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Vikings: War of Clans - Vikings: War of Clans extends the Plarium franchise with another MMORTS game that takes the level of polish and strategy further than their past releases in this space. This time around as a departure from the medieval you’ll be taking control of your own viking tribe on browser, iOS and Android.

The opening of Vikings: War of Clans is exactly what you would expect with a viking warrior greeting you as Jarl (chieftain) and helping you create the basics for your viking empire. You’ll be introduced to building construction with the farm, lumber camp, mine and barracks while also learning the basics of the upgrade based knowledge system to provide you with powerful boosts in key game areas.

Unlike other free to play strategy titles that give you some free currency to speed up this early introduction process, Vikings: War of Clans opts for a feature that remains useful throughout the game. Said feature allows anything with an under 5 minute timer to be finished instantly for free, which does away with most waiting for your first few hours while also avoiding those annoying moments later on when you find yourself logging into your account just a little too early.

From here Vikings: War of Clans falls into the usual gameplay of the genre with resources of food, lumber, iron, stone and silver being generated from buildings, raids on PvE locations or attacking other players. All of these resources are then funnelled back into your Viking settlement and army in order to unlock more content.

While core mechanics are nothing new, Vikings: War of Clans achieves a great level of production values and depth in every element. The music is quite aesthetically pleasing and visually your settlement is quite striking and includes a number of animated characters going about their daily business.

While gameplay depth comes from the strong host of buildings, large knowledge tree to push your vikings into a particular strength and the hero system which lets you develop a hero with items and skills for the battlefield. Overall Vikings: War of Clans has plenty of content for fans of this genre to play over a substantial period of time.

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Tribal Wars 2 - Tribal Wars 2 builds on the long running MMORTS experience that has been online for over 10 years, for both new players and old the second addition to the Tribal Wars franchise has plenty of great strategic gameplay to enjoy.

Tribal Wars 2 uses a Middle Ages type setting similar to most games in the genre. The game follows a fairly standard formula with players starting with a small settlement and slowly growing through invading or creating alliances with other players.

Every player controls their village by visiting various buildings which control different aspects of their society. The headquarters for example is used for all building construction while the barracks or other military buildings control troop creation.

As the name of the game suggests the game is all about tribes. These tribes are groups of players that have banded together for protection and in order to co-ordinate attacks. Tribes can set diplomacy with other tribes and also access their own private message board to make communication easy. Tribes can come with a variety of restrictions based on the server with most having hundreds of members.

These tribes play an important role in the victory conditions of Tribal Wars 2 which includes eliminating all opponents, holding a certain percentage of the game world or controlling certain special areas for a particular amount of time.

Combat is fairly typical for the genre with players sending out troops to other villagers with the result being based on the combined attributes of your troops, their morale level and some chance elements. Victory will give you some spoils of war and decrease the loyalty of the city you attacked and when this loyalty reaches zero the attacking player can seize control of it.

Having survived over a decade in an extremely competitive genre the survival of Tribal Wars 2 speaks for itself in terms of the games quality.

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Pirates: Tides of Fortune - There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the browser MMORTS is saturated with games. From the medieval to western and futuristic there is a strategy adventure for all tastes and desires. An often untouched setting though is the pirate one and something that Pirates: Tides of Fortune looks to capitalise on.

From a gameplay perspective Pirates: Tides of Fortune offers an experience that is very in line with the other titles out there. Players will captain their very own band of pirates as they build up an island stronghold, improve their technology, attract unique and powerful pirates, adventure across the seas, plunder enemies and build a healthy stockpile of resources (through your island or raiding others).

Players start this pirate themed adventure on the Isla Fortuna, while it starts as a barren island haven this simply gives players the opportunity to shape it as they see fit with the available structures, although the game takes a while before giving complete control over to the player. Much of your early game experience in Pirates: Tides of Fortune is directed by Captain Anne O’Malley, an experienced and ruthless pirate who is also fully voice acted which helps inject some life into the game.

The headquarters that you create on your own haven forms the basis of gameplay as you would expect from a MMORTS. Not only is it your primary resource generator but it also grants players access to various mechanics once certain buildings have been erected on your island. Resource management is quite satisfying in Pirates: Tides of Fortune with not only three basic currencies to manage (lumber, rum and gold) but also three special resources of gears, idols and pearls which are earned in limited quantities for specific actions.

