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Khet: The Laser Game» Forums » General

Subject: Wife is beating me! Psycho-analysis needed. rss

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Eric Bridge
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First of all - what a cool game! Cudos to the designers. OK, here's the deal. I usually beat my wife at every other strategy game there is, including Chess. Then comes this game in which after winning the first game just because we were still learning, I have lost the last 2 times BADLY (as in half of my force decimated to maybe one of hers on the sideline). First of all, as has already been observed, once someone is putting pressure on the Pharaoh it's probably over unless they make a dumb mistake. After the first 5 moves of the last 2 games I was on defense the rest of the way trying to save my pieces. And its not that I can't trace the beam properly - I know where both lazers are going to go, I just don't know how to put her on the defensive. Now don't get me wrong, its good to have a game that my wife will play with me because she can win, but I'd love to see more about opening, mid-game, and late game strategies. Or perhaps I'm just not seeing the value/use of the pyramids and djeds properly (or Obelisks for that matter). It seems to me that anytime I rotate a pyramind I set it up to be shot in the back. Anyway, thanks for any help you can offer.

P.S. No matter how many times I rotate my Obelisks or Pharaoh they still get hit. What am I missing?









P.S.S. That last part there in the P.S. is a little joke Please don't flame me about rotating obelisks and pharaohs
 
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J. Romano
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Here's a strategy that's worked more-or-less for me:

As soon as the game begins, try moving your Djed (the double-sided mirror piece) close to your wife's Pharaoh. That way, if your wife manages to block a fatal laser shot with a Pyramid piece, you may be able to use your Djed to move the Pyramid out of the way and mess with her plans.

Not only that, but the Djed is such a versatile playing piece that it's a good idea to have at least one on the offensive. (It can come in really handy when you're trying to go for the win.)
 
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Barry Figgins
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Careful with the Djeds, though - they're double sided. There's one side that shoots lasers at her, but there's also one that shoots lasers at you.
I can't really help too much - I do well enough at Khet, but I don't really know my strategy.
 
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Neil Figuracion
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Maybe you've already dealt with this, since this thread was started in January. I've been playing and teaching this game for a couple of months now, and I have a few very basic ideas about the early game, mid game and endgame. Also, there are probably many avenues that I'm just inexperienced enough to have missed.

With regards to putting your opponent on the defensive, I think that might have to do with how thrown your opponent gets by having their pieces eliminated. If they don't mind losing their non-essential pieces, then putting them on the defensive would have to do with setting up safe attacks against their Pharoah.

All of my suggestions are written from a player's point of view.

Early - moving your pieces along the right edge of the board helps you to set up light-control in the front and back regions of the board. The very middle of the board is obscured not only by the reflecting pieces of your opponents but by the Djeds in the middle. It's very easy to hit the obelisk to the right of the Pharoah, and to destroy the opponents pieces on the right of the board. Honestly it seems to me more a psychological maneuver than a tactical one, because most of the players I have played with don't move those at first anyway.

This also means that your pieces on the left are the easier targets for your opponent to kill very early on. If you can save a couple of those pieces and put them in the back half of the board, then it becomes much easier to set up shots from your laser to the Pharoah. The problem is that your opponent's piece in the back left edge will have an easy shot against a vulnerable piece. It can be possible to eliminate the player's dangerous piece, as long as they don't notice your ability to take the shot.

Mid - This section is more about setting up the goings-on in the middle of the board. I think of this game not too differently from the way I think of Go, though the mechanics are not at all the same. That is to say that I consider the flow of chi through the board, especially as analogous to the lasers. This game is all about managing that flow. If I can set up the Djeds to do some dangerous deflecting, while keeping my Pharoah well protected, it's possible to win the game through player oversight.

As players get more advanced (and this is where most of my players haven't reached) they'll be able to avoid any oversights. I use the image of "imagining that there is a laser coming from all sides of the Pharoah" to help visualize vulnerabilities.

End - In the games I have played where both players played to their fullest and blocked when they should have, lost an even amount of pieces... the game becomes about setting up checkmates. Setting up attacks to your opponent's Pharoah that can have no survivable options.

An easy example is having one of your right edge pieces aiming a the beam through the second-from the back rank, reflecting off of one of your pieces to your opponent's Pharoah, assuming that the obelisks have all been eliminated, and perhaps one mirrored piece to block. If you have a kill-shot from one angle, it would have to be blocked or evaded. If the Pharoah moves to the second from the back rank, it's an easy shot from your right-edge piece. If it tries to move to your left, the central reflector can catch it. If your opponent tries to move the blocking mirror piece to interrupt your beam, you can easily move the right edge into the back rank to shoot the Pharoah from there. No more defensive options, game over.

The problem with this is that there need to be enough pieces near your opponent's Pharoah to make a dent in their defenses. If their defense is too strong, but their offense is non-existent, well I guess that's why they wrote stalemate rules into this game.

I hope that's all clearly presented. If anyone else has ideas about these thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
 
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