The Lazygamer Awards 2016 – Best Strategy Game

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gotystrat

Some games require cat-like reflexes while others are more about your mental agility. Whether you are agonizing over every decision before ending your turn, or deciding whether to make peace or war, this category is all about strategic thinking. One of the earliest types of games created, strategy games are still going strong with some remarkable releases in 2016. It was a good year to be a tactical gamer, but one game had the best strategy for success.

Civilization VI

Civ vi

With a totally revamped approach to diplomacy, as well as unpacked cities featuring districts, Civilization VI feels like a completely new title. Sure, it still fits with the franchise, but it offers such unique gameplay that you will need to take over the world all over again in myriad new ways.

Research and civics were also expanded in Civ VI, with cross influences and boosts aplenty. This makes the game feel much more realistic, and ever more strategic. Want to improve your war mongering? Not only can you research specific technologies, but you can also do train troops and in so doing learn new civics which then speed up your research. It’s all interlinked and promotes smart gameplay.

Above all else, Civilization VI is a polished, sleek experience that is welcoming to new comers while still posing significant challenges for franchise veterans. If you are a fan of strategy games, there’s really no excuse for not owning Civilization VI.

Runner Up

Fire Emblem Fates

Fire emblem fates

Fire Emblem does something that is always intriguing in strategy games – making you care about the characters involved. Build your characters up, help them develop friendships and romance with other characters in order to boost their performance on the battlefield, then watch them make babies together who also fight in your army, and then die because you made one small mistake and are playing with permadeath. It isn’t just a battle, it’s a potentially game altering and devastating encounter.

This year, Fire Emblem was divided into three games, each offering a different approach to the game. Whether you wanted the entry level experience of Birthright, or the ridiculously difficult Conquest, there is something for all levels of strategic player in Fire Emblem Fates. If you’ve never played Fire Emblem before, or you’re a diehard fan, Fates is enough of a primer on the franchise while still going deep into new kinds of terrain and bloodline-based tactics.

Honourable mentions

Total War: Warhammer

Total war warhammer 1

The best possible marriage of two franchises, Total War: Warhammer finally let you build your amazing Warhammer army in an online game that could do it justice. Send your greenskins against the dwarves in lore-filled battles, with all the gaming credibility and strategic nuance of a Total War game. The best of both worlds, we can only hope that this game’s success leads to a similar title for all the Warhammer 40 000 fans.

XCOM 2

Xcom 2 dlc alien hunters 5

PC gamers have already played this title to death, but this year the console gamers finally got to embrace their strategic sides. Taking on the role of the underdog in the fight against the aliens changed the whole dynamic of gameplay. But still, we all know that the only was to be successful is to never let any of your squadmates die, right?

Battlefleet Gothic Armada

Battlefleet gothic armada

While not quite the Warhammer 40k game we were hoping for, this one is certainly worthwhile. A fantastic micromanagement heavy “naval” skirmish game, it’s got enough Warhammer 40k flavor to keep fans happy. Plus, it has huge guns and a strong multiplayer component. What more could you want?

Last Updated: December 13, 2016

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I want all 3 honourable mentions. The Warhammers can wait though, they’re still releasing DLC.

    • Captain JJ

      Dat XCom

    • Captain JJ

      I haven’t read great things about Battlefleet, so I’m a bit careful with that one.

    • Original Heretic

      I just wish I had a PC that could run them….

      • Lu

        Because my pc can run them I can’t afford them anymore 🙁

        • Original Heretic

          Ah, but then all you need is patience. If you PC can run them now, it’ll always be able to run them. And in due time, they will come down in price. Thus is the nature of the game.

          • Lu

            Yeah the only triple A I’ve bought on release in the last 4 years was Fallout 4 (which ironically I couldn’t run). Plus if I wait I’ll snag the Gold edition for peanuts so there’s that.

          • Original Heretic

            I actually broke my own rule and pre-ordered Fallout 4. Yeah, I enjoyed, but it just didn’t have the staying power that 3 did.

          • Lu

            Unfortunately no it didn’t. I skipped all the dlc because the prices are insane. But I did play through it twice, once vanilla and one modded to be as pretty and immersive as possible. So worth the 500 bucks I rate.

  • Guild

    Ok a bit surprised here that XCom 2 didn’t take it and only got an honorable mention

    • Admiral Chief Argonian

      ^This

  • Captain JJ

    I know myself too well to buy Civ.

    • Zoe Hawkins

      oh c’mon. i’m sure you have a few hundred hours to lose 😛

      • Captain JJ

        XD
        I so badly want it. This isn’t helping!

  • Lu

    Total Warhammer 40K would effectively make me a basement dweller…..

  • Captain JJ

    I would only add The Banner Saga 2 on this list. What an excellent series.

  • Bruce Bielie

    Last strategy game I played was Command and Conquer. On the Sega Saturn…

    • Viper_ZA

      You missed out on a few stellar titles 😛

      • Bruce Bielie

        I’ve no doubt. Sadly my brain cannot keep up with the requirements for a strategy game. If war ever breaks out and I am the general in charge, let’s just say we are all buggered to Oblivion.

  • Admiral Chief Argonian

    XCOM!

  • HvR

    “there’s really no excuse for not owning Civilization VI”

    R1000

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