This map, inspired by a riot in a Supermax security level prison, is one of the larger maps Conquer Club has to offer with 143 total regions. Supermax has very different game play from most other maps due to Strategic Resources and Collections. As a result the bonus awarding regions are non-contiguous and scaleable. Strategic resources provide a bonus for holding a combination of regions providing a bonus (Warden and Guards, Gangs and Leaders) while Collections provide a bonus for having a specific number of designated regions (New Fish). It is important to note that the gangs are frequently classified as Collection bonuses but without holding the gang leader they are worthless; therefore they are a Strategic Resource.
Because of its size, Supermax works well for 4-8 player games. Any spoils or reinforcements work well on this map. This map also works well with or without fog of war; however playing it a few times without fog is recommended before adding to the complexity with fog. I would caution against assassin games on Supermax with fog of war because the amount of influence blind luck plays increases tremendously. This is due to the number of isolated regions in each of the cell blocks - even with snapshots and good deductive reasoning you will have to blindly blunder around the cell blocks to find that final troop your opponent has hidden away!
Size: Very Large
Bonuses: Balanced Complexity: Very Complex Features Bombardments: 003 and 004 can bombard any region in the Yard. Collections: A +2 bonus is awarded for every 3 New Fish held. Dead Space: The cell block doors and the area inside the headquarters (Booking, Visitors, Parish, Hall, and Lounge) are not part of any bonus. Naming Challenges: The Guards are numbered sequentially, meaning a mistake in the drop is fairly easy to make with the drop down menu. Negative Bonus: The Gas Chamber held without the Warden is a (-5) to deployment; each cell in the Hole (Coleman, Carlo, Mibi, Rico, Vern) is a (-1) to deployment if held without 602. Starting Neutrals: All Guards, cell block doors, weapons, and the Warden begin neutral. Strategic Resources:Gang bonuses are awarded for holding the gang leader and either 3 (+1), 6(+4), 9(+8), 12(+13) or all (+20) members of that gang. Guard bonuses of +1 per two Guards held are awarded if the Warden is held. A +5 bonus is awarded for holding the Gas Chamber if the Warden is held. A +1 bonus is awarded per cell held in the Hole if the Warden is held. How to play Supermax: Prison Riot!
show: Two Player
Each player starts with 28 regions, giving you a minimum of 9 troops to deploy; however because of the collections bonus system of the map, players will often start with Gang bonuses or New Fish bonuses. It is therefore a good idea to reduce your opponent's bonus by taking their New Fish so they will have a total of 2, 5, or 8 (Because you receive 2 troops for every 3 New Fish you control, dropping the number of their New Fish in this manner will lower their bonus by 2). Alternatively, you could take Gang members for which they have leaders so they have 2 or 5 gang member regions (they will get a bonus for having 3 or 6 members plus the leader so if you reduce them to 2 or 5 members you will lower their bonus).
Keep in mind when trying to accomplish these initial goals that it is good to clear your opponent from General Population or the Yard with priority going to General Population. These areas are surrounded by neutral Guards which will make it harder for your opponent to gain access and break your bonuses. Because General Population is guarded by a single bottleneck in 501 and the General Population door, it is a more defensible position than the Yard, which can be assaulted from any of the Cell Blocks and bombarded from 003 and 004. However, if your initial troop drop is heavily concentrated in the Yard, you may want to consider loading those regions and clearing your opponent from the Yard. In this case plan to assault General Population once the Yard is secured. Once you have taken either General Population or the Yard try to take the other giving priority to taking regions that contribute to your opponents bonuses. Once you have done this, move on to conquer the rest of the map while being sure not to overextend if spoil cashes are high in an escalating game. Generally speaking, it is a waste of time to chase the bonus granted by the Warden and the Guards unless you are quickly eliminated from General Population. Under no circumstances should you take the Gas Chamber, as it will almost guarantee defeat if the Warden is taken from you, due to its (-5) troop bonus.
