You mentioned Wine: yes I like that too but since you need a solution for Windows 8... I don't think you have "Wine for Windows" as an option.
There is however a good view looking at some "Wine through Windows".
A VMware Player VM has a pretty good performance and I've already played some older games on it. Red Alert, Red Alert 2, Age of Empires ... also isometric ones... I'm pretty sure Desperados will do just fine. Just install the VM tools for better performance.