Strategy game

Last updated
Chess is one of the most well-known and frequently played strategy games. Staunton chess set.jpg
Chess is one of the most well-known and frequently played strategy games.

A strategy game or strategic game is a game (e.g. video or board game) in which the players' uncoerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree style thinking, and typically very high situational awareness.

Game entertainment, activity; structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment

A game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are also considered to be work or art.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Board game game that involves counters or pieces moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules

A board game is a tabletop game that involves counters or pieces 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.

Contents

The term "strategy" comes ultimately from Greek, (στρατηγια or strategia) meaning generalship. [1] It differs from "tactics" in that it refers to the general scheme of things, whereas "tactics" refers to organization and execution. [2]

Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art of the general," which included several subsets of skills including tactics, siegecraft, logistics etc., the term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century. From then until the 20th century, the word "strategy" came to denote "a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills" in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact.

A tactic is a conceptual action aiming at the achievement of a goal. This action can be implemented as one or more specific tasks. The term is commonly used in business, protest and military contexts, as well as in chess, sports or other competitive activities.

History

The history of turn-based strategy games goes back to the times of ancient civilizations found in places such as Rome, Greece, Egypt, the Levant, and India. Many were played widely through their regions of origin, but only some are still played today. One such game is mancala, [3] which may have originated in Samaria approximately 5000 years ago and has since diversified into scores of varieties worldwide.[ citation needed ] One form challenges two opposing players to clear their side of a board of mancala pieces while adding them into their opponent's side and thereby preventing the opponent from clearing their side. At each end of the game board in this version there is a larger pit in which each player must try to deposit the pieces to try and gain points. When one side is cleared the other side of the board's pieces are added to the cleared side's pile. This version of mancala can be played quite casually, but still presents strategy demands, e.g. to interfere in your opponent's playing area while clearing your own.

Mancala type of count-and-capture games

Mancala is one of the oldest known games to still be widely played today. Mancala is a generic name for a family of two-player turn-based strategy board games played with small stones, beans, or seeds and rows of holes or pits in the earth, a board or other playing surface. The objective is usually to capture all or some set of the opponent's pieces. Versions of the game date back to the 7th century, and evidence suggests the game existed in ancient Egypt.

Another game that has stood the test of time is chess. Chess is believed to have originated in India around the sixth century CE. [4] The game spread to the west by trade, but chess gained social status and permanence more strongly than many other games. Chess became a game of skill and tactics often forcing the players to think two or three moves ahead of their opponent just to keep up. [5] This game also became accepted by many as a proxy for intelligence; people who became grand masters were considered smart. The game portrays foot soldiers, knights, kings, queens, bishops, and rooks. Several portray actual positions in the historical European military. Each piece has a unique movement pattern. For example, the knight is constricted to moving in a L-shape two squares long and one square to the side, the rook can only move in a straight line vertically or horizontally, and bishops can move diagonally on the board.

Chess Strategy board game

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.

Military Organization primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war

A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards.

Types

Abstract strategy

In abstract strategy games, the game is only loosely tied to a thematic concept, if at all. The rules do not attempt to simulate reality, but rather serve the internal logic of the game.

Abstract strategy game strategy game that minimizes luck and does not rely on a theme

An abstract strategy game is a strategy game in which the theme is not important to the experience of playing. Many of the world's classic board games, including chess, Go, checkers and draughts, xiangqi, shogi, Reversi, Nine Men's Morris, and most mancala variants, fit into this category. As J. Mark Thompson wrote in his article "Defining the Abstract", play is sometimes said to resemble a series of puzzles the players pose to each other:

There is an intimate relationship between such games and puzzles: every board position presents the player with the puzzle, What is the best move?, which in theory could be solved by logic alone. A good abstract game can therefore be thought of as a "family" of potentially interesting logic puzzles, and the play consists of each player posing such a puzzle to the other. Good players are the ones who find the most difficult puzzles to present to their opponents.

