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Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

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Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Gauntlet » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:41 pm

So Taros posted quite a bit in another topic regarding these topics and I thought it would make a nice discussion on its own.

I'd like to present a few definitions to help clarify the discussion first. Feel free to disagree, but I figure even if you think I define something poorly at least you know what I mean when I say them...

Strategy
is specifically referred to as a long term or 'broad scope' set of decisions. For example, in almost any RTS you need to make the decision immediately to begin producing military units, or invest the same resources into increasing your economic production, that is a 'Strategic' decision. Whether you should invest in a certain type of combat unit, whether you should move and deploy an army or fleet to a particular place on the map are all examples of strategic choices.

"My strategy is to invest in my economy so heavily that I win by attrition with basic units"
"My strategy is to invest in my economy, but to produce effective units and micro-manage them to achieve victories"

Tactics
Tactics usually refers to the specific methods for executing a strategy. For example, in the case of a heavy economic strategy, an individual tactic used might be the constant production of economic providing structures or units (as opposed to stopping at any point in time). Another example would say, be making sure to keep your long ranged units behind other units who have more health and melee attacks (such as in the Total War Games). These are tactics.

Macro-Management
Generally this refers to the specific set of tactics/execution of an economic based strategy. IE, how fast are you expanding your economy? How much infrastructure are you producing, as well as researching upgrades, managing rally points for new forces, etc.

Micro-Management
The specific tactics involving the moving, positioning, and ability usage of varying units. For example, in SOASE it is a good idea to have your missile frigates target enemy fortifications at long range, while using short range vessels to attack civilian structures out of the range of said defenses. Alternatively, instead of having siege frigates clump up and attack a planet, spreading them out, so that an enemy squadron has difficulty attack all of them in quick succession and is forced to move in-between killing frigates. (Which will buy time for others to escape or reinforcements to arrive, etc.).




Now all that being said, every RTS, I've ever played has these mechanics at work to some degree or another. But some have different focuses. For example:

Supreme Commander has a great focus on economics and Macro Management, virtually no units have any abilities to use, so Micro-Management is only in unit positioning, targeting, focus firing.

SOASE has a very diverse focus, and arguably is about as 'even tempered' as you can get. There are numerous abilities, and while some can turn the tide in battle, a economic victory with attrition and zero micro management is certainly possible.

Starcraft 2 has a strong Micro-Management focus, and after the initial skill levels of play, is really required to one extent or another in order to win, as well as focusing on Macro-Management. Arguably Macro-Management is more important, but easier to learn, and Micro-Management is what gives one player the advantage when evenly matched otherwise.

From what I can tell Gemini Wars will follow Supreme Commander, but has some more interesting dynamics to combat, so while ability usage is non existent, the positioning of ships and focus firing will matter, and ship-boarding adds a nice dimension, and then the tactical/strategic elements of the different forms of movement will like make things interesting as well. Personally while I love Supreme Commander, actually commanding most units is rather tedious and your time is better spent increasing your economy and building super weapons.




I wanted to bring this all up, because I saw some pretty disparaging remarks regarding Starcraft 2, and I found it really interesting because not too long ago I felt the exact same way. I've kind of accidentally gotten good at Starcraft 2... by virtue of it being the only game I can consistently get going after work with friends almost every weekday. I'm no grand master or anything, but I'm a low-level diamond player or high level Platinum player in team games (bronze<Silver<Gold<Platinum<Diamond<Etc.). So I'm not bad.
(Note: Team games generally considered less competitive than 1v1)

I used to pretty much hate the game... I'm certainly really, really pissed off that they have NOT innovated whatsoever (they try to tell you that destructible rock/terrain is innovative when games have had that before Starcraft 1), new units do not equal innovation or even creativity in a genre so diverse. I also generally don't like that the game can be won handedly in the first 7 minutes flat! Its very frustrating at times. I used to not think that Stracraft really had much tactics, and that numbers won games (Macro), but on the other hand, I would think... "damnit these people I'm fighting are just ridiculous clickers!!!" because I could have a much larger army crushed by a couple of spells performed from a unit or two on a cliff I couldn't see.

