The Short and Long of Strategy

After we master the rules of a game, most folks derive enjoyment from mastering the strategy of a game, and like the focus on a nice camera, game strategy often revolves around your field of view.

Optic Field
Most games focus on short term strategy, long term strategy, or some combination of the two.

It’s easy to see examples of long term strategy in economic Euro games, where you can take several turns not necessarily getting any closer to victory, but you are instead spending those turns building a combination of game elements that will then give you a (hopefully) enough points to win you the game.

Short term strategy is important too, taking a look at the current state of the board and trying to make the most effective move with the resources at hand. Oftentimes games that focus on short term strategy make long term planning difficult, because unknown variables will only reveal themselves turn by turn, possibly throwing your long range plans completely off course.

I enjoy games that try to have a hybrid mix, and that’s what I’ve tried create in Killer Croquet. There is enough known and unknown in Killer Croquet that you can plan several turns in advance what you would generally like to accomplish, but you have to pay close attention to what the other players are doing to ensure that your opponents have not presented.

Predicative Models
The way Killer Croquet is laid out, the first player has a few interesting options, the second player has more, and so on. As the game progresses, it’s easier to predict what the players ahead of you are planning on doing, and attempt to position yourself in an optimal position.

Because players are often shooting for the same goal, they often get in each other’s way, and when that happens they start to take damage. When players start to dip down to lower health, they start to become more attractive targets to knock down (and score points).

Players have to be thinking three turns ahead, but have to constantly temper that plan as the board begins to change.

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