A purist's definition of an abstract strategy game requires that it cannot have random elements or hidden information. This definition includes such games as chess, Go and Arimaa (a game with multiple moves within a turn). However, many games are commonly classed as abstract strategy games which do not meet these criteria: games such as backgammon, Octiles, Can't Stop , Sequence and Mentalis have all been described as "abstract strategy" games despite having a chance element.[ citation needed ] A smaller category of non-perfect abstract strategy games incorporate hidden information without using any random elements; for example, Stratego.

Go (game) Abstract strategy board game for two players

Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. The game was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played to the present day. A 2016 survey by the International Go Federation's 75 member nations found that there are over 46 million people worldwide who know how to play Go and over 20 million current players, the majority of whom live in East Asia.

Arimaa is a two-player strategy board game that was designed to be playable with a standard chess set and difficult for computers while still being easy to learn and fun to play for humans. Beginning in 2004, the Arimaa community held three annual tournaments: a World Championship, a Computer Championship, and the Arimaa Challenge. In 2015, the challenge was won decisively by the computer. Wu published a paper describing the algorithm and most of ICGA Journal Issue 38/1 was dedicated to this topic. The algorithm combined traditional alpha–beta pruning with heuristic functions manually written while analysing human expert games.

Backgammon one of the oldest board games for two players

Backgammon is one of the oldest known board games. Its history can be traced back nearly 5,000 years to archeological discoveries in Mesopotamia. It is a two player game where each player has fifteen pieces (checkers) which move between twenty-four triangles (points) according to the roll of two dice. The objective of the game is to be first to bear off, i.e. move all fifteen checkers off the board. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games.

Team strategy

One of the most focused team strategy games is contract bridge. This card game consists of two teams of two players, whose offensive and defensive skills are continually in flux as the game's dynamic progresses. Some argue that the benefits of playing this team strategy card game extend to those skills and strategies used in business [6] and that the playing of these games helps to automate strategic awareness.

Eurogames

Eurogames, or German-style boardgames, are a relatively new genre that sit between abstract strategy games and simulation games. They generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction and abstract physical components. The games emphasize strategy, play down chance and conflict, lean towards economic rather than military themes, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends.

Simulation

This type of game is an attempt to simulate the decisions and processes inherent to some real-world situation. Most of the rules are chosen to reflect what the real-world consequences would be of each player's actions and decisions. Abstract games cannot be completely divided from simulations and so games can be thought of as existing on a continuum of almost pure abstraction (like Abalone ) to almost pure simulation (like Diceball! or Strat-o-Matic Baseball ).

Wargame

A German military wargame from 1824. Kriegsspiel 1824.jpg
A German military wargame from 1824.

Wargames are simulations of military battles, campaigns or entire wars. Players will have to consider situations that are analogous to the situations faced by leaders of historical battles. As such, wargames are usually heavy on simulation elements, and while they are all "strategy games", they can also be "strategic" or "tactical" in the military jargon sense. Its creator, H. G. Wells, stated how "much better is this amiable miniature [war] than the real thing". [7]

Traditionally, wargames have been played either with miniatures, using physical models of detailed terrain and miniature representations of people and equipment to depict the game state; or on a board, which commonly uses cardboard counters on a hex map.

Popular miniature wargames include Warhammer 40,000 or its fantasy counterpart Warhammer Fantasy . Popular strategic board wargames include Risk , Axis and Allies , Diplomacy , and Paths of Glory . Advanced Squad Leader is a successful tactical scale wargame.

Strategy video games

Strategy video games are categorized based on whether they offer the continuous gameplay of real-time strategy (RTS), or the discrete phases of turn-based strategy (TBS). [8] Often the computer is expected to emulate a strategically thinking "side" similar to that of a human player (such as directing armies and constructing buildings), or emulate the "instinctive" actions of individual units that would be too tedious for a player to administer (such as for a peasant to run away when attacked, as opposed to standing still until otherwise ordered by the player); hence there is an emphasis on artificial intelligence.

