Wargames were the first type of tactical game to be developed, sometimes based on even older tabletop games back before personal computers. Wargames attempt to be as historically accurate as possible, with many combat variables, hundreds of historically accurate military units, and real life nations. Wargames are sometimes played at the operational level with battalions and groups instead of individual units, such as The Operational Art of War
, which most resembles the old tabletop games.
Most recognizable Wargame examples in NA:
Panzer General Daisenryaku
A tactical level Wargame with reduced strategic depth compared to full fledged wargame titles. The wargame-lite usually replaces the hundreds of historically accurate units and nations with a handful of generic units and fictional nations or factions. Most wargame-lite titles add unrealistic or abstract combat systems that separate them from traditional wargames. Wargames and wargame-lite games rarely have any kind of repetitive grinding or easy to abuse combat systems, making them a better indicator of tactical skill.
Most recognizable Wargame-lite examples in NA:
Advance Wars Military Madness
Simulation RPG or Strategy RPG (SRPG):
SRPGs primarily come from Japanese developers, and they are usually fantasy based with living creatures instead of military machinery. They typically take the standard RPG format and place it on a grid with more units. While some titles attempt to make legitimate challenges that can't be mitigated through grinding, save/load abuse, etc., the large majority of SRPGs simply use the grid based format as an excuse to tell yet another generic RPG tale. There's little point to playing most SRPGs unless you're interested in the plot and characters.
Most recognizable SRPG examples in NA:
Final Fantasy Tactics Shining Force Front Mission Fire Emblem Super Robot Taisen/Wars
A tactical game that contains a sizable amount of strategic depth by the way of gimmicks and combat systems, yet rarely requires the player to utilize it to solve a challenge. Instead the player is allowed to develop whatever strategies they want and almost always win, provided their numbers are big enough. Usually involves copious amounts of repetitive forced grinding and a focus on abstract numbers instead of strategy. This type of game usually feels like messing around with an obscured graphing calculator instead of playing a strategic chess-like game. These generally require the least amount of skill and the most amount of patience out of any type of tactical level turn based game. Almost always features fanservice for the ronery crowd.
Most recognizable Sandbox examples in NA:
and other NIS titles
Record of Agarest War
and other Idea Factory titles