Real-Time Strategy all purpose discussion thread


I totally own them both on GOG, I’ll have to load 'em up and see how they hold up.


Hey, this seems like a good thread to ask this question:

Which of these would I like the most: Northgard or Frostpunk??

I keep going around and around on whether either, both, or neither of these games are for me. Let me give you my RTS/city-builder profile:

Impressions City Builders
Anno Series
Age of Empires 2 (campaign)
Settlers 7
Kingdom: New Lands

Big building projects (e,g., cathedrals and pyramids)
Slow, calm, meditative pacing
Interesting but not convoluted resource chains
A touch of story mixed with the strategy
Boardgamey mechanics

Fielding huge armies
Grimdark futures
Survival death-spirals
Obscure systems

Does any of that add up to match one or the other of these games?


Although they’ve both got colony/city management elements,
Northgard is an RTS and Frostpunk is a survival game. I prefer Northgard for its flexibility, pace, and long-term replayability. Based on your preferences above, Northgard is definitely the game for you.

Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulator is better than either of them*. JASS!


* I’m actually not kidding. Much.


I would prefer Frostpunk and Northgard over JASS.



Frostpunk is thematically very much on the dark side. And, more important, once you did it wrong it’s game over. There is no coming back. At least I was sentenced to death/banned after an hour or so. Had to restart. I was not expecting this.

Northgard: There is not much to build/building is very specific. Like Starcraft. Build the right things at the right time. Everything else you mentioned should fit. It really is far away from Impressions’s games, Anno and Tropico. Not too far from Settlers 7.

Regarding Tom’s recommendation: It’s better than it looks and there is lots to build/building is meaningful. There is story. Production chains are kind of there and it is not overly obscure. Combat/defending mechanics are alright. (you can pause, if I remember correctly). Survival was not that hard. It’s a bit dark, not grimdark. It might fit for the slow-paced-build-your-own-little-empire-experience incl. combat and resource management.

To answer you question:
+1 for Northgard.


“Survival death-spirals” : while it seems Northgard will be more in your alley, be careful with this point, as it’s also possible to fall into this state in the game.


Unquestionably Northgard, although it does have survival death spirals of a sort.

It doesn’t really have grand projects though. It has equivalents, but they don’t have anything like the resonance of an Anno or Impressions style grand project.

As Tom says, it’s an RTS, not a citybuilder. But it feels more like Settlers 7 than any RTS.


I can’t help but feel like I just read an unusual Playboy bio sheet.

I haven’t played Frostpunk yet, but from what I know about it I’d cast a vote for Northgard too.


Well thanks a lot. Now I wish I’d bought the game when it was on sale (Northgard) and I have to sit around waiting for it to go back on sale again. Bah!


What is the secret to not starving to death once you reach a certain size in Northgard? You need more food than wood, but you can harvest wood anywhere whereas food can only be done on certain territories with the special resources. I’ve been having to save stone exclusively to upgrade my food production buildings and accompanying silos. Most iron also goes to upgrading the tools of the food producers.

Is the secret to just not grow? Build a ton of trading posts to make tons of gold and buy most of your food?


I can’t give specific hints as I played it already many months ago (when it was released), I don’t remember to that detail, but I remember the key was to control your pace: expanding too fast can result on unexpected food shortages as you grow too much before your economy is ready to support it, and expanding too slow can result not getting the needed resources to survive winter, nor getting the upgrades you need to get surplus food, very needed for when the initial happiness bonus disappear. You have to move on the knife’s edge in that sense. And what’s the correct pace then? Well, it varies! Random maps with random provinces and random factors means you can’t memorize a simple optimized build order.


Is the only penalty to <0 happiness that your population stops growing?



Has anyone heard any news about whatever the rts project is Chris Taylor is working on?


Meant to post this on Thursday. Not sure how legit. I’m having trouble unpacking the game myself.


Er…Dark Reign is sold on GOG.


What I was reading on the gog forums was that it won’t work on later windows releases unless you use on the of the fan patches. Haven’t tried it myself.


That it’s still being sold is indicative that you can’t get it for free legally, but it happens now and then.
This case is weird, Activision doesn’t care that it’s been available online in the same fan site for at least 10 years, I can see how people would assume they relinquished protection.


Just tried it, ran fine on Win 10, albeit in a weird 4x3 thing with black bars on the side, but it worked fine.


Dark Reign had really excellent AI.

I thought it was a great game. Really clever.