- Merriam Webster provides the following primary definitions of tactics.
1a. The science and art of disposing and maneuvering forces in combat.
b. The art or skill of employing available means to accomplish and end.
These terms are meaningful for gaming not only because of its relationship to and descendency from the classic wargame, but because of the relationship of tactics and strategy.
To consider tactics then, it is the way the player plays the game. For example:
•A Magic the Gathering player may construct a blue deck and try to "deck" a player using creature and spell cards that result in the opponent discard cards from their library until they cannot draw. This would be the strategy the player wishes to employ. However the actual drawing and playing of cards, determining the order to be played, and the interactions of these cards in the actual game is the tactics employed by the player.
•A D&D party may develop a strategy of how to face foes or explore a dungeon. However, the actual doing so within a game where things are not clear cut is the tactical piece of playing.
•A football coach may develop a strategy that they are going to run the ball all game. However, if during the game the defense has all eleven of their players near the line of scrimmage, the coach may change his tactics and throw the ball.
Source: Merriam-Webster Online. "Tactics" https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tactics
Brad Burenheide 9 October 2018
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