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Re: [moratics] "Basic Grand Strategy"

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  • Ron Hale-Evans
    Well, perhaps it could be stated a little more succinctly: Maximise your own strengths and your opponent s weaknesses. Minimise your opponent s strengths and
    Message 1 of 6 , May 8, 2002
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      Well, perhaps it could be stated a little more succinctly:

      "Maximise your own strengths and your opponent's weaknesses. Minimise
      your opponent's strengths and your own weaknesses. Prevent your
      opponent from doing the same to you."

      Put that way, it does sound a little like Monty Python's recipe for
      playing the flute: "Blow in at one end and run your fingers up and
      down the outside." But perhaps there is still something valuable
      here, perhaps as the "root" os all other stratagems in the hierarchy.

      Ron

      On Wed, May 08, 2002 at 04:14:07AM -0700, Eric Shultz wrote:
      > It looks like Mr. Jackson started to make a simple
      > statement for grand strategy and then realized it was
      > a little more complex, then a little more complex than
      > that.
      >
      > Reminds me of when I tried to help a new player with
      > Cathedral strategy. "There's only 4 purposes to
      > placing a piece. No, wait. There's 5. Oh, darn. I
      > just thought of a 6th. There's probably a ton of
      > them."
      >
      > Eric
      > --- Ron Hale-Evans <rwhe@...> wrote:
      > > BASIC GRAND STRATEGY
      > >
      > > "The key to success is to take advantage of your
      > > strengths, whatever
      > > they are, and minimize the effect of your
      > > weaknesses; to attack -- or
      > > make use of -- your opponent's weak points and avoid
      > > his strengths,
      > > and to prevent him from doing the same to you. Do
      > > unto others, but do
      > > it first."
      > >
      > > --John Jackson, _A Player's Guide to Table Games_,
      > > Stackpole Books,
      > > 1975, pp. 272-273

      --
      Ron Hale-Evans ... rwhe@... & rwhe@...
      Center for Ludic Synergy, Seattle Cosmic Game Night,
      Kennexions Glass Bead Game & Positive Revolution FAQ: http://www.ludism.org/
      Home page & Hexagram-8 I Ching Mailing List: http://www.apocalypse.org/~rwhe/
    • alexrockwell
      ... whatever they are, and minimize the effect of your weaknesses; to attack -- or make use of -- your opponent s weak points and avoid his strengths, and to
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 7, 2002
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        --- In moratics@y..., Ron Hale-Evans <rwhe@l...> wrote:
        > BASIC GRAND STRATEGY
        > "The key to success is to take advantage of your strengths,
        whatever they are, and minimize the effect of your weaknesses; to
        attack -- or make use of -- your opponent's weak points and avoid
        his strengths, and to prevent him from doing the same to you. Do
        unto others, but do it first."

        I would restate the grand strategy as something like this:

        Step 1: Determine what qualifies as a 'victory condition' or
        'game score' (the former being what game states are a win (or
        loss), and the latter, which resource is the one which matters at
        the final tally.

        Step 2: Determine the various ways of acquiring that resource or
        achieveing that game state. (i.e., how the various resources can
        be exchanged for others.

        Step 3: Determine which resources (or game state factors) are
        most important in the current position. (This is generally based
        on experience...i.e., an experienced player will look at
        aposition and see more clearly what they need to focus on in
        order to achieve the desired game state, or points

        Step 4: Determine what is the current most efficient method of
        acquire the resource/position from step 3, from your current
        state...(this now constitutes your "plan")

        Step 5: Determine if there are any actions of your opponent
        which could greatly interfere and nullify your plan, or modify
        the goal which a player should be trying to achieve.

        Step 6: If so, examine best way to deal with this, if not, and
        your 'plan' will be successful in achieving your goal, then do it.
        Otherwise, if you cannot find a plan which will be successful,
        then find a way in which to change the game state in such a way
        as to make the resources you have be more desirable, or to make
        the 'what you need to get rsource' from step 3, be something that
        you can acquire from your present state.


        The playing of the game will be the application of these steps to
        the current game rules/position.

        Example: chess:

        Step 1: Victory Condition: a board position in which you can
        force the capture of your opponents king, or in which your
        opponent is so reduced in amterial (and you have some advantage),
        that you know from study or experience that the position is "won"

        Step 2: This game state can be achieved by capturing opponents
        pieces and avoiding capture of ones own pieces (the generaly
        resources of power or money, translated into chess as pieces
        remaining on the board), placing ones own pieces onto squares
        from which they have greater options/threaten opponent (the
        general game resource of mobility, or choice of options),
        controlling important squares of the board, such that opponent
        cannot safely move into them, or you can get a piece there
        creation of a game state wherein your resources are improved and
        your opponents are weakened, such as, creating a closed game when
        you have knights and your opponent has bishops, or creating an
        open game when you have the bishops vs knights. (the general
        game principle of creating a game state wherein the resources you
        have are more useful/desirable than the resources your opponent
        has), moves which you can make which will improve your position
        and force an opponent to counter in a way which will not improve
        their position, thus gaining you a tempo (or time resource)
        advantage, and so on...

