Cossacks: European Wars is a historical strategy game set in the 17th and 18th centuries. The game allows you to take command of European nations in conflicts from the Thirty Years' War to the siege of Vienna and the War of the Austrian Succession. The historical campaigns are highly accurate -- which can result in impossible odds if you play the historical loser -- but there are also randomly-generated maps to test your strategic skill with.
The age of pike and shot
Like most real-time strategy games Cossacks: European Wars lets you choose a faction. Each of these historical nations has its own advantages in the forms of special units many of which are slight tweaks to the standard unit types. To win the game you'll need to acquire resources use them to produce units group them together into armies and deploy them on the battlefield to defeat your enemies. Troop options include not just infantry and cavalry but also artillery and naval units. Different paths of social and technological research can also give your armies upgrades and access to new unit types.
A challenge for historical wargamers
If you're a fan of historical wargames Cossacks: European Wars is a welcome challenge one that devotes a lot of detail to an interesting period. Doing well requires patience and attention but winning is very satisfying.