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Leader 1: Hell of the North» Forums » Strategy

Subject: So what are the strategies in this game? (also...First!) rss

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Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan
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I've had a couple of runthroughs on Vassal now (thanks, Alessandro!) and read some session reports but I'm not getting the strategies of the game much. I guess it's because I'm only a casual cycling fan. I suppose if you can finish having used all your available energy that's a good thing, right? How do you gauge, though, when to break from the peloton? Also, could you give me some examples of riders helping others by slipstreaming? Is it as simple as 'plan so you're one space behind another bike so as to get one extra movement'?

Tips and advice greatly appreciated :)
 
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john newman
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I will try to give your question a shot. I will offer you some general thoughts.

Slipstreaming is very important in cycling. The rider behind another rider can move one additional free space, so long as the rider in front of him moves six or less spaces on flat or sloped terrain. That free space represents energy conserved by slip streaming. One rider outside the peleton by himself burns a lot of energy. It is usually a good idea to have one rider pull for another rider so your second rider can conserve his energy for the finish line. For this reason, it is often a good idea to break with two riders

A tactical thought. In Leader 1, you will not want to make a break on a straight track. On turns, the peleton has to take a longer path. Cyclists can choose their own line, so it is easier to break from the peleton heading into turns, because your cyclist can take the shorter path.

You want to make your break in, or just prior to, favorable terrain for YOUR RIDER. For example, you don't want to breakaway with your Rouleur in or just before the mountains.

In general, real early breaks don't hold up. Generally, look to make your break in the last 1/2 to 1/3 of the race. Breaks tend to happen before the defining terrain of the race. Below is a picture of Milano Sanremo along Daniel Kazenecki's commentary illustrating these two ideas. Notice, there is a downhill just prior to the last hill.



"to an experienced player it becomes immediately clear that the way to win MSR is to place your own leader at the foot of the Poggio (or otherwise use somebody dead enough not be able to avoid a risk next turn) and then place your sprinter behind 4+1+4paid. From there on, it's just a trivial 4+3paid, 4+3paid, 4+2paid, 4+3paid, without any risks, for a total energy cost of 9+6+6+4+6=31 plus 3-4 for jumping over others I'd assume, using Leader 2 rules of course."

This is a start. There is a lot more that could be said. Does this help?

Cheers

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Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan
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It certainly does, thanks!
 
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Ryan Keane
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That's a good start from John. I am by no means an expert, but can add a few points. This is for a single stage race - doing a multi-stage race requires more complex strategy that I have not really figured out yet.

1. I try to pick my secondary ability for my riders so that I have one clear leader that will be best supported by the others, rather than try to give them all equal chances of winning.

2. Unless we're playing what I consider a really long track (~ more than 10 tiles), I usually try to break away pretty early, although it of course depends on the course. Cobble is hard to break away on. Lots of early green is good for the roulleur to break away but if there's significant mountains later on, he's likely to get sucked back into the peloton without strong supporting riders. Downhills are your friend and allow you to get big leads on the peloton. I find with the straight HotN rules, it's pretty easy to stay away from the peloton even if you break away early. The risk is not whether the peloton will chase you down but whether a later breakaway group will have more energy to chase you down and pass you before the finish.

3. Once you break away, you want to slow down the other riders. Breaking away with your secondary riders to block the inside lanes can help prevent new breakaways from catching your lead group. Breaking away first can also make it expensive for your opponents to move the minimum 4-6 spaces they need to avoid getting immediately sucked back in by the peloton.

4. Try to end your turn close to the end of tiles where you're strong to give you a boost into the next tile, or try to time your movements so you will just reach the beginning of a strong tile. For example, it's almost always best to end on the last spot of a downhill rather than move onto the next tile, and conversely spend the extra energy to get onto the start of a downhill tile. Try to block spots for opponents that are following you from reaching a downhill or strong tile for them, forcing them to start their turn on the previous tile.

5. When possible, force following opponents to have to stop on a 2nd dark patch if they want to draft you and risk a crash.
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