4 X Recommendation, Please

Seriously, for your own good, stop thinking that. It’s frequently untrue. Hell, sometimes the sequel isn’t even made by the same people, and even when it is it’s always possible for a sequel to go off the rails. SotS is certainly one example of this, Guild Wars is another, the Cvilization series has its ups and downs, the more recent Mass Effect games are weaker than earlier ones etc. etc. I could sit here all day listing examples.


Thanks for the heads up. Looks cool.

Somewhere in my head I know this, yet I always fall victim to it. I think it is a defense mechanism because I already have an infinite backlog, and adding stuff from 2010 isn’t not the solution.

Thankfully SOTS and its expansions came out in 2006-08, so you’re safe!


@Bobtree listed this game in another Little Indy Games Worth Knowing About (I am not sure how to link to another thread).

Yes Discourse I do want to continue this old conversation.

Though I’m not sure I am looking for a 4x game.

What I am looking for is a game that approaches the Norse invasions of the British Isles as I understand them from Cornwell’s The Saxon Tales. Where you play as the Danes, landing in force, having to move fast and take territory to build your reputation in order to attract more warriors to your cause before the Saxons organize an overwhelming response?

Definitely not a Baldur’s Gate-like experience ala Expeditions:Viking.

Maybe the Crusader Kings II dlc The Old Gods is as close as I can get.

But is there a Total War game/DLC/Mod that approaches this kind of game? Or some other game folks could recommend?

That description really reminded me of how much I loved Bandit Kings of Ancient China 30ish years ago. :)

EDIT: Omg it’s on Steam! Time for a nostalgia trip this weekend. Sorry this may not be of any help to you but thanks for your post, hah! Of course, may but be too helpful to me either since Steam doesn’t have the English translation. I wonder if I could still play it…

Glad to be of service, though there goes your weekend.

It appears there is no English translation for this?

Yeah, doesn’t look like it which is a bummer. It has a lot of the components you were talking about. You start out as a bandit and need to game fame to attract more heroes with the goal of stopping the corrupt minister Gaoqui and the downfall of the Song dynasty. Meanwhile you’re racing against the clock as the Mongols are coming.

Yes, there is a Total War game, Britannia:

Have you played it @Grifman? The Steam reviews are a bit mixed, FWIW but it looks like a better alternative to Medieval: Total War – Viking Invasion Expansion which looks pretty old.

I would watch some let’s plays. Sometimes I don’t get the negativity for some titles on Steam. I didn’t know Thrones of Britannia existed until now, but it looks like this could be something I am interested in… waiting for a sale!

There was a TMA episode, they weren’t too keen on it:

There are three Total War Viking invasions: one expansion campaign for Medieval Total War - which honestly might be the purest and best abstractly but too old to recommend and probably plays pretty poorly now -, Thrones of Britannia, and part of the Charlemagne expansion for Attila Total War.

None of the recent ones are perfect - clearly, Thrones is the “best” one because it’s literally set in that period, but imo, the map is way too large and there are just too many random, piddly factions, and you start kind of at the tail end of the first Viking period, with the Danelaw already established in 878. I just want Vikings vs. Heptarchy, and instead i’m fighting against Meade and Strathclyde and Vesafjodur and whatever random factions they’ve conjured up to flesh out a way too large map. The Charlemagne expansion has a mechanic for a Danish invasion of England, but here it’s the reverse, much too small, just a corner of the campaign map going on with a lot of other things to the south that you can’t completely ignore. It does have a few trigger mechanics for the Danish invasion, but is basically just “send troops from Denmark across the sea to England”. OTOH, i like the historic battles from Attila the best.

Crusader Kings 2 probably has the best “4X” style Viking invasion but like CK2 is *(imo) too full of random mechanics and a bunch of dynastic stuff that might be too top heavy for you (also the actual warfare is pretty unsatisfying compared to Total War). I’m pretty sure there were some custom scenarios in Age of Empires 2 and some of the Civilization games for Viking invasions.

I rather liked TOB and thought the treatment it got at launch a bit overly harsh.

I mean basically my complaint about Thrones is literally just the map. Cut the map into 1/4 the size and cull at least half the factions and it would be perfect. Instead you feel marooned on one side of the map, with the antipode basically Terra Incognita and nearly impossible to reach until the late game. It ruins the sense of “Britannia”.

IE, basically, if you start on Ireland you might well just finish the game on Ireland, as if the rest of the British Isles was a province too far.

Honestly the game that sounds best like what @orald is looking for is a board game, 878 Vikings. Unfortunately there is no solo gameplay. It has a pushback mechanic where the Vikings lose momentum as they push into England and the English factions’ fyrd and various other systems get stronger as time goes on.

I could swear there was a mod or scenario for Total War Attila/Charlemagne that was more British Isles focused and better for Viking stuff but I can’t remember it now…

No, sorry, I haven’t. That said, when I see a game that I am interested with mixed scores, I usually look at some of the negative and positive reviews in detail. Sometime the things that people like/dislike have no relevance to me. I also watch some “let’s play’s” to get a good idea of how the game plays.