Final Three Strategy

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Final Three Strategy

Postby thecapedcrusader on Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:52 pm

Looking for some advice on strategies when it comes to the final three in a game. I typically play flat rate or no spoils and my ratings have taken a huge hit recently because I can't seem to close out games when it comes to the final three. Here is a typical situation:

Flat rate or no spoils

Me - 100 troops, 12 bonus
Blue - 70 troops, 8 bonus
Green - 40 troops, 6 bonus

Given that I'm the obvious leader, it's natural for Blue and Green to concentrate on me instead of each other. Now, do I concentrate on Blue to weaken him? I've tried that and it only leaves green to build up then attack me. Or do I focus on Green, hoping to get it down to 1-1? I've tried that and within three moves, Blue has taken the lead. Do I just alternate? It seems like that only costs me troops, then I'm in trouble when I lose the 12 v 3 battle.

So...how do I close out this situation? Is there something I'm missing? Should I be concentrating on lowering each player's bonus? Should I concentrate on whomever is in second place each turn? Attacking on two fronts doesn't really seem to work, because it seems to increase the odds of both attacks failing (since both front attacks would be half the size as one major assault.) I'm dropping points left and right and I'm about to lose at least one if not two more games.

Here's a perfect example, actually:
Game 12071717, North America

Red (Me): 76 troops, 15 bonus
Blue: 47 troops, 8 bonus
Pink: 52 troops, 9 bonus

They seem to stay at the same troop and bonus levels (48-52/8-9) and are slowly taking me down (90, 84, 81, 76). They're not in an official truce, just attacking the leader. As soon as I take out pink's bonus, blue breaks mine. When I push back against blue, pink builds up a huge army for attacking.

And then every now and then I lose the 12 v 3 battle.

So any advice? How do I turn my advantage into a victory?
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby agentcom on Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:25 am

Many games have suffered this fate (e.g., Game 1523340)**

Your best and only bet to end the game on your own terms is to manage to break both player's bonuses and have enough troops that you can defend your own, defeat their reinforcements, and out gain the two of them combined for the duration of the game. Unfortunately, that is not always an option once a game has progressed to a certain point.

In that case, you can use diplomacy and hope that somebody makes a mistake before you do. For example, you could offer the third place player a truce, and offer to bear a heavier burden to take out the second place player. You would basically offer to turn it in to a roughly equal 2-player game. This is pretty tricky to do, and if you want better than even odds of winning, you're probably going to have to be a bit sneaky.

You can suicide into one or both of them and move on with your life (and your other games). This is particularly useful if you don't care about the inevitable bad rating from one (or both) of the players.

Some people make a 3-player "tiebreaker" game, that has settings such that they believe it will actually end, and allow the winner of that game to win the original game, too. Sidenote for CC nerds: Based on what I read in very old forum posts, this is actually against the rules because it is technically game-throwing. The original game is thrown to the winner of the tiebreaker game. But this technical rule violation is ignored as long as it's used only when necessary :)

Or you can just keep playing and see who the last person alive (in RL) is and the rest of the players deadbeat :D

In the end, you don't have any really great options.


**Anyone know what happened to that old Midgard game (or whatever map) that had several thousands rounds to it, IIRC?
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby AyeTrain on Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:16 am

You're in for a long game, most likely.

First, abandon any idea of fighting a two-front war. You have only a small edge over the others: just enough to make them fear you but not enough to dominate. Focusing on one while temporarily ignoring the other also does not usually work, as you've discovered. So here's what I would do:

1. Fortify the borders: you don't need huge numbers, just enough to make progress hard for a counter-attack when you make your move.
2. Build a ready reserve somewhere, preferably right behind the lines (so that it's ready for a counter-attack if necessary). I usually put 2-4 out of each turn into my reserve(s). When you attack, throw in the reserves (or part of them) to hold what you've gained. People tend to not consider the reserve when calculating enemy troop strength.
3. Commit to a grinding strategy: take one and hold it. You may not be able to move forward again for a couple of turns, until you've rebuilt the army. Also, don't take the last region of a bonus right away (that scares people): take it on a turn when you can finish a couple of regions and/or break both of theirs. Present them with a fait accompli where there's too many threats to respond to.
4. Consider making your attack when you have 4 cards (preferably when they only have 2). That gives you another reserve for the next turn, to help with responding to their counterattack. You may have to go a round or two without any attacking, to wait until they're forced to use their cards.

