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Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

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Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby Haybuck on Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Hey Guys,

So, I just joined, and my win rate is a LOT lower than I thought it would be. I was hoping someone can give me tips on what I'm doing wrong, and why what works on the real game board isn't working here.
  • When the game starts, I assess the board, and select an area where I have a high concentration of troops already. I look at defense and choke points ,and how many ways I can be attacked while retaining that continent bonus. (EX: When playing classic, if I get troops in Alaska, NYC, LA, and Havana to start, that's three defense points to hold the entire country. If I wind up with 3 locations in Asia, that's a lot more.)
  • Focus down on this area. Turn one, capture the entire country, get the country bonus, and turtle down. Place troops at the defense points based on what's nearby. (EX: Say I take North America in the above example. Green has 1 troop in Reykjavik, and the nearest stack is in Madrid. Russia is still neutral, and Blue has 15 troops stacked on Bogota. I stick about 2/3's of my troops on Mexico City, and split the rest between Greenland and Alaska.
  • Weather the oncoming storm of other players.
  • Pick a direction, and drive in it. Goal by goal, slowly advancing the offensive line based on defensive choke points, focusing on continent bonuses. (EX: In the above example, from there I'd likely advance through South America. This removes one choke point and adds two, whereas advancing east would add 4 - 5.)
  • As we get later in the game, focus on elimination. If there is a weak player near by, put extra troops (a portion, not an entire deployment) near them, and take over what little they have left to grab their spoils. Reinforce back to the choke point I left, leaving all the countries I just took at 1 troop, letting someone else eat them up.
  • Attack weak points first, and keep all entrances to my territory at even numbers of troops. (EX: I have 60 troops total, and I own North America. 20 on Alaska, 20 on Greenland, 20 on Mexico City, end of story.) Build all defensive points evenly, and if a new defensive point is taken, raise it to match all others as quickly as possible. All countries that AREN'T defensive points have one troop on them without exception, and that's just because I have to. (I'd rather have 30 on Alaska than 10 each on Alaska, Edmonton, and Vancouver. In scenario 1, they have to go through 30 troops to get anywhere. In scenario 2, they can break into the "fleshy middle" by going through 20 instead, a disadvantage. If they break into the "fleshy middle", the country is lost anyways, unless spoils are about to be dropped.)
  • If a country bonus is broken, take it back immediately. Defensive lines are non-negotiable. Unless the situation is such a disadvantage I can't take it back and defend it again, I take it back as priority number one. If it is that type of disadvantage, I retreat to the next chokepoint. (EX: I lose South America to Blue, and Blue has 40 troops in Sao Paulo to my 10 between Bogota and Lima combined. Fall both of those back to Mexico City, putting 1 in each Bogota and Lima, whereas there are now 25 - 30 in Mexico City, defending North America.
  • If losing, focus on breaking continent bonuses, or if possible eliminating another player.

Now, even doing this... I've only won 18% of games. Why isn't this working? I can't understand. It's a middle ground between offense and defense, it's a middle ground between aggressive and conservative, and yet I lose nearly every time. Any thoughts on how to make it better?
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby nàme on Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:58 pm

Haybuck wrote:Hey Guys,

So, I just joined, and my win rate is a LOT lower than I thought it would be. I was hoping someone can give me tips on what I'm doing wrong, and why what works on the real game board isn't working here.
  • Focus down on this area. Turn one, capture the entire country, get the country bonus, and turtle down. Place troops at the defense points based on what's nearby. (EX: Say I take North America in the above example. Green has 1 troop in Reykjavik, and the nearest stack is in Madrid. Russia is still neutral, and Blue has 15 troops stacked on Bogota. I stick about 2/3's of my troops on Mexico City, and split the rest between Greenland and Alaska.
  • As we get later in the game, focus on elimination. If there is a weak player near by, put extra troops (a portion, not an entire deployment) near them, and take over what little they have left to grab their spoils. Reinforce back to the choke point I left, leaving all the countries I just took at 1 troop, letting someone else eat them up.
  • Attack weak points first, and keep all entrances to my territory at even numbers of troops. (EX: I have 60 troops total, and I own North America. 20 on Alaska, 20 on Greenland, 20 on Mexico City, end of story.) Build all defensive points evenly, and if a new defensive point is taken, raise it to match all others as quickly as possible. All countries that AREN'T defensive points have one troop on them without exception, and that's just because I have to. (I'd rather have 30 on Alaska than 10 each on Alaska, Edmonton, and Vancouver. In scenario 1, they have to go through 30 troops to get anywhere. In scenario 2, they can break into the "fleshy middle" by going through 20 instead, a disadvantage. If they break into the "fleshy middle", the country is lost anyways, unless spoils are about to be dropped.)
  • If losing, focus on breaking continent bonuses, or if possible eliminating another player.

