Esc. for Beginners pg4---Esc. Intermediate pg8

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Postby stringybeany on Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:04 am

hatchman wrote:StringyBeany, my wife started an account about a month ago, playing all escalating under my fine supervision. We noticed exactly what DiM was referring to: guys going nuts trying to take and break continents. The result? Weak players all over the place holding lots of cards :D I advised my wife to steer well clear of all the silliness and just attack 1s to get cards. Then cash and kill weaker guys holding 4 or 5 cards. It worked beautifully in most cases - sometimes she didn't even have to cash to kill because she had built up so much strength while the other guys went nuts against each other and didn't notice LOL. The result so far? After 16 games she has 1470 points or something...


exactly! so at that level you must adopt a strategy that will lead to winning at that level and be prepared to modify as you move up.

This again leads me back to my original purpose: Provide a strategy for beginners that will help them get started.

Of course that's all spelled out in the OP, but apparently with insufficient clarity.

Maybe the simplest strategy for beginners is just what your wife did. "Stay the hell out of the way and let all the noobs kill each other". (Which you'll note is somewhat built into my proposed strategy)
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Postby wicked on Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:08 am

Having played all ranks here, I can say that beginners do play escalating much differently and that one strategy might not work for all. I've seen esc. played like a flat rate game where one person was allowed to get strong so that it never got to a point where cards mattered. The old "sit back and build up til the cards are high value" strategy won't work if someone is getting double men for holding continents and no one keeps them in check.
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Postby stringybeany on Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:13 am

dp
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Postby jiminski on Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:22 am

Well as we can see ... advice on this one is like asking for strategies on child-rearing from 4 generations of mothers at a family wedding!

'wrap it up tight so he can;t move his arms, put the kid down and let it scream.. it'll tire eventually!'
'you need to give love immediately... or they will be mal-adjusted.. Dr Spock says.....'

so my advice is:

Take the basics (avoid wasting troops and take singles for cards) and then learn by what other people do, not what they say.
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Postby banana_hammocks on Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:20 am

The way i play escalating (whether it is right or wrong, although i did win iron man II an escalating tourney) is basically to try and make sure you are one of the strongest players in terms of number of troops. Now this may seem obvious, but many players that i have played against (ranging from all ranks) will try to get bonuses especially south america and australia, then they will fight over africa and middle ground wasting troops. Only break bonuses if you have to e.g. europe or n. america, and even then try to make others break it.

Meanwhile i've been taking the unimportant territories in norther asia and northen america, generally against 1 troop and leaving my troops as evenly spread as possible. Then once the cashes get to a reasonable level (10+) look to fortify your troops to one place at the end of your go when you have 4 cards. Then on your next go try to take everyone out if possible.

Of course it entirely depends on the situation and if you have an easy continent go for it, but don't feel you need to win it back at all costs if you lose it.
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Postby negoeien on Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:40 am

well what an heated discussion alright.
I can sense some sensibility here :d.
But I have to agree with chess but as I understand this is for newbies only we must'nt talk about blocks.

1) Evryone is right with attacking only one's which is the way to go. Further more I played a lot of newbies( I don't like to use the word NOOB)
because I always start some public games escalating unlimited and many Inexperienced players join.
Now what I have seen , it's sometimes advisable to take a continent but not when another player is interested in it. Especially on other maps then the classic one, there it isn't advisable to take a continent!

2) About attacking the strongest please guys, don't!!! Don't waste armies on them only if it a as smart player. You just have to take the weaker players out and midcash then take the following person. The advantage in the proces is that with the last cash ou can easily kill or overpower the strongest player.

3) I do not critiscize anyone just pointing out my view of the esc game with mostly new players. I have a lot of exp with that. You don't have to be the strongest player but have more armies then the weakest players which is not to hard

4) This method isn't 100% proof because erratic moves of some of the new players but it works fairly well.

GRtz
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Postby stringybeany on Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm

There won't be a consensus on any particular strategy, and there doesn't need to be. The purpose again is to provide a simple strategy that will serve to get an escalating/unlimited/6-player beginner started here at CC.

The strategy should serve to:

A: avoid erratic play commonly found in beginner games.
B: cope with deadbeat play also common in beginner games.
C: build higher quality into beginner games by introducing sound concepts.

Sounds easy, but try and condense it down into a simple set of rules that will accommodate the majority of scenarios (maybe a very slim majority).

Such procedures should be tidied up and stickied, which was once the case?

