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Subject: Ask Jewdoka - 2017 Online Hive World Champion rss

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Jew Doka
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As the 2017 Online Hive World Champion, I feel I should open up a forum for anyone who has tactical/strategy questions.
My hope is to transfer all my knowledge to help advance the game.

Ask away.

-Jewdoka
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Povilas Šimonis
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Congratulations Jewdoka again, you performed spectacularly!
You mentioned in your summary about the tournament in boardspace.net that you are planning to prepare some sort of learning tools for the Hive community, so, are you still planning it and if yes, what format can we expect?
Second question is much more straight forward. I often find hard time sacrificing specific bugs, usually it is A, B or M. When I say sacrifice I mean pinning. I saw your live games with Quodlibet and I was amazed how you outplayed him with very well planned sacrifices (at least in some games). Can you give some input in this struggle? It is obvious that sacrifices should be made, but for now such moves feels counterintuitive and I don't get a point how even to start evaluation of such moves.
Best regards!
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Francesco Salerno
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Hi Jew!! thanks so much for having this "thread-show", strong and generous! meeple

I have a couple of general questions:

1) Is the double beetle attack always worth to launch? When I have the initiative (so less often as black), I usually try to place the beetles as soon as possible providing that one of them can actually reach and cover the enemy queen (so basically as soon as my opponent has not enough Ant/Mosquito free to pin my beetles). What's your approach? do you think mainly in terms of beetle attack or try first different paths?
I understand that the question is a bit vague without examples, hope you can give an idea of your thinking anyway.

2) A more 'practical' question. When does one should begin to 'count' the turns? (Where i mean counting the number of turns you need, or your opponent needs, to win) At a certain point, counting is necessary to evaluate when one should attack or defend (or play prophylactic moves). However, generally I find my self counting only when I am forced to do it, basically when I feel quite at risk and I don't want to lose so quickly.
Do you have a 'recipe' for this? Do you start counting at a specific moment of the game? You count all the game long? I hope I made my self clear

Thanks again for any clarification and advice you can give!!

Fra


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Jum Jumagas
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As the 2017 Hive World Champion, I would like to ask you how marriage affects a man's freedom in a tactical way. I would like to know moreover if the wedding ring is so heavy that strategically is better not to carry it on an everyday basis.

Other than that, it is a great initiative from your side (a hat is taken off). All hivers will be able to exchange ideas and most of all learn some stuff from the master of the masters!! Don't reveal too much though, because you have a book to write .
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Jew Doka
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Pseudomonass wrote:
Congratulations Jewdoka again, you performed spectacularly!
You mentioned in your summary about the tournament in boardspace.net that you are planning to prepare some sort of learning tools for the Hive community, so, are you still planning it and if yes, what format can we expect?
Second question is much more straight forward. I often find hard time sacrificing specific bugs, usually it is A, B or M. When I say sacrifice I mean pinning. I saw your live games with Quodlibet and I was amazed how you outplayed him with very well planned sacrifices (at least in some games). Can you give some input in this struggle? It is obvious that sacrifices should be made, but for now such moves feels counterintuitive and I don't get a point how even to start evaluation of such moves.
Best regards!


Thanks pseudo!

1. Yes, I will be busy "giving back" to hive community until next year's tournament. The plan is to release a book in the weeks leading up to the tournament (around late April). In the meantime, you can expect threads here at bgg detailing specific inquiries from anyone and everyone.
So, book and online. The main difference being that the book will be more in depth and focused mainly on opening theory!

2. Great question! I will consider how to communicate this properly and post it as a new thread. (I will edit this and leave a link here)

-Jewdoka
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Jew Doka
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FrascoSal wrote:
Hi Jew!! thanks so much for having this "thread-show", strong and generous! meeple

I have a couple of general questions:

1) Is the double beetle attack always worth to launch? When I have the initiative (so less often as black), I usually try to place the beetles as soon as possible providing that one of them can actually reach and cover the enemy queen (so basically as soon as my opponent has not enough Ant/Mosquito free to pin my beetles). What's your approach? do you think mainly in terms of beetle attack or try first different paths?
I understand that the question is a bit vague without examples, hope you can give an idea of your thinking anyway.

