Anyways, that wasn't what I REALLY wanted to talk about, what I REALLY wanted to talk about was my favorite, most recommended turn based strategy PC games of all time. At least until 2009.
#1. Heroes of Might and Magic 3. This was a hard choice but I give the number one slot to heroes of might and magic three because it has a map editor and thus we spent the most time on it making our own fun maps and trying to beat each other or the computer on some crazy difficulty setting. It also has an underworld option (caves,s tunnels, underground cities) and great combat.
*(Correction "Heroes 3 was not made by the Russian team behind Allods. It was not until Heroes 5 that the game development was shipped to Russia. Heroes 3 was developed by New World Computing, while Heroes V was developed by Nival Interactive." - thank you PDM!)
#2. Masters of Orion 2! The best sci fi game on PC I ever played also! (yes its very old and that's sort of a sad statement for Sci Fi but, well Kotor is almost as good but sadly not turn based strategy.
Masters of Orion Lets you pick or make your own race, it lets you set up any galaxy size you want, it randomly creates all the worlds, and it lets you customize your own ships, and play as long as you want and research "upgrades" ad infinitum. The battle were fantastic for its day, and are still fun today. There were new ideas introduced like "gyro destabilizers" and stellar converters. You could blow up planets and make the rubble into new ones, you can terraform and gaia-form. You can get attacked by random things including pirates and giant space monsters. This is way better than sim-city. You can build trade pacts, research pacts, pace treaties, alliances, or just declare war on everybody. Each of these decision greatly impacts your play.
I have to say though, the AI gets very predictable in the "diplomatic" part of the game, but its very unpredictable in the "build up" part of the game. Its hard to tell if the the computer is way ahead of you or behind you, until they strike! (Or you strike)