What RTS games do you play and are your favorites? (Real Time Strategy)
Sosaria Roberts

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For the most part, I have stayed away from RTS games. I seem to always get my ass kicked before I even know what is going on. Multi-player is just a nightmare for me. I feel like I build a starting unit, or city, or whatever - and before I can even get a squad of guys built, some 7 year old kid playing against me swoops in with a full army for a massacre, lol.

But, in the last several months, I have been moving more into the RTS games, having gotten hooked by the Starcraft 2 Campaign.

Here is what I own now and what I am playing, I would love to hear everyone's thoughts, which games other people play and recommend, etc.
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1. Video Game: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:60]
Video Game: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Sosaria Roberts

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This is what got me hooked, playing the campaign on this one. I am on normal difficulty and doing great. I have no idea how many scenarios there are, I think I am on the 17th or 18th. I have a lot of fun, and keeping track of my resources (gas and crystals) isn't that bad. Some games I have checked out have so many resources to keep track of it is too much.

I win about 80% of the scenarios on the standard difficulty and recently tried Multi-player. I leveled up to level 4 and have played 3 games now, I lost 1 and won 2, which is pretty good for me, but from what I understand, I am being paired up with someone that is about the same level as me, so the games get harder as I progress.

I have also purchased the expansion, but haven't gotten that far in gameplay yet.

The only real negative thing I have found in this game is that by the end, it always ends up this massive group of 50-100 troops of various types all grouped together into one massive 'blob' moving across the battlefield. It would be nice if there was a way to group units together into squads or something and be able to activate them as squads. Maybe there is and I haven't found it?
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2. Video Game: Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:126]
Video Game: Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Sosaria Roberts

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After the fun I had with Starcraft II, I decided to check this one out. I ran through the first few campaign scenarios and did well. I am going to put this one on hold for the time being, but will definitely be getting back to this one once I wrap up Starcraft II and the Expansion.

Note: I got the Warcraft III Battlechest which has the expansion, $9.00 on Amazon, wahoo!
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3. Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:489] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
Sosaria Roberts

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I purchase this and actually like that you do not need to worry about resource gathering or troop building in the campaign, it is more like a smaller scale tactical game and I really like that.

I also tried the multi-player and it was really fun as well. I won 1 game and lost 1 game so far. Both times I played Space Marines because that is what I am most familiar with from the campaign.

I *really* like how you have squads. This was my biggest gripe with Starcraft, no organization in units after you get a lot on the field. Dawn of War 2 really did this right.
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4. Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:295] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
Sosaria Roberts

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I got the entire Dawn of War series from Steam for a good deal and decided I'd grab it while I had the chance. I only have played the first campaign scenario but feel as though it is enough game time to get a good feel for the game.

I don't mind the resource management and having to build troops, barracks, etc. The game is more like Starcraft II than it is like Dawn of War 2. Essentially it feels like a completely different game than DoW2 and that is a good thing, it just means I have something to spend time on down the road.

I really liked the units being kept together as separate entities rather than just a massive blob of soldiers like in Starcraft II.

The only really draw back was the screen resolution... the game is old enough where the newer screens don't really fit the game well, when I first loaded it up, everything was super stretched left to right to fit the monitor and looked horrible!!!! After some trail and error I found a nice resolution that makes the graphics look nice and they are not distorted, but in doing so there is like a 4" wide black strip down the left and right sides of the monitor. Not horrible, but it would be nice if I could play it in widescreen.

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5. Video Game: Company of Heroes [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:148]
Video Game: Company of Heroes
Sosaria Roberts

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This was recommended by someone and it is essentially Dawn of War 2 with a World War II theme. I am sure there are more differences, but for the most part that is the feeling I get when playing it. I only ran through the first 2 campaign scenarios, but really liked it.

This will be one that gets played after I finish some of the other ones up.
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6. Video Game: Rise of Nations [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:348]
Video Game: Rise of Nations
Aaron Tubb
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Kind of old, but this was a very good RTS as well. A sweep through history type of game, RTS style. Similar to the Age of Empires and Empire Earth series, but better and more fun than both in my opinion.
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7. Video Game: Total War: Shogun 2 [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:303]
Video Game: Total War: Shogun 2
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You should consider one of the Total War games, RTS-RBS-hybrids with some 4X-elements.
The old ones were very good, then Napoleon and Empire were kind of so-so, then the series got another highlight with Shogun 2 before it apparently went off the deep end. I'd go either with Shogun 2, the original Rome, or Medieval 2, although Shogun is obviously the best-looking one nowadays.
 
