Elliott C. Evans writes: >Please note, I moved this to an Icetowers thread. Cool. >Joshua K. wrote: >> Hmm. I'll note that this is actually at odds with what I saw of your >> Icetowers strategy (which seemed to involve shaking things up until >Josh is referring to a sequence of moves I made several times in >the Icetowers tournament, where there were several towers with >two pieces of the same color at the top, and I split the caps off >to the table. Yes. I'll often use "split and cap" in Icetowers when somene's sitting on top of "my" tower (ie, a tower that has multiple pieces of mine in it and fewer of other player's pieces) to avoid the risk of a hostlile split, but you were splitting towers just to keep the game moving, and it seemed to work for you, at least to help you climb out of a hole. >I have a real hatred of double-caps on top of large towers. It depends. I think double-caps on top of "your own" tower -- a tower that has a couple of your large pieces in it as well as one piece of each other player's color -- is just fine; the player in question is tying up a lot of material (1/5 to 2/5 (depending on whether it's a Medium-small double-cap or a small-small one) of their attacking power plus several other of their pieces to establish a claim on a tower that is worth more points to them than to someone else anyway. Double-caps on a tower that's you don't have any other pieces in? Not so much (and an invitation for someone to capsplit you just to get you out of the endgame). >I'll note that I only pulled this trick when I could split >double-caps for all three of my opponents, so I wasn't just giving >power to one player to knock down the leader. *nod* I think I only played one game with you at Origins, so I didn't see enough of a representitive sample (and I don't remmeber you doing it in one of our giant icehouse games, though it's harder to keep track of what's going on in those). >It's not possible to shake up a game of Martian Chess as throughly >as a game of Icetowers, so it is definitely a case of different >philosophies. *nod*. Icetowers is more or less defined as being zero-sum; Martian Chess...not so much. >games after game of newbies if I'm not careful, is too defensive for >tournament play. In three games, my scores were 30, 31, and 30. I'm >proud of myself that I can break even in such a pool of sharks, but >I clearly need to work some aggression in there if I want to win. Hmm. I suppose I should do some analysis on my own play, since it seems pretty successful (don't remember my scores prefectly -- two 34ish, one in the 38-40 range, but for those not there, I won every game). A lot involves establishing a good early position and defending it from all comers -- if I can set up three towers that have 15-20ish pionts of my own pieces in them, without setting up a self-split (the real trick to it), I'll usually win even if I can only hold two of them by the endgame. That said, I distinctly remember one game where I had only one big tower by the endgame, having self-split and otherwise let myself get spread out more than I prefer -- but controlled enough midsized towers that I won pretty handily anyway. -- Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\ _,,,--,,_ ,) --^-- "Did you know, if you increment enough, you /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;' /\\ get an extra digit?" "I knew," weeps Six. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\ /-\\\ "We knew. But we had forgotten." '---''(_/--' (_/-'