Now, even doing this... I've only won 18% of games. Why isn't this working? I can't understand. It's a middle ground between offense and defense, it's a middle ground between aggressive and conservative, and yet I lose nearly every time. Any thoughts on how to make it better?


Alright, I bolded your main problems that I found is a mistake. Some others might find me wrong, some might add more.

First of all, win rate is subjective. If you play 1vs1 you are going to have a win rate higher than someone who only plays six player games. Now, part of the problem is that you thought you were going to win most games. Well, most people think that, and everyone is wrong. On here, you play against some very good strategists, and being new, you are at a disadvantage.

On the first turn, you shouldn't capture an entire continent. This will hurt your troop totals and put a target on your back. You should stick to one or two terits on early turns, especially in large escalating games where the spoils dictate the winner.

Another error is building all chokepoints evenly. If someone has no bonuses and only a few troops next to you, you won't need 20 troops defending it, ever. Spread your troops so they are put up better than what your opponents have.

If you are losing in a standard, non escalating game, taking out the weakest player as a last ditch effort will actually hurt you. Terminator, not as much, but standard, you sometimes need the weakest players to help you beat the strongest.

One possible flaw I saw (italicized) was that you move in for the kill then retreat, cashing in the spoils. While fine in nuclear and no spoils, this can be a mistake in escalating. If you get a kill late game with escalating spoils, keep on the offensive. Many times you can win a game in a turn with six people still left because you hit at the right time.
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby Dukasaur on Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:53 pm

Haybuck, I'm going to keep my answer quite simple.

I see the majority of your games are using Escalating spoils. I also see the strategy that you've outlined, and it is a Very Good strategy, but for something like Flat Rate spoils, not for Escalating.

So, you are not at all using a bad strategy, you are using it in the wrong game setting. If you really enjoy playing a patient, continental-bonus type of game, then play it in Flat Rate. It sounds like you would do quite well at it.

If you want to play Escalating, then throw all your ideas of continental defense out the window. Escalating is all about keeping two or three big stacks, hunter-killer Task Forces if you will, and keeping them in high-traffic areas from where they can sail forth to pick off the wounded and score kills.
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby waltero on Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:12 pm

Here is my two cents worth.

My low rank is by choice ;-)

Think Aggression.
Three dice are better than two.

Don't make bonus your only focal point. If your opponent (has the ability) keeps ejecting you from getting a bonus, you might want to change directions.
Once he has you locked (committed to one objective) he will be plotting elsewhere, all the while you will be struggling to get your position secure (at all cost).

Sure, it is great when you 'start' with a good position, being able to seize control of continent (Acquiring a bonus) rather quickly.
If this is the case, it might wait...Look at your opponents position and exploit his weaknesses first.

A favorite of mine is when I have a nothing unit (territory out in the middle of nowhere and it is useless to me), I might put one unit on it (making it 4 units) It's surrounding terits (territories) are full of enemy 3ers (3 units) I will attack one terit if I knock it down to 1 unit I will (not go for control) assault the other terits hoping to knock them all down to 1...Three dice are better than two (assault is better than defense).
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby macbone on Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:27 am

I agree with the Dukasaurus. Haybuck, your strategy would work great on Flat Rate, but not on Escalating spoils.

