Strategy game

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A strategy game is a game in which long-term planning of how the game will proceed is crucial. Strategy games often contain no or only very few elements of luck or chance.

Strategy games are u. a. Research subject of game theory ; this is used in mathematics and economics .

In contrast to classical decision theory, game theory describes decision-making situations in which the success of the individual depends not only on their own actions, but also on the actions of others ( interdependent decision-making situation ).


In pure strategy games (games without random elements) you can in principle calculate the result in every game situation if all players play perfectly. In practice, however, the games are often too complex to calculate. Strategy games require players to develop an approach that encompasses the entire course of the game. In contrast to pure tactics (the decision on a case-by-case basis), it is not just a matter of including the previous move or the subsequent move in your considerations, but also of thinking several moves in advance, grasping the structures of the game situation and planning their long-term effects in advance .

Our most famous strategy game is the board game chess . Other traditional games are checkers , mancala and go . In game theory , random strategy games without hidden elements, such as simultaneous moves, are among the games with perfect information .

After the classic games, numerous conflict simulation games and tabletop games that belong to the category of strategy games have been developed since the 1950s, especially in the Anglo-Saxon-speaking area . Card and board games, which are also assigned to this category, have emerged in Europe mainly since the 1990s . Examples of this are Euphrates & Tigris by Reiner Knizia and Puerto Rico by Andreas Seyfarth , both of which were awarded the German Games Prize , as well as many abstract two-person games, such as those in the Gipf series by Kris Burm.

The logical background and the description of the possibilities and the behavior of the players is described with the help of game theory. There is also a whole genre of strategy games for the computer .

So far the only pure strategy game that the game prize game of the year won was in 1981, that of Sid Sackson developed board game Focus . If one compares the two game awards “Game of the Year” and “German Games Award”, strategy games usually do better with the latter, as the suggestions from players who deal intensively with games are included here, while the “Game of the Year” uses the The jury particularly considered the playability for families and a low-threshold, quick start.

Differentiation from the tactical game

A strategy is a long-term, systematic striving for an advantageous location or goal. Tactics generally refers to specific aspects and calculations, for example in chess a situational combination comprising a few moves with chess tactical elements such as deduction , double attack or bondage . Such a combination creates concrete threats and aims at concrete advantages, such as loss of figures or disadvantage in position. Such plans cannot normally be drawn up in the long term, but must be sought by the players during the game.

A strategy, on the other hand, is designed to influence the entire course of the game and decide which opening a player chooses. Because depending on the opening, the game fundamentally changes its direction and the player can strive for a type of game (e.g. open exchange of blows or careful maneuvering) in which he feels stronger, often without this being actually measurable.


  • Alexander Mehlmann: Strategic Games for Beginners - A playful, formal introduction to methods, models and applications of game theory. (Series: Mathematics for Beginners). Vieweg + Teubner, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8348-0174-6 .

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Wiktionary: Strategy game  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations