Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's how

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Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's how

Postby random21 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:48 pm

While it is a fairly rare thing, it can happen on a fair number of occasion, and while most rare with 4 stack, is helpful in other scenarios, for instance with 5 and 6 stack etc.

If you have 4 stack, and there are two adjacent 3 stacks look for chance to knock them both with good dice. Let's call your 4 stack territory A, and the the 3 stacks b and c. If A attacks B and loses no troops, you now have a 4 stack in A, 1 in B, and 3 in C. If you choose to take the risk, instead of going for the easy snipe of 4 stack in A taking 1 in B, go for the double double. You just killed 2 troops for 0 in B, try taking 2 troops in C as well.

If you are successful, you now have a 4 stack in A, 1 in B, and 1 in C. take b leaving you 3, and take C with 2 vs 1 die roll.

Now, are these odds very good to work very often? No. Are you taking 6 men, with 4, and not losing a single man, and can you ever really count on this strategy as legitimate option? Probably not. But be aware of it. Especially when it A) doesn't matter B) have close by support C) helps lower opponents troop count / potential for counter attack d) in cases where you have larger stack than 4

A) If you have already succeeded in an assault elsewhere, and are just looking to do additional damage, you have nothing to lose by trying.

B) perhaps beyond a 4 stack, you have other stacks nearby surrounding, more 4 stacks, or larger that are also adjacent to these same territories. Do as much as you can with your small 4 stack, and let the others clean up. If you succeed, the other stacks can do their own attacks elsewhere for more devastation.

C) If you use your 4 stack to attack the 1 stack in B, you are left with a 3 stack in territory A, and a 3 stack in territory C. A stalemate that is greater risk for an attack. But if you don't invade, you still have potential to attack territory C, and could even lower it by 1. So at the end, you could have territory A: 3, B. 1 and C. 2. Still quite impressive. which leads into D)

D) Your opponent started with 3 in B, and 3 in C. If you accomplish the above, or just lower them to 1's or 2's you have given yourself a bit of an advantage, and lessen the counter play of your opponent. If they are dropping initial deployment, they have less to work with.

Now, same goes when you have larger stacks. Let's say you have 9, and numerous adjacent 3's. Instead of invading them when they reach 1, lowering your stack size (and sometimes invading and lowering territory count is key) also consider not invading with good dice, keep a solid stack, and do as much damage to adjacent territories as possible. Leave him much weaker for your next turn where then you can finish the invasion. You could 1) use nine stack to take two three stacks, or 2) 9 stack to never invade, but lower his troops in 4 territories. Leaving him with 1's, and no great counter attack.

Again, it can't be relied upon beforehand, but if you ever take 2 with no losses, consider going for the double double glory. Killing 2 in 2 territories with no losses. If you get it in the first... will you risk the second attack? It might fail, and you might go from taking 2 to losing 2, but oh the glory of taking 4!
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Kaskavel on Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:21 pm

I disagree. Most of your suggestions indicate quite suboptimal play. While using this tactic when you assault 9 vs 3,3 is definately correct (surprised how many times I ve seen brigs and colonels to ignore this), using this tactic in 4 vs 3,3 is a very bad idea. After all, if you win 6-0 in dice, it doesnt matter what tactics you are using. In most of the circumstances (and I do not mean cases where one of the 3 is defending Asia bonus and the second one is defending Europe bonus and you have no chance to win unless you break both) attacking a 1 offers a considerable advantage. Basicaly, each time you assault a 1 instead of a 2, you gain about half a troop. Even if my opponent has 13 regions and I can assault 4 vs 3,1, I will always assault the 1, split the survivors 2-2 or keep a stack of 3 for next round (this decision is another discussion) and allow opponent to gain an extra troop, hoping the dice will help me next round. But this hope is based upon more realistic chances. After all, if you hope for a 6-0, just make your 3-0 instead, and hope for a 0-3 for your opponent, its pretty much the same and you have killed a 1 in the process, which is amathematical advantage
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby random21 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:35 am

What?

Make this quick:

"After all, if you win 6-0 in dice, it doesn't matter what tactics you are using"

? ? ?

Of course it matters what tactics you use. If you invade the 1 stack with your 4 stack before attacking the 3 stack, you won't get 6-0 with the dice period. The whole point is to attack the 3 stack while you still have a potential assault to do so with it being a 3 vs 2 die roll. If you assault the 1, then you are left with 3 vs 3. You won't get 6 - 0 odds, when its a 2 vs 2 dice roll... You lose any chance of getting 6-0, if you invade, because you lose the assault on the other territory. Who after invading decides to make an assault 3 vs 3. If you want 6-0 you assault territory b, then C. After you invade b first, C can not be attacked with 3 vs 2 dice.