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8. Video Game: Homeworld [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:345]
Video Game: Homeworld
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Any of the Homeworld games, really. To this day no other game has legitimately replaced them.
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9. Video Game: Nexus: The Jupiter Incident [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
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One of my favourite underrated gems. instead of building massive armies, you control between 1 and 10 (Maybe 12 or something towards the very end...) ships. This is probably the only RTS that gave me the feeling of legitimately controlling big, heavy warships with significant differences:
A ship outfitted with heavy artillery can blow apart a smaller ship with a single hit long before it ever gets into firing range, a small destroyer with a powerful engine and good point defense on the other hand will just fly up to it and blow it to bits if you don't protect it, but will in turn risk quick destruction if it goes up against a massive battleship 10 times its size, because that beast will take an insane beating unless you have a means to safely disable its shield generator and keep it knocked out while the crew tries to repair it. A ship on its last leg might get in a lucky shot that destroys an enemy's main cannon, giving it just enough time for its allies to rescue it...


I still can't figure out why this one is virtually unknown, one of my favourites and intensely tactical, and it replaces tedious basebuilding (You may have figured out that I usually don't enjoy that mechanic, it's ok in DOW and COH because there's not really a lot of it, but anything beyond that I find just annoying) with persistent ships you use across an entire campaign.
 
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10. Video Game: Star Wolves 2 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
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This is essentially an RTS-WRPG hybrid where you control up to 7 ships with different equipment and abilities, the combat system feels like it was inspired by a D20 ruleset, although in my opinion somewhat tighter and cleaner (YMMV).

I find 2 to be the highlight of the series, 2 was more or less an expanded version of everything that was fun in 1, while 3 felt like a bit of a rushjob and cash-in to me.

Note that the voice acting is atrocious, and as I've pointed out you don't get to control sprawling armies, but I like it a lot.
 
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11. Video Game: Sins of a Solar Empire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:648]
Video Game: Sins of a Solar Empire
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And as another entry for my running theme of "RTS games that don't reheat the Dune 2 formula", Sins is an attept at making a Real Time 4X game, it's basically the polar opposite of Star Wolves 2 above (Massive fleets spanning across multiple solar systems as opposed to a single squadron of individual fighters), deemphasizing individual, tactical control in favour of strategic production and the (simplified) logistics of lots and lots of materiel in real time.

While it's not one of my favourite games, it's pretty interesting and well-made, ie. my being a bit lukewarm about it is a matter of individual taste and not a reflection of any major flaws in the game. To try and put my finger on it, despite its epic scale it somehow ends up feeling a little dry, because short of losing the entire game, it never feels to me like it matters at all to my overall war effort if I end up losing dozens of ships somewhere, as long as I have the means to replace them.
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12. Video Game: World in Conflict [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:1426]
Video Game: World in Conflict
Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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arrrh Played the American campaign of this a few years back, but haven't yet installed it to my new gamer PC. Playwise, it's more akin to the old Microsoft Close Combat or Sudden Strike, because you don't wield absolute direct fire control over your units; you can only order them to assault areas, occupy buildings etc. but cannot designate specific targets easily. But this game is really all about the off-board support: airstrikes, gun-runs and artillery fire, which are rendered pretty well. You even get to Nuke a small town in Washington State as you fall back before a massive Soviet invasion. I own the Collector's Edition, which comes complete with a small fragment of the Berlin Wall! arrrh
 
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13. Video Game: Supreme Commander Gold Edition [Average Rating:9.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.90 Unranked]
Video Game: Supreme Commander
Thomas Eager
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wow I own the Gold edition (for which there's no pic, apparently) but have never yet installed it (it was too spec-heavy for my laptop, too busy w/other games now I've got a good gamer PC). It garnered a lot of praise for the massive number of units one could deploy. wow
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14. Video Game: Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:122] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Video Game: Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
Thomas Eager
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Portland
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cool Here's a classic from yesteryear, which is now available to download in an HD version from Steam. Haven't purchased it yet myself, but been contemplating it for a few months. There are some negative comments about it, mostly centered around the fact that there's no new material. I don't really care about that, because I remember this one as being a very fun game to play. cool
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15. Video Game: Anno 2070 [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1288]
Video Game: Anno 2070
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This one's a bit of a stretch, as it's more of a city-building sim than a true RTS, but there are definitely similar elements to the gameplay of an RTS. I bought this to fill a void when the browser-based city sim I had been playing folded and haven't regretted it one bit. It has a very steep learning curve, though, and revolves around trade, shipping and management more than combat.
 
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16. Video Game: Company of Heroes 2 [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1322]
Video Game: Company of Heroes 2
I've gotten into this one this year with a Steam sale. Currently my favourite RTS game.

Other RTS games I have installed are:
Company of Heroes - all the expansion packs too!
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - never got the 2nd one in the series ... yet!
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
Supreme Commander - with the expansion pack

Others that I have played include Dune 2, C&C 1-3, C&C Generals, C&C Red Alert, Dark Reign, Warcraft 1-3, Age of Empires 2, Age of Mythology (Where is #2??!!!) those are the main ones I've played.


 
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