Strategy games, often characterised by their complex gameplay dynamics and emphasis on thoughtful decision-making are growing in popularity around the world, albeit, they have been around throughout modern history. These games demand a blend of patience, foresight, and tactical prowess.
But what exactly is a strategy game, and how can you as a beginner start your journey into this genre? In this article, we will answer this and tell you everything you should know about strategy games as a beginner.
Understanding Strategy Games
Strategy games are a niche of games that focus on strategic thinking, planning, and decision-making. Unlike genres where fast-paced action or direct combat might be the focal point, strategy games challenge players to think multiple steps ahead.
The beauty of strategy games lies in their depth and complexity, offering a rich tapestry of scenarios that cater to both intuitive thinkers and methodical planners. In essence, they celebrate the mind’s prowess as much as, if not more than, dexterity or speed.
Strategy games actually date back thousands of years, with roots in traditional board games and war simulations. One of the earliest recorded strategy games is “Go,” which originated in China over 2,500 years ago and still captivates players today with its deep and abstract gameplay.
Chess is another popular strategy game that emerged around the 6th century in Europe before growing into one of the most popular classic strategy boards around the world.
Strategy Game Classification
Strategy games can be broadly classified into two categories:
Turn-Based Strategy (TBS)
These games represent a captivating subgenre within the realm of strategy gaming. These games are defined by a distinct style of play where participants take turns to make decisions, often in a structured, grid-based environment.
TBS games encourage players to analyse each move meticulously, consider the consequences, and plan ahead, much like a game of chess. This genre encompasses a wide variety of settings and themes, from grand historical conquests to fantastical adventures and sci-fi simulations. Some examples include games like “Civilization” and “XCOM.”
Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games offer a dynamic and fast-paced experience. Unlike their turn-based counterparts, RTS games unfold in real-time, requiring players to make decisions on the fly and manage resources, units, and strategies in a constantly evolving environment.
These games are characterised by their multitasking demands, as players must simultaneously gather resources, build structures, and command armies in the heat of battle.
The genre’s appeal lies in its intensity, fostering a sense of urgency and the need for quick thinking. RTS enthusiasts relish the thrill of outsmarting opponents through rapid decision-making and strategic cunning.
Starting Your Strategy Game Journey As a Beginner
Choose the Right Game
As a beginner, selecting the right game is crucial for a smooth introduction to the genre. Instead of gravitating immediately towards complex titles with steep learning curves, you should consider games known for their user-friendly interfaces and straightforward mechanics.
It’s beneficial to research games that have garnered acclaim for being beginner-friendly or have communities known for supporting newcomers.
If you’re intrigued by historical battles, a game like “Total War” might be right for you. If you prefer a space setting, “Stellaris” or “StarCraft” might be more appealing.
Practice Regularly and Learn from Your Mistakes
Like any other skill, becoming proficient at strategy games requires regular practice. Start with AI opponents to hone your skills before venturing into multiplayer battles.
Remember, every loss is an opportunity to learn. Analyze your games, identify where you went wrong, and adjust your strategies in subsequent games. Systems like dota 2 mmr can come in handy in helping you rate your skill level and track your progress.
Start with Tutorials
Most strategy games have built-in tutorials that explain game mechanics, units, and resource management. Tutorials act as a guided introduction, breaking down the game’s core principles into digestible segments.
Starting with a tutorial allows you to grasp the basics in a controlled environment, often with real-time feedback. Instead of diving head-first into the deep end, tutorials offer a gradual immersion, ensuring that you not only understand the game’s mechanics but also appreciate its nuances and depth.
Strategy games can be complex and, by design, are cerebral and intricate, celebrating methodical planning over hasty decisions. However, instead of getting disheartened by initial defeats or overwhelmed by the game’s complexity, you should embrace the learning curve.
Every mistake offers a lesson, and every game round deepens understanding. As with mastering any skill, proficiency in strategy games is a product of time, practice, and, above all, patience.
Strategy games offer a unique blend of intellectual challenge and entertainment. While they may seem daunting at first, with time and persistence, the intricate dance of planning, reacting, and out-thinking your opponent becomes an immensely rewarding experience. So, arm yourself with knowledge, dive into the vast world of strategy games, and embark on a journey that promises countless hours of strategic fun.