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I really enjoy standard chess, but I was wondering out of pure curiosity: are there variants (or other non-chess games), that diminish the importance of tactics and put more emphasis on strategy? I was thinking that Kriegspiel was an interesting possibility. Anyone have other suggestions?

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Most players who know both games would say that Go (when played on the standard 19x19 grid) puts more emphasis on strategy than chess. Complex, deep tactical fights do happen in Go and the ability to read them out correctly is very important to playing strength, but the outcome of a fight is often not clear-cut (e.g. one side may give up some territory in the course of a fight but take the initiative in another part of the board - who has "won" the fight is then a matter of deep positional judgement), and losing any particular battle does even at a high level not necessarily mean losing the game. Moves in Go are often good or bad for very long-term reasons, to the point that trying to see the difference by calculation of long concrete variations is often completely futile.

Among games that can be played with chess equipment, Arimaa seems like a natural candidate, as it was designed to be difficult for computer opponents and therefore contains many elements that make it difficult to play well by short-term calculation. But I have never played it myself.

Outside of two-player, turn-based, perfect information, zero-sum games, I would suggest Diplomacy. In general, I imagine multiplayer, imperfect information games will involve more strategy than tactics, because tactics become impossible to calculate when the game state is largely unknown and it is possible that other players may form a coalition against you.

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  • Thanks for the answer!
    – shintuku
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 20:08
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There are slow variants of chess, and strategy is more important in such games. One notable example is Chathuranga, a precursor of chess. There are also many (probably obscure) chess variants playable in chess.com or pychess where the game is slow.

Non-chess games where strategy is important can be found by filtering the list obtained by searching "board games with heavy strategy". Examples of such games include Wingspan and Twilight Struggle.

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