Indie Games to Watch in 2020: Strategy Games

Last time, I covered some of the most interesting indie and middleware adventure games coming out in 2020. Now, I’d like to focus on some of the strategy games coming out this year. Grand strategy, 4X, RTS, wargames, and everything in-between will all be covered here, while some of the other strategy subgenres will be getting their own articles.

Here’s 20 promising strategy games to watch out for in 2020:

Panzer Corps 2
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd
Developer: Flashback Games
Platform: Windows PC

Panzer Corps 2 is the sequel to Flashback’s critically acclaimed PC wargame from 2014. The game features over 1,000 authentic vehicles and units from WWII, a branching campaign with 60 historical scenarios, skirmish maps, and multiplayer.

Panzer Corps 2 is targeting an early 2020 release date.


Iron Harvest
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: KING Art
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

If you prefer your World Wars in real time and with dieselpunk mechs, Iron Harvest will hopefully scratch your itch for a new Company of Heroes-style RTS. The game was successfully Kickstarted several years back, and is set in the same universe as the hit board game Scythe.

Iron Harvest is targeting a September 1st, 2020 release date.


Gates of Hell
Publisher: Best Way Soft
Developer: Barbed Wire Studios
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Linux

If you want a more authentic take on WWII in your platoon-level RTS, then maybe Gates of Hell is more your thing. Gates of Hell is being developed by some of the same devs that created the hit Men of War series, and is aiming for that same level of immersion and brutality.

Gates of Hell doesn’t currently have a release date.


Empire of Sin
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Romero Games
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Empire of Sin is an XCOM-like strategy game with management elements set in Prohibition-era Chicago. Build your own criminal empire in the Roaring Twenties and defend your territory with a small army of customizable, heavily armed hired goons.

Empire of Sin is targeting a Spring 2020 release date.


End State
Developer: Iron Sight
Platform: Windows PC

If you want a more modern setting for your turn-based tactical action, then you might want to keep an eye out for End State. Manage your own mercenary outfit and send your contractors on missions throughout the fictional war-torn Eastern European country of Brekovia.

End State doesn’t currently have a release date.


RAM Pressure
Publisher: GDT
Developer: QuadCom Interactive
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac

Another XCOM-like coming out this year is RAM Pressure. The game markets itself as a story-driven, multiplayer-focused experience where players lead rival paramilitary organizations tasked with covering up extraterrestrial activity on Earth. To do so, players will track down crash sites and fight over precious alien artifacts and technology.

RAM Pressure doesn’t currently have a release date.


Warhammer Underworlds: Online
Developer: Steel Sky Productions
Platform: Windows PC

Warhammer Underworlds: Online is a complete digital adaptation of Warhammer Underworlds, a competitive board game set in Age of Sigmar‘s Mortal Realms. The game features deckbuilding elements, where each player constructs an objective and a power deck to assist their warbands in combat.

Warhammer Underworlds: Online will be releasing on January 28th.


Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
Publisher: Kalypso Media Digital
Developer: Palindrome Interactive
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Another upcoming turn-based strategy game with card elements is Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars. Players choose from one of several warring vampire bloodlines and attempt to become the dominate rulers of the realm of the dead by building an empire and raising an army of bloodthirsty warriors.

Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is set to release in Spring 2020.


King’s Bounty II
Developer: 1C Entertainment
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

The popular King’s Bounty series returns once again, and is going in a rather surprising new direction. King’s Bounty II will feature more dynamic battlefields and an even greater emphasis on roleplaying, with branching quests that have far-reaching consequences for the fantasy realm of Antara.

King’s Bounty II doesn’t currently have a release date.


Crusader Kings III
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Linux

Another beloved franchise getting a new installment this year is Crusader Kings III. This new game in the series promises to expand the roleplaying elements and make the series more newbie friendly with expanded tutorials and tooltips.

Crusader Kings III doesn’t currently have a release date.