I was wrong though. For all its lack of creativity, SC2 has strategy (Choosing a heavy econ, choosing certain units, choosing army placement on the map) and tactics (using abilities at the right time, placing units in the right area, moving units properly) and there is definitely a rocks/paper/scissors aspect, but that doesn't mean there isn't strategy (if he has the right units to fight you, then don't fight his units, run reassess/re-purpose factory production, use your units to lead him on goose chases or attack his unprotected areas, Buy some time!). There is a strategy and tactics to knowing what your enemy has, is hiding, or is building and preparing for that.

Macro-Management is more important than micro... but ultimately Macro-Management is pretty easy to learn and the battles are won in Micro terms the higher up you go in level... but you have to lose and win about 100 games (or more!) to even get close to there. I find allot of people think that even if they have the right unit match up, the other guy has more and they lose and they think the game has no micro or some-such, the reality is more likely that your enemy, realizing he was facing a tough fight, moved units properly and focus-fired which decreased the opposing side's DPS during the whole fight, and the other side did not, thus he ends with a large army badly wounded, but still dishing out attacks fairly evenly the whole way through. The only game where this isn't very effective ALL the TIME is SOASE because of Shield Mitigation rules. This really means there is more tactics not less, because in many games the size of the units and the terrain impacts how many can be firing at once, meaning that you can't just attack-move forward and focus fire and expect it to work, you have to get the right positioning too.



So I guess my point is, I'm happy to defend Starcraft 2 and similar games as having some incredible depth and strategy, even how you move a single marine has an impact on the game. BUT I am very happy to admit, that Starcraft 2 is uncreative product, that it is much too fast paced for the average person to get really good at, and that it also is not even very fun... least not for allot of people!

But I don't understand why a game with such a heavy emphasis on Micro-Management gets criticized as being a game of attrition, it is and it isn't, Supreme Commander is a game of attrition to a much greater extent, with virtually limitless resources and units to throw away simply because you can. Games with limited resources forces a player to be more tactical and not less because you need to 'Husband your forces" IE be careful! SOASE is a neat in-between because the capital ships have a certain 'rarity' that makes them worth saving at most costs (because they level and there is a very tight cap on how many you can have at once), while individual units are not; due to infinite resource accumulation (your planets never run out of credits to give you, your asteroids never run out of metal/crystal).

So really... don't say that these games don't have strategy, depth/etc... just make the argument that they are not actually enjoyable to play! Because I can totally agree with that, why on earth should I lose a game because I mis-clicked a few worker units? Or because my little workers were not able to surround enemy zerglings and destroy them quickly enough...

certainly I would be happier if an average game was decided at the 25 minute mark (or later) and not the 6-8 minute mark... but hey... that is why I will buy Gemini Wars and get everyone I know to get it, right?
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Timmah! » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:53 pm

I would like to see 1-hour to 2-hour multiplayers games on average with GW. Even with multiple star systems. BTW although i used to defend the idea of more systems, with words their use would be optional, just for people who seek epic, grand-scale games, i hope the game (multiplayer) at its default will be built for the playing with more systems in mind, just like Conquest FW, i mean it would be a one of the game´s most characteristical traits, not just addition to make game bigger for those who want.

I would like to see 5-10 starsystems to be the default option, less for fast-paced under 1 hour games and more systems for 2hour+ games...
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Taros » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:06 am

Wow i was very surprised to see my name pop up in a separate thread like this :shock:
hadn't really intended to spark up a controversy on this subject, i was meerly remarking upon the
lack of true tactical and strategic depth in these games, though strategy and tactics don't even apply to these games as both are utterly devoid of it.

Gauntlet, before i get into the discussion i have to say im a bit confused as to wether you are defending or berrating both Starcraft and SOASE,
to me it appears that you are doing both at the same time and still further berrating them alltogether. :?:

Alright, first lets start with definitions, no offense intended at all but yours were fuzzy around the edges and you mixed them up a bit, (You somehow broadly defined micromanagement as Strategy and Tactics.)
so lets just go over it and clarify this.

Strategy: (excerpt from Wikipedia)
"Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy, which is part of the four levels of warfare: political goals or grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics. Building on the work of many thinkers on the subject, one can define strategy as "a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills – there have to be at least two sides to a conflict. These sides interact, and thus a Strategy will rarely be successful if it shows no adaptability.""

Also Military Strategy: (excerpt from Wikipedia)
"Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops. Military strategy deals with the planning and conduct of campaigns, the movement and disposition of forces, and the deception of the enemy."

