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Strategic Locations

Strategic Locations

Strategic Locations are areas in the Game World that give an advantage to the players controlling them.

Their value can be that they contain game elements that allow certain actions or resources unavailable elsewhere, or that they control the access to other areas of the Game World.

Example: The player who controls the center of the game board in Chess, especially with officers, has a significant strategic advantage.

Example: Controlling locations that produce valuable resources, such as the cities in Civilization, provide the player a long-term strategic advantage.

Using the pattern

Strategic Locations may be either explicit by the presence of game elements or implicit deriving from the relationship between the location and other locations in the game. Explicit Strategic Locations can easily be created by the placement of Resource Generators, Resource Locations, Chargers, Tiles, Pick-Ups, Power-Ups, Controllers, Safe Havens, Spawn Points, and Goal Points. To ensure players' awareness of Strategic Locations, they can be set to stand out in the visual design of the Game World as Outstanding Features. Implicit Strategic Locations may be intentionally created by the arrangement of explicit Strategic Locations nearby, or they may be emergent features due to Randomness of Resource allocation or due to the combinations of player strategies. In either case, Strategic Locations can affect Player Balance, typically by giving advantages in Combat.

Games using player constructed boards from Tiles allow the players to modify the value of explicit Strategic Locations by placing them in positions where their relationship to other Tiles increase or decrease their usability. Similarly, Tiles with no inherent value can be made Strategic Locations by connecting them to other Tiles in a certain way.

A player might Gain Information about Strategic Locations as a Supporting Goal with Traverse, Guard, or Reconnaissance. It can be the primary subgoal in goals of Exploration. Knowing Strategic Locations can also influence Spawning, if players have control over which Spawn Points to use.


Knowing and Memorizing the proper value and use of Strategic Locations is one way for the players to gain Strategic Knowledge in a game, for example, in Traverse goals. This is especially true for Strategic Locations that depend mainly on the topology of the surrounding Game World for their values, rather than on the explicit presence of valuable game elements. An example of how topology dictates that value of a location is the value of the central area of the board in Chess. If the locations can be owned in the game, Strategic Locations make excellent Gain Ownership goals that can be achieved through Area Control or other actions that provide Ownership of parts of the Game World.


Instantiates: Strategic Knowledge, Gain Information, Memorizing, Gain Ownership, Area Control

Modulates: Combat, Player Balance, Game World, Reconnaissance, Traverse, Guard, Gain Ownership, Exploration, Spawning, Player Constructed Worlds

Instantiated by: Pick-Ups, Goal Points, Tiles, Safe Havens, Resource Generators, Controllers, Spawn Points, Resource Locations, Power-Ups

Modulated by: Safe Havens, Outstanding Features, Ownership

Potentially conflicting with:

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(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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