Jul 302011

tux-gameA turn-based strategy (TBS) game is a strategy game (usually some type of wargame, especially a strategic-level wargame) where players take turns when playing. This is distinguished from real time strategy where all players play simultaneously.

Years ago this was the most common type of strategic games, but there are still a lot of nice games turn-based, and today we’ll see some games of this type.


The Battle for Wesnoth

This games has won many prizes in the Linux community, and is one of the most famous turn-based game for Linux.
The Battle for Wesnoth, or simply Wesnoth, is a turn-based strategy game with a fantasy setting, designed by David White and first released in June 2003. In Wesnoth, the player attempts to build a powerful army by controlling villages and defeating enemies for experience.

The Battle for Wesnoth is available under the GPL license in source form and for a variety of computer operating systems. The most current development version of the game, 1.9.8, was released on July 29 2011. The latest stable version of the game, 1.8.6, was released on May 13, 2011.

If you like fantasy games and turn-based games this game it’s all you need, I’ve played it many times playing different scenarios, you can start with the first campaign, heir to the throne, where you are a good Knight fighting with the Elves against the evil forces, or the opposite , the campaign Descent Into Darkness, where you are a necromancer. There are many official campaigns and a lot of mods done by players, that can easily be installed.

wesnoth map editor

The map editor


200+ unit types. 16 races. 6 major factions. Hundreds of years of history. The world of Wesnoth is absolutely huge and limited only by your creativity – make your own custom units, compose your own maps, and write your own scenarios or even full-blown campaigns. You can also challenge up to 8 friends – or strangers – and fight in epic multi-player fantasy battles.



Freeciv is a multiplayer (or single player), turn-based strategy game inspired by the commercial proprietary Sid Meier’s Civilization series. The game’s default settings are closest to Civilization II, in both gameplay and graphics (including the units and the isometric grid).

The game is an empire-building strategy game inspired by the history of human civilization. Players take the role of tribal leaders in 4000 B.C. who must guide their peoples through the centuries. Over time, new technologies are discovered, which allow the construction of new city buildings and the deployment of new units. Players can wage war on one another or form diplomatic relationships.

The game ends when one civilization has eradicated all others or accomplished the goal of space colonization, or at a given deadline. If more than one civilization remains at the deadline, the player with the highest score wins. Points are awarded for the size of a civilization, its wealth, and cultural and scientific advances.

Freeciv is available for most desktop computer operating systems. Released under the GNU General Public License, Freeciv is free and open source software.

This game is famous and one of the most played classic turn-based game, i think everyone know (and love or hate it), so it’s time to move to the next game.



Conquests it’s another game inspired by Sid Meier’s Civilization series, it’s less known than freeciv, but can offer some difference to people used to Freeciv.
Latest release it’s the 0.14 and the game it’s actively developed at the moment, so you’ll not find it in the main repository of your distribution, you’ll have to download the source and compile it on your computer, there is also an installer for windows.


Conquests should work on any Windows or Linux PC with any DirectX 9 or later graphics card. For Windows, it also needs DirectX 9 installed (if you get complaints about missing DLLs, e.g., d3dx9_36.dll, you need to install the latest DirectX runtime). Conquests has been tested on Windows XP, Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) and Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit, and with Intel GMA 950, Intel GMA 3100, NVIDIA 6100 and NVIDIA 8600GT graphics.



Similar name but different game, this one it’s a commercial game, you can buy it for $9.99 and it’s set in space.

Conquest is a simultaneous turn-based strategy game placed in a dark and distant future.

Play the role of a futuristic commander. Divide your armies and conquer the world. Position satellites to reveal your opponents. Launch missiles to annihilate large troop formations, but watch out for incoming drop pods behind your back.

Standing in your path to victory are other commanders like yourself. Fight them off one by one and prove you are the greatest of the great.
The combination of fast gameplay and randomly generated maps equals to intense, restless nights of battles for cities.

Drag and drop your way to victory. Divide and conquer!

Minimum system requirements

  • Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.5 or Linux
  • Intel Pentium III 1 GHz or equivalent processor (PowerPC not supported)
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 500 MB free disk space
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 series or ATI Radeon R300 (9500) series
  • Display capable of 1024×720 resolution
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Internet connection for activation and multiplayer

Note: The game is released for 32 bit system, to play on a 64 bit system you have to install 32-bit compatibility libraries. You can do so with “apt-get install ia32-libs” on Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions.


UFO: Alien Invasion

UFO: Alien Invasion is a squad-based strategy game featuring turn-based tactical combat against hostile alien forces (human or computer controlled) which are infiltrating earth at this very moment. You are in command of a small special unit which has been founded to face the alien strike force. To be successful in the long run, you must research the alien technology in order to build bigger and better weapons against your foes.

‘UFO: Alien Invasion’ is heavily inspired by the ‘X-COM’ series by Mythos and Microprose. The first game of the series, ‘UFO DEFENSE’, became a classic and is one of the best games ever made.

Like the original X-COM games, UFO:AI has two main modes of play: Geoscape mode and Tactical mode. In Geoscape mode, the game is about base management and strategy. In Tactical mode, the game is about taking command of your team in various missions to combat aliens wherever they might appear.



FreeOrion is a free, open source, turn-based space empire and galactic conquest computer game being designed and built by the FreeOrion project. FreeOrion is inspired by the tradition of the Master of Orion games, but is not a clone or remake of that series or any other game.

Players take the helm of a newly-spaceborne Empire to explore and colonize the stars. Sometimes thought of as “Civilization in space,” FreeOrion’s design also provides for a tactical combat engine along the lines of Homeworld and the Total War series.

While its modular, open-source design allows for a significant degree of customization of the game engine and the story elements by the community, the FreeOrion team is dedicated to the construction of a living, breathing universe in a ‘grand campaign’ model.


FreeCol is a clone of Sid Meier’s Colonization. Released under the GNU General Public License, FreeCol is free and open source software.

FreeCol is mostly programmed in Java and should thus be platform-independent. In practice, it is known to run on Linux and Windows, as well as Mac OS X (with some limitations).

In February 2007 it was SourceForge.net’s Project of the Month.

While remaining faithful to the original in term of mechanics and gameplay, Freecol sports a new set of redesigned graphics. Moreover, with time it incorporated ideas that didn’t make it to the final version of Meier’s game, requests by fans and original concepts like new European players and race bonuses.

FreeCol starts in the year 1492. With a few settlers, the player builds up colonies in the New World, struggling for power with other colonies from rival Europeans. The player gradually builds up these colonies with help from the European king until no help from Europe is necessary, meaning that the colonies can stand alone without any exterior aid, and declares independence from the King and, if the colonies are able to resist the attacks of the royal expeditionary force, victory is obtained.

The player may trade with Europe using various natural resources which are collected by cities or acquired from trade with natives. In each city the player can also build up industrial buildings to convert raw materials into processed goods, which sell for more in Europe, providing a significant economic advance. Some industrial buildings will convert materials into goods useful for running the colony, such as converting wood into Hammers and ore into tools.



TripleA: is a free, Java-based turn based strategy game based on the popular Axis and Allies boardgame that looks very good indeed.
TripleA comes with multiple games and over 100 more games can be downloaded from the user community. Supports single player vs AI, hot-seat, Play by Email, and a hosted online lobby.

TripleA is Free Software, and is released under the GPL.

The latest Stable version is, and the only requirement it’s having java 1.6 installed.

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  One Response to “8 turn based games on Linux”

  1. You forgot Hedgewars.

    Best turn-based game to date.

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