The Strategy Gamer’s Guide to the Steam Halloween Sale 2018

By Joe Robinson 30 Oct 2018 0

It’s a short one, but Steam have unleashed yet another big sales event upon an unsuspecting PC population. As of October 29th, running through till November 1st, you’ll be able to pick up a range of games on the cheap (or at least, at a discount rate) to pad out the library of games you’re never going to play.

Unlike the big seasonal events though, not everyone is getting involved and not everything you may want is discounted. We’ve gone through some of our more popular strategy picks and are here to give you a quick stop guide as to what’s discounted and more importantly, whether we think games are likely to be cheaper during the big Winter sale that's still to come.

Best 4X Games

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Only three of our top 4X picks are discounted today:

Slitherine’s Distant Worlds: Universe is 25% off – it’s a very rich, deep space 4X game that’s not that easy to learn, and even more difficult to master. Highly recommended for those looking to up their galaxy dominating game though.

  • This game is likely to be cheaper in the next big seasonal sale.

Paradox Interactive’s Stellaris is enjoying a huge discount and is fresh off the announced of a new premium expansion called Megacorps. The Base game is 60% off while the expansions range from 25 – 60% discounts.

  • Make sure you check our DLC guide so you know what you’re buying.
  • This game is not likely to be any cheaper in the next big seasonal sale, although DLC prices may change.

Triumph Studios’ Age of Wonders III is practically being given away with both the base game being sold at a 75% discount, and the complete collection at 66% discount. Triumph is now owned by Paradox Interactive and are working on the very exciting Age of Wonders: Planetfall. The fantasy-themed AoW3 though is still a great game in its own right, and well worth picking up if you’re looking for a decent Civilization alternative.

  •  This game is not likely to be any cheaper in the next big seasonal sale.

Turn-Based Strategy Games

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There are five games from our top TBS picks discounted during this sale:

The recently released Phantom Doctrine (Review) is 25% off, it’s cheapest price since the game launched in August. It’s XCOM meets the Cold War, and while it was a bit divisive at launch the devs have been working hard to fix the major issues, and so far, it’s proving to be a great tactical spy romp.

  • The game is likely to be as cheap in the next big seasonal event, but not sure if it’ll be any cheaper given how new it is.

Turn-based mech game BATTLETECH (Review), created by the legendary Harebrained Schemes (now also owned by Paradox), is enjoying a respectable 30% discount for the first time. It’s an excellent tactical experience with a rich RPG/Management layer on top, and well worth your time.

  • This game is unlikely to be cheaper in the next seasonal sale, but it will probably be discounted at the same rate.
  • The upcoming Flashpoint expansion will probably also have been released by then. It’s currently 10% off as a pre-order incentive. We’re not sure it’ll be any cheaper than that come the next sale. Paradox have a history of not discounting the most recent expansion for a game at all during seasonal events.
  • Don't forget to check our our recently updated Mech Build Guide for tips on how to build the perfect lance.

Slitherine’s Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach (Review) is 25% off. This is a turn-based grid game that’s the closest facsimile of table top 40K we’ve ever seen in the videogame, and it’s not bad too boot. The debut title from a new-studio (and a mid-tier publisher), it’s a bit rough-and-ready, but well worth it if you’re a fan of 40K and don’t fancy playing the table-top version.

  • You can purchase the compete DLC collection for 36% off.
  • The base game has been cheaper, as recently as the start of October. It is likely this game will be cheaper during the next big seasonal event.

Battle Brothers (Review) is a grim turn-based fantasy tactics game set in a fictional, Europe-esque world of depressing life expectancy and monsters. You must lead your band of mercenaries through this procedurally generated magicless medieval world and survive the end-game crises. It’s hard, but good, and a premium expansion will drop at the end of the month.

  • It is unlikely this game will be significantly cheaper during the next big sales event, although the DLC should have been released by then.

Firaxis’ XCOM 2 and all associated DLC are on sale during this event. The base game is the cheapest it’s ever been at 75% off. The War of the Chosen + Tactical Legacy Pack bundle is once again 40% off, and that bundle will end in December. The rest of the available DLC, apart from the Resistance Warrior Pack for some reason, is 50% off. I don’t think we need to say much more about XCOM 2 – we all know how good it is by now.

