Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

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Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

Postby xiangwang on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:42 pm

Alright, so I just finished playing a game (Game 12056017) and I thought it would be nice to share what I learned. In a flat rate game on a large map, troop count is not as important as timing and leverage of the particular situation. The map was also fog to add to the bluffing element. I will admit, that the map and settings were complicated (freestyle, standard, flat rate, fog, and victory objective).

So here is the background for those interested.

The situation was I had the largest amount of troops on the board with 6 players remaining (aka, 3 ex-conquerors, 2 field marshals, and moi) in 3rd crusade map.

Teal owned france and england-95
Blue had italy, vatican, and venice-75
Red had antioch-65
Yellow had egypt, triplo, and africa-100
pink had germany, spain, granada, and jerusalem-120 troops, crusade bonuses
I (green) had all the balkans, byzantine, seljuk, edessa, tarsus, and some damascus regions-230 troops

The game is won by holding jerusalem, antioch, a starting point (a capital city of the large bonus), and either granada/vatican at the start of the turn. Due to the freestyle nature, if one holds it at the end of the round, they pretty much win the game.

I was able to gain that much troops through attempting to play pink off against everyone else since pink was going for the objective so the other players had to tolerate me expanding and getting large amount of troops in order to watch pink from stealing the game.

So, red set off the chain reaction by deciding to abandon antioch since red had no intention of dying if pink wanted to take antioch leaving antioch undefended with the idea that I would protect it. However, I attempted a blackmail move in leaving the victory objectives open to pink to take in an attempt to appease pink after breaking his germany bonus to scout out france and italy. Since I knew the other players were watching, it would force them to attack pink if pink went after the objective. Teal called my bluff and was lucky in that pink missed his turn or else pink could;ve won in the last 5 seconds by seizing antioch. Seeing the effectiveness of the tactic since it almost got teal to spend 30 troops on pink, I attempted the blackmail again. However, my critical mistake was ending my turn leaving the other 5 players remaining to go. THAT is where I lost my leverage.

I had the most troops on the board. Teal, blue, and yellow decided they had enough and tried to convince pink to join them in killing me. I counter-offered to wipe blue off and give pink another chance at the victory grab. Though my offer was much better for pink because pink and I were the strongest, I have lost the timing by using my turn. This lost of timing is what overall convinced pink to join teal, blue, and yellow. The result was I was wiped out that turn after a coordinated attack. The alliance agreed to kill my armies as distributed, 50-blue, 80 pink, 80 teal, and 80 yellow, of course, I over bluffed the size of my army with them thinking in the 250-280 range. So blue and pink went first contributing their agreed killings leaving red, yellow, and teal to yet to take their turns.

Eventually teal and yellow took their turns and killed me finding out I had 80 less troops than they thought.

So, the lesson I wanted to share was, that using diplomacy, blackmails, and threats, the strongest player got taken down by 4 others because the strongest player lost his leverage and timing by taking his turn. Troop count means very little in a large player game unless you have more troops than all the other players combined. So this was the lesson I wanted to share. If you want to hit the first page on the scoreboard, you need to understand the usage of leverage and timing, not the raw power of troop count. By taking my turn, i lost my leverage due the timing since pink couldn't side with my offer because I have already taken my turn while teal, yellow, and blue had not resulted in my death. So important lesson is know how to use leverage.

A good example of leverage and timing used was by red after my death. Red was in an interesting position because red was the weakest player with 1 region, but a large army of 64. Red chose not to join in the attack, but utilized the leverage of his troop since he knew everyone else was weak from attacking me and left a huge vaccum to provinces open. So red had an agreement with everyone else not to interfere with my demise and in exchange took seljuk, edessa, tarsus, antioch, triplo, and all of damascus without contributing a SINGLE troop. Of course, red got a little greedy later and decided to kill blue leading to his death by yellow.

