10 Best Indie Strategy Games

10 Best Indie Strategy Games

Strategy games are one of the oldest genres, taking heavy influence from tabletop tactics games and their turn-based nature before the advent of real-time strategy in video games. Although some of the biggest companies used to release strategy games plenty in the past, nowadays, that duty has fallen almost exclusively on smaller, independent teams.

This topic will cover a broad variety of strategy games, including both turn-based tactics games and RTS games alike, developed and released by indie developers and publishers. These games vary in their style and gameplay, so there’s plenty to like for all kinds of strategy fans.

10 Bad North

Bad North image

This minimalist real-time strategy game follows the roguelite formula and uses procedural generation to generate small islands for players to defend from groups of Vikings with different troops. The game aims to create simple but strategic gameplay with minimalist micromanagement that involves players positioning their formations of troops and letting the AI take care of the navigation and engagements.

Bad North is more focused on broad tactics than real-time strategy, but its charming, tranquil art style and accessible approach, along with its roguelite structure, make it a great game for beginners and hardcore tactics fans that want something a little less involved.

9 NEBULOUS: Fleet Command

Nebulous Fleet Command combat in asteroid field

For fans of The Expanse, NEBULOUS: Fleet Command is a dream come true. The game is clearly influenced by the aesthetic of the show and the naval-inspired combat that takes place in it. NEBULOUS: Fleet Command manages to capture the slow-burning intensity of space combat in The Expanse and put players at the helm.

The game gives players command of customizable warships, a radar, and intricate 3D movement controls and tasks them with outsmarting and outmaneuvering their opponents in 3D space. The game is simulation-heavy, and although it takes place in real-time, the game is heavily focused on tactical movements. NEBULOUS: Fleet Command is a truly unique game, and arguably provides one of the strongest space combat experiences on the market.

8 For The King

 For The King roguelike game poster

This turn-based strategy game mixes things up by throwing in RPG and roguelite elements to create a challenging, long-form experience. For The King procedurally generates its maps and various loot and quests, making the game highly replayable, and the game can even be played in both local and online co-op.

For The King has players maneuvering around a tabletop-style over-world to defend the land from various creatures. The game’s combat also takes inspiration from board games, using a unique dice system that blends a hefty amount of RNG into the tactics. For some, the RNG might get in the way of making this a great game, but it adds a level of unpredictability to the combat that some might find entertaining. Furthermore, the game’s combat uses a slot system that allows players to turn the dice in their favor. In a sense, this blend of tactics and RNG plays out much like XCOM.

7 Hero’s Hour

Hero's Hour

Combining turn-based strategy with real-time combat and RPG elements, Hero’s Hour aims to be an accessible but deep strategic experience with plenty of content to keep players interested.

In the game, players will explore an over-world and build up an army in turn-based gameplay, giving players plenty of time to plot out their moves, but the combat takes place in real time, during which the player’s army fights automatically. Players can cast spells and give orders, adding a layer of strategy that prevents combat from being pure RNG and/or numbers-based, but some battles may not require any player input, making the game very tactics-heavy but extremely accessible.

6 Wargroove

Image of Wargroovce Mission With Sigrid

Heavily reminiscent of Advance Wars, Wargroove is a turn-based war game taking place on small maps where up to four players are tasked with battling over strategic locations with a unique combat system that focuses on countering enemy armies with different strategies and higher numbers.

Wargroove features twelve different commanders that have their playstyles, four different factions, and a campaign mode. The game also has in-game editors that allow players to create custom maps, cutscenes, and even their own campaigns, making it one of the most replayable strategy games out at the moment.

5 They Are Billions

city in They Are Billions

Set on a post-apocalyptic planet after a zombie apocalypse annihilated most of humanity, They Are Billions tasks players with building and defending a colony in a Steampunk setting and defending it against hordes of zombies with static defenses and units controlled in real-time.

The game is a unique blend between base-building and real-time strategy and even lets players pause the game to figure out their next move, adding a layer of tactics to the gameplay as well. They Are Billions features a 48-mission campaign, as well as a Survival Mode that follows a more rogue-like structure with a randomly generated world in which players must keep their colony alive for a specific period of time.

4 Tooth And Tail

0_0000_Tooth and Tail

Anthropomorphized creatures lead the charge in this indie RTS focused on tight 5-12 minute matches with controls optimized for the gamepad (a feature uncommon in RTS games), aimed at both veterans and newcomers to the RTS genre.

Tooth and Tail has players select a roster of units before the start of a match that determines which units they will be able to deploy during the game, adding a level of tactics and experimentation to the gameplay. Once in a match, players will spend their time rallying their troops to take control of various Mills that provide resources. The game is extremely easy to pick up and play, due to its low levels of micromanagement, but has a lot of room for strategic decisions.

3 Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers

Fans of Mount And Blade: Warband looking for a smaller-scale, tabletop-like strategy experience should look no further than Battle Brothers. Even without its extensive, well-received DLC, Battle Brothers provides a plethora of content in its procedurally generated open world, where players are tasked with leading a group of up to 12 mercenaries in various battles.

The game has players taking on contracts, managing their reputations with various factions, and eventually dealing with an end-game crisis as they try to retire their company in good standing. The game is extremely customizable and has room for several different strategies, making this the perfect game for players looking to sink their teeth into something a bit deeper. Players should be warned, however, that the game can be quite difficult, as characters can permanently die, and should the entire troop perish, it’s game over.

2 Northgard

A small river-side town in Northgard

Northgard plays like a more traditional RTS game compared to other games previously mentioned. This Norse-themed strategy game has players building settlements and assigning jobs to gather resources and expand their territory. The game plays out almost like a round of Civilization, but its gameplay is also reminiscent of classic RTS games like Warcraft 3.

Northgard features plenty of resource management and is focused more on broad strategic decisions and base-building than micromanagement-heavy combat. There are plenty of factions to choose from in Northgard, leaving room for experimentation and replayability, although some factions are unlocked through paid DLC. The game also features a Story Mode as well as online play.

1 Into The Breach

Into the Breach grid warfare in rocky desert isometric setting

From the minds of the developers that gave players the modern classic FTL: Faster Than Light, Into The Breach is a turn-based tactics game in which players take control of a squad of mechs with various abilities, defending cities from giant bugs. Players can also level up their mech pilots and equip their mechs with various equipment to customize their squad in various ways.

Into The Breach follows a roguelike structure, and there are several different mech squads to unlock and play as, adding plenty of replayability to the game. But the most unique part of Into The Breach’s gameplay is the way it telegraphs information to the player. In the game, all the information the player needs is given to them, including every enemy’s intent and the order in which those intents will play out when the player ends their turn. This information allows players to puzzle out every move to ensure they play tactically and efficiently.

MORE: Grand Strategy Games That Are Good For Beginners

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