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The tag is in bad shape. It's low volume, only 24 questions (14 open, 10 closed) so this is like cleaning the base boards behind the fridge, but big or small, we clean things when we see they need cleaning.

The first observation I want to make is that it is often being used to tag questions about . The description reads:

For questions about tactical play, relating to how combat is planned and played out in a game, in individual encounters or in larger group situations. This encompasses tactical concepts directly tied to game mechanics, as well as more abstract discussions.

These questions tagged appear to be tactics questions, in the sense that we have described the tag:

As you can see, this is most of the questions. Also of note, the two that I have annotated with a "*" are less about tactics and more about looking for mechanics for overcoming a particular challenge.

The second observation I want to make is that, to me, the tag description of is pretty vague:

For questions relating to long-range planning in the pursuit of a goal.

I'm just not sure what this is getting at. None of the questions tagged jump out at me in a way that makes me say "oh that's what the tag description is saying". I cannot tease out the definition of the tag by looking at the questions it is on, even when ignoring the tactics questions.

Removing the tag from tactics questions seems like an obvious step here, but I'm not sure what to do with the tag. I'm leaning towards just burninating it, because in the eight years the tag has existed, it does not appear as though anyone has figured out exactly what it is for. But maybe it can be salvaged - I leave that to you.


Here are the remaining questions that I did not include in my list of tactics questions:

Of the open questions, three are just mechanics questions that don't need or . However, the one question about may present a valid use case for the tag, if the tag can be defined well. Though, it is only one question. It asks about strategic play elements, which I think is just a synonym for competition in this context. As far as I can tell, this is the only question where a tag may make sense, but the use there does not at all match what we've set the tag description as.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are there any questions tagged strategy that don't fit the tactics tag? If not, we could make it a synonym. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Apr 26 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin There are some that don’t fit with [tactics], but I’m not sure those should have either tag. I’ll look into it tomorrow. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26 at 2:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ It feels like this tag only exists to make it known that tactics and strategy aren't the same, but it seems like an unapplicable nuance doing no lifting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Apr 26 at 10:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Tactics and Strategy are both military: Tactics is operation of military personnel on the 2nd lowest level to facilitate combat (which is the lowest level). Strategy is the planning and preparation on a grand scale to actually be able to employ tactics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Apr 26 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish You left out Operational Art, which is between the two. (Yeah, I was formally educated in this at a military staff college). FWIW, most of my instructors felt that there is a fourth one, the one above military strategy, that is called "grand strategy" since it folds in mil/pol aspects in all their complexity. But I won't say that it's doctrinal ... nor necessarily agreed by all of the ten-pound brains and theorists. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ The strategy tag should now only exist as a synonym of tactics (there was a good handful which used one for the other so I did a merge to save edits). If we find a need to resurrect some version/usage of the tag, that synonym should be very breakable. In the mean time it'll keep the tag from accidentally being recreated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    May 3 at 12:58

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I vote burninate. In my group, we have an in-joke: in response to any vague player questions, the DM says "roll Tactics". The joke was born when a player dedicated a huge amount of skill points to a useless "Tactics" skill during Call of Cthulhu character creation, because his PC was a military genius. He then attempted to use that skill for all sorts of incongruous tasks. What I'm saying is, we never said "roll Strategy".

But seriously folks, TM makes a great point that it's a redundant tag.

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Burn it.

Tactics and strategy are meaningfully different, but we aren't using the tag for questions about strategy. Most questions about strategy, such as "How do I effectively showcase the abilities of the BBEG?" venture into idea generation when they are about strategy e. g. "what strategy could my BBEG employ to build up their shadow market empire?" Asking a good question about strategy is really difficult, and if someone does, they should be able to use the tag for that.

We have very few questions that could benefit from the tag, and none of them used it ( — I have read them, but none come to mind — ). We should burninate , and if we get questions about strategy in the future, we could go from there and do re-tagging efforts, but fixing the tag doesn't seem worthwhile right now.

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Several of the answers at the question What do strategy vs tactics mean in tabletop RPG combat? [closed] talk about the classic distinction between military strategy (broad policy choices that generally prepare one's side for battle) and tactics (procedures employed by one's troops during during specific engagements).

Tactics has a central place on this site. During "[type of fight X] what's the best way to achieve [Y]?" is a tactical question. We have many of these questions and we are good at answering them.

Questions at the strategic level we don't do well with.

Sometimes we flat-out reject Strategy questions:
Q: "What's the best way to enjoy playing a rogue?"
A: "We embrace a wide variety of playstyles."

Sometimes we ask the querent to alter the question so much it is no longer a strategy question, but one of tactics:
Q: "What's the best build for a rogue?"
A: "What is your party like? What is your game like? What sort of opponents do you face? Does your DM allow multiclassing? Does your DM allow feats? More information is needed for us to answer the question. Tell us the specific problem you are having."

Sometimes an actual strategy-level question is well supported by the site:
Q: "What sort of magic items and feats should I be trying to acquire in order to maximize my damage as an assassin rogue?"

In the cases in which we can actually support a strategy question, we don't call it strategy (In the example above, we would call it optimization - other examples would fit well under other tags).

Strategy questions are either inappropriate for the site, or can be broken down into questions that fit tactics or some other tag. There is no current need for a strategy tag.

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What is strategy?

Strategy is "a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim."

If anything, it would be useful in a game that has a substantial amount of strategy in it. Like a game that allows using military unit movements and such. Currently none of the questions do that.

So I call for an EXTERMINATUS: Burn.

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