For the desktop general...Company of Heroes (read our review)
Don't ask us why, but a lot of PC gamers are also history buffs. Three-way correlation with intelligence, perhaps?
Regardless, Company of Heroes is tailor made for both groups. The real-time strategy title is set in a virtual World War II simply dripping with dramatic atmosphere, in addition to unflinching realism. Lifelike soldiers, accurately rendered vehicles and famously ravaged battlefields will provide even the most hardened player with a frighteningly intense experience. Computer tacticians looking for total control will be satisfied, too, as the game enables you to zoom in and micro manage to your heart's content.
Give Company of Heroes to someone who's read the books and watched the documentaries... and now will have a chance to influence the history themselves.
Runner-up: Medieval II: Total War