Of course, your opponents are not idiots and they will be countering your plans as best they can. But you have the imitative and the advantage in numbers, so you control the game. You just don't control it very much, so be careful not to overdo it. :)
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby betiko on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:09 pm

my advice: in situation 1, go to sweap the map if it's your turn in that situation obviously. that's 100vs110 total with attacker's dice; make sure you kill 1 and leave the second one weak as piss. always have your troops ready and anticipate those situations.
Otherwise, generally speaking never get yourself in those kind of situation with such a drop and bonus advantage on the other 2, you'll be heavily targeted for a few rounds. also pick your best momentum t otrade after killing 1 mid turn.
Most importantly: don't piss off your opponents on the board and in game chat. leave them in situations where they have to hit each other, not you. Eventually let the one playing before you with a big bonus and let the one playing after you handle it. don't waste your troops with stupid short term thinking is all I can say and have a little empathy for your opponents.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Ickyketseddie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:38 pm

agentcom wrote:Some people make a 3-player "tiebreaker" game, that has settings such that they believe it will actually end, and allow the winner of that game to win the original game, too.


This is a great idea. I've been stuck in the same situation here Game 8121573 for 2 years. I kinda hoped they would have all deadbeated by now but no such luck. Reds come close a number of times but always just makes it back! :x

Oh well maybe i'll suggest this in the next few years?! :lol:
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Donelladan on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:19 pm

In spoils, if your bonus is not twice their bonus combined, usually you cant hope beat both.
In flat rate, if your bonus is not 5-10 more than their bonus combined, usually you cant hope beat both.

Then best option is to offer one of your bonus to the 3rd or 2nd player in exchange of a truce.
In any case, you have to not be the leader anymore. At least in term of bonus. Then you have to wait that one of them make a mistake, and weaken both of them.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Koganosi on Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:54 am

thecapedcrusader wrote:Flat rate or no spoils

Me - 100 troops, 12 bonus
Blue - 70 troops, 8 bonus
Green - 40 troops, 6 bonus


Both settings flate rate or no spoils I would instantly atack, no doubt about it. Try to take green out grab his cards or not and just weaken blue as much as possible, then go back to defending your borders. You have 100 troops vs 110, with your bonus and troop count I assume you get 12 so at your turn you 112 vs 110 troops total. Wich means you have their troops outnumbered. Atacker dices should get you more wins then defender dices so atack immediatly!

Urs

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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby betiko on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:52 am

donelladan wrote:In spoils, if your bonus is not twice their bonus combined, usually you cant hope beat both.
In flat rate, if your bonus is not 5-10 more than their bonus combined, usually you cant hope beat both.

Then best option is to offer one of your bonus to the 3rd or 2nd player in exchange of a truce.
In any case, you have to not be the leader anymore. At least in term of bonus. Then you have to wait that one of them make a mistake, and weaken both of them.


you're bringing bonus values in, really? :roll:

but yeah, basically taking big bonus is the best thing you can do to lose a 3 way game with both oponents that will gang up on you. you always have to think of what you have to lose; most of the times the stacks you've put to protect your borders. all your moves are supposed to make you grown in mid long term. winninig a+5 bonus that you will hold for 1 round and will make you lose 15 when they go break you straight away is stupid. Being greedy makes your oponents mad at you.
Also, don't listen to the above advice. Don't ever explicitely propose a truce in a never ending 3 way. the guy you will gang up on will get pissed at you and will most probably suicide on you once he sees he has no chance and the guy you proposed a truce to wins.
last, depending on the spoil type try to have everyone trimed to the right ballance to make the kill slightly interesting. this ballance has to be very well thought out depending on all game parameters (settings, defense & offense position, trade value and spoils in hand for everyone ect).
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Frogmanx82 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:20 pm

The best way to end the 3 way is to weaken one opponent to the point where the other has a 50% chance to win the game. Basically you control the game and can put yourself in a 50% win position which is better than a 33% position. This doesn't necessarily mean attacking the weaker of them. Sometimes it works against the stronger. You need to get all your troops ready to battle. On maps with bombardment look for ways to neutralize them by offering them no targets. Leaving an opponent with only bombardment troops effectively eliminates them.

