Strategy is one of my favorite genres of gaming. They can be relaxing, yet mentally-challenging at the same time. It’s a combination that gets me every time. I have to say, I prefer the pace of turn-based games that allow me to sit back for at least some of the time and just think. Here are a few that have cost me more than a few nights’ good sleep. They are not new, but they are timeless classics that have all of the elements of a great strategy game.

Risk: Global Dominations

When I’m not working or attending a music festival, I’m probably playing Risk: Global Domination. It’s the Android version of the classic board game ‘Risk’. The concept is pretty simple. You build armies to take territories, claim continents and eventually dominate the world. The dynamics, however, are something special.

Every game of Risk is different, especially if you play it online. There’s no right way to play, and a mixture of strategies from multiple players means that this is as much of a psychological game than a mathematical one. Not getting attacked is very important, and diplomacy is a major element. Risk: Global Domination also has optional map packs for when you master the original.

Online Poker

Poker is an awesome strategy game that I used to play nearly every day. Nowadays I like an occasional game to wind down and switch on my brain at the same time. I also play Blackjack from time-to-time, but at the moment I’m still working out the difference between ‘split’ and ‘hit’. Poker is more complex. It’s a game of incomplete information, and—as with Risk— there’s not always a ‘right’ way to play.

Tournament poker is my preferred format, and I like turbos most of the time because they are quicker to play and win. Poker contains elements of skill that even out in the long run, so it is possible to beat the other players and profit. It just takes a heck of a lot of reading, learning and practice to get good!

Medieval II: Total War

Imagine a giant Risk board, but instead of adding armies as simple numerical values, you train individual units to make giant legions that stomp across the world burning and pillaging opponent’s as they go. This is only the beginning of what Medieval II: Total War has to offer. Aside from battles, players have to focus on building cities, keeping their populations happy, gaining a trustworthy reputation, engaging in many forms of diplomacy, and more. The depth is what makes Medieval II so special.

This is a strategy game that I have played a lot of. I started my first Grand Campaign with England, but didn’t manage to achieve my objective within the turn limit. This time I’m playing with Venice, and after establishing a strong economy and perfect relationship with the Papal States, I’m well on my way to victory! This is a truly gripping strategy game that I can’t stop playing.

[Photo by Laura Blankenship // CC BY-SA 2.0]

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What started as a hobby has turned into so much more. The site has changed over the course of the years, but we just try to write about what we enjoy.