RES.LL-004 | Spring 2022 | Non-Credit

LL EduCATE: Introduction to Engineering Concepts

Clausewitzian Chess | Findings from Previous Experiments

When this experiment was run by Lincoln Laboratory, multiple interesting conclusions were found as detailed in the DARPA CASCADE - Clausewitzian Chess: Companion Guide (PDF) Findings section:

More Caution: Players behave differently when there is uncertainty involved. With full knowledge of the game board, they are more willing to advance their more capable pieces since they fully understand the risks of that action. However, when unsure of those risks, players were likely to hold their more capable pieces in reserve unless they were willing to sacrifice that piece outright. 

  • We see this in the real world as well; military operations typically hold back critical assets until the area is secure via maritime superiority and/or air supremacy. 

Winning Conditions: When it is possible for both players to win (asymmetric win conditions), players change their behavior. 

  • Players often attempted to deduce their opponent’s victory condition and enact deceitful maneuvers to obfuscate their own. 
  • With different win conditions possible for the players, the game is not always even or fair.
  • Players often cited a lack of fairness when they had “King Capture” and their opponent had one of the others. This is true in reality; nations have differing levels of interest at stake in conflicts.
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