Analysis Paralysis in Wargaming

Ever sat staring at the board not knowing what to do? Had too many options in your hand? Worried about what your opponent may have? Trying to climb the ‘decision tree’ to come up with the optimal play? You’re suffering from Analysis Paralysis.

Analysis paralysis, or paralysis by analysis, is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.

In my game against Bryce I was desperately trying to keep Grimnir ‘safe’ but at the cost of potentially winning the game. I believed I couldn’t afford to lose my most powerful piece and became so focused on all the variables I had in hand. This left me staring at the table for a good five minutes just trying to unpick the puzzle laid before me. Ultimately, I made the wrong decision and sealed my fate.

Analysis Paralysis slowing down board games since 1983

Overcoming Analysis Paralysis

Tunnel Vision: It’s so easy to focus in on a single aspect of the game, in my case it was ‘keep Grimnir alive’. By focusing in on this one detail I ignored the landscape. Which Magore & Riptooth subsequently painted red with the blood of Maegrim & Vol. Try to see the bigger picture & accept that a ‘sub-optimal’ choice now may lead to victory later.

Play More Games: The more you play the better your decision making will become. Try to play a variety of games, there is a world of board games out there and each will teach you a different skill; Resource Management, Value Recognition, Decision Making, Think Analytically, and many more.

Making a Choice: Ultimately you HAVE to make a decision. It may be the wrong one but try to remember that it is only a game. Sometimes the dice will be kind and will bail you out. Sometimes your opponent will just roll crits. You can’t prevent that. Remember that we’re all playing for fun and no matter how many glass trophies you have no one is getting rich playing Underworlds.

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