Easier said then done for sure, you have to look for the right opportunity and it doesn't always work but sometimes you just need to force an end where you at least have a shot to win.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby ZeekLTK on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:37 am

Your problem is that you didn't have enough of a lead when you got to the "final three".

You need to take care of this before it becomes a problem with your early alliances. Perhaps you shouldn't have killed off the fourth player and should have allied with them to weaken both second and third, etc.

---------

I played a huge game on First Nations recently and did not have a problem cleaning up the map once it got to the final 3, even though they were both obviously allied against me. What I did was, when it was down to six players (started at 8 ), I allied with the 2 weakest players and had them basically help me keep 2nd and 3rd in check while I destroyed #4. So what was happening was that I was helping #5 and #6 hold their ground against #2 and #3 while I was gaining territory by taking out #4. So I was the only one who was actually getting more troops, everyone else was stuck in a deadlock.

Eventually #5 and #6 got over run and destroyed (although I also kept a close eye on them and I was the one who eliminated them once they only had 1-2 territories left to get their cards [Flat Rate]), but overall, this bought me enough time to wipe out #4 and get to the point where, once it was only the top 3, I was getting something like 33 armies per turn while #2 was only getting like 18 and #3 was only getting like 12... I was getting more than both of them combined, so I had no problem fighting both of them at once. And then it got even easier when I finally broke some bonuses to reduce their troop count further.

---------

In summary, try not to let the game reach a "final 3" stage until you are powerful enough to be able to fight both remaining players at the same time.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Sirius Kase on Sun May 26, 2013 4:03 pm

Game 8121573 Just checked in on this game. Interesting? Not really, at least not in real time. I am interested in how to prevent this sort of thing from happening, then, if it does, how to deal with it.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Awoodness on Mon May 27, 2013 6:50 pm

Wait for a mistake. People get into,"always gang up on big guy" strategy to the point where they make mistakes, over kill the big guy while basically suiciding themselves. I won a Pearl Harbor game recently timing my flat rate spoils and double dosing the "big guy"when I was a close second to him . People make mistakes, recognize and go.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby Lord_Bremen on Mon May 27, 2013 10:26 pm

It's generally better to be a close second than first, which is usually doable. If you're aggressive, you can generally manage a higher bonus with lower total armies, so they won't gang up much. Chat can help here. Try to convince #3 that #2 is the real threat (e.g. if he has more total armies, or it's a fog game).

If you have to fight 1v2, then it depends on the game type (fog/trench/etc). If there's no explicit alliance, the best option is to wait for one to hit you and then nail him with everything you have, he will probably back off. Otherwise, do a limited retreat, just enough to keep most of your bonus while falling to #2. Make sure to point this out in chat when one of them gets more stuff than you. Then they should turn on each other, leaving you to build up and finish both off. Neither can afford to allout attack (you have more armies), so that's helpful.

Some examples:
Game 12720488: This was a 1v3, I took out the two smallest guys and then finished off the third.
Game 12642544: Not over yet, but now a final three (#4 attacked me, so I eliminated him, losing about half my total armies). I'm in ideal position: top income but low total armies.
Game 12419321 Game 12402584 Game 12312974: Other 1v3 games.
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Re: Final Three Strategy

Postby dimknaf on Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:57 pm

My view is that if you can take the lead by being the first attacker, with the numbers that you present you can be the winner.

Otherwise, you try to put pressure in a light mannerto the opponent that is more aggressive. Both of them will not fight between them, but they will think the next day. So, they will try to kill as few armies as they can. They want to share the smallest percentage of the cost. You are weaker, but you have one head and one target. They have two different targets and you always must think how you can bring that to the surface.
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