Modern day turn-based

One of today's modern games that has become a sensation for its strategy and tactics is the XCOM franchise, specifically the two most recent games, XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) [9] and XCOM 2 (2016). [10] These two games portray the player as a commander of an international organization known as XCOM. The player's job is to repel an alien force using the recourses that you are given by each region and country that is a part of the organization. The game is played through confrontations with the alien force using a squad of four to six soldiers with periods of time in between where the player is able to even the odds placed against them by upgrading weapons and armor for the soldiers using technology that is recovered from the aliens. These upgrades result in boosted health as well as laser- and plasma-based weapons and are necessary to achieve if the player wishes to complete the game. Like chess the games have different classes of soldiers with different abilities which can turn the tide of the game if you use them correctly or not. They come in six classes for each game. In XCOM: Enemy Unknown [9] the soldier classes consist of heavy, capable of dealing heavy damage and carrying rockets as well as grenades; the sniper, capable of hitting enemies from beyond line of sight and doing immense amounts of damage with a single shot; the support, can heal teammates and provide cover using smoke; the assault, which relies on getting up close in order to use the shotgun that they use to make short work of any enemy; the Psionic, this class specializes in applying status effects and generally messing with the opponent's force; and finally the MEC, this used to be a fully organic being but volunteered to replace their organic body with robotic augments, this gives them massive amounts of health and makes them the tanks of the game on the protagonists side.

Another aspect of turn-based strategy rather than just a battlefield in modern video games is controlling countries such as in the Civilization franchise and their most recent title, Civilization VI. [11] This strategy game forces the player to look at the world as a whole as there are multiple countries involved in the game that will react to the player and their actions and how they influence the world. [12] The player must maintain relations with other nations as they try to progress their society forward by the inclusion of funding to sections of their society such as mathematics, art, science, and agriculture. Each of these is important to maintain as the player progresses because without the added funds to these branches of society most players will be stuck in the Dark Ages while other civilizations advance into renaissance eras and further. This can cause turmoil in the player's civilization as well as revolt and will bring the civilization crumbling to the ground. This is only a small portion of the game, the other nations around the player will offer treaties [12] and alliances [12] but some of these are shams and are used to lure the player into a false sense of security as an allied nation begins to take over resources or land that used to belong to the player. In these situations it becomes tricky to navigate as there are two paths, negotiation or war. Negotiations are often the best choice because it avoids conflict and allows your society to progress further whereas war takes a considerable amount of resources and the player must also be aware of the actual allies that the opposing force has and how much aid they will provide. Unfortunately negotiations are not always possible and it can result in war, this makes it very important to have loyal allies of your own and a suitable army with sufficient technologies which is all supported by your societies math and science departments respectively.

See also

Related Research Articles

Wargame Strategy game that represents warfare realistically.

A wargame is a type of strategy game that simulates warfare realistically, as opposed to abstract strategy games such as chess. A wargame does not involve the activities of actual military forces, which is better called a field training exercise. Likewise, the term "wargame" should not be applied to sports such as paintball.

A turn-based strategy (TBS) game is a strategy game where players take turns when playing. This is distinguished from real-time strategy (RTS), in which all players play simultaneously.

Articles pertaining to games and gaming include:

<i>X-COM</i> Video game series

X-COM is a science fiction video game franchise featuring an elite international organization tasked with countering alien invasions of Earth. The series began with the strategy video game UFO: Enemy Unknown created by Julian Gollop's Mythos Games and MicroProse in 1994. The original lineup by MicroProse included six published and at least two canceled games, as well as two novels. The X-COM series, in particular its original entry, achieved a sizable cult following and has influenced many other video games; including the creation of a number of clones, spiritual successors, and unofficial remakes.

Miniature wargaming Wargame genre

Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which players enact battles between opposing military forces that are represented by miniature physical models. The use of physical models to represent military units is in contrast to other tabletop wargames that use abstract pieces such as counters or blocks, or computer wargames which use virtual models. The primary benefit of using models is aesthetics, though in certain wargames the size and shape of the models can have practical consequences on how the match plays out.

<i>UFO: Enemy Unknown</i> 1993 video game

UFO: Enemy Unknown is a science fiction strategy video game developed by Mythos Games and MicroProse. It was published by MicroProse in 1994 for MS-DOS and Amiga computers and the Amiga CD32 console, and in 1995 for the PlayStation. Its European PlayStation release is titled X-COM: Enemy Unknown.