Tactics: (excerpt from Wikipedia)
"Military tactics, the art of organizing an army, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.[1] Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In current military thought, tactics are the lowest of three planning levels, involving small units up to a few hundred personnel. The highest tier of planning is the strategy, which is concerned with the overall means and plan for achieving a long-term outcome. An intermediate level, which converts the strategy (high level) into tactics (low level) is the operational level that deals with formations of units."

Micromanagement: (excerpt from Wikipedia)
"In gaming, micromanagement describes minor, detailed gameplay elements that must be manually addressed by the player. It appears in a wide range of games including strategy video games, construction and management simulations and pet-raising simulations. Micromanagement has been perceived in different ways by game designers and players for many years: some players and designers perceive it as a useful addition to games that adds options and technique to the gameplay, and one that is necessary if the game is to support top-level competitions; and some enjoy opportunities to use tactical skill in combat games; other gamers regard it as an unwelcomed distraction from higher levels of strategic thinking, dislike having to do a lot of detailed work, and some games try to minimize micromanagement in the game interfaces."

Macromanagement versus Micromanagement: (excerpt from Wikipedia)
"There is sometimes confusion regarding the difference between micromanagement and macromanagement, normally abbreviated as 'micro' and 'macro' respectively. Macro generally refers to managing large quantities of tasks at the same time. For example, building units from various structures throughout the game while also building more structures, scouting, creating new bases, etc. This is different from micro, which is generally controlling small amounts of units and giving them very specific orders."

If anything to be honest you have helped clarify that Starcraft is indeed not a tactical game at all, by definition it is a micromanagement game entirely. regarding it as a sport however as is the case in South Korea the definition of (sport) tactics makes more sense, however in terms military tactics it is null and void, the same goes for any usage of strategy by defintion, granted the mission selection in the campaign can be called "strategy" but that would imply choice, which the game lacks entirley.

Also on the point of it being unimaginative and lacking in innovation i completley wholeheartedly agree with you, this is due to Blizzard's policy on game design and development. While some companies like Bioware and Camel101 (just added that to my list :D) focus on innovation and enjoyment, Blizzard by comparrison focuses on one thing alone, Money. Their route to achieving this goal is by mixing everything that "worked" in previous games by other developers (i know there are endless lists of where they got all their ideas from) and putting it together in a grand title with an admittedly kickass marketing campaign. To a company like Blizzard, innovation is a dangerous risk and taboo, they always play it safe. The really sad part is; If Gemini Wars is extremley successful as a title, Blizzard will without a doubt pick the best ideas and make a new rehash game asap, and you can bet on there being people mindlessly declaring it an innovative game.

SOASE on the other hand actually was an innovative game in that it had multiple star systems with individual planets on such a scale in real-time, i was a beta tester for SOASE and initially loved the new ideas it brought to the fold, however upon closer scrutiny after the game had been released its flaws became more apparent. Visually speaking it looks amazing, even now after all these years but its flaws more than outweigh the visual aspect of it. It too is a micromanagement game and offers very very little in terms of actual strategy or tactics.

Your arguement against my remark that these games lack strategy and depth is flawed in that you are describing traits from a micromanagement game, not a strategy game, as containing any usage of actual strategy by further emphasizing specific micromanagement aspects. :?:

The last remark i actually do agree with however, but this is also a difference in definition, Gemini Wars is a promising game that contains both Strategy and Tactics as per their actual definition with very little emphasis on micromanagement, on that note i think Gemini Wars is going to be downright kickass :D

Again i am not attacking you personally with all of this, im just trying to be clear on definitions :)

//Taros
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Gauntlet » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:13 am

Hey there,

Well this post appeared separately and yes largely in response to your post, but I felt it really should go separately, didn't want to derail the other thread.

Really- no worries about offending me or any some such, I'm not. But I feel compelled to write because you are saying pretty extreme statements like

"though strategy and tactics don't even apply to these games as both are utterly devoid of it."

Note:
My point about Macro/Micro is that micro is not necessarily tied to unit control, it is certainly, numerous small actions allowing for flawless execution of a task, this is sometimes not related to units, or at least combat units.



"Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. "


Is it not a plan when two players at the beginning of the game, decide to scout the enemy, determine how quickly they are building their gas (a high-tech resource) and decide on what units to produce or to expand their bases early? Example: I am Terran, my partner Terran, we face two separate Protoss players. We scout early and find 2 gas mines for both players, we decide that early aggression is best because we think that they are trying to jump up in tech, and frankly we want to catch them before they reach that tech and have a decent army. We decide one player should build marines, and another Marauders, so as not to duplicate efforts for technologies and to have a somewhat diverse force, the Marauders will be most helpful against the most like enemy unit... the Stalker.

We each have clearly defined goals, within about 5-6 minutes, we need to each have as many combat units of the chosen type as fast as possible and to attack and destroy the enemy base before high tech units appear on the field.

How is this not a plan? Is it a good plan? I dunno, maybe not... maybe our assumptions are wrong, but militaries have been trying to predict their opponents since war began, that's certainly part of planning and strategic decision making. Why does the US invest in attack helicopters during the cold war? Because they predict that soviet tank forces will be virtually unstoppable otherwise due to their sheer numbers versus what is available in Europe at the 70s/etc. (Whether that was a good assumption or not is irrelevant).

And in Starcraft... the same thing happens over and over...


"Military tactics, the art of organizing an army, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle.[1]"

So we've made our strategic plan, now comes winning the coming battle... tactics.

A good player will have the marines balled up in the center, while the Marauders are aligned in a ring outside. This effectively shields the marines from damage, marines are small, low HP units with very very high damage (when you take into account their range+size). The Marauder has a high damage threshold and is armored well, it also has a nice anti-armor bonus, and is a strong unit all on its own. Organizing this formation is a Tactic.... it is literally the organization of an army, its placement and how it moves.

In terms of 'using weapons or units in combination'. Well for example, when faced with an enemy force comprising a number of melee units and air units, such as zealots and void rays... the marines should be ordered to focus fire on void rays while the Marauders should be left to attack zealots. This is unique too, many players might think 'focus fire is always good' that's mostly true, this one case is different, because if you have invested in a certain upgrade for Marauders then their attacks will slow enemy units (deciding to grab that upgrade was again, a strategic choice with tactical benefits). Focus firing with that ability wastes the unique aspect of slowing enemies, thus for a change, don't focus them and more zealots will be slowed, thus reducing their effectiveness, and allowing the marines to have as much time as possible to dispatch those pesky air units.




I'm not really berating either StarCraft or SOASE (I love both games in their own way), my point is, that you are berating them by suggesting that either game has no Strategy or no Tactics. Which is just not true. Do you like the nature of their game play? Clearly not, and that is very fair, but its more likely a result of the pacing, the balance between micro and macro, and the extreme nature of many abilities that makes it un-fun at times. The most extreme levels of StarCraft players have so many decision points to make per minute, that I have taken on a new appreciation for how difficult a game it really is.

Just because your not emulating an empire with politics and diplomacy does not mean your not engaging in strategy, any game... any game, is a system, a complex array of functions, how you control that series of functions yields results. If you have a plan in how you will control that system... its a strategy.

Its the same game from 1995. Which I think is why the game is so very frustrating, because it is incredibly popular whilst other more innovative and deserving games go underfunded and under appreciated. Just because we don't like non-innovation, doesn't mean I can't appreciate the other values, and frankly saying a game like StarCraft doesn't have much strategy... well again, try to think of things as just systems, in Chess you have many, many variables, in Starcraft... You have more, more types of pieces, more methods of behaviors, etc. Chess is often called and accepted to be a Strategy Game, StarCraft whether you like it or not...is also a Strategy game.

Is it a grand epic one? No. Is it well made graphically? Eh it caters to the low end systems ($ grubbers lol), is it fun to play for most people? Probably not but its popularity would suggest otherwise, I guess. Is it the best thing since sliced bread? Hell No, I'd much rather play SOASE or Conquest Frontier Wars (can't get people to play).

But the game has Strategy, Tactics, Macro, and Micro in loads. But its so stupidly fast and the abilities are so devastating, that an instant's misclick will ruin all of your planning and efforts. The game's pacing and how you control it (hey fingers slip. man it'd be great if the game read thoughts) makes it very frustrating at times. And I think that fact is why people don't believe the game has depth. Its there... its just drowned out by stupid human error.

