If you enjoy the game of chess and have risen to anything above a novice, your ability to strategise will have grown in leaps and bounds. This is part of the appeal of chess; the tactics behind your moves and getting your cogs turning becomes pleasurable as you try to outsmart your opponent. Not only will you have your own plan set for several moves down the line, but you will be anticipating the moves of whoever you are facing. Pulling this off correctly requires a particular kind of wit, but its not just chess that this play style is adapted to.
Enter the world of turn-based strategies, a genre which although remains to pull in the same crowd as the big titles like FIFA and Call of Duty for obvious reasons, is still progressing and has a large pool of dedicated fans. What video games have essentially done with chess is add more variables. Character classes, open and varied terrain, extensive combinations of weapons among several other elements contribute to a richer palette of options and deeper more complex methods of strategy. Here is a selection of recent titles that chess players should find it easy to migrate their strategic brains over to with little resistance.
Total War: Warhammer (Pc & Mac) – You may be privy to the massively renowned turn-based tabletop phenomenon that is Warhammer. This hobbyist game has you buy, construct, paint and battle your armies against one another. The Games Workshop brand has had various virtual spin offs, but few translate as closely to chess as this one. In Total War: Warhammer you begin by choosing from one of the fantasy races Greenskins, Dwarfs, Vampire Counts or Humans. From here you will oversee a large army that you must develop into a deadly force, fighting back constantly against the other races. On top of the huge battles you will need to create structures and manage your army, upgrading to fiercer units or promoting veteran characters.
The Lords or Heroes element allows specialised characters to receive certain perks that increase their efficiency on the battlefield allowing them to become a reckoning force all on their own, if managed correctly. The entire game is a mix of turn-based tactical play and real time skirmishes. What makes the game feel so good is the sheer scale. You can watch hundreds of individual units slog it out onscreen all at once, and unlike many satellite style viewpoints on other strategies, Total War allows you to really see the action up close, sometimes from a first-person perspective. If you enjoy the mad characters of the Warhammer brand like the muscle-bound but thick-skulled Orcs, or the deplorable and twisted Chaos, you can’t go wrong. For anyone else who enjoys the styling of fantasy or just a good battle, Total War: Warhammer is no doubt a great fit for you too, it’s fun and action packed but still relies on tactical thinking at its backbone.