Knights of Honor II – Sovereign
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Black Sea Games
Platform: Windows PC

The 2005 classic Knights of Honor is getting a surprise sequel called Knights of Honor II – Sovereign. This medieval grand strategy game allows you to build your own kingdom spanning across Europe. Develop your nation in a turn-based overworld map, and lead your armies to victory in massive real-time battles.

Knights of Honor II – Sovereign doesn’t currently have a release date.


Ultimate Admiral: Age of Sail
Developer: Game-Labs
Platform: Windows PC

Ultimate Admiral: Age of Sail is a new tactical wargame from the developers of Ultimate General: Civil War. Control fleets in real-time battles during the American Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. When your ships aren’t enough, launch landing operations with ranks of infantry to capture coastal objectives.

Ultimate Admiral: Age of Sail is targeting an early 2020 release.


Publisher: Sega
Developer: Amplitude Studios
Platforms: Windows PC, Mac

Humankind is the next big 4X strategy game from the developers of the extremely popular Endless Space and Endless Legend franchises. This time, Amplitude will allow players to rewrite human history as one of 60 different cultures from across the world as they guide their civilization from the Bronze Age to the modern era.

Humankind doesn’t currently have a release date.


Desperados III
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Mimimi Games
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

If all this grand strategy is too overwhelming for you, why not try some smaller scale tactics with the return of the Desperados series? In Desperados III, lead your gang of five misfits and outcasts across the US and Mexico in the 1870s. Use stealth and each character’s special abilities to dispatch enemies and complete objectives.

Desperados III doesn’t currently have a release date.


Cyber Ops
Publisher: Game Operators
Developer: Octeto Studios
Platform: Windows PC

Cyber Ops is a real-time tactics game where you play as a military hacker in a near-future cyberpunk dystopia. Provide remote support for operators on the ground by hacking electronics, advanced military hardware, and even a enemy combatant’s cyber-linked brain.

Cyber Ops is targeting an early 2020 release date.


The Riftbreaker
Developer: EXOR Studios
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

The Riftbreaker is a mix of action-RPG and tower defense by the developers of the excellent X-Morph: Defense. You play as the Riftbreaker Ashley Nowak, who has been sent to a hostile alien world to establish a beachhead for further colonization efforts. Fortify your defenses with an arsenal of turrets, and actively partake in combat with your customizable mech suit.

The Riftbreaker doesn’t currently have a release date.


Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break
Publisher: Modus Games, 3goo
Developer: ACE Team, Giant Monkey Robot
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 

Everyone’s favorite colorful and quirky tower defense game is back with Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break. Players will once again have a chance to bowl their way through history, destroying complex networks of defenses with their giant balls of doom. Rock of Ages 3 will also ship with a robust level editor so players can easily share new maps between one another.

Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is targeting an early 2020 release date.


Tactical Galactical
Publisher: DANGEN Entertainment
Developer: Capsulated Software
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Another lighthearted strategy game coming this year is Tactical Galactical, a new RTS game developed with controllers in mind. The game blends real-time tactics with card mechanics and a hex-based map, which will hopefully overcome the inherent precision issues with most controller-based RTS games. There’s also cross-play multiplayer across all platforms.

Tactical Galactical doesn’t currently have a release date.


Phantom Brigade
Developer: Brace Yourself Games
Platform: Windows PC

Finally, we come to Phantom Brigade, a hybrid of turn-based and real-time strategy where players control a squad of customizable mechs. Your homeland has been conquered by an invading nation, and your squad is now trapped deep behind enemy lines. Wage a guerrilla war against the invaders and scavenge for resources to keep your mechs in top fighting shape.

Phantom Brigade doesn’t currently have a release date.

That’s all for our article about some of the cool indie and AA strategy games coming in 2020. Next time, I’ll be highlighting some of the most promising city builders and management games coming out this year. Until then, which games on this list caught your attention? Which other games are you excited about this year? Tell us more in the comments below!

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Frank was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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