Another year, another Steam Summer Sale. We are gathered here, in this most solemn occasion to splurge money on games that will forever exist in our backlog, hopelessly waiting for their turn on the spotlight. A turn that will never come. This, my dearest reader, is the most comprehensive Steam Sale list you’ll see this Summer. I’ve spent the last three days putting this together so here’s how this is going to work: Games will be listed by sub-genres and from cheap to expensive.
Page 1 – Wargames
Page 2 – Turn-Based-Strategy
Page 3 – Real-Time-Strategy
Page 4 – Grand-Strategy and Management
Page 5 – Other Genres
Battle Academy – 1,49 € – Never played a wargame before but getting ready to jump into the grog-habitat? Have a go with Battle Academy, the friendliest of wargames. Battle Academy deserves a spot in every strategy pundit library and for less then a cheap, unhealthy breakfast, there’s really no excuse.
Radio Commander- Complete Edition – 2,18 € – It seems such an obvious concept that it boggles the mind on how it was never done before. Use the radio to command the soldiers fighting in the front lines. Use only their voice lines to keep track of what’s going on and to delegate new tasks and orders. Don’t skip on this one, it’s too good, even if it cost 9,99 but at 2,18 it’s just a steal.
Vietnam ’65 – 2,49 € – Not old yet but already showing signs of white hairs and balding spots, Vietnam ’65 is one of a couple of very select games that explore the concept of COIN doctrine.
Ultimate General: Gettysburg – 3,74 € – The first game from Game Labs focusing exclusively on the bloody battle of Gettysburg. A lot of “what if scenarios”, detailed units and a very slick design.
Red Orchestra 2 – 4,49 € – A dying game for sure but one whose depiction of the battles in the Eastern Front is so memorable that it deserves a last great chance before fading into oblivion. I have very fond memories fighting in Stalingrad. I bet you didn’t expect to read that one.
Panzer Corps Gold – 4,99 € – It’s Panzer General but new-ish! Panzer Corps II is already out and less aware costumers might be tempted to get it. Allow me to steer you back into the first one. The Gold Edition has hundreds of detailed scenarios and units, covering pretty much every aspect of the war- from accurate, real life events to “what if” scenarios such as “Sea Lion” (Invasion of the British Isles by Germany) but the amount for the amount of content avail
Atlantic Fleet – 4,99 € Fancy a chance at sinking the Bismark? Think your HMS Hood might not end up breaking in half? Atlantic Fleet is the cheapest way to put those armchair skills to the test. It’s love by many for it’s simplicity and how easy it is to engage with it’s systems, putting the players in charge of both steering the ships and firing it’s main guns. The guys behind Atlantic Fleet development would move on to create the excellent Cold Waters (read more bellow).
Unity of Command Triology Bundle – 6,24 € – The original UoC was more puzzle-like than UoCII but this is a good entry nonetheless. Buy if you don’t only if you don’t mind replaying missions all over again until you find the perfect solution.
Armoured Commander 6,28 € – It should be passed unto law that not owning a copy of Armoured Commander II could lead up to forced integration in soviet penal battalions. Armoured Commander II is an early-access proud rogue-lite based around the misadventures of tank commanders during the Second World War with every campaign, map, terrain features, objetives, units and encounters procedurally and randomly generated, offering a shit-ton of replay value.
Radio General – 6,71 € – “The game is intense, loud, chaotic and stressful, perfectly capturing the feeling of helplessness of a commander relaying orders unto the front-line without actually being able to physically impact the fight going on on the ground.”
Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun – 6,99 € – Another digital iconostases of strategy accolades. This one focusing on the poorly explored period of the Sengoku Jidai. It’s Japanese ink-like artstyle might not be everybody cup of sencha but other than Total War: Shogun 2, wanna-be Daimyos will struggle in finding a better option.
ARMA III– 6,99 € – The universal WarSim and Military Sandbox. Packing extremely realistic physics, sprawling maps and a very dedicated modding community. With literally thousands of weapons and vehicles, an easy to learn real-time editor that allows you to modify your missions on the fly, Arma 3 stands as the Go-To-Shooter if you’re craving a life-like experience of modern combat without getting shot IRL.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad – 7,04 € – The best WW2 flight simulator around.
Wargame: Red Dragon – 7,49 € – Love it or hate it (or both, if you’re like me), the Wargame franchise from Eugen Systems is an unavoidable giant and it’s third iteration finally managed to cram a decent campaign.
Pike and Shot: Campaigns – 8,87 € – It’s Sengoku Jidai but instead of 16th and 17th centuries Japan it’s not Europe. Thirty Years War? Check. English Civil War? Check. Early to late Renaissance tactics? Check. Twenty playable nations and more than a hundred battle lists should keep even the pickiest of historians occupied for a while.
Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front – 8,87 € – The friendliest of wargames goes to the Eastern Front.
Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris – 8,87 € – An operational level World War II wargame that focus solely on the first couple of years of the war and the German success across Poland and France. It’s a couple of steps above Panzer Corps and Unity of Command in terms of operational complexity but two steps below Gary Grigsby games. It’s getting old by now and it’s younger brother Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa might captivate those looking for a more “political” take on the whole War.
Tank Warfare: Tunisia 1943 – 8,99 € – Tank Warfare is Graviteam Tactics absurdly detailed and complex tactical battles going into North Africa. Pick this one if the setting tickles your fancy more than the Eastern Front.
Field of Glory II – 9,23 € – A niche game for a niche audience. FoG is a fantastic turn-based tactical ancient and medieval battle generator. Nearly 100 different units, thousands of army lists and an innate ability to recreate nearly 3000 years of warfare, FoG sits atop the turn-based Olympus. It’s most recent iteration, Field of Glory II: Medieval is also fantastic.
Unity of Command II – 9,99 – Never gotten around to review it but Unity of Command II is the successor to the 2012 classic, Unity of Command . Praised by critics and fans alike for it’s simple control scheme and UI, friendly looking artstyle and easy to understand logistics mechanics.
Steel Division II – 13,59 € – Eugen Systems second attempt at World War’ing has panned out better then their landings at Normandy. Their second iteration brings a slower pace, a dynamic campaign mode called Army General and takes all their Second World War hardware to the eastern front. Eugen has been expanding it ever since with new divisions, new campaigns and maps.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Player’s Edition – 13,33 € – The amount of medals and accolades garnered by Flashpoint Campaigns over the years would put to shame even the most accomplished of soviet soldiers from the battle of Moscow. It’s complex simulation of “Cold War gone hot” puts a twist into the turn-based formula by constantly shifting the time tables of each turn according to players Command, Control and Communication stats.
Ultimate General: Civil War – 13,99 € – The successor to Ultimate General : Gettysburg, Civil War takes the muskets away from the pivotal battle for a tour across 19th century America at war. It’s very much the same game but expanded to encompass all the war. It also has a campaign/career mode.
Graviteam Tactics: Mius Front – 14,39 € – The ultimate World War II tactical experience with a 1:1 scale. No game does it better, not even Combat Mission. It’s hard to get into and it’s going to require some tutorial watching and manual reading but there’s nothing quite like it. Before playing this better learn how units will spend some time laying wires on the field, which squads are in shouting range and which ones need radio contact to do their job. No line of communication? How will your artillery commander know when and where to fire? It’s that kind of game. And it’s better to go in with some understanding of WWII tactics and unit organization. Mius Front pulls no punches but it’s marvellous.
Scourge of War: Waterloo – 17,93 – We’re on a roll. This one is the ultimate Waterloo tactical experience. It’s one of the most complex games ever created for the general public and the amount of detail in each individual regiment is awe-inspiring. There’s little abstraction going on, this is no Empire Total War level of tactical battle. It’s awe-inspiring to watch literally dozens of thousands of units march into the field of battle. It’s performance is terrible, rarely going above decent FPS range and the sheer scale of the battles can be overwhelming but SoW: Waterloo allows players to step into the shoes of lower rank commanders receiving and executing orders reeled in to them by their superiors.
Cold Waters – 18,49 € – Killerfish’s killer hit of 2017 brings the cold back into the cold war by putting you in charge of several US submarines of the late 60’s until the early 2000’s. Very simplistic submarine movement (WASD) but it allows players to explore the combat aspect of the game easily with less to no fussing about. A good game to learn on the fly, each submarine
Armoured Brigade – 20,39 € – This is one of my favourites on this list. I would advise you to watch the trailer instead of reading, otherwise this might go on for a while.
Gary Grigsby’s War in the West 22,19 € – The text-book definition of a hardcore wargame, Gary Grigsby is to operational level warfare that GraviTeam is to tactical. Expect a steep learning curve, a dificult UI and one of the most detailed World War Two simulations ever created. The reason I’m not recommending War in the East is because the War in the East II is already out.
Combat Mission Black Sea – 34,99 € – Finally, a decade long debate has been settled and Battlefront have finally made the business sound decision of bringing their most beloved franchise, Combat Mission, into the massive market that is Steam. CM Black Sea depicts a US intervention in Ukraine after it’s invasion by the Russians. The most technological advanced armies in the force face off in Eastern Europe so, besides the usual lead spitting killing expect things like night and thermal vision, electronic warfare and drones to play vital roles. Novice wargamers might not look at 34,99 as a steal but trust us, older folk, it pretty much free.
Combat Mission Shock Force 2 – 34,99 € – It’s the same of the above but now US army vs Syria, depicting two very different (technological) armies facing off in a desert setting. The game has some expansions and those are definitely worth it depending on much money you’re willing to spend.