2) A more 'practical' question. When does one should begin to 'count' the turns? (Where i mean counting the number of turns you need, or your opponent needs, to win) At a certain point, counting is necessary to evaluate when one should attack or defend (or play prophylactic moves). However, generally I find my self counting only when I am forced to do it, basically when I feel quite at risk and I don't want to lose so quickly.
Do you have a 'recipe' for this? Do you start counting at a specific moment of the game? You count all the game long? I hope I made my self clear

Thanks again for any clarification and advice you can give!!

Fra




Hey Frasco! It is my pleasure.

1. It is not always worth it. You may lose initiative.

Much of black's early game is dedicated to being able to defend against a double beetle attack. With blacks "standard" opening, the mos can pin one while the ant is left to pin the other. Or, the ant pins the first and the mos is left to recover the second beetle who successfully made it up.



Once white puts some ants into play, it gets complicated, but if black is smart, (even if he can't pin both beetles) he will stop both beetles or maybe he won't have to stop either of them.

So, what you maybe are doing frasco, is jamming or forcing a beetle on top of the hive to secure the battle of queen/pill cover. How black may choose to defend is allowing the eventual cover but defend it by recovering the white beetle that's on top of the black queen / complicating things so perhaps white cannot even finish(not enough bugs etc) or will finish very slow. If you spend a few key moves jamming the beetle up, black may use those moves to somehow steal the game. Something I've noticed is that sometimes if white try's really hard to force a beetle up, black can return a beetle attack with little or no opposition. The rest of the game may be won by who has the better spawn points or complications.

My approach is one based off of action/reaction. If the opponent allows me an easy beetle cover I take it. If my opponent resists against beetle cover, maybe I will have to win the "ant game" before I can get a beetle safely in play. etc. The trick is to be able to judge what your opponent cannot defend.

I do think a lot about beetle play from the very beginning... depending on the opponents moves, my manifestations will come to life or be suppressed until later.

2. Great question, easy answer. Always! Always make the count. Before and after every move. Both for you and your opponent. Sometimes in familiar situations, you don't have to count because you have made that same exact (or similar) count many times. As a rule of thumb, you should have the next count made when pondering that move. Ponder your opponents move and count that too... in other words, make your early moves based on tempo. Tempo should drive your decisions.
At a certain point of the game you may not have to count anymore. This is a tactically heavy game that has progressed past the open and in which neither player can muster a real "tempo attack" threat. This is what I consider "beyond tempo". A mistake in this phase of the game can put you back in a position where you have to defend against a late game tempo attack.

-Jewdoka
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Julien T
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Hi Jewdoka,
Thanks for doing this!

There are so many questions to ask, here are a few...

1) What is your opinion about expansions: do you think PLM is the perfect formula? Would the game be improved by removing or adding new bugs?

2) Do you consider your style being strategical by planning many moves long time in advance or more tactical focussing on doing the best move possible every turns with the pieces availables and the ones on the table?

3) How does knowing your opponent affect your play style? Will your playstyle be very different agains Eucalyx and Tzimarou?


Regards,
Julien
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Jew Doka
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tzimarou wrote:
As the 2017 Hive World Champion, I would like to ask you how marriage affects a man's freedom in a tactical way. I would like to know moreover if the wedding ring is so heavy that strategically is better not to carry it on an everyday basis.

Other than that, it is a great initiative from your side (a hat is taken off). All hivers will be able to exchange ideas and most of all learn some stuff from the master of the masters!! Don't reveal too much though, because you have a book to write .


Thanks for the question my friend. I have to play once she falls asleep on the couch the ring question is a good one. I actually preconceived this weight threat and had it tattooed! True story.

And don't worry about the book, these threads will be good appetizers.

-Jewdoka
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Jew Doka
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jultou wrote:
Hi Jewdoka,
Thanks for doing this!

There are so many questions to ask, here are a few...

1) What is your opinion about expansions: do you think PLM is the perfect formula? Would the game be improved by removing or adding new bugs?

2) Do you consider your style being strategical by planning many moves long time in advance or more tactical focussing on doing the best move possible every turns with the pieces availables and the ones on the table?

3) How does knowing your opponent affect your play style? Will your playstyle be very different agains Eucalyx and Tzimarou?


Regards,
Julien


Hey jultou! It is my pleasure.

