A strategy game is a game where the players are involved in critical decision making thereby hugely impacting the interest and outcome.

There are good and bad strategy games to choose from, but a lot of it still comes down to personal preference and understanding your own taste. 

Your choices include everything from RTS games like Starcraft, to board games like Twilight Struggle, Mage Knight, and Brass.

Note: This article was submitted by a member of the community, and it’s still a work in progress! Do you have any thoughts, notes, or ideas on how we could improve it? Please contact us.

What is Depth, Anyways?

The definition of “depth” in the context of board games can be a point of debate and disagreement, depending on who you ask. Here’s a definition from Mindsports:

“We’re more committed to strategy games than to tactical ones. Here’s the difference: Strategy games have strategies varied enough to allow different styles of play, tactics varied enough to induce their own terminology, and a structure that allows advantageous sub-goals to be achieved as calculable signposts along the way. Tactical games have strategies that are either fairly obvious (however deep), like Pente, or fairly opaque, like Othello.”

The Amount of “Stuff” Taking Place

When it comes to deeper strategy games, you’ll find a lot of layers that aren’t present in simpler games. There’s a sense of involvement and immersion that draws in experienced players, with game-makers trying to one-up each other to appeal to the most die hard segments of their audiences. 

The Types of Decisions and Their Effects

Decision making is the most important part of a strategy game.  Deep strategy games are based on decisions, and what the player ultimately decides to do needs to impact  the unveiling of events in the game. 

Many games involve some interesting and nail-biting decision-making opportunities that can change the entire outcome, especially  for players who are able to plan ahead and predict what their competitors will do. 

The choices  need to be somewhat difficult with no clear-cut and obvious answer. While you can create a scenario where the decision will impact the story, your character, or your team, but make the options so easy, with only one obvious choice, it will not create challenge or impact. 

If you’re looking for something a little different than strategy, check out our favorite board games about music, too.

How to Make a Deep Strategy Game

To create a deep strategy game you need to go through every possible scenario a player could encounter and still be able to produce a tough and interesting decision when it comes to choosing between a few options. This is complex and difficult and may explain why there are many strategy games that fall short. 

This well written horror themed game provides loads of replayability with its accompanying booklet of 50 scenarios The RNG component  of the game balances out the players with random twists and turns allowing no player to become too powerful.

Read more about strategy games on these other websites:

What Gives a Strategy-Driven Game Depth?