So to clarify, I'm defending the game, because I think your really being too one-sided and too harsh... for the wrong reasons... not because I think the game is so great. It should be hanged on its actual flaws: pacing, no innovation, extreme rock/paper/scissoring at times.

PS: I was in SOASE Beta as well... I was really sad when they made resources unlimited and didn't give me any useful economic tools like that in Supreme Commander.
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Taros » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:03 pm

Ok, first off committing an act of contextomy (Quote Mining) and a straw man as evidence supporting your point of view is almost as bad the people who claim the moon landings were faked and submitting evidence using the same method, they however also tend to use bare assertion to further prove their point. so no worries, you're not that bad.

However, by its very definition (the whole definition in full context.), strategy does not apply to an early micromanagement decision in Starcraft. Strategy implies choice, it is choosing whether or not to fight in the first place and secondary, where to fight. By its very definition in the context of Starcraft, the only strateigic decisions made by definition are 1. Whether to start the game up at all or not. and possibly even 2. What map to play on.

However claiming that an early micromanagement decision is a strategy is a complete fallacy, you, at this point, have already picked your side, begun setting up your forces on the field and are allready fully commited to fighting a"battle" of micromanagementmania-starcraft. This is not a plan, this is a micromanagement decision.

And no, your example of investing in attack helicopters during the cold war is not a strategic decision, that by definition is a macro-management decision. You really should read the full article on micromanagement, there is that interesting little part which states that Starcraft is an excellent example of a micromanagement game.

Sorry i was paraphrasing that, here's the full text used specifically for starcraft 2:
"An example of an advantage gained through micromanagement in the real-time strategy game StarCraft. The Protoss High Templar, uses a lightning-like Psionic Storm spell to devastate enemy Probes (worker units), who are programmed to ignore its presence."

Furthermore tactics, again taken completley out of context, again exactly what you are describing is micromanagement and only micromanagement. I really suggest you read the full articles and perhaps do some additional research to understand the true meaning of what Strategy and Tactics really are and how they do not apply to these aforementioned games.

Oh and you are right, Chess is a good example of Tactics and strategy, however it is the limitation or restrictions in chess that provide the true strategic and tactical challenge, namely speaking you have a grand total of 32 peices on the board, no more, no less. 16 peices on each side with varying attributes, the challenge comes from beating your opponent by planning your moves far in advance of your enemy using the limitations applied from the beginning, it features no micromanagement at all. Comparing Starcraft to Chess in the context of strategy is like saying paper airplanes are birds because they can fly... Another good example however is another (much older game) called Go, its a very enjoyable and challenging game i think you should try.

Btw on the topic of Conquest Frontier Wars (fantastic game, love it), i would love to play with ya but i have not been able to find a copy of it for many years. :cry:

to re-clarify i am berrating the game harshly because i think it is too one-sided, i think you could realize that in the end we really are saying the same thing, you are defending it out of principle, which i respect, but you also continue to restate the reasons why it is a bad game in a strategic and tactical context in your own words, can't we just agree that it's a terrible "strategy" game and move on to better things, such as Gemini Wars? You are obviousley an intelligent individual, just a bit misinformed.

//Taros.
Last edited by Taros on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Taros » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:05 pm

Great News! I found a copy of Conquest: Frontier Wars that will hopefully work :D

I'm up for a few games if you are 8-)


//Taros.
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Gauntlet » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:19 pm

The idea that a Strategy must only be so, if both sides have a limited number of pieces is ridiculous and not at all backed up by your own provided definitions. (please feel free to quote part of those definitions to do so, that makes sense, its what most term papers trying to prove an argument would do).

Its like saying that the various wars of the past don't count as strategy and tactics because one faction might have been able to outproduce the other, or otherwise call in reinforcements.

Or that the method of driving a tank up a hill from an angle so as not to expose the delicate underside, but instead your armored side and front is not a tactic. In SC, with Marines, that pretty similar to making sure armored units are in front and weak units in back... your protecting a vulnerability by organizing your movement appropriately.

The idea that map selection is strategy, but where you fight on a given battlefield is NEITHER strategy or tactics is also incorrect. I can see it not being grand strategy if you like, and the symmetry of SC maps is certainly annoying at times, but its definitely a tactic. Fighting at any choke point has a real effect and can allow a smaller force to defeat a larger force.