1. I think the expansions complete the game. They bring balance to the force In the base game, white has a bigger advantage with the first turn initiative, but with the expansions it is easier for white to screw up an attack / black to make complications.
I am open to new bugs or alternative expansions, but until they are released officially, they are just for fun. I wouldn't say the game needs any new bug to add to canon.

2. This is interesting. I don't consider strategy as a string of planned tactics. I consider strategy to be where you want the game to go and how you want it to take shape, tactics are just the micro managed moves that helpped get there. In other words, any strategy can be accomplished through varying tactics.
My style specifically: last year in 2016 I believe I was better than I am now tactically- making the single best move. This year (2017) I won the tournament not because I was better tactically, but because I knew where I wanted to take the game and knew which kind of games/tactics I wanted to avoid. So, I guess I am both. Starting from the ground in tactics and reaching the sky with strategy. Strategy is uncovering itself for me more and more.

3. The answer is yes, I will play different vs both those opponents. For one, if my opponent has a strength, i probably shouldn't play to it. Second, I would be tactically countering different based on the opponents specific tactics, so the game would defiantly take a visually different shape based on action/reaction.
Preparing for a certain type of player is The essence, I think of your question. This is basically sitting down and figuring out what type of game gives you the best chances against said opponent and then thinkin of some usable tactics based on said opponents habits and tendencies.

-Jewdoka
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Anon Y. Mous
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Once the board begins to take shape and tactics and subgoals become apparent, I can play more or less comfortably (nowhere near "good" by any competitive standard, but in a way that sort of feels like my moves have a purpose.) But during the opening, I'm just placing bugs and have no idea what I'm building. Needless to say, this puts me at a significant disadvantage against a player with a more solid grasp of opening theory. What's a good way to learn this seemingly-opaque aspect of the game?
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Jew Doka
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Ethereality wrote:
Once the board begins to take shape and tactics and subgoals become apparent, I can play more or less comfortably (nowhere near "good" by any competitive standard, but in a way that sort of feels like my moves have a purpose.) But during the opening, I'm just placing bugs and have no idea what I'm building. Needless to say, this puts me at a significant disadvantage against a player with a more solid grasp of opening theory. What's a good way to learn this seemingly-opaque aspect of the game?


I think a good way to learn how to see the opening moves clearly (and to choose the best opening moves) is to always think about tempo. For white: Place, attack queen, place, attack queen, place, attack queen, etc. For Black: Place, place, place, and pin, pin, pin, defend, complicate. (not necessarily in that order)

This is not the only way and not necessarily the best way to play the game, but it should start to open your eyes.

Once you get a more solid grasp on "tempo" and the "tempo attack", you will start to see the purpose in your early moves.

-Jewdoka
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Julien T
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Hi Jewdoka!
thanks for your detailed answers.

I'm looking forward for your book especially for the openings which are so critical the more you play and face against experts. Its surely an aspect I'd like to explore and better understand.

I think an additional book will also help to grow the Hive community and raise the player level. (On a personal note its the Randy's book that really got me into Hive)

Julien

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Jew Doka
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jultou wrote:
Hi Jewdoka!
thanks for your detailed answers.

I'm looking forward for your book especially for the openings which are so critical the more you play and face against experts. Its surely an aspect I'd like to explore and better understand.

I think an additional book will also help to grow the Hive community and raise the player level. (On a personal note its the Randy's book that really got me into Hive)

Julien



No problem Julien,
the book won't tell you what to do per se, it will be more about how to THINK.

-Jewdoka
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Povilas Šimonis
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I'm back again with a new question
After recent battles with you and tzimarou as well, where my Pillbug was harrased by mosquitoes I understand that I have no clue how evaluate prospects for such (brave in my opinion) move. Can you give a comment on this technique of P inactivation?

Regards
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Jew Doka
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Pseudomonass wrote:
I'm back again with a new question
After recent battles with you and tzimarou as well, where my Pillbug was harrased by mosquitoes I understand that I have no clue how evaluate prospects for such (brave in my opinion) move. Can you give a comment on this technique of P inactivation?

Regards


Hey Pseudo!

Great question. The mosquito is SO dangerous!
As an ant, the mosquito can lay and wait for an opening and then pounce.
(whites turn to play)



Or



Etc.

It can ruin a perfectly good pocket by stealing pill power
(blacks turn to play)



->



->



or it can be used as a beetle to make the crucial queen/pill cover.

