A downloadable game for Windows

Buy Now$2.00 USD or more

Core Stratagem is an old-school turn-based indie strategy game. Choose one of eight unique factions and conquer your enemies, using terrain to your advantage and capturing your opponents' cities. Steal and finish their incomplete units to turn their production against them. Make use of stealth to launch surprise attacks, and when all else fails, detonate a kamikaze unit in the midst of their armies.

Core Stratagem supports user-created units, armies, and maps. Use the included map editor to create your own custom scenarios. Choose from tons of options to customize your play experience, including bonuses and handicaps for each player to create just the challenge you want.

  • EIGHT unique factions:
    • Modern Military - A flexible, well-rounded army with tanks, aircraft carriers, and nuke-drones!
    • Savage Saurians - Stealthy and swift dinosaur-like creatures from a forgotten time!
    • Interplanetary Invaders - Powerful alien technology dominates the skies, but their soldiers must resupply the gas they breathe!
    • Feudal Fantasy - A land-focused set of knights, siege towers, and just a touch of magic!
    • Alternate Army - From another place, or another world? A twist on a present-day army theme, with specialized units like sub-hunter choppers and anti-air cannon!
    • Wily Wizards - Glass-cannon mages protected by hardy stone gargoyle minions!
    • Deepwater Denizens - Terrors from the deep, their amphibious units can leave the seas for a limited time, and act differently depending on their environment!
    • Hostile Habiformers - Robotic survivors of an alien colonization program, they exist only to make the Earth habitable for their masters--even though their masters are long dead!

Try out the free demo! It is restricted to two of the Factions and does not include Expansion features like base expansion structures.

Want to make your own Units or even whole new Factions? Check out this how-to guide!

Release date Nov 02, 2014
Tags2D, Hex Based, Pixel Art, Procedural Generation, tactics, Turn-based, Turn-based Strategy
Average sessionAbout an hour
InputsKeyboard, Mouse
MultiplayerLocal multiplayer
Player count1 - 2


Buy Now$2.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $2 USD. You will get access to the following files:

CSW.zip 51 MB

Download demo

Core_Stratagem_Demo_win.zip 47 MB

Development log


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Thanks for this game, just bought it! It reminds me a game from my childhood which I really liked, "Godzilla 2 War of the monsters".
I am also a game developer too, so if you will want and have time, please visit my profile! :)
The only thing which interrupting my playing is that font which is hard to see for me on some places, is there any way to make it bigger?

Hey, thanks for your comment!

Yeah, unfortunately Core Stratagem was made long before the days of 4k monitors and isn't really optimized for high resolutions. I personally run my desktop at 1440p and find the font "okay", but your mileage may vary.

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I run at 1920x1080 and text is hard to see at some places. I wish there was an option to scale text.

The game looks cool. But why the map is diamond-shaped while the world is made out of hexagons? So many playable factions can be a bit too hard to balance and can be confusing for the player.

Interesting question about the map! It turns out if you take a regular square grid and convert the cells to hexagons, you end up with that isometric diamond shape. The internal representation of the map is technically a regular 2-dimensional array (i.e. a square with (x,y) coordinates,) and what makes it into a hex grid is a matter of what cells are considered "adjacent."

That is curious. Hexes are inherently connected with isometry. A hexagon is basically an isometric projection of a cube.

I've done it. I've finally done it! I've FINALLY finished the base designs for the first of my 2 factions for this game. Honestly I had my doubts that I could pull it off, since I have next to no artistic skills, but lo and behold, the Artificial Angels are now well on their way to descending upon the battlefield. I still have to do the animations though, so they're not complete yet... But for now, here's a preview of the units and structures.

That takes some dedication! Animations are definitely the most time consuming parts of creating a CS army. A few pieces of advice: whenever possible, "animate" by selecting part of your unit and just dragging it around. For example, grab one of your hydra's heads halfway down the neck, move the selection a pixel to the left or right, and then make similar adjustments throughout the rest of the unit. This strategy is especially useful for making death animations since the unit is basically collapsing.

Looking forward to seeing things come together! Keep up the good work!

So... seems Paint doesn't actually make transparent backgrounds, even though it claims to have the ability to do so. But Paint 3D does, and 2D images can still be made there, fortunately. Can't believe I never looked into that. 

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I still have some issues on Linux.  I got error saying cities.txt could not be found.  So I checked the file and it appeared to be Cities.txt.  After renaming it I got pass the first error.  Then I got stuck with another error.  It looks like case of filename didn't match again.

Hi Phoeniixz,

Unfortunately CS doesn't officially support Linux --  some interesting information you've found here, though! Odd that that text file would have its capitalization changed. Maybe check the images folder for similar changes. No filenames should have caps in them anywhere.

I'm assuming you're running the demo, but if you did purchase CS let me know your email and I'll refund you.

Thanks. I did purchase it but I don't need a refund. I have Windows 10 / Linux Mint (XFCE) dual boot on my laptop. But I prefer to work on Linux so I tried to make it work.

I got it to run succesfully now.  Here is what i did:

- Install Java 8 runtime (Java 11 won't work)
- rename "./images/city.PNG"  to   "./images/city.png"
- rename "./data/Cities.txt"  to  "./data/cities.txt"

I'm happy now and looking forward to your next game ;)

That's great to hear! Have fun!

The game won't start on Java 11 but run fine on Java 8.  Here is the error output:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: com/sun/java/swing/Painter

at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(ClassLoader.java:1016)
at java.base/java.security.SecureClassLoader.defineClass(SecureClassLoader.java:174)
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.defineClass(BuiltinClassLoader.java:802)
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.findClassOnClassPathOrNull(BuiltinClassLoader.java:700)
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClassOrNull(BuiltinClassLoader.java:623)
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClass(BuiltinClassLoader.java:581)
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.ClassLoaders$AppClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoaders.java:178)
at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:521)
at CustomUI.loadCustomPainters(CustomUI.java:20)
at MainProgram.<init>(MainProgram.java:329)
at MainProgram.main(MainProgram.java:246)
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.sun.java.swing.Painter
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClass(BuiltinClassLoader.java:583)
at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.ClassLoaders$AppClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoaders.java:178)
at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:521)
... 12 more

I'm assuming from your other comment that this is on Linux? Windows is the only OS supported (although it can run, with some visual bugs related to zooming, on Mac as well.) 

Bro, if you polished this off and added some features like online multiplayer, you could really have something here. It’s like a combination of Civilization and Advanced Wars, genius. 

I know 4-5 people off the top of my head that would pay way more than $1 for this if we were able to have online matches. Great work, thoroughly enjoying it.

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Hey there, I came across your game and have played it for a bit; I think it's a pretty cool game. Would you mind if I made some YouTube videos on it? It seems you're the only one who has, and I feel this game deserves some attention.

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Sorry for the delay responding! Please be my guest!