Created By: KoverasJanuary 8, 2014 Last Edited By: KoverasJanuary 25, 2014
Troped

Turn-Based Strategy, Real Time Combat

Strategic gameplay takes place in turns, but tactical engagements play out in real time.

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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.

Examples:

Strategy Games
  • 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 X 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 And 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.

Role-Playing Games
  • 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 X 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.

Simulation Games
  • 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.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • January 8, 2014
    kjnoren
    Videogame:

    • 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.
  • January 9, 2014
    DAN004
    Would this count?
    • In Project X 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.
  • January 9, 2014
    StarSword
    Strategy:
    • 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.
  • January 9, 2014
    Koveras
    @DAN 004: I'd say so. Though, now I'm torn between a working title with "Tactics" at the end and "Combat" at the end, since Tactics implies tactical combat, which is not really present is all you do is time your attacks...

    @StarSword: Thank you, that's a good one!
  • January 12, 2014
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Project X Zone is the Spiritual Successor to Namco X Capcom, which uses a similar system.
  • January 19, 2014
    Astaroth
    • 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.
  • January 19, 2014
    Tallens
    • The Global Conquest mode of 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.
  • January 19, 2014
    StarSword
    Tweaked a pothole.
  • January 19, 2014
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Star Fox Command levels play out like this, so you get to control multiple pilots in single player instead of just Fox.
  • January 21, 2014
    Koveras
  • January 22, 2014
    Koveras
  • January 23, 2014
    Koveras
  • January 24, 2014
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Just edit the description without adding anything. That sends your pitch to the top.
  • January 24, 2014
    Koveras
    I did that, for about a week before—to no effect. It's only when I started posting meaningless comments that people started paying attention...

    Oh, now that I have five hats here, I have a request to all the fellow tropers who hatted it. :) Can you please review its sister YKTT Ws, Turn-Based Combat and Combatant Cooldown System, as well? I would very much like to launch them together... Thank you.
  • January 24, 2014
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Not working (especially now that you admitted it). A week? I've waited months, a year even for some of these to get off You Know That Thing Where, and I would not even call myself a patient person.
  • January 24, 2014
    frosty
    I believe I mentioned Lords Of The Realm 2 in one of your other YKTT Ws, but it probably fits better here.
  • January 25, 2014
    Koveras
    ^^ Well, I did get the last hat this way on this one. Patience does it. :)

    ^ Yup, you did. Sorry for missing that one, adding it now...

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable