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The phase or phases that are not the first or last in a game instance.

Gameplay phases are found in some games due to them having discernible different periods of gameplay when the goals and actions in focus vary. The Middlegame of such games is simply the phases which are not the first nor the last.


Chess and Go are classical Board Games with Middlegame phases. Expanding and improving the cities in one's civilization can be viewed as the Middlegame of the Civilization series.

In the Starcraft series the Middlegame is typically called "Mid-Game"[1].

Using the pattern

As its name suggests, a Middlegame is intended to come after a Startgame and quite often before an Endgame. Typical patterns signifying a Middlegame include Entrenching Gameplay and Complex Gameplay so putting these into importance is a way to create a Middlegame. Examples of phases which exhibit these are Expansion and Exploitation respectively. For games where Exploitation is the last phase, Construction/Scoring Phase Shift is likely to become important.

Some patterns may be more interesting to consider for a Middlegame phase than for other phases. Balancing Effects make most sense to apply here since they are mostly irrelevant before and may make player efforts pointless later one. For similar reasons, and due to the typical complexity of Middlegame phases, it may also be appropriate to highlight the skills that are the intended indications of Gameplay Mastery here as well.


Often involving Complex Gameplay, the Middlegame phase is likely to have Stimulated Planning that sometimes can turn into Analysis Paralysis. Like most other phases, it allows the development - and promotes the use of - Strategic Knowledge.


Can Instantiate

Analysis Paralysis, Stimulated Planning, Strategic Knowledge

Can Modulate


Can Be Instantiated By

Entrenching Gameplay, Expansion, Exploitation, Complex Gameplay

Can Be Modulated By

Balancing Effects, Construction/Scoring Phase Shift, Gameplay Mastery

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. Entry for "Mid-game" at the Wiki for Starcraft II at teamliquid.