On this blog in the past, I have spoken about adding Tactical Depth and about creating meaningful choices in your games. To do so, I intentionally created a definition of what Tactical game play meant that focused on the events that happen on the tabletop. This left space for commentary on the alternative type of Depth in a game, that I will refer to as Strategic Depth.
As I observe and interact with more players, I am slowly learning the value of this Strategic Depth for players. They crave these options in their games. If you watch internet interactions, engage in conversations at your FLGS, or talk with your fellow game club members almost all the discussions they are having revolve around Strategic Depth and NOT tactical depth. Therefore, your games ability to drive Strategic Depth is a key ingredient to enhancing its "Fun Factor" and replay-ability for a large number of players. In fact, I am starting to believe that Strategic Depth is more important to players than Tactical Depth.
Strategic Depth is decisions that a player can make for your game that are not actually taking place ON the tabletop. In wargames, this can take many forms but the most common examples include list building, resource management, and campaign choices. Normally, Strategic Depth plays a larger role in campaign games, but can play a role in one-off games as well. Strategic Depth is just another layer of choice you can provide for a player. Essentially, it is details of your game that players can talk about and discuss outside of actually playing the game!
So, how do you add Strategic Depth to your games? The high level answer is simple enough. You must add choice. After all, if we learned nothing else from this blog it is that:
Choice = Fun
As we all know, there are some fundamental elements to adding choice:
- Choices must have consequences
- Meaningful choices are a trade-offs
- They must have an impact on the game