Genres (Games)

Table of contents

Child pages

Related pages

  • ...

Strategy games

A list of pages I have on various strategy games

General principles for doing well at a strategy game

  • It seems that strategy games basically boil down to simple mechanics:
    • Knowledge of the game tree, that is, knowledge of the extended consequences of both your and your opponent's choices.
      • Examples: Chess
    • Random chance.
      • Examples: Risk
  • Game tree
    • Make sure you have a very clear understanding of all of the ways that you can win and lose, and don't lose sight of them.
    • It is extremely important to know what your capabilities / immediate-options are, and what immediate effect taking each of those actions is likely to have.
    • It is also extremely important to be aware of what larger, more-abstract, slower-acting patterns exist in the game, and how each of the actions available to you will affect the extent to which those patterns indicate that you are likely to win.
      • Examples
        • Chess has 'Reuben Fine's 30 Rules of Chess', which are basically more-abstract patterns that have been noticed in chess, where violating one of those 'rules' tends to lead to defeat.
    • In a fight between relative equals, the fight may become one of looking for small mistakes / imperfections in your opponent's movements / actions, and taking some action that reduces your opponent's capacity to fight by some amount. And the duration of the fight becomes a series of encounters like this. In a situation like that, patience becomes important.
    • It's often the case that both you and your opponent will have 'moves' or 'units' or 'soldiers' that you can order at a particular time to take some action against your opponent. And it's usually the case that your opponent will have some way of blocking or avoiding your action. And so 

Articles / videos

  • Lindybeige - Priorities in conflict - a possibly-new schema
    • My thoughts
      • As several commenters pointed out, this is very similar to SWOT analysis.
      • I think the 
    • Summary
      • There are four priorities in any sort of conflict (between individuals, groups, gaming, business).
      • I'll use a battle between two armies as an example.
      • First thing I need to do is look at my army and the enemy's army and think about four things: my strengths, my weaknesses, my opponent's strengths, and my opponent's weaknesses.
      • One priority is that I need my army to be able to use its strengths.
      • Another priority is to protect my weaknesses.
      • A third priority is to attack the enemy's weak spot.
      • A fourth priority is to make sure my opponent doesn't get to use his strengths.
      • If you can achieve all four priorities and still lose, then you never stood any chance in the first place.
        • (If you create a scenario where the weaker army can achieve all four priorities and still lose, it's not a balanced scenario.)
      • Within those four prioties, there are priorities. This is because it's unlikely you'll be able to achieve all four priorities. So you need to pick which of those priorities are higher than others.
      • The way to do that is to look at your army's overall strength relative to your opponent.
      • If your army is overall superior, your number one priority is to use your strength.
      • If your army is weaker:
        • your highest priority is to make sure your opponent doesn't get to use his strength.
        • If you think you are the weaker party, then your next-highest priority is to attack your opponent's weak spot.
        • "You can forget about" the other two priorities (protecting your weaknesses and having your army able to use its strengths) because it's "incredibly unlikely" you'll achieve all four priorities.
      • If you're the stronger party, your second priority is to protect your weakness.

Wargaming / Simulation gaming / Scenario gaming


Videos / Articles


  • 2014.08.11 - YouTube - Lindybeige - Introducing Crossfire - World War Two wargaming
    • 0:30 - He shows the box, which says "no rulers required, no fixed game turns".
    • 0:54 - You need lots of terrain for Crossfire to work properly. Instead of using rulers, you use terrain features as if they were squares on a chessboard.
    • 01:05 - Another benefit is that it just uses 4-5 D6 dice.
    • 01:17 - In Crossfire it's vital to look at the table and think, "What is my priority?"
    • 01:40 - It's possible to move a unit all the way across the map, which means it's important to protect your flanks, keep interlocking fields of fire, and keep a reserve.
    • 1:58 - The best thing about the system is that even new players quickly stop thinking about the rules. There is no turn sequence. You do whatever you want in whatever order you want. So people start thinking like the commander who was actually there. (I think what he's getting at is that the lack of turns forces players to make decisions more quickly).
    • 2:30 - He gives an example which seems to suggest that there *are* turns, but they're not *fixed* turns. Instead you have something called "initiative".
    • 3:10 - It's exciting, it's fluid, and it gives very decisive results.
    • 3:17 - You almost never run into a situation where you have a big slugging match but run out of time before the battle can be resolved. Instead, at some point one side is able to make a gap in the opposing front line, pour through a lot of troops, sweep around the flanks, and mop everyone else up, and it's all over very quickly. He suggests this is more realistic.
  • Lloydian Aspects - Crossfire
    • I have made various additions and alterations to the rules, and I usually play the game on a scale not intended by the author, where one figure represent one man, rather than one base of three figures representing one section or squad.
  • Lessons from Lloyd's Operation Crossfire experience:

    • 0:20 - He says he had very little sleep in the week before the event, but doesn't explain why.

