The Slitherine Holiday Sale has some stellar strategy discounts

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Slitherine and Matrix strategy romps don’t shed their price all that often, but this year’s Christmas sale, running until January 13, is a doozy. Around 300 wargames have been reduced, some by 90 percent, allowing you to ignore the impending holidays and, instead, spend all your time fighting wars on hexy maps and in space. 

Included in the sale is a personal favourite of mine: Distant Worlds - Universe (opens in new tab). It’s been reduced by 75 percent, down to £11.24/$15. It launched in 2014, collecting Distant Worlds and all of its expansions, and it’s still one of the best space 4X games out there. Developer Code Force managed to create an absurdly detailed, intimidatingly complex interstellar real-time 4 game that’s also really easy to get into, and it’s all thanks to automation. 

Every single system, from trade to combat, can be automated, and thank goodness the AI is more than competent. This means you can pick the parts that you like and just play with them, or you can ease yourself into it by starting with just the basics and, bit by bit, start taking control over more systems once you get comfortable. It’s a great way to introduce what is a tough game to really grasp, at first, but there are plenty of reasons to use automation even if you’ve got a good grip on how to run a space empire. I’m partial to starting out by controlling a single ship, exploring the universe Enterprise-style. 

Other sci-fi deals include the extremely tough Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock (opens in new tab) and planetary 4X game Pandora: First Contact (opens in new tab), as well as loads of Warhammer 40,000 games. Out of the grimdark offerings, Armageddon (opens in new tab) is definitely worth a look. It combines massive Warhammer battles with a Panzer Corps-style hex-based wargame, and it works really well. It’s 70 percent off. The more recent Gladius (opens in new tab) is pretty interesting, too, pitting a bunch of 40k factions against each other in a 4X war where there's no diplomacy. It's been reduced by 25 percent. 

On the subject of Panzer Corps (opens in new tab), it’s 90 percent off, so you can grab it for measly £1.24/$2. World War 2 grognards are well catered for, with everything from the Close Combat (opens in new tab) series to Order of Battle (opens in new tab) going cheap. 

You can buy them all on the official site (opens in new tab) or Steam (opens in new tab).

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.