The year 2018 wasn't overly generous when it comes to strategy games but 2019 promises to change that significantly. We at AltChar have a few strategy-loving no-lifers of our own, so here's a neat little strategy game timeline for 2019.
The sixth instalment in the Tropico series will once again have you constructing and managing your very own banana republic.
Developed by the Limbic Entertainment and published by Kalypso Media, Tropico 6 like all of its predecessors takes place in a beautiful tropical setting and features political and social unrest caused by political factions and foreign powers who aim to disrupt your absolute authority and vision as the "El Presidente."
You may argue that Tropico is not the first title to spring to mind when talking about strategy games, but we think its reliance on the concept of strategy is enough for it to make our list. For the first time, the game will introduce the concept of playing on archipelagos, managing multiple islands and all the physical, political and social connections between them.
Tropico is set to release on all major platforms in late January 2018. No bananas for you Nintendo, Donkey King will have to do.
Anno 1800 is the seventh instalment in the series of city building real-time strategy game series developed by Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft. It takes place in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, introducing tourism, blue-printing of architectural and engineering concepts, as well as the effects of industrialisation, like pollution and worker strikes, as new aspects of gameplay.
The blue-print feature offers you to plan construction of the desired buildings ahead of time, that you can later position when you gather the necessary resources with a mere click.
Tourist that are to temporarily inhabit your city will orient themselves by the concept of attractiveness, which will depend on a balance between natural beauty and industrial profitability. This will then be decisive for how much they contribute to the city's income.
The Anno series has dabbled in matters of balancing ecology and industry in its more sci-fi themed iterations before, and this more historical twist is due to arrive on PC in late February 2019.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
March 2019 is scheduled to deliver the thirteenth instalment in the Total War saga, Total War: Three Kingdoms, a turn-based, real-time tactics strategy title developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega.
Set in the Three Kingdoms era when China was divided into three dominant states, players must contend with ten other factions, eliminate or absorb them and unify China under one rule.
The new gameplay mechanics incorporate Wu Xing, an ancient concept of a five-element kind of philosophy, which will define aspects of balance, cause and effect in the game.
A new addition to the Total War formula is the Guanxi system, traditionally a concept of dynamic inter-relationships that will shape parts of gameplay through Duels. These will feature heroes battling it out ahead of engagement, with the winner securing a battlefield morale boost for his faction.
Total War's venture into Chinese history, and incidentally the Chinese market is set to arrive for all PC bound operating systems in early March 2019.
Phoenix Point is a turn-based strategy developed by Snapshot Games, from the very mind of Julian Gollop, creator of the acclaimed X-COM series. The gloomy vision of humanity's doomed future is described as a spiritual successor to the early 90's X-COM, and has its venerable forefather's gameplay and style written all over it.
You begin your post-apocalyptic venture as the leader of a cell of the Phoenix Project, a global and secretive organisation combating mutants and abominations. These are the result of humans and animals getting overly intimate with an extraterrestrial virus.
The game brings new concepts of mutating aliens who pose a variety of challenges for the player throughout the game, as well as tactical combat, competing factions and global strategy that will crucially affect the outcome of any individual playthrough.
Phoenix Point has already seen some delays but should see the light of Microsoft sanctioned platforms in summer 2019.
Re-Legion is a cyberpunk real-time strategy game developed by Ice Code Games and published by 1C Entertainment. In a vivid cyberpunk environment with a dark atmosphere, you start as a prophet in a futuristic technocratic society where you convert ordinary citizens to cult members and upgrade them to fighting units who spread your faith to gain new members or to just purge some heretics.
The somewhat cartoony neon take on future religion and spirituality is to descend to PC sometime in the first quarter of 2019.
Iron Harvest is a real-time strategy game based on concept art by Polish artist Jakub Rozalski and developed by KING Art Games. It takes place in an alternate history Europe after the Great War in a 1920s dieselpunk setting, hence Rozalski's title for the art series that spawned it all - 1920+.
Technological development reminds a bit of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen universe, with its giant walking machines of war who aim to destabilise Europe and set the world on fire again.
The mostly German dev team managed to fund the project via Kickstarter, and rumour has it that the local government might be chipping in a little as well. If a doubtlessly boring and probably mech-less World War III doesn't hit us by the last quarter of 2019, Iron Harvest should arrive on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One around that time.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall
Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the eighth instalment in the venerable Age of Wonders saga, a turn-based strategy game developed by Triumph Studios and published by the Paradox Interactive. This turn-based tactical combat and world-building video game goes to space for the first time, where you aim to emerge from a fallen galactic empire to rebuild a new future for your people.
Any fan of the particular 4X flavour of strategy games should already be familiar with Age of Wonders, but a more futuristic setting is a first for the series. The only thing we know so far is a fairly broad release window of "sometime" in 2019, most definitely for PC with no words on other platforms.
Desperados III is a western themed real-time tactics game developed by Mimimi Productions and published by THQ Nordic. Set in a Wild West, you take control of a group up to five "Desperados" and use their skills to solve any problem you got in your way. Plan timed executions against your enemies using lethal or non-lethal options such as stealth, or good 'ol guns blazing uproar.
Both its predecessors enjoy somewhat of a cult following, and before you run off to the first search engine - think Commandos, but in the wild west, and you have a pretty good picture of what to expect from Desperados come 2019.
Imperator: Rome is a grand strategy game to be both developed and published by Paradox Interactive. This slow-burning title takes place around 300BC and centres the by-now-familiar gameplay style of Europa Universalis around Rome, instead of a host of mingling medieval political entities. The challenge is to build and maintain an empire in the ancient Mediterranean.
It will be interesting to see how Paradox handle matters of slavery, internal Roman politics, and ancient era warfare. We are likely to see and take part in the Punic Wars and maybe even follow Alexander all the way to India.
There is still no definitive release date in place, but grand strategy enthusiasts might be able to narrow down the vague 2019 announcement to something more manageable. As with a lot of Paradox titles, and grand strategy in particular, Imperator: Rome will most likely be a PC exclusive.