STRATEGY Strategy vs Tactics

Most strategy video games involve a mix of both strategy and tactics. “Tactics” usually refer how troops are utilized in a given battle, whereas “strategy” describes the mix of troops, the location of the battle, and the commander’s larger goals or military doctrine. However, there is also a growing subgenre of purely tactical games, which are referred to as real-time tactics, and turn-based tactics. Game reviewers and scholars sometimes debate whether they are using terminology such as “tactics” or “strategy” appropriately. Chris Taylor, the designer of Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander, has gone so far as to suggest that real-time strategy titles are more about tactics than strategy. But releases that are considered pure tactical games usually provide players with a fixed set of units, and downplay other strategic considerations such as manufacturing, and resource management. Tactical games are strictly about combat, and typically focus on individual battles, or other small sections in a larger conflict.

STRATEGY Supreme Commander