Idols for example are earned for attacking or defending and are an integral part of the technology system of the game, discoveries. While pearls are gained for levelling up and allow you to upgrade certain unit stats through the Witch Doctor. These two research orientated mechanics are what make Pirates: Rides of Fortune stand out against other games with both having a high number of options.

For those select gamers seeking out a fresh MMORTS strategy the pirate theme and in depth technology paths of Pirates: Tides of Fortune makes it one of the better picks around in the genre.

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Elvenar - Elvenar joins the ranks of the extensive browser based strategy genre with a hybrid that leans more towards city building then most. As the game comes from InnoGames you’re guaranteed a well designed adventure even if it doesn’t try to innovate too much.

Starting your Elvenar journey players will get to choose to either develop a human or elvan settlement. Players will find that humans are medieval focused while the elves have much more magical buildings although the experience is basically mirrored outside of the cosmetic differences.

With a basic tutorial to get you started you’ll learn the foundations of any civilization. This includes things like building a home for your citizens, creating paths, basic buildings and decorations to add bonuses. You’ll also be introduced to the typical mechanics of the genre such as upgrading buildings, researching and expanding your land.

Interesting features of Elvenar include the research tree and scouting which haven’t been done to the same level in other offerings. On the research side players will often find they have as many as four different paths, this gives you much greater control over the advancement of your settlement.

This goes hand in hand with the scouting aspect of the game that requires players to actually scout the hexagonal sized spaces next to their settlement rather than the entire map being revealed. This scouting can often reveal areas of interest where players will negotiate with merchants or fight them instead to obtain resources, special relics to improve your settlement and land expansions.

The final interesting aspect of the game is in the combat where players will engage in turn based battles on grid based environments. On the face it feels like something out of a turn based strategy game but unfortunately doesn’t quite have that amount of depth. The game does however offer more than enough opportunity when you compare it to similar free strategy games in this niche.

With a great front end in terms of graphics and a decent amount of depth once you get into the game you could do a lot worse than Elvenar in the browser based MMO strategy genre. There is still plenty of waiting around for those not wanting to open their wallet though but that won’t stop you from enjoying the game for short bursts each day.

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Undermaster - Undermaster is the latest game from the Upjers team to be converted across to their English branch of games. Taking inspiration from the likes of Dungeon Keeper and introducing browser game elements Undermaster is simple but still enjoyable.

Your task in Undermaster is to develop your own dream dungeon as you lead the subterranean minions that you attract into battle. The game has all the expected mechanics of a browser based game with wait times, premium currency and near endless tasks to complete. Wait times in Undermaster are quite reasonable in comparison to other games that are on the market though which keeps it flowing at a reasonable pace.

The game has a lengthy tutorial which introduces a wide range of the game mechanics focusing on the basics of removing dirt, moving imps, cooking food, attracting creatures and laying floor tiles. These floor tiles are the building blocks of your rooms and can be used to create dorms for your minions to sleep in, kitchens to feed hungry bellies, workshops to manufacture and more.

Undermaster adds another element to dungeon design though by requiring players to place objects within a room for it to be effective, such as beds in the dorm or a cooking pot for your kitchen. Placing these items in a room along with decorations is also a key factor to improving your glory which is vital to attracting creatures.

With each new level better items will become available which allow you to craft higher level items which can sell for a lot more gold or provide higher amounts of glory. Eventually researching new technologies for your dungeon and battles become available to the player to add even more depth to the game experience.

Undermaster is a solid browser strategy experience with an enjoyable Dungeon Keeper style theme to it. It does take some patience before the wealth of options open up to you though and sometimes the controls just aren’t as perfect as they could be.

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Imperia Online - Imperia Online is a browser based strategy adventure that has been constantly developing since its original release in 2005. It now commands a large community across iOS, Android and your browser, where it began.

Set in a medieval world like many others in the genre players begin their journey as an emperor of an undeveloped province. As the game progresses this province slowly takes shape through construction and all sorts of upgrades that lets you create your ideal settlement.

In order to achieve this growth players will have to master the process of resource generation, trading, raiding and diplomacy. As time passes you can increase your area of influence through alliances or capturing adjoining territories that can be colonised.