    • 0:30 - The night before the event someone dropped out.

    • 0:38 - Someone else revealed the night before that they didn't understand that it was a synchronous event, and they said they would do it at 4pm their time, which would be after the event had finished. The guy said he'd try to get up, but then Lloyd hadn't heard from him the morning of the event.

    • 1:30 - He says organizing the event is much more than what one person should be doing.

    • 1:36 - He says he has lots of scribbled notes.

    • 1:38 - He has the battlefield laid out on his bed.

    • 2:00 - He says he's going to have to rely on his players to be honest because he can't keep track of what they're up to.

    • 2:10 - Running a corp-level military engagement is a lot of work. He points out that in r/l a general would have a lot of staff helping to coordinate everyone.

    • 2:43 - In the 4 hours of gameplay, he was sent 839 emails. Each player only sent an average of 18.6 emails, one every 13 minutes. There were 45 players. He was getting an email every 17 seconds.

    • 3:07 - He shows a cooker timer that can time four things at once. He gives as an example of its use a player who wants to go from one place to another, and Lloyd has decided it will take him 20 minutes, Lloyd can start the timer and take a note of what had happened.

    • 3:37 - He learned why radio discipline is important: it forces people to give the information necessary for the recipient to act on it. For example, a player would email Lloyd and say, "My clock's run out of time", and Lloyd is left wondering, "Who is this? Where is he? Which side is he on? Has he achieved his objective? Which objective is he talking about? Did he achieve it under time? Did he go over time?"

    • 4:08 - He shows himself during the event, where he's gotten an email from a player who had to drive his wife to the hospital as she'd gone into labor.

    • 4:27 - He says there were surprise parachute landings and changes in weather, boats turning up, things being spotted from aircraft. He says he wrote briefs for the commanders in chief of 15,000 words each. He says he put in a lot of 'nasty traps' for the commanders. He gives an example of a commander who knew that he had a maverick commando commander doing a boat landing, and then Lloyd sent him an RAF transcript where an RAF pilot says they've spotted some unidentified boats, asking for permission to engage, and then the RAF ground officer says, "They're not on my charts, permission granted", and the c-in-c had to email back telling the RAF not to engage. Then later Lloyd sent the c-in-c another message saying some boats had been spotted, and the c-in-c (correctly) cleared the RAF to engage.

    • 5:16 - The scenario was this: there were several bridges that the Allies needed to capture (they didn't succeed). He shows pictures from various players of their tabletop set-up. it looks like there were a lot of individual battles going on, similar to Combat Mission. He says the players seemed to find it more than the usual wargame. "They were aware that they were part of something bigger. Reinforcements kept turning up on their table, or they were ordered to send reinforcements somewhere else, or things moved across their table on their way somewhere else. They were all of course screaming for air support and tank support, and strangely, almost nobody asked for reinforcements of infantry, but there you go."

    • 5:54 - He says some people have suggested that he run these commercially. He then cuts to a shot of him 3 hours in with lots of unresponded-to emails, looking totally overwhelmed.

    • 6:10 - He seems to conclude with the feeling that it was a success, saying "It wasn't so bad" in a cheery voice.

    • 6:13 - The end-title relates that "the German C-in-C accidentally put his main reserves right next to the Allied paratroop landings he didn't know about."

    • Comments:

      • Captain Hindsight's Notes for Next Time:

        • 1) This whole thing would go a lot easier with an instant messaging program like AIM. That way there isn't half a dozen button clicks between sending or receiving a message, and everything is as instant as it can be.

        • 2) CHAIN OF COMMAND.

      • Lindybeige you've discovered by accident one of the biggest problems military staffs encounter in modern warfare. As you correctly pointed out, the whole point of a staff is to sort through the myriad of information to help the commander better make decisions. You played the role of the administrative, intelligence, operations, logistics, 2IC, and commander [for both sides mind you], all of whom are busy enough in war doing their own jobs, and you successfully coordinated all of this across many time zones which is a feat in itself.
        There are many ways you could mitigate some of the problems you faced in this exercise (if you ever wanted to do it again) by standardizing email templates (yes, unfortunately it's come to that in real war - but that is what good staff officers do) and laying ground rules for emails, or develop different reports that fit a few important situations. That will cut down on the amount of useless emails you receive (and many reports in real war are actually useless).
        Or you could just enlist the help of some people to assist in running the bloody thing.