? ? ?

That and in general your points still don't really make sense in your post. My post was clearly not surrounding universal play, especially optimal. I make numerous points of warning. And I gave context to mine, you just stated general nothings. Risky aggression is clearly there.

For instance, if I have nearby support, I definitely want the extra attack to lower the 3 troop stack. For instance, what if I have a nearby 9 stack to help me clean up? I gain more by using the assault to lower the 3 stack, then finish off the 1 stack.

so... what do you mean?
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Jippd on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:40 am

I think the idea can be summarized by:

If you NEED to take multiple regions from one attackable region it gives you the best odds for success if you trim anything above a 2 or a 1 down to a 2 or a 1 before conquering any regions. Which is true in all scenarios.

When you use it is what is important.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Kaskavel on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:19 am

random21 wrote:What?

Make this quick:

"After all, if you win 6-0 in dice, it doesn't matter what tactics you are using"

? ? ?

Of course it matters what tactics you use. If you invade the 1 stack with your 4 stack before attacking the 3 stack, you won't get 6-0 with the dice period. The whole point is to attack the 3 stack while you still have a potential assault to do so with it being a 3 vs 2 die roll. If you assault the 1, then you are left with 3 vs 3. You won't get 6 - 0 odds, when its a 2 vs 2 dice roll... You lose any chance of getting 6-0, if you invade, because you lose the assault on the other territory. Who after invading decides to make an assault 3 vs 3. If you want 6-0 you assault territory b, then C. After you invade b first, C can not be attacked with 3 vs 2 dice.

? ? ?

That and in general your points still don't really make sense in your post. My post was clearly not surrounding universal play, especially optimal. I make numerous points of warning. And I gave context to mine, you just stated general nothings. Risky aggression is clearly there.

For instance, if I have nearby support, I definitely want the extra attack to lower the 3 troop stack. For instance, what if I have a nearby 9 stack to help me clean up? I gain more by using the assault to lower the 3 stack, then finish off the 1 stack.

so... what do you mean?


I explain it again. If your streak is to win 6-0, you can just win 3-0, followed by winning another 3-0 next round in defence. It is almost the same odds and you have killed a 1 in the process, which is more important than the attacker's advantage. If you want to gamble for extreme dice, you dont need to do it stricktly in assault
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby MoB Deadly on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:57 am

Kaskavel, could you provide a more illustrative or direct example to what you mean? I like using the OPs strategy and I am interested in your thoughts on it, but I am having trouble following along with you.

My preference is assault over defense, because each region gets you closer to a +1.

Of course this is not a universal strategy
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby random21 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:24 pm

I still don't see your point.

I can do more than kill a single 1, I can take two territories. And the point is to do it on assault, lowering your opponents counter play, troops, territories, and possibly troop income...
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:43 pm

Kaskavel's point is statistical. Forget the scenario for a second and just imagine you have a 4 stack next to both a 3-stack and a 1-stack. Which should you attack? That is the only relevant question here. The fact that in this case, the scenario started with the 1-stack being a 3-stack doesn't change the question of what to do once you've turned it into a 1-stack.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby random21 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:53 pm

Well that just depends on your goal. If you want to take territories, go for the 1. If you want to eliminate his counter play, attack his 3.

You can't just forget the scenario. After you invade the 1, you no longer have a 3-2 die role. That ends it.

I completely agree if your goal is to take a territory, and lower opponents territory adding to your own. But sometimes reducing counter play is also good. Imagine he is receiving 4. If you lower is 3 to a 1, he will have a 5 stack. If you just leave as is, and take the 1, he will have a 7 vs 3.


This really seems to have gone off on a tangent. My post was quite clear this isn't how you would generally play. It's a risk. But if you ever want to use a 4 stack to take two 3 stacks this is how you do it.

Whether or not it is better to take the one or not is not what I'm discussing.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:06 pm

I suppose. I think Kaskavel's argument is that most of the time, you really don't want to try and take both stacks. Of course one can envision circumstances in which it is absolutely necessary (like his example where your opponent is holding both Europe and Asia and you need to break both). I'm sure I have used this tactic before.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby random21 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:15 pm

Well of course MOST of the time you don't. I think the OP makes it quite clear this a decision you make to go for the gutsy attack (it can backfire, in that you go from getting 2 to losing 2, I acknowledged this beforehand).

Really isn't even about breaking bonuses like stated, but that's obviously a way to go with it.