Why did they get dropped?
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Postby RobinJ on Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:22 pm

I agree with just about everyone in here but to varying extents. Personally:

Round 1: if you are first to go then just deploy unless a small continent is staring you right in the face. Otherwise it is better to keep the 3 armies and go behind a card. If going last, generally look for a 1 to attack and do it.

Next few rounds: Depends on the size of map but usually fairly sedate. Try not to be the weakest by just staying out of everybody's way and spreading your armies. Try to cash in last for the highest value and start looking for an elimination target. Get into position.

After first cash: Time to station a large portion of your troops by the weakest player, blocking him off if necessary. If it's worth the risk (it usually is if you can maintain a chain reaction. If not then it requires more thought) then go for the elimination once you have your second set. Hoepfully, you can get a chain reaction going but otherwise make sure that you can end the game in a couple of rounds. It's no good to make a couple of eliminations and leave the next player with a cash of 20+.


Really that's as basic a strategy as you can get and it should be fairly effective against lower ranks. It certainly worked for me.
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Postby jiminski on Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:07 pm

stringybeany wrote:There won't be a consensus on any particular strategy, and there doesn't need to be. The purpose again is to provide a simple strategy that will serve to get an escalating/unlimited/6-player beginner started here at CC.



yeap! the thing is that Escalator is so easy and yet so complex!

this is so perfectly illustrated by the confusion witnessed in this thread!

that is why the most pure teacher of the discipline should advise an open mind not a closed one.

the best teacher is a man named Wacicha! he has no axe to grind and no ego to buff!
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Postby joecoolfrog on Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:40 pm

stringybeany wrote:
joecoolfrog wrote:I consider your premise to be completely wrong, if you get into bad habits in your first 50 games then you will struggle to change when you play better opponents. Thats why so many players hit a block when they get to 2100 points, escalating is not flat rate with bigger armies it is a completely different game. The best escalating players on this site learnt the basics well and honed their strategies as they moved through the ranks,they did not suddenly get to a certain point and then change their method. What was good enough for the great escalating players like maniacmath,genghis khan and comic boy is good enough for me.


Try a block in a beginners' game and see what will likely happen. Chances are you won't get the high-level response. So you would advise to take the high road anyway and likely lose?

What works at the lowest levels won't work at the high levels, and vice-versa, of course. You do have to adapt as you move up.


I agree that blocks dont work well in beginner games which is why I didnt include them in my lists of basics, be nice if you read the posts properly instead of being so defensive. I reckon the Wachica advice is pretty sound for brand new escalating players, then again most of his advice is pretty sound :D
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Postby frogger4 on Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:13 pm

I have very limited experience at escalating games (I have played mostly flat rate), so question: Does it make sense to have a string of countries say in asia and also in s america, so that you have more options for where/ who you attack?
Also, in freestyle games, I am guessing that if you have a card set, you want to be the last person to take your turn, so you get the highest value?
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:05 am

frogger4 wrote:...
Also, in freestyle games, I am guessing that if you have a card set, you want to be the last person to take your turn, so you get the highest value?


hmmm...I'm not sure you can make a ruling on that one. I'm still going with
"if you can eliminate, cash now, otherwise wait until until forced to cash."
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Re: Escalating for Beginners (first draft ... jump in now)

Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:00 am

NOTE:
Second draft. I'm still shooting for "lock-step" approach but as you all know the decision tree gets pretty complex and charting a single path through those waters is difficult.

The goals again:

A: Avoid erratic play commonly found in beginner games.
B: Cope with deadbeat play also common in beginner games.
C: Build higher quality into beginner games by introducing sound concepts.



Beginner's Escalating

The following strategy is designed for beginners level risk and is intended to help new players through their first 50 or so Conquer Club games

Classic, 4-6 player, sequential, escalating, unlimited

Round One:

A: Pick one country in a large continent that is close to other countries you own and deploy there. Roll dice once against opponent of your choice, but try and attack towards your other countries. Only deploy in South America or Australia if you already own three or four countries on the continent.

After first roll if you are 6 vs 1 or 5 vs. 2, roll again. If you are 4 vs 3 then STOP and end turn.

After the second roll you will own the country, be 3 vs 2, or 4 vs 1. Only roll a third time of you are 4 vs 1. otherwise STOP and end turn.

If you lose the third roll, and are 3 vs 1, STOP and end turn.

Fortifications: DO NOT GATHER YOUR TROOPS INTO PILES.
*exception: you may move troops out of countries that you have completely surrounded*

DO NOT ATTACK WITH LESS THAN THREE DICE FOR THE FIRST FOUR ROUNDS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Round Two:

Step one: check the board strength. Everyone should still have about the same number of armies on the board.

