Help me Clear an RTS out of my Backlog

Having kicked a minor WoW addiction, it’s time to address my backlog problem with something more engaging. Of these RTSs, what should I play?

Age of Mythology
World in Conflict
Dawn of War 2: Retribution
Total War: Shogun 2
Wargame, European Escalation

or buy the Starcraft 2 expansion or Air-Land battle?

I’ll vote Shogun 2, although it’s not the current hotness.

Thanks, definitely the front-runner. I suppose I should throw Halo Wars into the mix, too.

Of the above games that you already own, I enjoyed Retribution by far the most (though I played it coop). Enough to finish all six campaigns even though they’re largely reskins of one another. Heart of the Swarm’s campaign is also really good as scripted non-skirmish campaigns go.

For a pure RTS, Starcraft 2 is hard to beat. Modern graphics, high polish. DoW2:Ret is a good game, but isn’t the ‘same’ kind of RTS (if that matters).

Personally, I think anyone who likes RTS games but has yet to play World in Conflict really ought to do so. Its campaign is excellent. Age of Mythology was also quite good, but is a bit more standard fare than WiC. Shogun 2 is the best recent Total War game, and if that’s the sort of game you’re looking for then go for it.

I’m going to vote against Retribution because I frankly didn’t find it all that interesting or engaging. I’m also going to vote against Wargame: EE as the campaign is nigh unplayable after all the balance changes leveled against the game over its year-long lifespan. Those changes carry over to the campaign and its balance is ruined at this point.

Depends entirely on whether you are playing solo or against real human opponents.

Great point

Judging from the presence of AoM and Shogun on the list, I assumed it was single player. They can be played multiplayer but would be prohibitive for several reasons.

In the event this is for multiplayer, then you can try DoW: Retribution or you can buy AirLand Battle or Heart of the Swarm. The others are all effectively non-starters.

I’d throw out AOM and Wargame EE. If you want high spectacle low strategy, try either Retribution or World in Conflicts campaigns. (I prefer the latter). Play the shit out of Shogun 2. Buy Airland battle when it’s on sale and you’re really sure you want to take the time to learn it.

Thanks. I think I’m resigned to single-player, even though I’m suffering with some ennui that single-player gaming is wasting my life. I’m just not good at RTSs, and I am terrified of screwing up in multiplayer. So while I’d like to play against or with actual humans, it’s not likely to end well. Shogun 2 it is (I’ve never played any of the Total War games), as soon as I uninstall WoW from my SSD.

AirLand Battle is the best game on that list by a large margin, IMO.

True, but shogun is not to be left alone either. shogun is also a mite more accessible and less multiplayer-oriented.

This sounds good to me. Be careful with Retribution. If you think you want to play the campaign multiple times with different races, consider avoiding it entirely. It’s very repetitive. I regret putting so much time into it.

Shogun 2 has a similar risk but at least there will be more variety to the campaigns.

World in Conflict is the safest. Play the short campaign and you’re done forever.

Just in case you would consider increasing your backlog, Red Alert 3 is on the Steam summer sale. I plan on picking it up at the end of the sale if it doesn’t come out at a lower price at some point.

I believe you’re looking for the asylum down the hall where all the addicts are encouraging each other.

I find it hard to believe you don’t have anything better to play than Red Alert 3.

I have not played RA: 3, so I do not know if it is any good or not. It has decent meta-critic reviews and I did like the other two RA games. If it is cheap and on sale, why not pick it up? I may not be playing it any time soon, but sooner or later I might be in the mood to play it.


I’ve personally done this since the first humble bundle and the first strategy pack (Gratuitous space battle (Hi Cliff), Solium Infernum (Hi Vic), one more I forget) 3 years ago, I still haven’t played any of them. DON’T BUY IT FIRST You will never play them!

My steam + gog + humble backlog beckons me away from this statement…

On the Wargame games, Airland battle quite completely renders European Escalation obsolete.

I would disagree with this. AirLand Battle is technically the better game, but it just completely dumps the entire game on you, all at once. Don’t know the difference between a BMP-1, a BMP-2, and a Leopard IA2? Tough shit! European Escalation starts you small – a limited selection of units and small scenarios. As in, here, here’s four tanks, and here’s how you fight with them. Here’s a recon unit. Now, here’s a supply unit. And so on. By the time you’ve completed the first set of scenarios, you’re ready for EE’s next set of scenarios, a harshly-punishing Pact campaign that teaches you (the hard way) on how to get your shit together with aircraft, infantry assaults, and why your forces must be mixed.

Then I figure ALB is worth a try – you know the drill and are ready to for it.