Turn Based Strategy Games

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Turn Based Strategy Games FAQ

What are turn-based strategy games?

Turn-based strategy games are thoughtful strategy games where players will take turns sequentially moving individual units rather than in real time. Each player has time to think about each move, allowing for planning and preparation. Chess is a turn-based strategy game, as are many classic board games. PC gaming turn-based strategy games can have more units, more turns, different maps, and themes, but they have traditional board games as their inspirations.
In a two-player game, each player will have units to move. The game map will match the theme, which could be a wargame where a real-world battle has taken place or a sci-fi fight where aliens have landed and are trying to take over the streets. Maps will have a grid, either square or hexagonal, that players will be locked into following. This helps each player understand the distance and angle that movements and attacks will come from.
Each player has turns to make. They usually have a specific number of action points (AP) each unit can take, with movement, attack, or defense costing those action points. It’s up to the player to balance those according to the battle. They could spend them all simply moving a unit to a better position, ending the turn without engaging in battle. A player will have several units to control and will have to make several moves per turn. When they’ve ceded control, they’ll have to wait for the enemy to react, watching the response take shape.
Units will react according to their class. Putting melee units directly next to a grid with an enemy will likely result in a strike. A sniper unit can be placed on higher ground and attack from some distance. Each hit will take each unit’s attack and defensive stats into account. So if your melee unit can hit with five damage points, and the defender only has four points left in their life, you’re almost guaranteed to defeat that unit. Some games will make things a bit less definitive, allowing random chance to dictate the strength of the full blow, sometimes even causing the attacker to miss completely.
Turn-based strategy games are played at a slower pace than RTS games. Some campaigns can last days as each player considers the battle and overall war to be fought, and can even be played via email. Patience is a key element of turn-based strategy games.

Are there turn-based strategy games with character customization?

Yes. In fact, one of the most famous games in the series allows you to name and design your units, which makes losing them on the battlefield a particularly harrowing moment.

Do all turn-based strategy games involve combat or warfare?

The classic games are abstract games in which there’s no real violence. Chess, for example, is simply pieces being moved around the board, with no overt combat or violence. You simply remove pieces from the board.

When were turn-based strategy games invented?

PC turn-based strategy games were probably invented in the 1970s when digital versions of chess were created for electronic devices that could be called PCs, though you wouldn’t recognize these in comparison to modern systems.