  • Make sure you check out our complete XCOM 2 DLC guide, as War of the Chosen changes how some packs interact with the game.
  • This game is unlikely to be any cheaper during the next big seasonal sale, although we’d expect most of it to be discounted to the same rate as now.
  • We've also got several  gameplay  tips guides you might want to check out.

Real-Time Strategy Games

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There are four games from our top RTS picks on sale:

Ancestor’s Legacy (Review) is an under-appreciated medieval RTS from Russian developer 1C that’s 25% off. Inspired by real history, this tactics-focused game takes inspiration from recent genre innovations to give a rich experience that’s actually pretty good in both single-player and multiplayer.

  • This game is currently the cheapest it’s every been. We’re not sure if it’ll go any cheaper during the next big sale.
  • It’s currently being bundled with Men of War: Assault Squad 2 at a 57% discount (essentially, you get the second game for free), which is one of the best WW2 strategy games around right now.

11 bit studios’ survival/city-builder Frostpunk (Review) is currently 27% off, which is no cheaper than it’s ever been. While replayability could be better, it never-the-less offers a gripping and engaging experience as you try and develop and protect your settlement from the harsh winter. A great bright spot for the genre.

  • This game is unlikely to be any cheaper during the next big regional sale, but 27% has been it’s lowest for a while – a lower price is still possible.

Gearbox wouldn’t have been my first choice to revive a legendary strategy franchise like Homeworld, but admittedly they did a pretty great job with Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (Review). Arguably 2016’s best RTS is now a steal at 70% off, and all of the DLC is also 70% off. If you haven’t tried it out yet, now might be a great time.

  • It is highly unlikely this game will be any cheaper during the next big seasonal sale, although we expect it to drop to the same level.

Company of Heroes 2, while a bit of a controversial game a launch, quietly went from strength to strength over the years. The release of the stand-alone expansion Ardennes Assault represents an undisputed high point for the series, and something everyone who remembers “the good old days” should experience. WW2 tactical strategy at its finest.

  • It’s currently not possible to purchase Ardennes Assault on its own, however a master bundle containing all of the Company of Heroes 2 content released, including AA, Is available at a 65% discount.

Space Strategy Games

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There are also two excellent space strategy games enjoying discounts you may want to check out:

Slitherine’s Battlestar Galactica Deadlock (Review) is, without a doubt, the best tactical fleet combat game out there. It’s charm may be a bit lost if you’re not also a BSG fan, but the refreshingly different WEGO gameplay, the quality graphics and the tactical options make this an strategy experience like no other. 25% is not the biggest discount in the world, but this game deserves all the money it gets.

  • A bundle containing the base game and all of the DLC released to date is available at a 27% discount. It basically works out at getting one of the DLCs for free.
  • This is NOT the cheapest the base game has ever been, and it is likely there will be a bigger discount during the next big seasonal sale.

As well as Deserts of Kharak, Gearbox also released a Homeworld Remastered Collection. Most likely an attempt to cash-in on all the nostalgia for the game, it was never-the-less a pretty competent re-master. At 70% discount, this is a great opportunity to check out an RTS/space strategy classic if you haven’t already.

  • This game was cheaper during the summer sale, but only by a small amount. Still, it is likely to drop to the cheaper price again during the next big sales event.

Other Top Picks

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There are plenty of other great strategy games enjoying discounts that are not currently on any of our top games lists:

Paradox Europa Universalis IV is once again rock-bottom discount at 75% off, with most of the DLC bar the most recent Dharma release at 50% off. Make sure you check out our DLC guide so you know what you’re buying. The only variables in discount pricing is to do with DLCs, and it’s solely dependant on when the DLC was released – Dharma will eventually get discount, but the rest is pretty stable.

Civilization V Is still considered “the best” Civilization entry at the moment (assuming you’re not one of those people who don’t like any of Firaxis’ modern Civ games), and while the base game itself isn’t discounted, you can pick up the Complete game + DLC bundle at 67% off. I can’t imagine there’s anyone who doesn’t own the game at this point who would be interested in playing it, but just in case, this is a great landing point.

Klei Entertainment’s Oxygen Not Included is still in Early Access, but is already shaping up to be an excellent, quirky base-building/survival game similar to their popular Don’t Starve series. It features on our ‘Games Like Rimworld’ list and is currently 25% off -it’s biggest discount to date. If you fancy supporting the devs and checking it out for yourself, now seems a great time.

Have you seen any other great strategy games on sale this Halloween? Picked up anything already? Let us know in the comments!

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