A: If the board is "balanced" then:

If you are scattered, deploy and attack 1's only. Other players will have likely pulled their troops into piles. Hopefully there will be a "1" available to you that will allow you to concentrate your troops into one area. If not, look for 2's next. Only attack 3's when you have no other easy choices. If you have a card from round one, then only attack with 5 or 6, stop at 4. If you don't have a card from round one, then roll 4 vs 3 if necessary as a last resort. If you fail to get a card this round also, you are in trouble BUT you still must NOT roll less than 3 dice.



B: If the board is "unbalanced",meaning either one player has taken big losses or big advances then you want to attack whoever has the most "armies due" for the next turn. This means breaking weakly held continents if necessary. Look for the easiest victories that will take the most "armies due" from the board leader. If you can't reduce the leader's strength without becoming weak in the process, then look for easy victories as outlined above.

Rounds Three through Five:

A. Attack to keep the board in balance. Always attack the leader first, if possible.

B. NEVER roll less than three dice.

C. DO NOT lose more than your deployment in each turn.

D. DO NOT cash your card set

Round five:

Attack with same priorities, but now you will fortify with a new goal: elimination.

Here's a simple formula that will give you some success :

Count your opponents total armies.
Add your opponents total territories divided by 3.
Add three for each "front" you must attack from.

example: my opponent has 32 armies on the board and 11 countries. he has one group in NA and another in Asia. I'll need (32 + 11/3 + 3*2)=42.

42 is the absolute minimum army count you need to eliminate this opponent.

In round five you examine all your opponents looking for elimination targets. A viable target will be accessible to your troops and will have at least three cards, preferably more.

Fortify against this opponent(s). Make large piles now, if you can.
If there are no viable elimination targets, make no big moves.

Round six through Eight:

Cash your set. Eliminate your target or if no target, take the easiest card you can get and wait for next round. From here forward cash immediately if you have a target, wait until forced to cash if you don't.


Most beginner escalating games will end before round nine.

Recap:

Always get a card if you can (without violating dice or deployment rules)
Never attack with less than three dice.
Attack the weakest point of the strongest player.
Don't lose more than your deployment in any round.
Don't try eliminations unless you have the necessary count.
Don't attack deadbeats.

Deadbeat play:

You will experience quite a few "deadbeats" in your first fifty games.

IF:

You have unranked players at your table that have NO completed games and have missed one turn, nearly 100% of the time that player will never return to the game. Do not attack that player any more.
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:30 am

2nd draft discussion starts top of page 4
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:31 am

this is just another placeholder in order to create a clean start at top of page four for second round discussion.

thanks all for your input so far!
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:31 am

NOTE:
Second draft. I'm still shooting for "lock-step" approach but as you all know the decision tree gets pretty complex and charting a single effective path through those waters is difficult.

The goals again:

A: Avoid erratic play commonly found in beginner games.
B: Cope with deadbeat play also common in beginner games.
C: Build higher quality into beginner games by introducing sound concepts.



Beginner's Escalating

The following strategy is designed for beginners level risk and is intended to help new players through their first 50 or so Conquer Club games

Game parameters:

Classic, 4-6 player, sequential, escalating, unlimited

Round One:

A: Pick one country in a large continent that is close to other countries you own and deploy there. Roll dice once against opponent of your choice, but try and attack towards your other countries. Only deploy in South America or Australia if you already own three or four countries on the continent.

After first roll if you are 6 vs 1 or 5 vs. 2, roll again. If you are 4 vs 3 then STOP and end turn.

After the second roll you will own the country, be 3 vs 2, or 4 vs 1. Only roll a third time of you are 4 vs 1. otherwise STOP and end turn.

If you lose the third roll, and are 3 vs 1, STOP and end turn.

Fortifications: DO NOT GATHER YOUR TROOPS INTO PILES.
*exception: you may move troops out of countries that you have completely surrounded*

DO NOT ATTACK WITH LESS THAN THREE DICE FOR THE FIRST FOUR ROUNDS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Round Two:

Step one: check the board strength. Everyone should still have about the same number of armies on the board.

A: If the board is "balanced" then:

If you are scattered, deploy and attack 1's only. Other players will have likely pulled their troops into piles. Hopefully there will be a "1" available to you that will allow you to concentrate your troops into one area. If not, look for 2's next. Only attack 3's when you have no other easy choices. If you have a card from round one, then only attack with 5 or 6, stop at 4. If you don't have a card from round one, then roll 4 vs 3 if necessary as a last resort. If you fail to get a card this round also, you are in trouble BUT you still must NOT roll less than 3 dice.