        Step 3: Look at your current resources (pieces, controlled
        squares, pawn structure, open files, etc), and your opponents,
        and try to determine which of the various resources are the most
        valuable at the current time, and strive to obtain those. (For
        example, if the position is 'quiet', then a material advantage
        anywhere is very important. If there are huge threats to one
        players king, then only material in that area of the board may be
        an issue, since if the game ends, those were the only pieces to
        play a part). Also, look at what resources you have, and seek
        ways to make them to increase in value, and look at the resources
        your opponent has and seek ways to make them decrease in value.
        (This I take from IM Jeremy Silman's "Imbalances", where he says
        you should look for differences in the position between you and
        your opponent (i.e., resources you have that opponent doesnt, and
        ones they have that you dont, and then make what you have better,
        and what they have worse.) ...so in chess, a player will trade
        one benefit for another, such as sacrifing a pawn (material) for
        some positional advantage, and then try to minimize the
        importance of that pawn advantage, while maximizing whatever
        positional advantage they have)

        Step 4: Decide on the move that best achieves the desired effect
        of what you wanted from part 3

        Step 5: Look at opponents countermoves, to determine if your
        move works.

        Step 6: If your move works, play it, otherwise continue to
        reevaluate and find a better move until you have one that works.


        I suppose I should add Step 7: Dont stop until you find the best
        move/best play, or the "best move you can find in a reasonable
        time frame"...whatever that time frame might be. (Dont want to
        spend forever on this, of course!!



        You can translate this strategy for whatever game you want...new
        designer games, old classics, etc.
        You just have to learn HOW to apply it to the game you are
        playing right now...i.e., what are the relevant resources,
        positions, rules, etc.
      • Carl de Visser
        ... [Steps 1 - 7] That s a pretty good guide, but it looks like it would be hard to put into practice quickly. I might try using these steps to see if its
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 7, 2002
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          > :
          > > BASIC GRAND STRATEGY
          > > "The key to success is to take advantage of your strengths,
          > whatever they are, and minimize the effect of your weaknesses; to
          > attack -- or make use of -- your opponent's weak points and avoid
          > his strengths, and to prevent him from doing the same to you. Do
          > unto others, but do it first."
          >
          > I would restate the grand strategy as something like this:
          >
          [Steps 1 - 7]

          That's a pretty good guide, but it looks like it would be hard to put into
          practice quickly.

          I might try using these steps to see if its close to what I do naturally
          when trying to find good strategies in a game. I suspect it might be pretty
          close, although generally I want to find a winning strategy very quickly in
          a new game, even over the course of a single play. There are probably some
          quick analyses you can do.

          For example, one thing I always look for in a game, are resource production
          elements that feed back into themselves. If I can find anything in a game
          that has a positive feedback loop, I will concentrate on that in favour of
          anything else. While it may not be the ideal strategy for a particular
          game, it will extend your choices, and in games which have such a feature,
          it is usually one of the easier elements to understand. (So better
          strategies are probably less accessible to a new player.)
        • alexrockwell
          ... put into practice quickly. ... naturally when trying to find good strategies in a game. I suspect it might be pretty close, although generally I want to
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 7, 2002
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            > That's a pretty good guide, but it looks like it would be hard to
            put into practice quickly.
            >
            > I might try using these steps to see if its close to what I do
            naturally when trying to find good strategies in a game. I suspect
            it might be pretty close, although generally I want to find a
            winning strategy very quickly in a new game, even over the course of
            a single play. There are probably some quick analyses you can do.
            >
            > For example, one thing I always look for in a game, are resource
            production elements that feed back into themselves. If I can find
            anything in a game that has a positive feedback loop, I will
            concentrate on that in favour of anything else. While it may not be
            the ideal strategy for a particular game, it will extend your
            choices, and in games which have such a feature, it is usually one
            of the easier elements to understand. (So better strategies are
            probably less accessible to a new player.)

            Yes...generally when playing a new game, you start with a very
            simple version of this, and expand it as your knowledge of the game
            grows.
            But it gives ideas of what you should be looking for.


            Generally when I play a game for the first time, I identify one
            scoring method I see as probably effective, determine what you need
            to do for that, and put all my effort into it. THis gives decent
            results.
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