So in summary, I want you to understand how to read board states and maximize the usage of your armies, not just through sheer raw numbers, but through leveraging them and taking advantage of good timing. Without understanding this concept, it's hard to make it to the first page of the scoreboard.
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Re: Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

Postby 100mates on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:05 am

That's a reasonably accurate analysis of what happened. However there is one error, which i feel obligated to correct.

using diplomacy, blackmails, and threats, the strongest player got taken down by 4 others


That is incorrect. The 4 players who collaborated to eliminate you, did so partly as a result of your attempts at blackmail and threats. (things like taking your turn early in the round and forcing us to watch each other for the objectives)
You were right about the diplomacy though. :D It was an extremely effective sweep which was made possible thanks to some wonderful communication between all 4 of us.

I think the real lesson to be learned here is that you shouldnt try manipulate the board by threatening/blackmailing other players, because evidently its going to come back and bite you. :lol:
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Re: Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

Postby Arama86n on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:21 am

xiangwang wrote:The situation was I had the largest amount of troops on the board with 6 players remaining (aka, 3 ex-conquerors, 2 field marshals, and moi) in 3rd crusade map.


Now that's one hell of a way to start any CC story ;)

One thing people should keep in mind when pondering over strategy for a game like this is that the situation is a special one, with three hugely contributing factors. The winning condition, the fog, and freestyle. Take away any of those factors and things change greatly. I'm sure most people reading this thread understand that, but I thought I would state it none the less. For example a game with these players, but without a winning condition would have a huge chance of becoming a stalemate. take away the fog and it is almost certain.
I played a lot of multi-player flatrate when I joined this site, and unfortunately if your going to play it sunny on classic for example, it has to be played with multiple idiots/noobs in the game for it to be any fun/ for the game to progress. If you invite seven competent players to the game it will go on until people deadbeat. believe me I've tried it, never again. (shaneback still has to see a shrink on Wednesdays after a 600+ round FR I created in the days before round limits ;) )

And Xiangwang, I'm wondering if you actually DID learn a lesson from that game, the way you write puts that into question ;) Thanks for sharing your insights though. I think you have to have a certain inclination for diplomacy, treachery and blackmail to play these foggy win-condition games with the big boys, thus I keep my distance. :)

Happy hunting.
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Re: Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

Postby betiko on Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:31 am

I find it extremely difficult to play a single multiplayer being the obvious troop leader. I Always try to be secondish or even thirdish (cause the secondish is always expected to be the one doing the move).
I'm not a great freestyle player, but I do think that playing first is most often a mistake.
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Re: Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

Postby xiangwang on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:31 am

betiko wrote:I find it extremely difficult to play a single multiplayer being the obvious troop leader. I Always try to be secondish or even thirdish (cause the secondish is always expected to be the one doing the move).
I'm not a great freestyle player, but I do think that playing first is most often a mistake.


there are many times u want to play first like securing a bonus by ending last the previous turn and wanting to play 1st/2nd the next to secure the extra troops from that bonus that you would normally not be able to defend properly.
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Re: Small lesson from leverage, timing, and troop count

Postby Viceroy63 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:03 am

xiangwang wrote:Alright, so I just finished playing a game (Game 12056017) and I thought it would be nice to share what I learned. In a flat rate game on a large map...


If that is a large map then what do you call a map like Eurasia or First Nations of the America's? An even larger map? LOL

Seriously; I enjoyed reading your review even though it was hard to follow because I never played that particular map before. You have excellent writing skills for descriptive writing but a couple of mid-game pics would have been nice though. I guess that I never out grew picture books. LOL.

I have to wonder though about the strategy of making threats. Some may consider that a form of suicide play maybe. Do you ever feel alienated by those that you've threatened in the past?

But I do agree with you on the timing part of strategy play. Sometimes it does pay more to cash in early and get less troops and get a potential problem out of the way/area before he becomes an even larger problem on his turn that may end up costing you even more troops to resolve later on.
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