B: If the board is "unbalanced",meaning either one player has taken big losses or big advances then you want to attack whoever has the most "armies due" for the next turn. This means breaking weakly held continents if necessary. Look for the easiest victories that will take the most "armies due" from the board leader. If you can't reduce the leader's strength without becoming weak in the process, then look for easy victories as outlined above.

Rounds Three through Five:

A. Attack to keep the board in balance. Always attack the leader first, if possible.

B. NEVER roll less than three dice.

C. DO NOT lose more than your deployment in each turn.

D. DO NOT cash your card set

Round five:

Attack with same priorities, but now you will fortify with a new goal: elimination.

Here's a simple formula that will give you some success :

Count your opponents total armies.
Add your opponents total territories divided by 3.
Add three for each "front" you must attack from.

example: my opponent has 32 armies on the board and 11 countries. he has one group in NA and another in Asia. I'll need (32 + 11/3 + 3*2)=42.

42 is the absolute minimum army count you need to eliminate this opponent.

In round five you examine all your opponents looking for elimination targets. A viable target will be accessible to your troops and will have at least three cards, preferably more.

Fortify against this opponent(s). Make large piles now, if you can.
If there are no viable elimination targets, make no big moves.

Round six through Eight:

Cash your set. Eliminate your target or if no target, take the easiest card you can get and wait for next round. From here forward cash immediately if you have a target, wait until forced to cash if you don't.


Most beginner escalating games will end before round nine.

Recap:

Always get a card if you can (without violating dice or deployment rules)
Never attack with less than three dice.
Attack the weakest point of the strongest player.
Don't lose more than your deployment in any round.
Don't try eliminations unless you have the necessary count.
Don't attack deadbeats.

Deadbeat play:

You will experience quite a few "deadbeats" in your first fifty games. A "deadbeat" is a player that joins a game (or four), takes one or two turns then leaves; never to return.

IF and ONLY IF you have unranked players at your table that have NO completed games and have missed one turn, THEN nearly 100% of the time that player will not return to the game. Do not attack that player any more. You may also leave your borders completely undefended against that player. (On the rare occasion this approach will backfire if the player does return at the last minute. It's highly unlikely though.)
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Postby firstholliday on Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:18 am

When i started playing esc term. I was a corporal i think. In MANY games there were as much as 4!!!!! deadbeats. Even if there are 3 in a 6 player game, TALK to the players who actually want to play, and don't attack eachother. Kill the deadbeats first. (on a 50/50 basis) You will both get easy points. When all deadbeats are beaten. Give eachother a handshake and go for the win.
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:22 am

firstholliday wrote:When i started playing esc term. I was a corporal i think. In MANY games there were as much as 4!!!!! deadbeats. Even if there are 3 in a 6 player game, TALK to the players who actually want to play, and don't attack eachother. Kill the deadbeats first. (on a 50/50 basis) You will both get easy points. When all deadbeats are beaten. Give eachother a handshake and go for the win.


I've not experienced that but I suppose it could turn out odds neutral. I'm not sure I'd encourage beginners to look for that approach though. I think it safer in those games to leave the deadbeat alone and let others weaken themselves taking them out. If the discussion does come up in chat, then entertain the idea but watch your back.

Yeah, I don't buy into leading beginners down that path when just starting out. Let's see what others think.
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Postby firstholliday on Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:13 am

Maybe you are right..... i,m not sure if it was in esc...... it was in term for sure, but now that i think of it. esc would be dangerous.
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Postby chessplaya on Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:23 am

alright then this is it ... i am a bit weak in english , so i wont make long paragraphs and big posts like my ( friend ) strigybeany there .. but since this is to help the "beginners only " i will try my best :)

here it goes :

1- look for minimum casualties ( the 1st few rounds ) round 1 till round 4 : example : u have 8 armies on north africa.. blue has 5 on egypt .. and green has 1 on east africa... do not attack the 5 in egypt ... attack the 1 on east africa... minimum casualties ( i know this looks like a safe way to play the game but u might wanna reconsider attacking 5 armies and burning them off too early in the game meaning u can as well burn ur 8 armies .... for what??? for nothing :wink:

2-Set urself a base.... a country where every turn u deploy a 1 or a 2 on it .... not just any country .. but a country that connects continent and is important to finish the game later ...Countries with such importance ( on classic map ) : Kamshatka... china...afghanistan...Ukraine.... middle east... east africa... alaska....greenland or iceland.... central america(somewhat not important)... north africa... and siam(somewhat not important

Now u have less casualties...and a power base...

