Contests & Conflict | 05/17/2023 | 05:00 PM
Colonel Blotto Games with a Head Start

Speaker: Christian Ewerhart

Date & Time: Los Angeles (8 am), Cincinnati (11 am), Bath (4 pm), Munich (5 pm), Beijing (11 pm), Singapore (11 pm), Sydney (May 18, 1 am)

Christian Ewerhart will present the paper titled "Colonel Blotto Games with a Head Start" (joint work with Leopold Aspect).

This talk is part of the Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict, an online seminar series with researchers from across the world. You can sign up to the Global Network to get information and invitations (including the Zoom Link for each event) about the Global Seminar hereMax-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen: Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict (

You can directly access the event here:


Abstract of the Paper:
This paper studies Colonel Blotto games with two battlefields where one player has a head start in the form of additional troops on one of the battlefields. Such games arise naturally in marketing, electoral competition, and military conflict. Sion and Wolfe (1957) have shown that, if the strategy space is continuous, a mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium need not exist. Therefore, we consider a finite approximation. Using the iterated elimination of (weakly) dominated strategies, we identify an equilibrium for all parameter constellations and discuss its uniqueness properties. In equilibrium, resource decisions are typically not uniform but tend to concern units that roughly correspond in size to multiples of the head start. Moreover, competition takes the form of a hide-and-seek game, where the favorite tries to outguess the number of units that the underdog commits to the balanced battlefield. Somewhat unexpectedly, equilibrium payoffs of finite approximations of the Sion-Wolfe game accumulate around precisely three values. We also discuss the relation to the model with heterogeneous budgets but no head start.

Chair: Dan Kovenock, Co-Chair: Iryna Topolyan

Contact Person

Event Team

Max-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen

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80539 München

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