<i>PanzerBlitz</i>

PanzerBlitz is a tactical-scale board wargame of armoured combat set in the Eastern Front of the Second World War. The game is notable for being the first true board-based tactical-level, commercially available conflict simulation (wargame). It also pioneered concepts such as isomorphic mapboards and open-ended design, in which multiple unit counters were provided from which players could fashion their own free-form combat situations rather than simply replaying pre-structured scenarios.

Man-to-man wargame

A man-to-man wargame is a wargame in which units generally represent single individuals or weapons systems, and are rated not only on weaponry but may also be rated on such facets as morale, perception, skill-at-arms, etc. The game is designed so that a knowledge of military tactics, especially at the small unit or squad level, will facilitate successful gameplay. Man-to-man wargames offer an extreme challenge to the designer, as fewer variables or characteristics inherent in the units being simulated are directly quantifiable. Modern commercial board wargaming stayed away from man-to-man subjects for many years, though once the initial attempts were made to address the subject, it has evolved into a popular topic among wargamers.

Turn-based tactics (TBT), or tactical turn-based (TTB), is a computer and video game genre of strategy video games that through stop-action simulates the considerations and circumstances of operational warfare and military tactics in generally small-scale confrontations as opposed to more strategic considerations of turn-based strategy (TBS) games.

Real-time tactics or RTT is a subgenre of tactical wargames played in real-time simulating the considerations and circumstances of operational warfare and military tactics. It is differentiated from real-time strategy gameplay by the lack of classic resource micromanagement and base or unit building, as well as the greater importance of individual units and a focus on complex battlefield tactics.

Wargames are a subgenre of strategy video games that emphasize strategic or tactical warfare on a map, as well as historical accuracy.

A strategy video game is a video game that focuses on skillful thinking and planning to achieve victory. It emphasizes strategic, tactical, and sometimes logistical challenges. Many games also offer economic challenges and exploration. They are generally categorized into four sub-types, depending on whether the game is turn-based or real-time, and whether the game focuses on strategy or tactics.

Board wargame wargame with a set playing surface or board

A board wargame is a wargame with a set playing surface or board, as opposed to being played on a computer or in a more free-form playing area as in miniatures games. The modern, commercial wargaming hobby developed in the late 1954 following the publication and commercial success of Tactics. The board wargaming hobby continues to enjoy a sizeable following, with a number of game publishers and gaming conventions dedicated to the hobby both in the English-speaking world and further afield.

<i>XCOM: Enemy Unknown</i> video game

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a 2012 turn-based tactical video game developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games. The game is a "reimagined" remake of the 1994 cult classic strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown and a reboot of MicroProse's 1990s X-COM series.

Game design game development process of designing the content and rules of a game

Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Increasingly, elements and principles of game design are also applied to other interactions, in the form of gamification.

This page explains commonly used terms in board games in alphabetical order. For a list of board games, see List of board games. For terms specific to chess, see Glossary of chess. For terms related to chess problems, see Glossary of chess problems.

References

  1. "Definition of Strategy". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2010-7-18
  2. "Definition of Tactic". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2010-7-18
  3. "11 Ancient Board Games". 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  4. (MisterCutie), Matthew. "The History of Chess: The Basics". Chess.com. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  5. Adams, Jenny (2011). Power Play: The Literature and Politics of Chess in the Late Middle Ages. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN   9780812201048.
  6. "How to automate strategic & tactical thinking Archived 2015-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Rundle, Michael (2013-04-09). "How H. G. Wells Invented Modern War Games 100 Years Ago". The Huffington Post.
  8. "Strategy Games". Apple. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  9. 1 2 "XCOM: Enemy Unknown Wiki Guide - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  10. Stapleton, Dan (2016-02-01). "XCOM 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  11. "Civilization 6 review – The best in the series to date". TrustedReviews. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  12. 1 2 3 "Civilization 6 Wiki Guide - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2017-04-10.