A "Strategic template" is something that can accurately be predicted by an ELO win probability calculator or something like it:https://wismuth.com/elo/calculator.html
Something like chess, is completely strategic aside from the randomness in move order (50% chance of being White)
A template like Strategic 1v1 is considered strategic because of the skill gap that exists. The player who is better wins at a probability nearly predicted by the aforementioned calculator.
It is not specific settings that make things strategic, however there are common themes with strategic templates:Not too many armies
Make the base income in Strategic 1v1 100, I wouldn't consider it a Strategic (or fun) template. Low-medium amounts of armies make it much easier for an advantage to occur. This is why templates often remove super-bonuses, or simply avoid the maps with super-bonuses. Another aspect of this is WR vs SR. Strategic ME 0%WR has "less" armies, which is part of why some people prefer it over Strategic MME. Strategic Map
Nobody plays 1v1 on 3200 territory US Counties map, for the same reason as above, the games aren't fun and it is hard to get an advantage over the other player. Maps with 100-300 territories and fair bonuses are usually considered strategic.Goldilocks-Zone Intel
Intel is the amount of information you know about your opponent. Auto-Distribution? Not enough intel. Anything besides Light or Normal Fog? Too much intel. I considered szewenigen's LFD templates to be in the area of too much intel, so I came up with Greece LLFD:https://www.warzone.com/MultiPlayer?GameID=9782739
This template has normal fog, not too many armies, and what I believe to be Goldilocks,Zone Intel. Combos are common, so you will have a general idea of where your opponent is, but of course not exactly.Inequitable-Bonuses
Imagine Strategic 1v1 with no wastelands, fixed distribution, and every bonus is set to n-1. There would still be some strategic value, but eventually the game would be "solved" and become a sort of rock paper scissors. The same is true on symmetrical maps. Templates like Europe 3v3 focus on regions of the map. It sacrifices intel for hierarchy of picking. You basically know where your opponent is on a Europe 3v3 game.
Finally, not all templates need to be "Strategic". It can be fun to play a game like one of Blortis' big games, however templates that are "Strategic" are ones we'd like to consider when picking Ladder, QM, or Clan League templates.