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  1. #11
    Level 5: Notable Commentator bilsi knows their way around bilsi's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    Ya, cashing the first set in for 4 doesn't mean you're going to lose....

  2. #12
    Level 2: Familiar Sound youredead is on a distinguished road youredead's Avatar
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    Of course, as i said there are exceptions. You can cash 4 and the last in the line fail or suicide against another one, or miss the turn, or you get an early set, or the game can be delayed and you get a new big set before the others... Weird things happen all the time and you can win regardless of your strategy... So my first opinion was too radical but in general it's not a good idea to give other players 20 or 30 more troops

  3. #13
    Forum Moderator and All Knowing God. Cardinalsrule is a glorious beacon of light Cardinalsrule is a glorious beacon of light Cardinalsrule is a glorious beacon of light Cardinalsrule's Avatar
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    In a very large game, 12 or 24 players, if you cash first, you're probably going to lose, because the end ones get 30, 40, even 50 for their sets. But that's really the only time that cashing early will definitely mean you're not going to have much of a chance to win.
    "And if you don't give up and don't give in, you may just be OK" ~ Mike and the Mechanics "The Living Years"

  4. #14
    Level 6: Prominent Opinion CaptSweatpants deserves your respect CaptSweatpants's Avatar
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    I like to do it t random times and situations. It keeps 'em guessing.
    Damn... lost another stripe

  5. #15
    Level 5: Notable Commentator Virtuoso is on a distinguished road Virtuoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    What about the "strategy" of simply not holding any cards. This can happen by never conquering any territories, but it can also occur by one player getting a set of 3 cards (out of 3 cards), cashing, then not making any new conquers.
    I'm supposed to pull away but I've been itching to reply to some of these forum threads. I'm going to bite on this one.

    I have played this strategy quite a bit. Maybe about 40-50 games or so where I chose to do this. I'm going to outline my experiences with it, which means describe what circumstances I personally chose to use the strategy, and how I tried to optimize its effectiveness.

    The first thing to know is you're probably going to lose. I have won a few games like this but by and large, if you win, it's because you got lucky. One specific outcome has to occur for you to win. So if you want to try this, you have to NOT CARE about the outcome.

    I play this technique when I play live games on another site (I've written my issues with live games on this site, on a different thread). So this technique would be an option I would choose for 4-5 player, standard map escalate games.

    Generally, I notice when you play (or rather, when I play) live games, you'll likely not play as optimally as you would, if you had "unlimited" (24 hrs) to make your move. It doesn't mean you'll necessarily make mistakes, but you probably won't have the time, on every turn, to find the optimal play for yourself. So playing to get no cards (and to a less extent, playing live) is good if you:

    1. don't care about the outcome
    2. aren't in the lead
    3. don't think you're going to win
    4. don't want to think about how to play
    5. are bored
    6. are frustrated with the game not going your way so far
    7. are busy with other tasks
    8. are playing to pass the time
    9. want to screw around with (1) the game and (2) the other players in the game

    So the way I would do it, is to basically play the way you normally would, and at some point, if you get a set while only holding 3 cards, you cash them, and make no more further conquers. What you would like to have, is a stack on the board that is big enough, that if someone else attacks a 3rd player and MISSES (leaving that player with minimal left over troops), that on your turn, you are strong enough to tank your stack over and eliminate what is left of that player. Ideally, that player has 5 cards (although this isn't absolutely necessary), and you can then cash and eliminate the previous failed attacker, etc. So basically, the "specific outcome" I describe above, is that the player before you attacks a 3rd player and misses (chances are, it'll be a 3p game at this point anyways). That's when you can win.

    So your stack has to be large enough for you to be able to travel "anywhere" on the board to finish of the decimated army. How big should that stack be? For a standard "classic" map of about 50 territories, obviously the bigger the better, but I'd say a stack of about 60 troops should be enough (my smallest stack victory ever was around 40 troops, and it was probably two times what I needed for the kill). Given typical gameplay, that basically means if you match a 3-card set when the troops are worth roughly 30, that is probably the minimum amount to give you a strong enough stack to win the "specific outcome" game, assuming most of your troop strength is on one territory, or can accumulate there over several turns of "reinforcements".

    It is true that the others will stop mass attacking you. Your singly-held territories will soon disappear so if you have stacks in various places, make sure they get reinforced to one place while a path still exists. I generally believe one single stack is probably better than 2 half-stacks, for the purposes of this type of play.

    In all likelihood, you'll finish 2nd, being the last player the eventual winner eliminates. I haven't in a single game where I lost, been anything other than the last person to be eliminated (so if there were 2nd-place medals, this would be the way to win them).

    One "surprising" observation I have, is that if you play in this manner, whatever your stack strength is (60, 80, 100, what have you), the remaining (usually 2) player stack strengths typically will hover around your stack strength. Meaning, they'll target each other to kill, and will basically keep killing each other because they don't perceive you as a threat. But because it's now a 1-1 game for the other two, they tend to really go bloody. I haven't seen a game where I was sitting at 75, and then the other 2 just start increasing their troop counts, to 120, 150 and beyond. Basically, they'll float around your strength as they kill each other. This isn't necessarily intuitive but it's my experience.

    So bottom line, you have to really not care about winning to play this way. And though you'll lose most of your games (>90%), the victories will be by far, the sweetest that you ever get. You will remember the few that you win, and each of them will absolutely have you in stitches. You... will... be... laughing... out... loud...

    FWIW, I almost always opt for this technique when the circumstances present itself (i.e. I'm playing live, my 3 cards make a set when reserves are >25) cause sometimes it's just fun to mess around sometimes and take things lightly.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Virtuoso; 01-06-2020 at 06:32 AM.

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