When moving the mosquito to this spot(as in our game),



It threatens by the fact a beetle can be attached (not to mention the beetle charged mosquito(2 beetles)). It also threatens by the fact that it can warp the pillbug if the pillbug isn't anchored. In this case, if the black mos moves, the white mos endangers and prevents black's formation of a (half) pocket by the ability of warping the black pillbug away. Or, if black lays an ant to pin the inevitable beetle off the mos, white can lay the beetle and then move the black pill to free the white mos from the pin. It's also a nice move because if I cannot commit to the multiple move attack (perhaps I need to make a time sensitive move elsewhere) and the enemy pillbug simply moves my mosquito, it doesn't really matter, it's still in a good spot and it cost them a move.

To launch such an attack is brave indeed. But more than guts, It takes a lot of critical thinking and careful planning for the next few moves.

It also could be a major source of distraction. Maybe you don't have it all thought out, but you know it will take them some time to deal with. Meanwhile, you are setting up an unstoppable attack.

To detect this sort of happening beforehand, you have to be conscious of when and where you place your pillbug and avoid it from happening all together.
When placing your pillbug, you should be aware of where the enemy mosquito is or where it could be. A lot of times I will try to sacrifice (don't worry, I haven't forgot about your sacrifice question a few weeks ago) an ant off the backside of my pillbug to make sure that my pill will be anchored to my queen. Another good anchor for the pillbug's backside is a spider. It probably won't be a sacrifice but it will be handy later with pillbug defensive actions such as warping a bug away from your queen and then pinning it with that spider.

Hope this sheds some light on this type of strategy. Remember, it's the idea that is important (strategy of harassing the enemy pill/defense) and the way you achieve the idea (tactics) can come in many forms.

-Jewdoka
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Joe Wasserman
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I don't think he would like that.
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"A single action or event is interesting, not because it is explainable, but because it is true." - Goethe
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I don't have a specific question, but I'm looking forward to the book!
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Jew Doka
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Thanks mymil!
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David B
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Hey JewD!

Congrats on the title. That is quite an accomplishment. I have a few questions:

1) I wish Hive had a better notation system. I am somewhat familiar with the notation in Ingersoll’s book, but I don’t find that system nearly as smooth as the system in chess. I doubt I would ever be comfortable enough with it to accurately record my moves in a game. Do you think it is possible for Hive to have a more elegant notation system?

2) Hive is definitely a game that is worthy of study and commitment. Are there any other modern games in this hobby that you feel are worth a similar level of commitment?

3) At higher levels of tournament play in chess, experts can very often use book knowledge of openings and positional play to force the game into a drawn position. Well over half of all tournament level games at the master level result in a draw. I suppose you could say that chess, though not solved, approaches being solved in the sense that draws can so often be virtually forced. Do you see Hive being in this predicament?
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Jew Doka
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pfctsqr wrote:
Hey JewD!

Congrats on the title. That is quite an accomplishment. I have a few questions:

1) I wish Hive had a better notation system. I am somewhat familiar with the notation in Ingersoll’s book, but I don’t find that system nearly as smooth as the system in chess. I doubt I would ever be comfortable enough with it to accurately record my moves in a game. Do you think it is possible for Hive to have a more elegant notation system?

2) Hive is definitely a game that is worthy of study and commitment. Are there any other modern games in this hobby that you feel are worth a similar level of commitment?

3) At higher levels of tournament play in chess, experts can very often use book knowledge of openings and positional play to force the game into a drawn position. Well over half of all tournament level games at the master level result in a draw. I suppose you could say that chess, though not solved, approaches being solved in the sense that draws can so often be virtually forced. Do you see Hive being in this predicament?



Thanks! and I must point out your avatar being Ali G!! hehehe funny stuff.

1. Notation to me has always been too stuffy. I don't like it. Not in chess, not in nothin. The HIVE notation that Ringersoll has come up with works, and that's good enough for me. As I believe Ringersoll points out, if there were to be some sort of grid system involved with notation, there would be no good way to establish a origin point. Ex. Let's say the origin point for a grid is where the white queen is first placed. What then happens if she moves?? Does the grid stay put? How could you remember where it started? Does the whole grid move with her? ...that might work, but it would be mighty confusing. Even if a grid didn't move it's quite confusing since it would be a hex grid... You would have to lay out a cloth with a grid on it for it to be effective I think. It seems to me that the notation system NEEDS to be referencing the tiles and not the (lack of a) grid/board. I believe at least playback of games rely on this notation system to show the recorded moves, so undertaking a new notation system would be quite cumbersome and I don't think with too much reward. You mention that "I doubt I would ever be comfortable enough...". Never say never my friend! I think with a little more understanding you could get used to it. Just remember it's based on the tile and not on the grid. A guy by the name of Linael on BGA has recently wrote a book that I think describes how to do the notation quite well. Maybe pick that up or re-read Ringersoll's book.

2. Yes, Hive is a strategy game as worthy as they come. I "cut my strategy teeth" on old Command and Conquer games from approx 1996 to 2006, also I think Mario Kart on SNES (battle mode) and Connect 4 are great preemptive strategy games (sorry, they are not modern hehe) and I have developed a lot of devious plans from those games. So, I respect other games a lot but just don't play many. I play a bit of chess, but I spend the most amount of time with Hive. Sorry, not much help here.

3. In the future, maybe. But right now, no... not at all. I have had many games become "draw-ish", but I am usually able to alter my strategy and find enough pieces. In Chess, pieces disappear. In Hive, they just cannot move... There are opportunities to re-free said bugs and get them back in the game. This "recycle" ability of the game is really ingenious and pairing that with the Pillbug (and mosquito) make for a really hard time to make a game a draw. But yes, draws still happen, but I think they are a lot harder to force in Hive than in Chess. Just don't play too stringy

-Jewdoka
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Randall Ingersoll
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Jewdoka wrote:

The HIVE notation that Ringersoll has come up with works, and that's good enough for me.

Credit for this Hive notation system goes to Dave Dyer from www.BoardSpace.net.

As the first site to play Hive online, he also should get some credit for the game's online popularity!

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Jew Doka
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rmingersoll wrote:
Jewdoka wrote:

The HIVE notation that Ringersoll has come up with works, and that's good enough for me.

Credit for this Hive notation system goes to Dave Dyer from www.BoardSpace.net.

As the first site to play Hive online, he also should get some credit for the game's online popularity!



Thanks randy!
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Martie Thurston
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Jewdoka wrote:
As the 2017 Online Hive World Champion, I feel I should open up a forum for anyone who has tactical/strategy questions.
My hope is to transfer all my knowledge to help advance the game.

Ask away.

-Jewdoka


Hi Jew. Do you think your going to be able to stop my pursuit to replace you as this year's hive champion?
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Jew Doka
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Jewdoka_killer wrote:
Jewdoka wrote:
As the 2017 Online Hive World Champion, I feel I should open up a forum for anyone who has tactical/strategy questions.
My hope is to transfer all my knowledge to help advance the game.

Ask away.

-Jewdoka


Hi Jew. Do you think your going to be able to stop my pursuit to replace you as this year's hive champion?


I won't stop your pursuit... I will destroy it!!!!!!!!!
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Jew Doka
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Jewdoka_killer wrote:
Jewdoka wrote:
As the 2017 Online Hive World Champion, I feel I should open up a forum for anyone who has tactical/strategy questions.
My hope is to transfer all my knowledge to help advance the game.

Ask away.

-Jewdoka


Hi Jew. Do you think your going to be able to stop my pursuit to replace you as this year's hive champion?


Now is your chance!!!!!!

Sign up for the tournament and try to dethrone me!!!!!!

Registration for the Official 2018 Online Hive World Championship is now open!!!

Sign up now, the tournament starts April 16th, is played live (at approx. 2 games per week) and there will be lots of small prizes and BIG prizes!!!!

http://boardspace.net/cgi-bin/tournament-signup.cgi?tourname...

-Jewdoka

(PS - I will DEFEND my crown!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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Cody Kunka
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Jewdoka wrote:
I am open to new bugs or alternative expansions, but until they are released officially, they are just for fun. I wouldn't say the game needs any new bug to add to canon.


If an official expansion were released, what element would most interest you? The element could be as complicated as offense/defense balance or as simple as new creatures. I imagine your competitive experience would be quite insightful.

Personally, I'd like to see something that introduces a new mechanic. I think of how Mosquito first introduced stealing an adjacent creature's ability and how the Pillbug introduced moving other creatures. Some examples of new mechanics would be Capture, Passive Stunning, and Flipping.
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