        Anyways nice work! You have reinvigorated my interest in Crossfire. Thanks for that!

        Steve - a former staff officer.

      • I'm probably saying this because I'm a programmer but if you were to do this again I would suggest finding a way to automate part of the process if possible. There's no point on overwhelming yourself if a computer can do part of it for you. It's probably easier than you think and just a minor automation would save you a lot of frustration. If you need a programmer I can assure you that there are lots that would give some time to making a little tool and it shouldn't cost a thing. You're contacting people internationally anyway so chances are that in this modern age there would be at least one willing volunteer amongst them to work with you.

      • you should look into

      • LEARN TO USE TEAMSPEAK! - we done 40 player raids in wow that toke 5+ hours, and with moderators and room leaders its much more conducive to what you want. (and it has text chat if u dont have a mic)

    • Thoughts:

      • If it was a corp-level operation (2 divisions, or 6 companies, or ~18 platoons), and there were ~22 players per side, it seems players were controlling platoons. But the Crossfire website says the game is meant for company-level wargaming, and Lloyd's own intro to Crossfire seems to show him commanding a company.

        • Later: If you go to Lloyd's Crossfire website you'll see that he likes to modify the rules to work with smaller numbers of soldiers, so that the models represent real men 1-to-1.

Melee tournaments

  • Lindybeige Goes To War: Lloyd & his team through the melee tournament at FightCamp 2018
    • Tactical mistakes from the fight starting at 22:25:
      • 22:30 - they paired their short longswordsman against a tall longswordsman and the tall longswordsman was able to out-reach their short one. That's the first loss shown.
      • 22:37 - Lloyd is in a 2v2 and the opponent opposite him strikes his partner, but Lloyd simultaneously strikes that opponent, so they're left with a 1v1. I guess the only "mistake" here is that they didn't try to stand off / delay more to take advantage of a tactical opportunity, as trading off helps the team with a number advantage. But I'm not sure how easy it is to just stand off and not let the opponent get within striking distance without giving up ground. It looks like Lloyd's teammate was pushing in to the opponent that struck him in an attempt to pressure him (as that was the opponent opposite Lloyd, so I guess the idea was to create a quick 2v1 situation), but got way too close. At 22:31 you see Lloyd's teammate turn his attention to Lloyd's opponent. It seems like he just telegraphed his intentions too much; the opponent was able to see him coming.
      • 22:42 - At this point it's a 4v3 and they're surrounded and packed together, so it's practically lost. The one thing I see is that they have not focused on eliminating the female on the opposing team, and she's still on the field. So at this point the best thing I can think of would be for Lloyd to try to run around and try to get the woman, and have their teammate try to pull away the two guys that will want to gang up on him (maybe even just running away). [Later: Wow, that's actually what Lloyd does! But while he takes her out, she also takes him out. It looks to me that he got too close to her. They could have practiced judging whether a leg or arm was close enough to hit.]
      • 22:53 - It's now a 3v1. The only thing I can think of would be for the guy to try to run and have the opponents briefly lined up behind each other to turn it into a series of 1v1s, but it looks like they're an 'out-of-bounds' line that he might not be allowed to cross and would prevent him from doing that kind of thing. He does manage to eliminate the opponent that eliminates him, so that's respectable.
      • 23:08 - Lloyd says he doesn't think anything went very wrong tactically. From reading
    • My plan: figure out who the best swordsman is: the person who is best at judging distance, hitting without getting hit, has fastest reaction time, is able to run the best, etc. That person is the one we're going to try to get to do all of the damage. Everyone else is playing defense. We have our best swordsman go after their weakest swordsman, spreading our formation if necessary to expose that swordsman (e.g. if they're in the interior of the formation) and then we have him just run around and look for easy kills, while everyone else tries to avoid engaging with the enemy or losing ground. While waiting to fight everyone puts on their helmets and practices judging distances to know where they're safe and where they're in danger, when they can hit and when they can't.
    • 23:30 Fight
      • I like Lloyd's sudden shift of position, I agree with him that it messes up the opposing team [interestingly in this case the opponent tracks him well]. There's a 2v2 created on the right flank that we don't see, and by 23:43 we see a single opponent come from the right flank, which suggests the 2v2 ended with a single opponent victorious.