In a turn-based game, each player's turn is based upon the turn their opponent took before them. You could say that each action taken in the game is an action based upon the previous action taken in the context of this game.

Is there a word or phrase that describes each individual action in this chain-of-events more succinctly?

  • 1
    Perhaps it's not quite right for this exact context, but a series of events each caused by or based on the preceding one can be called knock-on events. Preceded by, say, consecutive or serial if there's a risk all the events might be wrongly understood to emanate from a single "trigger" event that came first. Feb 17, 2014 at 5:12
  • Subsequent, perhaps?
    – user60295
    Feb 17, 2014 at 5:16
  • The actions sound to me like "alternating responses."
    – Sven Yargs
    Feb 17, 2014 at 5:23
  • 1
    Not sure whether you mean the causal link/dependency, or the position of each turn. Try dictionary searches for precursor, antecedent, prior / following, consequent, later; and thesaurus entries for these. Feb 17, 2014 at 6:48

3 Answers 3


Consider contingent

depending on or influenced by something else: Buying the new house was contingent on selling the old one

In your example, each move is dependent upon, and influenced by the previous one.

  • So I could say "contingent move" or "contingent action"? Now I'm looking for a noun that matches this adjective.
    – Joey
    Feb 21, 2014 at 18:04
  • 1
    You could say A was contingent on B. The phrase contingent move could apply to B. It also could be taken to mean an anticipatory move subject to confirmation, retraction or modification based on a subsequent move.
    – bib
    Feb 22, 2014 at 16:21
  • 1
    The term response suggests an action based on a prior action or state.
    – bib
    Feb 23, 2014 at 12:31

You could say "each turn is a countermove."


I suggest cascading as you mentioned there is a chain of events where each action is affected by the previous action.

cascade noun something arranged or occurring in a series or in a succession of stages so that each stage derives from or acts upon the product of the preceding - MW

I've even found a usage in a book about game design:

Like pinball and SUNBURN!, similar cascading actions occur in the game, but less in pursuit of player goals and more in the spirit of experiencing a world that seems alive.
Games, Design and Play: A detailed approach to iterative game design - By Colleen Macklin, John Sharp

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