Abstract Strategy Games

Anything and everything about abstract strategy games

Strategy requires thought; tactics requires observation. - Max Euwe

Strategies are long term plans to win a game. A tactic is an immediate action, typically planned to advance your strategy. Tactics often are available as a result of a particular strategy. It is common for the winner to best coordinate tactics with strategies. Strategic goals are often accomplished through tactics. It is also possible to allow for a tactical loss and gain a strategic advantage.


"Chess is 99% tactics"
Richard Teichmann

Two questions to help understand the difference:
1. What do I do to win? (Strategy)
2. How do I do it? (Tactics)

Strategic examples:
1.  Chess: Pawn Structure, King Safety, Center
2.  Go: Amashi, Shinogi, and Reduction (more)

Tactical examples:
1.  Chess:  Forks, Pins, and Discovered Attacks
2.  Go: Ladder, Net, and Snapback (more)

It is common for players to be referred to as ‘strategical players’ or ‘tactical players’. For most abstract strategy games, a player needs to understand both strategy and tactics to be well-rounded. Every game has a natural balance of tactics and strategy, and may reward more tactical or strategic gameplay.  A player needs to know how to balance the two levels.  For example, a chess player will often be more tactical when first playing Go, and will need to learn the strategy/tactic balance in Go.