Simultaneous action selection, or SAS, is a game mechanic that occurs when players of a game take action (such as moving their pieces) at the same time. Examples of games that use this type of movement include rock–paper–scissors and Diplomacy. Typically, a "secret yet binding" method of committing to one's move is necessary, so that as players' moves are revealed and implemented, others do not change their moves in light of the new information. Thus, in Diplomacy, players write down their moves and then reveal them simultaneously. Because no player gets the first move, this potentially arbitrary source of advantage is not present. It is also possible for simultaneous movement games to proceed relatively quickly, because players are acting at the same time, rather than waiting for their turn. Simultaneous action selection is easily implemented in card games such as Apples to Apples in which players simply select cards and throw them face-down into the center.
Game mechanics are methods invoked by agents designed for interaction with the game state, thus providing gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game. In general, the process and study of game design, or ludology, are efforts to come up with game mechanics that allow for people playing a game to have an engaging, but not necessarily fun, experience.
Rock–paper–scissors is a hand game usually played between two people, in which each player simultaneously forms one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. These shapes are "rock", "paper", and "scissors". "Scissors" is identical to the two-fingered V sign except that it is pointed horizontally instead of being held upright in the air. A simultaneous, zero-sum game, it has only two possible outcomes: a draw, or a win for one player and a loss for the other.
Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by Allan B. Calhamer in 1954 and released commercially in 1959. Its main distinctions from most board wargames are its negotiation phases and the absence of dice and other game elements that produce random effects. Set in Europe in the years leading to the Great War, Diplomacy is played by two to seven players, each controlling the armed forces of a major European power. Each player aims to move his or her few starting units and defeat those of others to win possession of a majority of strategic cities and provinces marked as "supply centers" on the map; these supply centers allow players who control them to produce more units. Following each round of player negotiations, each player can issue attack orders and take control of a neighboring province when the number of provinces adjacent to the attacking province that are given orders to support the attacking province exceeds the number of provinces adjacent to the province under attack that are given orders to support the province under attack.
Some games do not lend themselves to simultaneous movement, because one player's move may be prevented by the other player's. For instance, in chess, a move of a bishop takes queen would be incompatible with a simultaneous opposing move of queen takes bishop. By contrast, the simultaneous movement is possible in Junta because each coup phase has a movement stage and a separate combat stage; no units are removed until all have had a chance to move. It has been noted that "a certain amount of reverse psychology and reverse-reverse psychology ensues" as players attempt to calculate the implications of others' potential actions.Junta also has simultaneous action selection in that players secretly choose their locations at the same time. This is important in that, for instance, a player plotting an assassination may choose the bank for his or her own location (hoping to quickly deposit the ill-gotten gains) before finding out whether the location of his or her assassination was on the mark.
Junta is a board game designed by Merlin Southwell first published in 1978 by Creative Wargames Workshop and published, as of 1985, by West End Games. Players compete as the corrupt power elite families of a fictional parody of a stereotypical banana republic trying to get as much money as possible into their Swiss bank accounts before the foreign aid money runs out. Fighting in the republic's capital during recurrent coup attempts encompasses most of the game's equipment, rules and playtime. This game-within-the-game is however actually tangential to the players' main goal.
Simultaneous action selection is used in many real-world applications such as first-price sealed-bid auctions. The fact that no bidder knows what others are planning to bid may provide an incentive to bid high if there is a strong desire to win the auction, which can result in much higher winning bids than if better information were available. The prisoner's dilemma is another classic example of simultaneous action selection. SAS can also be used to introduce an element of chance, as when rock-paper-scissors is used to decide a matter.
A first-price sealed-bid auction (FPSBA) is a common type of auction. It is also known as blind auction. In this type of auction, all bidders simultaneously submit sealed bids, so that no bidder knows the bid of any other participant. The highest bidder pays the price they submitted.
The prisoner's dilemma is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two completely rational individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so. It was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher while working at RAND in 1950. Albert W. Tucker formalized the game with prison sentence rewards and named it "prisoner's dilemma", presenting it as follows:
Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge, but they have enough to convict both on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the prosecutors offer each prisoner a bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The offer is:
A board game is a tabletop game that involves counters or moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Some games are based on pure strategy, but many contain an element of chance; and some are purely chance, with no element of skill.
Play-by-mail games, or play-by-post games, are games, of any type, played through postal mail or email.
In game theory, a player's strategy is any of the options which he or she chooses in a setting where the outcome depends not only on their own actions but on the actions of others. A player's strategy will determine the action which the player will take at any stage of the game.
Citadels is a German-style card game, designed by Bruno Faidutti, originally published in French as Citadelles by MultiSim in 2000, illustrated by Julien Delval, Florence Magnin, Jean-Louis Mourier and Cyrille Daujean as graphic designer for the first edition. Sometime later, Citadels was published in German as Ohne Furcht und Adel, which means "Without Fear or Nobility".
Landslide is the name of two board games about the U.S. presidential elections, where players compete to become the president of the United States.
Attack! is a board game created by Glenn Drover and published by Eagle Games in 2003. It is a light war game that is midway between Risk and Axis and Allies in complexity. The game is loosely set in the 1930s and includes plastic pieces featuring tanks, planes, infantry, and artillery. Attack! won the Origins Award for Best Historical Game 2003.
Hoity Toity is a multiplayer board game created by Klaus Teuber in 1990, and published in the United States by Überplay in 2008. The game was also published in the United States under the original German title and under the name, By Hook or Crook, and in the United Kingdom under the name Fair Means or Foul.
Power Grid is the English-language edition of the multiplayer German-style board game Funkenschlag designed by Friedemann Friese and first published in 2004. Power Grid is published by Rio Grande Games.
A unique bid auction is a type of strategy game related to traditional auctions where the winner is usually the individual with the lowest unique bid, although less commonly the auction rules may specify that the highest unique bid is the winner. Unique bid auctions are often used as a form of competition and strategy game where bidders pay a fee to make a bid, or may have to pay a subscription fee in order to be able to participate.
Terrorist is a real-time, two player strategy game developed by Steven Pederson of Edu-Ware Services in 1980 for the Apple II. One player plays the government authority, while the other plays a terrorist organization in three scenarios: the capture of a building and taking of hostages, air piracy, and nuclear blackmail. Players make their moves at the same time through the use of game paddles. Winner and loser is judged by an elaborate scoring system based upon the government player's societal values and the terrorist player's goals.
Container is an economic simulation board game for three to five players, released in 2007. The game was designed by Franz-Benno Delonge and Thomas Ewert. The game is themed around the shipping industry, and the primary pieces in the game are shipping containers. The players produce, buy, sell, ship and store containers with the general goal of maximizing overall profits. Economic considerations such as supply and demand, cash management, return on investment and efficient use of resources are natural consequences of the game's buying and selling rules.
StarForce: Alpha Centauri is a board game published in 1974 by Simulations Publications Inc.. It was one of their first science fiction games, a departure from their usual historical wargames. Redmond Simonsen, SPI's art director, wrote its background information and designed the game.
Race for the Galaxy is a card game designed by Thomas Lehmann that was released in 2007 by Rio Grande Games. Its theme is to build galactic civilizations via game cards that represent worlds or technical and social developments. It accommodates 2-4 players by default although expansions allow for up to 6 players, as well as solo play. The game uses iconography in place of language in some places, with complex powers also having a text description. While appreciated by experienced players for being concise, some new players find the icons difficult to learn and decipher.
In game theory, a simultaneous game is a game where each player chooses his action without knowledge of the actions chosen by other players. Simultaneous games contrast with sequential games, which are played by the players taking turns. Normal form representations are usually used for simultaneous games.
Machiavelli is a strategic board game created by S. Craig Taylor and James B. Wood, and released commercially in 1977 by Battleline Publications, later taken over in 1980 by Avalon Hill, who are currently owned by Hasbro. Set in Renaissance Italy, the board is controlled by the Republic of Florence, the Republic of Venice, the Duchy of Milan, the Kingdom of Naples, the Papacy, Valois France, Habsburg Austria, and the Ottoman Turks.
Kingdom Builder is a strategic board game designed by Donald X. Vaccarino, published in 2011 by Queen Games with illustrations by Oliver Schlemmer in German, British and international versions. A Finnish-Swedish version was released in 2012 by lautapelit.fi.
BoardGameGeek is an online forum for board gaming hobbyists and a game database that holds reviews, images and videos for over 101,000 different tabletop games, including European-style board games, wargames, and card games. In addition to the game database, the site allows users to rate games on a 1–10 scale and publishes a ranked list of board games.