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There aren’t many games where a player can not only command their army but also fight alongside it on the battlefield as a unit. We’re not talking about simple turn-based party strategies like Wartales, but games with the ability to fully control one of the units on the battlefield while giving orders to the rest. To compile this collection, I had to dig through the entire internet, watch dozens of reviews, and already existing compilations. On this page, you’ll find all the games of this narrow subgenre that I was able to find. If you know of any other games similar to those listed here, be sure to mention them in the comments.
Mount & Blade (series)
The most famous game where you can fight in battle alongside your soldiers is Mount & Blade. In this series of games where you lead an army, players control a customizable character and command troops on a realistic medieval battlefield. The games feature a blend of strategy, role-playing, and action, with a focus on player skill in combat. Mount & Blade stands out due to its freedom of exploration, sandbox nature, and emergent gameplay, offering players a unique experience each playthrough. The series is known for its modding community, which adds new content and extends gameplay possibilities.
The Mount & Blade series is developed by Turkish company TaleWorlds Entertainment. The first game in the series, Mount & Blade, was released in 2008. In these games, players create and develop their characters, building relationships, and forging alliances to establish a powerful kingdom. One of the key features of Mount & Blade is its realistic and immersive combat system, where players can engage in mounted and on-foot battles using various weapons and tactics. The series has gained a loyal fan base, which appreciates its deep gameplay mechanics, attention to historical detail, and support for an extensive modding community that contributes to the games’ longevity and diversity.
Another famous game where each player has their own squad is Conqueror’s Blade. This free-to-play tactical action MMO is among games where you lead an army, and it features units, heroes, armor, and maps inspired by real-world history. Players master siege tactics, command medieval units, and conquer castles in massive online battles. In Siege Battles, players coordinate with their team to attack or defend castles and fortresses using various siege weapons. Customization is a key aspect, with a range of weapon classes and playstyles available for each character. Players also command powerful units inspired by historical warriors and can participate in Territory Wars, massive PvP events that involve hundreds of players fighting for control over land and resources.
Unlike medieval strategy games, the MMOFPS shooter Enlisted transports players to World War II. In Enlisted, players are not lone wolves, but commanders of an entire squad. Each respawn on the battlefield involves multiple AI-controlled soldiers who follow orders, while players control one soldier personally. Players can freely switch between squad members, staying in the most interesting part of the battle as long as at least one soldier is alive.
Multiple squads with different specializations can be used in one battle. Each newly unlocked squad contains at least one valuable specialist equipped with special weapons. As squads gain experience in battles, players can upgrade them, increase their numbers, or unlock additional specialists. Individual soldiers also gain experience, which can be spent on abilities to improve their skills or provide additional capabilities.
Blood of Steel
In the free-to-play MMO action Blood of Steel, players control a squad of heroes and troops in medieval battles. As a general, they set troop formations, choose unit combinations, and plan tactics to achieve victory. Players need to understand each hero’s unique characteristics and make clever use of terrain and timing for the best tactics. The game features intense close combat fighting between heroes, incorporating various attack moves, guard breaks, rolling, dash attacks, sprint attacks, and combo techniques for a dynamic medieval combat experience.
Terrain and weather play crucial roles, with diverse environments such as open plains, grasslands, valleys, and stone castles, and dynamic weather like rain, snow, fog, and night, offering vivid simulations of ancient wars. Historical heroes worldwide can be enlisted, allowing players to build their dream kingdom and rewrite history. The game also includes multiplayer aspects, such as legion wars and castle sieges, as well as individual achievements through ranking boards.
Despite my wishes, turn-based tactical games are essential. Phoenix Point, while stretching the limits, allows players to aim weapons at opponents during turn-based combat. Among games where you lead an army, this title stands out due to its unique free-aiming system. Players assume control of the Phoenix Project, researching technologies, exploring a ravaged world, and managing resources to repel an alien invasion. Cooperation or opposition with factions, such as New Jericho, Synedrion, and Disciples of Anu, is left to the player’s discretion. Unraveling the secrets of the Pandoravirus and the origins of the mutants requires multiple playthroughs. Soldiers’ shots can be controlled on the battlefield, targeting enemy weak spots, weapons, or valuables. Designed by Julian Gollop, Phoenix Point carries the core ethos of the X-COM series into modern gaming.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
Overall, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden closely resembles Phoenix Point in terms of its combat mechanics, making it necessary to include in this collection. This tactical strategy game combines turn-based combat, reminiscent of XCOM, with real-time stealth and exploration in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by mutants. Players control a team of unconventional heroes, like a duck with an attitude and a boar with anger issues, each possessing unique abilities and mutations. Mastering stealthy approaches allows players to avoid conflict or catch enemies off guard, while environments can be used to their advantage. As players progress, they can unlock new mutations and abilities for their mutants and equip them with various weapons and armor found throughout the world.
Steel and Flesh (1, 2)
The Steel and Flesh series, while not a perfect clone, is a fairly successful adaptation of the Mount & Blade series for mobile devices. As anyone can freely install the BlueStacks emulator and start playing Steel and Flesh on their computer, it is included in this selection. The game is set in 1212, during the height of the Mongol Empire and the Crusades, offering a massive world map with 20 large states. Players can pledge allegiance to any state or create their own, capturing territories and expanding their influence. With large-scale battles and sieges, players can lead their armies personally, employing various combat formations and unit types. Armor and weapons are diverse, and online mode allows for epic battles with friends. Players can also build their empires, manage cities, and navigate political decisions.
At the moment, these are all the existing games in the world where you can command an army and fight alongside it as a unit. Personally, I really like this genre, and I would like to see it develop further. So if you happen to discover a game similar to those listed here, don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments. By doing so, you’ll be helping the website and tens of thousands of its readers.