In my writing, reviewing strategy games, I often have cause to describe a process whereby someone has to deal with large amounts of conflicting priorities and information. I've noticed that in doing so I very often fall back on some kind of circus stunt as a metaphor:

Between resources, cards and the conflict players are left with a lot of plates to spin and only two measly actions to do it with.

Together with the ever-present risk of an own-goal, they make every match a fast-paced tightrope walk, dangling between speed and sureness.

You've thus got to juggle four different payment options while still finding time to buy and build the tiles you need.

It's a good metaphor, concise and conjuring exactly the right sense of having to do multiple things at once under pressure. But I feel like I've come to rely on it too much, and am having trouble trying to think of something that's equally quick and powerful.

Any suggestions would be very welcome.

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    I think this question might be better asked at writing.stackexchange.com. Oct 21 at 13:29
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    You just have to shift professions: "Players have to cook a 12 course meal with a hot plate and three ingredients.", "It's like trying to fly a jumbo jet and all the buttons in the cockpit are labeled in Klingon." A good metaphor will really depend on what you're trying to convey, so the folks over on Writing might be able to help with strategy more than specific metaphors.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 21 at 13:45
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    A zoo, stormy sea, jungle, bazaar, space exploration, playground, schoolyard, scenes from a marriage, love-hate, trade-off, give and take, Chimera, Scylla and Charybdis, monster? Oct 21 at 13:46
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    I can't say I really understand the boundary between here and there terribly well. I tend to think that if a question needs creativity to answer it belongs there, if it needs recitation of the rules or exposition of why some structure is (or is not) acceptable or idiomatic, then it belongs here. And now I have insulted all the creative people here and (I expect the smaller set of) rules-minders over there. Oct 21 at 14:14
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    @HighPerformanceMark Not every question that someone in the community could answer is within scope of the site. EL&U is for questions of interest to linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Writing is for questions of interest to anybody interested in the craft of writing, editing, and publishing, whether it's professionally, artistically, or as a hobby. It shouldn't be that difficult to sort out which questions belongs where for most topics.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 21 at 14:41

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