For further help with Escalating, you can check us out in the Society of the Cooks. There's a link at the bottom of my signature. You can also check out the SoC Guide's First Four Moves, which offers a different approach than what you might be familiar with when it comes to Term/Standard Escalating: viewtopic.php?f=341&t=143507&p=3374119#p3374119
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby Swifte on Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:53 am

One more issue I found is with your choice of when to roll dice. I looked at my own dice stats... Compared to how often I roll 3 dice against 2, I roll 2 dice against 2 only 1% of the time. When I look at your stats, you roll 2 dice against 2 dice 15% of the time compared to how often you roll 3 dice against 2. 2 dice against 2 is far worse odds for the attacker, you are often better waiting till next round to attack with 3 dice against 2. Same issue with rolling 2 dice against 1 defender versus 1 die against 1 die. Play the odds better and be more patient.
Last edited by Swifte on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby benga on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:00 am

macbone wrote:I agree with the Dukasaurus. Haybuck, your strategy would work great on Flat Rate, but not on Escalating spoils.

For further help with Escalating, you can check us out in the Society of the Cooks. There's a link at the bottom of my signature. You can also check out the SoC Guide's First Four Moves, which offers a different approach than what you might be familiar with when it comes to Term/Standard Escalating: viewtopic.php?f=341&t=143507&p=3374119#p3374119


Well since she played mostly 4 player escalating games you both are wrong.

Can't remember any peaceful 4 player game, well since ever.
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby Haybuck on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:39 am

Fair enough, and thanks for all of the input guys. I'm just hoping to float my score back over 1,000 before it falls below 900, and that's looking very unlikely right now. :P
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby macbone on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:16 am

Haybuck, a great way to get more points is to play games with more players. Check out Terminator games in particular, where you get points for each defeated player. That's one reason we focus on Terminator in the SoC, to help players gain points and start to move up the ranks. =)
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby Donlarry on Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:25 pm

u where born
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby Mr Changsha on Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:57 am

Agree that the OP is naturally thinking in a flat rate or no cards standard mindset.

A couple of other points:

1. Limit your map selection more...I suspect you are partly getting hammered because you are playing too many different maps against opposition who know doubt understand those maps better.
2. Choose one setting and basically stick to it. I.e Sequential, flat, chained, sunny.
3. Be careful of the level of opposition. Because your rank has dropped so far, it is inevitable that in a 5 man standard game some players will be thinking ''Whatever but the cook isn't going to win''.

I decided to respond to this thread because from your writing you obviously have some strategic sense...no doubt others felt the same.

Finally, I will give you some wise advice from a CC NOT GAME perspective. Your rank has now dropped too low to be competitive on large standard games..the opposition will make sure you don't win. The solution is to join waiting 1vs1 games on settings you are comfortable on. Even with only a 35%-40% win rate you will begin making points quickly. I'm sure you will do better than that. Once your rank has recovered to around the 1100 mark get back into large standard games on the settings suggested.

Good luck, and I hope you can stick with it!
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby iAmCaffeine on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:20 am

NecroOoOoOoOoOo.
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Re: Rate my Strategy? What am I doing wrong?

Postby rhp 1 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:54 pm

Mr Changsha wrote:Agree that the OP is naturally thinking in a flat rate or no cards standard mindset.

A couple of other points:

1. Limit your map selection more...I suspect you are partly getting hammered because you are playing too many different maps against opposition who know doubt understand those maps better.
2. Choose one setting and basically stick to it. I.e Sequential, flat, chained, sunny.
3. Be careful of the level of opposition. Because your rank has dropped so far, it is inevitable that in a 5 man standard game some players will be thinking ''Whatever but the cook isn't going to win''.

I decided to respond to this thread because from your writing you obviously have some strategic sense...no doubt others felt the same.

Finally, I will give you some wise advice from a CC NOT GAME perspective. Your rank has now dropped too low to be competitive on large standard games..the opposition will make sure you don't win. The solution is to join waiting 1vs1 games on settings you are comfortable on. Even with only a 35%-40% win rate you will begin making points quickly. I'm sure you will do better than that. Once your rank has recovered to around the 1100 mark get back into large standard games on the settings suggested.

Good luck, and I hope you can stick with it!


good advice here...
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