Honestly, I use this almost all the time on first drops. I create a whole host of 3-10 four stacks, and after taking one territory to guarantee a card, I just snipe 3 stacks. With multiple four stacks, sure some of those fail. But you get 2 die kills all the time. It can't be counted on, but it certainly works.

Then opponents redeployment is screwed, and his initial troop drop does't get the automatic 3 start. And your next turn, you have easy time marching through the 1's and 2's you've created.

I understand as is written in original post you can't work with it as an actual strategy, it's just when you notice it come up, and want to work with it for reasons that justify.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Kaskavel on Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:06 pm

OK, let me offer some more detailed ideas.
The concept of reducing opponents potential is a little tricky and we usualy tend to view it from our percpetive of winning and leaving opponent unable to counterattack, but that is not the full story, because losing the battle will lead to a reduction of our own potential as well. When a number of 4 vs 3 attacks take place on the board, BOTH players' potential is reduced, the map will simplify to regions with 2s instead of 3s. It is just that the attacker has some small advantage in those battles, he will, in a large scale lose 10 troops and kill 11 for example (random numbers) For the moment, lets simplify the discussion by ignoring the profit from winning 2-0, followed by a superior in odds 4-1 attack, because in our example, we already have a 1 to attack anyway and we discuss if it is a good idea to choose to ignore it. This means that the concept of reducing potential is not that great as we may sometimes think. If you deploy 7-8 4s around the board and you do not make any attack with them, you have of course played wrong, but you have not blundered so much as you may think. Probably just 1 troop. I do not say that this troop is not important, but the chances that your attacks will succeed and reduce the opponent's potential are not much greater than the chances you fail similarly and reduce your own potential and weaken your boardering regions. The attacker's advantage in 4vs3 is important, not only because of his superior chances, but also for the chances to simplify the battle to a 4-1 roll. That case offers you an extra 0.32 troop during your next assault click.
In general, a 4-1 assault has an expected profit of 0.32 troops, a 3-1 has an expected profit of 0.16 troops and a 4vs 2 single click, single assault,(not to the end) has an expected profit 0.16 as well. (the attacker's advantage is half that, but we are talking about 2 battles)
Now, let's move to the case discussed here, where you have a 4 boardering a 3 and a 1 and let's compare the senarios. What you mathematicaly suggest, is that you do not want to cash in that 0.32 troop that is already available to you by attacking the 1, prefering to gamble to drop both regions to 1s, followed by attacking 4-1 and if things go well, 3-1 as well.
This in turn implies that the board situation demands making 3-1 attacks. If the board situation does not demand 3-1 attacks, then there is no discussion, the concept is obviously wrong.
1) My suggestion, attacking the 1 is the simple case, you win 0.32 troop. By clicking the button "assault" against the 1, you statisticaly win 0.32 troop, no more, no less. We also have to add the profit from followin up with a 3-1 attack in case we lose, because assumption is that those attacks are favourable and must be made. Losing 4-1 at first roll is 34% and the profit from a 3-1 assault is 0.16 troops. This makes 0.16*0.34=0.05 troops. So, my suggestion ends in winning 0.37 troops
2) If you attack 4-3 clicking once, what will you gain? The answer is 0.16 troop at first roll. Here, we need to add the improved odds in case you reduce it to a favourable 4-1 attack. Chances to win 2-0 are 37%, in that case you make a 4-1 assault, winning an additional 37% multiplied to 0.32, equal to 0.12 troops. Total 0.28 troops.
So, in senarios that the board demands making 3-1 attacks (otherwise there is no discussion and nothing to talk about), the suggested tactic has the advantage of having a chance to kill the sole 1 as well, after winning 2-0 in 4 vs 3, followed by a succesful assault on the remaining 1. Chances to win 3-0 are about 25%. So, in 25% of the cases, you will follow with a 3-1 attack, which offers you the gain of 0.16 troops. 25% multiplied to 0.16, equals 0.04 troops. The original 0.28, added to this 0.04, equals 0.32 troops.
Also, first tactic has 85% chances to conquer a region and second tactic has 14% chances to conquer 2 regions, 49% chances to conquer none and 37% chances to win one , for a statistical sum of +0.65 regions. This makes the assumption that after a 1-1 result, player will switch to the 3-1 assault of course.
Also, in first plan, I have 66% chances to end up with a stack of 3 for next round assault's and 33% ending with a 2, while second plan ends up with a stack of 2 in all senarios
PLAN A +0.37 troops, +0.85 regions and a remaining stack of 2.66 troops for next round's assaults
PLAN B +0.32 troops, +0.65 regions and a remaining stack of 2 troops for next rounds assaults
Each time you use this tactic, you lose 0.05 troops, 0.2 regions and 0.66 troops from next round's stack and so, you should not use this, unless there is a very good reason to do so.
In fact, to be honest, I am surprised that the numbers are so close, I had the impression that this tactic would have been wrong even if opponent had 13 regions, but this does not seem to be the case, unless I made some mistake. In this case, you have a 14% chance to break him down to 11 regions, for an extra gain of 0.14 troops. This offers plan B a lead in troop count by 0.09 troops, although the 2 other disadvantages in expected regions and remaining stack size remain. This is a debatable situation I think and I will describe it as unclear decision, depending on more detailed factors of the specific game.
CONCLUSION. Suggested idea seems wrong to me in most cases and debatable only in case the specific situation favors the execution of 3-1 attacks and opponent has 3n+1 regions, n>3
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby random21 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:17 pm

