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Strategy Stealing

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Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:08 am

In a symmetrical, 2-player map, what happens if one player tries to mimic the other player for the beginning of the game?

Obviously, it has to stop at some point:
-if one player does something dumb the other player doesn't want to copy
-if one player can see a better strategy
-building something to counter something the other player built
-somebody will get first strike

When I do this against my friends at home, I seem to end up with a slight monetary advantage that stacks up over time, and can choose the right time to stop copying and do a strong counterattack.

But we are not very experienced...what do you guys think?
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  Iordor on Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:34 pm

Do you have a map in mind, or a map to use as an example? It's impossible to talk about this in detail since every map is intrinsically different that they offer completely different strategies, and possibilities.

Most good maps have two different flanks where each player races each other to take over their opponent, and at the same time try to defend their weakest flank the longest. However, one faction is given the weak flank advantage, and the other the strong flank advantage, so I don't think symmetrical gameplay is viable if the players are doing the optimal moves.

Also, something like copters will easily throw a wrench at any symmetrical gameplay since the first player to build one, and move it to the center will have air control, and a major advantage over both fronts. So unless the other player wants to lose his copter on the next turn he'll need to play a different, asymmetrical, strategy.
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:20 pm

I'm trying to do it at the moment on Highway to Hell, and have tried it out in the past on All Roads Lead To Sol, and Aphotic Arena (and a selection of rotationally symmetrical maps from AW1).

You're definitely right about the copters, and typically, I have stopped copying my opponents as soon as one of us builds something that isn't infantry and we stop thinking about capturing neutral stuff and start forming fronts.

It isn't exact copying...let's say there is a game starting on All Roads Lead To Sol. As player 2, the infantry that is there as an FTA counter is sort of spare, and could capture some useful buildings in the background, while building and moving to copy player 1. Or as player 1, build two infantry on the first turn, and on the second turn, the infantry corresponding to the FTA counter copies it, and the other one is spare.

By continuing to do that for a while, you could make sure you had the same income (and more, if the spare infantry were used well) and hopefully save up some extra money, but give up on getting to some important bases first. So maybe it would be better the longer it took to get to contested areas.

I guess if players have influential D2D then it would be really bad to do...playing against Sami for example, whose infantry might go straight to contested bases. You couldn't copy that strategy with normal infantry. Or against somebody whose units might move faster, like Sturm. On the other hand, it seems to have worked well for me with Sasha, since by the time I have stopped copying my opponent I am way ahead in funds.
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  theether on Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:42 pm

With Sasha you'll almost always end up ahead in funds.

But if you end up ahead no matter the CO, I have to ask why your friends don't copy you in turn?
If they do and you're still winning, maybe you're simply a better player Wink
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:06 pm

Haha, I think they see the copying as a very low and dishonourable way to play so they don't on the whole. When they do it from the very start of the game though, it was a little bit of a problem! On the few occasions that they did I have tried to rush forwards as fast as possible and built stuff to try and force an imbalance by getting them to react differently.
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  theether on Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:51 am

There's no honour in war, haha
Would you be up for a game? I'd like to try dealing with a copy cat Wink
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:19 am

Definitely! I'm having trouble making games at the moment, they create fine but are not appearing in the waiting lists. If you make one I'll join it.
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  theether on Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:09 am

I joined your game Lost Valley.
Maybe you searched under Private Games although it was a public one?
Anyway, I'm looking forward to how this will play out.
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:37 am

Fantastic. Could well be. Just out of interest, can you see any other games created by me? Titles like "Let's play", "Let's play tag", "Test 1 2"?

Me too! Haven't tried it on a map like this where BM starts with an extra city either, so interested to see what will happen..I'll blame it on that if it doesn't work  Very Happy 
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  theether on Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:53 am

I could not find any other games by you.
Maybe it's because of the bug with the apostrophe?
That would explain the "Let's play..." games at least.

You chose that map yourself  tongue 
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:11 am

True, chose it to be instructive...but I can still be upset if I lose tongue 
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:51 am

Hmmm, I did end up with a little more money, but arrived at the two contested cities at the edge of the map last. Plus, the order you captured the cities in meant that I had some infantry wasting their time in order to copy your position.

That feels like enough to put me off being a copycat, at least on AWBW. I'll probably still use it on my housemates though!
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  theether on Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:00 pm

not_so_subliminal wrote:I'll probably still use it on my housemates though!
Never fix what isn't broken, right?  Smile 

I guess you were more accepting of my moves because it was a test.
Usually you'll probably stop copying earlier, right?
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:47 am

Yeah, I think it was about the time when you started capturing the cities at (3,5) and (18,5), would've been a good time to start taking some initiative
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  Iordor on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:59 am

Do you guys have a link to your game? I think everyone else is lost to your conversations...

Also, semantically speaking, is strategy stealing really stealing a strategy when stealing other people's strategy is a strategy itself!? Your opponent is ostensibly not using the same strategy stealing strategy as yourself, so is it even possible to strategy steal from an opponent who isn't strategy stealing from you?

Heh, say that last paragraph 10 times as fast as you can... <_>
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  not_so_subliminal on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:24 pm

Haha, I have a headache from that sentence. Here's a link to the game http://awbw.amarriner.com/game.php?games_id=213907

TLDR; Copying your opponents moves is not optimal, as Iordor said in the first reply to this post.

Long version: theeether (BM) and I (OS) played a game on Shangri-La, where I copied theether's position as best I could to see what would happen. I ended up having a little more money, but my infantry arrived last to some cities on the left and right edges of the map, which made them hard to contest. Also, in order to copy theether's position I wound up wasting time keeping some infantry in certain places, when they could have been put to better use near those contested cities.
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  theether on Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:40 pm

Sorry, we should have included a link when we started
http://awbw.amarriner.com/game.php?games_id=213907

I guess strategy stealing would be a meta strategy?
Not sure whether you could steal a meta strategy, though  Suspect 
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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  Blanci on Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:13 pm

That copying thing can be a bit like playing second and your opponent gets a kind of FTA.

Most important: you should not be saving funds as a rule. You need to get as much value out on the field a.s.a.p. !
If your opponent buys recon, dont copy exactly and save money. Try a tank which may counter better , or get 2 recons ! Value arriving late is worse than early. You lose position.

Occasionally, saving can allow you to surprise your opponent with a really unexpected purchase but i think this is rare. But perhaps worth a shot when you have a real surprise which is definitely difficult for opponent to deal with.

I like fog, even cheap units can surprise, hehe.



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Re: Strategy Stealing

Post  Iordor on Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:50 pm

Buying an early recon causes you to lose the match on the majority of the maps - The reason for this is because it gives the other player tank majority, and initiative to control the game.

There are rare occasions where you'll need to buy a recon to put pressure on inf, and use as a meat shield for your arty, but they're rare, and consume a ton of time doing the calculations.
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