Grand strategy games often take place during or after World War II. These are some of the best that are available.
Grand strategy games can’t make someone a general on their own, and they can’t go into every conflict’s smaller details. But they can give you enough knowledge and tools to win virtual fights and change the past for some fun. Players might be able to push back the Normans at the Battle of Hastings or save 300 Spartans from the Persians.
That, or stop Hitler, Mussolini, and Imperial Japan before they even get started. These are the best great strategy games about World War 2 that let players channel their inner Patton, Montgomery, or de Gaulle.
Hearts Of Iron 4
The latest game in Paradox Interactive’s famous grand strategy series came out in 2016. The player can choose any country for a single-player or multiplayer campaign. They can begin in 1936, just before the big war, or in 1939, when it starts, and keep going until 1948. Between battles, each side has to run and support its military. This means keeping troops trained, equipment ready, and even business going for civilians.
It’s more than just keeping an eye on the area and using its layout, landmarks, etc. Politics and negotiation are also part of the game. If deals with different countries work out, they can help the player or hurt the enemy. There are also different expansions that focus on different theatres of war (like The Sino-Japanese War) and alternate history (like If Germany won World War 1), with the most recent one coming out in November 2022.
Hearts Of Iron 2: Complete
If players liked Hearts of Iron 4, but thought it was a little too easy, they might like Hearts of Iron 2, which came out before Hearts of Iron 4. It was thought to be so much better than the first game that PC Gamer magazine nominated it for Best RTS of 2005 even though it had been getting bad reviews. The game has the same mix of military organisation, political games, and diplomatic moves as the games that came after it.
The base game goes from 1936 to 1947, but the additions can go further. Doomsday goes from the beginning of the Cold War to 1953, and Iron Cross goes back to 1933. Each expansion added new maps, new countries that could be played, and new features like espionage, more technology, and a lot of new units to use. Even though the game is old, it has a lot to give.
Arsenal Of Democracy
Hearts of Iron 2 and Arsenal of Democracy are pretty much the same game, which is interesting.The game is based on HOI2’s Armageddon expansion and even works with HOI2’s Iron Cross expansion. The difference is that it is easier to organise ships and troops, governments and heads of state, etc., because the menus and options have been simplified.
But the fights are harder and more like real life. For example, the game uses attrition algorithms to show how long military operations can wear down both sides of a war, changing the behaviour of units and other things. It also has reworked features like logistics and supply management that, if players can master them, can make the game easier. If HOI2 was too hard or too hard to figure out, Arsenal of Democracy is a smoother but more difficult option.
Making History: The Calm And The Storm
RTS games about World War II are made by more than just Paradox. Muzzy Lane’s 2007 game became popular as a teaching tool. Newsweek said that 150 schools were using it as part of their World War II curriculum, though it’s hard to say how well it worked or how much it helped. What’s easy to tell is that it’s a good grand strategy game with good controls and options.
The player can choose any country in the war, but the big players in the Axis and Allies get more out of the game. They can pick any situation from 1936 to 1944, which involves a mix of unit combat, managing resources, and diplomacy. The Gold Edition also comes with four add-ons. Rise of the Reich shows how the Nazis came to power in 1933, while Red Revolution Unbound shows how the Soviet Union took over Europe.
Gary Grigsby’s War In The East 2
Most of these games are about the war in the West or the war in the Pacific, with the odd battle from the Eastern front. The entry from 2by3 Games goes one step further by focusing on the war between the Nazis and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945. It has big battles like the start of Operation Barbarossa, the Battle of Stalingrad, and the push to Berlin.
But it also has stories about battles that aren’t as well known, like Operation Typhoon ’41 and the Road to Minsk. Snake Game is better than the first because the AI is better at both defensive and offensive play, the maps are more accurate, movement is easier, and air battle is better. It is the best and most historically true game about the Eastern Front.
Unity Of Command 2
People thought that the first Unity of Command was one of the best strategy games ever made. It was hard to see how a second part could be better. But Unity of Command 2 did it, and reviews from PC Gamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Strategy Gamer, and others were very positive. All because of a few cool new features and changes.
The branching missions let players change the whole war, so no two playthroughs will be the same. The “What If” bonus goals even give you points for going off script. With the expanded Theatre Assets, players can do more damage to their enemies’ buildings, and with the new Fog of War features, players can find where their enemies are hiding by using extra skills or by getting a few unlucky stragglers.