Supermax makes for a unique escalating game due to the openness of the yard and general population combined with the cell blocks, which have multiple bottlenecks. Due to the size of the map and the fact that it will last 10+ rounds for most escalating games it is usually beneficial to hold a bonus. Also, try to keep at least one region in each of the cell blocks, the yard and general population so that you have more access to different parts of the map. Depending on the initial troop drop, you may have regions that are difficult to access; however it is likely that there will be at least a few regions that are protected by neutrals if you play a large player game. This map works well with 5-8 players for standard or terminator games. Fog of war combined with the numerous bottlenecks means that it may be difficult to determine where a player's last regions are and how well protected they are. As a result, cautious play is recommended to avoid leaving an easy elimination for another player.
show: Flat Rate, Nuclear, and No Spoils
Due to the size of of the map, flat rate, nuclear, and no spoils will play very similarly. It will almost never be beneficial to kill someone for their cards. In the beginning, you want to pick up some small bonuses that you know you will hold for a while. As the game progresses, you want to take areas of the map that you can protect but are not heavily occupied by an opponent. For example, if you take an entire cell block, you can limit all of those regions to one point of entry, their door (similarly general population and the hole can be blocked by taking door and taking Guard 005 can limit a large area to one access point). Once you have taken an area, you should try to expand to increase your bonus while making sure not to overextend. Be warned that, like many other maps, no spoils and flat rate games can become build games.
show: Team Games
Some general advice on the order of importance of areas/bonuses:
1. General Population 2. New Fish (more important early in the game) 3. The Yard 4. Gang Bonuses Doubles The key to strategy in doubles is to decide early on whether you and your partner will both be on the offensive or whether you will focus your energy on one player being the battering ram. Both approaches can work, but usually one player will take the lead and be the juggernaut. In any case, due to the numerous neutral regions it is unlikely that an elimination of a player will decide the game; rather, the control of strategic resources and collections will determine the outcome. If your team's drop is heavily concentrated in the General Population area (control of 12 or more of the 20 regions), the logical course is to try to eliminate one of your opponents from that area. The caveat to be added is that you cannot allow your opponents to hold multiple New Fish bonuses, as the extra troops they will gain on the drop will overwhelm any tactical advantage you may have created by taking one of them out of General Population. If, on the other hand, your drop in General Population is meager, I encourage a two pronged approach. First, try to gain control of the yard with an eye to retaking General Population eventually. Second, immediately put pressure on your opponents by seizing New Fish bonuses or a gang leader & gang member bonus. I would generally not recommend placing troops in the lettered cell blocks in the initial rounds unless it is for control of a New Fish or Gang bonus that cannot be broken. Taking the Warden in a doubles game is a fool's errand because of the amount of neutral troops you will need to defeat. Meanwhile, your opponents will happily be conquering your regions and increasing their troop drop whilst decreasing yours. By the time you are taking Guards out in the cell block, the game has usually been decided in the general population and the yard. It has to be noted that due to the size of the map and number of potential bonuses, starting positions can be quite unfairly skewed toward one team or the other. Triples/Quadruples The most popular approach to playing this maps for triples and quadruples is to focus all the drops and attacking on one player. The reasons for this are several. First, the number of regions held by one player can increase the troop drop significantly. For instance, if three players each have 11 regions, each only receives a 3 troop drop, whereas if two hold 7 and the third holds 19, they now receive a total of 12 troops instead of 9. Second, because of the strategic resources and collections bonuses, a single player has better odds of receiving one of the bonuses than having multiple players on the same team jockeying for different bonuses. Lastly, because of attacker's advantage on dice, it makes sense to increase the size of the attacking stack whenever possible. This also works well because it is hard to eliminate people so that you can create a powerhouse player without fear of someone getting eliminated. For escalating team games, this strategy needs to be altered a bit so that everyone can get cards on their turn, because as with most other escalating team games, things can quickly change due to a set at the right time. Trying to spring a surprise by stacking in one of the cell blocks behind a neutral region will rarely work, but is sometimes tried by teams that are on the verge of losing. If your team finds itself forced out of general population, rather than panic, try to come up with a plan for controlling the yard. This may include taking 003 or 004 to bombard your opponent's positions followed by taking the neutral 1 regions left. In any case, do not waste time trying to seize the Warden and Guards bonus unless you already have a sizeable advantage. It may accelerate the end of the game, but otherwise is not a winning strategy.
show: Additional Notes
1) If you hold the yard, watch out for the 003 and 004 Guards which can bombard. This is especially important when you have lots of single troop regions in the yard, because you can lose your foothold in the yard through bombardment by just a few troops and reduce your troop drop by a significant amount.
2) In most game types, it is not a good idea to try to get the Hole/Warden area, as attacking neutrals will leave you vulnerable and your opponent will take advantage of the time to eliminate your troops. 3) Watch out for the 5 troops subtracted from your deployment if you have the Gas chamber without the Warden, so only take the Gas Chamber if you know you can keep the Warden. Other related strategy guides Berlin 1961 Guide - although the size of the map is completely different, in terms of features Berlin is somewhat similar to Supermax. Age of Merchants Guide - a much more open map than Supermax, it features Strategic Resources similar to the ones found on Supermax.