Your basically saying that no one makes a 'plan' in SC and that we mindlessly micromanage for no intended purpose. Your being incredibly narrow with the definitions, and have yet to back up this argument that somehow, Micromanagement can exist (in a game) without being associated to Strategy/Tactics.

Is there anyone else here that would tell us that they agree or disagree... otherwise we should just drop it or continue by PM I guess?
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Timmah! » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:25 am

Just keep it public, its interesting read...unfortunately i cant say i agree nor disagree with either one of you, as you both made some good points....right now i think i agree with you, but that might true only until Taros writes back, :mrgreen:

Anyway, i can see why he refuses to call StarCraft strategy, i am not really fan of that particular game (gameplay-wise, its story, universe, races, visual art, music etc... is truly great), Supreme Commander with all its flaws always felt more like strategy to me.
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby BigB » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:04 am

I can see both points, but after playings Sins or Supreme Commander, I understand why he refuses to call Starcraft a strategy game.
I think Starcraft is a strategy game, but a very special one, one game made accessible to many people where action starts really fast so that people don't fall asleep.
Supreme commander is much more a strategy game than starcraft, but you can also get lost in there., and so making it less accessible for players.
Yes please, keep it public if you don't mind, it's an interesting read.
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Re: Strategy, Tactics, Macro, Micro and Games

Postby Vampyre » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi !

I'm digging out this old threat, because I feel like giving my two cent on this one.

Well, I play Starcraft 2. And I suck... I totally suck. I'm quite good with strategy games, and have more problems with tactics games. Just with that statement makes me think SC2 is not a strategy game. It's a tactic game. BUT... But SC2 is, to my opinion a tactics games with a little bit of strategy (I'll explain later).

To explain my point of view, I'll use all of the terms described before, and give some examples in games. A strategy game where I think you can't argue it is not a strategy game would be Hearts of Iron 3. In Hearts, you manage everything. There is a lot of macroing stuff, and if you want micro, you can, but it won't make a huge difference in the end. Hearts is a macro game, heavily turned towards strategy. There a just a little tactics on this one. For me, a strategy game (or in hearts it's bigger than strategy, it is called Grand Strategy), is the act of thinking what is necessary to beat an opponent. It's the fact saying I need this factory, producing this item, and placing it on this territory. The tactics is the act to use all the stuff you have been producing to effectively beat your ennemy.

In hearts, you create your troops, dispatch them to a territory. That's all strategy to me. Where do the tactics arrive, is when I decide to attack this territory with a decoy on the west, and while the bait works, invade from the east with so many ennemy. Sending spies to misinform the ennemy, destroy this base first. That's tactics to me.

SC2 is tactic and heavily turn towards microing. And that's why I so suck at SC2. I truly have problems microing. It requires multi-tasking and a perfect knowledge of all units on the screen. You must be capable of using your keyboard as an extension of your mind. You react in just a second to this kind of attack, and you are against the clock (send a first scoot around 1 minutes, and another one around 6 minutes). You see this unit, and you build so many counter units. You must know the game by heart. And I don't. I'm not quick enough, and I don't think fast enough to react in SC2. Even though I like the game, I suck in MP (not won anything else, I'm not even sure I'm bronze... I truly suck... Check the ladder, the last one would be me).

But I do like pausing the strategy game, think of what the ennemy do, analyse every bit of information, and act accordingly. With time and passion. And if I loose, I feel sorry for the guys I sent to death. I feel more involved in a strategy game (or grand strategy) rather than in SC2. In SC2 I don't have the feeling of something is lost. I can rebuild it. In Hearts, just by being able to name a fleet makes this fleet more personal to you. That's more my kind of game : strategic and macroing. SC2 is more tactics and micro to me.

I may be wrong... that's only my point of view...

Edit : Oops, forgot to note why SC2 has a little of strategy. In SC2, in my opinion (again), you chose a strategy by saying yourself, "ok i go 16 pool", "or 15 drain", "or cheesy", or else. Anything else is tactics to me.

Edit 2 : In short, for me a strategy is to prepare everything you think you will need to kill your ennemy. Tactics is how you will send those and use those units to defeat the ennemy. A strategist is the guy thinking what he needs to complete its goal. The tactician is the one who will use everything he has on the hand to bring victory back home.
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