Imperia Online uses the four resources of wood, iron, stone and gold which are all generated from buildings that must be built and upgraded. Gold is slightly different than the other three resources though and is generated by selling other resources in the market, collected through taxes and other limited actions.

Imperia Online does also introduce some extra depth in the resource department through a special resource system with dozens of unique resources that can be found throughout the game world to provide all sorts of additional bonuses. Buildings are equally varied and one of the best elements of Imperia Online with nearly 30 different structures that can not only be built but also upgraded numerous times to improve their resource or troop output while unlocking new technological advances.

Battles are where the game really shines through though with enough complexity to keep combat interesting and strategic throughout your play time. Imperia Online achieves this by splitting units into 4 different military types (light, heavy, elite and siege) and then combining this with player controlled battle formations which heavily drive the battle outcome. This is then further refined by attack options that allow players to focus on attacking the enemy army head on, sieging their fortress or pillaging the civilian population which each have different results.

With some light RPG features through the recent addition of court noblemen that gain experience over time to help boost resource or battle effectiveness Imperia Online is one of the premium strategy games on offer.

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Stormfall: Age of War - Story driven and browser based strategy game don’t usually go hand in hand but Stormfall: Age of War changes all that by introducing a strong storyline supported by voice acting to enhance your whole experience.

Set in a mystical land of Darkshrine you’ll find yourself in a chaotic game world, you’ll seize control of the empire as the bravest and most experienced champion in the land in hopes of returning the empire of Stormfall to its age of glory. The castle and its citizens are now in your hands, will the fate of Stormfall turn around for the better? Or will you be able to push back the evil and slowly claim what is rightfully the empire’s property?

Gameplay is very typical of the genre with players collecting the resources they need from buildings and transforming these into troops, improved technologies or more buildings. You’ll also have the option to spend them directly on defence with buildings like walls helping you stave off attack just a little bit longer.

Stormfall: Age of War stops itself from just being a game of numbers by ensuring a vast technology tree has a role to play in battles. This gives it greater strategy depth than most of its competitors but also manages to keep things simple by easily displaying how technology will influence your troops in easy to understand numbers.

With over a million players Stormfall guarantees a vibrant experience and you won’t be running into thousands of abandoned accounts like you might in similar games which definitely encourages you to play on as you either team up with other players or make them your mortal enemy through consistent raiding of their resources.

With strong MMORTS foundations boosted up by the high quality of graphics, upgrades and voice acting Stormfall offers a winning browser formula for strategy addicts.

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Legends of Honor - Legends of Honor joins the massive list of medieval themed strategy games with MMO mechanics. The game comes from GoodGame Studios who have made a number of MMORTS games including the popular Empire, Shadow Kings and more casual options like Big Farm.

With such a large wealth of previous titles to draw on Legends of Honor doesn’t skip any of the core mechanics that you would expect from a MMO strategy game. Players start with a typical tutorial that teaches them the basic of building structures, upgrading, attacking and gathering the necessary resources.

Resource generation is done through the usual buildings but players can also increase production by clicking on either the stone mountains or forest near their castle which is comparable to the popular idle clicking genre.

After this basic introduction it will be time to choose a faction to align yourself with. Your three options includes the Warriors of the Wild Lands, Order of the Golden Claw and Knights of Ash and Shadow which all feel like they’re out of the Game of Thrones franchise in design. While these don’t alter gameplay players are limited to joining alliances within that faction which promotes greater alliance diversity at the higher levels.

The main reasons you’ll be playing Legends of Honor over the vast number of alternatives is the amount of room that players are given to build their empire and the hero system. With this space you’ll have to build a mixture of buildings but also consider the happiness of your citizens which boosts efficiency and is achieved mostly through balancing decorations with core buildings.

While the hero system allows players to recruit various heroes that serve as officers for troops. By assigning troops to your hero you’ll be able to adventure outside your walls to engage in combat with PvE or PvP, this is primarily a number and unit match up affair. Units can be upgraded and enhanced with a variety of boosters if you find yourself needing some extra power.

Legends of Honor offers MMORTS and idle clicker in a single game, while there isn’t much innovation beyond this mix everything is well designed and ensures a high quality experience.

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