Game Theory


#1

The RAND Corporation released as a free pdf their seminal 1954 book The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy. Yes it’s math, but it seems pretty approachable as game theory texts go.


#2

I own a physical copy of that book! I haven’t read it in years.


#3

That is going on my kindle TODAY.


#4

This is basically the only place where I can guarantee that a topic with this title is going to be something good. I have read an Oxford university published quick guides to game theory which basically gave me the background I needed to understand what I didn’t already know from my degree.

It would be good to read an actual a book from the field instead of a layman introduction to it.


#5

For anyone interested in a more up-to-date book, Ken Binmore’s “Playing for Real” is quite good; it has a decent amount of the serious math but avoids being overly dry by having a focus on lots of examples.


#6

Holy shit Ironfist is real.


#7

would there be interest in breaking down modern board games into their game theory components? I know in some of the PAX talks there have been general statements about some sub-games that are contained, or how despite other mechanisms they boil down to a certain game theory game.

But, a detailed breakdown of the full mechanics of a game and how those pieces fit together.

I would expect a thread for each game in which we discuss the levels within a game.

any takers?


#8

I’ve been ruminating on a panel like this for a while. I just never put it together.

Deconstructing Tabletop. We’d break a bunch of big-name games down to their core component mechanics.


#9

i would certainly be interested in hearing your thoughts on various games, as well as how you actually do the “boils down” simplifications like how you suggested Risk is just a “vote who wins” game.

while i agree with the conclusion, how do you see past the minutiae of mechanics and decide that’s what is going on?

feels related, but maybe should be a separate topic is what do we do with game theory conclusions that fail in real world? like how sometimes irrational strategies overcome the rational ones.


#10

One large aspect that complicates careful analysis of games is that many “game theory” games use simultaneous selection. Colonel blotto is very different if you have to place 1 unit at a time, versus pre-deciding all your placements then revealing them at once.