Vox Republica 143: Dominant Strategies

Episode 143

Length: 1:04:35

Show Links: RSS | iTunes | Stitcher | Download Episode


voxlogofullWelcome back to Vox Republica, the Cardboard Republic Podcast!

We post new episodes every other Thursday, with each episode being about 45 minutes long.

Vox Republica is proudly supported by our Patreon. Consider contributing today!

DESCRIPTION: Big money, big money, big money – stop! Nearly every game invokes some kind of strategy, and, generally, the more complicated the game, the deeper and more varied those strategies may be. Most of the time, this is all part of the game’s appeal. But…what happens when not every strategy is created equal? What do you do when one particular path is so much better than the rest that it warps the entire experience. This week, Erin and Ryan discuss dominant (aka broken) gaming strategies, and what you can do about them.



QUICK TOPICS – (19:30):

  • Erin reflects on why it is she finds it so hard to play new games of late, and how that can be compounded by things such as the pressure of content creation, the added mental energy of learning new systems constantly, and even the paradox of having too many options to choose from.


  • Some games, try as they might to offer a wide variety of strategies, run into a problem of having one path to victory that wins a disproportionate amount of the time. We deconstruct what this may mean for that game, and for games overall. Areas of discussion include:
    • Is it still a dominant strategy if you can beat it?
    • Are they a flaw or a feature of a game?
    • How does this differ from, you know, a normal strategy?
    • Are there any upsides to their existence in a game?
    • What can a designer do to correct these imbalances? What about a publisher? Or a player for that matter?

PLUGS – (1:03:45):


We’d love to hear from you! You can send questions or feedback via email at podcast@cardboardrepublic.com. You can also reach us social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and BoardGameGeek.


Audio Credits: Intro music track is “Swing!” by Bargo!, used under Creative Commons license.