Tactical WWII Games

Real-time strategy and real-time tactics are two of the most engaging and challenging branches of what has become an entire genre of WWII titles. Though there have been some average and unspectacular releases over the years, this review page wishes to instead look at the cream of the crop when it comes to the tactical World War II games out there. Existing fans of the genre will know what’s coming – Company of Heroes, Hearts of Iron, and Men of War are all staples that won’t be simply brushed over – but newcomers could potentially discover or indeed rediscover the greatness of the historical games that centre of one of the most tumultuous periods of recent history.

  • Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor

    Tactical WWII Games

    Company of Heroes is a name that carries with it a solid reputation for WWII real-time strategy, and Tales of Valor is intended as a standalone expansion to the series. On the plus side, it delivers more content in the form of three single-player campaigns (each comprised of three mini-missions of sorts), some tweaks to the gameplay mechanics, and also three additional multiplayer modes, each with a slightly different focus on different gameplay elements.

    However, if you’re expecting action to match that of its predecessors, Tales of Valor doesn’t quite deliver on the same level. The graphics and interface are still exemplary, but the content just isn’t there, even if there’s more single-player action than the latest offering, CoH 2: British Forces. Still, Company of Heroes on a bad day still trumps most RTS offerings on their best days, so its place here is more than justified. Read our Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Review here.

  • Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game

    Tactical WWII Games

    The scope of Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game is simply mind-boggling. Its grand-strategy purview reaches all the way to the outbreak of the cold war from behind the blemish of history that was the Great War. Its grand-strategy approach also means you’re able to assume control of one of around two hundred nations, dealing with everything from politics and international relations to resource management and conflict on the ground.

    The technology tree alone is somewhat of a daunting beast, so it’s safe to say this one’s not for casual gamers. This game is rather for those who find other real-time strategies to shallow in their dealings or indeed too easy to complete. It sadly doesn’t have the dynamic animations of the Latest Hearts of Iron, but in terms of sheer functionality and scope it trumps all other world war 2 games in this genre. Read our Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game Review here.

  • Men of War: Assault Squad

    Tactical WWII Games

    This is the second expansion of the classic Men of War series, bringing with it Company of Heroes-style gameplay with squad-based tactics and a real sense of immersion in the subject matter. The main bulk of new content here is the sublime Skirmish Mode, which allows you to play through tactical assaults in many of the iconic WWII battles, all whilst offering the player an opportunity to play as one of the  five main perpetrators of WWII. The 15 missions provide more content than Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, and the enhances multiplayer mode also earns it a sport on this list. Read our Men of War Assault Squad Review here.

  • Faces of War

    Tactical WWII Games

    This game follows on from Soldiers: Heroes of World War II in its presentation, style, and gameplay. Its gameplay involves leading a small squad of infantrymen and vehicles from the Soviet, German, and Western perspectives, resulting in what are in practice some long, drawn-out battles. You get to cooperate with the AI’s units in this game when you didn’t in its predecessor, though the emphasis here is on the larger battle rather than the micro-level strategy. The game suffers a little from some shaky AI, but the graphics are sublime and the gameplay as engaging as any other game of the genre. Read our Faces of War Review here.

  • Blitzkrieg 2 Anthology

    Tactical WWII Games

    Anthology brings together the original Blitzkrieg 2 with the two expansion packs that succeeded it. There are five campaigns to engage with, and the absence of resource management will please those looking for a purely tactics-based approach to WWII battles. The massive selection of units definitely weighs in this game’s favour, but some fans have slated its arcade-depth approach when compared to Blitzkrieg 1. These issues are sure to be resolved in the formidable-looking Blitzkrieg 3, however. Read our Blitzkrieg 2 Anthology Review here.

  • Order of Battle: Pacific

    Tactical WWII Games

    If you can get past the relatively slow-moving pace of Slitherine’s Order of Battle: Pacific, there is some serious real-time strategy gameplay to be experience here. Inspired in no small way by Panzer General-style gameplay, Pacific manages to keep you engaged through a mixture of its stunning visuals (including dynamic and well-designed animations) as well as its innovative supply mechanics during land battles. There’s a decent emphasis on the naval elements as well (it’s the Pacific, after all) with a healthy variety of units to choose from and specialisations for which you can strive.

    However, the highlight of the action is the alternative-history (or “What if?”) campaign involving an Australian invasion at the tail end of the Japanese campaign, which is nothing short of sublime. Read our Order of Battle: Pacific Review here.