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    • I've always thought of myself as an "RTS player". Age of Empires 2 was the first game I paid full price for, and for a few years as a teen I would wake up at 5:30 and play StarCraft: Brood Wars until breakfast.

      My fraternity brothers and I played Dawn of War, Command and Conquer: Generals, Company of Heroes, and pretty much every other RTS game that came out while I was at college.

      In the last 5-10 years, I have spent much less time playing games in the genre than I used to. I told myself that it was because there just weren't as many good RTS games.

      But I don't think that's the whole story - I played the AoE2 HD remake only a few times. When StarCraft HD was released, I bought it immediately, but only played one match.

      Recently I noticed that while I haven't been playing traditional RTS games, some of my most-played games of the last 5 years look very... RTS-like.

      See the game depicted in this screenshot: Banished.

      There are no human enemies. Accumulating food and shelter to survive the winter is a difficult challenge. And winter happens every year!

      My first few games ended with most of my population starving over the winter within a year or two. I got hooked.

      Side note: one of the most expensive buildings in the game is the Town Hall, which has no effect in the game except to show you graphs over time for every variable in the game, like educated versus uneducated population, or food and wood stores. I love this.

    • Recently I've been playing Northgard, a game whose top tags on Steam are "strategy", "city builder", "resource management", and "4X".

      It reminds me of Civilization in some ways - most of the gameplay involves expanding your borders, and making sure all your territories are contributing resources and happiness to your bottom line.

      There are actual enemies, and you can build a few military units, but you can achieve fame or economic victories without ever attacking your opponents.

      The biggest threat to your economy is usually winter. If you're not prepared, all work stops while your people wander around sick and unhappy.

      Playing the campaign, I'm realizing that while I still love real-time games, I've lost interest in micro-managing hundreds of worker and military units a few units at a time.

      I prefer the challenge of getting 5-80 people to survive in a hostile world by slowly shifting worker resources between important tasks. Military conflicts are fine, but I don't need them in the forefront of my strategy games.

    • Noah Caldwell-Gervais gave this genre a name in a recent video of his: "Survival Strategy".

      He covers the history of the genre (starting before I was playing games, with Outpost in 1994) up to modern examples Surviving Mars and Frostpunk.

      Have you tried "survival strategy" yet? How has your relationship to game genre evolved?

    • Interesting! I had no idea that there was a term for this genre but I am loving it as well. I've played both Banished and Northgard and like them a lot.

      There is a game called Frostpunk that came out this year that looks worth a try too.

      One of my all time favorites is Factorio, though it is a little different in that you only control one unit that you have to physically move around to create automated factories, turrets, power stations. Incredibly deep and affectionately nicknamed by the community as "cracktorio".

    • Northgard sounds cool!

      I don't usually enjoy RTSes because I'm terrible at them and find them stressful. I end up deep focusing on accomplishing some tiny specific thing and then I get wiped out because I forgot to also do the twelve other things I should have been doing at the same time.

      But I love Civilization, and Northgard sounds like it might reward more focused gameplay. I'll have to check it out!

    • > I end up deep focusing on accomplishing some tiny specific thing and then I get wiped out because I forgot to also do the twelve other things I should have been doing at the same time.

      This is usually how my Northgard game goes. Focus on fast expanding territory, do great at that, then don't have enough wood and food to get through the winter and everyone starves 😭.

      As far as RTS goes, Paradox grand strategy games are nice in that they allow you to pause the game, make some decisions, and then continue running the game. Very different feel than a turn based game like Civilization. Maybe a better name for them is "Simulation Strategy". I have spent way too much time on Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV and Stellaris.

    • I haven't played an RTS in a long time. I love the fantasy genre and always liked the Warcraft series. I've been waiting for Blizzard to make Warcraft 4 forever but they're still milking their ca$h cow....World of Warcraft.

      The way I've always played those games though: Completely wipe out nature by stripping all the mines and clearing all of the forests and horde as many resources as possible. The fun thing about the games is sometimes you find some secret after clearing a really big, annoying forest.

    • Do any of you play RimWorld? It has a really nice RTS-ish vibe but it's very much about the story and not achieving any particular goals. I think I've logged almost 700 hours in it.

    • I think I bought it slightly after the Kickstarter ended but didn't play a lot until a couple of years ago. It's a solid game with probably the best modding community I've ever seen. About half of the new features in the last two or three versions of the game were basically just merging popular mods into the game.

      It's very ambitious. Almost meant to be a Dwarf Fortress successor but without quite as much depth and no z-levels (without mods, at least).

      It's been in development for about five years, I think, and 1.0 is coming out on Oct 17, 2018 (with a price increase to follow, so if you want it, get it now).

      It's one of those games that's focused on generating a really fun story and lives up to that promise a lot. I've had many games where a single pawn becomes this really amazing, useful central character and you just want to follow them around forever.

      (thanks for the welcome! I joined awhile back but wanted to lurk for awhile first)