more important until you have those two down, then tactics eventually starts to matter as well. This is universal for the genre. Even in CoH, a game with heavy emphasis on tactics, suffers from this. In my years as a replay reviewer on the largest community site for the game, if I see a game from someone relatively new, it's almost always the unit composition, or lack thereof, that lost them the game.

Firstly, what you've just described is covered under military tactics. From my earlier post:

Military tactics, the science and art of organizing a military force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.

In other words, choosing and using the various units in Starcraft 2 to their fullest ability. Know what units counter what etc.

No, that's strategy. Planning out which units to use and produce depending on your opponent isn't tactics. Utilizing those units would be tactics. It's no different from the way units are produced in, say, Total War. The strategic and the tactical parts of that series is completely separated, though, but if you had to build buildings, and produce units from them, in real time in TW, would that be less strategic than having a pre-deployed force you built on the map? No. Of course not.

Secondly, considering the micro-heavy nature of Starcraft 2, a large chunk of that game is about manoeuvring your units quickly and efficiently on a small scale to surround a chunk of your opponent's units, ie. a tactical manoeuvrer.

Except that up until diamond league, you don't need to micro at all. If your macro and game sense is solid enough, you can literally make your way up to diamond by getting the correct unit composition, attack moving with that, and following it up by building more units and expanding behind it.

I guess where we diverge in our opinions then, is less what we believe tactics and strategy are, but where and how they're applied in different scales.

And no, I'm not exaggerating here. Micro and tactical maneuvering isn't important before you've spent 50+ hours on the game(probably more). Before that, it's higher level decisionmaking(i.e. strategy) and executions that matter, because that single engagement where you get to apply tactics will be won because you had five times more stalkers and a better economy than your opponent.

Unless your sense of scale is off and you're counting each individual engagement as a battle and the match itself as a war (which I would say is preposterous) tactics are more readily used.

How many times do I need to repeat myself here? It's not a goddamn war, it's a game. The definition of game strategy is what applies here, not the definition of military strategy. The match being played is the only frame of reference that you have, and the highest level of priority is winning that game, or "the war". It's your overarching plan for the match and the higher level decisions that you make in the game that make out the strategy in a game, while tactics apply to how you apply that plan on a lower level, i.e. once you have your units and need to use them.
You should read the entire wikipedia article you linked to on tactics, which actually supports my point.

>Plays RTS games which challenge the player to create solutions for military situations
>Still thinks military ideas don't apply

The "strategy" you use in the game is military in nature. You are controlling military units to achieve military goals.

Mycroft Holmes:

maxmanrules:

Did you know it's not actually CoH? That's Call of Honour, or some other terrible FPS. CofH is the proper one apparently. Kinda weird, but yeah.

Google says Call of Honour is not a thing. Did you mean City Of Heroes? Which is the only other abbreviation for CoH in gaming I've seen. Anyways I've never seen anyone use CoH to refer to anything other than Company of Heroes, So I'm sticking to my guns on that.

But agreed on everything else. It's easily the best RTS I've ever played and here's hoping the sequel will be as great.

I'm almost certain that there's some really terrible FPS that had COH as a trademark. And I mean really terrible.
Anyway, to sequeldom!

I apologize if this has been suggested already, but Dawn of War 2 is a good one because it doesn't let you build a very big army. A lot of strategy goes into it.

TheCommanders:
Quick note:

Tactics (n): The art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of organizing operations, esp. during contact with an enemy.

Strategy (n): The art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle.

Basically, strategy is on paper, and usually created before conflict. Tactics are the actually execution of the strategy and changing it based on changing conditions on the battlefield. The old adage, "No plan survives contact with the enemy" refers to the need to be able to deviate from a preconceived strategy and rely on tactics if necessary.

Anyway, got that out of my system.

My personal favorite RTS games are the Total War games (particularly rome) and Company of Heroes.

This.

In Empire ETW, strategy is to seize Gibratler, Morocco or Spain to block access of the open ocean to Mediterranean powers or for those same powers to protect themselves from being blocked. Capturing Malta for a power outside of the Mediterranean can greatly help them attack powers in the sea because it acts as a forward base to launch land and sea attacks from as well as being a refuge for your units in the region.

For a classic Civ strategy, it would be founding a city on an isthmus regardless of it's productivity to create a canal and allow your nations naval units to have easy access to two oceans blocked by a very long continent.

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