This is part of a YKTTW series on video game combat systems, which will be launched together. See also Turn-Based Combat and Combatant Cooldown System.
A video game expression of Strategy Versus Tactics
, wherein long-term strategic gameplay takes place in turns, while localized tactical engagements occur in real time. Strategy games that implement these modes can be thus classified both as Turn-Based Strategy
and as Real Time Strategy
, but other genres sometimes use the same setup, as well.
Such dualistic gameplay is justified by a large discrepancy between the time scales of strategic and tactical conflicts: strategic decisions play out over months if not years of in-game time, so it is justified to give the player a lot of time to think about them; tactical decisions, in the meantime, are based on the current situation on the battlefield—which changes almost every second, leaving no room for long deliberations.
- This is the trademark style of the Total War series: the strategic gameplay takes place on a "Risk"-Style Map, with the in-game turn duration ranging from a few months to a few years; battles, meanwhile, play out in real time and are usually over before the end of the day.
- The Dawn of War Expansion Packs Dark Crusade and Soulstorm likewise augment the series' core real time combat gameplay with strategic turn-based maneuvers on a "Risk"-Style Map.
- Used in the original Sword of the Stars game. Strategic movements, research, and builds were all turn-based, but tactical battles were done in real time, each battle lasting up to 4 minutes before the battle is ended by the timer. Battles can conclude faster if one side is annihilated, or both sides abandon the fight, but there is always a hard timer for the length of the battles.
- In Project × Zone, all units move in turns and can either choose to attack one unit, multiple units, or use a special supportive ability. Once you choose to fight, it shifts into battle mode where you have to time your attacks well For Massive Damage.
- Campaign mode in Rise of Nations has strategic maneuverings take place on a "Risk"-Style Map, with the various AI nations and player nation operating in turns. However if the player wishes to direct an army in person, the game shifts to a real-time battlefield.
- Space Empires V uses a turn-based system for ship movement, construction, research, etc, with real-time combat occurring if two objects owned by different factions are positioned in the same hex.
- The Global Conquest mode of Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath shows the world like a game board where units can move a certain distance, resources are gathered, and bases are built or upgraded each turn. When enemy forces meet, you have the option of letting the computer simulate a fight, or enter the usual Command & Conquer battlefield and fight it out yourself.
- In Lords of the Realm 2, all the high-level property management is turn-based, but anytime you enter combat, it becomes real-time.
- In Mega Man Battle Network games, the "virus busting" missions take place in two-phase turns: first, you Take Your Time to select your weapons (Battle Chips), then you use them in real time engagements. Weapon selection thus adds a strategic aspect to tactical real time gameplay.
- In Namco × Capcom (the Spiritual Predecessor to Project X Zone), individual units are moved around levels in turns until they attack, at which point the game shifts into action-based, Fighting Game-like combat mode. After the battle is concluded, it goes right back to turn-based.
- In the single-player campaign of Star Fox Command, you control multiple pilots (in addition to Fox) in Turn-Based Strategy fashion, but individual engagements play out in real time.
Will go under Video Game Tropes
and Strategy Game