Strategy vs Tactics
Over the weekend I saw a really interesting geeklist about games with great strategy. Find the list here:
The concepts of strategy and tactics are pretty important in games, and I thought we might have our own little discussion.
In high school and grad school, I was deeply into chess, and I read more than a dozen books on chess theory. In that course of study, I learned that "tactics" refers to a short sequence of specific moves that you can completely calculate in detail: "if he captures my pawn with that knight, I'll move my queen and fork his rook and king." By contrast "strategy" refers to a long-term plan without a detailed move-response-move analysis: "he launched a central attack, so I'll clog the center then counter-attack on the king-side." Notice the strategy didn't mention a piece or a move, while the tactics named specific moves for specific pieces.
Sometimes people say that strategy is your plan and tactics are how you execute the plan. That is not too far off.
To have a lot of strategy, a game must be stable enough for long-term plans to be meaningful. The "game space" must also be big enough that you can't calculate most of the game tree. If you can calculate everything, you're back into tactics.
I offer the following questions to the group:
-- leaving aside the obvious chess & go, name a game(s) you've played that is (are) highly strategic
-- name a game(s) you've played that's highly tactical
-- do you have a personal preference? When you consider your favorite games, do they tend to be mostly tactical or strategic, or both?