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

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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
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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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Postby BaldAdonis on Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:47 pm

A good way to advance in escalating is to play on circus maximus. The lack of continents means players won't attack wildly to get a small bonus, and blocks are easy to set up anywhere on the map. You can also learn the importance of counting your opponents cards, keeping territories that attack many others (ie why centre lanes are better than inside/outside), and when to make the crucial strikes.
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Postby stringybeany on Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:40 am

BaldAdonis wrote:A good way to advance in escalating is to play on circus maximus. The lack of continents means players won't attack wildly to get a small bonus, and blocks are easy to set up anywhere on the map. You can also learn the importance of counting your opponents cards, keeping territories that attack many others (ie why centre lanes are better than inside/outside), and when to make the crucial strikes.


I think new players should start on the classic map, but I'll leave it to consensus.
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Postby stringybeany on Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:58 am

Jack and Mike:

"Remember what I told you, Mikey: You've got to try and keep the total board strength at a level that will be favorable to your position in the cash sequence."

"Uh-huh. Hey look, I think I can take Europe!"

"You shouldn't try that, you aren't nearly strong enough to defend those borders. You should deploy on Western US instead. You'll need some strength over there later."

"But won't blue kill me with that stack on Northwest Territory?"

"He has no reason to do that yet, it would just reduce you both too early in the game."

"ok, I'll do it your way."

-next round-

"I thought you said blue wouldn't kill me! He cashed holding only three cards and took all of North America! And everyone let him keep it with only 2 armies protecting each border!"

"Yes, I see that."

"Your strategy sucks. I'm going to go after Europe."
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Postby rabbiton on Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:07 pm

stringybeany wrote:Jack and Mike:

"Remember what I told you, Mikey: You've got to try and keep the total board strength at a level that will be favorable to your position in the cash sequence."

"Uh-huh. Hey look, I think I can take Europe!"

"You shouldn't try that, you aren't nearly strong enough to defend those borders. You should deploy on Western US instead. You'll need some strength over there later."

"But won't blue kill me with that stack on Northwest Territory?"

"He has no reason to do that yet, it would just reduce you both too early in the game."

"ok, I'll do it your way."

-next round-

"I thought you said blue wouldn't kill me! He cashed holding only three cards and took all of North America! And everyone let him keep it with only 2 armies protecting each border!"

"Yes, I see that."

"Your strategy sucks. I'm going to go after Europe."


indeed. predicting what my opponents will do forms a significant part of my strategy. in some ways i actually find playing low ranks more challenging because they are less predictable... and you have to be adaptable to a larger array of strategies.

in other words you need to think not just about what makes sense according to a set of rules or guidelines, but what in fact you think people will do based on everything you know about them and the game.

it would be far easier to write this for non-beginners.
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Postby stringybeany on Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:32 pm

rabbiton wrote:...

it would be far easier to write this for non-beginners.


Perhaps. But that's not where the need exists.
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Postby stringybeany on Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:33 pm

draft 3 on the way
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Postby rabbiton on Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:08 pm

stringybeany wrote:
rabbiton wrote:...

it would be far easier to write this for non-beginners.


Perhaps. But that's not where the need exists.


of course not, and i was merely indicating the difficulty of the task. thinking about it though it really might make more sense to compile a set of guidelines for how the better players play, and then include heavy caveats indicating the need to adapt to "non-conforming" play.

otherwise, you just risk codifying bad strategy... such as "on your first move deploy 3 somewhere and attack". that would be the exception in a high rank game, not the rule, because a general principle is to spread your forces out.
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Postby stringybeany on Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:11 am

rabbiton wrote:...

otherwise, you just risk codifying bad strategy... such as "on your first move deploy 3 somewhere and attack". that would be the exception in a high rank game, not the rule, because a general principle is to spread your forces out.


Dropping three and attacking immediately will yield a card the majority of the time without leaving the player weak (as long as they follow the attacking guidelines).

Starting off with advanced strategies will leave a new player disappointed, I believe.


Priorities in this context are:

Always get a card.
Don't be the weakest player on the board.
Stay out of the small continents, unless you are dropped there in a big way.

I don't believe we should be so concerned about "codifying bad strategies" because in this context they aren't bad strategies. Players need to adjust their strategies as they move up the ranks. What works at the beginning is the effective strategy for that level.
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Postby chessplaya on Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:27 am

Btw to all beginners that are going to read this thread i have an important notice :

The strategies used there are only to be played when its a 6 players game... 4 players and 5 players are a whole lot diffrent... try playing those strategies and u will be eaten alive... plz take notice that ur entering a 6 players game


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Postby stringybeany on Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:34 am

It's simple:

In the beginner's game; maps change too fast for effective multi-turn planning. Somebody will always make a premature roll-off . . . and most likely more than one.

So stay out of the way, take your cheap card, and don't let anyone run away with the board while you wait for the cash rounds.

Especially that last one. The beginner strategy of going for a weak continent grab will work if the board lets it hold.

Don't reinforce bad behavior by letting it work.
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Postby jaydog on Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:55 am

keep up the good work guys, solid tactics and fair discussion on alternatives,

I can't believe i just sat and read all 5 pages.

If someone could post the best and easiest way to smash scottland in a RT game let me know.

But seriouly, do you long timers and RT allstars use a different or altered strategy for RT escalating games?
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Postby stringybeany on Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:25 am

jaydog wrote:keep up the good work guys, solid tactics and fair discussion on alternatives,

I can't believe i just sat and read all 5 pages.

If someone could post the best and easiest way to smash scottland in a RT game let me know.

But seriouly, do you long timers and RT allstars use a different or altered strategy for RT escalating games?


I employ no single overall strategy. Every board is unique. Some games I've had to change my approach several times, or even every round (usually means a loss/occasionally means a memorable victory).
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Postby puppydog85 on Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:49 am

Hi, I am a beginner and I have a quick question. When fortifying in rounds 3-5, should I start moving my armies into piles? I my current game I have a chain 6 countries long and it is not unlimited fort. Should I start looking around and fortify at one end, both ends, or just leave it?
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Postby stringybeany on Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:03 pm

puppydog85 wrote:Hi, I am a beginner and I have a quick question. When fortifying in rounds 3-5, should I start moving my armies into piles? I my current game I have a chain 6 countries long and it is not unlimited fort. Should I start looking around and fortify at one end, both ends, or just leave it?


It depends on the need. In general, you will want to have your forces gathered up for the elimination rounds, just make sure the singles you leave behind you can do without. If your six countries are chained, if you pull from the middle somebody will likely cut the chain on you.

Then again it might not matter.

I wish I could be more specific, but there are too many variables to give you a concrete "do this" answer.
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Postby bob72 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:28 am

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.

This = me in most games.

My usual roll is 6v4 lose 2 4v4 lose 2 stop Round 2 armies are gone. (should have kept attacking.)

I must argue against this if you stop at 4v3 you will be EXTREMELY lucky to have any armies left next turn. If at turn 2 you still haven't won and are EXTREMELY lucky to have any armies left don't expect to have them at round 3. By round 3 this is getting silly your armies will be gone and someone will have a continent and be 10-15 armies ahead of you.
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