3-Do not break small continents such as South america or Australia... that will kill u .... Continents can make a diffrence but most of the time in escalating its the massive armies u get from cashing ur cards is what makes a difference

4- do not try for small continents if some1 had already deployed there... instead go for a block

5-If u miss a card early in the game ... the 1st round ... try ur best not to miss another ... I know cashing the 4 doesnt sound well... but if u have a card advantage u can avoid the 2 pairs massacre later in the game... the 2 pairs is the worst case scenario in an esclating game when the cashes get higher then 25... if u have a card advantage u can outcome it ... sometimes.

6-Non reasonable attacks are not welcome .. no matter what... attacking an 8 army or a 10 army early in the 2nd round will only mean that ur not gonna win and neither the guy u attacked...U dont want to be there :wink:


7- the forts : as i said already i do agree with stringy on 1 thing which the forts .. do not pile up all ur armies on 1 country leaving the rest with 1s... too early... because 1 bad dice streak and ur out of the game...

8- this is very important : DO NOT BLOCK UR MASSIVE ARMIES OUT.... I HAVE SEEN THIS TOO MANY TIMES ... PPL HOLD AUSTRALIA... THEY HAVE 20+ ARMIES ON SIAM... AND THEY HAVE A 1 ON CHINA AND 1 ON INDIA... WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESS THE 20 ON SIAM ARE WORTHLESS...

again u dont want to be there... i would say ... if u really care about aussi... u can leave 3 on siam.. and distribute the rest on china and india..


I believe for now this is enough... if u have any questions ... i'd gladly answer them ... just dont forget it doesnt always work out the way u planned it to be .. or else i would have won every single game i played
:lol: :lol:


Good luck to u all :wink:

thats for u wicked
Veni...
Vidi...
Vici...
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Postby Scott-Land on Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:38 am

Chess is getting you guys in the right direction but all those countries he mentioned may be too many.

Usually you want 3 or 4 fronts that you deploy to (countries) for future attacks while trying to maneuver your other armies to those locations. Classic map-- there are 3 to 4 primary countries that are adjacent to 5 to 6 countries. Which means you have more access to opponents to attack from.

Siberia (Asia) Ontario (NA) Ukraine or East Africa (Europe/Africa). Those 3-4 primary countries are adjacent or connected to 17-23 other countries. So occupying those countries alone you have access to 17-23 of 42 countries (40% - 54% of the map).

Of course you may get all, one, or none of those countries but the more you play the more you will become better at occupying them. Of course you can ask different players which countries they prefer.......they may be all different but the point is recognizing strong access points to attack from.
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Postby wacicha on Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:16 am

Chess was giving options of countries because sometimes the one you want is unattainable at your turn.

I once stated the countries I like best and then could not get on to any of them for a month. Every one playing me had read it and took them. Boy did I have to revamp my playing habits.
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Postby DAZMCFC on Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:54 am

to stringy, thanks for inviting me to join your games. winning 2 out of 4 was a good points gain. :lol: oh and i do play erratic from time to time and it helps. :roll:
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:45 am

DAZMCFC wrote:to stringy, thanks for inviting me to join your games. winning 2 out of 4 was a good points gain. :lol: oh and i do play erratic from time to time and it helps. :roll:


Yes! Well done!

Hope to have many more!
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Postby stringybeany on Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:51 am

chessplaya wrote:
2-Set urself a base.... a country where every turn u deploy a 1 or a 2 on it .... not just any country .. but a country that connects continent and is important to finish the game later ...Countries with such importance ( on classic map ) : Kamshatka... china...afghanistan...Ukraine.... middle east... east africa... alaska....greenland or iceland.... central america(somewhat not important)... north africa... and siam(somewhat not important<----good point! I'll try and work this into next draft



8- this is very important : DO NOT BLOCK UR MASSIVE ARMIES OUT.... I HAVE SEEN THIS TOO MANY TIMES ... PPL HOLD AUSTRALIA... THEY HAVE 20+ ARMIES ON SIAM... AND THEY HAVE A 1 ON CHINA AND 1 ON INDIA... WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESS THE 20 ON SIAM ARE WORTHLESS...<---good point! I'll work this into draft #3



The rest of your points are also very good and I think are already covered pretty well. Your others above I will work into the next version.

thanks for your input
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