My suggestion isn't about the mathematical odds being in your favour. When will it ever be in your favour to hope for dice that go 6 kills zero losses?

In any case, the scenarios in my own experience are 90% deploying four stacks to capture 2-4(+) bonuses on drop. This is not a strategy for maps where your initial troop income is 3. I.e. classic map. This is for maps where you are in Hive, Eurasia, or receiving larger numbers, and have higher ability to inflict damage, gain bonuses, and push your advantage.

If I have initial 10 troops in Eurasia for example, or 12 in Hive, and have bonuses with 3 - 4 territories, where I have either 50% control 2/4, 66% control 2/3, or 75% control 3/4, in not just one bonus, but many. Splitting my forces between territories within the bonuses, or adjacent territories connected to opponents territory within the bonus gives me greater number of attacks and greater odds.

Also, depending on reinforcements. I like unlimited, so in the end, I will gather nearby forces to fortify the territories I take.

Back to bonuses though...

Because I have so many four stacks in so many bonuses while the odds don't always give me all bonuses, Some of the 10 - 12 four stacks I create will have terrible dice rolls, others will have great dice rolls. And because of game settings that all you to recuperate after taking territories like unlimited, its worth going for 3/1 attacks. In hive, not so much for territory drop, as you can't lower initial troops, but for a number of other reasons it is good.

For example, in unlimited reinforcements, if taking these territories with 3 vs 1 increases your connection and ability to mobilize.

I'm wondering slightly if we are talking passed each other... my point has never been mathematical odds for doing this. It's simply if you are going to go for it, don't invade 4 vs 1, because an assault of 3 vs 3 is unwise. Whereas with the suggestion made, you need good dice, but it does happen on occasion. Not so much the end result. But cases of reducing both territories to one's I can tell you from personal experience... happens quite often. You don't necessarily get the invasion, but I generally have nearby support, i.e. another 4 stack within the bonus area to clean up.

In any case, I'm not so committed to the argument either way as it is progressing in the thread. This isn't about day to day strategy that you develop to become better.

It's precisely about those moments of either necessity, or bold aggression to seek an edge, willingly taking the risk.

So I'm not so sure if your replies acknowledge my side already admitting to your side and agreeing... mathematically it isn't best to go for this, it won't always leave you well.

You can get two kills, then lose 2 men going for the other three and be far worse off. If you are talking, then, about the frequency to which you should use this... it varies. Again, with unlimited, first turn on the drop etc, many initial troops creating multiple 4 stacks etc, it just works to go for the bonuses, using 3 v 1 to gain better connections etc.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby betiko on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:51 pm

I mostly use this when I'm desperate and it's kind of a do or die. Otherwise I'm not a big fan of 4v3 I try to avoid them, because if you don't have a perfect first roll you are done. I mean if you're feeling lucky going 4vs3 everywhere on the map can give you the best results possible; but some players make me laugh cause they do that then complain about dice cause they miss their spoil. a 4vs3 is way riskier than what lots of people think.
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Re: Tactics: How does a 4 stack take two 3 stacks? here's ho

Postby Kaskavel on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:00 pm

random21 wrote:My suggestion isn't about the mathematical odds being in your favour. When will it ever be in your favour to hope for dice that go 6 kills zero losses?

OK, I was mainly answering to someone asking me to expand on this subject and only indirectly to you

In any case, the scenarios in my own experience are 90% deploying four stacks to capture 2-4(+) bonuses on drop. This is not a strategy for maps where your initial troop income is 3. I.e. classic map. This is for maps where you are in Hive, Eurasia, or receiving larger numbers, and have higher ability to inflict damage, gain bonuses, and push your advantage.

