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Strategy Games

Strategy games, as the name suggests, refers to any game where you can influence the outcome of the game based on how well you think. This contrasts with, for example, a random game such as a lottery-type game where it all comes down to luck.

With a strategy game, there are certain moves you can make within the rules of that game which are better or worse. Each time you have a move, there may be more or less possible moves you can make. The more moves available, generally the harder the situation to analyse. Indeed, with games like chess with so many moves available strategy is paramount if you want to win.

For a simpler and more practical example, we are going to look at tic tac toe. If you move correctly in this game, you are certain to win or draw each time. However, most people don't of course analyse the game so this may not be immediately apparent.

Try playing our Tic Tac Toe game, and then once you've had a few goes come back and answer these questions:

- What strategy can you use to always win the game?

- What one key improvement could be made to the logic the computer uses to ensure that it never loses a game, but rather draws or wins all the games it plays?

If you struggle with these questions initially, play a few more games against the computer and see the patterns in how you both make your moves and you should be able to have a good go at answering these questions.

Once you've answered the questions, please send them to us; we will start printing some of the explanations we receive to help others develop their awareness of strategy. You can write your explanation in English or even if you wish use some maths to explain what is going on. We will publish a variety of your answers, fully credited, here in due course.

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