I've always preferred RTS games that actually rely on strategy rather than resource hoarding and base building, games that put you in command of a handful of troops that you got to know and actually cared about so when one of them snuffed it you actually noticed. Cannon Fodder is still, to this day, one of my favourite games of all time (XBLA/PSN release please!) and its format - itself built upon that of games such as Legionnaire and Archon - has influenced a number of games, but none perhaps as effectively as with the Commandos games.
Steam usually sells these games at £4.99 each, but for a couple of days you can pick up Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, Beyond the Call of Duty, Commandos 2: Men of Courage and Commandos 3: Destination Berlin as a bundled download at the same price, essentially saving you £15. These are relatively old games, and often hard to find on disc anywhere these days, but you can rest assured with this one that you're unlikely to find a better price for the lot anywhere else at the moment.
There are seven of the eponymous soldiers who make up the main character roster of the series, each with their own combat specialities (eg. Sniper, Spy, Marine etc.), and the game is set smack bang in the middle of WWII. The first game in particular, took a number of its inspirations for mission structures and setpieces from war-related media, with a number of throwbacks to films such as The Dirty Dozen and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
As previously stated, this is somewhat different to your regular C&C-style RTS, and the term real-time tactics game would be far more appropriate here. Don't get me wrong, I have time for base building strategy games, but this is a far more personal - and, in my view, immersive - experience. With each character having a different skill/tool set, the game requires much more thought and planning, something that the isometric view encourages. You can't simply blast your way through enemy forces with an army of Prism Tanks this time around.
This, then, offers something for strategy fans who got a kick out of games such as the aforementioned Cannon Fodder series and anyone who ever played Syndicate. A must for tactical purists.
Thanks to Cuddy at HUKD