On big maps like the ones described, I totaly agree that anything less than deploying all n troops in n different regions is a mistake, I have also played a few...thousands hives and yes, I almost always deploy 12 4s in first round. In fact, I usualy deploy only 4s in most maps anyway....

If I have initial 10 troops in Eurasia for example, or 12 in Hive, and have bonuses with 3 - 4 territories, where I have either 50% control 2/4, 66% control 2/3, or 75% control 3/4, in not just one bonus, but many. Splitting my forces between territories within the bonuses, or adjacent territories connected to opponents territory within the bonus gives me greater number of attacks and greater odds.

Of course, this is correct as well.

Also, depending on reinforcements. I like unlimited, so in the end, I will gather nearby forces to fortify the territories I take.

Playing those maps with unlimited reinforcements is out of my league. I never tried even once, first players advantage should be irreversible

Back to bonuses though...

Because I have so many four stacks in so many bonuses while the odds don't always give me all bonuses, Some of the 10 - 12 four stacks I create will have terrible dice rolls, others will have great dice rolls. And because of game settings that all you to recuperate after taking territories like unlimited, its worth going for 3/1 attacks. In hive, not so much for territory drop, as you can't lower initial troops, but for a number of other reasons it is good.
For example, in unlimited reinforcements, if taking these territories with 3 vs 1 increases your connection and ability to mobilize.

OK, but now, you are reversing the discussion, adding a completely different element. You create a new situation (huge map, multiple small bonuses, unlimited reinforcements) that where absent to the dicussion, where winning the 4 vs 3,1 means a lot fo things. Of course, if you are playing hive and you get a cell if you win such an attack, while at the same time opening the rout to 40 troops to come and defend the bonus...ehhh...then OK, you have my permission to make the 4 vs 3,3,3 as well if you like. I do not play Hive unlimited, but in my chained game, when faced with a 4 vs 3,1 situation, I almost always take the 1, split 2-2, thus optimizing defence and leave the conquer of the cell for next round. And in Hive, you should not act in a cell where you have 1 region and opponent 2 regions (as you have already stated), so the 4 vs 3,1 case should not be very common anyway. Eurasia has some 4-5 sized bonus indeed. I still think I would kill 1s and fortify myself with 2s though if such a case occurs

I'm wondering slightly if we are talking passed each other... my point has never been mathematical odds for doing this. It's simply if you are going to go for it, don't invade 4 vs 1, because an assault of 3 vs 3 is unwise. Whereas with the suggestion made, you need good dice, but it does happen on occasion. Not so much the end result. But cases of reducing both territories to one's I can tell you from personal experience... happens quite often. You don't necessarily get the invasion, but I generally have nearby support, i.e. another 4 stack within the bonus area to clean up.

1. Of course if I HAVE to go for it, I will attack the 3 first, that is obvious. The matter is how often such a forced need exists and my point is that it should not occur too often as your texts imply.
2. Again you add a new element, having another 4 from the other side. That is completely new situation and as far as I remember, I did not occur in previous posts as well. And again, I doubt such a case will lead to you making the 4 vs 3,1 attack. If the 4 contacts the 1, you obviously have to attack the 1 first and see what happens. If the 4 contacts the 3, you obviously have to make that attack and again see what happens. OK, if the new 4 contacts both the 1 and the 3 then well...that is a new case, it is not 4 vs 3,1 anymore, it is 4,4 vs 3,1 and has nothing to do with our discussion


In any case, I'm not so committed to the argument either way as it is progressing in the thread. This isn't about day to day strategy that you develop to become better.

It's precisely about those moments of either necessity, or bold aggression to seek an edge, willingly taking the risk.

Of course, if their is a necessity, there are much much worst things we all have done than dare attack 4 vs 3,1.

So I'm not so sure if your replies acknowledge my side already admitting to your side and agreeing... mathematically it isn't best to go for this, it won't always leave you well.

You can get two kills, then lose 2 men going for the other three and be far worse off. If you are talking, then, about the frequency to which you should use this... it varies. Again, with unlimited, first turn on the drop etc, many initial troops creating multiple 4 stacks etc, it just works to go for the bonuses, using 3 v 1 to gain better connections etc.


Your initial posts created the impression that doing that is generaly a playable idea, or at least that was my impression. It is not a good idea. If your point is that when you need to capture both regions, you need to attack the 3 first, then this is not an idea, this is an obvious fact that does not need a thread for it.
Last edited by Kaskavel on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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