What is a grand strategy game?

A grand strategy game is a subtitle of the strategy games genre. The main features are warfare, army, diplomacy, internal relations, and detailed economy. These games are more complex than other strategy games because you have to focus on a lot of things and plan your next moves. Moreover, there’s a lot of fun hidden in the details.

They are a big challenge for game developers to create balanced words that will entertain you. In these games you have to be creative and set your own goals. Some of them are based on reality (such as the Second World War or the Middle Ages), but you have to set whether you are going to play as reality or create an alternate history.

Who makes grand strategy games?

Grand strategy games aren’t my favourite genre in the gaming industry. In recent years, only 3 studios have produced GSG.

  • Paradox (Hearts of Iron IV, Crusader Kings III, and more…)
  • BattleGoat Studios (Supreme Ruler, Galaxy Ruler)
  • Firaxis Games (Civilization VI,…)

Yes, you should say where is Ubisoft making the Anno 1800 series, but games like Anno 1800 are not grand strategy. These games are identified as city builder.

Are grand strategy games boring?

You’ll probably have to find your way to these games, they’re a bit more complex than other strategy games… if I had to simplify it that way, then:

  • For players who don’t like strategy games => unfortunately, yes.
  • If you are an experienced strategy games player => No, no, no!

What is the difference between 4X and grand strategy?

Grand strategy games are more nation-centric, empire-growing on a limited playing field where you have a lot of information at the start of the game to focus your resources. 4X strategy games are eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. With these you have to focus more on exploration and expansion.

Yes, the game can be called 4X and grand strategy at the same time. But we can’t say that every 4X game is a grand strategy game. However, there isn’t exactly a defined border between these two.

List of grand strategy games

Ordered from newest:

  • Terra Invicta (announced)
  • Total War: Warhammer 3 (2022)
  • Distant Worlds 2 (2022)
  • Crusader Kings III (2020)
  • Humankind (2020)
  • Field of Glory: Empires (2019)
  • Total War: WARHAMMER II (2017)
  • Stellaris (2016)
  • Civilization VI (2016)
  • Hearts of Iron IV (2016)
  • Europa Universalis IV (2013)

What was the first grand strategy game?

One of the first games that could be called a grand strategy is Geopolitique 1990 from 1983.

This game wasn’t in 3D as the games now. This game was created at an early phase of the gaming industry.

There is a let’s play from YouTube:

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!