Monday, March 15, 2021

[zaromrjg] Limiting moves per turn

Games of armies battling each other, e.g., chess, might make more intuitive sense if all units in a player's army can move simultaneously during a turn.  A real army moves in parallel.

However, a common mechanism to make games interesting is to limit the amount a player can do during one turn.  The player has to prioritize, doing the most urgent thing first.  Combinatorial game theory was designed to analyze this: play in only one subgame per turn.  (Combinatorial game theory works best when the subgames do not interact.)  But the interestingness of limiting action comes at the cost of decreasing intuitiveness: to play such games well, one needs to learn how to "read" (go 囲碁), "calculate" (chess), or in general gain intuition about how things tend to evolve over multiple alternating turns.

Have you bettered yourself in learning that intuition for a game?  Is that intuition useful elsewhere?  In the real world, turns don't alternate, and you (and your opponents) do many things in parallel.

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